Category Archives: Ulitskaya, Lyudmila

23% done with The Big Green Tent

Olga is interesting. She is raised to be a good little Soviet girl, lover of the party, and communal first. Yet when she is “indoctrinated” at college, she is honest and forthright in defending her teacher even though he is a dissident. The very values the party required worked against everyone, including her parents who never saw it coming. We now see Ilya as an outsider would – neat literary trick.

11% done with The Big Green Tent

The stampede in the streets: I wonder if that really happened when Stalin’s death was announced? But even if it didn’t, as a literary device it works well to describe the Russian people and state of mind – a leaderless flock in chaos where each person is probably grateful but unable to stop the stampede anyway. Add this the confused sexual feelings of his friend and there is a brilliant mixing of ideas here.

9% done with The Big Green Tent

Each of the boys has a need to express himself as individuals, but living in Stalin’s Russia makes that dangerous. One boy is a musician, but his hand his cut and thus his career. The other boy skates, but that ends in a tragedy. Yet another is a photographer and tragedy befalls his father.

Photos from Slate’s Early Soviet Photography Was Surprisingly Avant-Garde

Shaikhet; Light Bulb in a Hut; 1936
Georgy Zelma, Military Parade on Red Square, 1933
Arkady Shaikhet, Express, 1939
Georgy Zelma, Meeting at the Kolkhoz, 1929
Arkady Shaikhet, Red Army Marching in the Snow, 1927–28
Alexander Rodchenko, Horse Race, 1935
Arkady Shaikhet, Greeting the Chelyuskin Men, 1934
Left- Arkady Shaikhet, Assembling the Globe at Moscow Telegraph Central Station, 1928 — Right- Arkady Shaikhet, The Parachutist Katya Melnikova, 1934
Left- Alexander Rodchenko, Girl with a Leica, Portrait of Evgeniya Lemberg, 1933 — Right- Georgy Petrusov, Asiatic Sailor, ca 1935–36
Left- Georgy Zelma, Three Generations in Yakutsk, 1929 — Right- Alexander Rodchenko, Sports Parade on Red Square, 1936