A murder on a cold Moscow night. Random killing or conspiracy? From the wastes of Siberia to war-torn Spain, individuals are drawn together by their mutual links with the dead Tulayev. Now available in English for the first time in over 20 years, this classic novel - the best ever written on the show trials and purges in Stalin's Russia - is an unsurpassed exposition of individual behaviour under tyranny. Serge uses fictional form in order to penetrate the inner motivations of those caught up in the purges both executioners and victims skillfully blending individual tragedy with historical disaster. Has there been a plot to kill a person, or to erase the legacy of an entire revolution? Serge himself insisted, 'this novel belongs entirely to the domain of fiction,' yet it remains an important source in understanding a turning point in twentieth-century history.
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Victor Serge (1890–1947) was born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich to Russian anti-Tsarist exiles, impoverished intellectuals living “by chance” in Brussels. A precocious anarchist firebrand, young Victor was sentenced to five years in a French penitentiary in 1912. Expelled to Spain in 1917, he participated in an anarcho-syndicalist uprising before leaving to join the Revolution in Russia. Detained for more than a year in a French concentration camp, Serge arrived in St. Petersburg early in 1919 and joined the Bolsheviks, serving in the press services of the Communist International. An outspoken critic of Stalin, Serge was expelled from the Party and arrested in 1929. Nonetheless, he managed to complete three novels (Men in Prison, Birth of Our Power, and Conquered City) and a history (Year One of the Russian Revolution), published in Paris. Arrested again in Russia and deported to Central Asia in 1933, he was allowed to leave the USSR in 1936 after international protests by militants and prominent writers like André Gide and Romain Rolland. Using his insider’s knowledge, Serge published a stream of impassioned, documented exposés of Stalin’s Moscow show trials and of machinations in Spain, which went largely unheeded. Stateless, penniless, hounded by Stalinist agents, Serge lived in precarious exile in Brussels, Paris, Vichy France, and Mexico City, where he died in 1947. His classic Memoirs of a Revolutionary and his great last novels, Unforgiving Years and The Case of Comrade Tulayev (both available as NYRB Classics), were written “for the desk drawer” and published posthumously.
Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was a novelist, playwright, filmmaker, and one of the most influential critics of her generation. Her books include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, and The Volcano Lover.
Text: English, French (translation)
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Book Description Journeyman Pr, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1851720529