Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Soviet writer Varlam Shalamov wrote Forty-Five Things I Learned In The Gulag, recently revived in The Paris Review.  It's pretty grim, but valuable.
1. The extreme fragility of human culture, civilization. A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings.
2. The main means for depraving the soul is the cold. Presumably in Central Asian camps people held out longer, for it was warmer there....

1 comment:

Tom Grey said...

Interesting to think about the lowest level of Dante's Inferno -- where all are encased in ice. Alone. Without warmth, without others.