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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Valentin Sorokin: “Why should I be ashamed that I am Russian”

Saw one poet, you’ve no one to confuse. For the first time Valentina Sorokina I met in the courtyard of the College. He dramatically stood out even here, among creative people. A real poet!

More than thirty years Valentin V. Vela advanced literature courses. On the eve of its anniversary we talk about his past life.

photo: From personal archive

Steelworkers don’t lie

— Before school not knowing letters, I began to write. First folk songs, then poems. We lived in the southern Urals, in the Cossack village of Iwase. Dad is a Forester, the war began, went to the front scout. And we have eight children! He came back all bruised, on crutches.

I often think of him. Dad loved the songs, played the harmonica, took first place in the competition of folk art. Loved him Bashkirs, Chuvash, Mordvinians. Like a wedding, be sure called. He spoke to me: “Yes, poetry is great! But would be better if you went to military school. Graduated, became a General and dispersed these villains.”

— And the villains are who?

— Our leaders. He hated them for dispossession, believed that this began the destruction of Russian villages. Said, son, when you get to my age, you will understand that the Pope is right, only this time will not be enough soldiers in the army, women to give birth will cease.

Post-war the village was destroyed. I left home at the age of 14, added a year and currently enrolled in a school preparing workers for Chelyabinsk metallurgical plant. Worked in the first Martin, where 1,200 people boiled steel. The people I was surrounded by educated, well-read, beautiful and very honest. Why they lie? In my group, was released from school, we had 25 people. For ten years, 11 were killed. Work of a kind! Steelworker, who is going to lie? Yourself?

In 1962 I became a member of the Union of writers. Leonid Sobolev was surprised: “First accept the person in Komsomol age.” I was very supportive Vasily Fedorov, the celebrated poet. Boris Brooks, ten years unjustly spent in Kolyma, took me under his wing. Lyudmila Tatyanichenoy edited my first book — “Dream”. I’m trying to do good. For me, these people are not forgotten, and every day they mine.

About my country

— Me 13 years were not allowed abroad.

— For what?

— I don’t know! And for that we took in my apartment gave multimilyarder Christina Onassis with her new Soviet husband?

— Maybe you have a “bugs” were installed?

I do not know. I worked as chief editor of the publishing house “Contemporary”, I had a company car, driver, nice guy. And when in 1980 I was leaving the publishing house, he admitted that serving in the KGB.

My apartment was at the writers ‘ house. And here we are with Boris Mozhaev and see how out the window at the street stuff, books discarded.

I can’t believe!

Poet Andrey Dementyev carried writers in Cuba, headed the delegation. We sat down in the plane, five minutes off. The voice in the speakers: the passenger Sorokin, out! I realized that even on liberty Island I can not produce.

As: you come from a peasant family, ten years in Martin, wrote “I heart Russia gave, I give it to Russia” and you suspected that you will run away to America?

— I refused to write denunciations in KGB — so unreliable. “Russia! Birthplace of poets! The path of destiny my dark eyes like the barrel of guns, and I induced. I was traveling in the train Domodedovo, where he lived then, and wrote this poem. The Lubyanka denounced me six hours of questioning. And still found nothing! And I can be really chauvinist?!

photo: From personal archive

About Ryazan

— Poet Mikhail Lvov said to me: “Val, I came to a very great chief, and said unto him, what are you doing with Sorokin?! This man will die, but not to betray the Motherland!”

And then I was away. Sergei Mikhalkov leads the congregation in the Moscow writers ‘ organization. Says: who can go to the middle East (as once there was a war between Palestinians and Israel). Everyone is silent. Then I raised my hand. Rises the famous writer, he is now alive, healthy and generally a good man. “And you, Valentine, do not fear that you out of there in a coffin bring?” I said, “Well, you’re not exactly gonna cry!” In the audience laughter, applause.

I have been several times in Syria, the Palmyra, the Arabs translated a lot of me, I met with Hafez al-Assad, father of the present President of the country. After each trip we had to write a report to the Central Committee of the CPSU. And party members suddenly liked my look and style that they have become me to no end to request that I went.

