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He to whom I am referring has been dead many years. His shadow lingers on, greater than the man himself. A miner from the Borinage, recently released from prison, Iimile Chapelier* had just founded a communist— or rather communitarian— colony in the forest ofSoignes, at Stockel. A t Aiglemont, in the Ardennes, Fortune Henry, brother o f the guillo tined terrorist £m ile Henry,* was running a similar Arcady. “To live 3. Ref e re nc e to t w o novels b y A n a t o l e F r anc e, M . B erg eret a P a r is a nd S u r la pie r re blanch e.
X xx ix long after that, doubtless feeling himself ill, Serge hailed a taxi, sank back into the seat, and died without telling the driver where to take him. His family found him stretched out on an old operating table in a dirty room inside a police station. Gorkin recounts what he looked like: his upturned soles had holes in them, his suit was threadbare, his shirt coarse. Really he might have been some vagabond or other picked up from the streets. Victor Serge’s face was stiffened in an ex pression o f ironic protest and, by means of a bandage o f cloth; the State had at last closed his mouth.
9. ” T R A N S L A T O R ’S I N T R O D U C T I O N . x xx v ii o f the first people (before anybody else, he thought) to use the word “totalitarian” of the Soviet State, but unlike some Western thinkers he did not mean it to imply a finished, impervious, and stable structure, governed omnipotently at the top by considerations o f pure power. ” 10 There is no reason to suppose that he would have regarded the Russian regime o f 1963 as the “Socialist-inclined or Socialist democracy” of his hopes.