Beyond the six novels written by Victor Serge, that make up the two informal trilogies on the ‘cycle of revolution’ [Men in Prison; Birth of Our Power; Conquered City] and the ‘cycle of resistance’ [Midnight in the Century; The Case of Comrade Tulayev; The Long Dusk] there is Unforgiving Years, which is the last novel he wrote in 1946. It is available as a NYRB Classic and Roy Johnson provides a good introductory overview of the novel.  The book is set in various cities and geographical settings moving from Paris, to Leningrad, to Berlin, and ending in Mexico. Once again, readers are presented with distinctive insights on issues of space and territory, which are integrated throughout the novel and set within specific historical-geographical conditions. The spatial forms of the cities are central to the narrative, including decaying Paris, stoic Leningrad, and stricken Berlin, which are contrasted with the geographic scale and alternative promise of fertile Mexico. Assessing in more detail the forms of these city spaces as well as wider territorial and geographical developments in Unforgiving Years, once again reveals Victor Serge as a pre-eminent theorist of the spatial ordering of power and geography in the novel form.

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