Thursday, May 11, 2017

"One can disagree with, say, historian Orlando Figes’s conclusions without querying the seriousness of his research, but his assertion in A People’s Tragedy that “hatred and indifference to human suffering were to varying degrees ingrained in the minds of all the Bolshevik leaders” is simply absurd (and his disapproving fascination with their leather jackets curious).

In Russia, Virginia Woolf wrote in Orlando, “sentences are often left unfinished from doubt as how to best end them”. Of course this is a literary flourish, a common and unsustainable romanticised Russian essentialism. But even so, the formulation feels prophetic for this particular Russian story. Chernyshevsky’s dots describe the revolution itself. Pravda’s blank hole contains tactics. Unsayables are by no means all there is to this strange story, but they are central to it."

Why does the Russian Revolution matter?

See also this in the New York Times

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