Alexandr Solzhenitsyn RIP

It was with great sadness that I discovered this morning the passing away yesterday evening, of Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, at his home near Moscow. He was 89.

Renowned for his anti-Stalinist works, Mr. Solzhenitsyn was responsible for bringing to light, the conditions and brutality of the Soviet labour camps, to the Western world. Despite being decorated as a Soviet war-hero, Mr. Solzhenitsyn himself spent eight years in a Stalinist gulag, following the Second World War, for voicing anti-Stalinist opinions. His eight year gulag term was followed by permanent internal exile.

It is during his time in exile that Mr. Solzhenitsyn wrote his most renowned political work – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. He followed this up with a number of additional politically-charged novels, including Cancer Ward in 1968, which caused him to receive the attentions of the KGB.

In 1970 Mr. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, which must have motivated him, in the following years, to publishing his exhaustive, and most valuable multi-volume histories of the Stalinist gulag labour camp system – The Gulag Archipelago

I’ve personally only recently discovered Mr. Solzhenitsyn, but I have quickly became endeared to the incredible quality of his writing. After finishing reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich only three weeks ago, I have already searched out copies of both his Gulag Archipelago series, and his 1968 novel Cancer Ward to add to my bookhelves.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).