“That was the price you had to pay. Once a single passion got a grip on you it ousted all others” — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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In this quote, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is referring to the power and intensity of passion or strong emotion. He suggests that when a person becomes fully consumed by a single, dominant passion or feeling, it tends to “oust” or displace all other passions, thoughts and concerns they may have. Solzhenitsyn seems to mean that pursuing or experiencing an intense passion comes at the “price” of that passion taking over one’s mind and crowding out everything else.
So in essence, he is noting how compelling passions have the ability to become all-encompassing, such that a person focuses entirely on that one feeling or drive and loses sight of other aspects of their life or self for a period of time. According to Solzhenitsyn, surrendering completely to passion comes at the cost of it dominating one’s mental state and priorities.