Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

What are your favorite Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes?

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a writer, novelist, philosopher, historian and political activist who is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature (1970). He is also the author of popular books like The Gulag Archipelago, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward, In the First Circle, The Oak and the Calf and many more.

Here are some of the best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes on life, truth, freedom, happiness, socialism, communism and so much more:

Best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

Best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

1. We have arrived at an intellectual chaos. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

2. Literature becomes the living memory of a nation. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

3. How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand one who’s cold? -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

4. A man who’s in a hurry won’t live to see the end of his stretch – he’ll tire and soon be done for. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

5. The name of ‘reform’ simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

6. The belly is a demon. It doesn’t remember how well you treated it yesterday; it’ll cry out for more tomorrow. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

7. Human beings yield in many situations, even important and spiritual and central ones, as long as it prolongs one’s well-being. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

8. There are two ends to a stick, and there’s more than one way of working. If it’s for human beings –make sure and do it properly. If it’s for the big man – just make it look good. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

9. Amazing how time flew when you were working. He’d often noticed that days in the camp rolled by before you knew it. Yet your sentence stood still, the time you had to serve never got any less. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

10. The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

11. Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

12. Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

13. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

14. It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God’s heaven. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

15. Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience… from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

16. I can say without affectation that I belong to the Russian convict world no less than I do to Russian literature. I got my education there, and it will last forever. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

17. First would be the literary side, then the spiritual and philosophical. The political side is required principally because of the necessity of the current Russian position. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

18. Every portion was underweight – the only question was by how much. Twice a day you looked at it and tried to set your mind at rest. Maybe they haven’t robbed me blind this time? -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

19. Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

20. 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. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Truth

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Truth

21. When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

22. We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

23. Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

24. Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

25. It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes… we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions – especially selfish ones. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Freedom

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Freedom

26. A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

27. We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

28. 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.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

29. If we didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation… We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

30. What good is freedom to you! If you’re free, your faith will soon be choked by thorns! Be glad you’re in prison. Here you have time to think about your soul. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Happiness

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Happiness

31. A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Socialism & Communism

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Socialism & Communism

32. It would have been difficult to design a path out of communism worse than the one that has been followed. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

33. For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

34. 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. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

35. The clock of communism has stopped striking. But its concrete building has not yet come crashing down. For that reason, instead of freeing ourselves, we must try to save ourselves from being crushed by its rubble. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago Quotes

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn The Gulag Archipelago Quotes

36. One man who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

37. The most intense patriotism always flourishes in the rear. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

38. No, the old proverb does not lie: Look for the brave in prison, and the stupid among the political leaders! -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

39. Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

40. Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

41. Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

42. Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

43. Then came the time for the evening visit to the toilet, for which, in all likelihood, you had waited, all atremble, all day. How relieved, how eased, the whole world suddenly became! How the great questions all simplified themselves at the same instant—did you feel it? -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

44. The intellectual is not defined by professional pursuit and type of occupation. Nor are good upbringing and a good family enough in themselves to produce an intellectual. An intellectual is a person whose interests in and occupation with the spiritual side of life are insistent and constant and not forced by external circumstances, even flying in the face of them. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

45. Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

46. No, how can one preserve one’s life and at the same time arrive at the truth? -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

47. Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

48. History sometimes does know revenge, a sort of voluptuous and delayed justice, but chooses strange forms for it and unexpected executors of its will. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

49. It is unthinkable in the twentieth century to fail to distinguish between what constitutes an abominable atrocity that must be prosecuted and what constitutes that “past” which “ought not to be stirred up. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

50. Now for the first time you were about to see people who were not your enemies. Now for the first time you were about to see others who were alive, who were traveling your road, and whom you could join to yourself with the joyous word “we.” -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

51. Without even knowing it ourselves, we were ransomed by the small change in copper that was left from the golden coins our great-grandfathers had expended, at a time when morality was not considered relative and when the distinction between good and evil was very simply perceived by the heart. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

52. If only it were all so simple! 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? -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

53. The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

54. In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

55. I have absorbed into myself my own eleven years there not as something shameful nor as a nightmare to be cursed: I have come almost to love that monstrous world, and now, by a happy turn of events, I have also been entrusted with many recent reports and letters. So perhaps I shall be able to give some account of the bones and flesh of that salamander—which, incidentally, is still alive. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn