Books Magazine

Literature and War Readalong October 28 2013: Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman

By Caroline

Everything Flows

I’m very late in announcing this month’s readalong title. Vasily Grossman’s Everything Flows isn’t a war novel per se. It’s a post war novel. I found it’s about time to have a look what state countries, which had participated in WWII, were left in after the war. Russia is decidedly one of the most interesting places when it comes to the post-war era and Grossman is famous for the way he captures this time. Like many other Russian authors Grossman’s novels were forbidden during the Soviet era. Everything Flows was written after his major work Life and Fate.  I have seen a few of his books reviewed on various blogs ( Silver Threads on Life and Fate -  A Work in Progress on Armenian Sketchbook -  Caravana de Recuerdos on Life and Fate) and the feedback was always more than favorable.

I’ll leave you with the b blurb and the first sentences.

Ivan Grigoryevich has been in the Gulag for thirty years. Released after Stalin’s death, he finds that the years of terror have imposed a collective moral slavery. He must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world. Grossman tells the stories of those people entwined with Ivan’s fate: his cousin Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, Pinegin, the informer who had Ivan sent to the camps and Anna

Here are the first sentences

The Khabarovsk express was due to arrive in Moscow by 9 a.m.. A young man in pajamas scratched his shaggy head and looked out of the window into the half-light of the autumn morning. He yawned, turned to the people standing in the corridor with their soap boxes and towels and said, “Well, citizens, who’s last in line?”

I will be reading the German translation Alles fliesst. I have this idea that Russian works better translated into German.

Alles fliesst

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The discussion starts on Monday, 28 October 2013.

Further information on the Literature and War Readalong 2013, including all the book blurbs, can be found here.


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