By Harold Bloom
Regardless of persecution and censorship in his place of origin, this Russian author has been capable of produce such vital works as sooner or later within the lifetime of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago. This name, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a part of Chelsea residence Publishers’ glossy serious perspectives sequence, examines the foremost works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn via full-length severe essays by way of specialist literary critics. moreover, this name encompasses a brief biography on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a chronology of the author’s lifestyles, and an introductory essay written by way of Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale collage.
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Extra info for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
August 1914 One cannot adequately discuss the relationships between August 1914 and War and Peace without some reference to the other novels, both Russian and non-Russian, which have dealt in varying ways with World War I. This topic deserves extensive treatment in its own right, but a few general remarks must suffice here. During the decade 191424, time went radically out of joint for Russians, and writers have made numerous attempts to set it right. Russian novels that deal in various ways with the connection between the world before and after 1914 include Aleksey Tolstoy's The Road to Calvary (1921), Mikhail Sholokhov's The Quiet Don (1928-40), Konstantin Fedin's Early Joys (1945-46), and Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago (1958).
The attitude of the general and the observer have obviously been reversed here. Bennigsen believes in strategy, whereas Pierre, the innocent, cannot comprehend it. Artomonov, who has no doubt read War and Peace, does not believe in strategy, and he plays the role of the innocent no less for being a general. Vorotyntsev, a true man of the twentieth century who understands the danger of innocence, is infuriated. And, appropriately, innocence takes its toll: the battle at Usdau is a disaster for the Russians, mostly because of Artomonov.
But it was an army only until that minute when the soldiers of this army dispersed to quarters. Just as soon as the men of these regiments began to disperse among the empty and rich houses, the army was destroyed forever, and, neither residents nor soldiers, but something in between, called marauders, was formed. . The goal of each of these men upon leaving Moscow did not consist, as before, in fighting, but only in taking away what he had acquired. . Ten minutes after the entrance of each French regiment into any area of Moscow there remained not a single soldier or officer.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom