Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Book Notes No. 9 : Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Oh.

Solzhenitsyn is dead.

I came to Solzhenitsyn through a rather roundabout route. Living in northern Nigeria, in the Muslim emirate of Zaria (fantastic mud-built emir's palace - deliciously cool inside - but that's another story). I shared a house with a Fulani lawyer who had only two books on his shelves. A copy of the precepts of Shariah law and Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago.

During the impossible days before the rain came, a chameleon shed its skin on the windowsill, and the driver took off in the night back to his family in Niger, my head ached if I moved and I was pinned to the spot with lethargy. It was during those days that I read every word Solzhenitsyn wrote in this monster of a work.

It's scary stuff, and every 18-year-old should read it. And when you're done reading, washed out, exhausted with the sheer terror of it all, you may want to join those who believe that because Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived, the gates of the gulag are less likely to swing open again.

Solzhenitsyn is dead. Long live Solzhenitsyn.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

A big Ay-men to that, sister!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Book Notes No. 9 : Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Oh.

Solzhenitsyn is dead.

I came to Solzhenitsyn through a rather roundabout route. Living in northern Nigeria, in the Muslim emirate of Zaria (fantastic mud-built emir's palace - deliciously cool inside - but that's another story). I shared a house with a Fulani lawyer who had only two books on his shelves. A copy of the precepts of Shariah law and Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago.

During the impossible days before the rain came, a chameleon shed its skin on the windowsill, and the driver took off in the night back to his family in Niger, my head ached if I moved and I was pinned to the spot with lethargy. It was during those days that I read every word Solzhenitsyn wrote in this monster of a work.

It's scary stuff, and every 18-year-old should read it. And when you're done reading, washed out, exhausted with the sheer terror of it all, you may want to join those who believe that because Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived, the gates of the gulag are less likely to swing open again.

Solzhenitsyn is dead. Long live Solzhenitsyn.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

A big Ay-men to that, sister!