Alec Flegon. “A. Solzhenitsyn. Myth and Reality”

For the first time on the Internet, I publish the full text of this critical, hard-to-find work. You can freely download it through this link.

This image of the author belongs to Photo News Service Old Bailey. It accompanied the print version of his obituary. Perhaps, the image is the first online photo of Mr. Flegon.

An energetic lone warrior of Romanian origin, Alec Flegon (1924-2003) virtually self-published “A. Solzhenitsyn. Myth and Reality”, 1986. No editor. No proof-reader. A mediocre layout. The migrant’s faltering English. But, these seemingly serious shortcomings were offset by the book’s wealth of facts and ideas. He outspokenly indicated similiraties between the KGB and the CIA in the field of ideological warfare. He painstakingly searched for inaccuracies in the literary output of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008). Mr. Flegon pointed out the vengeful nature of Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s activities. The future Nobel-prize winner failed to get the Lenin Prize – the most prestigious award for arts and humanities in the Soviet Union. Perhaps, this was one of the driving forces in his disenchantment with the USSR.

Mr. Flegon also showed the envious side of Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s character. For example, the latter instigated a libel campaign against one of the greatest writers of all times, Mikhail Sholokhov (1905-1984), whom he actually accused of plagiarism. Incidentally, Mr. Sholokhov had initially praised Mr. Solzhenitsyn for his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

As for Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s language, his works were peppered with outdated Russian words, which made his books difficult to read. But, let me add a few facts, concerning Mr. Solzhenitsyn and Kazakhstan. I am sure that they are almost unknown to the Western audience. A Kazakh dissident Karishal Assan Ata (1935-2015) wrote on page 59 of his monumental Russian-language book Phantom of Independence, 1997, that Mr. Solzhenitsyn “must thank his fate that his life as a convict was spent in the Moiynkums (a warm region of Kazakhstan, D.N. ), not  Magadan (a Russian town with extremely cold weather, D.N.). Evidently, he has forgotten not only Mr. Kussmagambetov, a Kazakh KGB investigator (before whom Mr. Solzhenitsyn himself confessed several times that he has loved “Marxism and Leninism”), who acquitted him, but also his Kazakh pupils from a Kokterek high school, whom he showed the Milky Way by night, but also his own words that “…much more comfortable life was in a town of Dzhambul: a blissful southern belt of Kazakhstan with very cheap food“. By the way, Mr. Assan Ata resembled Mr. Flegon, because the Kazakh also was, actually, a lone fighter in his political struggle.

Moreover, at the beginning of the nineties Mr. Solzhenitsyn laid a claim to the internationally recognized territory of Kazakhstan in his notorious essay, widely distributed by the Russsian authorities. Once again, he showed his ungratefulness to the land, where he served his exile in a relatively comfortable way. Incidentally, some Kazakhstan-born Russian politicians, like Natalya Timakova – a former press secretary of the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev – have been remarkably indiffirent, if not hostile, to Kazakhstan, where they were a privileged group in the Soviet era.

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