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Authors, Novelists & Poets ~

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Gary Soto
Robert Southey

Wole Soyinka

Nobel Prize Winning Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn During the Gulag Years 1945-1950, Photographic Print
Nobel Prize Winning Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn During the Gulag Years 1945-1950, Photographic Print

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
b. 12-11-1918; Kislovodsk, Russia
d. 8-3-2008; Moscow

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author and historian, made the world aware of the Soviet Gulag labor camp system with his ”The Gulag Archipelago”, a multi part narrative based on personal experience, eyewitness testimony and primary research material. Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union for nearly twenty years, returning in 1994. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes ~
• “The one and only substitute for experience which we have not ourselves had is art, literature.”
• “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.”
• “Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn't the will to do what is right.”
• “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
• “The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it.”
• “It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”

Bust of Sophocles, Giclee Print
Bust of Sophocles,
Giclee Print

b. c. 496 BC; Colonus, Greece
d. 406 BC; Athens

Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripdes were the three great ancient Greek tragedians. Greek drama began with a chorus telling a story, gradually preceding playwrights added one, then two characters, to express the story. Sophocles is credited with adding the third character which diminished the importance of the chorus and allowed the development of personality and conflict.

Sophocles quotes ~
• “A short saying often contains much wisdom.”
• “All a man's affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils.”
• “A wise man does not chatter with one whose mind is sick.”

The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

Living Up the Street, Gary Soto
Living Up the Street,
Gary Soto

(poster no
longer available)

Gary Soto
b. 1952; Fresno, CA

“I was every dark penny
that rolled away.
But still hopeful of running
into the glittery crowd
Of nickels and dimes.”
Job Interview

poetry posters

Portrait of Robert Southey, Giclee Print
Robert Southey,
Giclee Print

Robert Southey
b. 8-12-1774; Bristol, England
d. 3-1-1843

Romantic poet Robert Southey was one of the “Lake Poets” with Wordsworth and Coleridge, and Poet Laureate of England. Southey wrote Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, a notable bedtime story that by having been told so often, has lost its author.

Robert Southey quotes ~
• “No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth.”
• “The three indispensable of genius are: understanding, feeling, and perseverance; the three things that enrich genius are: contentment of mind, the cherishing of good thoughts, and the exercise of memory.”
• “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost.”

The Lakeland Poets: In the Footsteps of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Others

Pensive Portrait of Author Wole Soyinka, Photographic Print
Wole Soyinka, Photographic Print

Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka
b. 7-13-1934; Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

“Wole” Soyinka, writer, poet and playwright was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 as one “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence”. He was the first African to be so honored.

“Wole” Soyinka quotes ~
• “Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.”
• “The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”
• “And gradually they're beginning to recognize the fact that there's nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. But it's sunk in only theoretically, it has not yet sunk in completely in practical terms.”
• “Well, the first thing is that truth and power for me form an antithesis, an antagonism, which will hardly ever be resolved. I can define in fact, can simplify the history of human society, the evolution of human society, as a contest between power and freedom.”
• “See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome.”

Death and the King's Horseman (1975)

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