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But the Dead are Many by Frank Hardy
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But the Dead are Many (1975)

by Frank Hardy

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Hardy's major literary achievements include But The Dead Are Many, a novel of political tragedy that partially atones for Hardy's early, naïve Stalinism. Although marred by psychological jargon and tainted by the accusation that Hardy used the suicide of a friend to construct his fiction, But The Dead Are Many succeeds in depicting the passions and disappointments of life under oppressive regimes. Hardy's novel presents the deadening atmosphere of Stalinism and the personal crises of an individual. In the book's personal focus and ideological sympathies, But The Dead Are Many evokes a more humanistic vision. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Epigraph
I have taken my epoch upon my shoulders and I will answer for it - this day and forever. Jean-Paul Satre.
You, who will rise up out of the flood / In which we have gone under / Think too / When you speak of our weaknesses / Of the dark time / From which you have escaped ... / ... Oh, we / Who wanted to prepare the ground for friendliness  / Could not ourselves be friendly. / But you, when things have gone so far / That man helps man / Make allowances when you think of us. Bertholt Brecht
And Kisa Gotami had an only son, and he died. In her grief she carried the dead child to all her neighbours, asking them for medicine, and the people said: 'She has lost her senses. The boy is dead.'...         Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried: 'Lord and Master, give me the medicine that will cure my boy.' The Buddha answered: 'I want a handful of mustard-seed.' And added: 'The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent or friend.' Poor Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said: 'Here is mustard-seed,; take it!' But when she added, 'Did a son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?' they answered her: 'Alas! the living are few, but the dead are many. Do not remind us of our deepest grief.' And there was no house but some beloved one had died in it ... Kisa Gotami had the dead body buried in the forest. Returning to the Buddha, she took refuge in him ... The Buddha said: 'The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by which those that have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death; of such a nature are living beings. As ripe fruits are early in danger of death. As all earthen vessels made by the potter end in being broken so is the life of mortals. Both young and adult, both those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death. So the world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world. In whatever manner people think a thing will come a pass, it is often different when it happens, and great is the disappointment ...' - From The Mustard Seed. A Buddhist Legend.
Ah God! it is a weak man's deed / That a strong man has to do. Henry Lawson.
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I drove through the city as if in flight.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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