Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Artist & Advocate

A literary man of immense importance in the twentieth century. Many consider his address to Harvard graduates to be his masterpiece. The speech surprised many in the West since it took aim at Western culture’s fundamental problems. Reading this speech today, it remains a dramatic probe into the West’s psyche, both conscious and unconscious, and societal practices.  Solzhenitsyn was more astute at seeing and articulating cultural proclivities and problems rather than necessarily having solutions to the problems. Perhaps his keenest insight is the fact that the West sees humanity as the measure of all things and that all things are here for us. This arrogance and self centeredness continues to drive us to destroy our planet at the behest of our cumulative self interests and disregard for their effects. 

 Whether you agree or disagree with Solzhenitsyn’s views, he more than any other writer since has stimulated the heady development of literature  that changed the international worlds of prose, history, politics and philosophy. rlw

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