Goethe once said that if Byron had had an opportunity to give vent in Parliament to all the antagonisms within him, his poetic talent would have been much the purer. One cannot say this of Solzhenitsyn: had he had an opportunity to express himself in a parliament, he might not have been a writer at all.
This is the Russian tradition. Where political life is forbidden, politics is smuggled into other spheres, first and foremost into literature. In no other country do the authorities att...
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