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Dugin's view is that given Russia's geographical position in what Halford Mackinder called 'the heartland' of the Eurasian continent, it has no choice but to be 'great', to engage in a great project, in this case the reconstruction of a post-Soviet Great Space with itself as the centre. Otherwise it will finish as a peripheral part of the transatlantic Great Space (which is how many commentators on the BBC, stressing Russia's weakness, its pretensions above its status, like to see it). Solzhenitsyn on the other hand, while still wanting to defend Russia against Western influence, economic and moral, wanted a renunciation of great adventures. He reckoned that Russia had enough on its hands recovering from the great adventure of International Communism.

It has to be said that a very large amount of Solzhenitsyn's work still hasn't been published in English translation. This includes his last major work - Two Centuries Together - a two volume history of relations between Russians and Jews in the period following the seventeenth and eighteenth century incorporation into the Russian Empire of parts of what had been Poland (including Ukraine and Byelorussia) with their substantial Jewish populations. Most importantly there are still five volumes to go of his major life's work, The Red Wheel, his history of the Revolution, the continuation of August 1914 and November 1916. Four volumes dealing with March 1917 (the first of these has recently been published in English) and two with April 1917 - dealing with the 'February Revolution' (February in the Julian calendar still in use at the time in Russia. Following the Gregorian calendar the 'October Revolution' took place in November.) It is only quite recently that the original version of The First Circle was made available in English - the version most people have read was a bowdlerised version Solzhenitsyn prepared in hopes of getting it published in the Soviet Union. I think that even the definitive version the Gulag Archipelago still isn't available in English. The version we know was based on material he had been able to obtain under very difficult circumstances in the Soviet Union. But it was reworked since, incorporating material that had come his way in exile.

There are reasons for this collapse of interest in the man who in the sixties and early seventies was being hailed as the greatest living writer and they are to some extent told in two volumes of autobiography (only one of them available in English translation) that recount the time of his exile, given the title The Little Grain Managed to Land Between Two Millstones - the millstones being the Soviet machine and the somewhat more nebulous US left-liberal media.

As Solzhenitsyn tells it, during the Soviet period he had a mighty enemy, the Soviet machine, but he still felt that everything else - the whole dissident community, the whole world outside the Soviet sphere of influence - was behind him. In the early days of his exile, however, he began to realise that this was based on a misunderstanding. It was a very fortuitous misunderstanding because this solidarity was the perfect tactic for the struggle against the Soviet machine. Nonetheless many of those he thought were supporting him or who, indeed, themselves thought they were supporting him, were in fact his natural enemies. The issue that divided them was, in the first instance, Russia - the extent to which what Solzhenitsyn and his allies both regarded as the Soviet tyranny could be identified as a Russian tyranny. But there was also the question of revolution since Solzhenitsyn had come to the conclusion that he did not want a revolutionary overthrow of the existing regime.  

This began to emerge as an issue with the publication in the Soviet Union of his Letter to the Soviet leaders. It was a genuine letter, sent privately and not released publicly (ie to the underground samizdat) until it was clear that he wasn't going to receive a reply. It was sent in September 1973 and 'published' about the time of his exile in February 1974. Although his contempt for the Soviet leaders comes over very clearly he is nonetheless recommending policies that presuppose they will continue in power. He recommends that certain positions of authority should be open to non-Party members, but he isn't calling for democracy. Neither here not anywhere else does he call for a popular uprising. His last public appeal before his exile - Live not by lies - is, as the title suggests, simply a call to refuse to perpetuate a false ideology. His quarrel is with the policies of the government not with the principle of authoritarian government as such. 

Solzhenitsyn describes how in the course of writing The Red Wheel he came to believe that the real revolution was not in October but in February - that is, the 'liberal' revolution. He had intended to bring his story through to 1922 which, at the rate he was going, would have been impossible, but the decision to stop in April 1917 (actually 18th May with summary account of later events) was not - or at least not just - a matter of running out of steam. He felt that by then Russian liberalism had lost all power of initiative and that power was there for the taking by anyone sufficiently ruthless and determined (and who was there other than Lenin?). And this was the possibility that worried him when he contemplated the possible collapse of the Soviet Union. And of course it is what he saw when the Soviet system did collapse, resulting in his book Russia in collapse, published in 1998.