Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 1

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 1
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 1, Chapter 1, is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

As you may know, Life and Fate is the follow-up to Grossman's Stalingrad*. While that novel ends on a triumphant return of the Red Army to the eponymous city, Life and Fate opens on a much darker scene: a German prison camp. 

As our narrator takes us through the mist scene, it remarks: 

"Among a million Russian huts you will never find even two that are exactly the same. Everything that lives is unique. It is unimaginable that two people, or two briar-roses, should be identical . . . If you attempt to erase the peculiarities and individuality of life by violence, then life itself must suffocate," (p.19).