Questions tagged [hard-to-be-a-god]

For questions about the 1964 Soviet science fiction novel, set in the Noon universe, as well as its adaptations. Use with the [strugatsky-brothers] tag and the [russian-literature] tag.

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5
votes
1answer
194 views

Who came to Rumata's house at the end, and why?

At the very end of Hard to Be a God, a group of men arrive at Rumata's house and sending Don Rumata into a blind and murderous rage. But who were they, who sent them, and why did they come in the ...
9
votes
1answer
201 views

In "Hard to Be a God", are "Sergei Kozhin", "George Lenny", "Sabine Kruger" real historical references?

The main character's internal monolog at one point reads: You just want to kill. Yes, I do. And are you capable of it? ... the only thing I regret is killing her in vain. So they've almost ...
8
votes
0answers
79 views

How culturally mixed were the Earth ambassadors in Hard to Be a God?

Anton, aka "Don Rumata of Estor", is Russian. Pashka, aka "Don Hug, first groom of the chamber of his lordship the Duke of Irukan", is Russian. Alexander Vassilevitch, aka "Don Kondor, Supreme Judge ...
8
votes
3answers
375 views

Should this word in Hard to Be a God be translated as "arbalest" or "crossbow"?

In this answer edit, someone changed my translation of a word "арбалет" as used in Strugatsky's Russian text of Hard to be a God from the one I used ("arbalest") to "crossbow". In the context of ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

What word was used for "anisotropic" in the original Russian text of "Hard to Be a God"?

In the beginning of Hard to Be a God, there is the matter of the skeleton chained to a machine gun. "An anisotropic road," Anton explained. Anka stood with her back to him. "Traffic can move only ...
10
votes
1answer
189 views

Are any of the countries in Hard to Be a God based specifically on particular real-life countries?

Arkanar, Irukan, Soan, ... there are several countries mentioned and given at least some description and fleshing out in the book. Are any of these intended to be direct parallels of specific real-...
8
votes
3answers
181 views

What does Father Gur mean by "And then you'll be given back!"?

During the dinner at the king's palace, Rumata has a conversation with Father Gur, the poet. Rumata offers him a copy of the poets work, in exchange for a promise to write something new: “Very well ...
8
votes
1answer
211 views

Does the text support the theory that Arata the Hunchback killed this character?

The obvious implication from the text of Hard to Be a God is that at the very least, Anton blames Don Reba and that triggers his meltdown. (this gets more obvious in the play based on the book). ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Given Anton's attitudes expressed to Budakh, why did Earth start Progressors?

In conversation with Doctor Budakh - and later Arata, Rumata (Anton) basically states the Earth's - and his personal - party line about non-interference with foreign cultures: — Что ж, — сказал он, ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

How does Earth manage to get so many highly placed agents?

It seems that Earth has very little trouble placing its people into extremely high positions all over in a variety of countries and societies, despite not having mind control technology - or for that ...
8
votes
1answer
241 views

What parallels can be drawn between Don Reba and Beria?

From the afterword of Hard to be a God: On the advice of I. A. Efremov, we renamed the Minister of the Defense of the Crown Don Reba (he had previously been Don Rebia—an overly simple anagram, in the ...
6
votes
1answer
360 views

Why doesn't Anka like to be called Anetchka?

From the prologue of Hard to Be a God: "You know, Anetchka--" said Pashka. "Don't you call me Anetchka," Anka cut in abruptly. She could not stand to be called by any other name than Anka. Now I ...
10
votes
1answer
152 views

What details does the "Without Weapons" / "A Man from a Distant Star" stage play add to the lore of "Hard to be a God"?

It appears that Strugatsky brothers have written a stage adaptation of Hard to be a God, named Without Weapons or A Man from a Distant Star. Wikipedia claims that the play "reveals previously unknown ...
12
votes
1answer
189 views

How do they decide who to save/bring to Earth in Hard to Be a God?

In Hard to Be a God, the main character (Anton/Rumanta) falls in love with Kira and decides to take her with him back to Earth. Since their task is to be as undercover as possible, it’s obvious that ...
16
votes
3answers
564 views

What is the significance of the anisotropic highway and the skeleton of a fascist chained to a machine gun?

In the beginning of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's novel Hard to Be a God, the protagonist, Anton, goes down a country road, disobeying a "wrong way" sign, and finds a skeleton of a fascist chained to ...