Alexander Solzhenitsyn  
Startsida
Vad är DSM?
Jan Gillberg
Kontakta oss
Länkar
Den Talande Falken
Prenumerera
Beställ lösnummer
Beställ böcker
Ivar Kreuger
Estonia
Politiska mord
Enpartistaten

Välfärdsstaten
mot vägsände

Värsting-
journalistiken

Free voice of
Sweden

DSM-samtal
Sveriges Viktigaste
Opinionsledare
Hundralistan

online casin




















 

 





In 1970 the Nobel Prize For Literature was awarded to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This took place at a time when the Soviet Union experienced a new time of extreme totalitarian coldness. “Bresjnjevism” was followed by de-Stalinazation. The publicity experienced by Solzhenitsyn through the Nobel Prize could have saved his life.
     
The Swedish Government under Olof Palme decided, once and for all, to support the disapproval shown by those in power in the Kremlin.  Different obstacles were raised to hinder the presentation of the diploma. It was not until December 17, 1974 – which also happened to be Human Rights Day – that Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel speech was presented. This took place at that year’s Nobel Banquet in the Town Hall of Stockholm. However, - which is not commonly known – not before the speech had been censured. Among other things, the concluding sentence was omitted, namely:

 “May one at this bounteous feast not forget the political prisoners, who today hunger-strike for their strongly limited and fully down-trodden rights.”

In the following, DSM presents parts of Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel speech:

”It is possible to compose an outwardly smooth and elegant political speech, a headstrong article, a social program, or a philosophical system on the basis of both a mistake and a lie. What is hidden, what distorted, will not immediately become obvious.
     
Then a contradictory speech, article, program, a differently constructed philosophy rallies in opposition - and all just as elegant and smooth, and once again it works. Which is why such things are both trusted and mistrusted.” 

###

 ”Perhaps that ancient trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not simply an empty, faded formula as we thought in the days of our self-confident, materialistic youth? If the tops of these three trees converge, as the scholars maintained, but the too blatant, too direct stems of Truth and Goodness are crushed, cut down, not allowed through - then perhaps the fantastic, unpredictable, unexpected stems of Beauty will push through and soar TO THAT VERY SAME PLACE, and in so doing will fulfil the work of all three?
     
In that case Dostoevsky's remark, ’Beauty will save the world’, was not a careless phrase but a prophecy?”

 ###

 ”As I stand here today, accompanied by the shadows of the fallen, with bowed head allowing others who were worthy before to pass ahead of me to this place, as I stand here, how am I to divine and to express what THEY would have wished to say?
     
This obligation has long weighed upon us, and we have understood it. In the words of Vladimir Solovev

 ’Even in chains we ourselves must complete.’

 ###

 ”As the Russian saying goes, ’Do not believe your brother, believe your own crooked eye.’ That is the most sound basis for an understanding of the world around us and of human conduct in it.”

 ### 

”If there are not many different scales of values in the world, there are at least several; one for evaluating events near at hand, another for events far away; aging societies possess one, young societies another; unsuccessful people one, successful people another. The divergent scales of values scream in discordance, they dazzle and daze us, and in order that it might not be painful we steer clear of all other values, as though from insanity, as though from illusion, and we confidently judge the whole world according to our own home values. Which is why we take for the greater, more painful and less bearable disaster not that which is in fact greater, more painful and less bearable, but that which lies closest to us. Everything which is further away, which does not threaten this very day to invade our threshold - with all its groans, its stifled cries, its destroyed lives, even if it involves millions of victims - this we consider on the whole to be perfectly bearable and of tolerable proportions.”

