After the 2000 election of President Vladimir Putin - a former KGB agent - the two men had a three-hour meeting at Solzhenitsyn's residence. The writer praised Putin afterward. Solzhenitsyn generally supported Putin's efforts to strengthen the Russian state, although he broke with him on several issues. For instance, he fiercely criticized the revival of the old Soviet anthem in late 2000.I hope that we might see that Russian television adaptation of The First Circle on Masterpiece Theatre someday soon...
In early 2006, Rossia television aired a 10-part miniseries based on "The First Circle." Despite his previous disparaging of television, Solzhenitsyn helped write the script and even narrated parts of the voice-over. The miniseries starred the popular young actor Yevgeny Mironov and earned respectable ratings.
Solzhenitsyn was lauded at the highest levels of the state in his final years. Putin quoted him in his 2006 state-of-the-nation address, and on June 12, 2007, the president visited his home to give him Russia's highest award, the State Prize.
The old enemy of the state had come full circle.
Monday, August 04, 2008
The Moscow Times has published a very interesting obituary of the great Russian novelist by Alexander Osipovich: