Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

Regardless of persecution and censorship in his place of origin, this Russian author has been in a position to produce such very important works as in the future within the lifetime of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago. This name, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a part of Chelsea apartment Publishers’ glossy serious perspectives sequence, examines the key works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn via full-length serious essays via specialist literary critics. moreover, this identify 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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To use Forster's classic terms again, Napoleon is a flat character, and von François is a round one. The task of creating a foreign general who attacked Mother Russia evoked Tolstoy's jingoistic chauvinism; in ways he probably cannot fully articulate, Solzhenitsyn understands the consequence of chauvinism as Tolstoy could not, and does not allow it into his novels. We find an analogous shade of difference between Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy, not in the general presentation of characters, but in the specific manner of introducing them into scenes.

This list makes it clear that Solzhenitsyn changed the names only slightly, following Tolstoy's procedure in changing such well-known names as Obolensky and Volkonsky to Oblonsky and Bolkonsky. Both novels mix historical characters, relatives, and purely fictional characters. Just as War and Peace features two families, the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, with one character, Pierre Bezukhov, who mediates between them, so in August 1914, we find two families, the Kharitonovs in Rostov and the Lenartoviches in St.

This sounds very much like Tolstoy's reference to Kutuzov as a "representative of a national war" but with a crucial difference. Kutuzov believes that all generals are "representatives," while Samsonov believes that he cannot take proper command because of external circumstances. Likewise, neither general can endure formalities: Kutuzov sleeps at strategy meetings and often has his uniform jacket unbuttoned; Samsonov finds the formalities at lunch and dinner with Knox frustrating, for he needs to think things through.

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