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Ein Tag des Iwan Denissowitsch. by Alexander…

Ein Tag des Iwan Denissowitsch. (original 1962; edition 1998)

by Alexander Solschenizyn, Alexander Solschenizyn (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,837174448 (4.03)436
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich brilliantly portrays a single day, any day, in the life of a single Russian soldier who was captured by the Germans in 1945 and who managed to escape a few days later. Along with millions of others, this soldier was charged with some sort of political crime, and since it was easier to confess than deny it and die, Ivan Denisovich "confessed" to "high treason" and received a sentence of 10 years in a Siberian labor camp.… (more)
Title:Ein Tag des Iwan Denissowitsch.
Authors:Alexander Solschenizyn
Other authors:Alexander Solschenizyn (Author)
Info:Dtv (1998), Edition: N.-A., Broschiert, 126 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:russische literatur, sowjetische literatur, udssr, arbeitslager, lager, gefängnis, gefangener, gefangensein

Work details

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1962)

  1. 70
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» See also 436 mentions

English (165)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (174)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
Marvellously written, and deeply moving. This story, a telling of a day of a gulag prisoner's life, will make you re-evaluate the idea of happiness and a good day. Brilliant throughout, with humour despite the dark content. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Szürreális, pedig valóság. Nem csak a Szovjetunióban, hanem szerte a világban. Az emberségről szól, az embertelenségben. Utat mutat a 21. századi erkölcsi-társadalmi válságban is. A legfontosabb emberi értékeket mutatja be - nagyon megrázó erővel. ( )
  gjudit8 | Aug 3, 2020 |
Can a man who's warm understand one who's freezing? ( )
  SolangePark | Jul 12, 2020 |
Without affectation; cuts to the quick. ( )
  drbrand | Jun 8, 2020 |
My favorite passage in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is when the titular character sees an older man sit down across from him in the mess hall. The man has clearly been through numerous camps and prisons, and he is described in a few sentences as being worn down, but not broken. As I was reading, I heard the ghosts of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy licking their chops. Had this man featured in one of their tomes, his description would be followed by a 10-page slobberfest over the Russian people or the current state of Russia as a whole or something of that ilk. Instead, Solzhenitsyn simply states, "However, [Ivan] couldn't go on watching the old man - he had other things to do." Take that, verbosity.

The rest of the novel plays out in the same way. There is never anything particularly flowery (In the introduction, Yevgeny Yevtushenko alleges that this is partially due to the translation, but I don't quite buy that) and in a book about life in a Siberian labor camp, that's probably how it should be. The language is all straightforward, and only hiccup for me was the occasional shift in pronouns. After not appearing anywhere in the first half, "we" begins to appear in places that feel awkward or just wrong. I don't know if Solzhenitsyn was alluding to his own experiences as a prisoner when he would drop a "we" but it wasn't consistent enough to work.

Throughout the story, the reader is always waiting for the other shoe to drop on Ivan, but it never does. He gets some extra food, doesn't get busted during the pat-down, and buys some high-quality tobacco without incident. What makes his story heartbreaking is how pitiful his "good day" was and how few days would ever be like this one, and what brings a grain of hope is his attitude, a combination of realism and a determination to survive. He may not go home anytime soon (or ever), but he'll approach tomorrow in the same way he did today, and that will keep him alive.

If you're looking for a reminder of the importance of perspective, check this one out. However, as Yevtushenko points out in the introduction, the influence of Solzhenitsyn's novel in the West was far more political in nature than literary. Throw it on the list, don't expect too much, and don't forget to take off your hat five paces before you reach a guard. ( )
  bgramman | May 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
This quiet tale has struck a powerful blow against the return of the horrors of the Stalin system. For Solzhenitsyn's words burn like acid.

» Add other authors (79 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Solzhenitsyn, Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayward, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hingley, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalb, Marvin L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Labedz, LeopoldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtela, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shonk, KatherineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tvardovsky, AlexanderForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valiulina, SanaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willetts, Harry T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zelma, GeorgiCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[Translator's Dedication] To my grandson, Dmitri Ivanovich, with thoughts of the future
First words
As usual, at five o'clock that morning reveille was sounded by the blows of a hammer on a length of rail hanging up near the staff quarters.
Apart from sleep, the only time a prisoner lives for himself is ten minutes in the morning at breakfast, five minutes over dinner, and five at supper.
There was truth in that. Better to growl and submit. If you were stubborn they broke you.
You should rejoice that you're in prison. Here you have time to think about your soul.
When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine editions that include other works, or critical companions and study guides (such as Monarch Notes Study Guides) with this original 1962 novel. Thank you.
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Wikipedia in English


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich brilliantly portrays a single day, any day, in the life of a single Russian soldier who was captured by the Germans in 1945 and who managed to escape a few days later. Along with millions of others, this soldier was charged with some sort of political crime, and since it was easier to confess than deny it and die, Ivan Denisovich "confessed" to "high treason" and received a sentence of 10 years in a Siberian labor camp.

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Secret mattress holes /
Trowel, mortar, checking string /
Salt pork bribery

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184744, 0141045353

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