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Friday, March 27, A.D. 2009
A World Split Apart

In A.D. 1978, the venerable Alexander Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address for Harvard University’s graduating students. I do not know if he titled his speech then or later, but it has come to be known as A World Split Apart. I highly recommend that you read it; it is a diagnosis of the modern West’s affliction. Solzhenitsyn offered the twentieth century one of its most profound voices. Memory eternal!

Oddly enough, it was a young Jesuit who introduced me to Solzhenitsyn—through this very speech. I suppose that I owe my conversion to Orthodoxy to the Jesuits in an odd way; so, perhaps, a Jesuit’s preaching Solzhenitsyn remains strange—but in a manner consistent with my experience.

You may also wish to see the list of Harvard’s commencement speakers; they are an illustrious lot on the whole. I harbor a suspicion that the Ivy bastion would not invite someone like Solzhenitsyn today, but they did invite Václav Havel in A.D. 1995. So, who knows? I have not found this year’s speaker, yet, but I hope that old Crimson picks someone fitting for my Harvard pals. Somehow, I do not think that Roger Scruton will be speaking there anytime soon.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, March 27, Anno Domini 2009
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