The story starts in Czarist Russia and goes on to the Bolshevik era, as I already mentioned. And Tolstoy is mentioned almost as a contemporary. The hero is a very strong man and while all the prisoners fall down dead-tired after a hard march into Siberia, he is full of his faculties.
The reason I want to locate this translarion is there is a subsequent part as well. I don't know Russian and the French translation was very nice.
Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:
Sorry for not being able to give much clues about the question now being posed here. Sometime back I read the French version of a Russian novel. I forgot the author's name as well as the title of the French translation.
Can you at least determine what is the time period when the book was written? is it modern? COuld it be Solzhenitsyn? Nabokov? Nabokov was known for saying some unflattering things about both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky - he referred to them as "Tolstoevsky" at times. Could it be Vassily Aksyonov? Maybe Sinyavsky and Daniel?
It may also be Andrey Platonov. If you tell me who the author is, I may direct you to a French translation, as my son is a French major, he graduated from Yale, he can help with that, I think.
Andrey Platonov was known to be discounting the influence of the classics on his work, and I believe that he specifically spoke of Tolstoy in that regard. He is also the one who tackled the life in a prison camp. One of his works is titled 'Kotlovan," which may be translated in many different ways, but, mainly, it's a big hole in the ground:) A ditch. A man-made ravine... I also know that some of his works have been translated into French. But it's hard to tell, if we don't really know who the writer is that you are looking for...
[Edited at 2003-08-17 05:06]
[Edited at 2003-08-17 05:42]