a book by a russian author


one day in the life of ivan denisovich” (1962) is the first published work of alexander solzhenitsyn / he was imprisoned in a labor camp for eight years for allegedly making a derogatory remark about stalin & was released in 1953 after stalin’s death \ the novel which first appeared in a soviet literary magazine, describes one typical day of a typical zek <prisoner> in a typical stalinist camp / this means brutal, dehumanizing conditions which ivan denisovich shukov manages one day at a time with both cooperative & personal ¬†survival techniques \ the publication of the book was the first time that an account of stalinist repression was openly disseminated

i have always wanted to read the russian authors particularly dostoyevsky but their tomes sound daunting & are nearly always at least two inches thick \ so “one day” is a perfect “starter russian” / though short, the subject matter is not the most cheerful & engaging thus it took awhile to plod through \ limited time too since i only read this at work during lunch / which often made the reading situation heavily ironic \ like today <50s in pittsburgh, i.e., freezing cold to me> i was feasting on hot & hearty short rib noodle soup / meanwhile, ivan denisovich, after working outside in the freezing cold <40s in threadbare clothes>, was having his evening stew which “was much thinner than at breakfast; if they’re to work, prisoners must be fed in the morning; in the evening they’ll go to sleep anyway” / the stew had fish but “there wasn’t much fish, just a few stray bits of bare backbone. but you must chew every bone, every fin, to suck the juice out of them, for the juice is healthy. it takes time, of course, but he was in no hurry to go anywhere.” \ it makes me appreciate even more the time & place that i was born in

found this book at a library sale in the mall / i never expected to find a library branch at pittsburgh mills but there it was



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