Solzhenitsyn and Truth Essays

Solzhenitsyn and Truth Essays

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“In the struggle with falsehood art always did win and it always does win!” Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Soviet dissident, espoused this philosophy to the Swedish Academy. He spoke of the power of art in combating the tyranny and lies of a corrupt government, and as a medium for evaluating society. He was at various times, a soldier in the Soviet army, a political prisoner of the Soviet state, a celebrity for his literary works, and an exile from all of Russia. His fiery philippic against Stalin landed him in prison for eight years; his account of prison life made him immensely popular during the de-Stalinization years of the early 1960’s, and he was deported for his most famous work, The Gulag Archipelago. He has become a symbol of the higher power of artists and writers who have the courage to fight the status quo.
     Alexander Solzhenitsyn was born to Cossack intellectuals in 1918, but was raised entirely by his mother, his father having died before he was born. He went on to major in mathematics at the University of Rostov-na-Donuand and he learned literature from correspondence courses at the Moscow State University. He fought in WWII, and became a captain of artillery, but was arrested in 1945 for writing a letter criticizing Josef Stalin’s totalitarian government. He spent eight years in a variety of labour and prison camps and three more years in enforced exile. After his release, he settled in central Russia where he wrote and taught mathemat...

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