Honest criminals – A novel depicts the culture of violence of a Siberian clan
SEE.WITH – Books
A novel depicts the culture of violence of a Siberian clan
14 April 2010
The complaint of oppression was a strong theme in the literature produced in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The dissident Alexander Soljenitsin (1918-2008) revealed the dark universe of forced labour camps in works such as the Gulag archipelago. With the fall of communism, other aspects of social life in the former Soviet republics are beginning to be exorcizados. Organised crime is an example: the emergence of Russian mafia shows that, contrary to certain illusions, Seventy years of Communist regime not wiped out the tendency to transgression – unlike, can have it sharp. Successfully launched in Italy, where the author lives, Siberian Education (translation of Eliana Aguiar; Alfaguara; 336 pages; 54,90 real), novel Nicolai Lilin, Chechen war veteran Stuntman and writer and tattoo artist, offers a realistic portrait of a brutal criminal clan – the urcas, people of Siberian origin deported in times of Stalinism to the city of Bender, today in Moldova.
Siberian education mixing comments on the criminal culture of Bender with scenes of extreme violence – clubbed, punhaladas, shots –, that repeat to exhaustion, justifying the urca proverb which serves as the epigraph to the novel: “There are those who enjoy life, There are those who suffer; for us, life is fighting”. Although presented as fiction, the power of the book is in his character of testimony. Born in Bender, in 1980, Lilin was created according to the strange codes urcas. This clan – who doesn't like to be confused with the Russian mafia – imposes a series of rules of conduct for the “honest criminal”. Can kill and steal, but rape is prohibited. Prisoners and their families must be supported. Religion is respected, but the Government and its agents harassed. Acclaimed by Italian journalist Roberto Saviano – author of Gomorrah, the impressive Neapolitan mafia radiography –, Lilin's book examines how, in a globalised world, the culture of violence can emerge narrow group links. The criminal identity links to an ethnicity and their informal laws. You need to, However, not take much Lilin to the letter when he talks about the ethics of his clan – such “Siberian education” of title. Bandit, After all, is Bandit.
photo credit: Alberto Estevez/Corbis/Latinstock
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