Новые известия(en)
Bureaucrat's dream: A special commission will develop "standards" for Russian writers
14 April, 11:09
Culture
Bureaucrat's dream: A special commission will develop "standards" for Russian writers
Photo: 1MI
Officials of the Ministry of Digital Development created a commission to develop a standard for the profession of "writer".

Igor Zotov, writer

A phenomenal document, born in the minds of officials who completely do not understand the essence of artistic creativity, is published on the website of the Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation: “Create an interdepartmental working group under the Ministry of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation on the development of a professional standard for the profession of "writer"..."

The leadership of this working group was entrusted to the rector of the Literary Institute and the once good writer Alexei Varlamov, and Yuri Pulya, deputy director of the Department of State Support for the Periodical Press and Book Industry of the Ministry of Digital Development, will become his deputy. In addition, the working group included the first secretary of the Union of Russian Writers Svetlana Vasilenko and the chairman of the board of the Union of Russian Writers Nikolai Ivanov.

“In order to fulfill the task, the working group has the right to request and consider proposals from industry organizations related to the regulatory consolidation of writing as a profession (specialty) and the development of a professional standard for the profession (specialty) “writer”,” the order says. The working group will create standards at meetings that are planned to be held as needed.

Already this information is enough to draw the first and very disappointing conclusions: the official standards in the writing profession (no matter how convincingly their justifications are formulated) are the basis of prohibitions and grounds for abuse, journalists rightly point out.

It is impossible to imagine how officials would standardize the work of, say, Leo Tolstoy or Andrei Platonov, not to mention Daniil Kharms or Vladimir Sorokin.

Writer Leah L. comments on this, to put it mildly, inadequate document: “I, excuse me, am completely childishly delighted with the writer standard being developed and would only like to ask the working group:

- will varieties, brands and quality groups of the writer be also developed to clarify the standard?

How will a standard writer's suitability for its intended use be determined?

- if the writer does not meet the standard, will he be recognized as defective and sent for processing? Or straight to waste?

- and, most importantly, which department will deal with the disposal of defective writers?

I want to say that I do not share the insinuations of some spiteful critics who claim that the standard will be determined by the exterior, psyche and working qualities of the writer.

This approach is very offensive to writers - well, show class, working class - all right, but pet class, if someone does not know, means "on the sofa, under castration", and this is somehow... uh.. .limits the writer, even if he is not very slick or, say, does not produce very many lines a day.

Again, if standard writers come into fashion, they will be knitted by anyone, by anyone and by anyone, and the standard will sag as expected.

In general, there is, there is something for the working group to think about..."