“No Restrooms, No Bare Feet, No Directions to the Solzhenitsyn Home.”
July 22, 2018 1:02 PM   Subscribe

A Tiny Village in Vermont Was the Perfect Spot to Hide Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: "Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn didn’t actually write about Vermont. But the Russian author spent almost the entirety of his 20 years in exile here, in the tiny village of Cavendish, before returning to Russia in 1994."

Author, Russian, Exile, Vermonter: The Life And Writing of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

From the Cavendish Historical Society:

Solzhenitsyn Addresses Cavendish Town Meeting 2/28/1977: "Citizens of Cavendish! Dear neighbors! I have come here today to say hello to you and to greet you."

Solzhenitsyn's Cavendish Farewell Speech 2/28/94: "At town meeting seventeen years ago I told you about my exile and explained the necessary steps which I took to ensure a calm working environment, without the burden of constant visitors."

Ignat Solzhenitsyn Returns To Vermont To Honor Piano Teacher Who Launched His Career
posted by mandolin conspiracy (4 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I still recall with pleasure a quote from his son, that I read in an article around the time he returned to Russia: "My Dad is a very intense guy...I've never heard him say 'You know, today I think I'll blow off this Red Wheel thing and go jogging'"
posted by thelonius at 1:14 PM on July 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

This is fascinating stuff. Another small, quiet place which embraced the man was a small but beautiful monastery amid cornfields not far from the New York State Thruway, which he visited in order to converse with others in his native tongue.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

I don't always agree with Solzhenitsyn, but as someone who's lived in Vermont almost 20 years this resonates:
I have observed here in Cavendish, and in the surrounding towns the sensible and sure process of grassroots democracy where the local population decides most of its problems on its own, not waiting for the decision of higher authorities.
posted by doctornemo at 6:59 PM on July 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Even if we can't be heroic, or life doesn't call upon us to be heroic, at least do not participate in lies...

Man, I’m gonna remember that.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:16 PM on July 22, 2018 [12 favorites]

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