Shusha Guppy interviewed Lesley Blanch at her home in Garavan, before and after a delicious home-cooked lunch consumed in the shade of a fig tree in the garden. September 1988.
Shusha Guppy : People like you who are passionate about Russia and Russian literature are usually disappointed by the Soviet Union. But in your book you seem to approve of it. In the passage relating to your trip to Siberia you write most poignantly and vividly about the plight of the convicts in the nineteenth century with their chains and fetters dragging through the frozen steppes, yet hardly mention the millions and millions who perished in Stalin’s concentration camps, in worse conditions. How come?
Lesley Blanch : I think the Russian Revolution was an inevitable move in the context of the twentieth century, just as Khomeini’s Islamic revivalism is today. It is something, a phase, to be gone through. I don’t think it will kill Persia, and it hasn’t killed Russia. You might remember what the Tzarina Alexandra said: “Russia can only be ruled by the knout” – the whip. Yes, that very English, rather silly stubborn lady who was killed in Ekaterinburg in 1918, said that. I don’t know what conclusions to draw from that.Continue reading “Shusha Guppy interviews Lesley Blanch (1991) | part 4”