"Western literature is about careers; Russian literature is about good and evil."
The quote is, apparently, attributable to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I have yet to discover the actual source text, but that does not in any way diminish the spirit of the quote -- a spirit which not only appeals to my convictions and sensibilities, but also speaks directly to my own spirit.
On the surface I am very much a creature of the West, but the deeper levels of my being align more with the Russian pneuma than they do with the Western. The quote above reveals much about the nature of my alignment.
The Western spirit has yet to near the depths of insight and comprehension of life that the Russian spirit has already attained, especially concerning truly profound matters such as suffering, community, culture, nationhood, love, and, yes -- good and evil.
I will be bold and extend to this Christianity as well. At the level of spirit, the Russian experience of Christianity differs immensely from the Western experience. The essence of this difference can be found in freedom and suffering.
The Western spirit tends to regard suffering as the antithesis of freedom, but will punctiliously relinquish freedom for "duty" as long as the exchange promises to keep suffering at bay.
On the other hand, the Russian spirit has learned that freedom and suffering must be embraced as a synthesis. For the Russian spirit, "duty" involves bearing this synthesis with the comprehension that it forms the source of love.
I refuse to say much about present events, but I believe the undercurrents of these events can be discovered in the idea that Western literature is about careers, while Russian literature is about good and evil.