Calamities of Exile
Two books survey the embattled intellectual legacies of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Edward Said—and point up some surprising parallels in their careers.
The Soul and Barbed Wire:
An Introduction to Solzhenitsyn
by Edward E. Ericson Jr. and Alexis Klimoff
$28.00 List Price
Edward Said and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, dissident heroes of two sharply divergent political traditions, had a surprising amount in common. Both came from cultures that had been violently uprooted and dislocated; both were exiled, their lives threatened; both found refuge eventually in the United States—and became outspoken critics of this country. Both fought the regimes they opposed with words and the application of counternarrative. Both wrote famous accusatory tomes—Orientalism (1978), The Gulag Archipelago (1973)—that, through the sheer accrual of evidence, fundamentally altered the worlds they described.
Most interesting of all, both lived to see their political projects succeed to a degree they could never have anticipated. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991; Israel acknowledged the existence of the Palestinian
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