Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 55

This post, covering Part 1, Chapter 55, 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.

Krymov’s poetic description of the front comes to a halt today as he attends a meeting of Soviet snipers. As they share war stories, Krymov starts to feel uneasy.

One sniper “told them how he had seen a German walking down a path with his arm round a woman. He had made them drop to the ground, and then, before killing them, had let them get up three times, only to force them back to the ground by stirring up clouds of dust an inch or two from their feet,” (p. 243). Despite the valiant way that most of the snipers present their stories, Bulatov conveys his with a nonchalance that perturbs Krymov.