Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Municipal educational establishment “High school with a profound study of the

English language № 27 ”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Подпись: Student: Marina Telegina.
Form: 11”B”
Teacher: Solodkov V.V.

Подпись: Angarsk, 2002


Plan. 1

Introduction. 2

Main part. 3

1. Biography. 3

2. Master’s works. 8

3. The Cancer Ward. 9

Conclusion. 11

Literature. 12


"Who else, if not writers,

can censure not only their faulty

rulers but society at large?"

Solzhenitsyn (From Nobel lecture)

"We lived next door but did not understand that she was the upright person no

settlement can do without. Nor can a city. Nor the entire land..."

This excerpt from the famous short story "Matriona's Home" about a peasant

woman who gave shelter to the writer in the 1950s perfectly applies to the

writer himself. A teacher in the broadest sense of the word, a human rights

activist and a righteous man, whose principle has always been to live without


Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 "for the ethical

force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian

literature." Active member of Russian Academy of Sciences (1997).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn is now 84. "A legend of the 20th century, martyr and

hero," thus the outstanding Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachyov described

Solzhenitsyn once. For us Solzhenitsyn is not simply a great writer but

rather the nation's conscience whose word strikes you not only by its

artistic value but by its message of truth. This truth is all the more

impressing since the writer's word and life are never at varience. They

complement each other. Today we came to realize that the writer's most

outstanding "work" is his own life.

"Longevity was given to me. 80 years is a longevity. At this age you have new

opportunities. You can look back at your life and open something in it that

you could not notice and understand while you were on the run. For a larger

part of our lives we act, and action interferes with our ability to take a

quiet look at things. An old age gives some scope to your soul, a chance to

evaluate your deeds."

Main part.

1. Biography.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

One of the leading Russian writers of the 20th century, Alexander Isayevich

Solzhenitsyn, was born in Kislovodsk, on the 11th of December 1918 in a

family of Cossack intellectuals and brought up primarily by his mother. His

father had studied philological subjects at Moscow University, but did not

complete his studies, as he enlisted as a volunteer when war broke out in

1914. He became an artillery officer on the German front, fought throughout

the war and died in the summer of 1918, six months before his son was born.

Alexander was brought up by his mother, who worked as a shorthand typist, in

the town of Rostov-on-Don, where he spent the whole of his childhood and

youth, leaving the grammar school there in 1936. Even as a child, without any

prompting from others, he wanted to be a writer and, indeed, he turned out a

good deal of the usual juvenilia. In the 1930s, he tried to get his writings

published but he could not find anyone willing to accept his manuscripts. He

wanted to acquire a literary education, but in Rostov such an education that

would suit his wishes was not to be obtained. To move to Moscow was not

possible, partly because his mother was alone and in poor health, and partly

because of their modest circumstances.

Solzhenitsyn therefore began to study at the Department of Mathematics at Rostov

University, where it proved that he had considerable aptitude for mathematics.

But although he found it easy to learn this subject, he did not feel that he

wished to devote his whole life to it. Nevertheless, it was to play a

beneficial role in his destiny later on, and on at least two occasions, it

rescued him from death. For he would probably not have survived the eight years

in camps if he had not, as a mathematician, been transferred to a so-called

sharashia, where he spent four years; and later, during his exile, he was

allowed to teach mathematics and physics, which helped to ease his existence

and made it possible for him to write. If he had had a literary education it is

quite likely that he should not have survived these ordeals but would instead

have been subjected to even greater pressures. Later on, it is true, Alexander

Isayevich began to get some literary education as well; this was from 1939 to

1941, during which time, along with university studies in physics and

mathematics, he also studied by correspondence at the Institute of History,

Philosophy and Literature in Moscow.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn In 1941, a few days before the

outbreak of the war, Solzhenitsyn graduated from the Department of Physics and

Mathematics at Rostov University. At the beginning of the war, owing to weak

health, he was detailed to serve as a driver of horsedrawn vehicles during the

winter of 1941-1942. Later, because of his mathematical knowledge, he was

transferred to an artillery school, from which, after a crash course, he passed

out in November 1942. Immediately after this he was put in command of an

artillery-position-finding company, and in this capacity, served, without a

break, right in the front line until he was arrested in February 1945. This

happened in East Prussia, a region which is linked with his destiny in a

remarkable way. As early as 1937, as a first-year student, he chose to write a

descriptive essay on "The Samsonov Disaster" of 1914 in East Prussia and

studied material on this; and in 1945 he himself went to this area (at the time

of writing, autumn 1970, the book August 1914 has just been completed).

Solzhenitsyn was arrested on the grounds of what the censorship had found

during the years 1944-1945 in his correspondence with a school friend, mainly

because of certain disrespectful remarks about Stalin, although they referred

to him in disguised terms. As a further basis for the "charge", there were

used the drafts of stories and reflections which had been found in his map

case. These, however, were not sufficient for a "prosecution", and in July

1945 he was "sentenced" in his absence, in accordance with a procedure then

frequently applied, after a resolution by the OSO (the Special Committee of

the NKVD), to eight years in a detention camp (at that time this was

considered a mild sentence).

Solzhenitsyn served the first part of my sentence in several correctional work

camps of mixed types (this kind of camp is described in the play, The

Tenderfoot and the Tramp). In 1946, as a mathematician, he was transferred

to the group of scientific research institutes of the MVD-MOB (Ministry of

Internal Affairs, Ministry of State Security). He spent the middle period of

his sentence in such "SPECIAL PRISONS" (The First Circle). In 1950 he

was sent to the newly established "Special Camps" which were intended only for

political prisoners. In such a camp in the town of Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan (

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich), he worked as a miner, a bricklayer,

and a foundryman. There he contracted a tumour, which was operated on, but the

condition was not cured (its character was not established until later on).

One month after he had served the full term of his eight-year sentence, there

came, without any new judgement and even without a "resolution from the OSO",

an administrative decision to the effect that he was not to be released but

EXILED FOR LIFE to Kok-Terek (southern Kazakhstan). This measure was not

directed specially against him, but was a very usual procedure at that time. He

served this exile from March 1953 (on March 5th, when Stalin's death was made

public, he was allowed for the first time to go out without an escort) until

June 1956. Here his cancer had developed rapidly, and at the end of 1953, he

was very near death. He was unable to eat; he could not sleep and was severely

affected by the poisons from the tumour. However, he was able to go to a cancer

clinic at Tashkent, where, during 1954, he was cured (The Cancer Ward, Right


During all the years of exile, Solzhenitsyn taught mathematics and physics in a

primary school and during his hard and lonely existence he wrote prose in

secret (in the camp he could only write down poetry from memory). He managed,

however, to keep what he had written, and to take it with him to the European

part of the country, where, in the same way, he continued, as far as the outer

world was concerned, to occupy himself with teaching and, in secret, to devote

himself to writing, at first in the Vladimir district (Matryona's Farm)

and afterwards in Ryazan.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

During all the years until 1961, not only was he convinced that he should never

see a single line of him in print in his lifetime, but, also, he scarcely dared

allow any of his close acquaintances to read anything he had written because he

feared that this would become known. Finally, at the age of 42, this secret

authorship began to wear him down. The most difficult thing of all to bear was

that he could not get his works judged by people with literary training. In

1961, after the 22nd Congress of the U.S.S.R. Communist Party and Tvardovsky's

speech at this, he decided to emerge and to offer One Day in the Life of

Ivan Denisovich.

Such an emergence seemed, then, to Solzhenitsyn, and not without reason, to be

very risky because it might lead to the loss of his manuscripts, and to his own

destruction. But, on that occasion, things turned out successfully, and after

protracted efforts, A.T. Tvardovsky was able to print his novel one year later.

The printing of his work was, however, stopped almost immediately and the

authorities stopped both his plays and (in 1964) the novel, The First

Circle, which, in 1965, was seized together with his papers from the past

years. During these months it seemed to him that he had committed an

unpardonable mistake by revealing his work prematurely and that because of this

he should not be able to carry it to a conclusion. After 1966, his work was not

published in the Soviet Union for many years.

The open conflict between communist regime and Solzhenitsyn erupted with his

Letter to the Fourth National Congress of Soviet Writers (May 1967), in which

he demanded the abolition of censorship, the rehabilitation of many writers

victimized during the repression, and the restoration of his archives,

confiscated by the KGB in 1965. After the publication abroad of The First

Circle (1968) and The Cancer Ward (1968-69) abroad and winning the

Nobel Prize (1970, "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the

indispensable traditions of Russian literature") the confrontation increased.

Further public statements by Solzhenitsyn (A Lenten Letter to Pimen, Patriarch

of all Russia, Letter to the Soviet Leaders, etc.) as well as the publication

of the first variant of August 1914 (1971) and the first volume of The

Gulag Archipelago (1973), led the Soviet authorities to exile him to

Germany (February 1974).

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Having settled first in Switzerland, Solzhenitsyn, his wife Natalia Dmitrievna,

three sons: Ermolai, Ignat and Stepan, in 1976 moved to the United States. They

lived in Cavendish, Vermont. While in the West, Solzhenitsyn completed The

Oak and the Calf (1975) and Three Plays (1981). In 1982 an

enlarged version of August 1914 was published as the first in a series

of novels about the Russian Revolution to be called collectively The Red

Wheel. Excerpts from this work had been published in 1975 as Lenin in

Zurich. There were many public addresses and speeches also: A World Split

Apart, Misconceptions About Russia Are a Threat to America, etc. The

intellectual and moral influence of Solzhenitsyn played an important role in

the fall of communist power in East Europe and Russia.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In 1989 Gulag Archipelago was published as a serial in the literary

magazine Novy Mir. In 1990 Solzhenitsyn was again admitted the Soviet

citizenship. Then he published How to Reconstruct Russia: Reflections and

Tentative Proposals. He came back to Russia in May 1994. Among his new

works was Russian Question at the End of XX Century, Russia in the Abuss

and other publicist writing, short stories. Now the magazine Novy Mir

has began to publish his Sketches on Exile (a sequel of The Oak and

the Calf). There is a new his historical book now: 200 Years Together.

After return he tried to influence the modern Russian politics and met

President Yeltsin (1994) and President Putin (2000).

2. Master’s works.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn Literature, however, was not

Solzhenitsyn's first profession. He graduated from Rostov University (and with

honors) and in the 50s taught mathematics, physics and astronomy. Perhaps, this

explains the logic always present in his literary work. The idea of every short

story or epic novel is always crystal clear. The author's stand is never

ambiguous. The celebrated One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, which

made the writer famous overnight, is a wild protest against Stalin's

concentration camps and, in a broader sense, against suppression of any

personality. But this protest is expressed in amazing artistic form, where

every word is richly colored.

One Day and Matriona's Home have been read by millions of people

in this country, while the large-scale novels In Circle One, Cancer

Ward, The GULAG Archipelago and The Red Wheel are a hard

nut to crack and on the whole have not become national bestsellers. Certainly,

many readers were discouraged by the size of these books; The Red Wheel

alone consists of 10 volumes. Besides, after all the revelations of the

perestroika period, after scandals and masses of compromising material daily

supplied by the media, many people simply don't have the energy to go deep into

the events of the past, which were even more frightening that those of the

present. The writer himself has an approximately similar opinion on the issue.

As for the Russian literature of the Soviet period on the whole, he believes

that "After 1917 life and people changed greatly. But literature produced a

very poor reflection of these changes. The truth was suppressed and lies

encouraged. Thus we arrived in the 1990s, knowing next to nothing about this

country. This explains the great number of surprises."

There is still another reason why many people remain strangers to

Solzhenitsyn's work. His major books are not entertaining reading. In fact,

they are political and philosophical essays. The writer believes his mission

is to keep things under constant scrutiny.

3. The Cancer Ward.

I would life to tell you about one of my favorite novels by Alexander

Solzhenitsyn. It is The Cancer Ward.

The story takes place in the men's cancer ward of a hospital in a city in

Soviet Central Asia. The patients in Ward 13 all suffer from cancer, but

differ in age, personality, nationality, and social class (as if such a thing

could be possible in the Soviet "classless" society!). We are first

introduced to Pavel Rusanov, a Communist Party functionary, who enters the

hospital because of a rapidly growing neck tumor.

Реферат: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

We soon learn, however, that the book's central character is Oleg

Kostoglotov, a young man who has recently been discharged from a penal camp

and is now "eternally" exiled to this particular province. Only two weeks

earlier, he was admitted to the ward in grave condition from an unspecified

tumor, but he has responded rapidly to radiation therapy. Among the doctors

are Zoya, a medical student; Vera Gangart, a young radiologist; and Lyudmila

Dontsova, the chief of radiation therapy.

Rusanov and Kostoglotov respond to therapy and are eventually discharged;

other patients remain in the ward, get worse, or are sent home to die. In the

end Kostoglotov boards a train to the site of his "eternal" exile: "The long

awaited happy life had come, it had come! But Oleg somehow did not recognize


Solzhenitzyn himself was released from a labor camp in early 1953, just

before Stalin's death, and was exiled to a village in Kazakhstan. While

incarcerated, he had been operated on for a tumor, but was not told the

diagnosis. He subsequently developed a recurrence, received radiotherapy in

Tashkent, and recovered.

In The Cancer Ward Solzhenitzyn transforms these experiences into a

multifaceted tale about Soviet society during the period of hope and

liberalization after Stalin's death. Cancer, of course, is an obvious

metaphor for the totalitarian state. The novel also provides an interesting

look at mid-century Soviet medicine and medical ethics.

The novel also explores the personal qualities and motivation of physicians,

and the issue of intimate relationships between doctors and patients.

Probably the book's strongest points are its insight into human nature and

the believability of its characters.


Solzhenitsyn is disappointed with Russian literature: "On the one hand, our

Russian literature is very high because it has not lost its ethic standard.

On the other hand, partly under the influence of Gogol, with his merciless

attitude toward public vices, Russian literature lost its creative message.

We have Oblomov, Onegin, Pechorin, all the so-called "useless people", but

where are the builders, the creators? Russia was created as a mighty power

stretching east to Siberia, where back in the 18th century we had educational

institutions, talented people and culture. Then under Gogol's influence there

appeared a succession of satirists and ironists. Saltytkov-Shchedrin, for

example, with his scathing look at the negative is simply mustard."

Today Solzhenitsyn continues working, preparing his diaries for publication,

writing letters to the former fellow-inmates and helping thousands of people.

The Solzhenitsyn foundation is based on the royalties of The GULAG

Archipelago, published in 30 countries. It supports thousands of former

political prisoners across Russia.

"Giving is far more important than taking," says the writer's wife, Natalia.

"As for him, he has popular love. He receives wonderful letters and knows

there are many people who are grateful to him. But he works not for this

gratitude. We are happy to be back home. We never feel lonely, nor do we bear

any grudge. We feel as if we had never left the country."


1. Нива Ж. Солженицын. – М., 1992.

2. The New York Times, May 15,1997.

3. The New York Times, March 1, 1998.

4. Encyclopedia Britannica.

5. Профиль, 12 января 1998, №1.

© 2010 Рефераты