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So wrote Alexander Solzhenitsyn concerning the publication of Gulag Archipelago in Paris on 28 December 1973.
The decision to publish followed the brutal interrogation of his former assistant Elizaveta Voronyanskay that led the KGB to one of only three samizdat copies in the Soviet Union. Elizaveta Voronyanskay later hung herself.
‘Do not pursue what is illusory-property, position, all that is gained at the expense of your nerves, decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life-don’t be afraid of misfortune and do not yearn after happiness; it is, after all, all the same-the bitter doesn’t last forever and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.
‘It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold, if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if your arms bend, if both eyes can see, and if both ears can hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all.
‘Rub your eyes and purify your heart-and prize above all else in the world those who love you and wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part with them in anger; after all, you simply do not know, it may be your last act.’
Extract from Gulag Archipelago
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Natasha King busts some myths around the No Borders debate
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Frustrated at the idea of another royal wedding? You're not alone. Joana Ramiro argues we should stop idealising a fundamentally undemocratic institution.
Liberal elites are using Russian interference to minimise their own political failures, writes Matt Turner
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
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Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
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Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
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Tabloids do not represent the working class
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As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
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The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
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Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny