Episode 53

Solzhenitsyn and American Culture


March 15th, 2021

28 mins 51 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, we chat with David Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson, editors of the book "Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West," a recent volume in our Solzenitsyn book series with the University of Notre Dame Press. We chat about how they each came to encounter the great Russian writer, the importance of his Orthodox faith on his writing, and how the time may be just right for us to be open to an authentic Russian influence on our culture.

Episode Links

  • Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West — In Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West, David P. Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson have collected essays from the foremost scholars and thinkers of comparative studies who have been tracking what Americans have borrowed and learned from Solzhenitsyn as well as his fellow Russians. The book offers a consideration of what we have in common—the truth, goodness, and beauty America has drawn from Russian culture and from masters such as Solzhenitsyn—and will suggest to readers what we can still learn and what we must preserve. The book will interest fans of Solzhenitsyn and scholars across the disciplines, and it can be used in courses on Solzhenitsyn or Russian literature more broadly.
  • Between Two Millstones: Volume 2 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn — This compelling account concludes Nobel Prize–winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s literary memoirs of his years in the West after his forced exile from the USSR following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. The book reflects both the pain of separation from his Russian homeland and the chasm of miscomprehension between him and Western opinion makers. In Between Two Millstones, Solzhenitsyn likens his position to that of a grain that becomes lodged between two massive stones, each grinding away—the Soviet Communist power with its propaganda machine on the one hand and the Western establishment with its mainstream media on the other.
  • Solzhenitsyn volumes published by UND Press — A list of current volumes published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Theme Song: "I Dunno by Grapes — I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: J Lang, Morusque