There’s a great flowering of life in drab Russia, all tucked away and mad and mixed up. Boots stuffed with literature, Stockhausen played at a wedding in an old aristocratic house. It’s art and madness all swirling about unseen, like Sanya’s crippled fingers. Remarkable!
It’s obvious how much of what we think of communist Russia stems from how this book says it all went down. The problem is what could anyone have done differently? How many nations that turned rotten – Germany, Russia, Cambodia – have actually done anything about the few who took power? It seems as if it’s impossible to fight back until too late because it’s so much easier to accuse and incite than learn and empathize
Typical family households were multi-generational, in fact in 1823 (and again in 1830) a decree stated households could not split unless the new household could provide 3-4 laborers aged 15-60 – since the decree had to be renewed means it wasn’t followed.
95%-100% of all peasants married, girls 16-18, men 18-20, and had kids right away (avg 18-20).
Landowners did not actually intervene much in peasant marriage.