Monday, August 04, 2008

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn: Memory Eternal!

"It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations."

The renowned novelist, dramatist,and historian Alexandr Solzhenitsyn reposed on Sunday, August 3. Through his writings, he made the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet labour camp system, and for these efforts, Solzhenitsyn was both awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970 and exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974. He returned to Russia in 1994.

Solzhenitsyn followed in the slavophile tradition of Dostoevsky, deeply criticial of Renaissance and Enlightenment developments in the West which came to support a radical individualism at the expense of public virtue. Over the years, his life and thought became increasingly shaped by Orthodoxy. For a number of years during Solzhenitsyn's exile in the United States, Fr. Alexander Schmemann served as his father confessor.

May his memory be eternal!


For more commentary, consider Daniel Larison's post here.

And also the fine post by Andrew Cusack, available here.