102 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes from Russian Novelist

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was an influential Russian novelist and historian who is recognized with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.

He was born in 1918 and was raised in a family of Cossack intellectuals.

After serving in World War II and criticizing Joseph Stalin, Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in prisons and labor camps, followed by three years in enforced exile.


His writing career blossomed after his rehabilitation in 1956, highlighted by his book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” an account of his experiences in the Stalin-era camps.

The book sparked international attention, inspiring other imprisoned writers to share their stories.

Despite his literary success, Solzhenitsyn faced increasing criticism and harassment from Soviet authorities, culminating in his arrest and subsequent exile in 1974.

His ambitious novels, including “The Gulag Archipelago,” which was a literary-historical record of the vast Soviet prison and labour camp system, solidified his international reputation.

Related: Isaiah Berlin Quotes from the Russian-British Philosopher and Vladimir Nabokov Quotes from Russian-American Author

His work prompted reconsideration of the Soviet regime’s practices, even as Solzhenitsyn sought a benevolent authoritarian alternative.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a vocal opponent of communism.

His Soviet citizenship was restored in 1990 and he returned to Russia in 1994.

Below is a compilation of the best quotes by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes


Nothing is more boring than a man with a career. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Education doesn’t make you smarter. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


I insist on believing that beauty elevates human beings. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Surrender one hair, and you’ll end up beardless. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

In every life there is one particular event that is decisive for the entire person-for his fate, his convictions, his passions. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God’s heaven. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Pay short money and get short value. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Famous Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


If you wanted to put the world to rights, who should you begin with: yourself or others? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Thus, literature, together with language, preserves and protects a nation’s soul. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Only an extraordinary person can turn opportunity into reality. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

During my time in the camps, I had got to know the enemies of the human race quite well: they respect the big fist and nothing else; the harder you slug them, the safer you will be. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


We didn’t love freedom enough. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Top Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

The generation now coming out of Western schools is unable to distinguish good from bad. Even those words are unacceptable. This results in impaired thinking ability. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Scientific research? Only when not at the cost of ethics-and first of all, those of the researchers themselves. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Let your memory be your travel bag. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Socialism of any type leads to a total destruction of the human spirit. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Some are bound to die young. By dying young a person stays young in people’s memory. If he burns brightly before he dies, his brightness shines for all time. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


A genius doesn’t adjust his treatment of a theme to a tyrant’s taste. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Art thaws even the frozen, darkened soul, opening it to lofty spiritual experience. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

It’s an universal law – intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Work is what horses die of. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Wise Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

Truth must be told-and things must change! If words are not about real things and do not cause things to happen, what is the good of them? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Can a man who’s warm understand one who’s freezing? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


The less you speak, the more you will hear. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Yes, you live with your feet in the mud and there’s no time to be thinking about how you got in or how you’re going to get out. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The solemn pledge to abstain from telling the truth was called socialist realism. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Lord, give me the strength to accomplish what You’ve given me to do and the faith to trust You that what I haven’t been able to accomplish You’ve already assigned to someone else. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Thought-Provoking Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


If you live in a graveyard, you can’t weep for everyone. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

If decade after decade the truth cannot be told, each person’s mind begins to roam irretrievably. One’s fellow countrymen become harder to understand than Martians. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Happiness doesn’t depend on the actual number of blessings we manage to scratch from life, only our attitude towards them… ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

I dare hope that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Inspiring Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes


If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

If we don’t know our own history, then we simply will have to endure all of the same mistakes, all of the same sacrifices, all of the same absurdities over again – times ten. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you – you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

People who are at ease with their consciences always look happy. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

I would rather have the United States as the world’s policeman than the Soviet Union as the world’s jailer. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Freedom or prison – what’s the difference? A man must develop unwavering will power subject only to his reason. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Profound Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

Communism will never be halted by negotiations or through the machinations of detente. It can only be halted by force from without or by disintegration from within. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Beat a dog once and you only have to show him the whip. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

I dedicate this to all those who did not live to tell it. And may they please forgive me for not having seen it all nor remembered it all, for not having divined all of it – from The Gulag Archipelago. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again. ~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When truth is discovered by someone else, it loses something of its attractiveness. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

We have arrived at an intellectual chaos. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Inspirational Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

In our age, when technology is gaining control over life, when material well-being is considered the most important goal, when the influence of religion has been weakened everywhere in the world, a special responsibility lies upon the writer. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn’t the will to do what is right. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

To reject this inhuman Communist ideology is simply to be a human being. Such a rejection is more than a political act. It is a protest of our souls against those who would have us forget the concepts of good and evil. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

One word of truth outweighs the whole world. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

One drop of truth can outweigh an ocean of lies. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Morality is always higher than law and we cannot forget this ever. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The one who doesn’t pull his weight is not asked to pull, while the one who does, pulls for two. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Motivational Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

A great disaster had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

An engineer cannot participate in irrationality… ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Each person has his special moment of life when he unfolded himself to the fullest, felt to the deepest, and expressed himself to the utmost, to himself and to others. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The “October Revolution” is a myth generated by the winners, the Bolsheviks, and swallowed whole by progressive circles in the West. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Patriotism means unqualified and unwavering love for the nation, which implies not uncritical eagerness to serve, not support for unjust claims, but frank assessment of its vices and sins, and penitence for them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, not between classes, nor between political parties, but through every human heart. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

For me faith is the foundation and support of one’s life. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow. ~ Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn.

You can turn a man upside down, inside out, any way you like. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

If we look far into the future, one can see a time in the 21st century when both Europe and the USA will be in dire need of Russia as an ally. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Nowadays we don’t think much of a man’s love for an animal; we laugh at people who are attached to cats. But if we stop loving animals, aren’t we bound to stop loving humans too? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Evil people always support each other; that is their chief strength. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

So these were the 102 top Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Rick Warren quotes and Sophia Loren quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar