Nobel myth

Since 1901, the Swedish Academy of Language and Literature Prize awards, which are considered the highest and, no less important, devoid of bias recognition of the achievements in the arts of speech. The writer received the Nobel Peace Prize, appears in the eyes of millions of people as an incomparable talent or even genius, which is to say, a head taller than all his brethren, not gained this supreme and universal importance of having a reward.

But though such ideas about the award has long been firmly embedded in the public consciousness, they do not correspond to the actual state of affairs. I have already had occasion to speak briefly about it in 1990 in the pages of our cultural magazine "Literary Studies." Later published a voluminous book A.M.Ilyukovicha "According to the will. Remarks about the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature" (Wiley, 1992). On the first page, it declared: "The authority of this award is recognized all over the world, and this is not oprovergnesh."

However, this sentence is true only in a narrow literal meaning — "authority" award really dominates the world. And in a more important sense the actual content of the book A.M.Ilyukovicha just denies, or at least raises deep concern about this very "authority". Every attentive and open-minded reader of the book will face many such reports, which will strongly undermine the "generally recognized" the reputation of the famous award.

When you access a nearly century-long history of this award from the very beginning is a clear and undeniable bias of the members of the Swedish Academy, the question of who is a Nobel laureate. So, by the time the Academy experts began their work, the greatest representative of world literature was, without a doubt. Leo Tolstoy. However, the influential secretary of the Swedish Academy of Carl VIDC, recognizing that Tolstoy created the immortal creation, still strongly opposed his candidacy, for this writer, as he formulated the "condemned all forms of civilization and urged them instead to adopt a primitive way of life, cut off from all establishments high culture … Anyone who will face a sluggish cruelty (?) in relation to any form of civilization, will overcome the doubt. Nobody would associate itself with such views "…

Do not have to doubt that, if the other greatest contemporary of Tolstoy — Dostoevsky lived for so long, when they began to be awarded the Nobel Prize (they are only for people still living writers), his candidature would have been rejected as …

It is worth noting that many of the "defenders" of Nobel experts refer to Tolstoy's own refusal to accept the award, if it be awarded to him. This statement of the writer actually took place, but later, at the end of 1906. And by that time had already been awarded prizes Frenchman A.Syulli Prudhomme, German (historian, colorfully, "in a writer's," told of the ancient world) T.Mommzen, Norwegian B.Bernson, Provencal (this sister says part of the French language of the French population) F.Mistral, H.Zchegaray Spaniard, an Italian and a Pole G.Senkevich Dzh.Karduchchi. And now no one would dispute the view that the preference for any of these writers Tolstoy's candidacy can not be justified in any way though …

However, we can not exclude it — even unsympathetic to the Russian people — consideration. Swedish experts did not want to dignify "omuzhichivshegosya" Count Leo Tolstoy, in order to protect from the effects of dangerous Russian barbarism of European civilization. Anyway Nobel Prizes were conceived as a purely European. The same academy secretary Karl VIDC, which rejected the candidacy of Tolstoy, had previously announced that premiums are intended to "leading writers of Europe" received "rewards and recognition for their longstanding and impressive literary accomplishments."

Of course, this approach can cause discontent, especially when you consider that a huge capital for the time of Alfred Nobel, of the profits to which the premiums are paid, was formed largely on the basis of the Nobel Family business in Russia … And yet, "position" Swedish Academy can not simply condemn. Why, they ask, Europeans can not just take care of the literatures of Europe, providing other continents (including Russia and Eurasia) alone encourage their writers?

And if the task is clearly defined and always just so many misunderstandings would be eliminated, and it would be understandable, in particular, the fact that the premiums were not honored not only thick, but more or less known then Europe Chekhov, Korolenko Bitter Alexander Blok, etc. Only through a third of a century after the start of awards in 1933, the list of winners emerged Russian writer, who for so long lived in France — Ivan Bunin. But at the end of XIX century, Europe has developed a strong belief that Russian literature is one of the most important in the world …

However, by the "Russian" theme I will address below. First you should consider the more general question of whether or not the Nobel Prize is a cross appeal to the world literature? It would seem that everything is clear, because even in 1913 (ie, twenty years before Bunin) Nobel laureate was an Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore. Thus, the Swedish Academy has demonstrated a departure from the "Eurocentrism." However, following the recognition of the literary achievements of Asia took place just after 55 (!) Years of age in 1968, when the winner was a Japanese Yasunari Kawabata. But later the Academy turned its gaze and even the most "backward" Africa, and in 1980 were awarded prizes Nigerian Wole Soyinka and the Egyptian Arab Naguib Mahfouz.

After that it seems to be no way in the world to doubt the value of Nobel Prizes. Of course, is able to confuse the fact that from 1901 to 1991, almost the entire XX century, the whole of Asia is able to produce only two writers worthy of the awards, which have received over this period more than seven dozen writers in Europe and the U.S.. However, the undeniable and definitely prove that we face discrimination Asian literatures, barely pi possible. So, for example, I have no doubt that the work of the Japanese Yuki Mishima is far greater than the work at something in common with him Frenchman, Nobel laureate Albert Camus, but my appreciation of many probably will fight. So I will not insist on the fact that the Swedish Academy gave the writers of Asia too far-fetched a small amount of premiums, because if it is objected that Asian literature and do not deserve more, this objection can not be refuted with full conviction.

But pay attention to the other side of the problem. For the nine — one hundred years of activity Swedish experts have awarded prizes of two writers in Asia and Africa as the two writers. And it can not surprise. Indeed, in many Asian countries with centuries, even thousands of years of literary tradition — Japan, China, India, Iran, etc., yet in Africa the situation is quite different. And the same number of outstanding, worthy of the highest honor and writers on that, and on other continents, looks completely implausible, it can be explained only by the fact that the Swedish Academy has carried out four specially pure "ostentatious" campaign, trying to convince people of his — in fact imaginary universality . Incidentally, the award-winning Nigerian writing in English, and therefore, the Nobel laureates who wrote not on the European (if included in their number and Russian) languages, there are only three of them … It is worth mentioning that the book A.M.Ilyukovicha that tends to magnify the Nobel Prize in every way, yet — under the pressure of facts — acknowledged: "Literature of the XX century in understanding the Swedish Academy is a matter of white people."

In short, the most likely of all to be regarded as the Nobel Prize in fact European phenomena (including the U.S.), and it is so few out-of-bounds of European languages as an attempt to understand (let's say, vain) to give awards worldwide status. This decision, among other things, "profitable" for most of the Swedish Academy, because it "justifies" its unwillingness to honor the award of Tolstoy, Chekhov and others of their outstanding Russian contemporaries.

About the winners of Europe and the United States. Here, it would seem, everything is "normal." But only at the very first glance. Begin with the most relevant writers Scandinavian countries — which of course — were the focus of the Swedish Academy, too, even in the center: of the 88 prizes awarded from 1901 to 1991, 14, one in every six of them were writers Scandinavia (Swedes , Norwegians, Danes, etc.). I will not blame the experts in addiction, because in fact extremely difficult to refrain from exaggerating the merits of the most loved ones, related writers. Much more significant other.

It may seem crazy, Nobel laureate was certainly not the greatest writer of all of Scandinavia, the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, who died in 1906, that is five years after the start of awards … The reason for his rejection is quite clear — it is decidedly anti-liberal beliefs Ibsen. And if the failure to award the prize to Tolstoy can somehow justify the principle of European orientation of Swedish experts, the rejection of Ibsen demonstrated their truly extreme bias.

In its own way no less striking and rejection of candidature of the largest Swedish writer August Strindberg, who died in 1912. In the above-mentioned book A.M.Ilyukovich writes: "Strindberg are a very complex shape to be a real contender for the award. For this, he was not respectable." Surprisingly, though, that saying about the squalid "middle-class" limitation of Swedish experts, Ilyukovich yet time and again in his book extols their "higher authority" and "objectivity." And at the same time cites' legitimate rebuttal of the Strindberg: "So let's get rid of the masters, who do not understand art, picking judge him. And if you want, let's give up the Nobel money dynamite money, as they are called" (Nobel made a fortune in mainly in the production of high explosives).