 ###

 ”There are different scales of values for natural catastrophes: a flood craving two hundred thousand lives seems less significant than our local accident. There are different scales of values for personal insults: sometimes even an ironic smile or a dismissive gesture is humiliating, while for others cruel beatings are forgiven as an unfortunate joke. There are different scales of values for punishment and wickedness: according to one, a month's arrest, banishment to the country, or an isolation-cell where one is fed on white rolls and milk, shatters the imagination and fills the newspaper columns with rage. While according to another, prison sentences of twenty-five years, isolation-cells where the walls are covered with ice and the prisoners stripped to their underclothes, lunatic asylums for the sane, and countless unreasonable people who for some reason will keep running away, shot on the frontiers - all this is common and accepted.”

 ###

 ”Who will co-ordinate these value scales, and how? Who will create for mankind one system of interpretation, valid for good and evil deeds, for the unbearable and the bearable, as they are differentiated today? Who will make clear to mankind what is really heavy and intolerable and what only grazes the skin locally? Who will direct the anger to that which is most terrible and not to that which is nearer? Who might succeed in transferring such an understanding beyond the limits of his own human experience? Who might succeed in impressing upon a bigoted, stubborn human creature the distant joy and grief of others, an understanding of dimensions and deceptions which he himself has never experienced? Propaganda, constraint, scientific proof - all are useless. But fortunately there does exist such a means in our world! That means is art. That means is literature.
     
They can perform a miracle: they can overcome man's detrimental peculiarity of learning only from personal experience so that the experience of other people passes him by in vain. From man to man, as he completes his brief spell on Earth, art transfers the whole weight of an unfamiliar, lifelong experience with all its burdens, its colours, its sap of life; it recreates in the flesh an unknown experience and allows us to possess it as our own.”

 ###

 ”And literature conveys irrefutable condensed experience in yet another invaluable direction; namely, from generation to generation. Thus it becomes the living memory of the nation. Thus it preserves and kindles within itself the flame of her spent history, in a form which is safe from deformation and slander. In this way literature, together with language, protects the soul of the nation.”

 ###

 ”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.”

 ###

 ”But woe to that nation whose literature is disturbed by the intervention of power. Because that is not just a violation against ’freedom of print’, it is the closing down of the heart of the nation, a slashing to pieces of its memory. The nation ceases to be mindful of itself, it is deprived of its spiritual unity, and despite a supposedly common language, compatriots suddenly cease to understand one another. Silent generations grow old and die without ever having talked about themselves, either to each other or to their descendants. When writers such as Achmatova and Zamjatin - interred alive throughout their lives - are condemned to create in silence until they die, never hearing the echo of their written words, then that is not only their personal tragedy, but a sorrow to the whole nation, a danger to the whole nation.
     
In some cases moreover - when as a result of such a silence the whole of history ceases to be understood in its entirety - it is a danger to the whole of mankind.”

 ###

 ”The world is being inundated by the brazen conviction that power can do anything, justice nothing. Dostoevsky's ’Devils’ - apparently a provincial nightmare fantasy of the last century - are crawling across the whole world in front of our very eyes, infesting countries where they could not have been dreamed of; and by means of the hijackings, kidnappings, explosions and fires of recent years they are announcing their determination to shake and destroy civilization! And they may well succeed. The young, at an age when they have not yet any experience other than sexual, when they do not yet have years of personal suffering and personal understanding behind them, are jubilantly repeating our depraved Russian blunders of the Nineteenth Century, under the impression that they are discovering something new.”

 ###

 ”The spirit of Munich has by no means retreated into the past; it was not merely a brief episode. I even venture to say that the spirit of Munich prevails in the Twentieth Century. The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles. The spirit of Munich is a sickness of the will of successful people, it is the daily condition of those who have given themselves up to the thirst after prosperity at any price, to material well-being as the chief goal of earthly existence. Such people - and there are many in today's world - elect passivity and retreat, just so as their accustomed life might drag on a bit longer, just so as not to step over the threshold of hardship today - and tomorrow, you'll see, it will all be all right. But it will never be all right! The price of cowardice will only be evil; we shall reap courage and victory only when we dare to make sacrifices.”


Back