“Before me I saw a primitive hunter, who had spent his entire life in the taiga and was exempt from all vices which our urban civilisation brings. From his words, I gathered that everything in life he owed to his rifle... He told me that he was fifty-three years of age, that he had never had a house in his life, that he had always slept under the open sky, and only in winter built himself a hut of bark and brushwood. His first glimmerings of childish memories were of a river, a hut, father, mother and little sister.”

So opens the purportedly true story of Dersu the Trapper by Vladimir Arsen’ev, ...


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