Thursday, September 11, 2008

Euology for Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Today it still is hard to believe that it happened, so hard that I leave open the one page article in Time so that I can use it as a reminder. Solzhenitsyn, the greatest writer who ever lived, is dead.
Though our paths crossed we were scarcely aware of it, our lives took similar paths as we bisected each other. The day I was born he was in the same town. We both experienced the worst of the systems of the countries we lived in and served in one capacity or another, either by working or by not practicing our work. During the first days in August 2008 I suddenly felt my heart racing for no reason, or so I thought until I saw the news on August 4. Bolshoi Zek uzit. At the time it seemed that as his work finished mine had begun. Or had it?
The occupation we were thrust in to is one you can never quit, for even dead you still are working as you are influencing others lives. When you are alive you do your work in such a way that others will strive to emulate you and effect others, in death you will be glorified as someone who set the standard for performance. Such a man was Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn.
Those who decry his work complain it is monotonous and overbearing, that it hurts to read his writings. Those who say this are often those who have never been in a situation where they needed to cry out for help, but could not, and as a result suffered for their actions. Once Solzhenitsyn was thrown into the Gulag Archipelago of the very system he once served he came to his senses then he began to act. Through his writings he was able to take the pain and suffering he had experienced and project it onto others. The left complained about him with the ignorance of those who believe but who have never experienced. The right feted him as one who had a common enemy with them, yet one who would not hesitate to complain about their flaws. Everyone else knew him as one who spoke out against injustice and through his example encouraged them to do the same.
When he died it seemed that many had forgotten who he was and what he had done. To most he was a curiosity. Curious was his death. Though he was 89 when he died his hair and beard were still the same brown it had been throughout his life, with scarcely a touch of Siberian frost on him. Only the old and weak let their hair discolor, what killed you Aleksandr? Those who showed up for your funeral behaved as at some spectacle. What was gorbachev doing there? He who ushered in the reforms which should have been done long ago and who precipitated the very chaos that ensued during Solzhenitsyn’s return. How could he not use the same foresight, knowledge, and wisdom which Aleksandr taught others to use? What was bush, the man who’s country gave Aleksandr shelter and visited on the World a system worse than the one Solzhenitsyn escaped, doing there? Did his lips tremble as he went near Aleksandr’s body, as they did when I came near bush with a crowd of protestors a year before, or when my dad approached him with a bat when they were in high school? For their kind only they can truly answer. Where were those who Aleksandr stood up for, though he had not seen it all, experienced it all, or remembered it all but did all he could for? Well they, including myself, had problems of our own which prevented most of us from seeing you in the flesh one last time, you who showed us how to be great and continues to be so.
I write this on this day for 2 reasons. The first was the full impact of what has happened had yet to set in when I first heard about what had happened and one day after today is Paitishahya Ghambar, a holiday for my faith lasting for five days, including my birthday, those dates on which more people have died than on any other and those who have effected the World the most were born on. The second is that this day is an important anniversary of loss, not the date on which America received it’s stripes from the World that had been warmed by American wrath, but the day the man who gave Aleksandr his first break died. On 11 September 1971 Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev died. In life he leaned on Aleksandr for support to do the right thing, and for it he suffered. In this day and age his son Sergei Nikitiayevich is my friend, and like his father did with Aleksandr he leans on me, not just for moral support but also because he can’t always walk down the stairs by himself.
The greatest way to honor one’s memory is to take their works and apply them. Let us do so with Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn’s works.
Proschai Bolshoi Zek.


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