fiction files redux discussion

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Authors > Isaak Babel.

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message 1: by Pavel (new)

Pavel Kravchenko (pavelk) | 96 comments Babel was one of the few authors whose work was written and published during the revolutionary times in Russia without being either humorous or propagandist. Being a friend and "apprentice" of Gorky helped, I think. Still, he was arrested in 1939 and executed six months later, at the age of 46 or maybe 45. The reason for his arrest was filed about 3 months after the fact, and it was the standard nonsense of "terrorism."

Babel's prose reads like Mayakovski's poetry in some ways, and his "Mounted Army" is probably the finest surviving story collection about the Russian Civil War. Here's a little paragraph at the end of a story titled "After the Battle." Translated myself, so it's going to be a bit rough.

"The village swam and swelled; crimson clay poured out of its tedious wounds. The first star flashed above me and fell into the clouds. The rain lashed out at the willows and grew weak. The evening flew up to the sky like a flock of birds, and the darkness put on me its wet garland. I was exhausted and, bent under the grave crown, went forward, begging the fate for the simplest of abilities - the ability to kill a man."


message 2: by Pavel (new)

Pavel Kravchenko (pavelk) | 96 comments I'm reading it in Russian, so no fear. Sorry for the slipshod translation, I just read and typed it into the page. :)


message 3: by João (new)

João Camilo (jcamilo) | 259 comments Yeah, I read his Red Cavalary (no idea of the original or english text, I suspect his books received several different titles in portuguese)... His text seemed to me a Chekhemingway dude. If at least he was a bear hunter...


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