Thursday, February 08, 2007

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1970


Please take a minute and read his address. It is really quite precise.

An exerpt to whet your appetite:
"One artist sees himself as the creator of an independent spiritual world; he hoists onto his shoulders the task of creating this world, of peopling it and of bearing the all-embracing responsibility for it; but he crumples beneath it, for a mortal genius is not capable of bearing such a burden. Just as man in general, having declared himself the centre of existence, has not succeeded in creating a balanced spiritual system. And if misfortune overtakes him, he casts the blame upon the age-long disharmony of the world, upon the complexity of today's ruptured soul, or upon the stupidity of the public.

"Another artist, recognizing a higher power above, gladly works as a humble apprentice beneath God's heaven; then, however, his responsbility for everything that is written or drawn, for the souls which perceive his work, is more exacting than ever. But, in return, it is not he who has created this world, not he who directs it, there is no doubt as to its foundations; the artist has merely to be more keenly aware than others of the harmony of the world, of the beauty and ugliness of the human contribution to it, and to communicate this acutely to his fellow-men. And in misfortune, and even at the depths of existence - in destitution, in prison, in sickness - his sense of stable harmony never deserts him.

"But all the irrationality of art, its dazzling turns, its unpredictable discoveries, its shattering influence on human beings - they are too full of magic to be exhausted by this artist's vision of the world, by his artistic conception or by the work of his unworthy fingers."

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