: Sofia Petrovna (European Classics) : Lydia Chukovskaya, Aline Werth: Books. In Sofia Petrovna, Chukovskaya attempted to understand the In Going Under, Chukovskaya showed through the character of Nina that an. Sofia Petrovna is Lydia Chukovskaya's fictional account of the Great Purge. Sofia is a Soviet Everywoman, a doctor's widow who works as a typist in a Leningrad.


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The people who condemned others to die weren't ingenious chukovskaya sofia petrovna like Orwell's O'Brien so much as tired bureaucrats administering dry rules, dreaming of lunch.

Chukovskaya depicts an office milieu hilariously like any that might be found in a contemporary Western city: Sofia's teenage son, Kolya, is the apple of her eye.


Chukovskaya slyly depicts the masculine fixity of Kolya and his best friend Alik Finkelstein as they prepare for a career in engineering; the choice of engineering as her son's field is inspired not only because engineers played such an outsize role in the Soviet mythos but also because an engineer, with his focus chukovskaya sofia petrovna the rational and the workable, seems uniquely primed to be blindsided by the coming absurdities of the terror.

Sofia practically bursts with pride when Pravda covers her son's invention of a method for building cogwheel cutters, out in the Urals where he and Alik are dutifully carrying out the Five Year Plan.

Later, Sofia will touchingly believe that this chukovskaya sofia petrovna burst of fame is enough to save her son from the purges.

The question of how intelligent a character ought to be in a novel has always baffled me. One of the chief weapons in the novelist's arsenal is dramatic irony, which necessitates that the author know something the characters do not or cannot.

The author denies knowledge to her characters not because the author would do better, if placed in the character's position, but only to illustrate the epistemic deficiencies we all labor under.

Sofia Petrovna This is a fictional chukovskaya sofia petrovna of one woman's experience following the chukovskaya sofia petrovna of her son during the Yezhov purges. Drawing on the author's own experience, this novella paints an almost documentary-style picture of life in Leningrad during this period.

Sofia Petrovna - Lydia Chukovskaya

Rather than acting as a loyal party chukovskaya sofia petrovna, Olga Petrovna believes that her primary role is to petition to have her son freed from prison. Still loyal to Stalin and the party, Olga Petrovna lives a life in constant fear at both work and home. Acquaintances look at her as a relative to a deportee and would rather not associate with her.


When she finally gets a letter from Kolya, in which he reaffirms his innocence and tells more of his own story, Sofia tries to fight for his freedom again, but realizes that, in this bizarre, chaotic place, she will likely only place more suspicion on herself and Kolya.

Chukovskaya sofia petrovna of desperation, she burns the letter.

Chukovskaya: Sofia Petrovna

History[ edit ] Based on her experiences during the Great Purge ofit was written in but remained unpublished due to the critical and honest nature of the piece.

The widow's everyday life, and her relationship to a precisely detailed environment, are securely established. To make the dissolution of that life the more effective the narrative is controlled and well-timed" - Montague Haltrecht, Sunday Times "If the outline is bleak, the details are totally absorbing, especially as Sofia comes only slowly to understand the nature and magnitude of Stalin's purges" - Sunday Times "The Deserted House is in some ways a more fascinating description of Stalin's purges even than Solzhenitsyn's A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, because the action takes place not in chukovskaya sofia petrovna safely distant camp but in Leningrad, depicting therefore the manner in which the yezhovshchina affected the daily lives of innocently unsuspecting ordinary citizens.

Were it not for the unpretentiousness and simplicity of Chukovskaya's writing one might be tempted to suspect that she was exaggerating. She is obviously not exaggerating.

chukovskaya sofia petrovna

Sofia Petrovna

Like that book, it will rank as one of the classics of Russian "purge literature". The chukovskaya sofia petrovna tells not only the tragedy of a family, but also that of a whole people. She emphasized the need for an identity apart from the state, the process of writing to deal with loss, the need to confront feelings of guilt, the role of truth in enabling one to share the pain of others, and the need to publicly speak out.