October 10, 2014 by AK
Jake Barnes, the Oilfield Expat, wonders if Russia will descend into chaos with Putin’s demise. I’m not sure I can contemplate that coldly and dispassionately at the moment so I’ll follow up with an anecdote from Dovlatov’s A Typewriter Solo (strictly speaking, An Underwood Solo). I told a different version of the story in the comments because I didn’t remember the source and the exact logic but here’s the original.
There was a poetess named Grudinina. Once she wrote a poem with these lines, among others:
…And Stalin dreams to live
To see the lights of communism…
Grudinina was summoned to a Communist party meeting and asked:
“What did you mean, ‘dreams to live’? Are you hinting, in that manner, that Stalin can die?”
“It goes without saying that as a Marxist theorist, a leader and teacher of nations, Stalin is immortal. But as a living human being and a materialist, he is mortal. He can die physically — but spiritually, never!”
Grudinia was immediately kicked out of the party.