Zoya Fyodorova

One must ask if Zoya Fyodorova was not a hero?

She was a film actress and lived in the country known as the Soviet Union, and after the birth of her daughter, she was sent to a prison labor camp, because the daughters father was American military man, and the two nations were enemies.

And so. Each morning she had to rise and stare at the sun and say to her daughter, life is worth living, to tell her all sorts of things that had proven false in her own life, like to work hard, to believe in the future, to understand there is something called beauty and to appreciate it. And she appears to met some modest level of success, because her daughter Victoria Fyodorova was an artist too. I have not read Victoria's book, The Admiral's Daughter, but I try to imagine such a life. In such circumstances, the hero is one who gets out of bed, who remembers that once there were good things in the world, who has some small corner of the heart, that defies stupidity and hatred, that keeps this spark of life...

And on the other hand, are the bureaucrats and officials who put her there, with broad chests full of medals, and long lists of accomplishments and promotions on their official histories, and country houses and good incomes and proper circles of friends, who spent many a day arguing over policy in their offices, who implemented procedures and programs and spearheaded efforts and looked after others and all of the other useless things that one can be fooled into thinking are important. One must ask if these men will not be forgotten as one forgets a book of matches. As though they were robotic men, pressed and fit, and made to work in the factory. Unthinking and unhuman...


The human heart seems to crack and break these factories. They seem to fall away in dust. . .

Fyodorova, as the centuries past, might not be spoken of, but others like her will, because we know they have been before. Her life represents the folk lore against which the waves of progress crash and break, like fragile paranoias of neurotics.