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"The old seminary church (sharashka) was like an ark, with sides four bricks and a half, floating serenely and aimlessly through the black ocean of human destinies and human errors, leaving behind fading rivulets of light from its portholes...From here, from the ark forging confidently ahead through the darkness, the erratically meandering stream of accursed history was clearly visible---visible in its entirety, as though from an immense light, yet in detail, down to the last little pebble on t...more
Description: Set in Moscow during a three-day period in December 1949, The First Circle is the story of the prisoner Gleb Nerzhin, a brilliant mathematician. At the age of thirty-one, Nerzhin has survived the war years on the German front and the postwar years in a succession of Russian prisons and labor camps. His story is interwoven with the stories of a dozen fellow prisoners - each an unforgettable human being - from the prison janitor to ...more
"And a great war
must be preceeded
by a great purge"