Will Morrisey Review of March 1917, Book 1

A probing review of March 1917, Book 1posted today.

Solzhenitsyn has made this mob of characters and passions, this kinesis of revolution, intelligible. For this his work deserves to be read not only in Russia but everywhere. The thoughts of the characters, their understandable confusion, their elation or despair, come through without any resort to moral relativism. In scenes that parallel one another, Solzhenitsyn gives us mind after mind, capturing the insights but also the illusions of each. When he intervenes in his own voice he speaks not with narrative omniscience, which he leaves to God, but with narrative judgment, which as a Christian he shares a bit with God, thanks to God.
 
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Daniel J. Mahoney Reviews March 1917, Book 1

Insightful review of March 1917, Book 1 from renowned Solzhenitsyn scholar Daniel J. Mahoney in the new issue of National Review.  

This volume consists of 170 chapters (out of 656 in March 1917 as a whole), most of them relatively brief. One experiences on every page the frenzied pace of events spiraling completely out of control.
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Russian Memorial to Victims of Political Repression Unveiled In Moscow

As reported by Digital Journal, The Solzhenitsyn Foundation and the Memorial organization have partnered in backing the creation of a new monument by sculptor Georgy Frangulyan, which was unveiled as a part of a memorial for Soviet-era victims of political repression in Central Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the memorial's dedication and quoted Natalya Solzhenitsyn in his remarks. 
 

To know, to remember, to condemn and only then to forgive.
— Natalya Solzhenitsyn
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Anne Applebaum: Solzhenitsyn Altered the Way People Thought

The October 30th edition of the National Review featured an article, "The Russian Revolution, 100 Years On: Its Enduring Allure and Menace" accompanied by sidebars highlighting notable Russian authors. In one, Anne Applebaum, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History, speaks to the influence of Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago on the West.

When we look back at the 20th century, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn will be remembered not just as an influential author, but as one of the few authors who actually altered the way in which millions of people thought about politics.
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Review of March 1917, Book 1 at Foreword

Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers reviews March 1917, Book 1 at Foreword.

In March 1917, Solzhenitsyn attempts the impossible and succeeds, evoking a fully formed world through episodic narratives that insist on the prosaic integrity of every life, from tsars to peasants. What emerges is a rich history that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts.
— Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers
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Why Did the Russian Revolution Occur?

James Pontuso, writing at the Victims of Communism blog: "Solzhenitsyn’s multi-volume The Red Wheel attempts to answer the question: why did the Russian Revolution occur?”

It was in this chaotic situation that the peculiar talents of Vladimir Lenin came into play. Solzhenitsyn portrays Lenin throughout The Red Wheel as disciplined, self-assured, cunning, and ruthless.
— James Pontuso
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Northern Illinois University Press Publishes New Solzhenitsyn Inquiry

A new book on Solzhenitsyn is out this month, Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West.  According to Solzhenitsyn scholar Dan Mahoney, “Lee Congdon has succeeded in encapsulating Solzhenitsyn’s intellectual engagement with the twentieth century through an integration of Solzhenitsyn’s corpus into its historical, political, philosophical, and religious context.  This is a masterful accomplishment and a major contribution to the field of Solzhenitsyn studies.”

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First Complete English Translation of The Red Wheel to Be Published

As highlighted in The Guardian this week, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's multivolume epic The Red Wheel will soon be published in English for the first time in its entirety. 

You might say that he caught the last train of departing memory. He was able to interview some of the last living participants of those fateful days in 1917, and of the Russian civil war that followed. His childhood years were the fearsome Soviet 1920s and early 1930s, when the revolution was in fact still ongoing, completely reshaping the old order amidst an atmosphere of terror. Born just a year after the revolution, he breathed its powerful, both terrifying—and for some, edifying—air.
— Stephan Solzhenitsyn
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A Solzhenitsyn Virtual Museum Announced

Located in Rostov-on-Don, the Southern Federal University (SFU) has announced plans to create a virtual museum about the author in hopes of inspiring current students. The author graduated from Rostov University and went on to teach at a school in Morozovka for a short time before he began his service in WWII. There will also be a monument in his honor.

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Solzhenitsyn Cultural Center Opens in Paris

As covered by the Russkiy Mir Foundation, a cultural center named in honor of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn opened recently in Paris. Solzhenitsyn scholar George Nivat is a member of the center's steering committee. The first exhibit, "The Gulag Archipelago, History of Literary Breakthrough", highlights historical photos and artifacts from the novel's development, which Solzhenitsyn wrote while in hiding in Estonia in 1967.

Photo courtesy of the Facebook page of Centre culturel Alexandre Soljenitsyne - Les Editeurs Réunis

Photo courtesy of the Facebook page of Centre culturel Alexandre Soljenitsyne - Les Editeurs Réunis

Judging Communism and All Its Works: Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago Reconsidered

A reconsideration of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago that talks about its continuing relevance to Russia and the West, published yesterday at voegelinview.

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s villains stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.

Ideology—that is what gives villainy its long-sought justification and gives the villain the necessary steadfastness and determination…

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience villainy on a scale calculated in the millions.
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
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Statue of Solzhenitsyn to Be Unveiled in Moscow

A monument dedicated to Solzhenitsyn's will be raised on Ulitsa Solzhenitsyna, the Moscow street named in the author's honor. It was also announced that a potential museum dedicated to Solzhenitsyn is also in development; a location on Tverskaya ulitsa, a major throughfare in Moscow on which the author lived with his wife and young boys, has been considered.

Aleksandr never received a ‘propiska’ for Moscow...He was effectively banned from living in the capital. In spite of this, before we were exiled, we lived in an apartment on Tverskaya, where our sons were born. This apartment houses some of Aleksandr’s significant mementos. This place deserves to become a museum to honor him.
— Natalya Solzhenitsyn
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Museum Opens in Kislovodsk

The Russian A. I. Solzhenitsyn Museum and Informational Cultural Center opened on May 31 in Kislovodsk.

Solzhenitsyn’s birthplace, Kislovodsk, is a spa town on the north slope of the Caucasus Mountains, and near the steppes (prairies) of southern Russia. Solzhenitsyn’s grandparents farmed in this region. Although the home where he was born and the church where he was baptized were both destroyed, the home that once belonged to his aunt, Maria Gorina, and where he lived as a toddler, remains. The State Literature Museum restored the home so that it could serve as the site of the new museum.

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Memorial to Solzhenitsyn Erected near “Matryona’s Home”

In 1956, having been freed from exile in Kazakhstan, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn took a teaching position at a school  in the village of Mezinovka. He rented a room from Matryona Vasilyevna, who would go on to be the inspiration for his novella Matryona's Home, which he wrote that year. 

A memorial to the writer and a reconstruction of Matryona's home were unveiled last week in Mezinovka. 

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