From Poverty to Prominence: The Life, Literature, and Legacy of Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Morley, Christopher B.
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn is undoubtedly one of the most influential and well-respected figures of all time. His life story is sad yet joyful, troubled but also filled with hope. The circumstances which influenced Solzhenitsyn throughout his life had a deep, lasting impact on him. Although he was actively involved in World War II and was a prisoner of the gulag it is his writing which made him a household name in both Russia and America. Indeed, he was a writer who wrote not for his own self-glorification, but rather for the people "his people" the Russian people. Solzhenitsyn wrote because he felt that it was important that the Russian people know and understand the history of their country, specifically the gulag. The passion and enthusiasm which Solzhenitsyn embodied clearly manifests itself in the author's very personal, deeply intuitive, and distinctly Russian style of writing. This paper will focus specifically on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, his life, his works, and why he is still important today. The primary sources utilized, the New York Times and the Current Digest of the Soviet Press, will serve to give a balanced account of Solzhenitsyn's treatment both at home and abroad. An important distinction must be made at the start. The Current Digest of the Soviet Press was not published in the Soviet Union, but rather in the United States. The articles in the Digest were selected by the Soviet government and published in various newspapers all across the Soviet Union in Russian. The Current Digest of the Soviet Press contains the English translations of the original articles published in the Soviet Union. Thus, the Current Digest of the Soviet Press is indeed a viable and very useful primary source. How exactly was he portrayed in the New York Times? How was he portrayed in the Current Digest of the Soviet Press? Was the New York Times generally sympathetic to Solzhenitsyn? Were some writers of the Soviet press sympathetic to him? These questions will be answered throughout this paper in the hopes of bringing a better, more accurate understanding of Alexander Solzhenitsyn to historians. This paper also addresses the above mentioned issues and presents the information in a new and interesting perspective which will allow both Westerners and Russians a chance to better understand and appreciate each other's respective cultures. The information provided by the New York Times and the Current Digest of the Soviet Press offer accurate, yet culturally distinct perspectives on the treatment of Alexander Solzhenitsyn from 1973-1974.
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr Isaevich, 1918-2008
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr Isaevich, 1918-2008--Criticism and interpretation
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr Isaevich, 1918-2008--Political and social views
Authors, Russian--20th century--Biography