title

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 40

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 40
Photo by Anne Nygård / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 1, Chapter 40, 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.


So far, we have only touched on the relationship between violent criminals and political prisoners in the Gulag system. In this chapter, Grossman traces Abarchuk, Lyudmilla’s first husband (Tolya’s father) through a day in the life of a political prisoner.

In the camps the days are full of sameness and despair as “Abarchuk always imagined that when he reached that distant horizon he would see something new, but everything was always exactly the same…” (p. 182).The nuanced differences found coursing through the other parts of the book found in the peculiarities of everyday life seem to be stifled in the camps.