Visions that widen creative horizons | Daily News

Visions that widen creative horizons

It is recorded that as the 19o70 Nobel Prize winner in literature, the great writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was unable to leave Russia to deliver the customary Nobel lecture in Stockholm. But he had the opportunity to submit his text written in the Russian language that came to be translated into English by a scholar named FD Reeve. The bilingual text came in the form of a booklet running about 70 pages.

The English-reading world had the chance of reading what Solzhenitsyn wanted to express his creative process as well as his interpretation of art and creativity as he sees it from seven broad dimensions. The bilingual text initially came to be printed in 1972. Then there onwards it had gone to five impressions by 1974. As the necessity for more and more translations are needed as a guiding principle that was laid down on the International Translations Day that fell on September 30, this lecture of Solzhenitsyn comes as a genuine document that fulfils the intention.

In the first instance, he lays down the background to all forms of creativity in the following lines:

“As the savage, who in bewilderment has picked up a strange sea-leaving, a thing a thing hidden in the sand or an incomprehensible something fallen out of the sky-something intricately curved, something shimmering dully, sometimes shining in a bright ray of light, turns it this way and that, turns it looking for a way to use it, for some ordinary use to which he can put it, without suspecting an extraordinary one.”

This metaphorical reference is then extended to the human expansion of knowledge that emerges via creative nuances. Solzhenitsyn sees creativity as a common compulsory act that embraces sensitivity as well as interpretative power of knowledge.

As you go on reading the text slowly considering each sentence, you will feel that the creativity in the human being has surpassed the narrow barriers of expression, giving vent to broader perspectives. They include the areas of speech mannerisms, visual means and the written sentences that envelop creativity in multi-faceted ways. The thinker cum creator in award-winner enables us to fathom his knowledge on the creativity linked to the orient as well as the occident.

He takes the three concepts of Truth that are explained as Satyam in Orient, Happiness explained as Shivam and Beauty explained in Sundaram. These three are a global creative phenomenon accepted in the past. But they are considered universal realities.

As Solzhenitsyn explains his view that the task of the artiste is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know. He adds that in failure as well as in the lower depths – in poverty, in illness, in person – the consciousness of a stable harmony will never leave him. The Nobel text enables a reader to take up rereading what Solzhenitsyn has written in his language as followed by English translations.

They include creative works such as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovish (1967), The First Circle (1968) and the Cancer Ward (1968). With the exception of the Cancer Ward, most of his creative works are translated into oriental languages. This includes Sinhala s well. Dr W A Abeysinghe has translated First Circle recently.

The text underlines the fact that the work of art contains its verification and identity in itself. This is a factor that has been grossly undermined. The artificial pedagogical and pseudo modernism may at times tend to undermine the better qualities of good creative work. Such things have taken place in certain literary judgments over the years. The text underlines the three factors of truth, happiness and beauty as the Trinity belonging to the entire world.

He also reminds his colleague FyadorDostoevesky who said that Beauty will saveth the world. He adds that it is not a slip of the tongue but a prophecy. It is perhaps Dostoevsky had been his guiding guru in the creativity, for he says that he had the gift of seeing much a man wondrously filled with light. With all these factors he raised a question:

Could not art and literature help the modern world? In his text, he confesses that over the years he had not had the opportunity of learning to answer the question raised by himself. Bt he wants to know whether there could be a wider frame of discussing the same as a global response. The reader feels the pulse of Solzhenitsyn in varied forms. His vision in various forms; he confesses that his experience has paved the way to his creations.

This is jotted down as follows:

“My ideas came not from books and were not borrowed for the sake of harmony or coherence, but they were formulated in prison cells and around forest campfires, in conversations with persons now dead, were hardened by that life, and developed out of there.”

Coming closer, the text expresses a certain sensitivity.

He states:

“When the outside pressures were reduced, my outlook and our outlook widened and gradually through a tiny crack that the whole world outside came in sight and was recognized. Startlingly for us, the whole world turned out to be not at all what we had hoped; it was a world-leading ‘not up there but exclaiming at the sight of a dismal swamp.

All in all, the Nobel lecture text widens our vision on literary and artistic perspectives.

This, I felt, is the need the time as pass a climate packed with books, translations, discourses and literary and media matters. Summing, his lecture envelopes a Russian proverb about the truth: One word of truth outweighs the world.”