Abroad I was 14 or 15 times. For me it’s a lot. On the third day I start to go crazy: why did I come here?! I’d better go to Ryazan! I went on coast of Oka, I would have thought of Esenina, read: “I Stand alone among the plains naked, and cranes the wind takes away. I am full of thoughts about youth cheerful, but nothing in the past I’m not sorry!”

Here are the verses I remember! If the novelist, the poet, the actor, the philosopher, the General does not have that sense of the Holy: let death come, but not treason you, then why live?! I do not think the problem: poverty, then you must bring Home or even in your apartment Onassis instilled, you need to bring Home, or you are 13 years abroad were not allowed. One homeland, and it is no one comparable. Even with the Mausoleum.

The housing problem

— Is it true that your wife from the kind of Pushkin?

— Her mom’s maiden name of Pushkin. In 1937 my wife’s parents and all of their “family Bush” put partially executed. Not for Pushkin, of course, because Pushkin had no time to plant. But for the fact that their family has been growing vegetables for the Royal family. They had a manor in St. Petersburg. The wife says: we need to open a case to return the property. But it is necessary to lift documents, and with our bureaucracy then someone will take and privatize us together in this house.

— There will always be some kind Onassis… And what story apartment over?

— Anatoly Ivanov married daughter. We are at the wedding: I, Ivan Akulov, other writers. And to the left of me sits a handsome, muscular man. Said: “Excuse me, are you really Sorokin?”. I nod. “Let’s drink”. You sit on. He again: “are you sure Sorokin? A poet?” “Yes.” Still drank. A neighbor of his: “Look, be honest: you’re Sorokin?” I said, “How you bore me!..” And sent it off. “Oh, well that’s exactly Sorokin! And I’m from Konstantin Chernenko. We received a letter writers in your defense. Does everything it says, right?” I say: Yes.

After this conversation, the future Secretary General sent the assistant, she offered me a choice of three apartments. When settled, asked: give telegram to Chernenko that the housing meets. I did it.

Two censorship

— You worked as a chief editor in the “contemporary” went the sharp books: Boris Mozhaev, Vasily Belov, Ivan Akulov and other writers. How did you manage to publish?

— Mission editor-in-chief included the direct, almost daily contact with censorship. Zam. the chief of the Glavlit Vladimir Solodin was a cultural and an honest man. And so we became friends with him! Treated me in a censorship a thousand times better than the party propaganda Department. Solodin said Valentin, constantly calling us out of the require us to give you a negative response, and we refuse. The censors have helped me many novels and stories save.

In the “contemporary” working smart people, they felt political, national, economic situation in the country. If Solzhenitsyn published in the Soviet Union, no to the squabbles were not.

— Do you think that “the GULAG Archipelago” could be released?

— And why not? Benefits would be greater, and inaccuracies and speculation less.

And you refused to sign the letter against Solzhenitsyn in the 70s?

Yes, that’s right. So censorship is never late manuscripts, books through Glavlit was rapidly. Another thing, if there were disagreements with the Committee.

— And who was above: Glavlit or CC?

— CC above. But there were good people. For example, Evgeny Mikhailovich Tyazhelnikov was worried about me very much.

— As you are well aware of all censorship arrangements, and wrote the poem “Immortal Marshal of Georgy Zhukov, who was 13 years old was banned?

— We have one Grand Marshal Leonid Brezhnev. To elevate the other political illiteracy, said Sergei Mikhalkov on the Secretariat of the Moscow writers ‘ organization. Among the literati, there are always people who serve the upper classes — is seen as the plates wear, the tables pick up… There is a record of the discussion “the Immortal Sergeant”, when some poets without reading the manuscript, shouting anti-Soviet!

photo: From personal archive

Sholokhov and his daughter

— What are you offended by the Nobel laureate Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov? And even slander the Central Committee sent?

— Sholokhov used as a battering RAM. He never saw nor talked to me, but at the instigation of his daughter Masha and her entourage filed a complaint to the Central Committee. Paper read Brezhnev, was a terrible squabble. When the scandal verse, to my editors were Deputy Sholokhov. Gave that classic regrets that b… did the words of the Nobel laureate! and that against me personally he has nothing.

