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The Red Laugh  By  cover art

The Red Laugh

By: Leonid Andreyev,Alexandra Linden - translator
Narrated by: Melissa Green
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Publisher's Summary

Many great writers have written about war, but few have explored the personal trauma endured by combatants as did Leonid Andreyev in this tale of the traumatic experiences of a soldier in the Russo - Japanese war in 1905.     

Seen through the eyes of a sensitive intellectual, shell-shocked and mutilated, war is deprived of all sense and justification and is reduced to an insane orgy of madmen annihilating one another without knowing why. The narrator sees red, a "red laugh" - "something enormous, red and bloody...laughing a toothless laugh." When death mercifully delivers the unfortunate soldier from the clutches of the "red agony," the man's brother, who has stayed at home, becomes infected by the horrors brought back by those returning from the trenches. His mind collapses with the death of his brother, and under the numerous tragedies witnessed by him day after day, such as the commonplace tragedy of a mother receiving tender letters from her soldier son, long after an official telegram has been delivered announcing his death in battle. But the greatest horror of war is found in the deranged minds of its participants. 

In the morbid imagination of the writer of these "Fragments," dementia appears the normal state of those in war, as depicted in the description of trains full of mad soldiers passing through a railway station.

Public Domain (P)2021 Voices of Today

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