Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mr. Solzhenitsyn. Thank you. Rest in Peace.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn died on Sunday at the age of 89. I read his books, the fiction, Cancer Ward, Ivan Denosovitch, Lenin in Zurich but never finished the more popular histories like the Gulag. I enjoyed the way he thought about things, which was Russian in the classic sense and Christian in the Orthodox sense. He deserves respect for his art, for a lifetime of firmly held and acted upon convictions, and for the fact that he suffered for both, physically in the Soviet labor camps, the Gulags, and socially by his exile from his motherland, Russia, then in the USSR.

Even given that mistreatment he was able to write what is my favorite essay of his, an excerpt from a Nobel laureate lecture on literature: Beauty Will Save the World. Linked here:


After Post Edits. 08/10/08.
I have read many obituaries of Mr. Solzhenitsyn since writing this. I enjoyed the Wall Street Journal's the most. You may find it here:
The New York Times did many good articles on his life and the online obituary was a biography of about 9 pages.

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