a common reader

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

· 18 October 2010 |  by Maarten
· Published in: Boeken Maarten
· Tagged with: · ·

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan DenisovichOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Alexander Solzhenitsyn


Deze uitgave:
Everyman’s Library, 1995
159 pagina’s, gebonden
isbn: 9780679444640

Oorspronkelijke uitgave:
in het Russisch: Один день Ивана Денисовича
Novy Mir, 1962

My review here

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich follows Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, known to his warders as S-854, through a brutally cold January day in a Stalinist work camp in Siberia. In this masterpiece of the literature of witness, not a word is wasted; not an incident is out of place; no moralizing sentiment impedes the author’s absorption in his drama. As readers, we are irresistibly drawn into Shukov’s search for warmth and his strategies to stave off hunger. We understand as if we were governed by those needs ourselves the intricate imperatives that define his relationships to both his fellow prisoners and his jailers. And we recognize with growing awe, through the details of an intense struggle for survival, the resilience of the human soul in the face of cruelty. Solzhenitsyn’s novel has had an incalculable impact as a document on the history of our time. But it is as a work of art—a work utterly personal yet timeless—that it will always be read and remembered.

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