The Slynx is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel by Tatyana Nikitichna Tolstaya (Татья́на Ники́тична Толста́я) the granddaughter of author Alexey Tolstoy, that is larded with literary erferences and allusions.
The novel is set two centruries after civilization collapsed in an event known to the variously mutated residents of a future Moscow as as the Blast. Mutations are termed Consequences and include oddly numbered and irregularly placed features and the appendages of non-human animals. A rude feudal society is ruled by the dwarfish great leader Fyodor Kuzmich, the lords of the city-state called Murzas, ordinary resident serfs known as Golobchiks who survive on mice as a protein source, and the half-human but voluble quadruped Degenerators who are harnessed to troikas as draft animals. Order against treason, deemed Freethinking, is maintained by the Saniturions, the apparatus of repression.
Benedikt is the novel's fearful and risk-averse protagonist, a scribe who transcribes old books which are then presented as evidence of the genius of the great leader to an ignorant population. An obsessive if undiscriminating reader of the prohibited books seized by the Saniturions, Bendikt is eventually drawn into conspiracy against Fyodor Kuzmich by his father-in-law, Kudeyar Kudeyarich, the much feared General of the Saniturions. Horrified by his own tail, Bendikt has it cut off in an effort to achieve the pre-Blast human ideal. However, after marrying Olinka, the daughter of Kudeyar Kudeyarich, Bendikt discovers that she and her parents possess claws instead of human feet.
Predictably, the coup d'etat led by Kudeyar Kudeyarich against Fyodor Kuzmich succeeds only to result in a tyranny as great as the previous regime.
- Kudeyar Kudeyarich: "A fable is a directive rendered in a simplified form for popular consumption." p. 160
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