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The Minds of Soldiers – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy

Linda Grant’s Introduction:

Grossman takes us into the minds of a group of soldiers waiting in the forest: one is full of dire forebodings, one is singing, one is chewing bread and sausage and thinking about the sausage, one is trying to identify a bird, one worries about whether he’d offended his friend, one is composing a farewell poem to autumn, one is remembering a girl’s breasts, one is missing his dog. This passage leads to the substance of Grossman’s central thought, which at the time he was writing could lead to the arrest of a Soviet citizen: ‘The only true and lasting meaning of the struggle for life lies in the individual, in his modest peculiarities, and his right to these peculiarities.’

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