Solzhenitsyn And American Culture


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For many Americans of both right and left political persuasions, the Russian bear is more of a bugbear. On the right, the country is still mentally represented by Soviet domination. For those on the left, it is a harbor for reactionary values and neo-imperial visions. The reality, however, is that, despite Russia’s political failures, its rich history of culture, religion, and philosophical reflection—even during the darkest days of the Gulag—have been a deposit of wisdom for American artists, religious thinkers, and political philosophers probing what it means to be human. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stands out as the key figure in this conversation, as both a Russian literary giant and an exile from Russia living in America for two decades. This anthology reconsiders Solzhenitsyn’s work from a variety of perspectives—his faith, his politics, and the influences and context of his literature—to provide a prophetic vision for our current national confusion over universal ideals. In Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West, David P. Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson have collected essays from the foremost scholars and thinkers of comparative studies who have been tracking what Americans have borrowed and learned from Solzhenitsyn as well as his fellow Russians. The book offers a consideration of what we have in common—the truth, goodness, and beauty America has drawn from Russian culture and from masters such as Solzhenitsyn—and will suggest to readers what we can still learn and what we must preserve. The book will interest fans of Solzhenitsyn and scholars across the disciplines, and it can be used in courses on Solzhenitsyn or Russian literature more broadly. Contributors: David P. Deavel, Jessica Hooten Wilson, John Wilson, Nathan Neilson, Eugene Vodolazkin, David Walsh, Matthew Lee Miller, Ralph C. Wood, Gary Saul Morson, Edward E. Ericson Jr., Micah Mattix, Joseph Pearce, James F. Pontuso, Daniel J. Mahoney, William Jason Wallace, Lee Trepanier, Peter Leithart, Dale E. Peterson, Julianna Leachman, Walter G. Moss, and Jacob Howland.

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Author by David P. Deavel
Genre eBook History
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ISBN Number 9780268108274

The Magical Chorus


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A cultural history of Russia that ranges from the reign of Tsar Nicholas II to perestroika examines the complex interconnection between Russian rulers and artists as exemplified by the stories behind the great masterpieces of luminaries in the fields of art, music, literature, theater, cinema and dance. Reprint.

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Author by Solomon Volkov
Genre eBook History
Read Book 333
ISBN Number 9781400077861

Cross Cultural Reckonings


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Blanche H. Gelfant's book Cross-Cultural Reckonings questions the applicability of postmodern theories to realistic texts.

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Author by Blanche H. Gelfant
Genre eBook Literary Criticism
Read Book 190
ISBN Number 0521440386

Encounters With American Culture


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This collection of essays discusses some of the important books, authors, and literary trends of a volatile era in American and world literature whose cultural repercussions are still being felt. Peter S. Prescott was one of the most penetrating, knowledgeable, and sensitive critics to write for a general audience in the tradition of Edmund Wilson. Readers will discover not only Prescott's acute and subtle comments on the enduring and/or representative books of the time, but also his humor and style, his way with an anecdote or aphorism, his talent for parody, and his ability to laugh at himself, as well as at the authors he sometimes skewers. Prescott's writing has an immediacy and vivacity that suggests what it was like to read new books during his time. Here is one critic's view--ironic and complex--of good books by famous writers like Norman Mailer, Jorge Luis Borges, Joyce Carol Oates, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as of good books by little-known writers and others who would later achieve reknown. Here, too, is some astringent criticism of distinguished and popular authors who have fallen into self-indulgence. Prescott writes about the New Journalism in its early days and about fragmentary autobiography as a literary form--genres whose importance he was among the first to recognize. His essays also touch on theater, film, food, and politics. The criticism in this volume are examples of the literary essay in its truest sense--an attempt to explore, in however brief space allowed, what the author sees around him, and connections between books and other aspects of the way people live. Always personal and urbane, these essays are often hilarious, generally moving, and exemplify the essay as an art form.