May recall that the Swedish Academy still decided to honor the award has one of the largest Scandinavian writers — Norwegian Knut Hamsun, who was also a "difficult" and "not quite respectable." However, this occurred only after twenty years (!) Debate in the academy around his name, and by the same experts later regretted their decision …

It is possible, however, this argument: the experts too keenly perceived particularly close to them Scandinavian writers, and this explains them devoid of any objective approach to the same Ibsen. I now turn to the list of Nobel Prize winners in Europe and the United States as a whole.

Since the true value of the writer's work is more or less doubtless only as time and even more than that — with the advent of a new and significantly different historical era, we will discuss the already long-standing winners, award prizes in the years 1901-1945, that is not less than a half-century ago and before the start of a new, post-war era in the history of the world.

Since the beginning of the century to the end of the Second World War, Nobel Prize winners have exactly forty writers, and here are two lists: the left — the winners of the 1901-1945 years, and right — not awarded this title writers who lived in the years and cover those who have written on the property of the European languages ( lists are in alphabetical order of last names):

winners — not awarded

Pearl Buck — Sherwood Anderson

Jacinto Benavente — Bertolt Brecht

Paul Geuze (Hayes) — Paul Valery

Carl Gellerup — Thomas Wolfe

Grazia Deledda — Federico Garcia Lorca

Johannes Jensen — James Joyce

Giosuè Carducci — Emile Zola

Eric Karlfeldt — Henrik Ibsen

Harry Sinclair Lewis — Franz Kafka

Gabriela Mistral — Joseph Conrad

Frederic Mistral — Margaret Mitchell

Henrik Pontopiddan — Robert Musil

Wladyslaw Reymont — Marcel Proust

France Silanpya — Rainer Maria Rilke

Armand Sully-Prudhomme — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Seagram Undset — Mark Twain

Werner von Heidenstam — HG Wells

Carl Shpitteler — Robert Frost

Rudolph Aiken — Aldous Huxley

Jose Echegaray — Thomas Hardy (Hardy)

Today, over time, it is clear that the writers of the right of the list (by the way, very, very different, even) is clearly significant (each |, of course, in his own way) located to the left of their contemporaries. But in the left list before us davdtsat Nobel laureates, that is half of those who were awarded before 1946!

Of course, among the winners of the 1901-1945 years, and there is still quite powerful names: Knut Hamsun (though the award-winning only after two decades of litigation), Gerhart Hauptmann, John Galsworthy, Rudyard Kipling, Selma Lagerlof, Thomas Mann, Roger Martin du Gard, Maurice Maeterlinck, Eugene 0'Nil, Luigi Pee Randell, Romain Rolland, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Anatole France, Bernard Shaw. But, first, it would just be strange if Swedish experts entirely ignored the truly important writers, and secondly, these names are really worthy of only one-third of the total number of winners of the 1901-1945 period. That is, the experts made the "right choice" only one out of three …

The book A.M.Ilyukovicha attempt to justify Swedish experts. Referring to a number of most significant writers, do not award prizes, and he explains it or not enough wide intravital known or premature death, or the novelty of their style, etc. Let us assume that these considerations are indeed justified experts, but they can in no way justify the Nobel Prize, as such, because it turns out that the vast majority — about two thirds — awarded to the 1946 prize went to those writers who should honor this award is appropriate … whether the results are considered in this award "authoritative"?

Ilyukovich, driven by the desire to prevent discredit this award encourages readers to "be amended to real conditions and" subtract "from the list of remaining without a Nobel Prize in literature the names of those who have not won for objective reasons (eg" hurry "to die. — VK), that is not associated with errors Stockholm Zion "… But it is well known how these" wise men "refused to award the prize greatest — Tolstoy and Ibsen, in front of us is not an error, but it is a conscious manifestation of the trend.

Were called above twenty writers belonging to the most significant artists of the words the late XIX — early XX century, which, however, is not awarded prizes and their place in the list of winners took less weighty names are known (by the way, a list of significant writers rejected by the Swedish Academy, you can much to expand: Guillaume Apollinaire, Graham Greene, Theodore Dreiser, David Lawrence, WH Auden, George Orwell, Thornton Wilder, Miguel de Unamuno, Robert Penn Warren and others).

