The Gulag Archipelago

The village club manager went with his watchman to buy a bust of Comrade Stalin. They bought it. The bust was big and heavy. They ought to have carried it in a hand barrow, both of them together, but the manager’s status did not allow him to. “All right, you’ll manage it if you take it slowly.” And he went off ahead. The old watchman couldn’t work out how to do it for a long time. If he tried to carry it at his side, he couldn’t get his arm around it. If he tried to carry it in front of him, his back hurt and he was thrown off balance backward. Finally he figured out how to do it. He took off his belt, made a noose for Comrade Stalin, put it around his neck, and in this way carried it over his shoulder through the village. Well, there was nothing here to argue about. It was an open-and-shut case. Article 58-8, terrorism, ten years.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, ‘The Gulag Archipelago’.

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