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Anna Akhmatova


Acquaintances from Moscow
Tomas Venclova Poet
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Well, who else can we mention of my acquaintances from Moscow? Nikolay Kotrelev, now a well know literary scholar – a literatūrologas as we say in Lithuanian – and several other people, those who were closest to me – we were like-minded souls. We read a lot together, studied a lot of prohibited literature and we ourselves wrote for samizdat publications. After that, after having lived in Moscow for four years, having learned a lot, having discovered a lot, I moved to St Petersburg, which at that time was called Leningrad, and I also lived there for four years. I found myself part of another group, an interesting group, in the centre of which was Joseph Brodsky. Joseph Brodsky was just starting out then, but he was already a very well known and beloved Russian poet who later emigrated and became a Nobel laureate. We became good friends. He would, amongst other things, come to Vilnius, we showed him Vilnius, he wrote several poems about Vilnius and, in short, this friendship left some marks in Russian literature. Brodsky has been translated into Lithuanian and probably into most other languages including French. He was a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and well known in Paris, even though he lived in New York. But he used to visit here.

Na, ką dar butų galima prisiminti iš Maskvos pažįstamų – Nikolajus Kotlerevas, dabar žinomas literatūros mokslininkas, literatūrologas, kaip lietuviškai sakoma. Na ir keletas kitų, tai buvo vis mano artimiausioji, taip sakant, aplinka ir mes buvome bendraminčiai. Daug kartu skaitėme, daug studijavome draudžiamų dalykų ir patys rašėme į savilaidą. Na, po to, ketverius metus šitaip išgyvenęs Maskvoje, daug ką išmokęs, daug ką sužinojęs, aš persikėliau į Peterburgą, kuris tais laikais vadinosi Leningradas. Ir ten taip pat gyvenau ketverius metus. Ten patekau į dar vieną kompaniją, įdomią kompaniją, kurios centre buvo Josifas Brodskis. Josifas Brodskis pradedantis tada, bet jau labai žinomas ir mėgiamas rusų poetas, kuris vėliau emigravo ir tapo Nobelio premijos laureatu. Mes su juo virtome gerais bičiuliais, jisai be ko kito, atvykdavo į Vilnių, rodėme jam Vilnių, jis yra parašęs apie Vilnių keletą eirėraščių ir, žodžiu sakant, toji bičiulyste paliko šiokius tokius pėdsakus rusų literatūroje. Na, Brodskis yra verstas ir į lietuvių kalbą ir jau turbūt į daugumą pasaulio kalbų. Taip pat ir į prancūzų – jis buvo garbės legiono ordino kavalierius, ir Paryžiuje žinomas žmogus, nors gyveno Niujorke. Bet čia lankydavosi.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Moscow, St Petersburg, Vilnius, Paris, New York, Nikolay Kotrelev, Joseph Brodsky

Duration: 1 minute, 49 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012