The Arts: Freedom Waiting for Vision

From theater to painting, from movies to books, from television to magazines, the cultural thaw has turned into a spring flood. But where is the new Soviet Renaissance?

A Cyclone fence and metal bars encircle the stage. Like a caged animal, a slender young woman in black paces back and forth. Suddenly, she rattles the prison door, her pale features exposed by the spotlight. "Three hundred forty-nine days! Three hundred forty-nine days!" she screams. "Bite on your hat, anything to keep from sobbing!" Few in the audience at Moscow's Sovremennik Theater stifle the emotion inspired by such searing scenes from Eugenia Ginzburg's memoirs of the Gulag, Journey into the Whirlwind. An innocent victim of the Stalinist purges, the heroine endures humiliating interrogations, strip searches and endless nights during which...

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