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Dream [Jan. 6th, 2007|03:31 pm]
Last night I was on a large field with many others. We were forced to be there, forced to be carrying the rolled mats made of logs and branches on which we were to lie, waiting to be killed. I whimpered uncontrollably when I began to understand what was going on. I was sure that I didn't need to wait, that simply lying down would be enough and I would die. But I didn't die, so I was paralyzed but alive when the mats were set on fire. It was only a primer, the fires went out, we were told to flip the mats over and lie down again. Then they were set on fire a second time, the real time, but death was slow. My back became increasingly hot, but I wasn't being burned.

I managed to wake myself enough to get out, wonder where that had come from, and have another, unrelated dream. This morning I realized that the first dream was about collectivization. I've been re-reading Andrey Platonov's The Foundation Pit and am writing a paper about its representation of death. People just lying down to die because they are tired, because they don't see any hope or meaning in living. Peasants waiting in coffins. It should be devastating, and when you think of the earnestness of the characters in their attempts to be meaningful to a system that will only betray and destroy them, it is devastating. But Platonov is so compassionate, and so steady in his compassion, that he doesn't tear you apart, like Dostoevsky does. He creates a slow, steady sadness, a pervasive sadness. And yet there is energy in it, forceful, uncontainable energy. It is energy of the kind that dismantles rather than destroys. His realism, his pessimism, serves not to mock those who are idealistic, but to indict those who betray good faith. There are too few books, and people, who do that.

[User Picture]From: wolodymyr
2007-01-07 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for this.
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[User Picture]From: shedding
2007-01-08 04:22 am (UTC)
You are infinitely, infinitely welcome. Your recent posts have been very helpful to me, but I don't exactly feel like I could thank you for them. But so you know, they are helpful.
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[User Picture]From: wolodymyr
2007-01-08 04:25 am (UTC)
I've been feeling, recently, at times, like a peasant waiting in a coffin, and it's really nice to hear tell of someone who's noticed, with sufficient attention to depict, this way people have of giving up.

And as to the other, I'm glad.
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