One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Novel (FSG Classics)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, H. T. Willetts
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The only English translation authorized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich stands as a classic of contemporary literature. The story of labor-camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, it graphically describes his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of communist oppression. An unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin's forced work camps, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union and confirms Solzhenitsyn's stature as "a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dosotevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy"--Harrison Salisbury
This unexpurgated 1991 translation by H. T. Willetts is the only authorized edition available and fully captures the power and beauty of the original Russian.
That was what kept the men fed. He had to prove that work which hadn’t been done had been done, to turn jobs that were rated low into ones that were rated high. For this a squad leader had to have his head screwed on, and to be on the right side of the inspectors. Their palms had to be greased, too. But who benefited, then, from all those work reports? Let’s be clear about it. The camp. The camp got thousands of extra rubles from the building organization and so could give higher bonuses to its
row. On the fourth they’d really get going. Time to stretch the string for the next row, but he could manage this way too. Der went off across the open ground, looking haggard. To warm up in the office. Something must have been eating him. But he should have thought a bit before taking on a wolf like Tiurin. He should keep pleasant with squad leaders like that; then he’d have nothing to worry about. The camp authorities didn’t insist on his doing any real hard work, he received top-level rations,
all this for that shit, that slimy little snake, that stinking worm? The sky was already quite dark; what light there was came from the moon. You could see the stars—this meant the frost was gathering strength for the night—and that runty bastard was missing. What, haven’t you had your bellyful of work, you miserable idiot? Isn’t the official spell of eleven hours, dawn to dusk, long enough for you? Just you wait, the prosecutor will add something. Odd that anyone could work so hard as to ignore
doesn’t come. Or if it does it’s only “rejected.” “But, Ivan Denisovich, it’s because you pray too rarely, and badly at that. Without really trying. That’s why your prayers stay unanswered. One must never stop praying. If you have real faith you tell a mountain to move and it will move. . . .” Shukhov grinned and rolled another cigarette. He took a light from the Estonian. “Don’t talk nonsense, Alyosba. I’ve never seen a mountain move. Well, to tell the truth, I’ve never seen a mountain at all.
instead to portray only one of the most ordinary of days in the life at camp from reveille to retreat. Nevertheless this “ordinary” day cannot but arouse in the heart of the reader a bitter feeling of pain for the fate of the people who, from the pages of this story, rise up before us so alive and so near. Yet the unquestionable victory of the artist lies in the fact that the bitterness and the pain have nothing In common with a feeling of hopeless depression. On the contrary, the impression left