The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Citation (34)

When you reached your goal, you were locked in again, each having first been handed a small piece of paper, the size of two railway tickets. (At the Lubyanka this was not particularly interesting. The paper was blank and white. But there were enticing prisons where they gave you pages of books – and what reading that was! You could try to guess whence it came, read it over on both sides, digest the contents, evaluate the style – and when words had been cut in half that was particularly essential! You could trade with your comrades. In some places they handed out pages from the once progressive Granat Encyclopedia, and sometimes, it’s awful to say it, from the classics, and I don’t mean belles-lettres either. Visits to the toilet thus became a means of acquiring knowledge.)

—Solzhenitsyn (Gulag Archipelago, p. 204)


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