Hopefully, this will be the first in a series of posts on this book. Most of those convicted were given the death sentence and shot.
A suited man is sitting at a table. The vertical lines of the curtains behind him seem to be the bars of a cell — he is perhaps a prisoner facing interrogation. Most shockingly, his face is scratched out, erased; what he is, has stood for, has been obliterated.
In a note at the beginning of what is one of the most celebrated political novels of the 20th century, Koestler wrote that the Bolshevik, Rubashov, "is a synthesis of the lives of a number of men who were victims of the so-called Moscow Trials".
What was going to be wonderful has turned bad. As Orwell wrote, Koestler "is writing about darkness, but it is darkness at what ought to be noon. In the opening, when Rubashov is arrested in the middle of the night by the secret police, we are told he is enduring a nightmare of a "dark cell"; that it "was cold, dark and very quiet in the staircase"; that as the car drives him away it "was still dark" and the moon hangs above them "pale and cold".
Even more strikingly, in the final two pages, as the broken Rubashov walks down into a cellar to his death, the "stairs were narrow and badly lit", "He was now nearly blind".
Asking "where was the Promised Land", he reflects that "he, Nicolas Salmanovich Rubashov, had not been taken to the top of a mountain; and wherever his eye looked, he saw nothing but desert and the darkness of night.
Ina Hungarian journalist in Germany, he applied for membership of the Communist Party and, impressed by the achievements of the Soviet Union during a spell there in the early s, began to write Comintern propaganda. Having been exposed, he was imprisoned: He was released following an international campaign.
This book is dedicated to their memory. The text was lost. Darkness at Noon owes its publication to the decision of his lover in Paris, the sculptor Daphne Hardy, to translate it into English before she herself escaped.
Koestler, having deserted from the French Foreign Legion, fled to Portugal, where he heard a bogus report that the ship on which Hardy — and his manuscript — were travelling to Britain had been sunk.
He attempted suicide with pills purloined from Walter Benjamin. In the s, he helped found the Congress for Cultural Freedom In the s, he was still giving lectures that impressed, among others, the young Salman Rushdie.
Darkness at Noon still lives as a study of fear and victimhood, of state brutality, of unjust imprisonment, of interrogation and forced confession. He saw enter two uniformed officials If they beat me now, I will sign anything they like.Darkness at Noon (German: Sonnenfinsternis) is a novel by Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in His best known work, it is the tale of Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik who is arrested, imprisoned, and tried for treason against the government that he had helped to create.
Dec 27, · Yet, although he wrote more than 30 books, Koestler is today known primarily, perhaps exclusively, as the author of “Darkness at Noon,” his gripping short novel of Stalinist coercion.
Arthur Koestler – Darkness at Noon Darkness at Noon is a novel that really sucks the reader into what it would be like to be a political prisoner in Russia during Joseph Stalin’s time in power. The main character Rubashov is an older revolutionary, a member of the old army as he calls himself, which is imprisoned and accused of crimes that he did .
In , Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon appeared in English. While Koestler, a Hungarian-born author and journalist who later immigrated to Britain, wrote in German early on, he later began writing and publishing in English.
Darkness in literature: Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler Koestler's black indictment of Stalin's police state helped to alter the 20th century's intellectual climate. Sadly it's all too. Sep 09, · Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon #1–Spoiler Free Review and Initial Thoughts I just finished reading this brilliant and under-appreciated masterpiece and have plenty of thoughts and a .