Citáty Alexandr Isajevič Solženicyn

„You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, kniha Two Hundred Years Together

The First Circle (1968)
Originál: (ru) Вы сильны лишь постольку, поскольку отбираете у людей не всё. Но человек, у которого вы отобрали всё, — уже неподвластен вам, он снова свободен.

Bobynin, in Ch. 17.
Zdroj: Двести лет вместе

„The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, kniha One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Zdroj: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)

„When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, kniha One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Zdroj: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

„Archeologists have not discovered stages of human existence so early that they were without art.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Nobel lecture (1970)
Kontext: Archeologists have not discovered stages of human existence so early that they were without art. Right back in the early morning twilights of mankind we received it from Hands which we were too slow to discern. And we were too slow to ask: FOR WHAT PURPOSE have we been given this gift? What are we to do with it?
And they were mistaken, and will always be mistaken, who prophesy that art will disintegrate, that it will outlive its forms and die. It is we who shall die — art will remain. And shall we comprehend, even on the day of our destruction, all its facets and all its possibilities?

„Here, lads, we live by the law of the taiga. But even here people manage to live.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, kniha One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Kuziomin, in the Ralph Parker translation (1963).
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)
Kontext: Here, lads, we live by the law of the taiga. But even here people manage to live. D’you know who are the ones the camps finish off? Those who lick other men’s left-overs, those who set store by the doctors, and those who peach on their mates.

„A return to the forms of religion which perhaps existed a couple of centuries ago is absolutely impossible“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Interview with Joseph Pearce, Sr. (2003)
Kontext: The thing is that religion itself cannot but be dynamic which is why "return" is an incorrect term. A return to the forms of religion which perhaps existed a couple of centuries ago is absolutely impossible. On the contrary, in order to combat modern materialistic mores, as religion must, to fight nihilism and egotism, religion must also develop, must be flexible in its forms, and it must have a correlation with the cultural forms of the epoch. Religion always remains higher than everyday life. In order to make the elevation towards religion easier for people, religion must be able to alter its forms in relation to the consciousness of modern man.

„No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Harvard University address (1978)
Kontext: Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man's life and society's activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?
If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.
This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.

„Whereas there are no INTERNAL AFFAIRS left on our crowded Earth! And mankind's sole salvation lies in everyone making everything his business“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Variant translation: On our crowded planet there are no longer any internal affairs! ...
Nobel lecture (1970)
Kontext: I have understood and felt that world literature is no longer an abstract anthology, nor a generalization invented by literary historians; it is rather a certain common body and a common spirit, a living heartfelt unity reflecting the growing unity of mankind. State frontiers still turn crimson, heated by electric wire and bursts of machine fire; and various ministries of internal affairs still think that literature too is an "internal affair" falling under their jurisdiction; newspaper headlines still display: "No right to interfere in our internal affairs!" Whereas there are no INTERNAL AFFAIRS left on our crowded Earth! And mankind's sole salvation lies in everyone making everything his business; in the people of the East being vitally concerned with what is thought in the West, the people of the West vitally concerned with what goes on in the East. And literature, as one of the most sensitive, responsive instruments possessed by the human creature, has been one of the first to adopt, to assimilate, to catch hold of this feeling of a growing unity of mankind. And so I turn with confidence to the world literature of today — to hundreds of friends whom I have never met in the flesh and whom I may never see.
Friends! Let us try to help if we are worth anything at all! Who from time immemorial has constituted the uniting, not the dividing, strength in your countries, lacerated by discordant parties, movements, castes and groups? There in its essence is the position of writers: expressers of their native language — the chief binding force of the nation, of the very earth its people occupy, and at best of its national spirit.

„Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Nobel lecture (1970)
Kontext: In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.

„War is the price we pay for living in a state. Before you can abolish war you will have to abolish all states. But that is unthinkable until the propensity to violence and evil is rooted out of human beings.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Red Wheel

"Father Severyan", in November 1916: The Red Wheel: Knot II (1984; translation 1999).
Kontext: At no time has the world been without war. Not in seven or ten or twenty thousand years. Neither the wisest of leaders, nor the noblest of kings, nor yet the Church — none of them has been able to stop it. And don't succumb to the facile belief that wars will be stopped by hotheaded socialists. Or that rational and just wars can be sorted out from the rest. There will always be thousands of thousands to whom even such a war will be senseless and unjustified. Quite simply, no state can live without war, that is one of the state's essential functions. … War is the price we pay for living in a state. Before you can abolish war you will have to abolish all states. But that is unthinkable until the propensity to violence and evil is rooted out of human beings. The state was created to protect us from evil. In ordinary life thousands of bad impulses, from a thousand foci of evil, move chaotically, randomly, against the vulnerable. The state is called upon to check these impulses — but it generates others of its own, still more powerful, and this time one-directional. At times it throws them all in a single direction — and that is war.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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