Tuesday, February 18, 2014
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
About one day in the life of the protagonist, I spent one day reading it. I only paused to make a pot of lovely, nourishing vegetable soup (with six vegetables in it!) and a lucious fresh spinach salad (with avocado sliced on top and a home-made dressing) to go with it. I only go into detail because Ivan's soup was not so good, but at the end of his day, he was extremely happy to eat his cabbage soup with very tiny bits of old fish, a piece of mealy potato and his portion of black bread.
I was immersed in this story, drawn in like I have been with an Orwel novel, and just as fascinated with a culture I know very little about, and an era I have always struggled to understand.
Solzhenitsyn drew from his own life experiences to write this book, and I have learnt a little about him from reading this, it is interesting how I seem to see facets in this man that I have yet to discover in Alice Munro (who still eludes my understanding).
Back to the soup and salad, I haven't enjoyed a meal more than that one in a very long time, after reading about Ivan's day feeling his hunger and his suffering from the cold, and seeing what he had to do to survive day after day. I savoured every bite, grateful for what I have.