Bettie☯'s Reviews > The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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message 1: by Wanda (new)

Wanda I LIKED your review and GR "flagged" it too?! Did not intend to "flag". Sorry!


message 2: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ does a flagging make any difference? *shrugs*

Zikes - I wonder if I have ever unwittingly flagged a review, or does a notification appear at the time.


message 3: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ ETA: it would be very ironic if GR banned a review of this book
haha


message 4: by Bettie☯ (last edited Oct 27, 2012 06:08AM) (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Thanks Wanda, Laura - as an aside I have been genning up about Solzhenitsyn's dissing of Quiet Flows the Don, which happens to be one of my fav all time reads.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Bettie wrote: "ETA: it would be very ironic if GR banned a review of this book
haha"


Sounds like the very thing to happen on Amazon ... (apparently, these days more than ever)!


message 6: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Bettie wrote: "does a flagging make any difference? *shrugs*

Zikes - I wonder if I have ever unwittingly flagged a review, or does a notification appear at the time."


Well, I pressed the LIKE button, the little circle went round and round, and then I was transported to a screen asking me to press the appropriate radio button as to why I wanted to "flag" the review. Knowing I did not want to "flag" this review, I said an expletive to myself and closed the browser. I just do not know?


message 7: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ So very hard to take, this. They tried to exterminate from the face of the earth the Jews.the Finnish and lattterly the Germans. Somehow this was marginally harder to take than the Nazi concentration camps.

Where was the 'sapiens' part of homo.

Where was the humanity in 'human'.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) I know what you mean. It actually took me two tries to get through this (and even then, only in tiny bits at a time) ...


message 9: by Bettie☯ (last edited Oct 30, 2012 08:15AM) (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Themis-Athena wrote: "I know what you mean. It actually took me two tries to get through this (and even then, only in tiny bits at a time) ..."

Tough reading indeed and now I am following this up with another non-fiction on Communism, this time from the Chinese POV Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962

This a BBC radio broadcast.


Pixelina I remember reading this one when I was far too young, or perhaps the perfect age. 17. It was hard going but put my mind at fire and made me awake as a political person.


message 11: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Thanks Jeanette

Perfect age, then you will have watched for like behaviours that lead to tragedy such as this. Tough reading though, at any age.
:O)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Bettie wrote: "Tough reading indeed and now I am following this up with another non-fiction on Communism, this time from the Chinese POV Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962

This a BBC radio broadcast. "


If you can still stomach (literally) more of the same, you may at some point also want to have a look at The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them. I don't remember whether this was my "encore" to Gulag Archipelago or vice versa when I finally did make myself follow through with both books some 20 years ago (after having visited Auschwitz), but I do remember the utterly draining experience that both the visit and reading the two books were, as well as the pervasive feeling of "Oh God, never again ..."

(The Theory and Practice of Hell was also one of the books that inspired the creation of this list, btw: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/30... )


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Jeanette wrote: "I remember reading this one when I was far too young, or perhaps the perfect age. 17. It was hard going but put my mind at fire and made me awake as a political person."

That's pretty impressive! 17 (or thereabouts) was the age I made my first attempt to read Gulag Archipelago -- it was sitting on a book shelf in my grandparents' living room, and they (especially my grandfather) were citing to it all the time when discussing the Soviet Union, so I thought, this must really be THE book to read if you want to find out what the Soviet Union is like (and of course, in many respects it actually is). Well, after the first couple of chapters I decided I'd much rather go on learning about the Soviet Union from other sources, at least for the time being -- such as other books as well as TV documentaries ...

It took me some 20 years and a full-frontal confrontation with Germany's own past during a visit to Auschwitz (see comment above) to be ready to tackle it again.


message 14: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ "Oh God, never again ..."

yet look at the Golden dawn in Greece *shudder*


message 15: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Ordered a cheap used mass paperback copy of 'The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them' from Atlanta.

Thanks T~A
:O)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Bettie wrote: ""Oh God, never again ..."

yet look at the Golden dawn in Greece *shudder*"


Blech -- the last thing Greece and Europe need now, on both a national and European level, respectively. As if there weren't enough worries already!

"Error 404 -- democracy not found" -- astute sign, that, in any event ... to be held up AT, not BY them, of course!

I won't say I hope you enjoy Kogon's book, but I hope you'll find it interesting. Gut-punch level to me was about on par with Gulag Archipelago (with a not-unexpected extra dose resulting from the fact that these were my own national forbears committing the atrocities in this particular case), despite having thorougly been exposed to the horrors of the Nazi era in school, which included a showing of the "Night and Fog" documentary made from pictures taking at the liberation of, inter alia, Auschwitz ...


message 17: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Thanks Vince, everyone!
:O)


message 18: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Thanks Teodora
:O)


message 19: by Caroline (new)

Caroline A great review, and how fascinating to see the map. I always thought the large bulk of gulags were in Siberia, but this was obviously not the case.


message 20: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Caroline wrote: "A great review, and how fascinating to see the map. I always thought the large bulk of gulags were in Siberia, but this was obviously not the case."

They were everywhere but the politicals/intellectuals more often than not received the Siberian treatment. Look at Nikolai Getman's paintings in Google when you get a spare few minutes.




message 21: by Caroline (last edited Apr 30, 2014 05:52AM) (new)

Caroline Gosh, what a salutary experience. I found something called The Jamestown Foundation which promotes his work, and has a detailed description of the paintings featured. An extract from their blurb...

Getman's collection is unique because it is the only visual record known to exist of this tragic phenomenon. Unlike Nazi Germany, which recorded and preserved in detail a visual history of the Holocaust, the Russians prefer not to remember what happened in the GULAG. Not a single person has been punished for the deaths of the millions who perished there. If film or other visual representations of the Soviet GULAG existed, they have been largely destroyed or suppressed. The Getman collection stands alone as a most important historical document.

Thank you so much for referring me to his work.


message 22: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala The map surprised me too, the amount of gulags as well as the locations.
I still remember large chunks of Solzhenitsyn's Gulag, read a long time ago along with several other of his books. It was hard to read but compelling reading at the same time.

Bettie's Books is quite something. Maps, images, wonderful.
And I love your dress - but I have a thing about giffs - I can't concentrate on words if there's a giff lurking about - even an innocent film projector revolving eternally knocks me off balance..


message 23: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Fionnuala wrote: "And I love your dress"

It is Christine de Pizan and she is always featured in blue, writing or holding a book, so I went looking for some alternative piccies for your edification:

Here she is instructing her son

Harley MS 4431, the largest surviving collected manuscript of the works of Christine de Pizan (1365-ca1431). Commissioned by Queen Isabeau of France

HAH! Some clever seamstress has copied the outfit.


message 24: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Caroline wrote: "Gosh, what a salutary experience. I found something called The Jamestown Foundation which promotes his work, and has a detailed description of the paintings featured. An extract from their blur..."

That Jamestown blurb is eye-opening. Thanks for posting Caroline.
:O)


message 25: by Bettie☯ (last edited Apr 30, 2014 10:12AM) (new) - added it

Bettie☯ The link to Night and Fog documentary mentioned by TA in comment #16 is here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=373_13...

and Part 2 here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f32_13...


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