Download An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman PDF

By Vasily Grossman

An NYRB Classics Original

Few writers needed to confront as a number of the final century’s mass tragedies as Vasily Grossman, who wrote with terrifying readability in regards to the Shoah, the conflict of Stalingrad, and the phobia Famine within the Ukraine. An Armenian Sketchbook, even if, exhibits us a really diversified Grossman, amazing for his tenderness, heat, and experience of fun.

After the Soviet govt confiscated—or, as Grossman regularly positioned it, “arrested”—Life and destiny, he took at the job of revising a literal Russian translation of a protracted Armenian novel. the unconventional was once of little curiosity to him, yet he wanted cash and used to be obviously completely satisfied of an excuse to shuttle to Armenia. An Armenian Sketchbook is his account of the 2 months he spent there.

This is via some distance the main own and intimate of Grossman’s works, endowed with an air of absolute spontaneity, as if he's easily chatting to the reader approximately his impressions of Armenia—its mountains, its historical church buildings, its people—while additionally interpreting his personal innovations and moods. a superbly human account of trip to a far flung position, An Armenian Sketchbook additionally has the bright attraction of a self-portrait.

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Extra resources for An Armenian Sketchbook

Sample text

Once I started to see myself for the first time, I emma | E V E R Y D AY M AT T E R S 37 started seeing them for the first time, too. I began to notice and care about what they might be experiencing, and they began to develop the depth and richness of literary characters. I could almost feel along with their feelings now, as we talked, feel the contours of them as they tried to express them to me. Instead of a boring blur, the life around me now was sharp and impor­ tant. Everything was interesting, everything was meaningful, every conversation held potential revelations.

But the other part—what about that? We come into the world as a tiny bun­ dle of impulse and ignorance—how do we ever become fit for human company, let alone capable of love? This, I discovered that summer, was what Jane Austen’s nov­ els were about. Her heroines were sixteen or nineteen or twenty (people married young in those days, especially women). We followed them for a few weeks, or a few months, or a year. They started out in one place, and gradually—or sometimes, quite suddenly—they ended up somewhere else.

No doubt self-flattery had played a big role there. Austen had seduced me into identifying with her heroine, and I had been only too pride and prejudice | GROWING UP 49 happy to comply. Now it turned out that if I did indeed re­ semble her, it was not for the reasons I’d supposed. Elizabeth trusted her judgment way too much—just as I did. She was so much cleverer than everyone she knew except her father—who was always telling her how clever she was—that she imagined that everything she believed must be true, just because she be­ lieved it.

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