December 28

Amber pages

Manuel Puig, Argentine writer, born today in 
1932... but I've never read him, can't even name a book, just saw the name and thought I ought to...


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published the first volume of "The Gulag Archipelago", today in 
1973... that is going to require an essay.

The photo is also key. From the day that he was kicked out of the Soviet Union, with his Nobel Prize for Literature in his hand, he has been ignored, even derogated, in the West; and not entirely obvious why. Probably it's because, having dedicated twenty-five years to bearing personal witness to the Soviet Holocaust, detailing it with a precision that combined Primo Levi with Elie Wiesel for the Nazi Holocaust, and then some; having decried the religion of Communism for the evil ideology that it was, he spent those latter years in Vermont, a fervent advocate of that other evil ideology which had holocausted the human world for even longer, Christianity, and did so with such vocation that he became a role-model in the writing of Pope John Paul (click here to read it, but caveat lector, as they say in Latin)
   That is why I have posted the photo of him in his prison uniform, beardless, his camp number tatooed on both his heart and brain. The paradox will be the subject of the essay. The work remains among the most important of that most stupidly tragic of all human centuries, the twentieth.

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