Re: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Just recently re-read Sozhenitsyn's 1978 Harvard address, which provoked a great deal of fury back in its day - most of it of a particularly knee-jerk kind. I don't agree with all of it either - who wants to agree with everything all the time? - but there's much here that sets me a-ponderin'.
Much of the criticism came from corners crying out. "We gave him refuge! He has no right to criticize us!" Which begs the question: Does being a guest in another country mean one can't publicly criticize it? Solzhenitsyn is hardly championing the Soviet Union, but he sees a lot in the US that he dislikes. A failure of nerve? Cowardice? Spiritual mediocrity? Wot?
and a number of responses, both immediately after and later:
The maker of kitsch does not create inferior art, he is not an incompetent or a bungler, he cannot be evaluated by aesthetic standards; rather, he is ethically depraved, a criminal willing radical evil. - Hermann Broch