On Sunday, Alexander Solzhenitsyn died in his home in Moscow. I was very sad to hear of this, though it sounds though he lived a full life. He was 89 when he died.
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times to people and gotten blank looks. Many people didn’t know who he was. Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a Nobel prize winning author. He wrote against Stalin’s regime, but his first book was not published until 1961 after Stalin died.
His book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” was semi-autobiographical, based in part on his time in a gulag in Siberia. He actually wrote the story while in the gulag, memorizing it so that he would still have the story if it were found and confiscated.
Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union in the early ’70’s, and eventually moved to Cavendish, VT to live there for about 18 years. I first found out about Solzhenitsyn when I was in high school. My english teacher, Mr Keizer, mentioned him in passing during a class, and I asked him for more information — What can I say, it was before the Internet was more than a series of BBS’s centered around universities. 😛
Solzhenitsyn’s book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” was a very memorable book. It may not have been the most cheerful of books — after all, it was written about a man living in a Soviet Gulag — but it opened my eyes to some of the unfairness that still exists today. Kinda like “Diary of Anne Frank” told about the unfairness that existed in the 40’s. To me, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” was ageless. I didn’t realize that the book was set in the 50’s.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke out against the decadence and democracy of the west. He felt that what worked for America wouldn’t necessarily work all over the world, and wasn’t necessarily the best form of government.
Whether or not we agreed with his political views, the world lost a very brilliant mind this week. We all need to question everything and come up with our own ideas like he did.
Nov 25: I had to turn off comments to this thread because of spam.