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Witold Gombrowicz, Lillian Vallee

The Coming Spring

The Coming Spring - Stefan Żeromski,  Bill Johnston This book is by Stefan Zeromski--Bill Johnston is the translator. It's a strange book, with a plot that's all over the place, starting in Baku before and during the Russian revolution, and ending in Warsaw during the interwar period, with a long middle section that takes place on a large Polish estate in the country. The central character is an impetuous young man who sympathizes with Bolshevism but keeps getting his Bolshevik sympathies tested by the realities of Bolshevism, whether in the new Soviet Union or in secretive meetings in Warsaw. Nevertheless, he's also turned off by the conservatism of the Polish upper classes and their inability or unwillingness to solve the problems of poverty and of minorities. His ill-fated affair with an upper-class widow who marries another man solely because that man is wealthy turns the tide at the end. It's quite involving, but somehow rather unsatisfying perhaps because the hero is sort of a knucklehead. I would recommend it, though, to people who are interested in the history of the between-the-wars period in Eastern Europe.