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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

41 of the best book quotes from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  1. #1
    “You have no right to make people undress in the freezing cold! You don’t know Article 9 of the Criminal Code! . . . But they did have. They did know. It’s you, brother, who don’t know anything yet!”
  2. #2
    “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?”
  3. #3
    “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.”
  4. #4
    “The zeks plodded on, heads down, like men going to a funeral. Nothing to lose now, we’re last back in camp anyway.”
  5. #5
    “You can turn a man upside down, inside out, any way you like.”
  6. #6
    “There was not even the ticking of a clock - prisoners were not allowed clocks. The big boys tell the time for them.”
  7. #7
    “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.”
  8. #8
    “Stared at the fire, huddled together in the half dark. Like a big family. That’s what a work gang is - a family.”
  9. #9
    “What kept body and soul together in these men was a mystery. Canvas belts were drawn tight around empty bellies. The frost was crackling merrily. Not a warm spot, nor a spark of fire anywhere.”
  10. #10
    “A convict’s thoughts are no freer than he is: they come back to the same place, worry over the same thing continually.”
  1. #11
    “The one thing he might want to ask God for was to let him go home . . . But they wouldn’t let him go home.”
  2. #12
    “When you’re flat on your face there’s no time to wonder how you got in and when you’ll get out.”
  3. #13
    “He immediately stopped expecting anything from the goodies on display. No good letting your belly get excited when there’s nothing to come.”
  4. #14
    “Apart from sleep an old lag can call his life his own only for ten minutes at breakfast time, five at lunchtime, and five more at suppertime.”
  5. #15
    “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.”
  6. #16
    “In jail and in the camps Shukhov had lost the habit of scheming how he was going to feed his family from day to day or year to year. The bosses did all his thinking for him, and that somehow made life easier. But what would it be like when he got out?”
  7. #17
    “You had to be wide awake all the time. Make sure a warder never saw you on your own, only as one of a crowd. He might be looking for somebody to do a job, or he might just want to take his spite out on you.”
  8. #18
    “Ten days! Ten days in that cell block, if they were strict about it and made you sit out the whole stint, meant your health was ruined for life. It meant tuberculosis and the rest of your days in the hospital.”
  9. #19
    “A zek’s day is a long one, though, and he can find time for everything.”
  10. #20
    “His one dream now was to fall sick for two or three weeks . . . not fatally . . . just sick enough to be put in the hospital.”

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You Are My Happy book
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Emma book
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Be Happy! book
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The Best Bear in All the World book
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Augustus and His Smile book
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If I Had a Little Dream book
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  1. #21
    “Nothing is easier than stamping your foot and shouting: ‘That’s mine!’ It is immeasurably harder to proclaim: ‘You may live as you please.’ ”
  2. #22
    “Shall we sum up the whole history of Russia in a single phrase? It is the land of smothered opportunities.”
  3. #23
    “Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty. ”
  4. #24
    “Political genius lies in extracting success even from the people’s ruin.”
  5. #25
    “No, the old proverb does not lie: Look for the brave in prison, and the stupid among the political leaders! ”
  6. #26
    “We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. ”
  7. #27
    “If only it were 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? ”
  8. #28
    “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions. ”
  9. #29
    “One thing is absolutely definite: not everything that enters our ears penetrates our consciousness. Anything too far out of tune with our attitude is lost, either in the ears themselves or somewhere beyond, but it is lost.”
  10. #30
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”
  1. #31
    “And now the rule of your life is this: Do not rejoice when you have found, do not weep when you have lost. ”
  2. #32
    “It’s a universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
  3. #33
    “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.”
  4. #34
    “No human being can know the future. The greatest of disasters may overtake a man in the best of places, and the greatest happiness may seek him out in the worst. ”
  5. #35
    “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
  6. #36
    “Gradually it was disclosed to me that 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. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un uprooted small corner of evil.”
  7. #37
    “Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
  8. #38
    “You only have power over people as 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.”
  9. #39
    “Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”
  10. #40
    “Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”
  11. #41
    “Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”

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Citizen Baby: My Vote book
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When You Grow Up to Vote book
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Cat Who Ruled The Town book
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