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The Gulag Archipelago in three volumes

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The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation is a three-volume, non-fiction text written between 1958 and 1968 by Russian writer and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was first published in 1973, followed by an English translation the following year. It covers life in what is often known as the gulag, the Communist Soviet forced labour camp system, through a narrative constructed from various sources including reports, interviews, statements, diaries, legal documents, and Solzhenitsyn's own experience as a gulag prisoner. In Russian, the term GULAG is an acronym for Main Directorate of Camps.

Following its publication, the book initially circulated in samizdat underground publication in the Soviet Union until its appearance in the literary journal Novy Mir in 1989, in which a third of the work was published in three issues. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago has been officially published in Russia. An abridged fiftieth anniversary edition was released on 1 November 2018 with a new foreword by Jordan Peterson.

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Elizaveta Denisovna Voronyanskaya (died September 1973) was an assistant of the Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and typist for the manuscript of his book The Gulag Archipelago (1973), a history of the Gulag forced-labour camps in the Soviet Union.

The manuscript had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm and was ready for publication in New York and Paris, but Solzhenitsyn had wished for first publication within the Soviet Union. His plans were upset by the KGB, who tortured Voronyanskaya and uncovered the hiding place of the manuscript. Voronyanskaya was then found hanged in her apartment, allegedly as a result of suicide. Solzhenitsyn went ahead with publication, and a Russian-language edition of the book was published in Paris on 26 December 1973.

Solzhenitsyn was arrested on 12 February 1974 and deported to Germany. He lived in exile in the West until his return to Russia two decades later.

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I never knew this. However, the right to free speech and thought is paved with the blood of great writers and thinkers. How anyone could torture this matron of the word is beyond comprehension. 

To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good… Ideology – that is what gives devil doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors…

 

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Posted by George Freund on December 1, 2019 at 7:02 PM 174 Views