Fate, Life, and Freedom in Vasily Grossman

A tribute to the great Russian author and his long-forgotten masterpiece Life and Fate

A presentation by Dr. Carol GARRARD, Independent Writer and Editor, Dr. John GARRARD, Professor of Russian Literature, University of Arizona, and Dr. Giovanni MADDALENA, Professor of Philosophy, University of Molise, Italy

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center

It is a great pleasure for us to host an event devoted to the life and work of Vasily Grossman. As the bloody history of the 20th century moves further and further away into the past, it is becoming easier for us to forget the scale of the drama which took place in Europe between 1914 and 1989, and to regard totalitarianism, both in its Nazi and Soviet incarnations, just as a failed and violent political system. The work of Vasily Grossman is probably the most vivid testimony we have that much more was at stake. What Nazism and Communism denied was the transcendent dignity of each individual human being, the fact that each person is an inexhaustible need for meaning and love. By contrast, Grossman's novels, and especially Life and Fate, are an epic tapestry of humanity on a quest for the Infinite, and thus free even in the face of demonic powers.

The ultimate indestructibility of humanity and freedom marks the true defeat of totalitarian, atheistic ideology. Although Grossman was more a seeker than a believer, or perhaps precisely because of that, he was able to show that the desire for the Infinite cannot be eradicated from the human heart and remains the force that moves history forward towards its mysterious destiny. .

About this Event

Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 7pm
Location: Columbia University, Faculty House
Garden Room 2, First Floor
64 Morningside Drive, NYC
Directions to Faculty House

About the Speakers

Dr. Carol Garrard
Independent Writer and Editor
Dr. John Garrard
Professor of Russian Literature, University of Arizona
Dr. Giovanni Maddalena
Professor of Philosophy, University of Molise, Italy


Download the Invitation here


Article featuring Prof. Maddalena


Read the transcript

Photos - click on image below

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