Monday, August 4, 2008

Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Dies

Literary great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died Sunday at the age of 89. Writers just don't get more important than Mr. Solzhenitsyn, who challenged his nation by writing about some of the harshest realities of Soviet Communism in works like The Gulag Archipelago, which tells the history of the Gulag prison camps.

I'll refrain from chronicling his life because this New York Times article does it much more eloquently than I can in the limited time I have ... and in the limited space and attention-span offered by a blog. And there are so many noteworthy events that should be mentioned when talking about this man. I will note, when Robert Rauschenberg died, I thought it was impressive that his biography was four pages online. Solzhenitsyn's is eight pages!

There are some great interactive features on the NY Times page, too—a photo slideshow with some pictures that show awesome personality, what you'd expect from a Russian writer with lots of personality; some audio clips; etc.


Fran said...

Hi Jessica, I've enjoyed your blog! Maybe you'll visit mine: fran-johns-on-celebrations.blogspot. I'm an internet Luddite, still trying to figure out things like RSS feeds & links to other blogs. A writer by trade, because I write so much on end-of-life issues (a book "Dying Unafraid", articles on Beliefnet & elsewhere) I wanted to keep my blog broader; don't know if that's wise. You might be interested in some of my nonprofit causes, though, especially Compassion & Choices. Pls consider yourself invited to visit In any event, good luck with your chosen path. The need for open dialogue about death and dying in our culture is acute. Work as a hospice volunteer & with AIDS patients etc has shown me the anguish that so often results when we've not talked; currently I spend a LOT of time doing advance directive workshops & staying on this soapbox you're now seeing. I wish you peace & every good thing - Fran Moreland Johns, San Francisco

Jessica Knapp said...

Thank you Fran. I appreciate the nice words. I will definitely visit your blog! So glad to hear you're doing advance directive workshops. More people should think about end-of-life issues and how they want to be treated at the end, although I'm preaching to the choir here. Thank you for the links ... and I'm glad to meet a kindred spirit.