A Plot of Twin Sisters operates on several narrative levels: as a mystery involving the theft of books, misplaced parents and abandoned children; as a postmodernist pastiche with excerpts from other people’s books, allusions, citations, and a dash of the epistolary form to wrap things up; as a psychological/psychoanalytical novel, with a real couch for unreliably garrulous patient of an anti-Freudian doctor who is adorned with some serious faults in his interpretation of the case. Pisarev lures the readers into a story of forking paths, questions their sense of the boundary between the real and the imagined, and leaves them to roam the text encountering, in various shapes, the Bronte sisters and their loving brother, Branwell, D.M. Thomas, Alexander Green and the author no less.
The critics have repeatedly stated that fragments form the largest portion of Pisarev’s literary world. In A Plot of Twin Sisters history is built on quotations and allusions showing that there is no real progress, or improvement, in the human condition; nor is there a stable meaning of the story. Dr Laing’s library containing all the books in the world, created with the idea of preserving all knowledge in one place, resembles E.L. Doctorow’s Langley Collier who, by collecting all the editions of every newspaper published in the city, strives to create a universal newspaper which will make every future edition utterly obsolete. The vitality and determination of such characters raises twitches of envy in readers who are trying to cope with their own choice of the realities at hand.
Pisarev will have no problem persuading us that such a search is uncannily rewarding.
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