By Vasily Grossman, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Yury Bit-Yunan
An NYRB Classics Original
Few writers needed to confront as some 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 fear Famine within the Ukraine. An Armenian Sketchbook, notwithstanding, indicates us a truly diversified Grossman, awesome for his tenderness, heat, and feel of fun.
After the Soviet govt confiscated—or, as Grossman continuously placed it, “arrested”—Life and Fate, he took at the job of revising a literal Russian translation of an extended Armenian novel. the radical was once of little curiosity to him, yet he wanted funds and used to be obviously comfortable of an excuse to trip to Armenia. An Armenian Sketchbook is his account of the 2 months he spent there.
This is via a long way 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 historic church buildings, its people—while additionally analyzing his personal strategies and moods. a perfectly human account of go back and forth to a remote position, An Armenian Sketchbook additionally has the vibrant attraction of a self-portrait
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Additional resources for An Armenian sketchbook
The Turks had killed Andreas’s family; they had destroyed his home and killed his brother. The Turks had killed Armenian merchants and Armenian beggars; they had tried to kill the Armenian nation. The great Russian general Andranik Pasha had fought against the Turks. And the commander in chief of the Russian army that had vanquished the Turks’ mighty allies was Stalin. Everyone in the village was amused by Andreas’s rage; he had confused two different wars—the First World War and the Second. The crazed old man demanded that the gilt statue of Stalin be returned to the main square—it was, after all, Stalin who had routed the Germans, who had defeated Hitler.
And the commander in chief of the Russian army that had vanquished the Turks’ mighty allies was Stalin. Everyone in the village was amused by Andreas’s rage; he had confused two different wars—the First World War and the Second. The crazed old man demanded that the gilt statue of Stalin be returned to the main square—it was, after all, Stalin who had routed the Germans, who had defeated Hitler. Everyone laughed at the old man: He was insane, whereas the people around him were not. 3 SURPRISINGLY, many Armenians have blond hair and gray or blue eyes.
YURY BIT-YUNAN was born in Bryansk, in western Russia. He graduated from the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, and completed his doctorate on the work of Vasily Grossman. At present he is lecturing on literary criticism at the the Russian State University for the Humanities while continuing to research Grossman’s life and work. V. B. Guber Translation and notes copyright © 2013 by Robert Chandler All rights reserved. An Armenian Sketchbook is translated from the text of Dobro vam published in Vasily Grossman, Sobranie sochinenii v 4-h tomakh (Moscow: Agraf, 1998).