New York Times

Russian Hint Novel Won’t Get Big Prize

April 12, 1964


MOSCOW, April 11- Pravda, the Communist party newspaper, indicated today that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would not receive the Lenin Prize for Literature.

The author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich a novel about a Stalinist forced-labor camp was among those nominated for this year’s prize and survived the first selection round.

“However readers’ letters published in Pravda were generally interpreted as a sign that controversial 45 year old, now a teacher would not be among the winners to be announced the eve of Lenin’s birthday, April 22.
Editorial comments interspersed among brief excerpts from the letters said the majority had reached the following conclusion:

“ A. Solzhenitsyn’s story deserves a positive assessment but it cannot be classes among the outstanding works worth of the Lenin Prize”

Among qualities ruling the newspaper cited the author’s “goody-goody compassionate and equalizing humanism,” which failed to distinguish between “honorable good people who were victims of injustice and lawlessness” and “criminal and traitors who got what they deserved”

Pravda said most readers complained about Solzhenitsyn’s language, which abounds in colloquialisms and slang.