Published in July 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
Memories is an astonishing account of a valedictory journey across Russia undertaken in 1918 by Teffi, the once-famous Russian playwright and humorist, in the company of a “squint-eyed Odessa impresario” who goes by the name of Gooskin. Except that Teffi doesn’t know that she will never return to Moscow, that this is a voyage into nowhere. The teenage Vladimir Nabokov, leaving St Petersburg at the same time, described his own experience as a “syncopal kick”—a momentary loss of consciousness. Teffi was 46 years old and acutely conscious throughout.