One of my hopes is that some of those writings—the early writings from the camps and some of the later writings after his return to Russia—become more available in the United States. They are in France and Germany, but less so here.
But they are in your book.
Some of them are—the Miniatures and The Trail and others. We tried to make some of the new and old Solzhenitsyn available. I've noticed since Solzhenitsyn's death that a lot of the discussions and characterizations have a very dated quality. Friends and foes alike speak as though it's the summer of 1975. People's judgments of Solzhenitsyn are based on old texts or old prejudices rather than the totality of his writings and the remarkable consistency of his thought over a 60-year period.
So the conception of Solzhenitsyn as an increasingly embittered Slavophile, an intolerant Orthodox believer, and a champion of growing autocracy is a gross misrepresentation of the man in the last chapter of his life?
Absolutely. And it's held by people who have never read any of his books or other writings for the last 30 years. It's a kind of mantra, a kind of ideological slogan. Furthermore, people hurl that label Slavophile at him as though it's a bad thing. Slavophiles were liberal, humane, and antidespotic. Solzhenitsyn was a Christian, and he was a patriot. He was also a kind of an isolationist, a kind of a Green, a small-is-beautiful guy. That's his model, not modern, technocratic capitalism, and it has nothing to do with imperialism or any intrinsic hostility to the West.