Grossman lived in an epoch of repression. Not only human freedom but the human personality itself was placed outside the law. Grossman was aware of this, and he sought and formulated “laws” which could be put above the arbitrariness of the system. From Stepan Kol'chugin (1937-40), his early and most typical socialist realist novel, Grossman had been seeking such laws. He was interested in the laws of life and death, war and love: in short, in laws as yet unknown to others. Starting out as a Marxist, he tested Marxist dogmas with the power of his intellect. For this, it was necessary to crack the Marxist code, so as to return its all words to their previous meaning – and then to look at, and listen to, those words afresh.…
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Lanin, Boris. "Vasilii Grossman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5901, accessed 29 June 2017.]