Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 2

This post, covering Part 2, Chapter 2 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.

Novikov, upon re-entering the civilian mass in Kuibyshev, feels that he has lost much of his own importance. There are no longer soldiers rushing to wait on him hand and foot; he is also there to answer questions at the behest of a general who can clearly do very little with the information. 

Amid his annoyance at having to report to this general — even dropping a sardonic negatory when asked to accompany him to Moscow — Novikov’s thoughts increasingly turn to Zhenya. They are, for the first time since the evacuation of Stalingrad, back in the same city. 

Now, it seems to him that, “There seemed to be an abyss between the man he had been then and the man he was now. And yet, here he was, the same person, about to visit her once again.” (p. 321)