When I came to the publishing house, the daughter of Sholokhov worked with editor. As she got into the “Contemporary”, I don’t know — even her literary education was not. And here I assistant Kosygin: “why are You not promoting Mary Sholokhov?” I said, “where to improve? She was entrusted to lead the publication of a volume of the works of Sholokhov, she made mistakes, I was fined 3 rubles.” He: “Oh, how you talk!”

Mary I is not isolated from its employees. It probably hurt her feelings. The publisher and without Sholokhov had a lot of setups. We organized their translators around the “Contemporary”, we went bold books, new. I published the repressed poets: Pavel Vasilyev, Boris Kornilov. We printed the best writers from the national republics, the book sold pretty well.

National Sovremennik” was a very specific need. We still Russian people — the biggest chauvinist, the biggest drinker in the world, the biggest bully, the laziest and the most loveless country. And we have no poet of Russian, which I remembered, not on the screen. They are generally thrown out of life! All praise Brodsky, don’t remember by heart any of his lines.

Dissidents Cox

Our literary critics fault that we have forgotten Vladimir Lugovskoy, Alexander Prokofiev, Boris Brooks, Sergey Orlov, Mikhail Dudin, Mikhail Lvov, Sergey Narovchatov. And how many national poets pushed out of people’s souls? Even Mustai Karim. Poets replaced the dissidents and cottagers living in American Oklahoma.

If I were a dissident I would be the most loved poet of the dissidents who ruled Russia. Many registered as dissidents, many are not, but at heart they do not betray this feeling that they’re dissidents. One of them said about Russia so that to cry?

— Well as?! When there were elections, Putin has read Yesenin and cried.

— Putin, right, says he is Russian. But when you start to push culture, push the credibility of the Russian people, it very much affects the attitude of other peoples. Not a Russian! And the fact that this trick can do with Boobs. Then the people begin to “lock” and protect themselves. Cynicism, indifference, fear, cowardice shameful towards the people’s life helped the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Why should I be ashamed that I’m Russian?! I love Musa Jalil much more than Pasternak. So what? Judge me for it? Among the Tatars a lot biographically similar to Russian people. When the state built, some of those he fought other opponents, helped, fought…

— Just look at Ukraine…

— It is a tragedy! In Ukraine revived those who fought against the Rus and Kiev and the great. We are one people, absolutely.

We have a national problem — dead. Enough to say “we should be friends”. I, for one, am not afraid to stand up and say that I’m very Russian. And me, the Tartars will always understand and accept. Man, who loves his people would never betray another and do not commit evil against him. Because my people is with me. Russian cross of fate, while I’m alive, no one will ever rip out of my hands.

What we sing, the Slavs?

— Recently hosted the Society of Russian literature with the Patriarch at the head. I read the report, sadly, what impersonal! Talked about language as Khrushchev corn. Neither the songs nor the sayings were heard. It is impossible to talk about the native in life — well, what else is dearer, mother Yes language — so indifferent!..

My father with the bear spoke. Once we walked through the woods, I’m a boy at all. Suddenly a rustle in the bushes. Father me from a tree: stand there! And he meet the beast came out. Tried to persuade to go, they say hike. He turned and walked away. Dad to me — calm, absolutely no fear.

But if the father talked as Congress argued about the language, sure the bear would have pulled up. And not because hungry.

Language is the presence of nature, courage, courage, faithfulness, repentance, sorrow, tragedy. No bard will give birth to a language, not a classic, and people. The war ended, began to return from the front men, the men who survived. And girls on the farm sing: “Soon, soon Trinity, foliage, forest covered. Pretty soon will return, the heart to calm down!” Amazing! No poem Bezymensky will not pull against any line.

And now? We have a Russian song and the music selected, the national television is nothing left. And this affects the people’s character, mind, birth, children, them to become, philosophy, creativity, character, will. When people squandered when humiliate him, insult what is the Russian language?! If attitude is lost, he will not attain what could be.

— How can we be?

— And what century was that? To revive the Russian village, to remove women’s pants and force them to give birth.

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