I am doing this blArt about rejection in honour of Solzhenitsyn and all those who have been incarcerated unfairly.
I awoke 0n 6.9.14 thinking of Solzhenitsyn and his Nobel speech. In searching for it I found this quote:
“Men have forgotten God”
Regarding atheism, Solzhenitsyn declared:
Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”Wikipedia (from his Nobel Speech 1970.
Rejections, I had a few, but who am I to moan? Mine are nothing compared to Solzhenitsyn who was sent to the Gulag Internment camps during the rule of Stalin in Russia. That meant total rejection, and death for many. Solzhenitsyn survived and was allowed to leave the USSR but eventually returned to see his days out there. I was never exiled as such. I may have left and never returned but that was my choice (most times). I have been turned down, not accepted, ignored and even told by Turnstone Press (Britain) c.1980 that with the shortage of trees it would be a crime to use paper to print my writing on. I’ve been made to feel unwelcome, not wanted, not part of, but most of us have experiences of that ignominy, haven’t we? I’ve also been made welcome, even hankered after, I’ve been invited, accepted and have even had articles published. A little ‘success’ and I quickly forget most of the turndowns. I’ve even continued to turnstones looking for opportunities. Which funnily enough I was doing as I walked around the Art Fair at the Business Design Centre near Angel tube station yesterday where many galleries were selling their wares. My mate Dave and I saw work very reminiscent of my paintings of the 1980s using liberal but controlled brush marks and brilliant colours, like my ‘Van’ & ‘Seb’ oils, on display. AND SELLING WELL. It seems I was after all 35 years ahead of the field.
Seb Coe looking a bit like Goya’s Saturn!
One Word of Truth by Solzhenitsyn delivered at the Nobel Prize ceremony, published by Bodley Head, talks highly about the place of art in human endeavour. ‘But Art is not sullied by our efforts; it loses nothing of its lineage, but every time and however applied it grants us a share of its own secret, inner light.’
by Feliks Toploski (thanks Caryl)
Solzhenitsyn is an example of a man who was hounded by the Russian state which it seems has now returned to habits we in the west hoped that they had abandoned. Their ‘leader’ Putin is KGB trained etc. who, unfortunately, has returned the modus operandi to the sad ways of pre-Gorbachev. His idea that he wishes to embattle, at various levels the ‘west’ and others, is a sad retrograde step for his (?!) country. It is based in ‘feather-displaying’ like peacocks and other birds do. He needs an ‘out’ of the sticky mess he has gone into. He needs to be given an out, a chance to climb down, to admit a mistake and a chance to heal the damage, before it escalates into a catastrophe. The ‘world ‘leaders’ are complicit. They are in danger of engaging in a 3rd ‘World War’. STOP. See the comparison between Ukraine 2014 and Serbia 1914. Be very careful.