Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : convicts

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The ResurrectionCHAPTER XIX. Nekhludoff was in this state of mind when he left the court-room and entered the jury-room. He sat near the window, listening to the conversations of his fellow jurymen, and smoked incessantly. The cheerful merchant evidently sympathized with Merchant Smelkoff's manner of passing his time. "Well, well! He went on his spree just like a Siberian! [Pg 68]Seems to have known a good thing when he saw it. What a beauty!" The foreman expressed the opinion that the whole case depended on the expert evidence. Peter Gerasimovich was jesting with the Jewish clerk, and both of them burst out laughing. Nekhludoff answered all questions in monosyllables, and only wished to be left in peace. When the usher with the sidling gait called the jury into court Nekhludoff was seized with fear, as if judgment was to be passed on him, and not he to pass judgment on others. In the depth of his soul he a...


(The 19th of December, 1913, was "confession evening" at the "Twilight Club", New York, among whose members are the "best" people, supreme court judges, and other pillars of society. "Confessions" were made by a drunkard, a dope fiend, an actress, a labor agitator, a convict, etc., some of whom spoke in complete darkness, to hide their identity.) This is an evening of confession, and I therefore at once confess myself a lawbreaker, a criminal -- if you will -- and a convict. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, I beg your kind indulgence, for the convict's manner is uncouth, his speech ragged, his thoughts indecently naked. For only the convict, the outcast from the fold of commonplace respectability and dull conformity, can afford the luxur... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring against the Czar's Li... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


I find, in the Contemporary Review for February last, a paper by Mr. Lansdell on 'A Russian Prison,' containing a description of the State prison at the St. Petersburg fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul. This description being, in my opinion, too incomplete to convey a correct idea about the real conditions of prison life in the Russian fortress, and being intended, moreover, to cast a doubt upon other trustworthy information about such parts of the fortress as were not visited by Mr. Lansdell, I desire to give some supplementary information about the fortress which I know from my own experience. At the same time I would avail myself of this opportunity for answering, documents in hand, several questions addressed to me by Mr. Lansdell in t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

This text was taken from In Russian and French Prisons, London: Ward and Downey; 1887. In Russian and French Prisons by P. Kropotkin INTRODUCTORY In our busy life, preoccupied as we are with the numberless petty affairs of everyday existence, we are all too much inclined to pass by, many great evils which affect Society without giving them the attention they really deserve. If sensational "revelations" about some dark side of our life occasionally find their way into the daily Press; if they succeed in shaking our indifference and awaken public attention, we may have in the papers, for a month or two, excellent articles and letters on the subject. Many well-meant things may then be said, the most humane feelings expressed. But the agitation soon subsides; and, after having asked for some new regulations or laws, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of...


IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil: "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!' "The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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