Socialist History seminar
15 October 2012
George Paizis (UCL)
Retranslating Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary Serge (1890-1947) born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich, was a Russian revolutionary and writer.  He wrote essays, books, novels and many other things, much of which, according to George Paizis are highly enjoyable.  They are also interesting and important for historians studying the revolution.

His work would be near forgotten in the western world at least, if it were not for Peter Sedgwick, who translated and published his work in the 1980s.  This paper, by George Paizis looks into his changing ideology, difficulties in a life of exile, and his writings both fictional and non-fictional.  The writings of Serge reflect his interest and observation of anarchy, and his allegiance to the Bolsheviks.  It also discusses the revolution and the need to take political power on various levels.  Later in life Serge changed to writing novels.  He saw this form as much better to discuss and explain the human side of the story.  Serge was interested to bring out his views on society in this way and to note the collective element to society under the revolution as well as the contradictions within it.  Paizis discusses Serges’ life and writings, and notes their importance to understanding the revolution and socialist history in general.

To listen to this podcast click here.