Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 20

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 20 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.

Today, an open proclamation of nationalism is made. No longer are we working on a theoretical level, but we will surely see how the ideological change described in the previous chapter plays out for the characters in our novel.

An article is posted on the walls of the Institute describing the Soviet Union’s commitment to its scientists in the face of the war and in the face of detractors who, knowingly or not, are threatening the future of Russian science. The article describes these people as “individuals who were isolated from the great Soviet family. These individuals were opposed to the collective and considered their personal interests of greater importance than the tasks entrusted to them by the Party; they tended to exaggerate their own scientific achievements, real or imaginary,” (p. 666). Clearly, we as readers immediately understand the similarities between Viktor and the people depicted in the article.