Soviet People to Ogonyok

[From a letter to the editor of a Soviet magazine, quoted in Small Fires: Letters From the Soviet People to Ogonyok Magazine 1987–1990, selected and edited by Marina Albee and Christopher Cerf.]

"At the age of 30 I have read the Gospel for the first time.

"This miniature book reached me quite by accident, and I approached it purely out of literary curiosity. But the text gripped me: I was impressed by the severe power of the words, ... the subtle poetic quality of the images. ... What a treasure they have been hiding from me! Who decided, and on what basis, that this was bad for me ...?...

"A state that is separated from the church should also be separated from atheism. Isn't spiritual totalitarianism more terrible than the political kind?"

Sergei Zubatov

Copyright © 1990, Christopher B. Cerf, Marina Albee, and the editors of Ogonyok Magazine. Reprinted from The New York Times Magazine with permission of Summit Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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April 8, 1991

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