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The life and extraordinary adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin by Vladimir Voinovich : a commentary and… Thomson, Sandra Mary 1981

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THE L I F E AND EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF PRIVATE IVAN CHONKIN BY VLADIMIR  VOINOVICH:  A COMMENTARY AND EXPLICATION by SANDRA MARY THOMSON B.A.j  L a k e h e a d U n i v e r s i t y , 1971  B.Ed.j  L a k e h e a d U n i v e r s i t y , 1972  M.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f W a t e r l o o , 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n t h e Department of Slavonic  Studies  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f i r m i n g to the r e q u i r e d  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA A u g u s t , 1981 (T)  S a n d r a M. Thomson, 1931  In p r e s e n t i n g  this thesis in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree at the  the  University  o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t  the L i b r a r y s h a l l make  it  and  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference  study.  I  further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  be  department o r by h i s o r her  granted by  the head o f  representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not  be  allowed without my  permission.  ) Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h 2075. Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Columbia  written  ABSTRACT  Vladimir Voinovich i s the freshest s a t i r i c a l voice in Russian literature i n the past f i f t y years.  He has been called the new Gogol and  his honest re-examination of his country's past has forced him into exile to West Germany. His novel, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, i s a satire of the idiocy of Stalinist times.  It  shows a slice of society from i t s lowliest representative, Ivan Chonkin, to i t s highest, Joseph Stalin.  The authorial intent i s to show the natural  man i n unnatural circumstances. Chonkin i s the norm i n this satire.  He i s the honest, natural, real  man that Voinovich has described i n various interviews as his favourite literary type.  Standing opposed to the conventional hero of socialist  realism fiction, Chonkin i s the end of a line of Voinovich's own kind of positive hero that began i n his early stories.  Chonkin i s o f f i c i a l  idiocy's f i n a l undoing. The purpose of satire i s to c r i t i c i z e targets that are not fictions, but representations of reality that are, or should be, obvious to the reader.  In Chonkin Voinovich c r i t i c a l l y portrays various realia  of the Stalin era, puncturing various myths and fictions.  The novel's  various characters represent mutilating aspects of the Stalinist regime in the 1930s and 1940s. The author successfully uses low burlesque to ridicule these s a t i r i c targets. Each of the chapters i n the thesis identifies s a t i r i c a l targets and explicates them i n the light of the appropriate historical, p o l i t i c a l , intellectual, or economic events.  These realia may be iii  immediately  iv recognizable to the older, more astute Russian readers who have survived Stalin.  They are not recognizable nor i s their impact fully understood  by the common reader either i n the Soviet Union or i n the West. Ccnseg^jently, this fact alone justifies my attempt at a ocramentary and explication of Voinovich's masterful s a t i r i c a l portrayal of Stalinist Russia.  Supervisor: Dr. Michael Futrell  TABLE OF  CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  i  i  v i i  INTRODUCTION  1  NOTES TO INTRODUCTION  35  Chapter 1.  THE STAKHANOVITES:  LIUSHKA MIAKISHEVA  40  NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE 2.  3.  4.  59  THE CHILDREN OF THE T H I R T I E S :  LESHA BUKASHEV  6.  7.  8.  61  NOTES TO CHAPTER TWO  80  THE JEWS:  82  MOISEI S T A L I N  NOTES TO CHAPTER THREE  112  FORCED LABOUR:  116  LESHA ZHAROV, THE INSTITUTE  NOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR 5.  ..  THE COMMUNIST PARTY:  152 R E V K I N , K I L I N , BORISOV,  IARTSEV, STALIN  157  NOTES TO CHAPTER F I V E  193  THE SECRET POLICE:  MILIAGA, THE INSTITUTE,  SMERSH  196  NOTES TO CHAPTER S I X  240  THE COUNTRYSIDE:  244  GOLUBEV  NOTES TO CHAPTER SEVEN  278  LYSENKO:  281  GLADYSHEV  NOTES TO-CHAPTER EIGHT  337 v  vi  9.  RED ARMY, WORLD WAR  II,  NOTES TO CHAPTER NINE  CONCLUSION  .  AND CHONKIN  346 402  407  NOTES TO CONCLUSION  419  A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  421  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would  like  t o e x p r e s s my s i n c e r e a p p r e c i a t i o n t o my  a d v i s o r , D r . M i c h a e l F u t r e l l , whose e n c o u r a g e m e n t , and a s s i s t a n c e were i n v a l u a b l e .  I would a l s o l i k e  t h e v a r i o u s members o f my c o m m i t t e e : Busza and Czaykowski.  insight, t o thank  Professors Turner, Petro,  A s p e c i a l note o f a p p r e c i a t i o n t o  D r . P e t e r P e t r o who r e a d t h i s work c l o s e l y a n d made v a r i o u s helpful  suggestions.  A f i n a l note of a p p r e c i a t i o n t o  D r . C a r l P r o f f e r who t o o k t i m e f r o m h i s v e r y b u s y s c h e d u l e t o be my e x t e r n a l r e a d e r . On  28 a n d 29 May 1981 I met a n d i n t e r v i e w e d  Voinovich i n Seattle.  I am g r a t e f u l  Vladimir  f o r h i s k i n d words o f  s u p p o r t , t h e s i n c e r e i n t e r e s t he showed i n my w o r k , a n d h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o d i s c u s s h i s n o v e l w i t h me.  I would  like to  e x t e n d my t h a n k s t o t h e two p e o p l e who a r r a n g e d t h a t  meeting,  Mary F r i s q u e a n d C a r o l P e a r c e . I would a l s o l i k e l i b r a r y Loans  t o thank t h e s t a f f i n t h e I n t e r -  o f f i c e and J a c k M c i n t o s h , t h e S l a v i c  rapher f o r t h e i r  Bibliog-  help.  To F r a n c i n e D e s r o s i e r s I e x p r e s s my t h a n k s f o r t y p i n g this  thesis quickly, efficiently And,  finally,  I would  and c h e e r f u l l y .  