Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.— Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
The most valuable Alexandr Solzhenitsyn quotes that are free to learn and impress others
A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.
In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.
It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see.
It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable.
One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.
Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.
Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you -- you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.
When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness.
Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.
For us in Russia communism is a dead dog. For many people in the West, it is still a living lion.
For a country to have a great writer is like having another government.
That's why no r?gime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.
I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.
Own only what you can carry with you;
know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
I am of course confident that I will fulfill my tasks as a writer in all circumstances -- from my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer's pen during his lifetime? At no time has this ennobled our history.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the fIrst stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force.
This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.
Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.
You only have power over people so 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.
To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good.
.. Ideology - that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.
Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.
Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that dares not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers -- such literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a fa?ade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as wastepaper instead of being read.
I hope that no one present will suspect me of offering my personal criticism of the Western system to present socialism as an alternative. Having experienced applied socialism in a country where the alternative has been realized, I certainly will not speak for it. The well-known Soviet mathematician Shafarevich, a member of the Soviet Academy of Science, has written a brilliant book under the title Socialism; it is a profound analysis showing that socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death.
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?