In addition to these winners 1901 — 1945's awards were awarded during this period one historian Theodor Mommsen and philosopher Henri Bergson (as if the writers worthy if there was not!). But the awarding of prizes to Asian Rabindranath Tagore and Russian Ivan Bunin is the other — as already discussed — just a demonstration of universality (in fact the two names and then confined transcending European languages).

Extremely revealing the following fact: many writers who have won the Nobel Prize, openly disagreed with the position of the Swedish Academy, calling in his speeches and interviews after the presentation of awards to them the names of those who have not received this award, although there were more worthy. This, of course, the wonderful honesty showed Sinclair Lewis, who said in his speech about the "great Sherwood Anderson" (later of him told another winner — John Steinbeck). Spanish poet Juan Jimenez, receiving the award, said the risk of causing resentment Swedish Academy, which he considers a truly worthy of another award, do not become the winner of the Spaniard — Federico Garcia Lorca, winners Thomas Mann and, later, Saul Bellow put himself above Joseph Conrad, and François Mauriac not without causticity reminded of Swedish experts do not award prizes Swede August Strindberg, William Faulkner lifted above himself by Thomas Wolfe, Elias Canetti — Robert Musil, Pablo Neruda — Paul Valery, etc.

Of course, the winners at the same time, one way or another expressed their respect awarded the prizes, but they said "reservations" actually meant discrediting the Swedish Academy, or rather that it includes "Masters who do not understand art, picking judge him" ( according to the already quoted the words of August Strindberg).

Criticism of Swedish experts, heard from the lips of a number of winners, only essential for the understanding of the true price of the Nobel Prize. We can argue about why the winners one by one deem it necessary to mention his brief appearances on the gross miscalculations Swedish Academy. But somehow they have expressed strong disagreement with the experts, and this is essentially a protest has become a kind of tradition. She, by the way, picked up in 1987, the next "chosen one" — Joseph Brodsky, who said to the Laureate podium that he feels a sense of "embarrassment" caused by "is not so much the thought of those who were here before me as the memory of those who That honor has passed, "and listed a few names:" Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Robert Frost, Anna Akhmatova, WH Auden. "

It would seem that it could be called significant poets who were still over 87 years were awarded prizes, such as Boris Pasternak, Saint-John Perse, TS Eliot, but he preferred to talk about the "unsung". However, by the award of Joseph Brodsky we shall return.

On the basis of the facts outlined above, it is hardly possible to seriously argue that the decision of the Swedish Academy in the years 1901-1945 did not meet the real state of the literature, though it is about literature in European languages (on literature from other continents, as well as Russia does not have and to speak). Many of the most significant writers go overboard, and at least half of the winners of that period to our already robust — and deservedly so — forgotten.

I do not touch the issue of those awards that have been awarded over the past half-century (1946-1996), for the time is still, as they say, has placed everything is in its place, and over various names can be acute or may not lead to a solid solution of the controversy . I admit, though: I do not doubt that during these fifty years, the situation was basically the same as before, and many of the names of the winners in the near future will be darkened completely, and, on the other hand, will indicate the regrettable omission of Swedish experts.

For the original and the main reason for the highest prestige of the Nobel Prize is not the objectivity and value verdicts Swedish Academy, and the amount of remuneration, is many times greater than the amounts that are provided by other — even the most generous — prizes.

Ilyukovich leads to a precise characterization of his book: "What is unique is the Nobel Prize is an incredible value for the amount of bequests of capital." This capital in the time of Alfred Nobel's will expressed in the 9 million dollars, but "it is necessary to take into account that over the past 90 years, the purchasing power of money has fallen more (perhaps even much more. — VK) 10 times, that is, Today the state of Nobel's estimated would be about $ 100 million, "and if the first winner Armand Sully-Prudhomme in 1901, he received (from the then arrived at the Nobel capital) 42,000 dollars, the 1991 laureate Nadine Gordimer — one million dollars …

Hugeness (at the time) capital of Alfred Nobel was due to the fact that his father, Immanuel Nobel (1801-1872), one of the first in the world has chosen as its main objective the production of armaments. Already in 1827 he had "engaged in constructing mines", and then set up the plant, which produced the powder mines, rapid-fire rifles, artillery, etc. In 1868, his son Alfred (1833-1896) invented dynamite, which gave a strong impetus to its enrichment; since he got the nickname "King of dynamite."

