Sunday, October 25, 2009
the case of comrade tulayev. 5 out of 5 stars.
Victor Serge was a revolutionary who escaped Stalin's Russia.
He wrote this book while living in exile in Mexico.
It's the best thing I've ever read about life in the USSR during the Great Terror (1937-1938) and other Stalinist purges.
Serge's presentation of the almost-comic, tragic absurdity of this period is always captivating, and often suffocating...
"you knocked at a friend's door, and the maid looked at you in terror when she opened it. "I don't know anything about it, he is not here, he will not be back, I have been told to go to the country...No, I don't know anything, no..." She was afraid to say another word, afraid of you as if danger were at your heels. You telephoned a friend - from a public phone booth, by way of precaution- and the voice of an unknown man asked, "Who is calling?" very clear, and you understood that a spy had been posted there, and then you got away as fast as you could because you knew that the booth would be searched within ten minutes. new faces appeared in offices instead of the faces you had known; you felt ashamed when you mentioned the incumbent's name, and ashamed when you did not."
read this book!