Monday, August 4, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is Dead at 89 Years

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is dead. It makes me very sad, he was once a neighbor in Vermont. This civic minded Jeremiah attacked the excesses of capitalism and savagery of communism. Like Pope John Paul he had the gravitas of his own personal history as well as a moral platform (his Orthodox faith) that allowed him to discern the nuances of evil rather than engage in mere school-boy polemics. Even the fatuous NYT, who manage somehow to completely sully him with aspersions that they then casually rebut, refers to him as an "heir to the morally focused and often prophetic Russian literary tradition." The comments on the article were prolific and touching. I know he was a curmudgeon and I would disagree with him on many things. But I mourn and will always remember my neighbor, the writer, the Russian, the uncompromising believer, whose wintery spirit departs and leaves the world even more pale and absurd.
May the angels sing him to his rest.

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