Talk:Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Former good article nomineeAleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Language and literature good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
January 24, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
In the newsA news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on August 4, 2008.
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on February 12, 2013, and February 12, 2014.

Section: On Russia and the Jews[edit]

Cited to D.M. Thomas's Solzhenitsyn biography, the "On Russia and the Jews" section quotes a comment from Daniel Pipes in a review of "August 1914" printed in The New York Times of 13 November 1985, giving the impression that Pipes is the review's author. That article may be read here. It will be seen that the author is actually Richard Grenier. It will also be seen that other people quoted defend Solzhenitsyn.     ←   ZScarpia   20:46, 6 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are welcome to fix/improve it. Personally, I think that certain passages form his certain books can be regarded as antisemitic, but that's irrelevant. There was indeed a debate about it, and it should described neutrally. My very best wishes (talk) 20:52, 6 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Two more fixes. Frenkel was indeed an important figure; the book was hardly a bestseller. My very best wishes (talk) 22:47, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whitewashing of fascist support[edit]

There's a lot of whitewashing of Solzhenitzysn misogyny and support for fascist dictators Hitler and Franco. These facts are sourced and the concerted attempts to remove this factual information is nothing more then WP:IDONTLIKEIT (talk) 08:50, 17 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh no, what your are trying to insert is an outright distortion. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did not support fascist dictators. As linked source tells, "he was a twice decorated commander in the Red Army". Yes, he was an anti-communist who would be happy if the Soviet communist regime would be defeated, but that's another matter. Your text is also meaningless. "Hitler was stupid and did not use this weapon". What "weapon"? Also note, what you are citing is a blog post by an unknown person. My very best wishes (talk) 15:59, 17 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no distortion. He wanted Hitler to invade the Soviet Union and win. This is fact. He supported Franco in the civil war and on multiple occasions defended him. This is also a fact. (talk) 16:03, 17 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to add there are at least two photos of him giving the Nazi "Sieg Heil" salute. Skiamakhos (talk) 15:08, 21 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, his support of Hitler and Franco must be mentioned in the article, clearly whitewashing is at play. However, I think your wording (including grammar) was not quite clear enough. Notrium (talk) 05:42, 26 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The IP used this source [1], for example. Yes, this is valid RS, but it tells something opposite: S. "made a speaking tour there in the days after strongman Francisco Franco’s death: “I had to explain to the people of Spain in the most concise possible terms,” he recalled, “what it meant to have been subjugated by an ideology as we in the Soviet Union had been, and give the Spanish to understand what a terrible fate they escaped in 1939.” This was not a common view among American diplomats, even at the time. For Winston Lord, a protégé of secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Solzhenitsyn was “just about a fascist.” He was not. He was a writer, a literary writer, sucked into a set of political conflicts he had not chosen.", etc. per this source. My very best wishes (talk) 02:21, 27 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He definitely supported Franco and Fascist Spain, that is without question. In this article in the New York Times from 1976, he says liberals should not push too hard for reform. This was during the government of Carlos Arias Navarro during the transition to democracy in Spain. GoldenSensei (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:19, 25 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A short newspaper article stating that Solzhenitsyn had warned Spaniards about the dangers of Communism, compared Fascist Spain favourably to the Soviet Union and "told liberals not to push too hard for changes because Spain had more freedoms now than the Soviet Union had ever known" doesn't serve as verification that he supported Franco and Fascist Spain.
Pardon me while I do a bit of soapboxing, but I think that it's understandable why somebody from a country which went very quickly from tsarism, through a parliamentary system to Bolshevism might be giving warnings about "pushing too hard". Having said that, I doubt that the western democracies, having supported dictatorships in Portugal, Spain and Greece, and having used dirty tricks against Italian communists, would have permitted a communist takeover in Spain.
    ←   ZScarpia   09:52, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cited to this National Review article by Christopher Caldwell, the current Wikipedia article states in the "Criticism of communism" section:
'Solzhenitsyn recalled: "I had to explain to the people of Spain in the most concise possible terms what it meant to have been subjugated by an ideology as we in the Soviet Union had been, and give the Spanish to understand what a terrible fate they escaped in 1939", a reference to the Spanish Civil War between the Nationalists and the Republicans, which was not a common view at that time. For Winston Lord, a protégé of the then United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Solzhenitsyn was "just about a fascist."'
Some points:
- The source does not say that, in general, Solzhenitsyn's views on Franco's Spain were not common at the time, but that, "this was not a common view among American diplomats, even at the time." Caldwell then goes on to state the opinion of one such American diplomat, Winston Lord. Therefore, the source is being misrepresented.
- Immmediately afterwards, Caldwell goes on to say: "He was not [a Fascist]. He was a writer, a literary writer, sucked into a set of political conflicts he had not chosen. His measures of justice and of the good life were drawn from Dostoevsky and Chekhov, not Eleanor Roosevelt."
- Some questions: in an encyclopaedia article about Sozhenitsyn, is it really necessary to give space to what American diplomats, and one in particular, thought about Solzhenitsyn's views on Fascist Spain; is it neutral to highlight without aualification some relatively unknown American diplomat's critical view when, immediately afterwards, the author of the source states that view was erroneous?
    ←   ZScarpia   10:37, 24 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 21:50, 14 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Where in the world is the obligatory list of his works, i.e. his 'Selected Bibliography' – ??? — A glaring omission for such a widely known and significant author. — Sca (talk) 20:00, 7 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent change to the Introduction: "despite only having written about it in his fictional book 'The Gulag Archipelago."[edit]

Today, an edit was made which added text to the first paragraph of the Introduction labelling The Gulag Archipelago as fiction. That is problematic for a number of reasons. Clearly, as rudimentary research shows, though a viewpoint which regards it as fiction may exist, that is not universal and so policy dictates that it should not be presented factually as such on Wikipedia (here's the Amazon webpage for the book). No sources are cited, the description having the appearance of being an interpretation of a statement by Solzhenitsyn's first wife. Also, the labelling clashes with the description of the book given in the Later years in the Soviet Union section.     ←   ZScarpia   09:49, 15 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is already mentioned in the article that Solzhenitsyn divorced Reshetovskaya in 1972 to marry another woman, and that her memoirs about him are negative in general. According to some of the biographers (for instance, a 2008 book [full text] published in the famous Russian ЖЗЛ series [Lives of the Notable People]), she was deeply worried by the divorce and the surrounding personal circumstances, she even tried to commit suicide (or at least pretended to), and by 1974 she was rather inadequate. Thus her opinions, although maybe worth mention, should be clearly marked as such and shouldn't be given too much weight.
And of course the claims that "Archipelago is a fiction" and "it's his only statement about this subject" are both complete nonsense. — Mike Novikoff 20:30, 15 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]