Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia.
Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Secondhand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decli...more
And the others are in light
And you see the ones in brightness
Those in darkness drop from sight.
Bertold Brecht, The Threepenny Opera
Last year I read Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History, in which Orlando Figes outlines the history of the Soviet Union as ‘a hundred-year cycle of violence in pursuit of utopian dreams’ - a fluently written, very concise synthesis , predominantly political and narrative in structure. Having finished the book, Figes’s inappropri ...more
One of the best books I've ever read. THE most personally touching and relevant book I've EVER read. A book that penetrates the soul of my being and explains me to myself.
An Autobiographical Review
this book is my autobiography, and it speaks my heart better than I ever have articulated it myself; many details below are personal, but they are also in the book, and what the book is about.
"Communism had an in...more
Svetlana Alexiewitsch (Nobel Prize Laureate) İnterviewed people from different Social strata of the Nomenklatura, as well as numerous citizens of the former Soviet Union of different age groups, between the Years 1992 and 2012.
The emancipated improvement in life conditions did not simply occur.
Imagine that everything you believe in is suddenly thrown into question and the system you live in is turned upside down. How would you perceive the old system and how would you adapt to the new one?
This happened to the Russians, living in the former Soviet Union. They were born into a Communist regime with terror and imprisonments. But in 1991 that entire structure vanished and the natio ...more
I started reading this late last summer, before we knew that Russia had interfered with America's presidential election. Even ...more
That revelation completely changed the way I viewed the world. I ran to my parents, separately, I remember, my eyes wide. I said to each of them, “Ignorance is no excuse!” It won’t save anyone from the repercussions of whatever they are ignorant of. You can die as a result of ignorance or you can participate in something evil as a result of ignorance.
As I remember it, my parents did not say anything ...more
I made a rule one day that every time, whenever I get time to visit any book fair, I’ll purchase at least one non-fiction and that non-fiction must fulfill three criteria. First, its cover should be extremely charming, second, it should be bulky, and third, it must be historical. A world book fair was organized in my city last month, I rigorously followed the rule and the book t ...more
Alexievich is ...more
"I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change."
Scorpions, Wind of Change, 1990.
Before giving my brief thoughts, a HUGE thanks to goodreads friend Ioana, a native Romanian now in the U.S., whose review is must read. She's a brilliant writer who lived under Communist rule and terror of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Her review is the best I've read on Goodreads for any book; a pure concerto of the personally poetic and the pellucidly profound [Ioana's review]. After readi ...more
Svetlána Alexándrovna Alexiévich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature
Seconhand time: The Last of the Soviets traces the emotional history of the Soviet and post-Soviet individual through carefully constructed collages of interviews. Svetlana Alexievich weaves a rich catholog of Russian voices telling their stories of Worshipped Russian leaders, of love and death, hard and sad time ...more
Where the posters say "Forward!"
Where the working country is singing
Its new workers' songs.
My heart is worried, my heart is troubled,
The postal cargo is being packed
My address is not a house or a street,
My address is the Soviet Union"
-Samotsvety, My address is the Soviet Union (1972)
In 2015, Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This is remarkable for several reasons - Alexievich is not only one of the few women to ever win the ...more
Through a journalist, touring the country for several years, conversations are broug ...more
Our era—my era—was a great era! It was a great time! We will never live in such a big and strong country again....more
For us, mercy was a priest’s word. Kill the White vermin! Mak
No one had taught us what freedom means. We'd onl ...more
This is a book that completely hits every interest I hold dear. It is a historical memoir of many voices from within the former USSR.
Imagine if one day you woke up and the United States was no more. In its place was several countries suddenly "freed" to be as they want without any support of government. Every political and social fragment of society allowed to grab for the voice of the new republics. What would happen? The Confederate States come together? New E ...more
About her approach to creating her books, she writes....
"It’s important to catch words in flight, as they’re born. It’s important not to miss the conversational part of life, whic ...more
Or put on some tunes.
Perhaps Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets strikes closer to home. The main theme goes easy on the ear: "we wanted something ...more
I definitely recommend reading this book. I think it has a few shortcomings but it is still well worth your time. It is an important book; it captures Russian history through the voices of the people who lived through Stalin’s terror, the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and the first decade and a half of the 21 ...more
Trump claims to represent the "voice of the people," but he controls it, co-opts it. But Alexievich guides the voices, lets the people speak for themselves. She lets the people, angry, frustrated, marginalized, disconcert ...more
It has already been extensively described elsewhere: it is the polyphony and multiformity that is so impressive in this book. They are testimonies of people of all stature and rank: older generations who have experienced the first years of the Soviet ...more
Another powerful oral history put together by Alexievich! Her books are guaranteed to break your heart over and over again. This particular one seems a bit skewed towards USSR life and values nostalgia—I would have preferred more balance within the PoVs to really illustrate generational differences. Still, that doesn't take away from the impact of every broken life story included in this book.
"The story is too terrifying and beautiful to believe... I realized that they didn't believe me... Do you believe me?"
"I believe you..." I tell her. "I grew up in the same country as you. I believe you!" [And both of us cry.]
- Part II; On Romeo and Juliet... Except Their Names Were Margarita and Abulfaz
In Secondhand Time, Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, develops a complex and powerful narrative of life in the USSR prior to and post collapse. Through the compil ...more
▫️From SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich, translated from the Russian by Bela Shayevich / 20 ...more
|LITERARY HURRICANE: Fevereiro/2020 * O Fim do Homem Soviético * Primeiras impressões/Sem spoilers||5||17||Jun 23, 2020 03:58PM|
|LITERARY HURRICANE: Fevereiro/2020 * O Fim do Homem Soviético * Terminado / Possibilidade de Spoiler||2||8||Mar 06, 2020 02:38PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Please add ISBN-13 to this book||2||16||Apr 22, 2019 05:38PM|
|Бесконечное количество человеческих правд||1||5||Mar 04, 2017 08:52AM|