Date: 16 July 2003
Parts 1 and 2 take us in 660 pages through arrest, interrogation, the legal system, and transit camps. We do even make it to the inferno, into the gulag.There are many more parts to be read. The concentration it takes to stick with this book, an act of will in contrast to the helplessness of the prisoners facing total defeat by systematic oppression, is rewarded by an immersion into a world which is too readily twinned with that of the concentration camp (like macabre twin towns who in actuality share nothing but the stench of death and human evil), and has its own unique features that should be studied and understood as far as possible.
The absorption of crimes of the Communism(it is naive to attribute them otherwise), an ideology that was essentially noble in its yearning for equality, is an uncomfortable lesson for those who believe in political action. Where hope lies, and if often tells untruths as well, is in the careful analyis of Revolution's failure, and if is impossible for all time, to go forward boldly in a new direction.
Gulag is Proust in Russia.[_shared_elements/comment_on_this_review.htm]