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Overwriting Chaos

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Fictive Worlds

Richard Tempest

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Belletristik / Essays, Feuilleton, Literaturkritik, Interviews


Richard Tempest examines Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s evolution as a literary artist from his early autobiographical novel Love the Revolution to the experimental mega-saga The Red Wheel, and beyond. Tempest shows how this author gives his characters a presence so textured that we can readily imagine them as figures of flesh and blood and thought and feeling. The study discusses Solzhenitsyn’s treatment of Lenin, Stalin, and the Russian Revolution; surprising predilection for textual puzzles and games à la Nabokov or even Borges; exploration of erotic themes; and his polemical interactions with Russian and Western modernism. Also included is new information about the writer’s life and art provided by his family, as well as Tempest’s interviews with him in 2003-7.

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Cancer Ward, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Red Wheel, Soviet censors, modernism, philosophy, Soviet Russia, Turgenev Never Knew, biography, literary biography, Soviet fiction, Love the Revolution, Lenin, war prose, Nietzsche, soviet literature, In the First Circle, medical novel, twentieth-century fiction, realism, solzhenitsynovedenie, 20th century fiction, Stalin, Solzhenitsyn, Soviet history, gulag