The son of an orthodox priest, Varlam Shalamov was born in Vologda in northern Russia in 1907. In 1924, he went to Moscow to study “Soviet Law.” In 1929, he was sentenced to incarceration in the Urals for “counterrevolutionary agitation.” In 1931, he returned to Moscow, where he was arrested a second time in 1937. He was then deported to Kolyma in Siberia, the world’s pole of cold.
Shalamov began writing his
The writer Varlam Shalamov considered his exposition of the inhuman Gulag system to be a testimony of strength. He, the son of a Russian priest, spoke with the pride of having remained uncompromising in the face of all tribulations. “Every story of mine,” he wrote a friend in 1971, “is a slap in the face of Stalinism, and like any slap in the face, it has laws of a purely muscular character.”
Beide: Aus dem Russischen von Gabriele Leupold. Herausgegeben von Franziska Thun-Hohenstein. Matthes & Seitz 2018
28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: