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Vita e destino

(Stalingrad #2)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  7,002 ratings  ·  797 reviews
«Ho appena terminato un grande romanzo a cui ho lavorato per quasi dieci anni...» scriveva nel 1960 Vasilij Grossman, scrittore noto in patria sin dagli anni Trenta (e fra i primi corrispondenti di guerra a entrare, al seguito dell’Armata Rossa, nell’inferno di Treblinka). Non sapeva, Grossman, che in quel momento il manoscritto della sua immensa epopea (che aveva la ...more
Paperback, Biblioteca Adelphi #534, 827 pages
Published November 26th 2008 by Adelphi (first published 1980)
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Robert I agree entirely with James. I read the book as a stand alone and was very captivated by it. After talking with some folks about the book. The…moreI agree entirely with James. I read the book as a stand alone and was very captivated by it. After talking with some folks about the book. The charecters althou having the same name do have very different mannerisms when comparing the books. After Stalins death, Grossman was not afraid to feel free to be honest about the Stalinist State in Life and Fate. While in his previous books he felt pressured by the state underwhich he wrote his novels.(less)
Hendrik Mentz Possibly it was part of the BBC Radio 4 series that ran in 2011, accessible via Amazon as: 'Life and Fate: The Complete Series (Dramatised) Audio…morePossibly it was part of the BBC Radio 4 series that ran in 2011, accessible via Amazon as: 'Life and Fate: The Complete Series (Dramatised) Audio Download – Original recording' >> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Fate-Com... | Hopefully the URL I copy and pasted displayed and/or is alive.(less)

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Michael
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: William Beavers
I have to use the “M” word for this panoramic portrayal of the Soviet experience of World War 2—masterpiece. I was moved and uplifted, enlightened and devastated, and ultimately made into a better person wit more empathy and understanding of the human condition.

This is an insider’s view, as is made clear by the wonderful background provided by the translator, Robert Chandler. Grossman was a Ukrainian Jew who studied chemistry in his youth, became a novelist with the support of Gorky, and with
...more
Orsodimondo
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russia
QUI SI SCRIVE, NON SI VA A ZONZO
Qui si scrive, non si va a zonzo: così avrebbe detto Tolstoj se avesse potuto leggere Vita e destino.
Qui non si va a zonzo, sono pagine con peso specifico, importanti, ben oltre il lor numero (settecento).
Da anni, molti, non leggevo un libro così.

description

Così bello, così denso, così esigente, così ricco.
Arrivato a metà, ho istintivamente rallentato, per non finirlo troppo presto, per gustarlo a fondo, distillarlo.
Quando l’ho chiuso per l’ultima volta, ho deciso di
...more
William2
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first learned that Vasily Grossman's model for this novel was War and Peace, I thought he was setting his sights astronomically--not to say unattainably--high. There are huge differences between the two books, of course. Remember Tolstoy's lovely modulated long sentences? Grossman doesn't even try to compete on that level. By contrast, his language tends toward the so-called "Soviet" realism of the day. This was a style in which many of the Party hacks also wrote. The difference between ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Жизнь и судьба = Zhizn i sadba = Life and Fate: a novel (Stalingrad #2), Vasily Grossman
Life and Fate (Russian: Жизнь и судьба) is a 1960 novel by Vasily Grossman and is seen as the author's magnum opus. Technically, it is the second half of the author's conceived two-part book under the same title. Although the first half, the novel For a Just Cause, written during the rule of Joseph Stalin and first published in 1952, expresses loyalty to the regime, Life and Fate sharply criticises Stalinism.
...more
Jan-Maat
A confession in three parts
I
Well, I was completely wrong about this book, and I am pleased to admit it. To nuance that, if I was going to give it a Goodreads star rating it would be two star, maybe two and a half, or 2.47.

I was even so unwise to tell a very dear friend that in my opinion it was no more than a 20th century rewrite of War and Peace, which it is but...more importantly it emphatically is not.

