RIP: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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Russian novelist and historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn has died at the age of 89. Although awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, Solzhenitsyn did not receive his award until being charged with treason and exiled from the Soviet Union upon publication of his magnum opus The Gulag Archipelago several years later. Solzhenitsyn's undelivered 1970 lecture meditates on capital-A Art, with this wonderful passage:

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?

Not everything assumes a name. Some things lead beyond words. Art inflames even a frozen, darkened soul to a high spiritual experience. Through art we are sometimes visited - dimly, briefly - by revelations such as cannot be produced by rational thinking.

Like that little looking-glass from the fairy-tales: look into it and you will see - not yourself - but for one second, the Inaccessible, whither no man can ride, no man fly.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 4, 2008 2:07 PM.

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