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Is it better to have freedom of expression (which may include expression of all kinds of views that I may find seriously offensive) than to have censorship? Personally, I think so...
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posted by Anonymous Dean Parkin at 11:13 am

I'm reminded of the situation in Russia in the early part of the last century (that's the good ol' 20th century!)when they persecuted and, well, executed loads of writers. I was reading this book about it and I was thinking, well, if I was there I just wouldn't write any more, shortly before I read an horrific chapter on one such writer who did just that. The KGB brought him in and asked him, why aren't you writing? And he said, I'm just not inspired. And they said, we want you to be inspired. Are you not writing because you don't support us? Because we want you to write and write about your support for us. And he wouldn't and they killed him. The book is published Harvill - I can't find the title at the moment but will if anybody's interested.    



posted by Blogger sophie nicholls at 11:22 am

Yes, please, I would like that title. (Does this mean you have to tidy the man cave?) Thanks, DP.    



posted by Anonymous Dean Parkin at 12:35 am

Bingo! Found the book easily. It's called 'The KGB's Literary Archive'by Vitaly Shentalinsky. This book tells you wht happened to, amongst others, Isaak Babel, Boris Pilnyak, Pavel Florensky and Osip Mandelstam. It tells you about these 'fellow-travellers'. This was a disdainful term invented by the People's Commissar for Enlightenment - snappy title -a bloke called Anatoly Lunacharsky. The 'travellers' were 'suspect' and 'tainted' writers who, though they accepted the Russian Revlutionb, didn't become members of the Party or seemingly support the ideology. And Stalin set about getting rid of around 1500 of this group. That number just staggers me.    



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