HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Vie Et Destin (Le Livre de Poche) (French…
Loading...

Vie Et Destin (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition) (original 1980; edition 2011)

by Vassili Grossman, Alexis Berelowitch (Translator), d'Anne Coldefy-Faucard (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,542None4,746 (4.36)1 / 361
Member:cr0max
Title:Vie Et Destin (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)
Authors:Vassili Grossman
Other authors:Alexis Berelowitch (Translator), d'Anne Coldefy-Faucard (Translator)
Info:L'Age D'Homme (2011), Edition: LGF, Mass Market Paperback, 1172 pages
Collections:Das Buchregal des Amoralisten
Rating:*****
Tags:moralism, utopianism

Work details

Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (1980)

Recently added byJordaan, bflanik21, MattMBV, private library, dachda, ahlund, nickholdstock, devings, lizatclif
Legacy LibrariesEeva-Liisa Manner
20th century (43) communism (25) fiction (191) historical fiction (26) history (29) literature (48) novel (57) novela (13) NYRB (20) Roman (24) Russia (126) Russian (53) Russian fiction (13) Russian literature (97) Soviet Union (36) Stalin (17) Stalingrad (47) to-read (51) totalitarianism (10) translation (14) unread (10) Vasily Grossman (35) war (35) WWII (157) ↑ru.SL (28) (27) ☍✓ (27) ☐☐ (25) ♠♠♥♥♦♦• (31) (31)
  1. 50
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (chrisharpe, longway)
  2. 40
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (chrisharpe)
  3. 51
    The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (LilianaL, chrisharpe)
  4. 30
    Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Both are books about individuals under repressive regimes, set during WWII, by authors who lived through the circumstances they write about. Although both works are "fiction", the authority of each writer is plainly stamped on each novel. The subject matter may be grim, and the detail uncompromising, but the characters' humanity shines through to make these uplifting reads.… (more)
  5. 30
    Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: Grossman reminds me of Malaparte. Less black humor than Malaparte but the same emphasis on the brief scene that illuminates a larger canvas. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that both were journalists.
  6. 20
    The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (christiguc)
  7. 31
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  8. 21
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)
  9. 21
    Red Star Over Russia: A Visual History of the Soviet Union from the Revolution to the Death of Stalin by David King (MeisterPfriem)
  10. 10
    A Writer at War. Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945 by Vassili Grossman (chrisharpe)
  11. 00
    Une saga moscovite by Vassili Axionov (DelphineM)
  12. 00
    Front-line Stalingrad by Victor Nekrasov (chrisharpe)
  13. 00
    Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt (Anonymous user)
  14. 11
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (gust)
  15. 11
    Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore (chrisharpe)
  16. 00
    Chevengur by Andrej Platonov (gust)
  17. 01
    Europe Central by William Vollmann (EnriqueFreeque)
  18. 01
    Blockade Diary by Лидия Гинзбург (gust)
  19. 01
    Sjostakovitsj zijn leven, zijn werk, zijn tijd by Krzysztof Meyer (gust)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (35)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (5)  Yiddish (2)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Just something about those Russian authors which I have trouble reading! ( )
  chrishall57 | Dec 30, 2013 |
I.

Dear self,

what is the most that you've ever done to get your words published? I know you're sometimes forced to edit things into shape, and that you find that a little annoying, because honestly, if these fools don't recognize your genius, do they deserve to have your name so close to theirs? But really, if you want to publish x, you can always throw it on goodreads or into a series of facebook posts and at least a few people will read it.

So, what right do you have to criticize this book, written by a Soviet dissident, describing in some depth the psychological twists and turns of life under a totalitarian government the likes of which you will almost certainly never live under (because, let's be honest, you'd probably die of shock as soon as our fictional Stalin took power)? None, I tell you. This man never saw his novel into print, and when it finally was published it required Le Carre-like machinations just to get the thing out of Russia.

Besides, you're always complaining about how people like Milosz and other refugees from 'actually existing 'socialism'' are just used as a salve bu guilty liberal Westerners who can pat themselves on their Chinese-produced-garment-covered backs for being so free. And in this book Grossman does a remarkable job of suggesting i) that socialism is probably better than capitalism for most people; ii) that believing in things like the dignity of human beings is not the unique privilege of privileged Westerners. In short, he shows you how to be an anti-communist without turning into Bill Clinton.

Three stars? Get over yourself,

sincerely,

Your Self.


II.

Dear Self,

did you read this putrid turd? Because I did. The translator notes that Grossman's style "has sometimes been called ponderous, typically Soviet; it would be truer to say that Grossman is capable of many kinds of poetry." That may well be true for all I know; I don't know Russian. This translation, however, has all the panache of pre-cooked brown rice. The book is compared to 'War and Peace,' and that's certainly an apt comparison in many ways (it's about war; it's an historical novel; it's extremely broad; it's very long), save one, namely, 'War and Peace' is endlessly fascinating, and this is tremendously boring 80% of the time.

So yes, I feel bad for not liking this. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. I assume, Self, that you're very into Dickens and obsessed with the siege of Stalingrad, because only that person could possibly find something to enjoy in most of this beast.

I gave it three stars for content, five stars for unearned cultural capital, and minus five stars for style. So there.

Yours sincerely,

Your Self. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
I think if you actually get to the last page of Life and Fate Vasily Grossman’s masterpiece about Russia during the Great Patriotic War, you should award yourself the Order of Lenin, Second Class.

The book is 871 pages long in my Kindle Edition, and it has the rough edges and occasional repetitions of a book that never got the authors final polish that it deserved.

