By: Alexey L. Kovalev
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: January 2022
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 28, 2022
Alexey Kovalev presents a fascinating body of work that challenges his audience to ponder "...the expectations the Creator is still waiting for us to fulfill" in his newest book, Á Deux.
Within the first few sentences, Mr. Kovalev clearly defines the subject matter of this book, "...The Creator, Demiurge—these were some of the names. Equally unquestionable seemed to be his might and therefore power, so they also called him the Master, the Lord. However, the most popular and widespread became the generalized name, God, yielding a plethora of interpretations, but in its core meant abundance, good, and the ability to dispense it..." Mind you, we have yet to arrive at the proverbial 'Chapter 1;' all this was laid out in the Prologue. As the first chapter opens, a dialogue ensues between Job and his ‘student’ as it were. There is lively dialogue between the two as they deconstruct meanings of words and instead of placing value on words and their respective meanings, look beyond the obvious and into the ‘mythical’ realm.
The work evolves and after tiring of the notion and the worth of words, the conversation evolves into that of creativity, i.e., "...what do you think is the meaning and value of second-rate works at the National Gallery? I do not mean some mediocre paintings, but the real ones, just short of a masterpiece..." The exchange gets heated as the student challenges religious beliefs and spiritual healing and the correlations between them and creativity. Job wastes no time in setting him straight: "...the source of spiritual health is running low, as even talented artists allegedly do not receive the required energy of inspiration..." There is a tangible sense throughout this body of work that provokes the reader to think beyond the obvious and listen to what spirituality is trying to communicate. There are a multitude of platitudes and prompts throughout this body of work. One passage that essentially wrapped up the entire exchange for me was: "...do not waste your energy on confronting reality in whole. Let the life unfold by itself. You would notice when it goes to the extremities and requires your involvement—as it already happens. As for the rest—trust it. There are forces behind life, immeasurably more powerful than those who try to deform it..."
Mr. Kovalev’s command of word usage and his intentional selection and placement of words is outstanding. This book is a mere 123 pages, but the wealth of introspection to gain across the pages is exemplary and attributable to Mr. Kovalev’s writing talents. Cleverly (and this body of work clearly focuses on theology), Kovalev shines a bright light on Job as the wise sage and embarks on a series of dialogue exchanges that range from religion and spirituality to artistic ability, to self-evaluation and much more. There is no drag in this body of work, and it is truly a journey of epic proportions when it comes to reading the final page. It was difficult to set this book down after reading its last page. There is a sense of having to take a deep breath and look at the world with a new and refreshed perspective of: ‘what’s next’ and pick it up to read once more! I say bravo Mr. Kovalev, bravo! This was an exceptional read and one I will certainly read again.
Quill says: Á Deux is a myriad of powerful insights with a bounty of thought-provoking treasures to ponder.