The testament of Alfred Nobel was a loud sensation, since the amount of remuneration of Nobel Prize winners was truly "incredible": for example, it is 70 (1) times the size of one of the then largest bonuses awarded by the Royal Society of London. And Swedish writer Oscar Levertin rightly predicted back in 1899: "For the first time foreign experts will direct their attention to the remote Academy in Stockholm, people from many countries will be eagerly waiting for news about whose muse will be given, which will be shed golden rain Academy" , by the way, quite playful comparison, for Zeus spilled a golden rain on Danae, and she conceived of Perseus …

Ilyukovich, trying to convince readers that the Nobel laureatstvo valuable not only a lot of money, but in and of itself as the highest recognition for a writer, formulated sootyushenie money and honors like this: "Yes, of course. Nobel Prizes have tremendous size, and yet reduce deal only to the material aspect of it would be just as frivolous as to claim that money has nothing to do with it. "

What is there to be said? It is clear that, if the size of the award was the usual run of the mill, the Swedish Academy of solutions not only would acquire the status of a "higher" recognition of a writer, but generally would not have any notoriety (in fact: it really so important and interesting know which values the group of writers Swedish citizens?).

However laureatstvo, of course, presents itself as an outstanding accolade and writers — especially those who are not really need the money — not so much cherished by the amount received as their reckoning the ranks of Nobel luminaries. However, the prize yet received their status only by her "incredible" value. In the popular consciousness — or, rather, the subconscious — the ratio of money and honors implemented like this: just think, people had filled a number of sheets of paper and gave it to him for a million! That's what a genius!

In short, the basis of the prestige of the Nobel Prize — yet it was "unbelievable" the size of a sum of money, and everything else, so to say, of course naroslo on this rod.

Nobel Peace Prize and Russia. As already mentioned, the Swedish Academy from the very beginning of its operations to identify worthy winners did not favor the Russian literature — it rejects Tolstoy and Chekhov did not notice. Just a third of a century Russian writer was awarded, but immediately showed different approach to business: Ivan Bunin, and later as Nobel laureates Boris Pasternak, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, in a state of acute apparent conflict with the authorities in their home country (another winner , Sholokhov, was not — at least, by the time he was awarded the prize in 1965 — in this conflict, but about "Sholokhov issue" will be discussed below).

Dramatic or even tragic conflicts of literature (and — increasingly — the culture) and power — are inevitable and eternal, well known since ancient times. And there is no doubt the rightness of certain cultural figures in such conflicts.

But at the same time, hardly any legitimate to assume that the writer is determined by the severity of the significance of his conflict with the authorities. Thus, in his mature years, Dostoevsky was not, in contrast to the later Tolstoy, "dissident" (to use the current term), but this in no way detracts from the dignity of a genius writer.

However, the Swedish Academy has elected only in Russia is quite obvious "dissidents" and walked past undoubtedly very weighty (each in its own way), names that did not have such a reputation Michael Prishvin, Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Aleksei Tolstoy, Leonid Leonov, Alexander Twardowski (which By the way, back in the 1940s, exceptionally praised laureate Ivan Bunin), etc.

It is appropriate to tell in this regard, an episode from the history of the Swedish Academy, which I learned from a direct participant in this activity — the famous Norwegian Geir Hetso philologist, who played a significant role in the discussion of candidates for the Nobel Prize. Geir Hetso not once visited me at the time: his visits to Moscow and somehow — it was the end of the 1970s — told me that the most likely is another Nobel laureate Andrei Voznesensky. However, as he said in his next visit, on this nominee refused because Voznesensky was awarded the State Prize of the USSR …

I do not think works Ascension significant event (as far back as the 1960s with certainty expressed in the press), and at the same time, I believe that the author is not "worse" later awarded the Nobel Prize Joseph Brodsky. But the question now is about something else: the awarding of the Soviet Voznesensky high premium in essence completely deprived him of the dissident halo, in which he more or less had, and he was no longer of interest to the Swedish Academy …

Let us turn now to the "Sholokhovskoe issue." In awarding the prize to the creator of "Quiet Don", which is, without a doubt, one of the great events of world literature, the Swedish Academy is the only time gave up its "principle" — in Russian only appreciate the "dissidents." To make this decision: experts took eleven years for Sholyuhova candidacy was first considered by them (and was rejected) in 1954. This "exception" was just one of those who support the "rule", and, most importantly, it gave a strong argument to those who defend the objectivity of Swedish experts.

