Darkness at Noon
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Originally published in 1941, Arthur Koestler's modern masterpiece, Darkness At Noon, is a powerful and haunting portrait of a Communist revolutionary caught in the vicious fray of the Moscow show trials of the late 1930s.
During Stalin's purges, Nicholas Rubashov, an aging revolutionary, is imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the party he has devoted his life to. Under mounting pressure to confess to crimes he did not commit, Rubashov relives a career that embodies the ironies and betrayals of a revolutionary dictatorship that believes it is an instrument of liberation.
A seminal work of twentieth-century literature, Darkness At Noon is a penetrating exploration of the moral danger inherent in a system that is willing to enforce its beliefs by any means necessary.
on the chair; he again had rheumatic pains in the stump. He was annoyed with himself for having started this conversation. Gletkin paid. When the canteen waiter had gone, he asked: “What is going to be done about Rubashov?” “I have told you my opinion,” said Ivanov. “He should be left in peace.” Gletkin stood up. His boots creaked. He stood by the chair on which Ivanov’s leg rested. “I recognize his past merits,” he said. “But to-day he has become as harmful as my fat peasant was; only more
because of your fat Arlova.” Rubashov knew from before that Ivanov could hold a lot; one did not notice any change in his behavior, beyond a slightly more emphatic way of speaking than usual. You do need consolation, thought Rubashov again, perhaps more than I do. He sat down on the narrow stool opposite Ivanov and listened. All this was not new to him; he had defended the same point of view for years, with the same or similar words. The difference was that at the time he had known those inner
to the habits of his boyhood. Rubashov lay on his back and stared into the dark. The mattress under him was pressed flat; the blanket was too warm and drew an unpleasant dampness from the skin, yet he shivered when he threw it off. He was smoking the seventh or eighth cigarette of a chain; the stumps lay scattered round the bed on the stone floor. The slightest sound had died out; time stood still; it had resolved itself into shapeless darkness. Rubashov shut his eyes and imagined Arlova lying
on reading from the newspaper. The trial of the accused Rubashov and Kieffer was nearing its end. The debate on the charge of the planned assassination of the leader of the Party had released storms of indignation amongst the audience; shouts of “Shoot the mad dogs!” were heard repeatedly. To the Public Prosecutor’s concluding question, concerning the motive of his actions, the accused Rubashov, who seemed to have broken down, answered in a tired, dragging voice: “I can only say that we, the
Union, he became disillusioned with the Party and left it in 1938. Later that year in Spain, he was captured by the Fascist forces under Franco, and sentenced to death. Released through the lastminute intervention of the British government, he went to France where, the following year, he again was arrested for his political views. Released in 1940, he went to England, where he made his home. His novels, reportage, autobiographical works, and political and cultural writings established him as an