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Author by Peter S. Prescott
Genre eBook Literary Collections
Read Book 350
ISBN Number 9781351311946

Overwriting Chaos


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Richard Tempest examines Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s evolution as a literary artist from his early autobiographical novel Love the Revolution to the experimental mega-saga The Red Wheel, and beyond. Tempest shows how this author gives his characters a presence so textured that we can readily imagine them as figures of flesh and blood and thought and feeling. The study discusses Solzhenitsyn’s treatment of Lenin, Stalin, and the Russian Revolution; surprising predilection for textual puzzles and games à la Nabokov or even Borges; exploration of erotic themes; and his polemical interactions with Russian and Western modernism. Also included is new information about the writer’s life and art provided by his family, as well as Tempest’s interviews with him in 2003-7.

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Author by Richard Tempest
Genre eBook Literary Criticism
Read Book 750
ISBN Number 9781644692943

Warning To The West


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‘Can one part of humanity learn from the bitter experience of another or can it not? Is it possible or impossible to warn someone of danger...to assess soberly the worldwide menace that threatens to swallow the whole world? I was swallowed myself. I have been in the dragon’s belly, in its red-hot innards. It was unable to digest me and threw me up. I have come to you as a witness to what it is like there, in the dragon’s belly’ During 1975 and 1976, Nobel Prize-winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn embarked on a series of speeches across America and Britain that would shock and scandalise both countries. His message: the West was veering towards moral and spiritual bankruptcy, and with it the world’s one hope against tyranny and totalitarianism. From Solzhenitsyn’s warnings about the allure of communism, to his rebuke that the West should not abandon its age-old concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, the speeches collected in Warning to the West provide insight into Solzhenitsyn’s uncompromising moral vision. Read today, their message remains as powerfully urgent as when Solzhenitsyn first delivered them.

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Author by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Genre eBook Literary Collections
Read Book 144
ISBN Number 9781473567771

Intimate Strangers


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Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Edward Said each steered major intellectual and political schools of thought shaping American political discourse after World War II. Yet none of them was American, and this was crucial to their thinking, which relied on ways of arguing and reasoning that stand both inside and outside of the American context. In an effort to convince their audiences they were American enough, these thinkers deployed deft rhetorical strategies that made their cosmopolitanism feel acceptable, inspiring radical new approaches to longstanding problems in American politics. Speaking like natives, they also exploited their foreignness to entice listeners to embrace alternative modes of thought. Intimate Strangers unpacks this Òstranger ethos,Ó a blend of detachment and involvement that manifested in the persona of a prophet for Solzhenitsyn, an impartial observer for Arendt, a mentor for Marcuse, and a victim for Said. Despite its many successes, though, the stranger ethos did alienate audiences, and many critics continue to dismiss these thinkers not for their positions but because of their foreign point of view. This book concludes with an appeal to reject this kind of xenophobia, throwing support behind a political discourse that accounts for the ideals of both citizens and noncitizens.

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Author by Andreea Deciu Ritivoi
Genre eBook Philosophy
Read Book 304
ISBN Number 9780231168687

American Culture In Peril


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Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan rode a wave of patriotism to the White House by calling for a return to what he considered to be traditional American values--personal liberty, free markets, and limited government. After the cultural struggles and generational clashes of the 1960s and 70s, it appeared that many Americans were eager to abide by Reagan's set of core American principles. Yet, despite Reagan's continuing popularity, modern America remains widely perceived as a nation weakened by its divisions. While debates over cultural values have been common throughout the country's history, they seem particularly vitriolic today. Some argue that these differences have resulted in a perpetually gridlocked government caught between left and right, red states and blue. Since the American Founding, commonly shared cultural values have been considered to be the glue that would bind the nation's citizens together. However, how do we identify, define and interpret the foundations of American culture in a profoundly divided, pluralistic country? In American Culture in Peril, Charles W. Dunn assembles top scholars and public intellectuals to examine Reagan's impact on American culture in the twenty-first century. The contributors assess topics vital to our conversations about American culture and society, including changing views of the family, the impact of popular culture, and the evolving relationship between religion, communities, and the state. Others investigate modern liberalism and the possibilities of reclaiming a renewed conservatism today. American Culture in Peril illuminates Reagan's powerful legacy and investigates whether his traditional view of American culture can successfully compete in postmodern America. Contributors Hadley Arkes Paul A. Cantor Allan Carlson Jean Bethke Elshtain Charles R. Kesler Wilfred M. McClay Ken Myers

