Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Help required. Is Solzhenitsyn's Homecoming available online?

Venerated by Soviet dissidents, and despised by communists, during his spell in exile, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's star had become rather faded by the time he returned to Russia in 1994.  His scepticism about the West, coupled with a penchant for mysticism and Russian nationalism saw the writer variously (and inconsistently) portrayed as an advocate of Tsarism, a Tolstoy imitator and an arch-reactionary.  With his bushy beard and his grumpy dismissals of modern culture, he became easy to lampoon.

The author's return to Moscow only added to the criticism that he was a man, full of his own importance, and out of time.  Solzhenitsyn embarked on an epic train journey around Russia's provinces, before arriving to chaotic scenes at Yaroslavsky Station.  The BBC filmed a documentary recording this 'homecoming'.  It is no longer available on IPlayer.  And my question to any 3000 Versts reader (yes, it was quite a digression) is whether the programme is available anywhere else online?  I've tried the very obvious sources (Youtube, Google Videos, Seesaw).

Update:  Thanks for your help folks.  I've now got a copy of the documentary ready to watch. 

5 comments:

Matt said...

archive.org ?

Chekov said...

Thanks for the suggestion Matt. Doesn't seem to be on there.

stpetric said...

If you're really stuck, I think I have it on VHS (recorded off the air). I'd be happy to let you copy it, but most of my Solzhenitsyn stuff is in storage for now. It would be probably several weeks before I could retrieve it.

Phil Larkin said...

I beleive that Solzhenitsyn is one of those truly quintessential "Russian" figures, in the mould of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and others such as the brave Father Gapon who was at once police agent and genuinely concerned advocate of workers' rights.

Notoriously disparaging about some aspects of western life, he nevertheless made here his home for many years.

I suppose that as a westerner myself, the best thing to do with such figures is not to try to criticise them by local standards, but to accept them on their own merits as far as possible. This could go for Russia as a whole!

Phil

Chekov said...

stpetric - thanks for the offer. It shouldn't be necessary as it seems to be available on various file sharing sites. I'll use those as a last resort, although I'm always a bit suspicious the files will be infected.