Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 38

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 38
Photo by Joshua Newton / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 2, 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.

What started as a reunion between friends has quickly turned into a space for desperate contemplation. In today’s chapter, Krymov and Spiridonov are huddled around a fire with a handful of other colorful characters. The odd mixture of people again reminds Krymov of his golden revolutionary era.

Sitting around the campfire with the spirit of the “simple brotherhood” that quickly emerged, Krymov wonders where they all could have gone wrong. More specifically, how could all of his old comrades confessed to being spies or kulaks or saboteurs after years of fighting for the Revolution? He doesn’t believe they were actually any of the things they were ultimately convicted of, but he doesn’t understand the strange power that could cause them to falsely admit they have betrayed the most important idea in their lives.