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Collective moral slavery He must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world Grossman tells the stories of those people entwined with Ivan's fate his cousin Nikolay a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career Pinegin the informer who had Ivan sent to. A very moving account of the horrors of Bolshevism and Stalinism in RussiaThe chapter that touched me the most was the story of a young mother who was taken away from her mother and child to Siberia where she eventually dies of disease and despair No decent human being could fail to be moved by this account of a nightmare that really happened It is told in the rich literary style that can only come from a Russian writer bringing to life the horrors of Communist tyranny and the beauty of Russian life that survived it

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'Everything Flows is as important a novel as anything written by Solzhenitsyn and Robert Chandler's superb translation makes it a joy to read'Antony BeevorIvan Grigoryevich has been in the Gulag for thirty years Released after Stalin's death he finds that the years of terror have imposed a. The Experience of ExileHomer got it wrong in the Odyssey at least for modern folk The real suffering and trauma of exile occurs not in the time away from one s homeland but upon return Living with fixed memories no matter how accurate means disappointment in proportion to the time away for both the traveller and the keepers of the hearth Stay away long enough say thirty years or so and whatever commonality that existed is dissipated by the winds of unshared experience No energy remains in old relationships What does remain is a designation empty of any real meaning countryman neighbour friend relative have no pragmatic importThus whatever it was that kept one going in the trials of exile voluntary or not is a self preserving fiction It may be necessary for psychic survival but it becomes false by the day The uantum of change is too small to be noticed on a trip away from home to the shops or the daily commute to work but the effect emerges into the macro world when things seem different at home upon returning from holiday or visiting from university The rooms seem smaller the conversations less interesting the family suabbles annoying These are not inaccurate sensations They are the result of becoming incrementally objective about life The rooms are small the conversations banal and the family insufferable just as the returning prodigal appears alien and incomprehensibleThe trauma of return is therefore not just experiential it is existential Exile may threaten one s life return compromises one s identity Survival is likely to be a matter of physical endurance psychic integrity is likely to depend on entirely unrecognised and unused aspects of character The home comer is a threat to those he returns to because they imagine how they appear to him they thereby become marginally objective about themselves This is never flattering Weaknesses ignored guilt denied knowledge of betrayals suppressed all bubble into consciousness The returning exile can also see what others can t the lost potential of not just the people he knows but of an entire society Unknown even to him he has been creating expectations extrapolating improvements None of these have materialised His insight about lost opportunities causes everyone pain He therefore must be kept in exile even at home This is something Odysseus apparently never was forced to endure Grossman s Ivan that is to say Grossman himself is the truly tragic modern figure of those for whom home has disappeared entirely

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The camps and Anna Sergeyevna Ivan's lover who tells of her involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932 3 Everything Flows is Vasily Grossman's final testament written after the Soviet authorities suppressed Life and Fate'Vasily Grossman is the Tolstoy of the USSR' Martin Amis. Surprised to learn that this was incomplete because it didn t feel that way upon reading Recently finished both Stalingrad and Life and Fate this novel is just as powerful but emotive philosophical In some ways a cruel read than the previous twoAnother 5 star read


10 thoughts on “Всё течёт

  1. says:

    The Experience of ExileHomer got it wrong in the Odyssey at least for modern folk The real suffering and trauma of exile occurs not in the time away from one’s homeland but upon return Living with fixed memories no matter how accurate means disappointment in proportion to the time away for both the traveller and the keepers of the hearth Stay away long enough say thirty years or so and whatever commonality that existe

  2. says:

    Vasily Grossman was a writer of uniue genius a great war correspondent and an even greater novelist Earlier this year I read Life and Fate a panoramic novel set in the Second World War I don’t think I’ve ever been as overwhelmed by a work of fiction at least not since I read Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment It’s an astonishing tour de force a description of people and places and events delivered with freshness and stunning insight

  3. says:

    It was with trepidation that I picked this up Vasily Grossman’s Life Fate is the only book I have ever snapped shut not out of bo

  4. says:

    Introduction Everything Flows NotesChronologyA Note on Collectivisation and the Terror FaminePeople Places and O

  5. says:

    This is not a novel but as another reviewer has uite rightly pointed out a verdict Nor is it complete Vasily Grossman began it in 1955 and was still revising it during his last days in the hospital in September 1964 Grossman was also one of the first witnesses of the conseuences of the Holocaust He published 'The Hell of Treblinka' in Russia the first journalistic account of a German death camp in any language He even published a

  6. says:

    A very moving account of the horrors of Bolshevism and Stalinism in RussiaThe chapter that touched me the most was the story of a young mother who was taken away from her mother and child to Siberia where she eventually dies of disease and despair No decent human being could fail to be moved by this account of a nightmare that really happened It is told in the rich literary style that can only come from a Ru

  7. says:

    This is a brave and thoughtful account of the Stalin years Admittedly Grossman wrote this documentary style fiction well after Stalin's death when it had become possible to acknowledge that mistakes had been made However he knew from his experience of trying to get his previous book past the censor that the freedom to write the truth was still far from possible in tightly controlled KGB run soviet Russia This book unpublished in his lifeti

  8. says:

    Surprised to learn that this was incomplete because it didn't feel that way upon reading Recently finished both Stalingrad and Life and Fate this novel is just as powerful but emotive philosophical In some ways a cruel read than the previous twoAnother 5 star read

  9. says:

    A man returns home after thirty years in the gulag He is prematurely aged and unfamiliar with the modern world How will he fit in after such a long time away time spent in a dehumanizing hell hole He meets up with his cousin and bumps into an old friend in the street Both have built succesful lives for themselv

  10. says:

    This is very powerfull and frightfull text It's actually a verdict then a novel A verdict to the Stalin's regime Stalin dies old broken bald man is freed from one of the Stalin's labour camps and Forever flowing is his thoughts while he stumbles across this Moscow and Leningrad world of not imprisoned people wh

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