Warlam Schalamow: Durch den Schnee. Erzählungen aus Kolyma 1
[Through the snow. Stories from Kolyma 1]

Edition of works vol. 1
Verlag Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2007, 342 pages
ISBN 978-3-88221-600-4

Translated from Russian by Gabriele Leupold. Edited and annotated by Franziska Thun-Hohenstein.

Shalamov's stories are among the most outstanding achievements of 20th century Russian literature. The author explores a key question of our present: How can human beings who have been educated in the tradition of humanism for centuries produce Auschwitz or Kolyma? Shalamov draws the readers of the stories from Kolyma, whose first cycle is gathered in this book, into the presence of everyday camp life, without hope of a way out:
»Many comrades have died. But something stronger than death did not let him die. Love? Bitterness? No. Man lives for the same reasons that a tree, a stone, a dog lives for.«

In German.

Media Response

23 Nov 2009
Was vom Menschen übrig bleibt

Review by Fabian Kettner, in literaturkritik.de, 23 Nov 2009