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Estonian Literary Journal Publishes 1st Chapter of Once-Banned ‘Gulag’

From Times Wire Services

An Estonian literary journal has published the first chapter of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s once-taboo epic, “The Gulag Archipelago,” which describes labor camps and political oppression since the foundation of the Soviet state.

The July 1 edition of the daily Sovietskaya Estonia, which reached Moscow on Monday, said the Estonian-language monthly Looming had begun publishing the work after getting permission from the author, who now lives in the United States.

The journal said it planned to publish the next two chapters of Solzhenitsyn’s epic documentary history of Soviet labor camps in upcoming editions.

Meanwhile, a leading Soviet literary magazine said it also will begin printing excerpts of “Gulag” in August, and the Soviet Writers’ Union petitioned for restoration of the exiled author’s citizenship.

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“We have decided to begin with ‘Gulag’ because this is one of the most important, unique and one of the premier works of Solzhenitsyn,” Novy Mir magazine’s Grigory Reznechenko said. Novy Mir’s publication is to begin in the August issue and run for four months, filling more than half of each 270-page issue.

Next year, Novy Mir also will publish two major Solzhenitsyn novels that have never appeared in the Soviet Union, “Cancer Ward” and “The First Circle,” Reznechenko said.

The Writers’ Union has restored the Nobel Prize-winning author’s membership, which was stripped in 1969, and requested that his Soviet citizenship be returned, Reznechenko said.

Solzhenitsyn, 70, was put aboard a plane for the West in 1974 and has lived in Vermont for 15 years.

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Literary authorities stopped publishing Solzhenitsyn’s works in 1963, and only a small body of his writings has been seen in Soviet publications.


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