Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Russian author and historian, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has written a number of major novels based on his own experience of Soviet prisons, the most famous being The Gulag Archipelago (1973-1978). Descended from an intellectual Cossack family, he was serving in the East Prussian military when he was arrested for criticizing Joseph Stalin in private correspondence with a friend and sentenced to an eight-year term in a labor camp. He was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953, followed by permanent internal exile. Through his writings, he made the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system, and, for these efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.  He was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 but returned in 1994 and now lives with his wife, Natalia in Moscow. He has continued to criticize western materialism and Russian bureaucracy and secularization.  Solzhenitsyn is the oldest living Nobel laureate in literature.

“Do not pursue what is illusory – property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life – don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”

“Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.”

“When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness.”

“Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you- you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.”

“It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God’s heaven.”

“Of course God is endlessly multi-dimensional so every religion that exists on earth represents some face, some side of God.”

“Our envy of others devours us most of all.”

– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn  (1918- 2008)

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