Professor Brian McKenna of University of Vermont will speak at the The Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences at a seminar their task force is hosting in Moscow on 29 May 29 at 3PM. McKenna's presentation is entitled, "No Man Is a Prophet in His Own Land: Vermont’s (USA) Centennial Observance of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Birth and Life".
From the presentation's abstract:
"December 12, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Nobel Prize Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s birthday. Born in Kislovodsk, Russia, Solzhenitsyn late in life became a resident of Cavendish, Vermont where he and his wife (Natalia Dmitriyevna) raised their three sons over the course of 18 years. Why did this famous and brilliant Russian writer select Vermont for his new “home?” What was life like for a Russian-born writer in the verdant hills and valleys of Vermont? While Solzhenitsyn was certainly a “prophet” in his native Russia in the 1960s-1970s, why did the United States turn its “back” on their “new prophet” following his Harvard Commencement Lecture in 1978? What explains the decision of everyday Vermonters in Cavendish to refuse to abandon Solzhenitsyn following the Harvard Lecture? And in Russia itself, was its proverbial prophet abandoned upon his return to his homeland in 1994? Can, indeed, “prophets” return to their homeland, be it Russia or Vermont? And, if so, how did Russian proverbs sustain the daily life, and influence the literary works of this famous and invaluable Russian writer? To address these questions, analysis will turn to the role of proverbs in Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize Lecture, Мир спасёт красота/ "Beauty Will Save the World" as well as to his novella, Матрёнин двор/ "Matryona's Home"."