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Neither triumph nor tragedy: Russian literature did not know a more boring period
12 April 2020, 00:12
Neither triumph nor tragedy: Russian literature did not know a more boring period
Alina Vitukhnovskaya - about the subject of modern culture

Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer

Russian cultural space has always been maximally determined from above. Starting from Pushkin - the imperial poet, continuing with the sacralizer of suffering and heralding the local autocratic swampy spirituality - Dostoevsky, ending (which to my taste is complete literary degradation) - Prilepin - a gopnik, a civilian writer and just mediocre. The presence of self-thinking individuals in the cultural field, to put it mildly, was not welcome. In an extreme case, they were assigned the role of losers, outsiders and persona non grata. There are, of course, exceptions, such as Chekhov, which combined European humanism with the highest cynicism and Lermontov, who was a “demonic” all-denying person who defied “All Russia” - you all remember him “Farewell, unwashed Russia, a country of slaves, land of lords ... " But exceptions, as you know, only confirm the rule.

Later, they escaped from the managerial and cultural paradigm, as if they had fallen out of Nabokov’s matryoshka fortress, followed by Brodsky. The first is an aesthetic, a snob, despising the Soviet environment and Soviet literature, a sort of Luzhin, but a successful, biographical chess player who won all the games. None of the modernists and postmodernists overtook Nabokov. Nabokov is impeccably dressed, sarcastic, and ironic. The writer denied the red-white dilemma when it was necessary to be for "someone", he was only for himself. He believed that a writer should not follow any ideological doctrine. Brodsky is not a local genius, stylistically - rather an “English gentleman” than a dissident, and like Nabokov - the quintessence of all anti-collective and anti-greed.

Undoubtedly, the period of Bolshevik rule is the most negative period of Russian history. Which culturally has become a monstrous hybridization, crossing all the worst with the worst. Proletarian ideologies, in fact - the religion of the poor, literally dehydrated, decontaminated the Russian cultural body. The simplicity of meanings and the plane of forms gave rise to gray socialist realist strata of texts hardly distinguishable among themselves, of which only some infernal, uterine-metaphysical Platonov or brilliantly peppy, excessively vital Mayakovsky, who himself fell victim to the dangerous game of the Bolsheviks, to whom he is so true served.

In socialist-realist delirium, Russian literature lived for decades, which were diluted with post-war euphoria and a blissfully naive thaw. Until now, in cultural circles it is customary to worship the sixties. However, this phenomenon is not only not interesting as a cultural phenomenon, but also provides an example of the infantile social position of an entire group of the population, namely, the intelligentsia.

Now there is already a lot of information that Yevgeny Yevtushenko worked for the special services. A former organ worker recalls:

“On March 15, 1957, General Yevgeny Pitovranov was appointed head of the 4th Directorate of the KGB under the Council of Ministers of the USSR and soon became a member of the KGB Board. The 4th Directorate focused on the fight against the anti-Soviet underground, nationalist groups and hostile elements. In the framework of this activity, Pitovranov recruited agents from the Soviet creative intelligentsia. There were many of them, and many eventually became famous people, even world-famous. For many years he was an agent of the 1st department of the (American) PSU KGB of the USSR Heinrich Borovik. Julian Semenov was an agent of the 5th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR. General Philip Bobkov worked directly with him. ”

In the spring of 1975, in Moscow, according to the writer Vladimir Voinovich, the KGB attempted to poison him. Voinovich survived and tried to figure out what had happened. About the reaction of Yevtushenko, he wrote the following:

“I don’t know whether the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko acted on someone’s assignment or tried on his own, but in those days he convinced everyone who met, cross and with great passion, that no one poisoned me (I wonder how he knew this ?), I have lied for the whole story about poisoning. The itch of revelation towards me did not die away over the years, 15 years after what happened in public (at the April meeting) and neither in the village nor in the city he remembered this story and again repeated that I was lying, inadvertently boasting of my knowledge: “Believe me, I know for sure.” I will not speak in detail about the role that this man played during the years of stagnation ... His role as the envoy of the "organs" to Brodsky and Aksenov is known. Even in his youth, Yevtushenko publicly said that he would personally take everyone to the KGB to anyone who made anti-Soviet statements at his speeches. During my “dissidentism”, Yevtushenko tried very hard to undermine my reputation and worsen my already difficult and dangerous situation, saying, for example, foreigners who were interested in my fate, that I am a poor writer, a bad person, I live well and do not stand up to their worries ”(В Voinovich, Case 34840. - Popov).

When socialist realism was replaced by postmodernism, a living literary process and new names reappeared in Russia. This is Dmitry Prigov, Alexey Parshchikov, Egor Radov, Evgeny Laputin and even the Soviet-imperial troubadour Eduard Limonov played in new postmodern colors. All this literary feast blossomed and smelled, was released and translated until the beginning of the 2000s, when the neo-socialist realism of the Surkov spill came into political fashion with its obedient clown-clowns from Shargunov to Prilepin. Perhaps, Russian literature did not know a more boring and mediocre period.

Is there a way out of this vicious circle? There is. We should begin to focus not on the prevailing hum of the unconscious, grazing on the cultural field that we all inherited, but on individual subjects focused more on themselves and their concepts, rather than on “socially approved” (read party) trends. They will become the points of growth of the new culture, which will no longer suppress and force, but will only develop and stimulate. Talents, and especially geniuses, are always loners.