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Monday, August 04, 2008

Alexander Solzhenitsyn leaves us

Sometimes I feel old....

Isn't it the end of an era when such an important writer dies? As many commentators are saying, he was instrumental in bringing about the end of Stalinism with his brave writing and the risks he took to get it published. He opened the eyes of the world.

In repressive regimes, writers may also be heroes. Solzhenitsyn had already spent years in the labour camps for an anti-Stalinist comment, so he knew very well what he risked.

I have teenage goddaughters and grandson who weren't born when these things happened. To them it's past history. Perhaps they don't even know who he was or what he did. But I think the world gained from his presence in it.


  1. I was terribly embarrassed when I heard about this because I didn't know who he was.

    Perhaps his death will bring him into the consciousness of the younger generation...

  2. Dear Jenny,

    It's nice that you had the grace to be embarrassed! But after all, you're not responsible for the accident of your birth date. How could you know, if you'd simply never heard of him? It might be the same if you were to ask me about some contemporary writers - with less excuse.

    But yes, good if more people learn about him through the attention his death has had.