Warlam Schalamow: Über die Kolyma. Erinnerungen
[Kolyma Stories. Memoirs]

Edition of works vol. 7
Verlag Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2018, 288 pages
ISBN 978-3-95757-540-1

Translated from Russian by Gabriele Leupold, edited and with an epilogue by Franziska Thun-Hohenstein.

The volume is a collection of autobiographical texts by the Russian writer Varlam Shalamov. Here, in contrast to his main work Kolyma Stories, he discernibly writes about himself, with no idealization into the symbolic. As far as his memory allowed it, or as far as he considered it appropriate, Shalamov reconstructed his personal experiences from fourteen years of being imprisoned in the camps of the Kolyma region (1937–1951). These experiences became a source of  new, frightening knowledge about the darkest depths of (in)humanity, from “the law of decay” to the “the law of the resistance against decay.” Decades later, he examined this knowledge on himself by interrogating his memory. These texts, which have now been translated for the first time, allow the reader to directly partake in Shalamov’s experiences in the camps while also depicting his struggle for self-knowledge.

In German.


Varlam Shalamov Edition of works

Vol. 1: Durch den Schnee. Erzählungen aus Kolyma 1 (2007)
Vol. 2: Linkes Ufer. Erzählungen aus Kolyma 2 (2008)
Vol. 3: Künstler der Schaufel. Erzählungen aus Kolyma 3 (2010)
Vol. 4: Die Auferweckung der Lärche. Erzählungen aus Kolyma 4 (2011)
Vol. 5: Das vierte Wologda. Erinnerungen (2013)
Vol. 6: Wischera. Antiroman (2016)
Vol. 7: Über die Kolyma. Erinnerungen (2018)


Book presentation and movie sequences at the lcb
12 Apr 2018 · 7.30 pm

Über die Kolyma – Straße der Knochen

lcb - Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, Am Sandwerder 5, 14109 Berlin

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Media Response

11 Jun 2020
W. Schalamow: Über die Kolyma

Review by Mirjam Sprau, in: H-Soz-Kult, 11 Jun 2020

28 Aug 2018
Künstler der Schaufel – Warlam Schalamow konnte das Grauen des Gulag nicht vergessen

Review by Jörg Plath, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 28 Aug 2018