Monday, August 04, 2008

Remembering Solzhenitsyn

I probably would not have read Alexander Solzhenitsyn's works if I were not a socialist. His stature as a critic of the Soviet Union and it socialist system made me curious about his works. I remember finding a copy of 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch' on sale from National Bookstore. It's back cover was missing but I bought it anyway because I wanted to read it. I was expecting a book full of political polemics, but found a book full of human relations, and this made it a more effective critique of Soviet authoritarianism in particular and authoritarianism in general.

The problem was aside from the back cover, the book was also missing the last page. I had to read the lat page at National Bookstore where I borrowed a copy for a few minutes. 'Ivan Denisovitch and his other books 'Cancer Ward', 'The First Circle', and 'August 1914', strengthened in me, an abhorrence of authoritarianism.

The Soviet Union is now in the dustbin of history, but it's lessons should not be forgotten, so should Alexander Solzhenitsyn's works.

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