Varlam Shalamov: Kolymskie rasskazy [The Kolyma Tales]

(1668 words)

Kolymskie rasskazy [Kolyma Tales] is the name given to six collections of short stories by Varlam Shalamov (1907-1982), depicting the experiences of convicts in the Soviet labour camps of the far North East of Siberia, notorious for being the most brutal part of the Gulag in the Stalin era. Shalamov, first imprisoned in 1929 for attempting to publish Lenin’s Testament, was re-arrested as a Trotskyite Counter-Revolutionary in 1937 and spent a total of 14 years in the camps and mines of Kolyma. The stories – terse miniatures that insistently depict the cruelty of the regime in Kolyma and the loss of humanity of its inhabitants – were written between 1954, following Shalamov’s final release from exile in the r…

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Young, Sarah J.. "Kolymskie rasskazy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 February 2011
[, accessed 08 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Gulag and Anti-Stalinist Narratives