Friday, June 17, 2005

Anyone Who Had A Heart *

As may have been spotted on the left-hand column by some of these, I finished Edward Gibbon's little classic Christians and the Fall of Rome the other night there. I say little, but it took me about two weeks to read its 90 pages. A superb tract it has to be said and quite revolutionary it must have been in the 18th century when first published. I agree with the blurb on the back which declares that it "remains one of the most eloquent and damning indictments of the delusory nature of faith."
I picked it up in this shop the last time I was in Glasgow - and I'm glad my three quid went on the book rather than yet another can of cider on the train I was about to board home.
Anyway, my post isn't about that book, it's about the book that I picked up off the shelf to read next.
The title tells me it is Looking Ahead by Vera Panova, but further research tells me it was originally called Kruzhilikha, named after the factory at which most of its characters work during the closing months of the Great Patriotic War. In looking at the inside front cover, it informs me that Panova won this prize for her efforts for Looking Ahead. I also loved the inside back cover which tell us that Panova won a prize at an "all-Ukrainian Contest for the best collective farm theatre play." Now, I'm sure there must have been strong competition for that one, but, Panova won out nevertheless - good girl!
I'm a quarter way through it so far and it seems a good read - if you're lucky I'll keep you updated, but don't hold your breath!
Where'd I get this book? I'm almost certain that it was given to me by a former fellow member of my local Anti-Apartheid Group circa 1990 who was in this lot. His dad, an old commie like myself, had departed our mortal coild so, trot boy gave me a pile of the old commie's books, an act for which I have been forever grateful - and even more grateful that I haven't seen him since!

*As sung by Cilla Black


Blogger John said...

Sounds like a good'un, reidski. Keep us posted.

I haven't read a proper Russian book since we were forced to read Aitmatov's "Cranes Fly Early," in the original language for A level.

But then my objections were on the basis of aesthetics, obviously.

10:31 am  

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