Skip to comments.A decade after death, Solzhenitsyn draws a blank with young Russians
Posted on 08/06/2018 1:10:52 PM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
A decade after the hugely influential author's death, some young Russians admit to only a passing knowledge of Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who won a Nobel Prize for chronicling the horrors of the Soviet Gulag.
"Solzhenitsyn was a dissident, someone who opposed the Soviet regime and he was a great writer," summed up Alexander Polyakovsky, 23, who is studying international relations.
He admits he has not read any of the author's books.
"They talked about him a bit when I was at high school, during the Russian literature lessons, but I don't remember too much," he added.
Alexander Altunyan, who teaches journalism at Moscow's International University, also notes the younger generation has little interest in Solzhenitsyn's weighty historic tomes and grimly realist novels such as "Cancer Ward."
"Out a class of 30 students, no more than two or three will have read a book by Solzhenitsyn. Most of them don't know a thing about him."
School teachers say they have to choose which books on the curriculum to focus on in literature lessons and some get the bare minimum of class time.
Yet some do focus on Solzhenitsyn, saying his moral and political views are still relevant.
"We really do need to read Solzhenitsyn today as there are more and more attempts to deny Stalin-era repressions, when some people say nothing terrible happened in that era," said Olga Mayevskaya, a teacher of Russian language and literature.
"What's unbelievable is that they are not told about this in history lessons. This is the history of our country. They have to know it so it does not happen again."
Russia in recent years has seen a strong tendency to present Stalin in a positive light, while officials downplay the repressions and forced collectivisation that killed millions.
(Excerpt) Read more at afp.com ...
Don’t worry kids, sooner or later you’ll re-live his books.
Maybe because he was only important as a proxy in the Cold War? Otherwise, not memorable to anyone. Bet 99% of American college students would not do any better on knowledge about him. In the scheme of things, I doubt I’d spend more than 5 minutes, if that, on discussing him with my sons.
I know you didn’t mean it to be funny but I laughed at how you put it!
Happy to have provided a laugh.
Really? Sad. I can remember a time when I slogged through Gulag Archipelago because he seemed to remember all the names of the dead of Soviet communism. It was an amazing achievement.
He wasn’t an easy man; he was down on America, too, even after we gave him asylum. He thought us decadent before we really had become decadent. What did he know that we didn’t?
He looked like Captain Ahab and acted like someone out of the Old Testament. Quite a figure.
More likely we will re-live them if the globalist neocons or the resistance either one gets rid of Trump.
Otherwise, not memorable to anyone.
That said since the bulk of his work deals with the horrors of the Soviet Union and the SU has now been placed on the rubbish heap of history, I can see your point. If you haven’t yet, try his August 1914.
Jordan Peterson would be horrified.
“He thought us decadent before we really had become decadent. What did he know that we didnt?”
That we had become decadent.
His Harvard Commencement address was spot on.
That was an amazing speech.
Yes. But it wasn’t as evident. President Reagan was in charge, the Moral Majority was large and thriving and even Hollywood was making fun of the Soviets - remember the burger commercials mocking the Soviets? And we still had the family hour on tv!
A socialist is a communist that still has some of your money!
The "poll" this article describes is either extremely selective as to who they asked or it's totally bogus.
What Tom Paine knew over 200 years ago.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
And yet we fought the Civil War, WWI and WW2! Was that cheap? On the other hand, it does seem to me that life after WW2 may have been too easy. Our parents gave us too soft a life because they didn’t want us to experience what they had gone through. Although, again, 59,000 men (a lot of baby boomers!) died in Viet Nam so that didn’t come too cheaply either.
Color me confused, Slim.
Do we really need to read his books to understand the evil that occurred? Not really. And I say this as history is full of events and experiences like this. Remembering them or not has no lasting impact.
Morals, ethics, and all are more important, which is why we don't have things like this in the US. Lose these, then yes, we too may experience this.
Beyond excerpts, I have never read his books, have zero interest in reading them, and would never put them on a reading list for anyone else. Just the facts.
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