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The damned and the dead : the Eastern Front through the eyes of Soviet and Russian novelists /
Frank Ellis.
Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, c2011.
xiii, 376 p. ; 24 cm.
0700617841 (cloth : acid-free paper), 9780700617845 (cloth : acid-free paper)
More Details
series title
series title
Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, c2011.
0700617841 (cloth : acid-free paper)
9780700617845 (cloth : acid-free paper)
contents note
The sword and the pen : an overview of war literature -- Return from the front : the veterans dissent -- Traitors, wolves, and infernal cold : the war stories of Vasil' Bykov -- The imperium ripostes : the return of the Vozhd' -- The hinge of fate : the Battle of Stalingrad in Soviet-Russian war literature -- NKVD reports from Stalingrad, 1942-1943 : blocking detachments, deserters, executions, and morale -- The Russian war novel of the 1990s : a final reckoning? -- Afterword -- Appendix A: Order of the headquarters of the Supreme Command of the Red Army, 270, 16th August 1941 -- Appendix B: Order of the People's Commissar for Defence of the USSR, 227, 28th July 1942 -- Appendix C: Statute concerning the main counter-intelligence directorate of the People's Commissariat of Defence ("SMERSH") and its agencies in the provinces, 21st April 1943.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [355]-364) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-12-01:
Of all the Allied powers that fought against Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union undoubtedly suffered the greatest physical and human destruction. The entire eastern and western regions as far as Caucasus were affected, and human casualties amounted to at least 20 million dead. Ellis's significant study of literary treatments of this disaster is likely to remain the most thorough, comprehensive account of the physical and human toll of the war. It is comparable in scope to Alexander Werth's Russia at War, 1941-1945 (CH, Mar'65), among other notable works--though no study can do justice to the massive number of personal accounts of Russians who fought in WW II. Ellis illuminates the many complex facets of war. Of his objective in writing this book, he notes that he is "not concerned ... with the problems of grand strategy and logistics ... [but is] interested in the apparent contrast between the attempt to comprehend war rationally, on the one hand, and the complex of emotional and psychological responses to war, on the other, which is the proper domain of war literature. The two different approaches are not separate and mutually incompatible." A most significant study that broadens understanding of war. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. V. D. Barooshian emeritus, Wells College
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Choice, December 2011
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Bowker Data Service Summary
The confrontation between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army on the Eastern Front of World War II was defined by incalculable suffering, destruction, casualties, and heroism. It has largely been left to Russian novelists to fully express the intense human dimensions of that conflict. This study surveys that body of literature.
Main Description
The confrontation between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army on the Eastern Front of World War II was defined by incalculable suffering, destruction, casualties, and heroism. While many historians have chronicled the epic nature of that arena of war, it has largely been left to Russian novelists to fully express the intense human dimensions of that conflict. Frank Elliss groundbreaking study provides the first comprehensive survey of that impressive body of literature. Canvassing a wide spectrum of works by Soviet and post-Soviet writers, many of whom were war veterans themselves, Ellis uncovers themes both common to war literature in general and distinctive to the Soviet experience. He recalls the earliest works in this genre by Emmanuil Kazakevich, Grigorii Baklanov, and IUrii Bondarev; presents a long overdue assessment of Vasil Bykovs work, which focuses on the partisan war in Bykovs native Belorussia; and brings into sharp focus the powerful Stalingrad novels of Vasilii Grossman, Konstantin Simonov, Viktor Nekrasov, and Bondarev. He also provides keen insights into the heroic portraits of Stalin in the fiction of Ivan Stadniuk and Vladimir Bogomolov and examines three important war novels published during the 1990s: Viktor Astafevs The Damned and the Dead, Georgii Vladimovs The General and His Army, and Vladimir Buts Heads-Tails. One of the many threads running throughout Elliss study is the dilemma of the Red Army soldier condemned to serve a regime that was utterly paranoid regarding the allegiances of its own armies, so much so that Soviet soldiers often felt as threatened by the Soviet government as they did by the German armies. Many of these novels reinforce the now well-known fact that Stalin devoted considerable resources to ferreting out soldiers whose actions (or inactions) suggested disloyalty to his repressive regime. A few of them-such as Grossmans Life and Fate-became battlegrounds in their own right, pitting Soviet writers against Soviet censors in a struggle over the public memory of the war. Russias memories of World War II are forever tied to the suffering of its people. Elliss rich and revealing work shows us why.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
The Sword and the Pen: An Overview of War Literaturep. 1
Return from the Front: The Veterans Dissentp. 35
Traitors, Wolves, and Infernal Cold: The War Stories of Vasil' Bykovp. 64
The Imperium Ripostes: The Return of the Vozhd'p. 110
The Hinge of Fate: The Battle of Stalingrad in Soviet-Russian War Literaturep. 143
NKVD Reports from Stalingrad, 1942-1943: Blocking Detachments, Deserters, Executions, and Moralep. 186
The Russian War Novel of the 1990s: A Final Reckoning?p. 212
Afterwordp. 269
Order of the Headquarters of the Supreme Command of the Red Army N2 270,16th August 1941p. 285
Order of the People's Commissar for Defense of the USSR, N2 227, 28th July 1942p. 289
Statute concerning the Main Counterintelligence Directorate of the People's Commissariat of Defense ("SMERSH") and Its Agencies in the Provinces, 21st April 1943p. 294
Thematic Reference for Works and Charactersp. 299
Notesp. 303
Glossaryp. 351
Bibliographyp. 355
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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