Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 17

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 17 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.

For the first time in what must feel like an eternity, the men in the 62nd Army notice something strange: the silence that arises when the Germans aren’t shooting at them.

After so many battles, so much anxiety, and so much death, the silence is unfamiliar to the soldiers. The narrator describes how “This silence then gave birth to many different sounds that seemed new and strange: the clink of a knife, the rustle of a page being turned in a book, the creak of a floorboard, the sound of bare feet…” (p. 660). All of these sounds that might seem exceptionally ordinary for most of us had become exceedingly rare on the Front.