Simon Schuchat


There is nothing more American than making choices for others.

Human weakness is the greatest business opportunity there ever was.

To state the obvious, an epidemic had to arrive from somewhere.

A world populated by selfish and ignorant people out for their own gain rather than acting for the common good.

The butchery of animals was likely to produce fetid air.

He was arrested, punished and sent to the secret prison.

The family was instinctively suspicious of me.

Once the plague had taken hold, the influence of the health and disease of the citizenry on the body of the state was used as a justification to take measures against the poorer members of society.

He was evidently a disruptive character.

We live with the greatest fear.


The story is a first-person narrative with no more than a few phrases of reported speech, strong on atmosphere and situation, low on incident.

Much of what we know as modern politics.

Other white men adhered to a stoic and lonely individualism.

Each rubbing the other the right or wrong way.

Self-help gurus warn against getting too wrapped up in other people’s problems.

Revolution as a leap into the future.

Not exactly the house one would choose for calming one’s nerves.

There are godly and demonic spheres, labyrinths, palaces, gateways guarded by terrifying gatekeepers, manic buzzes and hums, disorienting temporal rhythms, and hosts of musicians, some ominous, others benign.

I’ve got to get some rest; that’s all I’m trying to express.

A simpleton who was not cut out for the role that he wanted to play.

One of a multitude of riveting figures.

Yes, I’ve plenty of stories to tell, but one mustn’t tell everything one knows.

I actually groaned with anguish.

They expected things to turn out worse.

The orchestra refused to stop.

A retired American diplomat with over twenty-five years of service, Simon Schuchat worked in Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, Hong Kong and other places. A native of Washington DC, he attended the University of Chicago and published the journal Buffalo Stamps before moving to New York in 1975. Schuchat was also active in small press publishing; he edited the 432 Review and founded Caveman. He taught at Fudan University in Shanghai, and led workshops at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. In 2020, Ugly Duckling Presse published Soviet Texts, his translation of works by genius Moscow conceptualist Dmitri Prigov.