And the Russian names – nicknames – pet names and patronymics – will drive you crazy.

But I don’t care. I loved it.

Grossman’s story is about the siege of Stalingrad – 1941-1942 – and the Russian soldiers (and German soldiers) who fought it and the Russian civilians who endured it. The hunger, the bombardments, the bureaucracy, the isolation, the madness of combat are all detailed with heart stopping depth and intimacy.

Along the way he shows us how the Russian people adjusted to life in a Communist State -- where purity and devotion to the Ideals of Stalin-ism were the most important things – and deviation from the Communist "norm" is the ultimate sin. (Army units go into battle with a commander and a “political commissar”). And Russian paranoia leads to Russian paralysis.

Grossman was a Jew and he was very observant to treatment of Jews – both in the Soviet Union and in Germany. (He was one of the first of any nationality to report on the horrors of the German death camps). He follows one of his characters right up into the death chamber – and makes us as witnesses walk along with her step by chilling step. .

And on the other hand he can show a Jewish Mathematician with a car and a dacha who works on atomic theory who is hounded for his Jewishness (His brilliant new theorem is criticized for its “Talmudic” bent)

He shows us Stalin and Hitler, generals and privates, rich people and poor people – and in the midst of horror and war and suffering gives us moments of surprising generosity and kindness and humanity.

It’s a grim book with flashes of Russian humor – Stalin wishes aloud he had not had all his best generals shot in 1937 so they could fight for him again at Stalingrad.

Stalin’s grim visage floats over the book like the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg in “The Great Gatsby” – everything done is done in Comrade Stalin’s name and in the hopes that Comrade Stalin would approve. And occasionally Stalin reaches down from his mountaintop and does something godlike and arbitrary. (or someone does it in his name)

And in the end, the outnumbered, surrounded, starving Russians encircled the German Panzers and forced them to surrender. It was the turning point of the war. When you have two armies BOTH ordered by their commanders not to retreat.
(“Not one step backwards” from Stalin: "Stand or Die" from Hitler) something has got to give. And General Winter always fights on the side of the Russians.

And in the last few pages spring comes to Stalingrad and the flowers push up through the rocks and the stones, and you know, Life Goes On. That's not ironic and it's not meant to be.

An amazing book that I had never heard of before someone suggested it for my Book Group. Writing so clear and beautiful that it breaks your heart. Characters human and real - even the bad guys.

Very highly recommended. ( )
1 vote magicians_nephew | Jul 14, 2013 |
A wonder. A sprawling vision of the battle of Stalingrad of WWII, mostly from the Russian side, and paralleling that, a view of the Soviet Union under Stalin, with all its arbitrary power, justified paranoia, labor camps, science institutes, hungry families, bureaucracy, loss and love. And parallel with that, the Jews in Germany and in the death camps, the German army at Stalingrad, the captured Russians in German POW camps. Brilliant, painful, War and Peace for the 20th century.

Warning - it's long. Helpful - the chapters are short. Warning - you won't always know where you are at the start of a chapter, but somehow, that is appropriate to the story. ( )
  ffortsa | Jul 14, 2013 |
Superb overview through literature of Stalingrad, Stalinism, famine, terror, death and quotidian deprivations of every kind. It is the insider's POV, the temper of the author, and his sincere desire to tell the story that really makes this sing. I am now cured of ever again thinking I am a having a hard time. ( )
  dmarsh451 | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grossman, Vasilyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adrian, EsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ballestrem, Madeleine vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Björkegren, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chandler, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rebon, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zonghetti, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Opgedragen aan mijn moeder Jekaterina Saveljevna Grossman
Посвящается моей матери
Екатерине Савельевне Гроссман
This book is dedicated to my mother, Yekaterina Savelievna Grossman
First words
There was a low mist. You could see the glare of headlamps reflected on the high-voltage cables beside the road.
Quotations
But Chekhov said: let's put God, and all these grand progressive ideas, to one side. Let's begin with man. Let's be kind and attentive to the individual man - whether he's a bishop, a peasant, an industrial magnate, a convict in the Sakhalin islands or a waiter in a restaurant ... That's democracy, the still unrealised democracy of the Russian people.
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Жизнь и судьба
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A book judged so dangerous in the Soviet Union that not only the manuscript but the ribbons on which it had been typed were confiscated by the state, Life and Fate is an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century. Interweaving an account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope. Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers' nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves. This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099506165, Paperback)

Suppressed by the KGB, Life and Fate is a rich and vivid account of what the Second World War meant to the Soviet Union.

On its completion in 1960, Life and Fate was suppressed by the KGB. Twenty years later, the novel was smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm. At the centre of this epic novel looms the battle of Stalingrad. Within a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war, Grossman’s characters must work out their destinies. Chief among these are the members of the Shaposhnikov family – Lyudmila, a mother destroyed by grief for her dead son; Viktor, her scientist-husband who falls victim to anti-semitism; and Yevgenia, forced to choose between her love for the courageous tank-commander Novikov and her duty to her former husband. Life and Fate is one of the great Russian novels of the 20th century, and the richest and most vivid account there is of what the Second World War meant to the Soviet Union.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A book judged so dangerous in the Soviet Union that not only the manuscript but the ribbons on which it had been typed were confiscated by the state, Life and Fate is an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century. Interweaving an account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope. Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers' nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves. This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
324 wanted
10 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.36)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 35
3.5 7
4 70
4.5 28
5 142

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

NYRB Classics

An edition of this book was published by NYRB Classics.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,502,990 books! | Top bar: Always visible