"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago and many other works on the Soviet Union, died tonight. He lived quite a remarkable life.

I had to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in eighth or ninth or tenth grade. I don't remember particularly liking it, but I still remember Solzhenitsyn's vivid description of the pure evil that human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another, and of the small ways in which humanity prevails in even the worst of situations. And those are things I think about every day.


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