I had also imagined that it was about the battle of Stalingrad, reading, I see that really
...more
Paul
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-novels
A monumental novel in the Great Russian tradition which has been rightly compared with War and Peace. It focuses on the Battle of Stalingrad, but covers a Science Institute, various prison camps and a concentration camp. The list of characters is vast and the dramatis personae in my edition was well used.
Grossman was a journalist who covered the Battle of Stalingrad from the front line and his experience shows. However this is, like War and Peace, very much not just a war novel. Its scope is
...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Reseña completa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V0py...
Aunque este libro está ambientado durante la batalla de Stalingrado, realmente lo que muestra son retazos de vidas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial... Puntos de vista muy dispares, personajes que sufrieron desde los campos de trabajo a los de concentración, el asedio, las bombas, la vida en el frente y la angustia por los familiares desaparecidos.
'Vida y destino' es mucho más que una crónica, habla de arte, literatura, dignidad, amor...
...more
Ted
4 1/2

Grossman stands in the tradition of the Russian novelists of the nineteenth century. His characters, like Dostoevsky's, engage in great philosophical debates; and the structure of Life and Fate is loosely based on that of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Ideologically, however, the model to which Grossman admitted to feeling closest was Chekhov… who brought into Russian literature a new kind of humanism based on the ideas of freedom and loving kindness.
Tzvetan Todorov



Grossman during the Second Word
...more
Maria Clara
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sin duda, es un libro duro pero también, o sobretodo, retrata la humanidad de las personas. Se puede decir que es una crónica de la segunda guerra mundial vista desde la batalla de Stalingrado; pasando por campos de concentración alemanes, los Gulag rusos y el día a día de la guerra, con todos sus horrores.

PD: Como anécdota, cuando Grossman terminó de escribir el libro, la KGB irrumpió en su piso y confiscó todos sus apuntes y documentos...

"Le pido que devuelva la libertad a mi libro, pido que
...more
Maru Kun
The past, as they say, is a foreign country and also a more literate one.

The USSR in the first half of the twentieth century was a place where a father would worry about which poets were read by his daughter’s boyfriend, a place where you might still love someone despite their inability to distinguish Balzac from Flaubert and where a soldier on the front line of one of the most dreadful military conflicts in history would complain that their comrade-in-arms did not properly understand Chekov.

The
...more
Szplug
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you consider the steps that had to be taken to smuggle this novel out of the Soviet Union, painstakingly photographed page by page on microfilm, you cannot but marvel at the determination and effort made by believers in the power of the written word to bring such important stories to light. This epic novel is, along with Victor Serge's stunning masterwork Unforgiving Years , the best fictional depiction I've read of the barbaric inhumanity of the Soviet experience in the Second World War ...more
Michael
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both epic in scope and intimate in detail, this powerhouse novel had me riveted from the very beginning. The prose style is spare yet luminous. Many have mentioned Chekhov as model for the writing style, and that feels right to me. There are some truly haunting scenes in this book. But it's the constant juxtaposition of the tragic and the comic, the grand and the banal, that gives this novel its true heft.
piperitapitta
Se dovessi raccontare a qualcuno in poche parole cos'è «Vita e Destino», per spiegargli la struttura di quello che è, prima di tutto, un romanzo immenso per mole e quantità di storie e personaggi che si intrecciano, gli direi di guardare questa foto e di pensare a cosa succede quando un vetro è attraversato da una pallottola; al foro provocato dall'esplosione e a tutta quella ragnatela che immediatamente si propaga da una parte all'altra dello stesso vetro, pronta a frantumarsi e a crollare ...more
Elena
Leer este libro ha sido toda una experiencia.
Al principio es difícil y denso (Vasili Grossman fue corresponsal de guerra y eso se nota) y hay que perseverar y no ofuscarse ante tanto personaje y dato histórico, pero una vez ubicada el resultado fue 1104 páginas devoradas en dos semanas.
Lo mejor es cómo Vasili Grossman consigue desgranar el alma humana en tiempos de guerra (Segunda Guerra Mundial, en el frente Oriental- Soviético) desde muchos puntos de vista diferentes. Las madres, la ciencia,
...more
Dagio_maya
«Soffriamo tutti. Tutti allo stesso modo e ognuno in modo diverso».


