Book review: Midnight in the Century by Victor Serge – life in the Stalinist Soviet Union // Memoirs of a Revolutionary by Victor Serge – review
“And thought?” asked Rodion. “Thought?”
“Ah! Right now it’s something of a midnight sun piercing the skull. Glacial. What’s to be done if it’s midnight in the century?”
“Midnight’s where we have to live then,” said Rodion with an odd elation.
Let us agree that these events, taking place on totally different levels of creation, have no perceptible relationship. But the fact is that myriad buttercups covering the plains with a golden powder had opened precisely as Comrade Fedossenko was arriving that morning.
—John Leonard, The New York Times
—Stephen Schwartz, The New Criterion
—Matthew Price, Bookforum
—Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
—Guy Patrick Cunningham, Los Angeles Review of Books
.... Starting from an immensely deprived childhood, it proceeds to a brief heyday of optimistic identification with the Russian revolution and work in the Comintern, followed by decades of persecution, first in the Soviet Union, as an Oppositionist in Leningrad, and then a deportee in Orenburg, and finally outside it. Even the Trotskyites made him an outcast, although Serge retained an admiration for the Old Man, and died, like him (though not by an assassin's hand), in exile in Mexico.