Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 38

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 38
Photo by Ales Krivec / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 1, Chapter 38, 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.

The night before being sent to the front seems bright for the soldiers in the regiment we’ve been following. They’re chattering away, singing military songs, and sharing stories about combat over Rzhev. Velikanov can’t keep quiet: they will all be stationed near Stalingrad.

The night brings a sense of quiet, serene, and infinite. The narrator remarks how “Everything - the river, the fields, the forest - was so beautiful, so peaceful, that hatred, betrayal and old age seemed impossible; nothing could exist but love and happiness,” (p. 173). Under the shade of night, the pilots and soldiers can enjoy one last evening reminiscing about previous military triumph before again facing the reality of battle.