We Have Ceased to See the Purpose

ebook Essential Speeches of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn · The Center for Ethics and Culture Solzhenitsyn Series

By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

cover image of We Have Ceased to See the Purpose

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This collection brings together ten of Nobel Prize–winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's most memorable and consequential speeches, delivered in the West and in Russia between 1972 and 1997.

Following his exile from the USSR in 1974, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived and traveled in the West for twenty years before the fall of Communism allowed him to return home to Russia. The majority of the speeches collected in this volume straddle this period of exile, contemplating the materialism prevalent worldwide—forcibly imposed in the socialist East, freely chosen in the capitalist West—and searching for humanity's possible paths forward. In beautiful yet haunting and prophetic prose, Solzhenitsyn explores the mysterious purpose of art, the two-edged nature of limitless freedom, the decline of faith in favor of legalistic secularism, and—perhaps most centrally—the power of literature, art, and culture to elevate the human spirit.

These annotated speeches, including the timeless Nobel Lecture and Harvard Address, have been rendered in English by skilled translators, including Solzhenitsyn's sons. The volume includes an introduction to the speeches, brief background information about each speech, and a timeline of the key dates in Solzhenitsyn's life.

We Have Ceased to See the Purpose