The Seven Days of Creation

by Lev Samsonov

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Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 156

Publication of The Seven Days of Creation forced Maximov to leave the Soviet Union. Ironically, his first novel, Zhiv chelovek (1962; A Man Survives, 1963), won for him praise inside and outside his country. In that novel, as in most of his works, Maximov portrays the alienated person’s redemption through compassion. Karantin (1973; Quarantine, 1981) further develops the journey motif. Quarantined because of a cholera epidemic in Odessa, train passengers relate their individual stories. Kovcheg dlya nezvannykh (1979; Ark for the Uncalled, 1985) relates the experiences of a young soldier and a government official as they journey to the Kuril Islands, ultimately confronting disillusionment and the possibility of rebirth.

The Seven Days of Creation is considered a powerful description of Soviet life. This example of dissident literature inspires comparisons to the works of Fyodor Dostoevski and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Seven Days of Creation substantiates innate human goodness and relates the struggle against the sense of alienation fostered by an authoritarian state.

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