Although it can be read on its own, Life and Fate is actually the second part of a “dilogy.” It continues the story of Grossman’s earlier novel, Stalingrad, which he was forced to publish under the title For a Just Cause, a phrase that Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov had used to describe the Soviet war effort when he announced the German invasion. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler’s new translation of Stalingrad allows us to trace the earlier trajectory of Life and Fate’s many real and fictional characters. First published when Stalin was still alive, Stalingrad is considerably less explicit than Life and Fate about its ethical and political themes. Even so, it was, by Soviet standards, remarkably bold.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
… In Search of an Honest Man | by Gary Saul Morson | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)