Solzhenitsyn and American Culture

The Russian Soul in the West

David P. Deavel, Jessica Hooten Wilson (Editors)

AmazonGoodreads

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publish Date: October 31, 2020
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0268108250
ISBN-13: 978-0268108250

For many Americans of both right and left political persuasions, the Russian bear is more of a bugbear. On the right, the country is still mentally represented by Soviet domination. For those on the left, it is a harbor for reactionary values and neo-imperial visions. The reality, however, is that, despite Russia’s political failures, its rich history of culture, religion, and philosophical reflection―even during the darkest days of the Gulag―have been a deposit of wisdom for American artists, religious thinkers, and political philosophers probing what it means to be human in America.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stands out as the key figure in this conversation, as both a Russian literary giant and an exile from Russia living in America for two decades. This anthology reconsiders Solzhenitsyn’s work from a variety of perspectives―his faith, his politics, and the influences and context of his literature―to provide a prophetic vision for our current national confusion over universal ideals. In Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West, David P. Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson have collected essays from the foremost scholars and thinkers of comparative studies who have been tracking what Americans have borrowed and learned from Solzhenitsyn as well as his fellow Russians. The book offers a consideration of what we have in common―the truth, goodness, and beauty America has drawn from Russian culture and from masters such as Solzhenitsyn―and will suggest to readers what we can still learn and what we must preserve. The book will interest fans of Solzhenitsyn and scholars across the disciplines, and it can be used in courses on Solzhenitsyn or Russian literature more broadly.

Contributors: David P. Deavel, Jessica Hooten Wilson, Nathan Neilson, Eugene Vodolazkin, David Walsh, Matthew Lee Miller, Ralph C. Wood, Gary Saul Morson, Edward E. Ericson, Jr., Micah Mattix, Joseph Pearce, James F. Pontuso, Daniel J. Mahoney, William Jason Wallace, Lee Trepanier, Peter Leithart, Dale Peterson, Julianna Leachman, Walter G. Moss, and Jacob Howland.

Editors

David P. Deavel is visiting assistant professor of Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and editor of LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture.

Jessica Hooten Wilson is associate professor of literature at John Brown University. She is the author of a number of books, including Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence.

Reviews

Readers will be reminded of his courageous witness, but they will also discern more clearly Solzhenitsyn’s integral relation to Russian literary culture and to writers from the West with whom he bore deep affinities. Solzhenitsyn remains a prophetic intelligence for our time.

—Paul J. Contino, co-editor of Bakhtin and Religion

Solzhenitsyn and American Culture is a superb and coherent collection of essays.

—Lee Congdon, author of The Young Lukács

In reading Solzhenitsyn and American Culture, the mind is enlightened and honed, the will steeled, and our capacity for admiration exercised and nourished. Thanks to the editors and contributors to this volume, they continue to be Solzhenitsyn’s gifts to his American readers.”

—Paul Seaton, St. Mary’s Seminary and University

Solzhenitsyn and American Culture will deepen Solzhenitsyn’s writings in America, which is sorely needed in our country that has ceased to see the purpose and is increasingly willingly to live by lies. We need the wisdom of Solzhenitsyn’s reflections on tyranny, so that we can ascend with him to the true heights of man’s greatness, which is only found, as he knew, in our Lord.

—Richard M. Reinsch II, founding editor of Law and Liberty

Resources

Articles & Essays

THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS DARKLY

How (and how not) to be certain of yourself. When I was a little girl, my favourite book was Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As much as I disliked cats, the Cheshire Cat defied all expectations with his wisdom. Alice is lost in the woods,…
mm
November 12, 2020
Events

Mars Hill 2020: Tolkien & Dostoevskey

The Mars Hill Forum is hosted by University Christian Fellowship—a ministry of the Christian Fellowship family of local churches in Central Kentucky—as one of a series of events aimed at reaching the University of Kentucky and surrounding area with the truth and beauty of the…
mm
November 12, 2020
Events

Flannery O’Connor Short Course

Short course on Flannery O’Connor with Chuck Colson Center (11/10) Listen to Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson's discussion of Flannery O’Connor on The Habit here. How Four Christians from History Confronted Cultural Chaos Speakers: Dr. Calvin Troup, Dr. Bill Brown, Derek McCoy, and Dr. Jessica Hooten…
mm
November 3, 2020
Articles & Essays

Awakening from Digital Slumbers

When I was rereading Homer’s The Odyssey, I noticed a curious fault in the hero—Odysseus falls asleep at the most inopportune times. At the start of his adventures, he dozes off when the ships are in sight of Ithaca, the pilgrim’s destination. Hoping that by overexerting…
mm
October 30, 2020
Events

Solzhenitsyn and American Culture Event

If you are struggling to find a middle road through this world of extreme right and left, the writings of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn remind us of the dangers of ideology of any camp and point us instead towards polyphony and beauty. Join this webinar book launch on Oct 29…
mm
October 27, 2020