Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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  • Topic: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag, Russia
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
In our times there have been many good authors and many excellent authors, but have you ever questioned yourself what have they done for us? Sure Shakespeare was a magnificent writer but how did he improve society as a whole? Picasso was a great painter in many people's eye but how did Picasso's cubism form of art affect in any way besides possible good art? Well there is an author by the name of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whom over the course of the last part of the 20th century has contributed much to the world. He helped the Cold War end, he helped the truth about Gulag's become known and he also helped humanity by giving a message of hope in a time of peril. Here is a small paper I tried to write in order to help the reader understand his significance.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11th, 1918 in Kislovodsk, Russia. He is a Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. He was born the son of a widowed mother. Solzhenitsyn was brought up in the Caucasus region in Russia. His father died while he served in the army. Solzhenitsyn studies mathematics at Rostov State University while also taking classes from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History. Aleksandr served in the Red Army as an artillery commander in East Prussia, during World War II. During his term there Aleksandr criticized Joseph Stalin to a friend, he was then sentenced to an eight-year term in a Russian Gulag. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn became famous for writing many pieces of literature, the first piece he wrote was a novel named, The First Circle, which was a novel that pertained to his imprisonment at the Russian Gulag. He later wrote, One day in the Life of Ivan Denisouich, in that novel he wrote about his experiences at Ekizbautz, another Russian Gulag where he was transferred. Later in Solzhenitsyn's life he was diagnosed with cancer at Kol-Terek, the last camp he was confined to for a large part of his life. While at Kol-Terek he wrote a novel titled, The Cancer Ward, which became the basis of a story titles, The Right Hand. Later on in Solzhenitsyn life on of his stories, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisouich became published. Due to this Solzhenitsyn unveiled the Russian Labor camp system, which imprisoned him for so long. After receiving much acclaim to his work from a large group of people Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He won this prize in 1970 but he wasn't able to receive his Prize until he was deported in 1974 from Russia so finally he went back and claimed his well-deserved trophy. Aleksandr moved to the United States where he lived here for about 20 year, he then later moved back to his Mother country, Russia. Solzhenitsyn wrote many books and all but knowing why he wrote books and how they affect people in the future is what is truly outstanding.

While knowing what he did is a significant step that one must follow to understand his work better, understanding why he spoke that " One Word of Truth" is also as important. According to "One Word of Truth Outweighs the World", a speech he wrote in recognition to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature Aleksandr states, "I think that World Literature has the power in these frightening times to help mankind see itself accurately despite what is advocated by partisans and by parties". This line is very to point; everything else he states in his speech goes back to this main point. He states that, "so that one people accurately and concisely knows the true history of another with a power of recognition and acute awareness as if it has lived through that history itself – and could be spared repeating old mistakes." This to me was one of the biggest statements made in his speech. He is saying that after studying and recognizing different histories and pasts of another's culture, that person will avoid making the other person's mistakes by simply knowing what the other person did wrong. This is universal, people can...
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