Varlam Shalamov: Kolyma Notebooks

(2624 words)

Varlam Shalamov’s Kolymskie Rasskazy [Kolyma Tales] is generally recognised – at least by Russians and readers of Russian – as a masterpiece of Russian prose and the greatest work of literature about the Gulag. Shalamov’s poetry, however, still has few readers even in Russia, although he himself seems to have valued it above his prose. One possible reason for this lack of interest may be that some of Shalamov’s poems were published in the 1960s and 1970s, in censored versions that gave many readers the impression that Shalamov was no more than a competent writer of traditionally crafted poems about the natural world. His prose, on the other hand, was unpublishable before perestroika – and when it finally …

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Chandler, Robert. "Kolyma Notebooks". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2014
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Gulag and Anti-Stalinist Narratives