precise as water when water wishes tonperform both in and out of light. Let itnlie hidden in my eye, I thought, herntiny spirit, buoyant in the excessive saltnof that dead sea . . .”nIt is Suleri’s contention that “therenare no women in the Third World,”nand my assumption that this is onenreason why she has written this book; Inalso assume that this is the reason whynshe is here in the States, teachingnEnglish at Yale, a world apart fromnPakistan. But while “ugly, gray” NewnHaven, so far from where she grew up,nis no refuge for Sara Suleri, part of herndilemma is that while she is free to gonback, she has chosen to live in exile.nWhat she has gained from so muchnloss — some of it unstoppable, to bensure, but the rest jettisoned — I am notnsure I yet understand. This book, Insuppose. But I can see why the ancientsnequated exile with death, and Inthink Jonah was never so much atnpeace as when he was powerless,nchoiceless, in the belly of the whale.nKatherine Dalton is managing editornof Chronicles.nOne Hell FornAnothernby Thomas McGoniglenSeven Thousand Days in Siberianby Karlo StajnernNew York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux;n$30.00nKario Stajner spent seven thousandndays in Siberia and learned nothing.nOf course the reader is moved bynthe awfulness of spending all that timenin the Gulag, but still he is left only withnthe experience of a man who survived.nYet, for better or for worse, for many ofnthe named victims, Stajner’s book is thenonly memorial.nWhen Stajner singles out a GeneralnBrodis, the crime becomes vivid: “Afternbreakfast, I saw General Brodis puttingnhis possessions into a bundle. He tooknoff his slippers (which I had alwaysnenvied, since it was hard to walk aroundnthe cell wearing shoes all the time),nplaced them on top of the bundle, andnthen handed me everything, saying:n’You have been a friend to me. Pleasenkeep this as a souvenir; I won’t need itnanymore.'”nSuch honesty makes Stajner’s bookndifficult to ignore on a purely humannlevel. And the constant emphasis onnsleeping, eating, and excreting undernthe most horrendous circumstances ofnmonths upon months of 30 and 40nbelow zero reinforces our understandingnof what actually did happen. (Unfortunately,nthe closer you get to thenactual truth of the Gulag, the morendifficult it is to live with the happy-goluckynSoviet-American relations.)nKario Stajner is an Austrian whonworked many years for the YugoslavnCommunist Party. A dedicated activist,nhe arrived in Moscow on Septembern14, 1932, to work for the Comintern.nIn due course he was arrested andnframed for being a Gestapo agent. Sentencednto ten years in Siberia, he wasn• “tried” again at the end of his first hitchnand given an additional ten years forn”aiiti-Soviet behavior.”nStajner served out both sentencesnand would probably have died in Siberianhad not Tito asked Khmshchev for annaccounting of 113 Yugoslav CommunistnParty members sent to Siberia bynStalin. Two days after Tito’s query,nKhrushchev replied, “Exactly one hundrednare no longer of this world.”nStajner’s book was published in Yugoslavianin Serbian, because it served tonlay out the differences between Titonand Stalin, between Yugoslavia and thenSoviet Union. In a way, it also served tonhide the existence of concentrationncamps in Yugoslavia, where opponentsnof Tito, branded as agents of Stalin,nwere imprisoned. One such camp at thenNaked Island (Goli Otok) was detailednin Venko Markovski’s memoir, GolinOtok, The Island of Death, publishednin Bulgaria, where it served to emphasizenthe differences between the Bulgariansnand the Yugoslavs and to obscurenthe camps in Bulgaria, and sonon . . .)nThe reader has no recourse but tongo to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelagonfor the actual truth of the camps.nThey were not created by accident,ndespite anything that Stajner (who remainsna Communist to this day) mightnthink. The camps were set up by Leninnhimself as early as December 1917 —ntwo months after the October coup.nPerhaps Stajner needed the fiction ofnblaming Stalin for the camps as a waynnnto keep his faith in Communism. Sadly,nthe reader is left just with horror.nPolitics, as Stajner’s book makes itnvery clear, do matter and do havenconsequences, and it is good to readnaccounts like Stajner’s, flawed thoughnthey may be, to remind us that whennonly politics remain and when everythingnbecomes political, camps becomennecessary.nThere are, however, other books,nlike What a Beautiful Sunday by JorgenSemprun, a former member of thenCentral Committee of the SpanishnCommunist Party (author of thenscreenplays for films like Z and LanGuerre est finie). As a young man,nSemprun survived Buchenwald, survivednwriting a falsified record of hisnexperiences in the camp, survived beingnexpelled from the party, survivednwith the illusion that there were distinctionsnbetween the Nazi and thenCommunist camps — survived untilnan April 11, 1975, appearance ofnSolzhenitsyn on French television convincednhim that he was one of the goodnleft-wingers who condemn the campsnwhile approving of everything that setnthem up in the first place.nWhat A Beautiful Sunday, a memoirnof Semprun’s encounter withnSolzhenitsyn, unlike Stajner’s SevennThousand Days in Siberia, is the rightnbook for gaining an understanding ofnhow this century has come to bendorriinated by the image of the Camp,nand why we are all likely to see manynmore of them, all set up in the bestninterests of the people.nThomas McGonigle is a novelistnliving in New York City.nCatching the Wrynby David KaufmannIn Search of J.D. Salingernby Ian HamiltonnNew York: Random House.nAccording to Leon Edel, the art ofnbiography is a “noble” endeavor.nBut in our celebrity-crazed era, whennprurient interests have supplanted respectnfor artistic accomplishment, thenmost popular biographies are those emphasizingnlurid details. Joan Peyser’snMAY 1989/35n