Dmitry Furmanov: Чапаев (Chapaev)


This is a lively account of the exploits of the Russian commander, Vasily Chapaev, a historical person who fought and was killed in the Russian Civil War, fighting against the Whites under Alexander Kolchak. The story is told by Furmanov, who appears in the book as Fyodor Klichkov, Chapaev’s political commissar during the campaign. Klichkov/Furmanov tells an exciting story, though naturally a very partisan one, as the brave Red soldiers drive the White army back. Chapaev is a hero, disobeying orders, always ready for a fight, politically incorrect, brave, adored by his men and careless about his own safety. He and Klichkov admire each other and are friends but clash on more than one occasion. Furmanov writes very well so this is a very readable account of a campaign in the Russian Civil War, not generally known about outside Russia.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The Untranslated

    Have you read Victor Pelevin’s Чапаев и пустота (The Clay Machine Gun/Buddha’s Little Finger? It is a kind of psychodelic subversion of Furmanov’s novel.

    1. tmn

      No, I have yet to read Pelevin but he is coming up on my list.

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