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Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Man – Part II

Solzhenitsyn spent 1945 – 1953 in the gulag prisons. Once released, he went to a tiny village to teach mathematics where no one paid attention to him. He began writing his manuscripts using a tiny handwriting to conserve paper that he could not afford and to better conceal his work. He hid his documents. He developed an inoperable cancer and was sent home to die. He prayed that if spared he would write about the camps. The cancer went away, never to return. He began wring the seven volume work Gulag Archipelago. In the early 1960’s Khrushchev began the “Russian Thaw” and allowed relaxation of controls on the press. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was published in a Russian magazine and then outside of the country. It became an international hit. He was awarded the Noble Prize for literature in 1970, but could not accept the award for fear of exile. In 1974 he was finally exiled to the west. He settled in Vermont and spent the last 20 years of his life finishing his works. The Greeks had Homer, the Romans had Vigil, the middle ages had Dante, the renaissance had Shakespeare and our century has Solzhenitsyn.

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