Download Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom PDF

By Harold Bloom

Regardless of persecution and censorship in his fatherland, this Russian author has been in a position to produce such very important works as at some point within the lifetime of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago. This name, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a part of Chelsea residence Publishers’ smooth serious perspectives sequence, examines the most important works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn via full-length severe essays through professional literary critics. moreover, this name contains a brief biography on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a chronology of the author’s lifestyles, and an introductory essay written by way of Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale college.

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Example text

Like Kutuzov, he was cautious, careful, and clever. And, like Tolstoy's Kutuzov, he understood that it is never necessary to carry out any sharp, decisive maneuvers of one's own; that FROM A BATTLE BEGUN AGAINST HIS WILL, NOTHING WILL COME EXCEPT CONFUSION; that MILITARY AFFAIRS NEVERTHELESS GO AS THEY SHOULD, NOT COINCIDING WITH WHAT PEOPLE THINK UP; that THERE IS AN inevitable COURSE OF EVENTS and the best general is he who REPUDIATES PARTICIPATION IN THESE EVENTS. And his whole long military career convinced the general of the correctness of these views of Tolstoy's; there was nothing worse than jumping out with one's own decisions; such people always suffered.

As a fictional character, of course, Lazhenitsyn resembles two previous Solzhenitsyn characters who cannot live in accordance with beliefs—Rubin in The First Circle and Kostoglotov in Cancer Ward) Soviet Tolstoy scholars never tire of telling us that Lenin called Tolstoy "the mirror of the Russian revolution," and the family most in sympathy with Tolstoy's denial of the pleasures of the body and of poetry is the family of St. Petersburg revolutionaries, the Lenartoviches. When Veronya Lenartovich brings home her friend Yelya, an esthete who plays with her shawl à la Akhmatova, and recites Gumilyov's "The Choice," the Lenartoviches are upset.

It may someday prove possible to study Solzhenitsyn's use of sources for August 1914, as various scholars have studied Tolstoy's use of sources for War and Peace. In addition to the memoirs of various Russian generals, he seems also to have read those of von François, as well as With the Russian Army 1914-1917, by Alfred Knox, the British general whom he makes into a minor character who constantly annoys Samsonov. He may also, by some miracle or luck and connections, have managed to obtain a copy of Winston Churchill's The Unknown War: The Eastern Front.

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