Monday, August 04, 2008

Go Home, Ivan

Back in 1989 when many of friends were reading Mao, Lenin and Marx, I got hold of a book whose narrative were based mostly on eyewitness accounts as well as the writer’s own experiences as a political prisoner inside the Soviet GULag. GULag by the way is an acronym for "Chief Administration for Corrective Labor Camps" which is the name of the Soviet Union’s concentration camp’s governing board.

The three- volume Arkhipelag GULag or The Gulag Archipelago is such a compelling read and quite an eye- opener especially at that time where all things Russian was either based on hear- say or propaganda. The book which was smuggled in parts out of the Iron Curtain and first published outside of the Soviet Union in 1973 was written by a Russian novelist and historian who was also the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970.

I have only read one other book by the said author which is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (although I have August 1914 in my book shelf) but these two thought- provoking masterpieces were enough to convince me of the man’s brilliance as well as admire his dogged determination to defy a God-less and oppressive system that tried but failed to break his spirit and stifle his faith.

Today, the man who exposed the Russian GULag and life under communism in his writings is dead at 89.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
December 11, 1918- August 3, 2008


karmi said...

Another great man to burn a candle for.

mitsuru said...


I agree comrade. hehe

Panaderos said...

I read the Gulag Archipelago when I was in high school. A courageous work from a truly courageous man.

haze said...

BRAVE MAN merits a salutations !

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