Friday, May 27, 2022

Well-read tyrant …

… Stalin: his own avatar by Gary Saul Morson | The New Criterion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Could one imagine a president of the United States deeming a novel so important that he would spend three days reading it and give his verdict in the presence of officials in charge of the economy and the army? But in Russia literature is more important than anywhere else. The poet Osip Mandelstam famously remarked that only in Russia are poems important enough for people to be shot for them.

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