Midnight in the Century


I'm late to note it, but Christopher Hitchens has a nice appreciation of Victor Serge in the December Atlantic. Serge was an anarchist militant in Czarist Russia who joined the Bolsheviks after their revolution and just as quickly turned dissident. "His novels and poems and memoirs, most of them directed at the exposure of Stalinism, were mainly composed in jail or on the run," Hitchens writes. "Some of the manuscripts were confiscated or destroyed by the Soviet secret police; in the matter of poetry Serge was able to outwit them by rewriting from memory the verses he had composed in the Orenburg camp, deep in the Ural Mountain section of the Gulag Archipelago."