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Author by Charles W. Dunn
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 184
ISBN Number 9780813140650

Between Two Millstones Book 2


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This compelling account concludes Nobel prize?winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?s literary memoirs of his years in the West after his forced exile from the USSR following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. The book reflects both the pain of separation from his Russian homeland and the chasm of miscomprehension between him and Western opinion-makers. In Between Two Millstones, Solzhenitsyn likens his position to that of a grain that becomes lodged between two massive stones, each grinding away?the Soviet Communist power with its propaganda machine on the one hand, and the Western establishment with its mainstream media on the other. Book 2 picks up the story of Solzhenitsyn?s remarkable life after the raucous publicity over his 1978 Harvard address has died down. The author parries attacks from the Soviet state (and its many fellow-travelers in the Western press) as well as from recent émigrés who, according to Solzhenitsyn, defame Russian culture, history, and religion. He shares his unvarnished view of several infamous episodes, such as a sabotaged meeting with Ronald Reagan, aborted Senate hearings into Radio Liberty, and Gorbachev?s protracted refusal to allow The Gulag Archipelago to be published back home. There is also a captivating chapter detailing Solzhenitsyn?s trips to Japan, Taiwan, and Great Britain, including meetings with Margaret Thatcher and Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Meanwhile, the central themes of Book 1 course through this volume, too?the immense artistic quandary of fashioning the Red Wheel, staunch Western hostility to the historical and future Russia (and how much can, or should, the author do about it?), and the challenges of raising his three sons in the language and spirit of Russia while cut off from the homeland in a remote corner of rural New England. The book concludes in 1994, as Solzhenitsyn bids farewell to the West in a valedictory series of speeches and meetings with world leaders, including John Paul II, and prepares at last to return home with his beloved wife Natalia, full of misgivings about what use he can be in the first chaotic years of post-Communist Russia, but never wavering in his conviction that, in the long run, his books would speak, influence, and convince. This vibrant, faithful, and long-awaited first English translation of Between Two Millstones, Book 2, will fascinate Solzhenitsyn?s many admirers, as well as those interested in twentieth-century history, Russian history, and literature in general.

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Author by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Genre eBook Biography & Autobiography
Read Book 680
ISBN Number 0268109001

The Distortion Of America


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This book is a methodological primer on how historians gather evidence, presume reliability of witnesses, and develop forms of verification in the conduct of analysis and research. It is an introduction to the study of history and an examination of specific instances in which ideology has distorted the study of American history. Oscar Handlin is best known as America’s leading historian of ethnicity and the immigrant experience in the new nation. When it was first published in 1961, The Distortion of America was perhaps the first critique of anti-Americanism as an ideological expression of Marxism-Leninism in schools of higher learning. For the second edition, originally published in the 1990s, Handlin added chapters on forces affecting economic strength in the US; race and distortions of America; Yugoslavian troubles created by class divisions; and the relevance to China of democracy in the United States. The final chapter is a memorable essay on how Arthur Koestler’s career exemplifies the difficulties of the ex-communist in an unsympathetic environment. Now available in paperback for the first time, this volume offers a new generation of historians and students an opportunity to acquaint themselves with one of the premier historians of the twentieth century.

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Author by Oscar Handlin
Genre eBook History
Read Book 251
ISBN Number 9781412836562