The Storm

Ilya Ehrenburg – The Storm I have finally finished The Storm, a very good book that took me an unusually long time to get through.  This is a very well-written socialist realist novel, indeed at times it is hard to believe this book ever had a place in the Stalinist cannon.  A good book. This […]

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Collected Gorky 2

Collected Gorky, Incomplete, Progress Publishers This collection, published from 1978 to 1982, is essentially a redesigned version of the Foreign Language Publishing House edition.  Expertly redesigned, I think, by Igor Kravtsov. This series consists of: Selected Stories Foma Gordeyev Mother Plays The Life of Matvei Kozhemyakin Tales of Italy. Childhood My Apprenticeship. My Universities The […]

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Collected Gorky 1

Collected Gorky, Foreign Language Publishing House Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, 1868 – 1936, known to the world as Maxim Gorky, was proclaimed by the Stalinist literary establishment as the father of Socialist Realism.  Fittingly they made a posh set of his collected works.  Here‘s his biography on These are nice books, designed in a very serious, […]

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Notes from a Dead House

F. Dostoyevsky – Notes from a Dead House I have been away from this blog for a long time, and I apologize.  I have more time for it now, and plan to post more. Some of the nicest-looking books in my collection are Russian ‘classics’ translated and published in high quality editions for export.  Like […]

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Mayakovsky – Collected Works

V. V. Mayakovsky – Collected Works Three volume collection of the the great Soviet poet.  A very nice edition from 1987, a time when the Soviet presses weren’t making very high quality books.  I had volumes 2 and 3 for years and recently came across number 1.  Very exciting.  The dust jackets feature his famous […]

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Alitet goes to the Hills

Tikhon Syomushkin – Alitet goes to the Hills A long gap between posts, I have been unpacking my library and can now do this with the books in front of me, which is a much nicer process.  This is a lovely novel translated for the Foreign Language Publishing House.  A ‘Siberian’ novel about the indigenous […]

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Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul – E. Maltsev I’m reading this book right now, about half way through.  It’s a bout a Siberian couple separated by the Great Patriotic War.  He’s a bit of a self-centered doofus, and she’s a motivated labour brigade leader.  By the end I’m sure she’ll have converted him to a more progressive, […]

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White Birch Tree

White Birch Tree – M. Bubennov Another novel, classic Socialist Realism.  Set during the Great Patriotic War, focusing on a young soldier and his partisan wife.  This book deals carefully with the retreat at the beginning of the Nazi invasion, and later focuses in the necessity of patriotic anger as a motivating force in the […]

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