Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”

As readers, writers, human beings, I don’t think we would be quite the same without Solzhenitsyn. I was in my late teens when I discovered A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Cancer Ward. I was, and remain amazed by his ability to describe the most harrowing of settings and situations without sinking into despair.

And how not to remember Solzhenitsyn as a public figure? He spoke up with the same courage, the same boldness, the same lucidity against the atrocities of the Soviet regime, the putrid oligarchy that now rules Russia and the soulless materialism of the West. Yes, he may well be the most important writer of the 20th century, and I hope that his death today at the age of 89 will at last bring him the recognition some would have denied him.

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