Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

 

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes… we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions – especially selfish ones.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The name of ‘reform’ simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I can say without affectation that I belong to the Russian convict world no less than I do to Russian literature. I got my education there, and it will last forever.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

For us in Russia communism is a dead dog. For many people in the West, it is still a living lion.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you – you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The next war… may well bury Western civilization forever.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

First would be the literary side, then the spiritual and philosophical. The political side is required principally because of the necessity of the current Russian position.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We have arrived at an intellectual chaos.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It would have been difficult to design a path out of communism worse than the one that has been followed.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Our government declared that it is conducting some kind of great reforms. In reality, no real reforms were begun and no one at any point has declared a coherent programme.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

There are a lot of clear thinkers everywhere.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Today when we say the West we are already referring to the West and to Russia. We could use the word ‘modernity’ if we exclude Africa, and the Islamic world, and partially China.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Of course God is endlessly multi-dimensional so every religion that exists on earth represents some face, some side of God.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Religion always remains higher than everyday life. In order to make the elevation towards religion easier for people, religion must be able to alter its forms in relation to the consciousness of modern man.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand one who’s cold?

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Literature becomes the living memory of a nation.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Human beings yield in many situations, even important and spiritual and central ones, as long as it prolongs one’s well-being.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God’s heaven.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience… from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The clock of communism has stopped striking. But its concrete building has not yet come crashing down. For that reason, instead of freeing ourselves, we must try to save ourselves from being crushed by its rubble.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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