TITLE

The selling of Solzhenitsyn

AUTHOR(S)
Laber, Jeri
PUB. DATE
May 1974
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;May/Jun1974, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p4
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses the autobiography of Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Soviet leaders undercut Solzhenitsyn's heroic image when they exiled him to the West, for they avoided the impending confrontation that might have assured his ascension to martyrdom. Solzhenitsyn's expulsion may alter attitudes toward him in the West as well. Solzhenitsyn's beliefs are in fact quite alien to Western liberal thought. He condemns Marxism not as a democrat but as an elitist, deriding Western democracy and scorning its decadence. he is a reactionary in that he favors a return to Russian Orthodoxy and to the benevolent authoritarianism with which Russia has lived for a thousand years. Solzhenitsyn's misleadingly liberal image results in part from a tendency of the press to rely on code words. Solzhenitsyn has refused his public the homely, gossipy details that flesh out the image of a celebrated personality. His life, unencumbered by extraneous detail, takes on legendary proportions. The Western media have exploited this in creating the two-dimensional image of Solzhenitsyn as superhero. Strong, solitary, mysterious, his literary talents confirmed by the Nobel Prize, he was admired essentially as a political figure neatly drawn on two-dimensional cardboard, the defender of safe and simple values like freedom, justice and truth.
ACCESSION #
16275834

 

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