contemporary horror on historical Russian background
Andrei Rubanov‘s novel THE WOODEN PEOPLE is one of the few in the horror genre where a (wooden) “homunculus” him- self tells the story of his life. In a kind of magical realism, we learn from his three hundred years of life, built as flashbacks within the action in the present and now, in which all the evil that weighs on him, as well as the new love that uplifts him, is approaching an inevitable culmination point.
The facts: After the christianization of Russia, the Orthodox Church banned all old Russian wooden sculptures of saints. During the Petrine period, almost all wooden figures were removed from the churches and destroyed: chopped up or burned.
The fiction: some statues, hidden by fanatical followers, escaped this „genocide“ and either came to life independently or were breathed into life by others in a secret ritual. These wooden people do not get sick, can see well in the dark, do not grow old and do not die, they can only burn or die of an unhealed crack.