Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Solzhenitsyn quotes

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“Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that does not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers, such literature does not deserve the name of literature. It is only a façade.”
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“The Communist millstone is characterized by its sanguinary ruthless velocity. At the same time, I am merely a sort of ineffective particle to it: as tiny grain of sand fallen on the road. Whereas what I got from the Western millstone was characterized by a tendency to crush, by a toxicity peculiar to it, strangely enough, a sort of baseness, a vulgarity, which is not characteristic of the West as a whole, but of all these irresponsible people who write any old thing without first checking the facts. How am I supposed to react when one after another dozens and dozens of journalist repeat the same ideas about me when not a single one of them has bothered to look at or read my books? But they repeat them even so. What mediocrity! What baseness! It is reminiscent of the Soviet way of doing thing. Everybody is ordered to say this or that so everybody does. It’s the same in the West: here totalitarian power dictates, over there it’s fashion. Fashion – this horrible fashion that prevents people from seeing."
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