Talk:Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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I could not find the following quotes in "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich":

  • A man should build a house with his own hands before he calls himself an engineer.
  • A man with two trades to his credit can easily learn another ten.

I searched the text (with a browser search function) found at: I also skimmed the whole printed version of the book and didn't find anything even semantically related to these quotes. I am a first-time Wikiquote editor, so I don't know the etiquette of changing an entry, but these really should be deleted or the particular edition/translation of the book ought to be given to validate them. Other quotes for this book also might be in error and could be checked. If these quotes belong to another book, I would like to know, as they are very good quotes. --Devon Brewer (talk) 03:16, 17 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I had checked the Gulag article before pasting my recent revisions, to make sure there were no changes since I began editing it weeks ago, but I forgot to check this one. I will be working on this today, and replacing any quotes I inadvertently removed, or did not transfer to The Gulag Archipelago. ~ Kalki 12:53, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I added "Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them." Source is a presentation by Dmitry Orlov's which can be found here.Nklatt 22:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. --Antiquary 19:18, 19 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  • First would be the literary side, then the spiritual and philosophical. The political side is required principally because of the necessity of the current Russian position.
  • History has in different questions laid out some tremendous turnabouts and curves.
  • I cannot suggest political ways out, that is the task of politicians, so it is simply that those who accuse me of this do not know how to read.
  • I have not painted the dark reality in rose-tinted shades but I do include a clear way, a search for something brighter, some way out — most importantly in the spiritual sense.
  • If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?
  • It would have been difficult to design a path out of communism worse than the one that has been followed.
  • Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.
  • The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. "One word of truth outweighs the world."
    • The second statement of this quote is a variant of what he calls a Russian proverb in his Nobel lecture of 1970.
  • Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.
  • Our government declared that it is conducting some kind of great reforms. In reality, no real reforms were begun and no one at any point has declared a coherent programme.
  • Religion always remains higher than everyday life. In order to make the elevation towards religion easier for people, religion must be able to alter its forms in relation to the consciousness of modern man.
  • Russians are exiting from communism in a most unfortunate and awkward way.
  • 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?
  • That which is called humanism, but what would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of our life.
  • The central government possesses no plan of finding the way out of this blind alley.
  • The demands of internal growth are incomparably more important to us... than the need for any external expansion of our power.
  • The name of "reform" simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage.
  • The next war... may well bury Western civilization forever.
  • There are a lot of clear thinkers everywhere.
  • This book is an agglomeration of lean-tos and annexes and there is no knowing how big the next addition will be, or where it will be put. At any point, I can call the book finished or unfinished.
  • Today when we say the West we are already referring to the West and to Russia. We could use the word "modernity" if we exclude Africa, and the Islamic world, and partially China.
  • We have arrived at an intellectual chaos.
  • When you come to think of it, a blizzard is no use to anybody.
  • Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them.
    • Referring to the Soviet government.
  • After flinging away the United Nations Organization, after trampling its charters, NATO is ruling the world and for the next century we will have an ancient law - those with power will unconditionally right... Before the eyes of humanity a beautiful European country is being destroyed, while civilized governments are applauding. Meanwhile, despaired people, leaving bomb shelters, form human shields to protect Danube bridges... This is the world we are offered to live in from now on.
  • Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

Unsourced also[edit]

  • "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." (He heard this as a child by people who said this to explain the suffering of the Russian people; as an adult he said "...if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.")
  • ”Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.