Nick's Reviews > The First Circle

The First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Nov 24, 10

Read in November, 2010

Not a great book to try to read a few pages at a time, spread out over several months. Too many characters to keep track of. Instead, sit down and read hundreds of pages at a time. It's easy to do, as it is quite captivating. I'll try to concentrate more when I sit down for The Gulag Archipelago.

451-2:
Having got over on more bout of enthusiasm, Nerzhin --- whether definitively or not --- understood the people in a new way, a way he had not read about anywhere: the people is not everyone who speaks our language, nor yet the elect marked by the fiery stamp of genius. Not by birth, not by the work of one's hands, not by the wings of education is one elected into the people.
But by one's inner self.
Everyone forges his inner self year after year.
One must try to temper, to cut, to polish one's soul so as to become a human being.
And thereby become a tiny particle of one's own people.

533:
Sky-blue circles with black holes in the center, and behind them the whole astounding world of an individual human being.

535:
Experts should approach their work as eagerly as if they were going to meet their mistress.
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