I love the closing lines of Chandler's essay about Platonov:
Like a great many of the finest twentieth-century Russian prose-writers—Andrey Bely, Ivan Bunin, Vladimir Nabokov, Varlam Shalamov, Nadezhda Teffi, amongst others—Platonov began his writing career as a poet. Though he abandoned verse, his imagination remained as bold, and his use of language as creative, as that of any Russian writer since Pushkin.
The excerpt covers a pivotal event in the novel. (The start of the quote corresponds to page 49 of the Anthony Olcott translation.) The big event in the excerpt involves a train wreck between two locomotives of the Red Army. The collision of two huge engines provides a metaphor for the rest of the novel, the collision between ideology (communism) and the attempt at utopia.