The Adventures of “Gulag Islands” Manuscript

  The writer Solzhenitsyn lives in an apartment in the center of Moscow. In December 2006, he was in poor health, so I brought a pack of Leling jujubes to condolences, and handed the jujube to his wife Natalia in a room full of books. She took me to the study, and I greeted Solzhenitsyn briefly. After that, we went back to the room full of books and sat down and talked about the creation and publication of Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Islands”.
  In 1962, Solzhenitsyn, who had been in exile, took advantage of the loose “thaw” period and published a short story “A Day in Ivan Denisovich” in China. After the novel was published, many fans wrote to him about their lives and deaths in exile. Solzhenitsyn received letters from 257 prisoners in total, and they became the earliest original material for writing “Gulag Islands”. Solzhenitsyn worked with conscience. He did not disclose the names of the prisoners until he completed the main part of the “Gulag Islands” from 1966 to 1967, lest the KGB trouble them.
  Natalia told me some thrilling plots.
  When Solzhenitsyn was detained in Moscow Buder Prison, he met a cellmate: Susie, the former Prime Minister of Estonia to join the Republic. After the two were released, Susie sent an uninhabited farm cabin in winter to Solzhenitsyn to write “Gulag Islands”. After Solzhenitsyn moved into the cabin, Susie also asked her daughter Haili to carry a big travel bag, braving the wind and snow to give Solzhenitsyn the necessities of life. When someone in the village asked, Susie said that a professor borrowed his cabin to write a paper.
  Every time Haili left after sending her things, she would take away some of the manuscripts of “Gulag Islands”, either hid it in a friend’s house or buried it by the river near the farm. Solzhenitsyn was able to save the manuscript of “Gulag Islands” thanks to the help of many Susie and Haili friends.
  In 1968, the “Gulag Islands” was finalized. Solzhenitsyn’s family was pulling the curtains all day long, and Natalia took pictures of every page of the manuscript with a camera. At that time, Solzhenitsyn met Andreev, a young French translator from the UNESCO Paris office, who had come to Moscow on business trips. Solzhenitsyn and Andreyev were very speculative. He wanted Andreyev to bring the “Gulag Islands” manuscript to Paris. However, due to the severe situation, he could not speak out, he could only talk about it. thing.
  Seeing that Solzhenitsyn didn’t say anything, Andreyev didn’t ask, so he readily agreed. A few days later, Andreyev saw the deliverer on the Moscow subway, and followed him on the subway first, and then took the car around Moscow a few times. Finally, the deliverer handed the two cans of caviar under the seat to Andreev. On June 2, he arrived in Paris with two cans of Solzhenitsyn caviar and stored them in the battery box of the UNESCO radio. Later, Andreyev obeyed his instructions and transferred the two cans of caviar to the Paris Russian Expatriate Publishing House for preservation.
  After many years, Andreev learned that the two cans of caviar contained 35mm film of the manuscript of “Gulag Islands” taken by Natalia.
  Natalia told me that after Solzhenitsyn finished writing “Gulag Islands”, he asked many people to help store and transfer the manuscript. In addition to Andreyev, there is also the secretary of a writer from Leningrad, 66-year-old Voronyaninskaya, who also helped store a manuscript film. However, she accidentally leaked the news to attract the KGB and was forced to tell where the film was hidden. After that, she went home and hanged herself.
  After Solzhenitsyn learned of it, he notified the Russian Diaspora Publishing House to publish the “Gulag Islands” as soon as possible. In 1973 the Russian version of “Gulag Islands” was published in Paris. Solzhenitsyn was deprived of his nationality in 1974. In 1990, the Soviet Union restored his nationality. In the same year, the book “Gulag Islands” won the Soviet State Award.