like  g r a t i t u d e t o my M o t h e r , my Aunt  t o e x p r e s s my d e e p e s t  S t e l l a , a n d my G r a n d m o t h e r  A l e k s a n d r a w i t h o u t whose c o n t i n u o u s f i n a n c i a l  and m o r a l  t h i s work would have been n e i t h e r s t a r t e d n o r c o m p l e t e d . vii  support  INTRODUCTION  Many S o v i e t p r o s e w r i t e r s who b e g i n conventional in  w r i t e r s reach  their f i f t i e s .  t h e i r c a r e e r s as  a decisive point i n their  When t h e y r e a c h  careers  t h o s e mature and f u l l e s t  y e a r s o f t h e i r c r e a t i v i t y , a number f i n d  themselves  t o make a c r u c i a l d e c i s i o n :  w i t h i n the Soviet  literary  establishment  write the novel the best  to continue  having  o r t o make a b r e a k w i t h i t a n d f i n a l l y  t h e y have always wanted t o w r i t e .  One o f  examples i s V l a d i m i r N i k o l a e v i c h V o i n o v i c h .  His  b i o g r a p h y r e v e a l s what h a p p e n e d t o t h e man w i t h a model w r i t e r ' s background in  (working  class,  December 1980 f o u n d h i m s e l f  Soviet  s e r v i c e i n t h e army) who  e x p e l l e d from t h e S o v i e t  Union  because o f h i s u n c o m p r o m i s i n g v i e w s and h i s n o v e l , Z h i z n ' i neobychalnye p r i k l i u c h e n i i a and  s o l d a t a Ivan Chonkina  E x t r a o r d i n a r y Adventures of P r i v a t e Ivan Chonkin). Vladimir Voinovich  was b o r n o n 26 S e p t e m b e r 1932 i n 2  what was t h e n c a l l e d  Stalinabad.  Moscow a n d p u b l i s h e d  i n t h e West i n 1975 V o i n o v i c h  his  (The L i f e  I n an i n t e r v i e w g i v e n i n described  c h i l d h o o d and e d u c a t i o n : I was b o r n i n Dushanbe a n d a f t e r w a r d s l i v e d i n various places. My f a m i l y moved c o n t i n u a l l y . D u r i n g t h e war i t was v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o s t u d y . I f i n i s h e d t h e f i r s t c l a s s b e f o r e t h e war; i n t h e second and t h i r d c l a s s e s I l e a r n t a b s o l u t e l y nothing. Then I l e f t t h e f o u r t h c l a s s i n w h i c h I s t u d i e d f o r two m o n t h s , a n d t h e n I d i d n ' t s t u d y again. From c h i l d h o o d on I w o r k e d o n t h e c o l l e c t i v e f a r m , t h e n I went t o t h e t e c h n i c a l school i n Zaporozhe. I finished this school, w o r k e d a s a c a r p e n t e r a n d t h e n went i n t o t h e army.  -2-  I completed the s i x t h and seventh c l a s s e s at evening s c h o o l . I served four years i n the army and when the end of my 'term', was near, I began to c o n s i d e r what I would do a f t e r l e a v i n g the army. J  O r i g i n a l l y the young man d i d not c o n s i d e r as a p r o f e s s i o n . translator. hopeless  literature  His f a t h e r was a j o u r n a l i s t and a poet and  The work h i s f a t h e r d i d seemed to V o i n o v i c h  and u s e l e s s .  But, nonetheless,  a f t e r l e a v i n g the  s e r v i c e , V o i n o v i c h began to w r i t e : The only p r o f e s s i o n I had was that of a carpenter. At l e a s t i n the army I was a mechanic. I hadn't the l e a s t i n c l i n a t i o n to work as a carpenter; I d i d n ' t l i k e t h i s p r o f e s s i o n at a l l . I s t a r t e d to c o n s i d e r whether there was a job f o r which one d i d n ' t need an e x t e n s i v e t r a i n i n g . I j o i n e d a t h e a t r e group and t r i e d to go on the stage, but d i d not succeed. I t r i e d drawing, but d i d not succeed at that e i t h e r . I t r i e d to w r i t e and began w r i t i n g poems. I wrote a t e r r i b l e poem and sent i t to the army j o u r n a l . To my amazement the army j o u r n a l p r i n t e d i t . Afterwards I wrote some more but nothing e l s e was published. But I had decided ...^ When he f i n i s h e d h i s s e r v i c e i n the army, V o i n o v i c h began to w r i t e and to f e e l l i k e a w r i t e r .  He f e l t , he says,  "a great need to say something, but I d i d n ' t myself what t h a t was."^  yet know  At f i r s t h i s poems were not accepted f o r  p u b l i c a t i o n , but a f t e r a while some were p u b l i s h e d i n a l o c a l newspaper i n the Crimea.  With t h i s small success  Voinovich  decided to go t o Moscow and attempt to enter the L i t e r a r y I n s t i t u t e i n the c a p i t a l .  He was r e f u s e d admission,  that he had f a i l e d the entrance  competition.  was  told  To stay on i n  Moscow and get a r e s i d e n c e permit proved to be d i f f i c u l t . get work he j o i n e d an o r g a n i s a t i o n o u t s i d e of Moscow which  To  -3-  was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r r e p a i r i n g t h e r a i l w a y .  A f t e r a w h i l e he  s e t t l e d i n Moscow, where he w o r k e d as a c a r p e n t e r o n a building  s i t e and j o i n e d t h e W r i t e r s ' U n i o n .  publish a l i t t l e  He managed t o  i n n e w s p a p e r s and i n a m a g a z i n e .  A year a f t e r h i s i n i t i a l a p p l i c a t i o n to the L i t e r a r y Institute,  i n 1957 he a p p l i e d a g a i n .  H i s second  refusal  came  a b o u t a s a r e s u l t o f h i s surname: ... I was n o t a c c e p t e d b e c a u s e my f a m i l y name appeared s u s p e c t - they d e c i d e d I had a J e w i s h surname. I have a J e w i s h mother, b u t a c c o r d i n g t o my p a s s p o r t I am R u s s i a n , a l t h o u g h I d i d n ' t w r i t e t h a t i n my a p p l i c a t i o n b e c a u s e I s a i d t o myself: ' I f I am s u i t a b l e t h e y w i l l t a k e me anyway, r e g a r d l e s s o f t h a t . ' And b e c a u s e I d i d n ' t w r i t e a n y t h i n g , t h e y d e c i d e d t h a t V o i n o v i c h was a J e w i s h name. D  He was n e v e r his  told  t h a t he was n o t b e i n g a d m i t t e d b e c a u s e o f  s u p p o s e d J e w i s h name.  passed  He was e v e n i n f o r m e d t h a t he h a d  the entrance competition.  B u t some t i m e l a t e r he  l e a r n e d t h a t t e n p e o p l e w i t h s u s p e c t names h a d b e e n t a k e n o u t and  t h a t t h e i r poems h a d b e e n r e - e x a m i n e d  and t h e y h a d b e e n  refused admission into the i n s t i t u t e . V o i n o v i c h , h o w e v e r , was a c c e p t e d  into teacher  c o l l e g e w h e r e he s t u d i e d f o r a y e a r a n d a h a l f .  training  T h e r e he  b e g a n w r i t i n g what w o u l d become h i s f i r s t p u b l i s h e d p r o s e effort:  "My z d e s ' z h i v e m "  (We l i v e h e r e ) .  