who are simply ridiculous, the people who are too big for theirnboots, and the vast number of people who, if push came tonshove, would not lift a finger. Finally, do not forget the neighbornwho always borrows your gardening tools.nMy queshon is simply this: Wliat is irrahonal about cheeringnon an omnipotence that, while turning all of one’s countrymenninto slaves, is likely to mete out its superior, inscrutable, andndeadly justice to an incomparably greater number of those onenloathes than of those one contentedly tolerates? The colleaguenwho pipped you to the post? Off with his head. The politiciannwho put the animal shelter in front of your house? Into thenslammer. The neighbor who used to borrow your gardeningntools? Fertilizing a frozen plain. Truly this is a paradise onnearth, where all your innermost prayers have been suddenly answered,nand all at the extremely reasonable price of a couple ofnpeople at work who were kind of nice but got themselves arrestednanyway, plus an old family friend who turned out to be a spynfor some foreign power and obliged by jumping out the windownwhen the police rang the doorbell.nBut our own lives are boring and poorly documented. Fornthe Russian intelligentsia inhabiting Stalin’s paradise, the deli-n14/CHRONICLESnDeer on Rose’s Hillnby Brendan GalvinnTheir white long scuts flicking their pleasurenthese evenings, their heads deepnin the grass, driven from the cover ofnserious woods where coyotesnare denning now, they feed like cattlenon the far side of the marsh.nEarly one morning a fawn so newnit couldn’t manage any two legsnat once trailed a doe down fromnRose’s Hill to drink there. Sixt)’ yearsnamong the wind-driven around here,nand I’ve logged a few snowy owls,none varied thrush, a ruff and its reevenblown down off the taiga,nand seen two wolf-sized curs scoutingnRose’s Hill before skulking backninto die trees, even heardnwhat I thought was folklore: the rabbit’snscream as my dog stood over it, uncertain,nbut have nothing to eom]3are withnthat May evening when hvo yearlingsnlike rang}’ colts faked around each othernover there, bucking, for a quarter of an hournputting one-on-one moves on each other,ndeer in a time of coyotes, at playnin the teeth of their mortality’nbefore they drifted back into those trees.nnncious moment of reckoning, which I am tr)’ing to conjure upnhere, had arrived in the spring of 1932, and thanks to thenarchival scrupulousness of the secret police, there is no shortagenof documentation describing the deeply rational behavior ofnthose concerned.nImagine. It is early April in Moscow. You are a buddingnwriter, like Mikhail Bulgakov. Or a recognized poet of genius,nlike Boris Pasternak. Or an internationally famous theaterndirector, like Vsevolod Meyerhold. For the 15 years followingnthe cataclysm of 1917—when, as the poet said, “our land was allnsmudged by the glare”—you have been at the mercy of yournnatural enemies, Bolsheviks who gloatingly called themselvesnsocial engineers and artistic innovators while boasting that theynhad set die beloved world of your youth on its ear. They havenmocked your native culture, threatening to abolish ever)’thingnfrom marriage to museums, and merely mentioning Tolstoy ornPushkin in their ruling circle is like flying the Confederate BattlenFlag in Greenwich Village. Their publishing houses havenbeen printing pretentious, puerile, politically suitable avantngarde rubbish, penned by every loudmouth you knew at universit)’.nTheir theaters shut their doors in your face. Even if younmanaged to make some of your work public, their critics, writingnin their newspapers, slandered you, and you could not answernback. You are destitute, without hope, without love, andnoften witiiout butter to put on your daily bread.nIn all, you are the collective Hamlet of your epoch, and allnthose courtiers with direct access to the Kremlin are your collectivenoppressor:nFor who would bear the whips and scorns of time.nThe oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contiimely.nThe pangs of despised love, the law’s delay.nThe insolence of office and the spurnsnThat patient merit of the unworthy takes.. .nWho will avenge us? For the generation of Pasternak, a generationnthat bore the world no less beaut)’ than its Elizabethannpredecessor, that was the question.nAnd then He came. You all think Lev Tolstoy was a count,nand hence unsuitable reading for a good Bolshevik? Oh,nworms! Comrade Poskrebyshev, take a memo: “… that thencomplete works of Lev Tolstoy are to be published in Hie AcademynEdition of ninety-eight quarto volumes…” You all thinknthe White Movement should be a taboo subject? Oh, deviationists!nComrade Poskrebyshev, put me through to thenMoscow Arts Theater: “… Hello? This is Stalin. May I speaknto the director? . . . Yes, I want to authorize the jjroduction ofnThe White Guard. Hello? You say he died? A heart attack?nWiat, just now? …” You all think Boris Pasternak is too obscure,nand should write more like Mayakovsky? Oh, innocencenwithout a strategy! Oh, formulaic mediocrity! ComradenPoskrebyshev, put me through to, Lubyanka: “… thatnMayakovsky’s passport for foreign travel be wiHidrawn for an indefinitenperiod …”nVengeance is Mine, saith the Lord. The telephone of thenRussian intelligentsia was ringing off the hook. Feverishly, Bulgakovnstarted a play about Moliere, in which the playwrightnwins an audience witii Louis XIV: “You are persecuted?” asksnthe king. Then, to the courtiers:nAre there devotees of the author de Moliere among you?n