I am reading interviews about Soviet Repression Orlando Figes [ http://www.orlandofiges.com/familyHistory.php ] with the assistance of Russian Memorial had gathered. It is about as sad as it gets. Memorial, controversial in Russia, is both an organization and an effort by Russians to tell the stories of those Communism murdered (repressed in Russian) through interviews with the survivors. Most interviews are yet to be translated, but those available in English still bring one to ones knees.
I am at the age and circumstance where I can review the era in which I lived and my role in it. I live now in Madison, Wisconsin, one of those peculiar American enclaves that has attracted unadventurous intellectuals seeking secure enclaves in which to live while applauding murderous monsters wreaking havoc in lands and among peoples far, far away. Madison (and Ann Arbor and Berkeley and lower west side Manhattan) was a world incomprehensible to me in 1965; that time remains incomprehensible today. Perhaps after I finish these four novels, I will understand.
I started to read these remembrances (Всмоминания) in order create the emotional landscape of Ekaterina Soroka and Danton Larionov, two of the four main figures in “The Wounded,” for when they encounter Michael Richard Belisle and Marie Jeanne Charbonneau. At this moment, I do not know how to convey the utter sadness of a sad time. There are still people on the face of the earth who name themselves “Marxist.” I do not understand them. We each have our moments of utter idiocy. I forgive them and I forgive myself.