He l e f t t h e  c o l l e g e t o w o r k i n a r a d i o s t a t i o n where he c o n t i n u e d s t o r i e s and b e g a n w r i t i n g became a l m o s t do  starta"  the o f f i c i a l  (14 M i n u t e s  songs.  writing  One s o n g f r o m t h a t p e r i o d  hymn f o r t h e c o s m o n a u t s :  U n t i l Launch Time  ).  "14 m i n u t  Every time S o v i e t  c o s m o n a u t s went i n t o  space t h e y sang t h a t song.  Khrushchev  s a n g i t f r o m t h e p l a t f o r m o f t h e L e n i n mausoleum when he greeted  the  l i s h e d and  cosmonauts, N i k o l a e v  been r e s p o n s i b l e the  s o n g made him  f o r h i s being  j o u r n a l Novyi mir.  the  first  i s s u e o f 1961  was  then,  you  I n 1963 byt'  two  "My  and  might say,  famous and  able  secured  Voinovich  that I entered  and  w r i t e r s and The  (A D i s t a n c e  earning  official  our  c h e s t n y m " was  d e s p i t e a t t a c k s made on  time,  it.  a place:  "It  "Khochu  "Rasstoianie  v very  press.  spirit  than  t h a t "Khochu b y t '  of s o c i a l i s t  H i s p r o b l e m was  the  realism, spirit  L o o k i n g b a c k on  notes:  A t t h a t t i m e I l y i c h e v was a d v i s i n g K h r u s h c h e v . ' S h o r t l y b e f o r e t h a t S o l z h e n i t s y n had b e e n p u b l i s h e d - i n the second i s s u e of Novyi M i r f o r 1963. H i s f i r s t w o r k had b e e n p u b l i s h e d i n t h e e l e v e n t h i s s u e o f 1962, i n November. I n December came t h e a f f a i r a t t h e Manege, and t h e n i n M a r c h 1963 t h e r e was a c o n f e r e n c e o f i n t e l l e c t u a l s j u s t a t t h e t i m e my s t o r i e s a p p e a r e d . Ilyichev a t t a c k e d them.9 The  screen  in  literature."''  i n Novyi mir,  claims  a freeze i n c u l t u r a l policy.  Voinovich  story  published  have a r i s e n from o t h e r  Voinovich  w r i t t e n i n the  have  much p r a i s e f r o m h i s f e l l o w  abuse i n the  a b u s e may  l i t e r a r y circumstances.  time:  pub-  fame may  of H a l f a K i l o m e t e r ) , both  Voinovich  much o f f i c i a l  this  z d e s ' z h i v e m " was  c h e s t n y m " ( I Want t o be H o n e s t ) and  popular  I t was  to p u b l i s h h i s f i r s t  more s t o r i e s were p u b l i s h e d  polkilometra"  the  Popovich.  a r e c o r d made o f i t .  Voinovich's  in  and  v e r s i o n of "Khochu b y t '  chestnym", f o r which  of this  -5V o i n o v i c h h a d w r i t t e n t h e s c r i p t , was b a n n e d - t h o u g h it  was s t a g e d  quite successfully.  later  From 1963 t o 1967 he  published next t o nothing.  I n 1967 t h e s t o r y "Dva t o v a r i s h c h a "  was p u b l i s h e d  i t was V o i n o v i c h ' s  i n Novyi mir;  compromise:  I t h o u g h t I w o u l d be l e f t i n p e a c e f o r a w h i l e because t h e s t o r y had n o t h i n g s p e c i a l about it. I had taken t h e t r o u b l e t o w r i t e i t w e l l , b u t a t t h e same t i m e I d i d n o t c r i t i c i s e o u r s o c i e t y or anything e l s e . At f i r s t the s t o r y got a f r i e n d l y r e c e p t i o n from t h e c r i t i c s , t h e r e were good r e v i e w s i n t h e newspapers and M o s f i l m r e q u e s t e d me t o w r i t e a f i l m s c r i p t . 1 0 The  friendly official  r e c e p t i o n was n o t t o l a s t f o r  l o n g ; i n F e b r u a r y 1966 V o i n o v i c h o f S i n i a v s k i i a n d Daniel' . the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a  signed a l e t t e r  i n defence  The two w r i t e r s were o n t r i a l a n d  saw a r e t u r n t o t h e p a s t .  A f t e r the t r i a l  a number o f w r i t e r s met w i t h t h e j u d g e and a s k e d h i m v a r i o u s questions. proposal: Daniel'.  I n a l l innocence Voinovich w r i t e r s would stand  s u r e t y f o r S i n i a v s k i i and  S i n c e a c r i m i n a l c o u l d , i f c o n v i c t e d , be t a k e n  a collective him,  o f f e r e d the f o l l o w i n g  t h a t would stand  Voinovich  acceptable  o n by  s u r e t y f o r him and r e - e d u c a t e  expected that h i s suggestion  w o u l d be  i n t h e c a s e o f S i n i a v s k i i a n d Daniel' .  The s u g g e s -  t i o n was r e j e c t e d o u t r i g h t by t h e a u t h o r i t i e s b u t t a k e n up by other w r i t e r s .  A l e t t e r appeared w i t h Voinovich's  and  was s i g n e d  by s i x t y - t h r e e w r i t e r s .  the  l e t t e r were l a t e r  summoned b e f o r e  A l l those  t h e r e were no d i r e c t  prosecutions.  who  signed  t h e a u t h o r i t i e s and  accused o f s u p p l y i n g "ammunition f o r bourgeois but  proposal  propaganda"  -6I n 1968 V o i n o v i c h Ginzburg  and G a l a n s k o v .  now s u f f e r e d r e a l  signed a l e t t e r i n defence of Like a l l the signatoriesVoinovich  persecution.  B o t h h i s p l a y s were b a n n e d ;  a book w h i c h was a b o u t t o be p u b l i s h e d by S o v e t s k i i was a l s o b a n n e d ; f i v e f i l m s c r i p t s He was t o l d : be  Pisatel'  he h a d w r i t t e n were b a n n e d .  '"Renounce y o u r s i g n a t u r e and e v e r y t h i n g  a l l right.  Your p l a y w i l l  will  be shown - y o u h a v e a good  p l a y Two F r i e n d s , a good p a t r i o t i c p l a y .  We n e e d t h i s  b u t we c a n n o t p u b l i c i z e y o u i f y o u f e e d b o u r g e o i s  play,  propa-  11 ganda.'"  V o i n o v i c h r e f u s e d and h a r d  a t i m e when he c o u l d n o t e v e n e a r n  times  began f o r him,  a living.  He was  puzzled  why he was p u n i s h e d , h o w e v e r , more s e v e r e l y t h a n any o t h e r signatory t o the Ginzburg-Galanskov l e t t e r . hard  pressed  He was  being  t o e i t h e r r e n o u n c e h i s s i g n a t u r e o r he w o u l d n o t  be a l l o w e d t o e a r n someone t o l d h i m :  a l i v i n g as a w r i t e r a n y more.  And t h e n  ' W e l l , y o u h a v e p l a y s r u n n i n g and t h e s e p l a y s b r i n g i n r a t h e r a l o t o f money when t h e y a r e running. And i f y o u r p l a y s a r e r u n n i n g , o t h e r p e o p l e ' s p l a y s c a n ' t r u n and y o u a r e t a k i n g t h e money o u t o f t h e i r p o c k e t s . And t h a t ' s t h e o n l y e x p l a n a t i o n and i t ' s n o t h i n g t o do w i t h i d e a s o r principles. That's the reason f o r banning your plays.'12 By  1970 t h e s i t u a t i o n  gradually allowed be  back i n t o  had improved.  