Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 51

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 2 Chapter 51
Photo by Josh Riemer / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 2, Chapter 51 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.

After initially bemoaning the lack of attention his discovery had received, Viktor receives word that he received a nomination for a Stalin Prize. In this chapter, we continue to see the interaction between ideology and the complex machinery of the state.

Sokolov describes to Viktor how Gavronov, one of the members on the Scientific Council who is widely known for his Russia-centric tendencies, reacted to Viktor’s nomination:  “in his view Viktor’s work lacked a true scientific foundation, was influenced by the idealist views of Western physicists and held out no possibilities of practical application,” (p. 564). Despite the fact that most scientists don’t hold Gavronov in high regard, this sentiment is one that we have already heard echoed at the Institute in previous chapters.