For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Typhoid Quarantine”

Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov


When Andreev had been first brought to this town, he thought he might live for another two or three weeks. To regain his former strength he would have needed complete rest for many months in resort conditions, with milk and chocolate. Since it was clear, however, that Andreev would never see any sucn resort, he would have to die. But that was not terrible; many of his comrades had died. Something stronger than death would not permit him to die. Love? Bitterness? No, a person lives by virtue of the same reasons as a tree, a stone, a dog. It was this that Andreev had grasped, had sensed with every fiber of his being precisely here at the city transit prison camp during the typhoid quarantine.

We read it in Kolyma Tales.