His plays  were  some t h e a t r e s and a book was t o  p u b l i s h e d by t h e S o v e t s k i i P i s a t e l ' p u b l i s h i n g h o u s e .  t h i s time, however, h i s n o v e l prikliucheniia  Zhizn'  At  i neobychainye  s o l d a t a Ivana Chonkina had been  circulating  -7i n samizdat.  An e x t r a c t from the novel appeared,  without  Voinovich's permission, i n the emigre j o u r n a l Grani i n Germany. As a r e s u l t a l l h i s books and plays were banned. impossible to obtain: "Even when I was literary  Work became  o f f e r e d a mediocre  job somewhere i n the p r o v i n c e s , a telephone  a l e t t e r came without  fail  call  from Moscow to say that t h i s  or was  prohibited. " ^ The p u b l i c a t i o n i n Grani had been e n t i r e l y a g a i n s t Voinovich's w i l l and caused him no end of problems: I got i n t o a very complicated s i t u a t i o n because i n such a case one has to i s s u e an o f f i c i a l p r o t e s t through our p r e s s . That i s always somewhat h u m i l i a t i n g because one i s o b l i g e d to express o p i n i o n s which are not one's own. And I would not consent to i t , j u s t as I had not consented to renouncing my s i g n a t u r e on the l e t t e r . But I was personally i n a d i f f i c u l t situation. My mother was i l l and i n h o s p i t a l and I thought she was dying. I d i d n ' t know what I would l i v e on and t h e r e f o r e I made a compromise. I wrote a l e t t e r and was t o l d : "Write j u s t two l i n e s i n the l i t e r a r y newspaper and afterwards we w i l l allow e v e r y t h i n g and your plays w i l l be performed." And I thought: "To h e l l with i t , why should I s u f f e r j u s t because Grani p r i n t e d my work without asking me?" 14  But the p e r s e c u t i o n s continued.  For example, Mosfilm  Studio  proposed to enter i n t o a c o n t r a c t with V o i n o v i c h f o r a f i l m script.  The  general manager of the s t u d i o , however, r e f u s e d  to confirm the c o n t r a c t :  "'No,  we  can't draw up a c o n t r a c t 15  with V o i n o v i c h because he must show h i s p o l i t i c a l f a c e . ' " The manager repeated what V o i n o v i c h was  t o l d everywhere,  that he must do something to show that he was  a genuine  Soviet person who  the government -  i s devoted  to the Party and  -8-  without  that assurance During  a l l t h i s time V o i n o v i c h s t i l l  with the P o l i t i c a l signed previous to  he w o u l d n o t be p u b l i s h e d  had a c o n t r a c t  P u b l i s h i n g House ( P o l i t i z d a t ) t h a t he h a d  to the Grani episode.  do a book a b o u t V e r a F i g n e r .  (povest'  anywhere.  V o i n o v i c h had agreed  The b o o k , S t e p e n ' d o v e r i i a  o V e r e F i g n e r ) , d i d n o t e n c o u n t e r any  difficulties  ( V o i n o v i c h assumes t h a t a d e c i s i o n t o p u b l i s h was made i n t h e C e n t r a l C o m m i t t e e ) and a p p e a r e d q u i c k l y . P o v e s t i , a l s o appeared; concerning commented:  A second book,  i t s appearance,  "And when my o t h e r book [ i . e . ,  s t a y e d a t t h e p u b l i s h e r s f o r some y e a r s  Voinovich  P o v e s t i ] had  and they had t a k e n  out e v e r y t h i n g t h a t I wanted t o p u t i n and p u t i n e v e r y t h i n g t h a t I d i d n ' t want p u t i n , t h e r e were no p r o b l e m s w i t h book  that  either." ^ x  As V o i n o v i c h ' s  difficulties  with the a u t h o r i t i e s  i n c r e a s e d , so d i d h i s p u b l i c p r o f i l e . s i g n an o f f i c i a l l e t t e r Sakharov.  I n 1973 he r e f u s e d t o  of Soviet w r i t e r s c r i t i c i z i n g  I n O c t o b e r o f t h e same y e a r V o i n o v i c h  the founding  o f "The A l l - U n i o n C o p y r i g h t  Agency"  Andrei  protested (Vsesoiuznoe  a g e n s t v o po a v t o r s k i m pravam) by t h e S o v i e t g o v e r n m e n t . a letter  t o t h e agency's p r e s i d e n t , B o r i s P a n k i n ,  r e s p o n d e d t o a n i n t e r v i e w g i v e n by P a n k i n  In  Voinovich  and p u b l i s h e d i n 17  L i t e r a t u r n a i a gazeta a s k e d two q u e s t i o n s :  o n t h e 26 S e p t e m b e r 197 3.  Voinovich  why h a s t h i s a g e n c y b e e n f o u n d e d ?  (to  p r o t e c t c o p y r i g h t a b r o a d ) and who w o u l d be most c o n c e r n e d about p o s s i b l e i n f r i n g e m e n t  of h i s copyright  abroad?  -9" L o g i c a l l y , " V o i n o v i c h argued, e x t e n s i v e l y p u b l i s h e d here A.  " t h o s e whose w o r k s a r e  [ i . e . t h e West] - f o r i n s t a n c e ,  S o l z h e n i t s y n , V. Maksimov, A c a d e m i c i a n A.  such  ' d i s s i d e n t s ' , i f you w i l l  pardon  this  Sakharov  the c o u n c i l would  other  f a s h i o n a b l e term.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e s e a r e t h e p e o p l e one w o u l d on y o u r f o u n d i n g c o u n c i l .  and  expect to  find  However, as s o o n as I l e a r n e d t h a t  be h e a d e d by Comrade S t u k a l i n ,  I immediately  18 d i s c a r d e d my would  first  About those w r i t e r s  be members o f t h e a g e n c y , V o i n o v i c h o f f e r e d t h e  observation:  "On  the c o u n c i l w i l l as G.  suppositions."  who  following  t h e one h a n d , i t i s r e a s s u r i n g t o l e a r n be composed o f s u c h m a j o r  M a r k o v , Y. V e r c h e n k o ,  creative  S. S a r t a k o v , e t  h a n d , i t i s n o t q u i t e c l e a r why  al.  that  talents  On  the other  these w r i t e r s i n p a r t i c u l a r  should suddenly e v i n c e such e x t r a o r d i n a r y concern f o r the p r o t e c t i o n of c o p y r i g h t . any  I mean, i t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y  f o r e i g n p u b l i s h e r would  19 t h e i r works." The s a r c a s m of V o i n o v i c h ' s l e t t e r :  that  want t o i s s u e p i r a t e e d i t i o n s c o n t i n u e d i n the next  of  paragraph  The s t r a n g e s t t h o u g h t s f l a s h e d t h r o u g h my m i n d . I e v e n w o n d e r e d , f o r a moment, i f p e r h a p s , w i t h o u t my h a v i n g n o t i c e d i t , t h e s e a u t h o r s had s u d d e n l y produced unprecedented l i t e r a r y masterpieces which were i n i m m i n e n t d a n g e r o f d i s s e m i n a t i o n t h r o u g h s a m i z d a t , o r p u b l i c a t i o n by P o s s e v o r maybe e v e n Gallimard. Or p e r h a p s t h e y had r u s h e d t o t h e defence of c o p y r i g h t through sheer a l t r u i s m . 