[I had written this article earlier and it was published in the Garhwal Post, a different version in Hindustantimes.com]
“In everything I want to reach
The innermost kernel
In work, in life’s constant quest
In the heart’s trouble;”
Literature of the former Soviet Union was once popular, but has now largely been forgotten. Though ‘Soviet literature’ is perhaps too wide a term, the great writers of the USSR, had something in common – like Boris Pasternak in his poem above, their writing had a certain intensity, reflecting that ‘constant quest’ to reach ‘the innermost kernel’ of everything. Their greatness was recognised in the West, and some of them– Boris Pasternak, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Josef Brodsky– were Nobel Prize winners. Other brilliant writers included Andrei Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Andrei Sinyavsky, and many more.
Several of the Soviet writers were imprisoned or faced problems of some kind with the authorities in…
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