Babel said two great things about writing in general: Jul 09, Craig rated it it was amazing. Isaac Babel was a brilliant writer. He was murdered by Stalin. If you can read "Red Cavalry Stories" without having an emotional reaction you're not human. May 30, kasia rated it it was amazing. Worth reading slowly, to savor them.
At times beautiful, at times heart-rendingly horrifying, but absolutely amazing throughout. Oct 19, Richard rated it really liked it Recommends it for: After reading these, I had to wonder how Babel managed to avoid imprisonment and death as long as he did, from the mods when he had completed these stories until he was executed in , having had some major projects--writing a film for Eisenstein--and serving as a literary editor. The arrest accused him of Trotskyite behavior and spying. The "Red Cavalry" stories are described as "the pinnacle" of Babel's work, but they hardly satisfy what came to be called "socialist realism"; the violenc After reading these, I had to wonder how Babel managed to avoid imprisonment and death as long as he did, from the mods when he had completed these stories until he was executed in , having had some major projects--writing a film for Eisenstein--and serving as a literary editor.
The "Red Cavalry" stories are described as "the pinnacle" of Babel's work, but they hardly satisfy what came to be called "socialist realism"; the violence is repugnant, the treatment of horses no better, and the circumstances of fighting and feeding hardly heroic. Babel's art is realism period. But his ability to put the reader at the scene, no matter what is being described, is masterful. It seemed to me as I read that Babel wanted me to be repulsed by what he showed and that he knew that the struggle to sustain the Revolution required the breaking of eggs Mao.
What he didn't seem to recognize until too late was that he too would be scrambled. Aug 22, Jocelyn rated it did not like it. I've read enough Russian literature to know that I don't get it, and even when I get it I don't seem to like it. And I always struggle with the constantly-starting-over aspect of short story collections. Yeah, I don't know why I did this to myself again either. On the upside, I read this while waiting for my sleep drugs to kick in at night, and I wasn't tempted to try to fight to stay awake to read more, so Mar 30, Janita Holtzhausen rated it it was amazing.
Babel is absolutely brilliant, a master at using images of beauty and fragility to emphasise the cruelty and brutality of pogroms and war. Feb 04, Denise rated it it was ok. Red Cavalry is not brilliant at all, it's chaotic and rather disappointing. Aug 10, Albertine67 rated it it was amazing. Would give it more stars if I could. Sep 01, David rated it liked it Recommends it for: This book contained other stories, but I read only the "Red Cavalry" group and the introductory and biographical material -- about pages total. It is described by commentators and reviewers as "ultra-violent," and there's plenty of that, but the shock value comes from it being mostly gratuitous violence -- not gr This book contained other stories, but I read only the "Red Cavalry" group and the introductory and biographical material -- about pages total.
It is described by commentators and reviewers as "ultra-violent," and there's plenty of that, but the shock value comes from it being mostly gratuitous violence -- not gratuitous in the writing, but in the "reality" of the action. And, in fact, that WAS the way they acted.
How about cruel, too? Babel's style is described as "modern," and it is "stylish" to an extreme. Very, very vivid imagery and lots of things that really are confusing and almost don't make sense. Then again, it is talking about very confusing and nonsensical activities -- WAR, and even more than that, civil war -- although actually war between the Poles and the Soviets, but many of the participants switched sides or fought other groups of Cossacks or Russians.
I think the style really does work -- the reader gets the impression that nothing is straight-forward or predictable.
But, all in all, enough was enough, and I wasn't tempted to read the other Babel stories. Apr 28, Susie rated it really liked it. Short stories based on Babel's diary on his experience in the Polish-Soviet war. First of all, I don't know anything about that war and this is seriously impacting my understanding of this book, because Babel is certainly not informing us on the context or the major events of this war.
Red Cavalry is a collection of short, and some of them very short, stories, each painting a picture of one event or scene of the war. The book is incredibly beautiful and poetic while at the same time exposing the Short stories based on Babel's diary on his experience in the Polish-Soviet war. The book is incredibly beautiful and poetic while at the same time exposing the harsh and bitter reality of that war.
This is a book that gains to be reread several times. A pity that I have to get through it in a week for a course I am taking. Oct 11, Steve rated it liked it.
Part of Jewish Lit. Babel refers to the Cosacks at "noble savages",. My Mother would have related that her Dad would have called them savages and not at all noble. Seems Babel had sympathy for the Cosacks.
Very grapic in spots. A wonderful period piece. Nov 09, Les rated it really liked it. To read the stories is to view the world from a revolutionary perspective, which is certainly an interesting intellectual exercise. I cannot think of anything else I have read that comes at reality in the same way. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of the period. Feb 24, Terry McCarthy added it. This is "classic" stuff but I just couldn't get into it. The writing is a little on the precious side for me.
I didn't finish it, and therefore decline to say yeah or nay in terms of stars. Dec 24, Patti K rated it really liked it Shelves: This classic was written in the early s and focused on the ravages of the Polish-Russian war. One of the first portrayals of the bitter hardship for the Russian people.
It was so ruthless a depiction that in Stalin banished Babel's work. Feb 20, Bubba rated it really liked it Shelves: I heard about "Red Cavalry" some years ago, and got the book in order to read it. However, while I enjoyed that portion, I liked the tales of the gangsters and characters of Odessa's Jewish slum even more.
This translation is based on the complete, original text taken from an unexpurgated Russian edition. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1, titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Isaac Babel was born in Odessa in , the son of a Jewish tradesman. At the age of twenty-one he went to St Petersburg, where he had to avoid the Tsarist police because he lacked the residence certificate required of… More about Isaac Babel. Fiction Classics Literary Fiction.
About Red Cavalry and Other Stories One of the most powerful short-story writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Babel expressed his sense of inner conflict through disturbing tales that explored the contradictions of Russian society. Inspired by Your Browsing History.
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