Lights and reflections on London cabs at night. Image supplied by FreeFoto.com

World of Taxis - Culture and History

Gaito Gazdanov's Paris
Gaito Gazdanov (in the photo at left, 1930s) was a Russian emigre who drove a taxi in Paris from 1928 to 1952. During that time, he wrote seven of his nine novels.

Photo of a taxi in 1930s Paris

Gazdanov's novel Nochnye dorogi (Night Roads) draws heavily on his life as a taxi driver. Originally titled Nochnaia doroga (Night Road) it was serialized in the emigre journal Sovremennye zapiski in 1939-1940. It did not appear as a book until 1952.

The novel was translated to French by Elena Balzanno (Chemins Nocturnes: Viviane Hamy, 1991). An English translation is now available.

Click here for photos and selections translated to English from French by Norman Beattie.

Photo of Gaito Gazdanov

Many thanks to Justin Doherty of Trinity College, Dublin for his recent translation of Gazdanov's Night Roads from Russian to English. Gazdanov conveys his readers to 1930s Paris and introduces us to the city's late night characters. Night Roads is a great read, and is available from Northwestern University Press.

Photo of Srinavasa Ramanujan courtesy of Wikipedia

Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematician who is associated with Taxicab Numbers.