KONTINENT 3 by Vladimir E.--Ed. Maximov


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The very assorted items in this latest collection of dissident writings from Eastern Europe demonstrate only the range and vitality of the voices of protest. Three long selections have particular historical interest. In an interview granted shortly before his death, Joseph Smrkovsky, chairman of the Czech National Assembly in 1968, describes the events of that Prague Spring and the ensuing Russian invasion, adding new, inside information to the public record. Abducted to Moscow and under intense pressure, he and other liberal Czech leaders felt impelled--why, we can now understand--to sign an ignominious pro-Soviet protocol. Milovan Djilas' story ""The Sister,"" set in postwar Yugoslavia, pits family ties--or any personal loyalty--against the demands of an idealized, all-demanding regime. Moral and political corruption, it implies, follow from the power to inflict punishment. Ex-prisoner Franz Leber-Varkonyi reports on the 40-days' rebellion at Kingir camp in which criminals, confounding official expectations, joined fortes with politicals: ""The individual opposition to the regime had become one of principle."" Also: a discussion of Dostoevsky's ""search for a choice between Euclidean reason and Christ"" by literary critic Grigory Pomerants; poems by Joseph Brodsky and Vladimir Kornilov; and a Letter to the Pugwash Conference in Kyoto--urging greater pressure for disarmament--by Andrei Sakharov.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1978
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday