01 April 2007

Soviet Innocence

As this blog started as a travel journal, I haven't been in the habit of linking to other blogs. However, two posts recently came to my attention that are well worth the link, relating directly to the recent discussion of innocence and guilt among ordinary Russians during the Soviet period (see Beggars and Choosers, LR's Russian Philosophy 101, and and older post of mine, The House on the Embankment).

The first is Natalia Antonova's fiery and impassioned response to La Russophobe's views on post-Soviet babushkas.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Natalia's work, she is a truly gifted writer with some stunningly beautiful prose. I strongly suggest you check it out here. Among my favorites are "She had Eyes So Blue" and "You Died for Three Days Straight, as they leave you gasping for air.

But back to the subject at hand, the second blog I'd like to bring to your attention is The Clone Factory by Deborah Hoffman. Deborah is currently working on translating into English Children of the Gulag, a collection of letters, diaries, and reminiscences of children who were sent through the Soviet prison camp system. Lucky for us, we don't have to wait until the book is published (though I, for one, look forward to having a copy on my shelf), as Deborah posts drafts of her translations on her blog. Fascinating for anyone with even a remote interest in Soviet history. For those of us who have read some of the more famous Gulag memoirists, hearing the voice of a child offers an entirely new experience and perspective. Huge thanks to Deborah for bringing the project to my attention. I strongly recommend that you take a look.

That should keep everyone busy reading for a while...

No comments: