Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes

  • Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Country #Travel #Memories

  • When I was young, the early death of my father cast a shadow over me - and I was afraid to die before all my literary plans came true. But between 30 and 40 years of age my attitude to death became quite calm and balanced. I feel it is a natural, but no means the final, milestone of one's existence.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Attitude #Father #Mean

  • The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. "One word of truth outweighs the world.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Truth #Honesty #Lying

  • When I was in the gulag I would sometimes even write on stone walls. I used to write on scraps of paper, then I memorised the contents and destroyed the scraps.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Wall #Writing #Paper

  • Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Peace #War #Lying

  • Of course, my views developed in the course of time. But I have always believed in what I did and never acted against my conscience.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Views #Always Believe #Conscience

  • A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Happiness #Being Happy #Attitude

  • I have grown used to the fact that public repentance is the most unacceptable option for the modern politician.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Facts #Politician #Modern

  • You must understand, the leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Christian #Russia #Media

  • For me faith is the foundation and support of one's life.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Support #Foundation

  • It's an universal law-- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Humility #Law #Profound

  • Periods of rapid and fundamental change were never favourable for literature. Significant works, have nearly always and everywhere been created in periods of stability, be it good or bad.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Fundamentals #Literature #Significant

  • If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Peace #Heart #Humility

  • I think the gap between rich and poor is an extremely dangerous phenomenon and needs the immediate attention of the state.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Thinking #Needs #Attention

  • The strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life than on its level of industrialization. Neither a market economy nor even general abundance constitutes the crowning achievement of human life. If a nation's spiritual energies have been exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse by the most perfect government structure or by any industrial development. A tree with a rotten core cannot stand.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Spiritual #Government #Perfect

  • Voting for impersonal parties and their programmes is a false substitute for the only true way to elect people's representatives: voting by an actual person for an actual candidate.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Party #People #Voting

  • A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Peace #War #Historical

  • The "October Revolution" is a myth generated by the winners, the Bolsheviks, and swallowed whole by progressive circles in the West.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Circles #West #October

  • ... direct [people] towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Love #People #Achievement

  • Only an extraordinary person can turn opportunity into reality.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Opportunity #Reality #Turns

  • A great disaster had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Men #Russia #Forgotten

  • We should clearly understand that only the voluntary and conscientious acceptance by a people of its guilt can ensure the healing of a nation. Unremitting reproaches from outside are counterproductive.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Healing #Acceptance #People

  • Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Peace #War #Lying

  • Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you - you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Time #Blow #Dust

  • The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Spiritual #Lying #Thinking

  • Someone that you have deprived of everything is no longer in your power. He is once again entirely free.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Power

  • If we could all take a sober look at our history, then we would no longer see this nostalgic attitude to the Soviet past that predominates among the less affected part of our society.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Attitude #Past #Looks

  • Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Sacrifice #Men #Dozen

  • I dare hope that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Pages #Bitter #Blame

  • Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Doe #Talent #Abundance

  • I have always had that inner drive, since my birth. And I have always devoted myself gladly to work - to work and to the struggle.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Struggle #Birth

  • Yes, you live with your feet in the mud and there's no time to be thinking about how you got in or how you're going to get out.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Thinking #Feet #Mud

  • It is not our level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. Both attitudes lie within our power, so that a man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy, and no one can stop him.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Love #Happiness #Attitude

  • Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Men #Goal #Soul

  • It is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie!
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Lying #Artist #Defeat

  • Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words…By means of art were are sometimes sent - dimly, briefly - revelations unattainable by reason.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Art #Mean #Names

  • Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Inspirational #Sweet #Night

  • At what point, then, should one resist? When one's belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one's home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about one of them individually...and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Taken #Home #Together

  • To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Jail #Truth Is

  • The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Inspirational #Heart #Cutting

  • My wish for you... is that your skeptic-eclectic brain be flooded with the light of truth.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Light #Brain #Wish

  • Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It's the same with happiness, the very same...happiness doesn't depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them. There's a saying about it in the Taoist ethic: 'Whoever is capable of contentment will always be satisfied.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Attitude #Blessing #Contentment

  • The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Lying #Responsibility #Humanity

  • If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Gambling #Forever #Action

  • Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Peace #War #Lying

  • Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Funny #Truth #Add

  • Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Art #Artist #Names

  • Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Health #Psychics #Disease

  • Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Memories #Heart #Cutting

  • Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Heart #Pride #Pigs

  • The name of 'reform' simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Names #Reform #Heritage

  • Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on it's pursuit. But even while it eludes us, the illusion of knowing it still lingers and leads to many misunderstandings. Also, truth seldom is pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Knowing #Elude #Attention

  • Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday. Look around you - there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heart out because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Country #Memories #Heart

  • It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God's heaven.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Artist #Heaven #Realizing

  • It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Ignorance #Responsibility #Rights

  • Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience... from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Memories #Generations #Literature

  • Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Men #Careers #Interesting

  • The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Art #Literature #Substitutes

  • We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Pay #Chasing

  • I would rather have the United States as the world's policeman than the Soviet Union as the world's jailer.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #War #Unions #United States

  • The Communists have for decades loudly proclaimed their goal of destroying the bourgeois world, while the West merely smiled at what seemed to be an extravagant joke.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #War #Goal #World

  • Violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it is inevitably intertwined with lying.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Lying #Doe #Violence

  • The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Prison #Prisoner

  • Lord, give me the strength to accomplish what You've given me to do and the faith to trust You that what I haven't been able to accomplish You've already assigned to someone else.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Giving #Able #Give Me Strength

  • With such global events looming over us like mountains, nay, like entire mountain ranges, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart's preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Heart #Keys #Evil

  • If you wanted to put the world to rights, who should you begin with: yourself or others?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Rights #World #Should

  • Nowhere on the planet, nowhere in history, was there a regime more vicious, more bloodthirsty, and at the same time more cunning than the Bolshevik, the self-styled Soviet regime.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #War #Self #Cold

  • Communism will never be halted by negotiations or through the machinations of detente. It can only be halted by force from without or by disintegration from within.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #War #Cold #Communism

  • To coexist with communism on the same planet is impossible. Either it will spread, cancer-like, to destroy mankind, or else mankind will have to rid itself of communism (and even then face lengthy treatment for secondary tumors).
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #War #Cancer #Faces

  • Surely people should eventually cease to be surprised at anything? And yet they continue to be.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #People #Should

  • It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Party #Heart #Years

  • In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Beautiful #Stars #Moon

  • The revolution is an amalgam of former Party functionaries, quasi- democrats, KGB officers, and black-market wheeler-dealers, who are standing in power now and have represented a dirty hybrid unseen in world history
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Party #Dirty #Kgb

  • Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Mistake #Honest #Enough

  • Socialism of any type leads to a total destruction of the human spirit.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Spirit #Socialism #Destruction

  • Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Men #Evil #East

  • If... if... We didn't love freedom enough. And even more - we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! ........... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Real #Gun #Awareness

  • If we live in a state of constant fear, can we remain human?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #States #Constant #Humans

  • Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Prison #Bless

  • A day without a dark cloud. Almost a happy day. There were three thousand six hundred and fifty-three days like that in his stretch. From the first clang of the rail to the last clang of the rail. Three thousand six hundred and fifty-three days. The three extra days were for leap years.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Dark #Clouds #Years

  • Happiness doesn't depend on the actual number of blessings we manage to scratch from life, only our attitude towards them....
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Happy #Attitude #Blessing

  • He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Cutting #Opportunity #Men

  • In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers . . . we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Integrity #Evil #Justice

  • The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Mistake #Good Things

  • The most intense patriotism always flourishes in the rear.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Intense

  • It is a brave man who is the first to sit down during a standing ovation.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Men #Brave #Ovation

  • Such as it is, the press has become the greatest power within the Western World, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and judiciary. One would like to ask; by whom has it been elected and to whom is it responsible?
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Powerful #World #Progressive

  • Why can't you understand? The stars fall down now and then. The gaps have to be filled.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Stars #Fall #Gaps

  • It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Action #Justification #Humans

  • To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Education #Roots #People

  • There also exists another alliance - at first glance a strange one, a surprising one - but if you think about it, in fact, one which is well grounded and easy to understand. This is the alliance between our Communist leaders and your capitalists. This alliance is not new. ... We observe continuous and steady support by the businessmen of the West of the Soviet Communist leaders.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Thinking #Support #Leader

  • This deliberately nurtured hatred then spreads to all that is alive, to life itself, to the world with its colors, sounds, and shapes, to the human body. The embittered art of the twentieth century is perishing as a result of this ugly hate, for art is fruitless without love. In the East art has collapsed because it has been knocked down and trampled upon, but in the West the fall has been voluntary, a decline into a contrived and pretentious quest where the artist, instead of attempting to reveal the divine plan, tries to put himself in the place of God.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Art #Hate #Fall

  • I dedicate this to all those who did not live to tell it. And may they please forgive me for not having seen it all nor remembered it all, for not having divined all of it - from The Gulag Archipelago
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Forgive Me #Forgiving #May

  • Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Looks #Guilty #Enough

  • If one is a professional soldier, it is part of one's job to die sooner or later.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Jobs #Soldier #Sooner Or Later

  • We have ourselves to save.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Survival

  • A fish does not campaign against fisheries-it only tries to slip through the mesh.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Survival #Trying #Doe

  • Surrender one hair, and you'll end up beardless.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Hair #Surrender #Ends

  • ... the inexorable lesson of centuries: suffering must be borne; there is no way out.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Suffering #Lessons #Way

  • If it goes well with you, then all is well.
    -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    #Wells