Posted 4 апреля 2022,, 11:30

Published 4 апреля 2022,, 11:30

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Nothing is sacred: how Chubais and Smirnova destroyed the landscape sung by Pasternak

Nothing is sacred: how Chubais and Smirnova destroyed the landscape sung by Pasternak

4 апреля 2022, 11:30
Фото: Станислава Нейгауза
The ideologist of liberal reforms and his wife, a filmmaker, treated the memory of the classic of Russian poetry extremely disrespectfully.

Sergey Baimukhametov

In recent weeks, the press has more or less actively discussed Chubais's departure abroad.

Chubais is an iconic figure in the 30-year history of new Russia. "Father of privatization", Deputy Prime Minister, head of the Yeltsin presidential administration, until March 20 of this year - special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for relations with international organizations. And suddenly - a quiet departure outside the country, along with his wife, screenwriter and director Avdotya Smirnova.

In the media, among a variety of materials, the attention of many was attracted by notes about their estate near Moscow, photographs, and a detailed description. The plot is 1.6 hectares. For 246 million rubles. A cottage with an area of 2.5 thousand square meters, a guest house of 600 square meters and almost the same - for security and other servants. According to some estimates, the current value of the estate is 30 million dollars, according to others - 36 million.

Let's return to Chubais. Well, I bought and bought a plot of 1.6 hectares, well, I built and built an estate, well, 30 million dollars or 36 .... We are no stranger to such spending by some of our very dear compatriots. For ordinary citizens, even 300,000 rubles is a huge amount, and for some, even $30 million is “pocket money”.

I'm talking about something else. I'm talking about Boris Pasternak.

In 1953 he wrote the poem "August".

"As it had promised, no cheating,

The sun at dawn sneaked in and entered,

Its slanting beam of saffron slipping

Across the floor toward the center.

It clothed in warmth of ochre lighting

The grove, the roofs, the village square,

My bed, my pillow, dampened slightly,

Part of the wall behind the chair.

And I recalled it — why my pillow case

Was wet — I got it plain and luminous.

I’d had a dream. You walked in slow pace.

You headed to my own funeral.

You walked through woods in groups and single file.

And someone made an observation,

That it was August Sixth Old Style —Our Lord’s Transfiguration.

It used to be the day when transparent

And flameless light from Tabor Mount

Descends, and as an omen, apparent,

The Autumn comes to the foreground.

You went through alders — poor naked trees,

Pathetic, beggarly and shivering,

Toward the older wood of cemetery,

All red and shining as a gingerbread.

The crowns quietened, and, solemnly,

Next to the solemn sky they rose.

The distance resonated drawlingly

With melancholic roosters' crows.

And in the middle of the wooded space

Was standing Death. As a surveyor,

She looked intently into my dead face

To plan my grave inside the graveyard.

There was a sound of soft voice beside,

Sensed physically in perfection.

It was my former voice that prophesied,

Untouched, as yet, by putrefaction:

«Farewell, the gold and azure airiness,

The Second Saviour's light and colour.

Let woman’s last caress and tenderness

Ease sorrows of my fatal hour.

Farewell, the age of dark despair.

Farewell, my love, — to wreck and ruin

You threw a gage, you gave a dare.

I am your battlefield, oh, Woman.

Farewell, the freedom of a soaring bird,

The spreading wings of inspiration,

The wondrous world that shows through a Word,

The wonder-making of creation"

(Translated by Natasha Gotskaya)

This poem, I believe, arose in his soul when he looked from the window of the second floor of his dacha in Peredelkino at a large field in front of the house. If you walk across the field or along the road along the field, you will soon come to the Peredelkino cemetery. There, after 7 years, the poet rested.

I haven’t been to Peredelkino for a long time, but decades ago, every time I walked from the railway station to the main building of the Litfond House of Creativity, passed Pasternak’s dacha or returned across this field from his grave, I unconsciously recalled, repeated the lines of “August” to myself.

This was the field in front of Pasternak's house 16 years ago

This field, called Neyasnaya Polyana in Peredelkino folklore, has been empty for many, many decades. On the one hand, according to some documents, it was part of the protected area. On the other hand, over time, it went to the local state farm. But it remained a field, a space. In my mind, it was a monument to the poem "August", a natural monument to Boris Pasternak.

Why am I?

To the fact that the estate of Anatoly Chubais and Avdotya Smirnova - like other so-called cottages, "lower pipe and thinner smoke" - was built just on this field, across the street from Pasternak's house, in which he lived since 1936.

Probably, if it were the estate of any other official or oligarch, only bitterness would remain. What to take from them?

But after all, Anatoly Chubais, screenwriter and director Avdotya Smirnova were among our intellectuals. So they were just listed? But in fact, they didn’t know, didn’t understand, didn’t feel elementary?

However, judging by the press, according to new materials and old interviews, this moment was not touched upon, not noticed not only by the inhabitants of the estate, but also by the authors of articles, interviewers. So it's probably just my reflections.

And not only mine. With sadness I read the lines of Natalia Ivanova:

“The Pasternak landscape has been destroyed by the cottage community, which occupied the entire field - Neyasnaya Polyana between the Pasternak dacha and the cemetery. Where is now "the cemetery forest, burning like a printed gingerbread"? You can't see Pasternak from the windows of Pasternak's office. Even Dunya Smirnova will not see him from the windows of her cottage with Anatoly Chubais in the center of Neyasnaya Polyana! I don’t understand how she, the granddaughter of Sergei Sergeevich Smirnov ... who led the infamous meeting of the Moscow Joint Venture against Pasternak, chose this place to live, a place that crossed out the poet’s landscape.

In the photo: View of the field from Pasternak's house. Photo by Stanislav Neuhaus, 1940s. From the archive of Yelena Leonidovna Pasternak.