I decided it is…

I decided it is better to scream.
Silence is the real crime against humanity.

– Nadezhda Mandelstam


From Wikipedia

Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam (Russian: Наде́жда Я́ковлевна Мандельшта́м, née Khazina; 30 October [O.S. 18 October] 1899 – 29 December 1980) was a Russian writer and educator, and the wife of the poet Osip Mandelstam, who died in 1938 in a transit camp to the gulag of Siberia.

She wrote two memoirs about their lives together and the repressive Stalinist regime: Hope Against Hope (1970) and Hope Abandoned (1974), both first published in the West in English, translated by Max Hayward.

Of these books the critic Clive James has written:
“Hope Against Hope puts her at the centre of the liberal resistance under the Soviet Union. A masterpiece of prose as well as a model of biographical narrative and social analysis it is mainly the story of the terrible last years of persecution and torment before the poet [her husband Osip] was murdered. The sequel, Hope Abandoned, is about the author’s personal fate, and is in some ways even more terrible, because, as the title implies, it is more about horror as a way of life than as an interruption to normal expectancy. [The two books] were key chapters in the new bible that the twentieth century had written for us.”


2 thoughts on “I decided it is…

  1. Love that quote! It is so true. Just today, a case of institutionalised rape that was going on for 2years, has come to light.

    The State Chief Minister’s wife was recorded as saying, “These things keep happening. It’s better if they are kept buried”.

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