Vita Nostra Q4: Russia


The book is written by Ukranians and set in Russia. How much of the setting came through in the book? What struck you as different from Western Europe or North America, and what was the same? How would the story have been different if it were set in say the US Midwest, or the Scottish Highlands?


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    I think the main thing was the deference to authority. There's much more of an irreverence here among people of that age - more of a rebellious streak. I can't see anyone putting up with all the gibberish that way Sasha did.

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    I agree about deference to authority: we visited Moscow and St Petersburg a few years ago and it was very striking how a younger person would automatically without hesitation stand up on the metro for an older one. You _might_ get that in London but probably only for someone obviously infirm, or when asked.

    Something shared in common with HP was that the setting was comparatively remote, but also not too hard to reach by public transport. So both the inaccessibility and the accessibility are important. In EarthSea, Roke is pretty much bang in the middle, but protected in other ways.
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    Agreed, there was a lot of compliance with unpleasant tasks, and acceptance of the explanation of "you'll understand why later." Even when the first-years saw the damaged second-years, there was no rebellion or argument.

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