Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 4

This post, covering Part 2, Chapter 4 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, a man of no small amount of will, does not let his conversation with Yevgenia get him down. Despite her ridiculing the idea, he maintains that “His dream had been realized; the woman he had loved for years was to become his wife … And on the same day his tanks had been ordered to Stalingrad.” (p. 326).

So he returns to his troop train, holding his head up high as he enters the officer car. Not only is Yevgenia assuredly going to marry him, not only will his dream tank corp take on the most important battle of the day — but Getmanov’s stories are increasingly making him feel like a party insider, despite not really being one of them

As he flies these highs, we the readers are again reminded how the apparatchiks like Getmanov have climbed the ladder. He begins to needle Novikov about Yevgenia’s brother — a victim of ‘1937’ — as well as her ex-husband, opining that others who might condemn them are mistaken. After all, others from the years of Yezhovshchina have been rehabilitated.