Kennan Institute Launches Solzhenitsyn Initiative

New Titles to be Translated into English for First Time

Jun 09, 2014
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Photo by Verhoeff, Bert

WASHINGTON — The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute has launched the Solzhenitsyn Initiative to translate major works by Nobel Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2007) for the first time into English.

Solzhenitsyn, best known in the West as the author of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, wrote a number of other books, including a history of the Russian Revolution and his autobiography of his years in exile in the United States, that have been translated into other languages, but not into English.

The first volume to be translated will be The Little Grain, Solzhenitsyn’s autobiography during his years living in the United States. Work has also begun on translating the remaining volumes of The Red Wheel, Solzhenitsyn’s partially-translated history of Russia during World War I and leading into the Bolshevik Revolution.

The Kennan Institute will work with the Solzhenitsyn literary estate and family to produce these important translations and organize academic and other promotional events to coincide with their publication.

The Solzhenitsyn Initiative was first announced at the May 13 2014 Davis Dinner marking the Kennan Institute’s 40th anniversary by Drew Guff, managing director of Siguler Guff and founding donor of the Solzhenitsyn Initiative. “If we as Americans are to make wise policy concerning Russia, we need to do more than grapple with the political or security issues of the day,” said Guff. “We need a fundamental understanding of Russia’s history and its culture…To that end, these translations will open access of some of Solzhenitsyn’s most important work to the English-speaking world for the first time; and I can think of no better institution than the Kennan Institute to lead the way.”

“The Kennan Institute is proud to have the support and confidence of the Solzhenitsyn family and our generous donors, in particular Drew Guff, who is the driving force behind bringing the Solzhenitsyn Initiative to the Kennan Institute,” said Kennan Institute director Matthew Rojansky. “With these important works available in English for the first time, readers will gain important new insights into Russian culture and history through the eyes of one of Russia’s greatest writers.”

For additional information on the Solzhenitsyn Initiative, please contact Mr. Joseph Dresen on the Kennan Institute staff at (joseph.dresen@wilsoncenter.org).

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