ONE DAY IN THE ""NEW LIFE by Fyodor Abramov


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Praeger here follows its publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (see p. 74, 1963) with another view of Soviet life, lauded in the Soviet press in 1954 for its realism, then denounced in 1963 for its symbolism. Max Hayward in his introduction says: ""After reading Abramov nobody can be in any doubt as to the bankruptcy of the collective farm system as such"". As was the Solzhenitsyn, the Abramov is written in a simple, straightforward style. Through the worried eyes of Ananiy Yegorovich, Chairman of the ""New Life"" collective farm, one sees his hay rotting, his peas going bad as the peasants, on the kolkhozniki, lose interest in the communal product that brings such meager returns. As Yegorovich canvasses the village for harvesters, he speaks to Voronitsyn, his foreman who drinks- he resents his lack of an identity card; to Pete the Bulldozer, who shamelessly sells his own onions -- for private enterprise provides money and one can't collect on conscience; to the women who have spent the afternoon picking mushrooms in the woods; to Tikhonovna, a spry eighty-year-old who tells him of the good hard old days; to Klavdia, his best worker and the loosest woman in the village. Yegorovich is beset, but an oblivious moment at the club at day's end works the salvation of the collective -- when he rises next morning, a Sunday, he finds everyone heartily at work -- it seems he has promised them thirty per cent, while under the influence. A cheerful and forthright manner characterizes this piece which is essentially ideological in interest.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1963
Publisher: Praeger