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The Theme of Fate in Solzhenitsyn's August 1914

Kevin Windle
1972 Slavic Review: Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies  
"Truth, Beauty, Good, Evil: ethical imperatives," runs the line that Innokentii Volodin finds in his mother's papers on the day of his arrest. As ever, these are the aims to which Alexander Solzhenitsyn aspires in his latest novel. His account of the events in East Prussia as World War I begins is more than an extensive compilation of historical facts, more than their transmutation into fictional form. It is an attempt to capture the truth about certain elusive laws governing the movement and
more » ... the movement and development of human society, best observed in times of crisis. In War and Peace Tolstoy attempted to expound and test a philosophy of history. Solzhenitsyn's purpose in August 1914 is substantially the same. Some comparison of the two works is inevitable.
doi:10.2307/2494341 fatcat:ei5wncow4nbsfgrwxtvdjclm6m