Uno scritto che trasuda sofferenza, dolore, delusione.
Alterna capitoli che filmano le grandi manovre della Storia con altri in cui si zooma sui piccoli eventi domestici.
E capitolo dopo capitolo ho la certezza di quello che già sapevo:
sono proprio queste “piccole” esistenze, ignorate dalla roboante storiografia ufficiale, a raccontarci la verità del sentire umano.
Commuovente e ricco d’innegabili verità.

E’ il dolore di una
...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
What an astonishing book Life and Fate is; what an astonishing man Vasily Grossman must have been. I’ve already written a partial assessment of this literary masterpiece on my Ana the Imp blog, a post I headed The Grand Inquisitor, which focused on the contents of a single chapter, one I had just finished, one that literally winded me, both intellectually and emotionally. Well, now I’ve finished the whole novel and it captivated me from beginning to end; captivated me with its intensity, its ...more
 amapola
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, russi, owned
”…perché non è l’uomo che è impotente contro il male, ma perché è il male che è impotente contro l’uomo e la sua umanità più profonda: la bontà”.

Ci sono momenti nella storia, epoche tremende, in cui “l’uomo non è più artefice del proprio destino”, anzi, “è il destino del mondo ad arrogarsi il diritto di condannare o concedere la grazia, di portare gli allori o di ridurre in miseria…”. Che cosa può fare allora un uomo stretto nella morsa della Storia, vittima della collera dello Stato? Solo una
...more
Fionnuala
Having read War and Peace a couple of months ago in which Tolstoy pointed out already in the mid nineteenth century the role of accident and fate in the success of military campaigns, thus underlining their futility, I wondered how any European leader could ever have embarked on another takeover knowing the outcome of Napoleon's campaigns. But of course there was WWI and WWII as if nothing had been learned about trusting Emperor style dictators driven by monstrous personal ambition; after ...more
Tony
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The worst reviews, in my humble opinion, are those that begin with this sentence: I really wanted to like this book? Oh? This confounds me? Who starts to read a book that they hope they will not like? Do people really open books they hope will appall them, torture them with typos and improbable plots, confuse them with experimental mazes of style and drown them in gibberish? Isn't every book we start one we hope will be the greatest ever? What kind of twisted reader DOESN'T WANT TO LIKE A BOOK?

I
...more
Megan Baxter
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a huge sprawling novel, centred around the battle of Stalingrad, but weaving in and out and incorporating the Holocaust, the Soviet detention centres, Soviet science under Stalin, life at the front, life at home, and the nature of freedom and humanity. (And I found Grossman's musings on the latter two more readable than Tolstoy's long philosophical digressions, to be perfectly honest.)

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and
...more
Sandra
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, russia
In questo romanzo fiume sono narrati il destino della grande madre Russia e le vite di tanti suoi cittadini, tutti segnati dai combattimenti durissimi che si svolsero a Stalingrado, lungo le rive del Volga, dall’estate del 1942 al febbraio del 1943, tra i soldati dell’Armata Rossa e l’esercito nazista, passati alla storia come “la battaglia di Stalingrado”. Da quel momento, con la vittoria sofferta dell’esercito sovietico, non solo il destino della seconda guerra mondiale ebbe una svolta, ...more
julieta
Sin duda es uno de los libros más hermosos que he leído en mi vida. Cuando uno se pregunta, (de vez en cuando) por qué leer? Bueno, para encontrarte con libros como este.

Es sobre la batalla por Stalingrado, entre el Ejército Rojo (rusos) y el Aleman, en la segunda guerra mundial. Y muestra a distintos personajes que han sido afectados por esta guerra. Pero es más que eso, es que el autor tiene una empatía, un nivel de comprensión de cada una de las personas en distintas situaciones. Es como si
...more
Adam Dalva
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An absolute masterpiece, the intense scenework of Chekov mingled with the epic scope of Tolstoy, and a genuine act of bravery. The novel, centered on Stalingrad during World War II, thrums with anti-Soviet sentiment and anger over the holocaust (Grossman's mother was murdered by Germans) - it's little wonder that it was suppressed during Grossman's lifetime, and something of a miracle that it survived 28 years to finally be released. Its ambitions are huge - it takes on nuclear physics, fascism, ...more
David Lentz
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This masterpiece published by New York Review of Books Classics enters my Top 5 among novels by James Joyce (Ulysses), Proust (La Recherche du Temps Perdu), Tolstoy (War and Peace) and Gaddis (JR): it is pure genius in its epic scope. Inspired by Tolstoy's War and Peace and the siege of Russia by Napoleon, Grossman depicts the siege of Stalingrad by Hitler. Grossman narrates the epic from the perspectives of diverse players into whose lives the reader becomes immersed. The cast is vast and the ...more
Federico
Non sta a me recensire questo capolavoro, non ne sarei all'altezza, l'unica cosa che posso dire a riguardo é: leggetelo e rileggetelo se potete, testi di questa immensità e densità non si trovano così facilmente.
Vit Babenco
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life and Fate is an epical and panoramic canvas meticulously portraying the whole pivotal period in the life and fate of a man, people, countries and the entire world.
“The intuition of a deafened and isolated soldier often turns out to be nearer the truth than judgements delivered by staff officers as they study the map.
An extraordinary change takes place at the turning-point in a battle: a soldier looks round, after apparently gaining his objective, and suddenly finds he has lost sight of his
...more
Jonfaith
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mother-rus
This review was constructed while drinking. Pub Guinness veered into Sierra Nevada Torpedo at home. Yo La Tengo kept pushing immediate questions: why not, why not? Why isn't Life and Fate a fucking rock star on goodreads?

Apparently such matters don't work in translation, well, unless it is Murakami or Bolano. I do find that rather akimbo, disjointed silences on germans and russians while YAs run amok. I did note that TWO of my coworkers are reading 50 Shades.

No, the novel isn't a streamlined
...more
Simona
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Vita e destino" è uno di quei libri che non si dimenticano facilmente, che ti entrano dentro, ti scorticano la pelle fino a sanguinarla e farti male lasciandoti a pezzi sperando che qualcuno ti raccolga.
E' un romanzo difficile, una riflessione amara, dolorosa sul male e le sue conseguenze.
Grossman analizza in maniera attenta, precisa, dettagliata la battaglia di Stalingrado, il periodo della lotta al totalitarismo e al nazismo.
Durante la lettura, il lettore vive con i personaggi la vita del
...more
Cosimo
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Figli del passato

“Perché le loro sorti erano così ingarbugliate, così oscure?”

Questo libro uscì dai confini dell'Unione sovietica in pagine microfilmate contenute in una scatola trasportata da una ricercatrice austriaca vicina agli ambienti dei dissidenti e degli oppositori al regime; il manoscritto su cui Vassilij Grossman aveva lavorato dieci anni era stato infatti sequestrato dalla polizia politica di Cruscev e condannato perché antisovietico all'esilio in patria, alla cancellazione
...more
Doug Bradshaw
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Goodreads friend, Michael's review of this book is so outstanding that I decided to read this book. Here is a link to his five star review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

For me, this book was more of a four star read. As much as I admired the work and effort, reading it was a challenge for me. I was captivated now and then by some of the little things I found fascinating: the ridiculous psychological manipulations of Stalin and his minions as they force good people to sign
...more
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Born Iosif Solomonovich Grossman into an emancipated Jewish family, he did not receive a traditional Jewish education. A Russian nanny turned his name Yossya into Russian Vasya (a diminutive of Vasily), which was accepted by the whole family. His father had social-democratic convictions and joined the Mensheviks. Young Vasily Grossman idealistically supported the Russian Revolution of 1917.

When
...more

Other books in the series

Stalingrad (2 books)
  • Por una causa justa (Estalingrado, #1)
“Good men and bad men alike are capable of weakness. The difference is simply that a bad man will be proud all his life of one good deed - while an honest man is hardly aware of his good acts, but remembers a single sin for years on end.” 150 likes
“I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never by conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil, struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.” 83 likes
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