Lenin in Zurich [Alexander Solzhenitsyn] on bestthing.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Also by Aleksandr L Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago ID-IV. The Gulag Archipelago I—II. Prussian Nights. Warning to the West. Lenin in Zurich. Letter to the. Lenin in Zürich book. Read 23 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Separate publication of chapters on Vladimir Lenin, none of them pu.
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"Alexander Solzhenitsyn Banquet Speech". bestthing.info 10 December Retrieved 23 August ^ Lenin in Zurich, preface ^ "Solzhenitsyn's. By Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. Translated by H. T. Willetts. A lexander Solzhenitsyn is by no means the first Russian writer to realize that the rhetoric of and now in Solzhenitsyn's highly interesting non-book, "Lenin in Zurich. Solzhenitsyn's Lenin is a pudgy, compulsive, humorless fellow, chronically frustrated by finances and colleagues. Interior monologue—which.
A resounding success, it was hailed by his contemporaries, as its vivid prose corresponded with their experiences of the Stalin era, and in many ways it symbolised the dawn of a hoped-for new era of reform in the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn publicly opposed this censorship, and he fought vainly to obtain the publication of his next two novels, also based upon his experiences as a prisoner, Cancer Ward and The First Circle.
Banned from publication at home, they were to appear in the West during Although Solzhenitsyn was originally of the opinion that the Soviet system 1 could be reformed into a democratic form of socialism, by the late s he had rejected the entire Soviet experience and was harking back to pre-revolutionary days, seeking solutions in Slavophile and Orthodox Christian ideas.
Although this particular illusion was soon dispelled, it only affected a few Marxists, and a bigger misinterpretation was to emerge in the West as Solzhenitsyn came to represent the popular image of the Soviet dissident. This was also mistaken, for although he suffered at the hands of the Soviet regime for his beliefs just as they did, he did not represent them politically.
In the broad range of ideas expressed by Soviet dissidents, from Marxism on the far left to fascism on the far right, the idiosyncratic right-wing religious outlook to which he had rapidly moved was only one view amongst many, and not a particularly popular one at that. His parading as the authentic voice of Soviet dissidence meant that large numbers of people in the West came to see his intemperate and distorted viewpoint as being representative of oppositional thinking in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc as a whole.
Alongside writing his novels, Solzhenitsyn had been assiduously collecting data for a magnum opus on the prison camp system.
When one of the carefully concealed manuscripts was seized by the authorities, he authorised its publication in the West, copies having already been smuggled out, and the first of the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago was published in early This inevitably led to trouble, and Solzhenitsyn and his family found themselves deported from the Soviet Union in February It was particularly championed by right-wing publications and commentators, as were his outspoken public statements on the Soviet foreign and domestic policies, as they keyed in with their anti-communist agenda.
In one sense, however, what The Gulag Archipelago presented was not completely unknown in the West as accounts of the Soviet prison system by escapees such as Vladimir Chernavin and Ivan Solonevich had already appeared by the mids, and further first-hand memoirs of Soviet repression were to be released on a regular basis over the coming decades.
On the other hand, The Gulag Archipelago struck a popular chord in the West that these other books singularly failed to do. For Solzhenitsyn, oppositionists within Bolshevism, be they Trotskyists or Democratic Centralists, were no better than the victorious Stalinists.
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That Solzhenitsyn made no attempt to provide any political analysis in this huge work, for example, completely overlooking the context of the violence meted out by the Soviet authorities during the Civil War of — the desperate resistance of a beleaguered regime against indigenous counter-revolution and foreign intervention — and that Bolshevism was seen as a totalitarian, power- seeking movement from the very start, was in a way actually an advantage.
The Gulag Archipelago is not an easy work to read. The sheer mass of the accounts of the repression, ill-treatment and incarceration suffered by the victims and the cruelty and stupidity of those running the system tends to numb the mind.
Writing in the first volume about the Great Terror and in particular the Moscow Trials, he claimed: If you study in detail the whole history of the arrests and trials of to , the principal revulsion you feel is not against Stalin and his accomplices, but against the humiliatingly repulsive defendants — nausea at their spiritual baseness after their former pride and implacability.
Here, Solzhenitsyn was merely following his Stalin-era tutelage, deliberately overlooking the great personal courage that Trotsky showed in many dangerous situations during the Civil War. In the second volume, Solzhenitsyn sneered at the party loyalists who were baffled at their arrest and conviction and tried to explain their plight as the result of mistakes, infiltration of the security services by foreign powers, and other rationalisations.
Sleep deprivation, semi-starvation, physical ill-treatment, humiliation, isolation, political blackmail particularly for the loyalists , threats to families… he was well aware of the cruel methods that were used to obtain confessions and compliance. Like most Soviet loyalists, he did not fight back. Even in the occasional moment when Solzhenitsyn praised oppositional Bolsheviks, he could not avoid appending a sneer.
But how did this differ from his writing for his own desk drawer? The only reason that the world came to know of Solzhenitsyn as anything more than a passing figure, or indeed came to know of him at all, was because the Soviet regime under Khrushchev and even under Brezhnev was somewhat more liberal than it was under Stalin, and that he had powerful champions in the West, ones whom the Soviet regime felt it best to appease by deporting him.
