Sketches of the Criminal World - Further Kolyma Stories

Author(s): Varlam Shalamov; Donald Rayfield (Translator)


Shalamov spent six years as a slave in the gold mines of Kolyma before finding a less intolerable life as a paramedic in the prison camps. He began writing his account of life in Kolyma after Stalin's death in 1953 and continued for the next twenty years. In this second volume, Shalamov sets out to answer the fundamental moral questions that plagued him in the camps where he encountered first-hand the criminal world as a real place, far more evil than Dostoyevsky's underground- "How does someone stop being human?" and "How are criminals made?" By 1972, when he was writing his last stories, the remnants of the camps were being destroyed, the guard towers and barracks razed, the barbed wire rolled up and taken away. "Did we exist?" Shalamov asks, then answers without hesitation, "I reply, 'We did,' with all the expressiveness of an official statement, with the responsibility, the precision of a document."


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781681373676
  • : New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The
  • : New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The
  • : 0.368317
  • : January 2020
  • : --- length: - '8' width: - '5' units: - Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Varlam Shalamov; Donald Rayfield (Translator)
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 576