Hope Against Hope: Short Book Review

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I’m reading a memoir by Nadeysha Mandelstam, wife of the most famous Russian poet of the 20th century, Osip Mandelstam entitled Hope Against Hope. She writes beautiful, has depth of perception in her analysis of what is going on in the Stalin era, and, nonetheless, is uplifting.

She conceives of memory as “a rancid pancake.” She also argues that in times of oppression, one must scream as it is the last way we have of asserting our humanity…but she writes a work with a clinical, detached tone.

I suggest it. It validates maintaining the narrative of your life. It speaks of the dangers of isolation from our fellow citizens and the reign of terror/silence. It is an odd conception in a world whereby we can be tracked electronically to our purchases, but all bombard the internet with our ill-conceived ideas and thoughts.

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