Main content

‘Pull Yourself Together-Do Not Worry’

Historian Catherine Merridale chronicles the troubled journey to print of Vasily Grossman’s novel STALINGRAD. By 1951 revisions ran into 1000s of pages, would it ever see print?

Historian Catherine Merridale chronicles the tortuous passage of Vasily Grossman’s novel STALINGRAD to print. By 1951 the voluminous corrections, alterations & revisions ran into thousands of pages. The demands of anxious editors, who both wanted to see the novel in print but always worried about the reaction from above had made Grossman begin to despair. His stubborn refusal to eradicate key passages, entire characters, or themes had resulted in a kind of stalemate. His insistence on progress and completion was met with long silences, evasion or frequent absences by editors so drunk they were checking into clinics. Just another normal day in late Stalinist Russia. But perhaps there was hope after all

24 days left to listen

14 minutes

Broadcasts

Life and Fate

Life and Fate

Vasily Grossman's sweeping historical tale set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad.