From an obscure but powerful post-Soviet film, The ChekistEven though this clip is in Russian without subtitles, it is worth watching.  It captures the murderous claustrophobia of Stalinism where assembly-line executions were ordered up by bureaucrats with quotas to fill.

Today is Joseph Stalin‘s birthday (1878-1953).

Frye in the “Conclusion to the Second Edition of Literary History of Canada“:

I remember the thirties, when so many “intellectuals” were trying to rationalize or ignore the Stalin massacres or whatever such horrors did not fit their categories, and thinking even then that part of their infantalism was in being men of print: they saw only lines of type on a page, not lines of prisoners shuffling off to death camps.  (CW 12, 460)

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