Aelita by Alekseï Nikolaevitch Tolstoï

By Alekseï Nikolaevitch Tolstoï

Peu après los angeles Première Guerre mondiale, l'ingénieur Loss se lance dans los angeles development d'une fusée pour rejoindre l. a. planète Mars. Mais personne ne veut l'accompagner dans ce voyage périlleux, à l'exception d'un aventurier, un ancien soldat de l'Armée rouge, Goussev. Arrivés sur Mars, ils y découvrent une civilisation millénaire, fondée par les rescapés de l'Atlantide où le luxe féodal de los angeles caste des gouvernants est le fruit du travail de mornes foules d'ouvriers...

Réflexion sur los angeles révolution, le progrès, les risks de l. a. décadence de l. a. civilisation, Aélita (1923) est considéré comme le foremost chef-d'oeuvre de los angeles science-fiction soviétique. Mais le roman de Tolstoï est avant tout un grand livre d'aventures, dans l'esprit des oeuvres de H.G. Wells, Jack London, Burroughs ou Brioussov. Les légendes de l'Atlantide, les épopées des Hommes du Ciel, les scènes d'amour et de strive against, les envolées mystiques de Loss, l'intelligence prosaïque et les réparties comiques de Goussev - un personnage classique du skaz du XIXe siècle -, les descriptions d'un monde inconnu et mystérieux, tout cela fait d'Aélita un roman exaltant.

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Despite this the checking of correspondence resulted in long delays. Consequently, the PoWs never knew whether their letter had gone out, and if so, in what censored form. This was the main complaint by the Starobelsk colonels who demanded that PoWs be informed if mail had been confiscated and who also wanted the right to send correspondence once a week, not once a month. 1l6 The volume of correspondence was quite heavy, though. About 50000 letters and cards were sent out of Staro­ belsk and 110000 communications were received by it from October 1939 to March 1940.

3 Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2nd edn, 1965. 4 Ghita Ionescu, The Politics of the European Communist States, London: Weiden feld & Nicolson, 1967. 5 H. Gordon Skilling, 'Interest Groups and Communist Politics Revisited', World Politics, 36, 1 (October 1983), pp. 1-27. 6 The best example ofa compendium of Stalinist crimes being conflated with the whole of the communist experience and being used for such political propa­ ganda purposes is Stephane Courtois and Mark Kramer (eds), Tlte Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1999.

331-4. , I, p. 386: cf. KDZ, 1, nos 108,111. 61 Gotz Aly, Fin(ll Solution: Nazi Population and the Murder of tile Eurobean London: Arnold, 1999. 62 ~Madajczyk, Dramat Ka~~'nski, pp. 134-5. G3 Sikorski's Sllccessor, Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, ill The Pattern of Soviet Domination, London: Sampson Low, Marston, 1948, p.

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