What do you think is Morrison's view of the role of the writer? A nation can no longer remember itself, it loses its spiritual unity, and despite their seemingly common language, countrymen cease to understand one another. "The Nobel Lecture in Literature Essay Questions". In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation. But according to another scale it is both commonplace and forgivable to have prison sentences of twenty-five years, punishment cells with ice on the walls where the prisoners are stripped to their underwear, insane asylums for normal persons, and shootings at the border of countless unreasonable people who for some reason keep trying to flee somewhere. They even assume fawning attitudes, just so as not to seem “conservative.” This once again is a Russian nineteenth-century phenomenon; Dostoyevsky called it subservience to progressive little notions. In the twilight preceding the dawn of mankind we received it from hands which we did not have a chance to see clearly.
Al Gore talks of creating “peace” with the environment, but he does not tell out how.
It sustains within itself and safeguards a nation’s bygone history—in a form which cannot be distorted or falsified. something long buried in the sand? Or is this due to a difference in languages? World literature is capable of transmitting the concentrated experience of a particular region to other lands so that we can overcome double vision and kaleidoscopic variety, so that one people can discover, accurately and concisely, the true history of another people, with all the force of recognition and the pain that comes from actual experience— and can thus be safeguarded from belated errors. In each region men apply to events their own particular hard-won scale of values; intransigently and self-confidently, they judge by their own scale and by no other. Global warming is brought to halt by ensuring that contributory negligence is prevented and cutting down the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. They both hold the key to a miracle: to overcome man’s ruinous habit of learning only from his own experience, so that the experience of others passes him by without profit. Why this yawning chasm? Articles, Essays, and Speeches > Nobel Lecture, In 1970 Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.” His worldwide reputation rocketed further upward, but Soviet authorities viewed the award as a Cold War provocation. Uncredited Nobel Foundation translation (Nobel Lectures, Literature 1968-1980, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Sture Allén, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1993); also at NobelPrize.org.F.
We could not manage to survive on one earth, just as a man with two hearts is not long for this world. We shall not make demands on him—but surely we can be permitted to reproach him, beg him, call him, or beckon to him. And if his youthful fellow citizens nonchalantly proclaim the advantages of debauchery over humble toil, if they abandon themselves to drugs, or seize hostages—then this stench too is mingled with the breath of the writer.
What shallow lack of understanding of timeless human nature, what naïve confidence of inexperienced hearts: “We’ll just oust these vicious, greedy oppressors and rulers, and those next in charge (that’s us! Both are endowed with the miraculous power to communicate— despite differences in language, custom, and social structure—the experience of the entire nation to another nation which has not undergone such a difficult decades-long collective experience. Given six, four, or even two scales of values, there cannot be a unified world, a united humanity. If the tops of these three trees do converge, as thinkers used to claim, and if the all too obvious and the overly straight sprouts of Truth and Goodness have been crushed, cut down, or not permitted to grow, then perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, and ever surprising shoots of Beauty will force their way through and soar up to that very spot, thereby fulfilling the task of all three. The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. All the more so since the example of individuals demonstrates how much ground they could gain if only they joined forces. Once we have taken up the word, it is thereafter impossible to turn away: A writer is no detached judge of his countrymen and contemporaries; he is an accomplice to all the evil committed in his country or by his people. As seen from the outside, the careening fluctuations of Western society seem to be approaching that amplitude beyond which a system becomes metastable and must disintegrate. It is art. Finally, my very nomination for the Nobel Prize was initiated not in the country where I live and work, but by François Mauriac and his colleagues. And they may well succeed. Onrushing waves of events bear down upon us: Half the world learns in one minute of what is splashed ashore. But let us not forget that violence does not and cannot exist by itself: It is invariably intertwined with the lie. At that time it was possible for the individual human eye to see and accept a certain common scale of values: what was considered average, what unbelievable; what was cruel, what was beyond villainy; what constituted honesty, and what deceit.
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