2 0 With C h o n k i n - l i k e innocence, V o i n o v i c h uncovered  the  h y p o c r i s y i n h e r e n t i n VAAP by f o l l o w i n g i t s t e n e t s t o logical  end.  *  F o r e x a m p l e , he n o t e d t h a t one  basic their  of the agency's  -10-  main tasks w i l l be "to f u r t h e r the mutual exchange of  authentic 21  achievements i n v a r i o u s f i e l d s of human c r e a t i v e endeavour." Would the agency take on i t s e l f , he asked, the d i f f i c u l t of determining  a u t h e n t i c i t y , a task t h a t u s u a l l y takes  or c e n t u r i e s ?  What would the c r i t e r i a be?  task  years  Would the works  of S o l z h e n i t s y n be considered  " a u t h e n t i c " or only those of  Comrade Verchenko?  continued  of authors' had  Voinovich  copyright  i n the West.  s t a t e d that the agency was  with a c o n s i d e r a t i o n  In h i s i n t e r v i e w Pankin  necessary because i t was  '"bothersome and uneconomical" f o r i n d i v i d u a l w r i t e r s to worry about matters p e r t a i n i n g to t h e i r c o p y r i g h t .  Reading between  the l i n e s V o i n o v i c h made a knowledgeable guess that i t would a l s o become extremely "bothersome" f o r any  author whose works  were p u b l i s h e d  i n the West without the intermediary  Any  published  author who  of VAAP.  abroad would become a c r i m i n a l and  h i s " p r o t e c t i o n " would be the same k i n d given to any  other  Soviet c r i m i n a l : In consequence of t h i s , i t would be q u i t e l o g i c a l to s t a r t immediate proceedings to have both the L e f o r t o v o and Butyrka p r i s o n s placed under the d i r e c t s u p e r v i s i o n of your agency. The necessary number of guards and p o l i c e dogs should a l s o , n a t u r a l l y , be placed at your d i s p o s a l . There you could i n t e r n not only a great number of r e c a l c i t r a n t w r i t e r s , but a l s o q u i t e a few of those who i n h e r i t t h e i r r i g h t s . ^ 2 Voinovich's  tone was  a mix  of i r o n y and  t r u t h - t e l l i n g because  the response to r e c a l c i t r a n t w r i t e r s u s u a l l y has He  continued  i n a pose of innocent  been p r i s o n .  bewilderment: i f the  agency i s o s t e n s i b l y a s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and not a government  -11-  department would not i t s f o r e i g n trade, which f a l l s under the j u r i s d i c t i o n o f the government, be viewed as c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t y ? "How," then he asked, "could the agency p o s s i b l y p r o t e c t anyone e l s e , being  i t s e l f , as i t were, 'subject to p r o t e c t i o n ' ? 23  This p o s s i b i l i t y s u r e l y deserves thought." The l e t t e r i n c l u d e d a f a n t a s t i c and y e t at the same time honest suggestion. be i n d i c a t e d , V o i n o v i c h  The true meaning of the agency would o f f e r s , by a s l i g h t m o d i f i c a t i o n of  i t s name: As your agency intends to decide a r b i t r a r i l y when, where, and i n what c o n d i t i o n s to. allow p u b l i c a t i o n of a given work or even to f o r b i d i t s p u b l i c a t i o n , t h i s ' l e g a l ' aspect of the agency's powers should be i n d i c a t e d i n the name of the agency. Therefore, I suggest that i n f u t u r e your agency should be known not as VAAP ( A l l - U n i o n Copyright Agency) but VAPAP the A i l - U n i o n Agency f o r the A p p r o p r i a t i o n of Copyright. A l l t h i s i n v o l v e s i s the a d d i t i o n of one l i t t l e l e t t e r - but how i t helps the true meaning to come through. 4  Pursuing suggesting  t h i s l i n e of thought V o i n o v i c h  that the agency a l s o a p p r o p r i a t e  ended by  the author's  authorship. VAAP might then become the s o l e author of everyt h i n g and anything ble  w r i t t e n by Soviet w r i t e r s and be r e s p o n s i -  f o r a l l i d e o l o g i c a l and a e s t h e t i c content  Voinovich's  suggestion,  of course,  of these works.  would mean that the agency  and, hence, the government would be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r anything w r i t t e n by a r e c a l c i t r a n t w r i t e r (or " d i s s i d e n t " ) and would find i t s e l f  i n the odd p o s i t i o n of t u r n i n g a g a i n s t i t s e l f f o r  " i t s " writings. Voinovich  r e f u s e d to acknowledge the Copyright  Agency  b e c a u s e he  saw  i t as a way  the S o v i e t Union but  t o expand c e n s o r s h i p , not  a l s o i n t o t h e West.  t o d e f e n d h i s r i g h t s , he d e c l a r e d , t h e y defending  them i n t h e S o v i e t U n i o n :  only  I f the Agency wanted should  " I f they  begin  by  could defend  r i g h t s h e r e t h e n I w o u l d p e r h a p s t r u s t them t o r e p r e s e n t rights  i n the  West as w e l l .  in  I have a l a w y e r  i n the  my  my  West  25 who  d e f e n d s my  r i g h t s as an a u t h o r .  had  b e e n w a r n e d by  t h e W r i t e r s ' U n i o n t h a t i f he  e l s e w r o n g he w o u l d be the founding  expelled.  did  anything  i n o p p o s i t i o n to  e v e n t u a l l y r e a c h e d t h e West where i t  p r i n t e d i n Die Welt.  He  U n i o n i n F e b r u a r y 1974, deported  His l e t t e r  however,  o f VAAP c i r c u l a t e d f r o m h a n d t o h a n d i n t h e  S o v i e t U n i o n and  was  Voinovich,  on  was  e x p e l l e d from the  Writers'  a week a f t e r A l e k s a n d r  13 F e b r u a r y .  was  Solzhenitsyn  Voinovich disputes  the  common  b e l i e f t h a t h i s own e x p u l s i o n was a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f Solzhenitsyn's deportation: But i t was t h e o p p o s i t e way r o u n d : they d i d n ' t want t o e x p e l me j u s t t h e n b e c a u s e t h e y had o b v i o u s l y r e s o l v e d t o say: "We h a v e c h a s e d S o l z h e n i t s y n o u t now and r e m a i n e d as one s i n g l e , s t a b l e f a m i l y . We h a v e condemned h i m , we h a v e v a r i o u s w r i t e r s who make m i s t a k e s a t t i m e s , we p u t them b a c k on t h e r i g h t p a t h , e t c . , b u t we h a v e none l i k e S o l z h e n i t s y n , we h a v e c h a s e d h i m o u t and now e v e r y t h i n g i s a l l r i g h t w i t h u s . ' For t h a t r e a s o n t h e y d i d n ' t want t o e x p e l me.26 On  t h e day  he was  finally  e x p e l l e d the  secretary  t h e W r i t e r s ' U n i o n (a f o r m e r NKVD g e n e r a l , V o i n o v i c h telephoned  Voinovich  his recent  behaviour.  t o ask him A g a i n he  notes)  to attend a meeting to t o o k a s t a n d ; he  of  discuss  refused  to  attend and i n s t e a d wrote a l e t t e r e x p l a i n i n g why he would not come t o the meeting and why he d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y want t o 27  stay i n the W r i t e r s ' Union.  V o i n o v i c h o f f e r e d three  because i t was to take place i l l e g a l l y ,  i . e . behind  doors and he had no d e s i r e to p a r t i c i p a t e i n i l l e g a l t i e s ; because he and the Union had opposing  reasons  closed activi-  opinions and,  t h e r e f o r e , no b a s i s f o r any d i s c u s s i o n ; and, because the s e c r e t a r i a t was not a d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e l e c t e d body and had no a u t h o r i t y over V o i n o v i c h i n questions of c r e a t i v i t y or morality. Except  f o r two or t h r e e , there are no r e a l w r i t e r s i n  the W r i t e r s ' Union. continued,  The t y p i c a l Union member, V o i n o v i c h  i s a bureaucrat  i n the form of novels."  who produces " c i r c u l a r s w r i t t e n  H i s plays and poems are handed out  as l i t e r a r y models, but t h e i r q u a l i t y i s judged a c c o r d i n g to the author's  o f f i c i a l position.  He i s a s o - c a l l e d p a t r i o t  whose " c o l o u r l e s s b o r i n g compositions" more than the e n t i r e kolkhoz  earn him as much or  he so e x t r a v a g a n t l y p r a i s e s .  the same time he e i t h e r s t e a l s p a r t y funds, property f o r h i s own p r o f i t , or channels i n t o h i s own savings account.  s e l l s government  co-operative  funds  Yet, he i s never e x p e l l e d  from the Union f o r any of these crimes. will  At  The one crime  that  l e a d to e x p u l s i o n , according to V o i n o v i c h , i s the "honest  word."  He says: You only need to j u s t t o keep s i l e n t head o f f ) f o r every to f o l l o w at once:  say one honest word (or at times when everyone i s y e l l i n g h i s p o s s i b l e s o r t of punishment the book you have been working  -14on f o r years i s stopped and the type broken u p , your play i s banned, and the f i l m f o r which you wrote the s c r i p t i s put on the s h e l f . And t h i s i s f o l l o w e d by u t t e r l y p r o s a i c p e n n i l e s s n e s s . 2 8 A l l V o i n o v i c h wanted from the W r i t e r s '  Union i s that they not  come between him and h i s readers and v i e w e r s . U n l i k e the m a j o r i t y a c t u a l l y has been a worker. d i d not i n t i m i d a t e  of Union members V o i n o v i c h Attacks i n the name of  workers  him and he proposed that i n s t e a d of a  c l o s e d - d o o r meeting the Union h o l d an open meetings of and workers. lie  At t h i s type of meeting he dared the Union to  about h i s being an i m p e r i a l i s t  foreign intelligence greatest  writers  services.  shark or an agent of  The l i e  i s the U n i o n ' s  weapon, the one used to d r i v e the g r e a t e s t  of  all  c i t i z e n s out of the Soviet U n i o n , Aleksandr S o l z h e n i t s y n . V o i n o v i c h ended h i s l e t t e r i n outrage:  "You t h i n k the whole  crowd of you together w i l l be able to f i l l are mistaken!  You  The p l a c e s i n our great Russian l i t e r a t u r e  not yet determined by you.  The l e t t e r  are  And not a s i n g l e one of you w i l l  manage to creep even i n t o the l a s t  rank."  s i g n a l l e d the end of V o i n o v i c h ' s prospects  f o r p u b l i c a t i o n i n the S o v i e t Union. w r i t e f o r anyone e l s e . the W r i t e r s '  his place.  Nor c o u l d he  officially  The day a f t e r he was e x p e l l e d  from  Union he r e c e i v e d a telegram saying that he had  been taken i n t o the PEN Club though PEN membership was both a hindrance and a h e l p , he has d e c l a r e d . Despite h i s image as a " d i s s i d e n t " w r i t e r , V o i n o v i c h  -15-  sees h i m s e l f as a completely Russian  term  a p o l i t i c a l person - perhaps the  "inakomysliashchii" (other-thinking) better  d e s c r i b e s him.  He has s a i d :  I have never h e l d l i t e r a t u r e to be a part of politics. Many people here who administer a r t b e l i e v e t h a t l i t e r a t u r e i s a form o f p o l i t i c a l propaganda. This view was always f o r e i g n to me. I took care to w r i t e w i t h i n the framework of p o s s i b i l i t y inasmuch as I am a r e a l i s t . I d i d not have experimental a s p i r a t i o n s , which are not w e l l r e c e i v e d here, and I d i d n ' t want any c o n f l i c t with the powers-that-be. But i t turned out that way: when you w r i t e - the b e t t e r you w r i t e , the l e s s chance there i s of p u b l i c a t i o n . 3 0 He d i d not w i l l i n g l y imprisonment f i r s t  concern h i m s e l f with p o l i t i c s but the  of S i n i a v s k i i  and Daniel', Ginzburg and  Galanskov, and then BukovskLimade i t d i f f i c u l t protest.  f o r him not to  Once he began to p r o t e s t he was subjected to  o f f i c i a l punishment.  The change i n the regime's l e a d e r s h i p  a l s o hardened h i s outlook: In Khrushchev's time the degree of freedom f o r l i t e r a t u r e was s u f f i c i e n t f o r me p e r s o n a l l y . I t a l k e d with a w r i t e r at that time and we d i s c u s s e d what we would w r i t e i f there was complete freedom and I s a i d : "I would w r i t e the same as I w r i t e now." Since then, however, some time has passed. I have more complicated and s e r i o u s pretensions now. I can no longer go on saying what I was saying then. That may have been a l l I wanted to say then, but today I want to say c o n s i d e r a b l y more, and I have c o n s i d e r a b l y fewer p o s s i b i l i t i e s . 