The Road By Vasily Grossman Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler with Olga Mukovnikova (New York Review of Books Classics, 372 pp., $15.95) What should we call the literary age of Vasily Grossman, who wrote Life and Fate, the greatest Russian novel of the twentieth century? There was the “Golden Age,” from Turgenev and Goncharov to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. The “Silver Age,” interrupted by the Revolution of 1917, had Blok, Gumilev, the young Mandelstam, Pasternak, Tsvetaeva, Akhmatova, Khodasevich, Mayakovsky, Bely, and the future Nobelist Bunin.
The Noonday Cemetery and Other Stories By Gustaw Herling Translated by Bill Johnston (New Directions, 281 pp., $25.95) IN 1953, WITOLD GOMBROWICZ, the great punk of Polish literature, began publishing a diary in the émigré journal Kultura, hoping that it would make him rich and famous. The diary, written in desperation, was to become perhaps Gombrowicz’s most celebrated work.