However, over the last twenty-five years, the Swedish Academy did not see anything in the literature of Russian decent, except for the award in 1987, Joseph Brodsky, who had already sixteen years he lived in the U.S., and even began to write poetry in English ya.zyke.

In connection with the death of Joseph Brodsky, followed in January 1996, the media appeared a kind of unprecedented assessment: "the great Russian poet," "the last great Russian poet," "Pushkin is our time," etc. While such definitions often uttered clearly unrefined person, so one of the television reviewers named among the winners of the Nobel Prize, who wrote in Russian, Vladimir Nabokov, and the other forgot about Mikhail Sholokhov.

Before considering the question of the award of the prize to Brodsky, we should say that the poets especially the "bad luck" in the corridors of the Swedish Academy. About the most prominent Russian poet (Ann, Block, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Andrei Bely, Mayakovsky, Gumilev, Khlebnikov, Kluev, Yesenin, Tsvetaeva, Hodasevich, Mandelstam, Georgi Ivanov, Akhmatova, Z, Twardowski and others) do not have to talk. Typically refers to the fact that their poor (or not) was known in Europe. However, this argument can take the blame (or at least part of the blame) with Swedish experts, but, of course, undermines the opinion of the "authority" the most Nobel Prize, which was beyond the scope of one of the richest poetic culture of the XX century. After all, the only Russian poet — Boris Pasternak — won thanks to its caller loud ideological scandal novel.

But disregard the Russian theme. To Joseph Brodsky's Nobel Prize winners were two dozen poets in Europe and the U.S., turn to those of them who have been awarded the prize of not less than thirty years — from 1901 to 1966 (and, hence, to determine iennoy as already tested by time): Nelly Sachs, William Yates, Giosuè Carducci, Eric Karlfeldt, Salvatore Quasimodo, Frederic Mistral, Saint-John Perse, Giorgos Seferis, Armand Sully-Prudhomme, Juan Jimenez, Carl Shpitteler, TS Eliot.

Today, any enlightened connoisseur of poetry recognizes the significance of only three of the twelve names — Irish Yeats, Frenchman Saint-John Perse and the Englishman (by birth — American) Eliot. At the same time, it is sure to name the names of many prominent poets of the same era, not won the Nobel Prize, among them — Austrian Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Valéry French, German Stefan George, a Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca, the American Robert Frost, WH Auden Englishman. It's essentially the largest representatives of their national cultures poetry in the XX century — and yet none of them became a Nobel laureate …

In short, follow the verdict of the Swedish Academy in clarifying the real values of the XX century poetry impossible that applies to Joseph Brodsky. They can, however, be argued that the Swedish Academy of times (in one case out of four!) Still elect weighty poetic name, and why would not it be considered correct decision in 1987 regarding Joseph Brodsky?

I do not intend to analyze the writings of this author, first, because it has not had sufficient time pronouncing his objective judgment, and any of my judgment may strongly disputed, and, secondly, because for a serious analysis would take a lot place. But I believe it is appropriate to cite meaningful discussion of two writers who directly observed the "process" of the Nobel Prize to Joseph Brodsky.

We are talking about Vasily Aksenov Navrozove and Leo, who, like Brodsky, emigrated from Russia to the United States (the first — in 1972, the second — later, in 1980). These people are quite different, but their "evidence" is largely the same.