3 1 Free l i t e r a t u r e , he d e c l a r e d , i s to be found i n samizdat. Chonkin, one might r e c a l l , denied  p u b l i c a t i o n i n the o f f i c i a l  press, f i n a l l y found i t s r e a d e r s h i p by c i r c u l a t i n g i n samizdat. Voinovich's  p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e was not so t r o u b l e d i n  the b e g i n n i n g . he  had  Indeed, at f i r s t  a relatively  month a f t e r t h e mir,  easy e n t r y  i t would appear  into Soviet  p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s f i r s t  f o r example, V l a d i m i r  w i t h an  glance  article  that  literature.  short  s t o r y i n Novyi  Tendriakov h a i l e d h i s  i n L i t e r a t u r n a i a gazeta  A  appearance  entitled  "Svezhii  32 golos  -  est'!"  L a t e r t h a t same y e a r i n an a r t i c l e  Voprosy l i t e r a t u r y his  first  short  Voinovich  s t o r y , one 33  was  r e f e r r e d to as,  in  "judging  o f t h e most t a l e n t e d o f t h e  by  young  prose w r i t e r s . " Voinovich example, the called  a l s o had  conservative  Voinovich  when he  I n 1963,  for  literary critic,  Grigorii  Brovman,  t o t a s k i n an a r t i c l e  "Grazhdanstvenost' avtora 3 Aa u t h o r and  his detractors.  his hero).  "  i geroia"  entitled  (The  C i t i z e n - n e s s of  Brovman s e t t h e  reminded y o u n g w r i t e r s t h a t "an  d e n o t e s a b o v e a l l an u n d e r s t a n d i n g  tone f o r h i s remarks  active social  o f t h e more  themes o f c o n t e m p o r a n e i t y , t h e k n o t t y 35 He  good S o v i e t a u t h o r s t h e y s h o u l d  t u r n to the  Voinovich's failure later  "Khochu b y t '  to portray  of t h e i r  tenets  was  a as  of  c h e s t n y m " comes u n d e r a t t a c k f o r h i s  "Rasstoianie v polkilometra" i s chastised for  of course,  of  c r e a t i v e problems^  p o s i t i v e heroes - the very  t o show t h e new,  of l i f e  a l s o r e m i n d e d them t h a t  w o u l d so e n d e a r C h o n k i n t o i t s W e s t e r n  failure  position  important  questions  s o c i e t y b u i l d i n g communism  s o c i a l i s t r e a l i s m t o s o l v e any  the  Soviet v i l l a g e .  that neither Voinovich  nor  aspect  that  critics. Voinovich's  Brovman s 1  suggestion,  h i s h e r o e s have  -17sufficient citizen-ness. returned  Some t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r Brovman  again  to discuss Voinovich  sovremennoi prozy,  i n h i s book, Problemy i g e r o i he where a g a i n ^ f a u l t e d h i m f o r c r e a t i n g l e s s 36  t h a n - p o s i t i v e heroes i n the t r a d i t i o n of s o c i a l i s t Voinovich's critic  e a r l y s t o r i e s f o u n d a more  i n Lev A n n i n s k i i .  curiously entitled  Iadro  realism.  sympathetic  In a collection of c r i t i c a l orekha  (The K e r n e l  articles  of the nut),  A n n i n s k i i d e v o t e d a s e c t i o n t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f "My z d e s ' 37 zhivem."  A n n i n s k i i located Voinovich's  p r o f o u n d and a u t h e n t i c  life  the b a s i s o f h i s e x i s t e n c e . " feeling  for the authentic  illusion.  of the i n d i v i d u a l which l i e s a t Voinovich,  and t h e r e a l  the authentic  Hosking  below  echoed  Chonkin as t h e s e a r c h  had s t i l l  not f a l l e n t o t a l l y  from  g r a c e a n d he made h i s one a n d o n l y a p p e a r a n c e i n a  Soviet encyclopaedia, entsiklopedii, "Dva  that l i e s  self.  I n 1968 V o i n o v i c h official  he w r o t e , h a s a  life  F i f t e e n years l a t e r Geoffrey  A n n i n s k i i ' s r e m a r k s when he d e s c r i b e d for  interest i n "that  the Ezhegodnik b o l ' s h o i  i n a one-line  tovarishcha"  reference 38  sovetskoi  to his short  story  (Two C o m r a d e s ) .  In the foreward t o h i s anthology, perepiski, Voinovich  himself  Putem v z a i m n o i  commented on h i s e a r l y y e a r s i n  Soviet  literature.  He t o o k i s s u e w i t h "a c e r t a i n e m i g r e  critic  [who] r e c e n t l y s t a t e d  before  C h o n k i n c o u l d have been p u b l i s h e d  that everything  j o u r n a l i n c l u d i n g Molodaya Gvardia  I had p u b l i s h e d  i n any S o v i e t  and K r o k o d i l .  That i s  -18not  quite true."  did  not have the  39  While h i s f i r s t  same t r o u b l e b e i n g  s t o r i e s , even i t a t t r a c t e d n e g a t i v e q u o t e one  reviewer,  s t o r y , "My  zdes'  zhivem"  p u b l i s h e d as d i d h i s c r i t i c i s m because,  later  to  i t " a d h e r e d t o an a e s t h e t i c a l i e n t o  us,  40 of r e p r e s e n t i n g l i f e , called while in  'as  i t is'."  i d e o l o g i c a l l y harmful, "Khochu b y t '  anti-socialist,  p e r s o n a l l y from Leonid  chairman of the newly o r g a n i z e d P a r t y C e n t r a l Committee.  before  and  Russian  published  i n 1965.  Il'ichev,  attracted l i t t l e  and  "Dva  t o v a r i s c h a " i n a survey "Soviet Russian  Frozen P r o p o s i t i o n s . "  Supplement, d i s c u s s e d  an a r t i c l e Soviet  entitled  attention  collection MacAndrew  and  Deming Brown m e n t i o n e d b o t h " K h o c h u  "The  Geoffrey  "Khochu b y t '  S e a r c h f o r an  of  contempo-  Fiction:  w o u l d become C h o n k i n ' s most p e r c e p t i v e r e v i e w e r Literary  the  "Khochu b y t '  p r o s e t r a n s l a t e d by Andrew R. 41  rary Soviet writers e n t i t l e d Challenges,  reviews  O t h e r e a r l y s t o r i e s n e v e r were  p u b l i s h e d C h o n k i n i n 1975.  b y t ' c h e s t n y m " and  pornographic,  critical  c h e s t n y m " a p p e a r e d as " I want t o be H o n e s t " i n a of recent  was  I d e o l o g i c a l Commission of  I n t h e West V o i n o v i c h  YMCA P r e s s  tovarishcha"  chestnym" r e c e i v e d harsh  t h e n e w s p a p e r s and  published.  "Dva  Changes,  Hosking,  i n the  who  Times  chestnym" i n  Image i n C o n t e m p o r a r y  Fiction. I n 1975  the  Italian  journal, R o s s i i a , published  interview with Voinovich  i n w h i c h he  l i t e r a t u r e , h i s t o r y , and  h i s own  discussed h i s views  work.