‘Weeding’ in The Archivist’s Story

Did anyone else share my horror at the word ‘weeding’ on page 11. This, to me, not only infers the destruction of these wonderful manuscripts but also the culling of their authors. Many bad images spring to mind here – not just Stalin’s Russia but Hitler’s Germany and so on. Of course the french for weed is mauvaise (bad) herbe so maybe some deep psychological connection here, a clever play on words or just a coincidence?

2 thoughts on “‘Weeding’ in The Archivist’s Story

    • I feel that the obvious answer is…No!.. but, they were more than dead manuscripts to Pavel as he likened them to “birds fighting to be free”. They represented the destruction of something living and precious–the spirit of the Russian people and the obliteration of their history.He sees the saving of the manuscripts as a small gesture towards preserving a way of life that is being destroyed forever…sanity and freedom. Maybe he couldn,t live with himself if he didn,t carry out this small act of rebellion even with such massive risk! I feel that he knows, anyway, that his days are numbered as he has already attracted the attention of Radlow…and, as he points out, “When you are in front of them, innocence becomes irrelevant”


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