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Night of Stone av Catherine Merridale
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Night of Stone (utgåvan 2001)

av Catherine Merridale

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1492137,907 (4.3)1
"During the twentieth century, Russia, Ukraine, and other territories of the former Soviet Union experienced more bloodshed and violent death than anywhere else on earth: fifty million dead, in an epic of destruction that encompassed war, revolution, famine, epidemic, and political purges. How did Russians cope with loss on such a scale and how does such a society mourn? In Night of Stone, Catherine Merridale asks Russians the most difficult questions about how their country's volatile past has affected their everyday lives, their aspirations, dreams, and nightmares. The result is a highly original and revealing history of modern Russia." "Above all, this is a history of silence. Untold millions were forbidden to mourn their loved ones, or knew the danger of expressing public sorrow for enemies of the people or vanished victims of the purges."--Jacket.… (mer)
Medlem:thequestingvole
Titel:Night of Stone
Författare:Catherine Merridale
Info:Granta Books (2001), Paperback, 516 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:history, russia

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Night of Stone av Catherine Merridale

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Be warned; this is a hard book to read. The author started off intending to emphasize what role Russian Orthodoxy played in Soviet history but part way through the book decided to include the stories of the survivors of the Civil War, dekulakization, famine, collectivization, show trials, WWII, Stalinization, the gulags, repatriation, the Afghan War, glasnost, and the cult of Putin. Is it possible to tease out the connectivity between Russia’s triumvirate culture of suspicion of strangers, orthodoxy, and autocracy without descending to cultural generalization and racism? From the thousands of interviews the author held with citizens, former soldiers, pensioners, gulag survivors, and others; a single commonality of historical events emerges; murder dissenters, suppress informers, and deny loss. Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian author, stated, “Suffering for the Russian soul is the crucible of redemption.” In other words; to be a Russian, you must suffer and so you shall. Nationalist writer Victor Astafev wrote of, “… the soullessness and obstructiveness of our own immoral and criminal leadership” while a pensioner of the Red Army freely admitted, ““We like to think we have lessons to teach the world, but the only thing we can really teach you is how not to do it.” Will Russia and Russians every change? No, for it is in their nature to eat themselves. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Mar 31, 2017 |
For anyone who wants to understand ordinary Russians today this book by a British academic is vital reading. The book is not really a book about politics, though politics is an important background. For many Russians, our concept of post traumatic stress disorder is a way of life and almost every family has a history of profound grief. Russians don't smile as much as we do and for many, it is surprising that they smile at all. This book is not about current life which is generally quite tolerable, but the history of families, the experience of loss, and the devastating effects that can last for generations.

Canadians and Americans live in countries where there is no living memory of war on our soil. Neither do we have a history of friends and family disappearing with no knowledge of what happened or why or where their body lies.

Ms Merridale talks to ordinary Russians and studies the organizations and government programs which try to resolve grief and bring closure by providing information and, if possible, identifying bodies. The Russian people lived through 2 horrific world wars on their soil and don't forget that the loss of Russian lives exceeded all of their allies combined. Then there has been political upheaval, the revolution, Stalin, which resulted in further loss of life and lack of security. Pick any Russian, a minor civil servant for example, and ask about their family history. You will usually hear grief and loss, "my father simply disappeared during the Stalin years, we never knew why and we don't know where his body lies today" or " my grandparents starved to death during the war". Russians struggle not only with daily life , but with their past, memories of horror and heartbreak and loss of loved ones. In our countries, people who have suffered from violence or lost family members to it are treated with sympathy and are unusual. Not so in Russia where it is unusual to find someone whose hasn't experienced a traumatic loss.

This book asks you to reflect and understand the Russians as people, as members of families, and victims of circumstance. They really are no different than us, but they have suffered grief and loss on a scale that we can only imagine. Read the book, imagine, and try to understand. ( )
3 rösta bhowell | May 11, 2008 |
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Nothing is left but dusty flowers
the tinkling thurible, and tracks
that lead to nowhere. Night of stone
whose bright enormous star
stares me straight in the eyes,
promising death, ah, soon!

-"Requiem," Anna Akhmatova
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

"During the twentieth century, Russia, Ukraine, and other territories of the former Soviet Union experienced more bloodshed and violent death than anywhere else on earth: fifty million dead, in an epic of destruction that encompassed war, revolution, famine, epidemic, and political purges. How did Russians cope with loss on such a scale and how does such a society mourn? In Night of Stone, Catherine Merridale asks Russians the most difficult questions about how their country's volatile past has affected their everyday lives, their aspirations, dreams, and nightmares. The result is a highly original and revealing history of modern Russia." "Above all, this is a history of silence. Untold millions were forbidden to mourn their loved ones, or knew the danger of expressing public sorrow for enemies of the people or vanished victims of the purges."--Jacket.

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