Monday, April 20, 2020

A survivir’s tales …

… On Varlam Shalamov’s “Sketches of the Criminal World: Further Kolyma Stories”. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Shalamov anatomizes the organizational evil of the Gulag. There’s no pretense to rehabilitation or high-toned appeals to justice. The camp bosses defer to the violent criminal subclass that effectively runs the camps. As a “political” sentenced for “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities,” Shalamov is at the mercy of warring gangs of garden-variety hoodlums.

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