Vasily Aksenov, wrote in 1991 (in "Winged species in extinction," published in Moscow's "Literary Gazette" of November 27, 1991) that Joseph Brodsky — "quite serednyakovsky writer who once was lucky, as the Americans say, to be" at the right time in the right place. "In places not so remote (meaning several months of exile Joseph Brodsky's from Leningrad to the village on the border of the Leningrad and Arkhangelsk regions by Khrushchev's decision about" parasites. "- VK) he acquired an aura of romance and the lone heir to the great galaxy. Later this man with amazing alacrity romance strengthens and extends its myth. happens as a result of the electronic billing is almost true of other places and times, for certain combinations of acquaintances and friendships. arises team, many of whose members do not even realize that they are members, but consider it their duty to maintain the fiction of our romance. tenacious stereotype of genius in a society where hardly anyone holding a monotone reading opus stuffed with the names of ancient gods (it is very typical of the works of Brodsky. — VK), finish it to the end. For their fresh catch of the theme of the impermanence of life, our mythical mediocrity rises briskly, as if planned in advance by nicks from one award to another and finally to the highest laureatstvu (that is, the "Nobel Prize." — VK) … Here it is an ideal example of turning "I" to "we" … collective consciousness today, alas, is shown not only as a pathetic way to the mafia, as mentioned above, but also in a more expanded, almost academic as … Surveys ideological scientists fed the society to the brink of a new totalitarianism … We all .. anyway, have been affected by a strange phenomenon "left censoring" based on the notorious principle of "political correctness.,." (ie Joseph Brodsky was awarded the first prize for the "political correctness "and loyalty to a particular" team ").

Explores how it determines the phenomenon of "Joseph (in the West — Joseph) Brodsky," and Leo Navrozov (see his essay "Lzhegenii in free arts", published in the book published in Moscow "Russian-American literary magazine," "Time and Us" for 1994, № 123). He admits that there "for us in Russia charm of Brodsky's poems 60s (there and then, but stipulating that Sia" charm "incompatible" with the nonsense that are existing translations of these poems into English. "- In . K.). Yet even in the 60s — continues Navrozov — it would be absurd to think these poems Brodsky equivalent of Blok's poetry, or Mandelstam and Pasternak, Tsvetaeva or … Humour is neither Mandelstam or Tsvetaeva ( or Tolstoy or Chekhov) did not get a Nobel Prize. Pasternak … And got it, but when a political scandal erupted at the end of his life, about his novel … Lyrics Brodsky 60s did not survive the 60s. His poems, written in title of "American professor of poetry," … lost the charm of his poems 60s … write it ever since — professional exercise in diversification. "

Brodsky writes further Navrozov represent as a "prisoner of the Gulag," even though he has very little "of such extraliterary grounds for receiving the Nobel Prize … Brodsky has developed remarkably skillful work to get the Nobel Prize, and I have been unwittingly involved in this activity, while did not realize what was going on, "and" how can the West to judge the delights of Brodsky's poems 60s when their translation is sheer nonsense? .. Brodsky became a vaudeville act as a genius … "etc.

Someone is likely to say that such harsh judgments Aksenov and Navrozova due to their envy of the winner. Such a motive can not be entirely excluded, but at the same time, one can hardly argue that the case comes down to it at all. In particular, there is no doubt that this is not strictly individualnyetochki of Aksenov and Navrozova; these authors exist in the United States in a particular environment, and could not speak against all those with whom they are somehow connected. And this medium knows the real "story laureatstva Brodsky immeasurably better than his runaway Moscow eulogisers, although not all of this very environment is ready — like Aksenov and Navrozovu — to speak publicly about the matter of fact.

More appropriate to quote the poem about Joseph Brodsky, belonging to one of the most talented contemporary poets — Eugene Kurdakovu who in his youth was acquainted with the future winner. This poem appeared in the magazine № N3 "contemporary" for the year 1991, that is just half a year earlier cited article Vasily Aksenov.

Eugene Kurdakov, among other things, to a certain extent reproduces the manner of Joseph Brodsky and his poem can even understand as a parody, but a parody of high plan, which from a creative point of view, superior to its original:

Vormotanya and wheezing peers, peer whisper

Whether it bad, eh last settled in store,

Or simply do not preserve previous experience of exiles,

That in the future given did not sleep at home eyes?

In Lamentations, murmurs have not concerned relatives

And dear, not revenge, leaving him on until

Inventory marginalized: syllabic eternal roadsides,

Yes for small needs — shabby trash language

Oberiutki whistling ducks between the lines in harmski

In a note to the weather forecast with the forecast itself

With the transfer to Russian-kurguzsky on bystroizdansky

At the request of those who suddenly twisted fate.

