Walking with Brodsky in St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg, Russia walking tour 4k 60fps

Walking with Brodsky in St. Petersburg

&# 171; Walking with Brodsky&# 187; in St. Petersburg

Enthusiasts have come up with an original way to raise funds for the creation of the poet’s museum

Walking with Brodsky in St. Petersburg

“I would like to live, Fortunatus, in a city where the river
protruded from under the bridge, as if from a sleeve – a hand
and so that she flows into the bay with her fingers spread,
like Chopin, who did not show his fist to anyone … “

Philologist Alexander Levashov considers these lines from Joseph Brodsky’s poem “Developing Plato” to be the most appropriate epigraph for the cycle of walking tours to places associated with the St. Petersburg stage of the life of the future Nobel laureate in literature.

Excursions “Walking with Brodsky” are one of the ways to attract public attention to the creation of the poet’s museum. But there is also a more prosaic goal – to raise funds for the payment of utilities for the rooms bought by the Foundation for the creation of the Brodsky Museum in apartment 28, building 24 on Liteiny Avenue (also known as the “House of Muruzi” ).

Signing up for walking tours goes through one of the popular social networks. In addition, tickets can be bought at the box office of the Anna Akhmatova Museum in the Fountain House. For two and a half hours, Alexander Levashov reminds those walking with him in “Brodsky’s places”, where Brodsky was born, where he lived, in which school he studied, in which cinema he ran after school. And also where he was tried “for parasitism”, where he was summoned for interrogation as a witness, where he took part in the famous “evening of creative youth” in Leningrad in January 1968. Fortunately, both the court and the so-called Big House (from the basements of which, as they joked in Soviet times, “you can see Magadan”) and the Writers’ House are within walking distance.

Of all the arts, the most important is … trophy cinema!

Brodsky’s archives, according to his will, are closed for 50 years from the date of his death. In addition, the poet asked his friends to stay as far away from all biographers as possible. Although he himself gave interviews, where he talked about his life, and various information of a biographical nature can be found in his poems and essays.

Therefore, Alexander Levashov begins each point of his excursion with a quote:

“Between Pestel and Mayakovskaya
there is a six-story house.
Once young Merezhkovsky
and Gippius lived in it “.

This is about Muruzi’s house.

“At the end of the great war, do not,
when it happened, they fried without lard,
Marie, I saw a boy like Sarah
Leandre walked top-top to the scaffold “

This is about the Spartak cinema, where Brodsky used to run to watch trophy films as a schoolboy. In this case, I mean the film “Queen’s Heart” (in the Soviet post-war box office – “The Road to the Scaffold”), where the role of Mary Stuart was performed by Swedish actress Zara Leander. According to contemporaries, Brodsky’s common-law wife, the artist Marina Basmanova, to whom he dedicated many poems, was very similar to her..

In general, according to Alexander Levashov, the so-called “trophy films” had a great influence on the Soviet intelligentsia. In his opinion, “the four episodes of Tarzan played no less a role in de-Stalinization than Khrushchev’s report at the XX Congress of the CPSU.”.

Brodsky got under the “cap” of the KGB “for statistics”?

“A gardener in a quilted jacket, like a thrush,
climbed the stairs to the branch,
thereby throwing a bridge
to the feathered from the two-legged here “

These lines were read near house No. 4-6 on Liteiny Prospekt, where the Leningrad KGB department was located in the 1960s. These poems were written in January 1964 – after the publication of the infamous article “Near-literary drone” in the newspaper “Evening Leningrad”. The poet was just finishing his poem when the police called the apartment and threatened that if Brodsky did not find a job in three days, he would feel bad.

For the first time, the KGB drew attention to him back in 1958, after he mentioned the then forbidden Leon Trotsky during a literary discussion at the Faculty of Philology of Leningrad State University. The poet himself was perplexed about the special interest in him on the part of the authorities and in his later interviews assumed that the KGB officers simply used him “for statistics.” And he was categorically opposed to being labeled as a “repressed poet” or “Jewish poet,” the tour leader recalls..

During the entire route, companions of Alexander Levashov listen to him attentively, quote poems.

“Basically, these are students, and not only philological or historical universities,” says Alexander Levashov. – I really like that the questions they ask are non-standard. And I do not agree with the opinion that today’s youth is far from classical literature “.

By the way, in the creation of the museum itself, the activists of this project have not yet advanced. According to preliminary estimates, for a positive solution of the issue, at least 17 million rubles are needed, of which the bulk will go to the purchase of the last room of apartment No. 28 in the Muruzi house..

The option of creating a virtual museum is also being considered. “Panoramic shooting in 3D format will be made at several points of the apartment,” says Alexander Levashov.

Is the museum possible from the “back door”?

Co-editor of the magazine “Zvezda”, writer-historian Yakov Gordin had a friendship with Joseph Brodsky for many years. In a conversation with the Voice of America correspondent, Yakov Arkadyevich noted that he connects certain hopes for the creation of the museum with “a group of young, extremely nice people who are passionate about Brodsky and culture in general.”.

Yakov gordin

Yakov Gordin also said that the owner of the apartment located one floor above Brodsky’s apartment is ready to sell it so that it could also be used for the future museum. Zinaida Gippius and Dmitry Merezhkovsky once lived in this apartment. Thus, it will be possible to create a whole museum complex dedicated to the St. Petersburg writers of the twentieth century..

“In general, one apartment is not enough for a museum,” reads the co-editor of the “Zvezda” magazine, “because you need to store funds somewhere, employees have to sit somewhere. Therefore, the question arises about the means to buy out one more apartment “.

How the search for funds will end, the historian does not undertake to predict, but reminds that a few years ago there was no talk of the fact that the future Brodsky Museum will have several rooms already purchased.

In addition, one more option is not excluded. “It is possible to separate one unredeemed room with a front entrance, and from the rest to make a separate apartment. This, of course, also requires costs, but much less, and then the entrance to the Brodsky museum-apartment will be from the back door. This is undesirable, but it is a backup option in case the museum does not get the whole apartment at the disposal of the museum, ”the writer says..

And he notices that Joseph Brodsky did not come to Russian poetry from the front door either..

“Maybe this arrangement of his museum also has a certain logic. But I would like to avoid this path, ”concludes Yakov Gordin.

Walking with Brodsky in St. Petersburg

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