The crudity of the portrayal of the Bolshevik leader in his Lenin in Zurich led such strong critics of Leninism as Boris Souvarine and Robert Service to criticise him and attempt to put right the historical record.
The Eternal Cold-Warrior Solzhenitsyn made some remarkable assertions in his books and speeches. Rulers change, the Archipelago remains. It remains because that particular political regime could not survive without it. If it disbanded the Archipelago, it would cease to exist itself. Translated by H.
Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov--all of whom had at various times expressed sympathy for certain aspects of the Russian revolutionary movement--all depicted memorable characters whose idea of liberation was the imposition of their own ideology on everybody by force.
With his fanatical conviction that he is the only person who knows what the Russian people really want and need, and his abiding concern with gaining unlimited personal power.
Tolstoy's Novodvorov strikes one today as an uncannily prophetic portrait of Vladimir Ulyanov, who under the name of Lenin became the founder of the Soviet Union.
Like Novodovorov, Lenin despise all radicals who were not his disciples and detested as well the gradual liberalization of Russian society in the pre-Reovlutionary decades; the trial by jury that acquitted revolutionary terrorists such as Vera Zasulich, with the government helpless to intervene; the collapse of the censorship of political and sexual topics in books and periodicals after the revolution; the legalization of political parties and the establishment of a parliamentary system; and the burgeoning labor union movement.
These things meant for Lenin the advent of the odious Western-style parliamentary democracy, something that would further postpone the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a form of government Lenin described as ".
Lenin in Zürich
Deified in the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, credited with preternatural foresight and omniscience, Lenin is frequently regarded in the West as a libertarian whose ideas were corrupted and distorted by Stalin and as the revolutionary leader who gave the Russian masses the freedoms they had never had the gradual liberalization and democratization of Russian social and political life between 's and the Revolution is so totally forgotten in the West that even such an informed and perceptive observer as Hedrick Smith can systematically disregard it in the numerous parallels he draws between the Soviet and Czarist regimes in "The Russians.
Lenin overlooked them. He was far too busy with his efforts to foment a proletarian revolution in Switzerland with the aid of the minuscule local Social Democratic Party.
This paradoxical situation has been recently highlighted in a historical study Alfred Erich Senn's thorough "The Russian Revolution in Switzerland" , a play Tom Stoppard's "Travesties" and now in Solzhenitsyn's highly interesting non-book, "Lenin in Zurich. Instead, it is what its subtitle "Chapters" says it is: one chapter on Lenin from "August " that was omitted at the time of that novel's publication and a series of chapters dealing with Lenin from the other two as yet unpublished novels of Solzhenitsyn's trilogy-in progress about World War I.
It is as if someone had removed all the chapters in which Napoleon appears from Tolstoy's "War and Peace" like so many raisins from a cake and then published them separately as "Napoleon in Russia.
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Returned to its original context in the novel, the chapter acquires the ironical meaning the author intended: the exiled revolutionary leader's longing for the collapse of Russia as he is released from a brief Austro-Hungarian incarceration and heads for Switzerland is set off against the staggering defeats Russian armies suffer in advance chapters. The chapters from "October " and "March " lack such a context. Chapters 38, 44 and 45 from "October " show Lenin organizing the Swiss socialists, working in the library, longing for Inessa Armand and dreaming of smashing the prosperous shops and restaurants he sees as he wanders about Zurich in the sequence of four later chapters from the same novel, the spotlight shifts to the fantastic figure of Parvus Israel Helphand , the revolutionary-turned-millionaire who served as a contact between Lenin and the German general staff.
The three chapters from "March " show Lenin's reaction to the February Revolution and his preparations to depart for Russia with German aid and encouragement the Germans had hoped that the takeover of Russia by extreme leftists would knock her out of the war.
The only conceivable motive for publishing these disjointed chapters in this form is political. As his recent televised interview confirms, Solzhenitsyn is appalled by the persistent misunderstanding in the West of the October Revolution and of the meaning of Leninism.
Rather than wait until the completion of the other two novels of his historical trilogy, he decided to offer the West his view of Lenin now. And yet, the book is neither a caricature nor a political broadside.
Solzhenitsyn's Lenin is solidly researched. After reading several volumes of Lenin's letters dating from the period, I can testify to the care with which Solzhenitsyn hs reproduced Lenin's speech and thought patterns.We must root out this evil.
Surely at least some of these people must have believed in what they were doing; surely at least some of them must have felt that a revolution would help people? Alongside writing his novels, Solzhenitsyn had been assiduously collecting data for a magnum opus on the prison camp system. KGB and CPSU experts finally concluded that he alienated American listeners by his "reactionary views and intransigent criticism of the US way of life", so no further active measures would be required.
A staunch believer in traditional Russian culture, Solzhenitsyn expressed his disillusionment with post-Soviet Russia in works such as Rebuilding Russia called for the establishment of a strong presidential republic balanced by vigorous institutions of local self-government. Solzhenitsyn's Lenin is a pudgy, compulsive, humorless fellow, chronically frustrated by finances and colleagues. Solzhenitsyn made an unsuccessful attempt, with the help of Tvardovsky, to get his novel, Cancer Ward, legally published in the Soviet Union.
His driving urge is seen to be to increase his personal standing by breaking up any movement within the socialists which looks toward anyone other than himself.
Americans, he said, speaking in Russian through a translator, suffered from a "decline in courage" and a "lack of manliness.
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