Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 34

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 34 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.

Looking over the battlefield, today we see the destruction from Bach’s perspective.

Much like many other scenes of large-scale damage, Grossman presents it in the form of a catalog. The narrator shows us how “The stone ridges, the caves, the mounds of brick, the fresh hare-tracks that covered the ground where people ate, relieved themselves, went in search of shells and cartridges, carried away their wounded, buried their dead — all this looked very strange in the brief flashes of light. And at the same time it looked all too familiar,” (p. 735). In order to give a sense to the vast scale of the war, Grossman frequently uses this device to bring us towards a fuller understanding.