Fearless Prophets: Martin Luther King Jr. & Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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A few days ago Princeton University hosted a panel discussion entitled Fearless Prophets: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of King's Death and the Centenary of Solzhenitsyn's Birth, and featuring:

Daniel Mahoney, Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship, Assumption College;
Eugene F. Rivers, III, Founding Director, Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies;
David L. Tubbs *01, Associate Professor of Politics, The King's College.

It was moderated by Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University.

See the video of the event here.

PRESIDENT PUTIN UNVEILS SOLZHENITSYN MONUMENT

At a ceremony today on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Street in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new monument of Solzhenitsyn. (Scroll down for video.)

11 December 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the new Moscow monument to Solzhenitsyn.

11 December 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the new Moscow monument to Solzhenitsyn.

Aleksandr Isayevich believed that, without understanding our country’s past, there could be no sensible path toward its future. And so he trained his thought and words onto her future, in an attempt to identify possible ways of rebuilding Russia, so that the dramatic and profoundly difficult trials that fell to her would never again repeat, so that our multinational people could live in dignity and justice. That is how he saw his mission, his goal, the point of his service.
— Vladimir Putin, 11 December 2018

A Slew of Moscow Events to Mark Solzhenitsyn Centennial

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There is a slew of upcoming events in Moscow to mark the peak of the Solzhenitsyn Centennial. Highlights include the première of a new production of the Alexander Tchaikovsky opera “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, conducted by Ignat Solzhenitsyn at the Bolshoi Theatre; the international conference “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Looking Back from the 21st Century”; and a special theatrical production starring Evgeni Mironov at the legendary Moscow Art Theatre. See here for a more comprehensive list.

Cavendish to Celebrate Solzhenitsyn's Centennial on 2 December

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Cavendish's celebration of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 100th birthday will take place on Sunday Dec. 2, 4 pm at the Cavendish Baptist Church. There will be a screening of his farewell address to Cavendish, discussion, and a potluck supper. The Cavendish Historical Society will be providing refreshments. The snow date is Dec. 9 at the same time and place. FMI: margocaulfield@icloud.com or 802-226-7807.

Ignat Solzhenitsyn: A Special evening of Music and Poetry

Ignat Solzhenitsyn, the conductor and pianist, and middle son of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, will present an intimate evening of music featured in and inspired by his father’s writings, along with excerpts from those writings, in honor of the centenary of his birth. The program includes piano works by Beethoven and Shostakovich, personal reflections, and a selection of Solzhenitsyn’s compelling poems, some of which will be heard in English for the very first time. This event takes place at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on Monday, 19 November 2018 at 7.30pm. For more details and tickets, go here.

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Margo Caulfield to speak in burlington

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Cavendish historian and author Margo Caulfield will speak in Burlington, Vermont on Thu, 15 November as part of Vermont Historical Society’s Third Thursday series. Her topic is “"I Wrote and Waited": Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Life in Cavendish, VT”. The event will be streamed live on Facebook, with viewers able to ask questions.

Margo Caulfield of the Cavendish Historical Society will share what his life was like and the impact he had on the community. She will also speak about the work being done to commemorate his life in his centennial year.

Notre Dame to launch first English translation of Solzhenitsyn memoir at fall conference

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Ignat Solzhenitsyn — renowned conductor and pianist, and son of the late Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn — will speak at the University of Notre Dame for the launch of the first English translation of his father’s memoir, Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978,” published by University of Notre Dame Press at the centenary of the author’s birth. 

The launch will take place during “Higher Powers,” a three-day Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Cultureconference examining the proper relationship between God, the human person and the state. Ignat Solzhenitsyn and Daniel Mahoney, distinguished Solzhenitsyn scholar and professor of political science at Assumption College, will deliver a joint plenary session at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 (Thursday) in McKenna Hall Auditorium.

Notre Dame's “Higher Powers” 2018 Fall Conference To Focus on Solzhenitsyn

What is the proper relationship between God, the human person, and the state? In a 1993 address, Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed that, “having refused to recognize the unchanging Higher Power above us, we have filled that space with personal imperatives, and suddenly life has become a harrowing prospect indeed.” Twenty-five years after Solzhenitsyn’s address, and one hundred years after his birth, the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 19th Annual Fall Conference will consider how every human pursuit can be oriented toward higher powers and reflect on the true measures of social progress, the role of morality in law and politics, and the dynamics of liberty, dignity, self-sacrifice, and the good in public life.

Vermont History Museum to Host Solzhenitsyn Scholar for Talk

On Thursday, 17 May, University of Vermont Professor Kevin J. McKenna will be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Vermont History Museum. His talk is entitled, "No Man Is a Prophet in His Own Land’: Russia’s Loss Has Been Vermont’s Gain.”

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Open to the public, this event will occur in conjunction with the opening of a photo exhibit devoted to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the time he spent living in Vermont (1975-1994). McKenna will present a general introduction to Solzhenitsyn and his life in Cavendish, as well as what his presence in Vermont meant for Vermonters.

This is the Vermont History Museum's "Third Thursday Talk" for May. The presentation will begin at 12:00pm.

Attendees will have a chance to view the Solzhenitsyn exhibit, which officially opens Saturday, 19 May. 

Solzhenitsyn Historian to Speak At The Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow 

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"."

 

 

 

 

 

Solzhenitsyn at 100: Upcoming Exhibit and Talk in Montpelier

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The opening of a new exhibition, "Solzhenitsyn at 100: Celebrating the Life and Work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Honor of his 100th Birthday", will take place on Saturday, May 19th at the Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier. The exhibit, which will run through the summer, outlines the writer's life with a focus on the twenty years that he and his family called Vermont home (1975-1994). 

Prior to the exhibit's official opening, on Thursday, May 17th, University of Vermont Professor Kevin J. McKenna will be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the museum. His talk is entitled, "No Man Is a Prophet in His Own Land’: Russia’s Loss Has Been Vermont’s Gain.” McKenna will present a general introduction to Solzhenitsyn and his life in Cavendish, as well as what his presence in Vermont meant for Vermonters.

This is the Vermont History Museum's "Third Thursday Talk" for May. The presentation will begin at 12:00pm; coffee & water will be provided. Organizers welcome attendees to bring lunch to eat while listening.

Attendees will have a chance to view the Solzhenitsyn exhibit, which officially opens Saturday, May 19th. 

Vermont General Assembly Passes Resolution Recognizing Solzhenitsyn

On March 21st, the Vermont General Assembly passed a resolution in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's honor. Ignat Solzhenitsyn and representatives of Cavendish, Vermont were on hand in Montpelier to be presented with official copies of Resolution HCR-199.

No. R-248. House concurrent resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Russian author, historian, and former Cavendish resident Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn.
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"What Men Live By": Paper Presented at the Annual AATSEEL Meeting

This year's annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AAATSEEL) took place on February 3rd in Washington, D.C, where Professor Kevin McKenna of University of Vermont presented a lecture entitled, “‘What Men Live By’: Leo Tolstoy’s Proverb-Parable As a Source for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Novel, Cancer Ward.”

McKenna's paper will be published at a later date.

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