An extraordinary work of art
September 19, 2008 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Eufrosinia Antonovna Kersnovskaya was a Russian woman who spent 12 years in Gulag camps and wrote her memoirs in 12 notebooks, 2,200,000 characters, accompanied with 680 pictures. How Much Is a Person Worth? has all 12 notebooks online, in Russian, some images NSFW and disturbing. (Just click on no 1 to 12 to see thumbnails of notebooks.)
posted by pyramid termite (8 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
This dovetails perfectly with this book I'm reading, "Gulag: A History." If you're interested in the history of the Gulag system, I'd recommend it, and this find helps to illuminate some of the writings and stories. Thanks!
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:57 PM on September 19, 2008

Beautiful drawings, rather like Edward Ardizzone, and lovely handwriting to boot. Wish I had a little more Russian.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:58 PM on September 19, 2008

These are very interesting, thanks. The backstory, the use of text, and even the drawing style are remarkably reminiscent of Charlotte Salomon's Life? or Theatre?.
posted by oulipian at 10:07 PM on September 19, 2008

thank you.
posted by dawson at 11:00 PM on September 19, 2008

Excellent post. I'd seen only a part of her work previously at the Wikipedia entry. Related.

It's great to see an expanded collection online. It feels good to honor her. I love the self portrait) she did before the hell started.

A photograph album of her on that site. An album version of the illustrations without the text. About the author/artist. About the Project.

Beautiful illustrations. It must have been particularly hard for her, coming from a comfortable home to then having to survive in a Siberian purgatory. Something of her joy, vitality and warm-heartedness come through her artwork vividly, in spite of what I can only imagine was the extraordinary hell Eufrosinia Antonovna Kersnovskaya endured for 12 years. She was a person with serious and unusual inner strength, soft-hearted and brave at the same time.
posted by nickyskye at 11:25 PM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

Good one PT, thanks.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:08 AM on September 20, 2008

I really wish could read Cyrillic. Really, really, really.

This is so poignant and valuable. I hope the physical version is somewhere safe.
posted by batmonkey at 12:16 AM on September 20, 2008

I hope the physical version is somewhere safe.

My thoughts exactly... though increasingly i ask myself why that is important with such wonderful display mechanisms like this website.

Good show all around. It appears that people are worth quite a bit when they spend more time giving than taking.
posted by phylum sinter at 1:37 AM on September 21, 2008

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