Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gulag Payback: Soviet Protestor Alexander Solzhenitsyn Was Awarded Nobel Prize On This Date In 1970

As Steve King noted at todayinliterature.com, , Alexander Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize on this day in 1970

Solzhenitsyn was 51 years old, but 11 years had been spent in prison and labor camps, and then in exile-rehabilitation in Kazakhstan. Although he had been writing secretly for decades, he only began to publish in 1961, with the novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. This documentation of Stalin-era labor camps caused an international sensation and, until Khrushchev fell from power and a new round of censorship began, encouraged others to publish similar revelations. In the late 60s, Solzhenitsyn published First Circle and Cancer Ward, and then in the year after the Nobel, August 1914, but when the first part of The Gulag Archipelago appeared in 1973 he was severely attacked, then charged with treason and expelled in 1974. This ended in 1994, when Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia with his citizenship restored.

In his 1975 memoir, The Oak and the Calf, Solzhenitsyn describes his failed attempt to use the Nobel Prize as a knock-out blow to Soviet repression. "During my time in the camps," he writes, "I had got to know the enemies of the human race quite well: they respect the big fist and nothing else; the harder you slug them, the safer you will be."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link;


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