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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 9 July 14, 1943

We Carry On

We Carry On

This collection of modern Russian short stories, "tales of the war" published in 1942) has conviction and spontaneity, combined with the honesty of true experience. It is vigorous and very real. But is it an expression of the nation's temper and outlook? I hope not, for many of the thoughts expressed are short-sighted, petty, and immature in their intense hatred. Hatred of the system and way of life imposed on a nation can be a life-giving impetus to those fighting against it. This aspect is in "We Carry On" largely taken for granted, and far overshadowed by fierce antagonism towards the German people as individuals. "Not human beings, but vile, malicious monsters, savages..." "You cannot defeat an enemy without having learned to hate him from the bottom of your heart." Surely the real enemy is a social system, not a race; the psychology of personal hatred is necessary only when there is no ideology inspiring those who fight. This is certainly not the case with Russians, so that emphasis on vicious anti-Germanium seems false and unjust. Russian soldiers must have a profound belief in the philosophy they defend, and hatred of Fascism—It is a disappointment to find the smaller and ignobler aspect emphasised.

The book, suffers from [unclear: rkiness] and unevenness of style, evidently the result of translation; but achieves a kind of [unclear: gauche] clarity. It makes an interesting record, but scarcely a lasting contribution to literature.