All posts tagged Shalamov

BASEES 2012 highlights

I was quite busy with committee business during the BASEES conference, but did manage to attend a few panels, and want to pick out a few highlights from what everyone I spoke to agreed was a very stimulating and enjoyable weekend. A Monday morning panel on Gulag literature may not be everybody’s idea of fun, […]

Top ten letters in Russian literature

Letters play a significant role in some of my favourite works of Russian literature, and a couple in particular have been very much on my mind lately. So here is my top ten, which manages to encompass everything from the absurd to the tragic. Apologies for the plot spoilers (especially in entries 10, 7 and […]

Life and Fate on the BBC

I’m still recovering from a couple of memorable days at St Peter’s College Oxford, where the BBC’s event to celebrate the Radio 4 adaptation of Vasily Grossman’s vast and still under-appreciated novel Life and Fate was followed by an interdisciplinary conference on Grossman. I’m still gathering my thoughts on the latter, so I’ll save that […]

Gulag Voices: two books

This year has seen the publication of two books titled Gulag Voices: an anthology of memoirs edited by Anne Applebaum, and a collection of oral histories by Jehanne Gheith and Katherine Jolluck, so this seems like a good opportunity to look at both of them. I had previously read all but one of the extracts […]

Judging books by their covers

As part of some work on Vasily Grossman (about which more anon), I’ve been catching up with my reading on Gulag history. Stephen Cohen’s The Victims Return finally arrived at the library, so I went to get it out. The first thing that struck me was how similar its cover was to another recent book on Gulag […]

Doroshevich on Sakhalin

I had other plans yesterday, but was feeling far too tired and depressed to concentrate on the writing I was supposed to be doing. So, to take my mind off present-day violent criminality at home, I started thinking about violent criminality more than a hundred years ago on the other side of the world… I recently […]

Top ten food in Russian literature: part 2

I shall keep you in suspense no longer. 5. Shalamov, ‘Condensed Milk’. As in the case of Solzhenitsyn, hunger is ubiquitous in Shalamov’s stories, so food also plays a significant role. ‘Condensed Milk’ is unusual in depicting a moment of triumph and satiation: the narrator, offered a place on an escape, asks the ringleader Shestaskov […]

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

My article, ‘Recalling the Dead: Repetition, Identity, and the Witness in Varlam Shalamov’s Kolymskie rasskazy,’ has been published in the latest issue of Slavic Review (vol. 70. 2, 2011, pp. 353-72). In this article, I examine different types of repetition in Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales, from the repeated narration of the same incident in different tales, to […]

Translating Shalamov

My translation of Shalamov’s story Resurrection of the Larch has been published in the literary journal Cardinal Points. I’ve also written a short piece on Shalamov for the journal. I don’t intend to repeat what I said there, but I would like to make a couple of additional observations. Although this is the first translation […]

BASEES highlights

I was only able to visit a small number of panels at BASEES last weekend, and the ones I chose were a bit of a departure from my usual interests, but there were some very good papers. I was sorry to miss the first half of Hubert Bergmann’s paper on Russophilia in the German youth […]