Daniel Marcus offers a humorous look at the life of a fictional Soviet era artist in his book, "Selected Episodes Relating to the Life of Vladimir Daniilovich Myukis, Deceased."
The book recounts the fictional life of Vladimir Daniilovich Myukis, a KGB artist in the USSR who later ends up working the counter at a Brooklyn delicatessen on the Coney Island boardwalk. Through Myukis' experiences, Marcus satirizes the work of various artists and institutions in these countries as well as everyday life in the late 20th century.
Marcus created Myukis when a trip to a well-known museum left him doubting the legitimacy of much contemporary art.
"Some of the art I saw at this museum was ridiculous," says Marcus, a retired commercial photographer. "Most wouldn't even pass as a good wall hanging. I created my fictional character to voice my displeasure and opinions in a way that folks can enjoy."
"Selected Episodes Relating to the Life of Vladimir Daniilovich Myukis, Deceased," relates several, random episodes from Myukis' life. Accompanying the various episodes are 25 original illustrations, which are attributed to Myukis. Marcus aims to give readers a dynamic book that takes a critical eye and humorous tongue to individuals and institutions in the U.S. and USSR.
Marcus arranged the episodes randomly rather than linearly in order to mirror the randomness of much life, where chance coincidences often lead to unexpected events. That's not the only place, he says, where the book draws parallels with reality.
"Although the characters and story are fictional, they are in reality, real," Marcus says. "Myukis and my readers experience similar things, such as how a seemingly trivial life event can lead to major changes, how various characters impact your life, and other universal problems. Within satire there is truth."
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"Selected Episodes Relating to the Life of Vladimir Daniilovich Myukis, Deceased"
By Daniel Marcus
Available in perfect bound softcover, casebound hardcover and e-book formats
About the author
Daniel Marcus graduated from the University of Michigan in 1961 and settled in Westchester County, N.Y. with his family. Marcus worked as a commercial photographer, teacher, and was involved in various Theater Productions. Now retired, Marcus lives in upstate New York. The proud father of four children and four grandchildren, he devotes his time to writing, painting and working with local theater groups.