Dmitry Samoilov What was Solzhenitsyn’s mistake and why is it so easy to dislike him now 08:13

Thirty years ago Alexander Isaevich Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia. Now it is quite difficult to evaluate the significance of this event for two reasons. First, it was a long time ago, and a lot has happened since then, and Solzhenitsyn himself is no longer that interesting. Due to the diversity of content, public attention was divided not by time but by order of magnitude. Secondly, those who have an opinion about Solzhenitsyn treat him with either respect or hatred. Polarization is a characteristic and natural feature of the hyperinformation society.

So what is important to know about Solzhenitsyn? Alexander Isaevich was the last great writer of the Russian land. It’s almost an ironic phrase, a meme and a trademark. He was the last, not because there were no outstanding writers left after him, but because the place had ceased to exist. There was no longer a need for a man of letters who also had social significance and moral authority. And with a beard, he would definitely have a beard. Because what is a great writer without a beard?

Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in May 1994. What kind of country was this? Many people have shared their memories of that decade recently, but there is no need to obscure everything with personal experience; It is enough to convey one detail about the socio-political reality. Solzhenitsyn, as you know, then addressed the people from the rostrum of the State Duma. It will look funny now. What groundbreaking meaning can be made here? But the thing is that Solzhenitsyn’s appearance there was actively opposed by the party “Democratic Choice of Russia” led by Yegor Gaidar. Here is the entire elusive period in one sentence. Who remembers such a game now? Who will now remember Yegor Gaidar with a kind word? By the way, the figure is complicated to say the least.

Solzhenitsyn flew from the United States to his homeland in an unusual way – to Magadan. And from Magadan he traveled across the country by train in a separate carriage allocated to him by the Ministry of Railways. Iconographic features included Solzhenitsyn’s identical beard and paramilitary jacket. There was a sort of mix of North Korean aesthetics, Makhnovist scope, and a completely punkish disregard for morality. Here is a man fighting against totalitarianism, preaching Orthodoxy, called not to live by lies, suddenly displaying brilliant dictatorial habits and dressing accordingly. While all of this resonates in the age of masquerades and postmodernism, it has caused some confusion.

Solzhenitsyn’s re-emigration was the third and final part of his extraordinary biography. 40-50-60s are difficult youth, war, first literary experiments, camps, sharashkas, rehabilitation, official recognition. 70-80s – persecution, opposition, emigration, world fame, Nobel Prize. 90-00s – the return of the prophet to his homeland.

Like any important figure, it is easy to dislike Solzhenitsyn. When the shock of the “Gulag Archipelago” wore off, when it became possible to browse gigabytes of resources without leaving the couch, when book publishing became accessible to the public, and when the intensity of an outcry could be inversely proportional to its adequacy. After the statement, Solzhenitsyn began to be accused of lying. This is the easiest way. A meme titled “one hundred million people shot by Stalin himself” appeared about his wife coming to see Solzhenitsyn at the front, with staged photos of the searches. All this still remains a matter of debate: anyone who reads Solzhenitsyn carefully knows that he does not lie on purpose. He may be wrong or make mistakes. Of course, he didn’t have exact figures; He could trust the predictions. But he collected in good faith the personal experiences of individual people; It was he who gave voice to many terrible memories.

Determined the evaluation vector. I wasn’t wrong in the direction, but I was wrong in the method. And not even in the method of counting, but in the method of interacting with what it encounters.

We can say that Solzhenitsyn fought against the Soviet power. Moreover, the letter he wrote to the leadership of the country in which he called for abandoning the communist ideology is also known. What kind of naivety is this and is it permissible for a person who claims to be the sage of Russia?

He believed that both oppression and the Soviet Union had ended, thanks to the diligent work of people like him—thanks to publicity, thanks to some form of viable resistance, thanks to courage and otherness. Although it is clear that all these historical processes begin and end only with orders from above. The “top” may be different, but the switch worked properly and without errors.

And Solzhenitsyn still believed that he was the one who knew how to organize Russia. He condemned the Soviet regime in the USSR without reason. There is a bourgeois capitalist lifestyle in the West. Also, in general, not without reason. When he returned to Russia, he rejected state awards, saying that the government’s path was destructive. And they had reasons for this. So what was the genius’s positive agenda? Aren’t you living a lie? So this is also a negative definition. How to live? Do not lie. Do not lie. Good morning my baby. What should I say?

All Solzhenitsyn’s strength was spent on condemning and opening the abscesses. And this is not so and this is not so. People repeated his article and asked: How can we organize Russia? He responded with an article titled “Russia is Collapsed.” I finally got tired of it. It is already clear to everyone that everything is bad, but it will get worse. Solzhenitsyn said the following about his recent speeches and publications: “They did not listen to me. Not understood.” As if he himself knew very well that the task of being understood belonged entirely to the speaker.

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors.

What are you thinking?

Source: Gazeta


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