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In our village

28 January 2016

In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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7 Comments to “In our village”

  1. P.G.

    I’ve read quite a bit of Russian history and some novels. I’ve never read Solzhenitsyn.

    I’m ready to give it a try, care to recommend anything?

    brendan

    • The Gulag Archipelago is brutal and weighty and well worth reading. I can’t ever get past the first chapter of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich — too brutal for me, but every few years I try again.

    • Brendan – I was going to say I liked One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but that seems to be an inappropriate term for a vivid account of Stalinist oppression from the viewpoint of a prisoner in a Russian labor camp. It’s fiction, but not really.

      I am, however, glad I read it and will probably read it again. It’s a good tonic for anyone who is inclined to make excuses for a dictatorship anywhere in the world.

      • //It’s a good tonic for anyone who is inclined to make excuses for a dictatorship anywhere in the world.//

        P.G.

        Heh, the only dictatorship in the world I’d support would be mine…but I’m too old and tired now 🙂

        Russia can be a shockingly vile place at times, dreadful poverty/riches and yet…I have some wonderful memories, especially if you learn a few key phrases. It’s a bit like German, most people think it is an ugly, guttural language, but Russian can be so poetic and kind in speech it fair surprised this cynic.

        I spent some time in Novosibirsk and I’ll swear my head was spinning like Edward Scissorhands, the women were so stunning. That mix of slavic and oriental.

        Gulag it is, perhaps followed by Ivan.

        Thanks Antares…

        brendan

    • Yeah, if you are going to read Russian literature, I recommend Prozac.

  2. “The Gulag Archipelago is brutal and weighty and well worth reading.”

    Jaye,

    Yeah. I’ve spent some time in Russia and while the culture can be breathtaking and beautiful the brutality can be very cruel. Is some ways a lot similar to both China and Islamic countries, complete dichotomies to us of a western perspective.

    Gulag it is, thanks.

    brendan

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