Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was the first to chronicle the crushing brutality of daily life in the Soviet Union’s prison camps. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (FYI it’s brilliant!). It was the only novel he was allowed to publish in the Soviet Union. His other works had to be published in the West, most notably Cancer Ward (chilling to the bone), and The Gulag Archipelago (Time magazine called it the most important book of the 20th century). The enduring quality of Solzhenitsyn’s writing is that it shines a light on our own society, as well as our own humanity.
The quote featured here is taken from The Gulag Archipelago:
“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was not a perfect man. I disagree with many of his views. However, he was a hugely important voice during the tumultuous 20th century, not to mention a jaw-droppingly talented writer. This Solzhenitsyn t-shirt is my tribute to the great man.
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