Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
on behalf of the dead, “on behalf of those who lie in the earth.” He also felt sustained by the dead; he believed that their strength could help him to fulfil his duty towards the living. This is clear from the guardedly optimistic conclusion to the story of Viktor Shtrum. After uncharacteristically betraying men he knows to be innocent merely because he can’t bear the thought of losing a few new privileges, Shtrum expresses the hope that his dead mother will help him to act better next time; his last words in the novel are “Well then, we’ll see… Maybe I do have enough strength. Your strength, mother…” Grossman’s feelings are revealed still more clearly in the letter he wrote to his mother on the 20th anniversary of her death: “I am you, dear Mama, and as long as I live, then you are alive also. When I die you will continue to live in this book, which I have dedicated to you and whose fate is closely tied to your fate.” His sense of his mother’s continued life in the book seems to have made him feel that Life and Fate was itself a living being. His letter to Khrushchev ends with a challenge: “There is no sense or truth in my present position, in my physical freedom while the book to which I dedicated my life is in prison. For I wrote it, and I have not repudiated it and am not repudiating it… I ask for freedom for my book.”
OHN GARRARD has written about what he calls “two open wounds” relating to Grossman. The first is the culture of silence that exists to this
day in former Soviet territory about the collaboration of some of the local population in the deaths of Soviet Jews. The second relates to the battle of Stalingrad. In huge granite letters on the wall leading to the famous Stalingrad mausoleum, a German soldier asks, “They are attacking us again; can they be mortal?” Inside the mausoleum the words of a red army soldier’s reply are tooled in gold: “Yes, we were mortal indeed, and few of us survived, but we all carried out our patriotic duty before holy Mother Russia.” Although these words are taken from “In the Line of the Main Drive,” an article first published by Grossman in Red Star and reprinted in Pravda, the designers of the memorial did not acknowledge Grossman as their author. Guides at the memorial still claim that they do not know who wrote those words. While the memorial was being constructed, Grossman died in obscurity. The memorial was begun in 1959 and completed in 1967; Life and Fate was “arrested” in 1961 and Grossman died in 1964. It is as if the authorities chose to deal with Grossman by splitting him into two separate figures: a dissident Jew whose work must be silenced, and a “voice of the Soviet people” whose words could be carved in huge letters provided his name went unmentioned. Grossman himself would probably have shrugged his shoulders at this omission; what would upset him more is people’s reluctance to attend to what he had s said “on behalf of those who lie in the earth.”
CALL FOR ENTRIES
The world’s largest award for a story q The winner will receive £15,000, the runner-up will receive £3,000, and three other shortlisted authors will receive £500 each q The shortlist of five stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Subject to BBC editorial guidelines) q The winning story and runner-up will be published and distributed by Prospect Closing date: 31st October 2006
The prize is open to writers who have been previously published in fiction, drama or poetry and are either British nationals or UK residents. Entries may be stories published or broadcast during 2006—or as yet unpublished. One story per author may be submitted by publishers, magazines, authors’ agents or by authors themselves. For details and entry forms see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/frontrow/short_story_prize.shtml or send a SAE to: The National Short Story Prize, Room 316, BBC Henry Wood House, 3-6 Langham Place, London W1B 3DF. For further information about the national Story campaign, see www.theshortstory.org.uk
PROSPECT September 2006 59