These mobile Nobel eternal shilost-on-mylost

In a strange zatishke where the credit for any of the sins,

Wherever possible gap, whereas in the past they would not suchilos.

Greshkov of these lovely poems from Dushkov and slushkov

Under the Attic salt unconsciousness mnyat adept

Salt only distantly essentially deaf and blind:

Rastabary, concoctions, beans, Babylon, Turusov,

Pretzels, monograms and myslete unimaginable pas …

Finally — a few words about modern Russian literature. The book A.M.Ilyukovicha argues that de prize awarded by the Swedish Academy, "have become generally accepted criterion for assessing the achievement of national and regional communities. Specifically, began to calculate the distribution of the winners of the countries." And it was, they say, it is clear that for Russia, "the figures are scanty … Russian man is rightly proud of the fatherland … culture that has developed around the Nobel Prize situation (referring to our time. — VK) is alarming. In It is possible to see the map of the crisis experienced by the society "…

I'm not just referring to the book Ilyukovicha, which contains essential information and, in one way or another fair judgments. However, just given his phrases — I apologize for the harshness — absolutely, even monstrously absurd. When trying to justify Ilyukovich Swedish experts, "proglyadevshih" prominent Russian writers, the fact that these writers did not have the proper fame in Europe, it can be understood. But in these sentences it is a different story — that the small number of Russian writers awarded prizes ostensibly is troubling evidence of the deplorable state of Russian literature …

The absurdity of such a formulation of the problem is clearly revealed in the fact that from 1901 to 1933 Russian writers received no Nobel Prize (later the winners were all the same), and so if you rely on the "generally recognized criteria achievements," Russian literature was then in utter shambles. But in reality, the fact that Tolstoy, Chekhov, Prishvin Innocent Ann, Vasily Rozanov, Alexander Blok, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Sergei Yesenin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Platonov and others of their contemporaries were awarded prizes, should not disturb the Russian people, and the Swedes, for their Academy demonstrated thus their misery. And truly laughable attempt to judge the literature of a country by the number of awards received by its writers, the point here is not only in Russian literature. Thus, the winners were only seven writers United States (not counting the three recent immigrants writing in Polish, Yiddish, and Russian) and six writers of Sweden, which, of course, ridiculous.

The Swedish Academy for a long time was not able to assess the highest achievements of American literature by awarding prizes such minor writers as Harry Sinclair Lewis and Pearl Buck. Meanwhile, since the 1920s, when the United States — the first in the world (mainly because they do not have experienced bankruptcy, but instead were enriched during the war of 1914-1918) — entered a period of global industrialization and urbanization in the country develops a powerful school of writers turned their creativity to rural or small-town life especially where deep contradictions of nature and technology are brought civilization with the greatest clarity. In this way the United States went to great writers — Sherwood Anderson, Thomas Wolfe, Erskine Caldwell, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck. The latter two were the winners, but rather late, and four of the first — and not honored.

But you do have ignored the Swedish experts mate these writers the U.S. (although, of course, having a profound national identity) Russian school, nicknamed "village prose" and has attained a high level of thirty years ago.

However, the fact that the Swedish Academy "did not notice" of writers of this school, not at all surprising: it is consistent with the history of the Nobel Prize — stories, in a way sketched in this article.

Let me repeat: we can understand, as they say, to forgive is quite obvious. Swedish experts inability to distinguish primary from second-and third-rate (after all, it's not that hard …), but does not justify those who are trying to declare a Nobel Prize reliable criterion for the dignity of writers, much less the whole of national literatures. I recall that in the years 1901-1945 was awarded the prize of forty writers, but if you list the forty writers now highly valued in Europe and the U.S. that same period, only one-third of them, as we have seen, were the winners, and two-thirds were zabortom (and also they are replaced by other, far less worthy).

It is clear that in this case hardly any reason to use the Nobel "indicators" when discussing the merits of writers, not to mention the literatures of various countries as a whole. And it is just and only about the literatures of Europe and the United States, about the same Russian literatures and major Asian countries in general there is no point to argue in connection with the Nobel Prize. And her "world authority" — no more than a propaganda myth.

V.Kozhinov, Moscow, 1997

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