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Russian Literature -- Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn -- Nobel Prize Winner


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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Soviet writer and dissident whose works, including One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The First Circle and The Gulag Archipelago, exposed the brutality of the Soviet labor camp system. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970. Solzhenitsyn is described by many a mind as a literary genius whose extraordinary talent matches that of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Aleksandr Pushkin and Gorky.

Nobel Prize Winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, MindPleasures.com
R.I.P.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

Dec. 11, 1918 - Aug. 3, 2008

I am of course confident that I will fulfill my tasks as a writer in all circumstances— from my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer’s pen during his lifetime? At no time has this ennobled our history.
born Dec. 11, 1918, Kislovodsk, Russia

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is not a crusader. He is not a politician. He is not a general. He is an Artist. Solzhenitsyn's art illuminates the truth. It is, in a sense, subversive: subversive of hypocrisy, subversive of delusion, subversive of the Big Lie. --George Meany

Russian writer, known for his works denouncing censorship and describing his prison experiences while in exile in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was born in Kislovodsk. He served in the Soviet Army from 1941 to 1945, when he was sentenced to eight years in prison for anti-Stalinist remarks written to a friend. Exiled to central Russia, his prison experiences were the background for his first novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). In 1969 Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Writers Union for denouncing the official censorship that had suppressed some of his writings. He received the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was deported to West Germany (now part of the united Federal Republic of Germany) and deprived of his Soviet citizenship in February 1974. Subsequently he settled in the United States. The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 (1973-1975), The Gulag Archipelago 2, (1975), and The Gulag Archipelago 3 (1975) are massively documented exposés of the Soviet prison system, terrorism, and secret police. Soviet officials dropped charges of treason against him in 1991, and Solzhenitsyn returned to live in Russia in May 1994.


AP Exclusive: Solzhenitsyn work coming out NEW YORK - An uncut edition of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The First Circle," a highly praised and controversial novel published 40 years ago and heavily edited because of its story of a Soviet prison camp, is finally coming out in English.

"`The First Circle' is one of the most important novels of the 20th century and we are thrilled to be making this masterpiece available in its full glory," Carrie Kania, senior vice president and publisher of Harper Perennial, said Tuesday in a statement.

Harper Perennial, a paperback imprint of HarperCollins, will release "The First Circle" in 2009. The 89-year-old Solzhenitsyn, winner in 1970 of the Nobel Prize for literature, returned to his homeland in the 1990s after two decades in exile and now lives in Moscow.

The novel, completed in 1964 and banned by Soviet officials even after Solzhenitsyn cut nine chapters, is set in a gulag where scientists and scholars have been sent for alleged subversion against the Stalinist regime. A shortened, 580-page version of "The First Circle" came out in English in 1968 — the text had mysteriously been leaked out of the Soviet Union — despite objections by the author, who believed his work was being exploited for profit, and by scholars who feared that the book's release could jeopardize his safety.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's struggles” at one point, the manuscript of his novel was seized by the KGB set off an extended Cold War debate and assured "The First Circle" a welcome reception in the United States. The Book-of-the-Month Club made it a featured selection and the announced first printing was 200,000.

New York Times reviewer Thomas Lask called the book "at once classic and contemporary. Reading it, we know that it has been with us for years, just as we know future generations will read it with wonder and with awe." The full edition has long been available in Russian; mortality, not censorship, helped delay its U.S. release. According to Harper Perennial editor Peter Hubbard, Solzhenitsyn approved a new English text a few years ago and commissioned his favorite translator, Harry T. Willetts, who had worked on Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956." But Willetts died in 2005, not long after completing the translation and the publisher "went through some edits with Solzhenitsyn. It took a little time for the book to make its way to us," Hubbard told The Associated Press.

Imprisoned in his 20s for alleged anti-Soviet crimes, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn became famous worldwide in 1962 with "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," a short novel set in a Siberian labor camp and at the time a shockingly blunt attack against the Soviet system. Then-Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev personally approved the book's release, but he was ousted in 1964, censorship tightened and Solzhenitsyn's work was suppressed for years.

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winner, is described by many a mind as a literary genius whose extraordinary talent matches that of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Gorky. Biography, quotes, photos, news articles, books and reviews.

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