Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

Who is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist and short story writer. The politically engaged author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.

Born December 11, 1918
Died August 03, 2008

Books by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Best 21 Quotes by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage... Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elite, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Education doesn't make you smarter.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“It's an universal law-- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The sole substitute for an experience we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Our envy of others devours us most of all.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"Cancer Ward" Quotes

“A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Cancer Ward

"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" Quotes

“Can a man who's warm understand one who's freezing?”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

“The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

“When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

"The First Circle" Quotes

“You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power—he's free again.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The First Circle

"The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956" Quotes

“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

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