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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Draw Your Own Pelevin at Literary Bonanza

If official City Day style favors monumental sculpture, pop music and circuses, the Unofficial Moscow festival promises to pay special attention to the written word.

"Fear of literature is the fear of sense. It is the inability to make a responsible statement," wrote Marat Gelman in a recent issue of Nezavisimaya newspaper, in criticism of the lack of a literary program during last June's celebrations of Alexander Pushkin's 200th anniversary.

Thirty-two events are scheduled to take place at 9 literary clubs and several bookstores and publishing houses to fill this gap.

Among the highlights, as many as 3,000 fans of cult writer Viktor Pelevin are expected to gather Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Bitsa park (instructions will be handed out at the Chertanovskaya metro station). Pelevin himself will attend the event under cover to keep up with his image, and mystified fans will compete in drawing portraits of their idol from their imagination.

A group of well-known writers of non-Moscow origin, such as Andrei Bitov and Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, will step out Friday at the Literature Museum (28 Ulitsa Petrovka, Tel. 345-5913) to talk about their way of overcoming prejudices towards the provinces and achieving success in the capital. A number of other events will be centered around provincial themes, including a Ukrainian poetry happening and a "new nomads" Kazakh party.

Winners of the global Internet literary contest, Tenet, will receive their awards at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the House of Cinema (at 13, Vasilyevskaya Ulitsa. Tel. 310-8549).

Throughout the festival, literary readings will abound, with evenings of love lyrics and poetry written in Esperanto or recited between the moves of a chess game played by poets. And for dessert, the provocative prose of Igor Yarkevich will be read in a special literary banya.

-Yulia Solovyova