Kolyma Tales
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07-05-2015, 09:56 AM
Kolyma Tales
Varlam Shalamow said - “There is a much that a man should not see, should not know, and if he should see it, it is better for him to die.”

After reading his masterpiece, "Kolyma Tales" and knowing that it was not work of fiction I certainly can agree with such statement. Inhumanity of Communist regime was highlighted perfectly, Shalamov managed to show corroding influence of ideology and how said ideology can be used to degrade others, to justify killing them.

My courses demand reading literature of this kind, I am no stranger to the books about Shoah, or tragedy of Russian Revolution, yet this one made me sad, horrified and afraid of human capability for cruelty and senseless violence.

Shalamov managed to show us hell of human making, hell through which he lead us, like Virgil of Dante "Divine Comedy". In his book emotions are showed at their extreme, suffering isn't something noble and strengthening for it breaks one spirit and peels the layers of humanity from one body. Also dying isn't some stand against evil, death is common and utterly lacking in dignity. There is no good death, only body which stops functioning, soils itself and finally dies.

I said my piece, and I would like to know others opinion about this book.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-05-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 09:56 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Varlam Shalamow said - “There is a much that a man should not see, should not know, and if he should see it, it is better for him to die.”

After reading his masterpiece, "Kolyma Tales" and knowing that it was not work of fiction I certainly can agree with such statement. Inhumanity of Communist regime was highlighted perfectly, Shalamov managed to show corroding influence of ideology and how said ideology can be used to degrade others, to justify killing them.

My courses demand reading literature of this kind, I am no stranger to the books about Shoah, or tragedy of Russian Revolution, yet this one made me sad, horrified and afraid of human capability for cruelty and senseless violence.

Shalamov managed to show us hell of human making, hell through which he lead us, like Virgil of Dante "Divine Comedy". In his book emotions are showed at their extreme, suffering isn't something noble and strengthening for it breaks one spirit and peels the layers of humanity from one body. Also dying isn't some stand against evil, death is common and utterly lacking in dignity. There is no good death, only body which stops functioning, soils itself and finally dies.

I said my piece, and I would like to know others opinion about this book.

I haven't read the book--but it always amazes the evil and violence some people are capable of. The book sounds really disturbing.

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. - Rumi
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07-05-2015, 12:23 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 12:13 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 09:56 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Varlam Shalamow said - “There is a much that a man should not see, should not know, and if he should see it, it is better for him to die.”

After reading his masterpiece, "Kolyma Tales" and knowing that it was not work of fiction I certainly can agree with such statement. Inhumanity of Communist regime was highlighted perfectly, Shalamov managed to show corroding influence of ideology and how said ideology can be used to degrade others, to justify killing them.

My courses demand reading literature of this kind, I am no stranger to the books about Shoah, or tragedy of Russian Revolution, yet this one made me sad, horrified and afraid of human capability for cruelty and senseless violence.

Shalamov managed to show us hell of human making, hell through which he lead us, like Virgil of Dante "Divine Comedy". In his book emotions are showed at their extreme, suffering isn't something noble and strengthening for it breaks one spirit and peels the layers of humanity from one body. Also dying isn't some stand against evil, death is common and utterly lacking in dignity. There is no good death, only body which stops functioning, soils itself and finally dies.

I said my piece, and I would like to know others opinion about this book.

I haven't read the book--but it always amazes the evil and violence some people are capable of. The book sounds really disturbing.

It is worth the read. As for being disturbing, you nailed it. Author managed to write about cruelty as something casual, something that could happen for no logical reason, something that happen just because someone have such whim. It is it that it's scary, becoming so accustomed to abuse that it's nothing more than some daily occurence.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-05-2015, 12:24 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 12:23 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 12:13 PM)jennybee Wrote:  I haven't read the book--but it always amazes the evil and violence some people are capable of. The book sounds really disturbing.

It is worth the read. As for being disturbing, you nailed it. Author managed to write about cruelty as something casual, something that could happen for no logical reason, something that happen just because someone have such whim. It is it that it's scary, becoming so accustomed to abuse that it's nothing more than some daily occurence.

Awful.

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. - Rumi
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07-05-2015, 12:30 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 12:24 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 12:23 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  It is worth the read. As for being disturbing, you nailed it. Author managed to write about cruelty as something casual, something that could happen for no logical reason, something that happen just because someone have such whim. It is it that it's scary, becoming so accustomed to abuse that it's nothing more than some daily occurence.

Awful.

Certainly. But I think we should remember the past, know what others must have endured. It could allow us to see past the lies of ideologists who will be promising us Utopia. If we will remember the past then we will be able to accurately judge costs and benefits; though there are no benefits that outweights such costs.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-05-2015, 12:34 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 12:30 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 12:24 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Awful.

Certainly. But I think we should remember the past, know what others must have endured. It could allow us to see past the lies of ideologists who will be promising us Utopia. If we will remember the past then we will be able to accurately judge costs and benefits; though there are no benefits that outweights such costs.

I think it's important to study history--on many levels. I would think it would be depressing at times to sift through all of that--but necessary.

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. - Rumi
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07-05-2015, 12:41 PM
RE: Kolyma Tales
(07-05-2015 12:34 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 12:30 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  Certainly. But I think we should remember the past, know what others must have endured. It could allow us to see past the lies of ideologists who will be promising us Utopia. If we will remember the past then we will be able to accurately judge costs and benefits; though there are no benefits that outweights such costs.

I think it's important to study history--on many levels. I would think it would be depressing at times to sift through all of that--but necessary.

That's exactly why I do it, cause it is important. And you're right it is depressing, reading Klemperer diaries, or memories of Niyszli, can be painfull, even if one is used to such literature.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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