Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (a book)

GULAG: vankileirien saaristo 1918-1956: taiteellisen tutkimuksen kokeilu / Архипелаг ГУЛАГ 1918-1956: Опыт художественного исследования, I-VII. Originally published in Paris in 1973. Finnish translation by Esa Adrian first published in 1974, 1976, and 1978. New single-volume Finnish edition: Helsinki: Silberfeldt, 2012 with forewords by Sofi Oksanen and Martti Anhava.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "experiment in literary investigation" belongs to the books that have changed the world. Many exposés on Bolshevism had been published since 1918, also in Finland, but his magnum opus Solzhenitsyn built as a huge political missile against the foundation of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn's agenda is that the USSR was based on terror.

Solzhenitsyn's previous work had been successfully published by the Tammi publishing house, many in their prominent Keltainen kirjasto library of modern classics, but The Gulag Archipelago they did not accept in an atmosphere of political caution, and the book was promptly published instead in Finnish by the Swedish publishing house Wahlström & Widstrand and the Tampere-based Kustannuspiste. For decades the sold-out book has been hard to access in Finnish. The Tammi refusal became a cause célèbre, an embarrassment in the Cold War atmosphere, paradoxically at the turning-point of détente and the emerging Helsinki spirit.

Tomorrow, on Thursday, 12 April 2012, at 13.00 - 16.30, Silberfeldt mounts a seminar on the book at our Cinema Orion, with Sofi Oksanen (the publisher), Martti Anhava (moderator), Juhani Sipilä (discovering Solzhenitsyn in 1974), Jukka Kemppinen ("memory is thin as ice"), Jari Simonen (the GULAG map and my father's fate), and Erkki Vettenniemi (my way into the library of the prison camps) among the speakers.

We screen Marina Goldovskaya's great documentary film on the "alma mater of the gulag" (Solzhenitsyn), Vlast Solovetskaya / Solovki Power (1988) in our regular programme on Friday, 13 April, at 19.00.

Registration to the high profile seminar at:

No comments: