We Inter-Are/1

What I mostly feel in myself is my father and mother, you, Yegor, Pushkin, Gogol. A whole crowd. They all colour my perception of reality, share my destiny and go with me wherever I am…

Not Now… But Someday

[Soviet critics] conceded that much of what [Vasily] Grossman had written was true, but to publish the novel at such a time would be harmful to the state. Marlov or Sartakov suggested that publication might…

Tolstoy/Grossman

[Russian] writers have  decried Russia’s slavery and violent past.—Alexandra Popoff, Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century Reading [Leo] Tolstoy strengthened [Vasily] Grossman’s ambition to become a writer. Tolstoy’s interest in the human soul, his quest…

Russians Reciting Poetry as Prayer

Countless former prisoners described how memorized verse consoled them. It preserved their past life and their continuity with it. And it was something the authorities could not take away.  Once stories about prisoners reciting poetry…

Regarding the Dreyfus Affair

“It is my duty to speak up; I will not be an accessory to the fact.  If I were, my nights would be haunted by the spectre of that innocent man so far away, suffering…

In the Old Days

“You see that old man? He’s from my father’s village. I met him years ago, when I was young. I only met him twice. He just told me he was concerned about me, so he…

Scoffers and Seers

“They all laughed at him. Particularly a lieutenant-colonel….’I am a lieutenant-colonel,’ he said, ‘but I’ve never  met any God in all my life. Where is He, your Christ? Has anyone  ever seen Him?’ ‘I have,’…

The Rule Is Still Golden

Armies will only be diminished and abolished when people cease to trust governments, and themselves seek salvation from the miseries that oppress them, and seek that safety, not by the complicated and delicate combinations of…

When Life Starts to Improve

Leo Tolstoy, Spiritual Writings, edited by Charles E. Moore Prophetic witness consists of human deeds of justice and kindness that attend to the unjust sources of human hurt and misery. It calls attention to the…

Ed Snowden, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald

Check out Matt Taibbi’s article today, The Washington Post Dabbles in Orwell: In scrubbed piece about Edward Snowden, the Bezos Post offers a preview of how history will be re-written. Here’s the penultimate paragraph: “That…