Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 32
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
19h ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 32 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Surrounded by the Soviet encirclement, today’s chapter shows the slow, subtle changes Paulus’ forces have been undergoing. Although Paulus and other officers have tried to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine, some of those tiny details have started to break down. The narrator describes how “You could see the changes in the colour of the coffee, in the lines of communication stretching out to new sectors of the front ..read more
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Office Hours - Answering r/Dostoevsky's hottest questions
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
19h ago
Show Notes This week, Matt and Cameron return to the salt mines of Reddit to address some of the internet’s most asked questions, such as “Can atheists understand Dostoevsky?” and “Does Crime and Punishment ever get interesting?” Alongside that, they’ll also be talking about some novels and works they’d like to cover but don’t work with the normal format. Major themes: Pierre winky face, Dostoevsky and atheists, Laurus 29:08 - We all make mistakes in the heat of passion, Jimbo.  The music used in this episode was “Старое Кино / Staroye Kino,” by Перемотка / Peremotka. You can fi ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 31
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
2d ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 31 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Moving on from one retreat to another, we now move to the Nazis who, beginning their retreat, spend much of the day scavenging for food and arguing over fuel rations. Suddenly facing an insurmountable obstacle in the way of their seemingly infinite expansion, the prosaic concerns of food and fuel have come back with a vengeance. The narrator describes how “All their supplies of fuel were now at the disposition of General ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 30
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
3d ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 30 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Still in Kazan, today we rejoin Alexandra Vladimirova, the matriarch of the Shaposhnikov family. She gets letters from her two daughters and one granddaughter, Vera. Each of the letters make Alexandra feel unsettled in their own way. Ultimately she is left wondering how “it could very well have been the other way round. Why wasn’t she asking for her daughters’ help? Why was it her daughters who were asking her for help? A ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 27
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
3d ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 27 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Viktor is given the chance to speak and repent (for what? To whom?) at an institute meeting; he decides not to.  The following day, Savostyanov phones and — somewhat ruefully — rebukes Viktor for not doing so. From this moment onward, there is a marked shift in the tone of Viktor’s life.  Before he was constantly worried about what comes next, ashamed when a colleague crossed the street to avoid him. Now the ult ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 28
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
4d ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 28 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. As Darensky looks out over the remnants of the battle, all he can see are abandoned German lorries and tanks, fleeing combatants, and frozen corpses. Today he starts to understand what it means when the narrator describes how “Terrible and sombre, a steel-clad Russia had turned her face to the West,” (p. 712). Darensky witnesses some of his fellow soldiers mocking a German soldier. When he is kicked to the ground after cr ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 26
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
6d ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 26 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Marya Ivanovna leaves the Shaposhnikov/Shtrum apartment, with Viktor accompanying her to the trolley stop. This moment, for him, reaches a bliss he rarely expresses in Life and Fate.  “What lay between them was true and natural, they were no more responsible for it than a man is responsible for the light of day,” the narrator tells us. Yet all the same, there is an awareness of the consequences of their emotions: “[A ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 25
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
1w ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 25 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. It is rare for any characters in Life and Fate to spend much time with family. So Yevgenia’s arrival in Moscow is a rare treat for her sister’s family (as well as for the reader, getting one of our few chances to see Grossman’s skill in writing family interactions).  The day after her arrival, she, Viktor, and Lyudmila sit down to play chess. This chapter is characterized by Viktor’s philosophical musings — first to ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 24
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
1w ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 24 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. As Lyudmila and Yevgenia are reuniting for the first time in nearly a year, Viktor heads to see his old mentor, Chepyzhin.  You may recall Chepyzhin was also formerly the head at their mutual institute, and resigned amidst a shift toward apparatchik control over scientific goals. This decision — along with his general withdrawal from scientific life — is an important one to keep in mind during this chapter.  Alt ..read more
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Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 23
The Slavic Literature Pod Blog
by The Slavic Literature Pod
1w ago
This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 23 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here. Yevgenia has finally fulfilled her promise to Novikov: ‘If anything is to happen to Krymov, I will return to him.’  Now she rides a trolley for 24 Kuznetsky Most — the Lyubyanka — feeling like an alien in her own city. This war, this country, this whole era has collapsed the dreams of its artists, its commissars, its young people. Those who are left hold on to what they can.  “Her old fate,” she thinks, “was now ..read more
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