Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Brave Soul & Intrepid Traveler

I had just mentioned to our exchange student that I've been disconnected from all news the past seven days. When Mechanical Hamster brought to our attention via blog that Alexander Solzhenitsyn had passed away on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008, I was stunned. I wasn't ready for him to die. I had yet to stand in his presence or shake his hand. But, then, it's not about me, is it?

Several months ago, in her keynote address at Wenatchee's Write on the River, Elizabeth George had mentioned that she was reading The Gulag Archipelago. I was suitably impressed and immediately went out and purchased her latest book. After all, anyone reading Solzhenitsyn couldn't be all bad, right?


Anonymous said...

My biggest influence on reading a 'new' author is a direct 'review' by a friend, but I do consider looking up volumes suggested by writers that I like and respect. I wonder how many other people use the inspirations or 'current reading', 'on the bedside table' lists of authors to create a reading list? With so many writers around, is a join-the-dots of similar influences and likes a reliable way of navigating to authors previously undiscovered? It's interesting that you've done that in reverse, by approaching an author who is reading a piece that you already appreciate. I might try that myself to add to the 'must-read' list!


Alex Moore said...

You've got a good point there. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertisement. Whether it's a restaurant, a book, a class, or a travel destination, we're often influenced by those we know and trust. (Isn't this why Stride gum sponsored Matt Harding's world-wide trips?) Writers are fellow travelers who understand the journey; it only makes sense that we band together.