Russian Literature: 1953-Present


Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov (Варлам Тихонович Шаламов)

The Official Shalamov Site in English.

The Official Shalamov Site in Russian

"Parаdise, Last" an Article on Shalamov by Holly Woodward.

The Kolyma Tales in Russian: Колымские рассказы

Reading Guide:

In "Lend Lease" do you think that the Americans understand how the materials they send the Soviets are being used?

In "A Child's Drawings" is the narrator lucky to have found the notebook or would he have been better off if he had found newspaper for rolling smokes?

In "A Child's Drawings" have the narrator's fellow prisoners lost their souls to the system?What is the interaction among humans, machines, and nature in this work and in all three of the Shalamov stories you have read.

Do you think that the "soul" is something that the camp system could not take from any of the prisoners or is the narrator of "Prosthetic Appliances" special or unusual in this regard?

Do you find the ending of "Prosthetic Appliances" to be "over the top"?