^  some l e n g t h a b o u t h i s f a v o u r i t e h e r o :  an  Voinovich  the n a t u r a l  on  talked in man  -19-  ("chelovek e s t e s t v e n n y i " ) .  This i s a man who, r e g a r d l e s s of  h i s age, looks a t the world each time anew.  He speaks i n a  p l a i n language and does not f e a r that h i s o p i n i o n s appear f o o l i s h to anyone e l s e . undoing.  Voinovich  will  The n a t u r a l man i s dogmatism's  made an analogy to Andersen's well-known  t a l e , "The Emperor's New C l o t h e s "  i n which only a c h i l d  say out loud that the king, i s naked.  The people  will  finally  acknowledge that the c h i l d i s r i g h t , but t h i s t r u t h , i n i t s t u r n , becomes the new dogmatism. Voinovich  continued,  Again a c h i l d i s needed,  to speak the t r u t h :  my goodness, good  people, the k i n g was c l o t h e d long ago! Voinovich fools  has f r e q u e n t l y been accused of p o r t r a y i n g  ("duraki") or making h i s heroes i n t o f o o l s .  disagreed:  He  "Attempting to d e p i c t n a t u r a l people, I p o r t r a y 45  t h e i r n a t u r a l r e a c t i o n s to events." create e c c e n t r i c s  p r e f e r s to  ("chudaki"), those people who have kept i n  themselves a c h i l d i s h q u a l i t y . has  Voinovich  a b i t of c h i l d w i t h i n .  Every grown person, he argued,  Some people f e a r .-this  childish  q u a l i t y , f e a r how i t w i l l make them appear i n the eyes of others.  The n a t u r a l person, on the other hand, never  hides  the c h i l d w i t h i n and, as a r e s u l t , appears e c c e n t r i c . Chonkin comes to mind as V o i n o v i c h  discussed f o o l s ,  e c c e n t r i c s , and n a t u r a l men. He d e s c r i b e d h i s hero as follows: I have been w r i t i n g a novel f o r many years about a simple Russian s o l d i e r , Ivan Chonkin. He i s a l s o an e c c e n t r i c . But he does not play at anything. A l i t t l e - e d u c a t e d peasant l a d he f a l l s i n t o complicated circumstances. He i s n a t u r a l because he speaks  -20-  p l a i n l y h i s i d e a s , not f e a r i n g to l o s e anything i n the o p i n i o n of those around him. The o p i n i o n of those around him about him i s so low that he can allow h i m s e l f to speak any f o o l i s h n e s s which sometimes i s o f f e r e d to nonplus those people who appear c l e v e r . H i s own o p i n i o n of h i m s e l f i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y high. This i s a man who always f u l f i l l s h i s o b l i g a t i o n s . I wanted to show the simple Russian man. For some time I have been a t t r a c t e d by the popular c h a r a c t e r . T h i s i s not Shveik nor i s i t T e r k i n . Shveik and T e r k i n are a c t i v e heroes, Chonkin i s p a s s i v e . He stands where he i s placed and stands to that time when they r e l i e v e him. But he stands u n t i l the end as r e q u i r e d of him. The image comes from f o l k - t a l e s . This i s Ivanushka-durachokwho does e v e r y t h i n g inopportunely. This i s a man who, one would say, i s necessary to no one, but who proves necessary to everyone. T h i s i s an adventure novel. & 4  The  i n t e r v i e w e r ' s l a s t question centered  of l i t e r a t u r e .  In h i s answer V o i n o v i c h returned  q u e s t i o n of heroes at one p o i n t .  on the meaning to the  Some people f e e l that  l i t e r a t u r e should c r e a t e i d e a l heroes, images worthy of i m i t a tion.  (These are the demands of the party and such e s t a b l i s h e d  c r i t i c s as Brovman.) literature's  Voinovich f e l t  l a s t task.  W r i t e r s of l e s s - t h a n - t h e - h i g h e s t -  c l a s s c r e a t e such images and readers type need them as examples.  Voinovich  of l e s s - t h a n - t h e - b e s t -  T o l s t o y , Dostoevsky, and Gogol'  never c r e a t e d such heroes; unstated, idea that n e i t h e r w i l l  that such c r e a t i o n s are  but understood, i s the  Voinovich.  t o l d the i n t e r v i e w e r from R o s s i i a that he  had been working f o r many years on a novel about a s o l d i e r called  Ivan Chonkin.  The novel  i s u s u a l l y dated  from 1963,  47 but i t was begun much e a r l i e r .  I t began as Voinovich's  f i r s t attempt at w r i t i n g a short s t o r y .  The i d e a came from  a c o n v e r s a t i o n he overheard between two women. woman t o l d the second  that l i f e was d i f f i c u l t ;  her son who was a h o o l i g a n . without  The f i r s t she l i v e d with  L i f e was p a r t i c u l a r l y  difficult  a husband and her husband had d i e d d u r i n g the war.  He had been a c o l o n e l  ("polkovnik").  Voinovich l i s t e n e d to  t h i s woman, looked at her, and decided that she was l y i n g that she never had a husband and that she had never been married to a c o l o n e l .  There were many women i n Russia who  had never married and these women p u b l i c l y t h e i r unmarried  state.  blamed the war f o r  For some i t was a l e g i t i m a t e  f o r others i t was a j u s t i f y i n g e x p l a n a t i o n .  Having  excuse, overheard  t h i s snatch of c o n v e r s a t i o n V o i n o v i c h went home and wrote h i s first  story. The  village.  s t o r y was about an unmarried  The evening before WWII broke out she attended a  dance, met a s o l d i e r , brought with him.  woman who l i v e d i n a  him home, and spent the n i g h t  The next day the Germans invaded R u s s i a , war broke  out, and the s o l d i e r was c a l l e d t o the f r o n t .  The woman began  to await l e t t e r s from him because t h e i r n i g h t together had been an important s i m i l a r l y to her. appeared.  event f o r her and she expected him t o w r i t e She waited and waited, but no l e t t e r s  In the s t o r y the reader never l e a r n s why the  s o l d i e r never wrote; perhaps he f o r g o t about her or perhaps he d i e d i n b a t t l e .  So she began to w r i t e l e t t e r s to h e r s e l f .  She worked a t the v i l l a g e p o s t - o f f i c e so that a f t e r a l e t t e r she postmarked i t as w e l l .  At f i r s t  she wrote  she showed the  -22l e t t e r s to no one,  but i n a v i l l a g e , where everyone knows  e v e r y t h i n g , her neighbours soon learned that she was l e t t e r s to h e r s e l f .  They laughed and demanded she read what  "he" had w r i t t e n to her.  At f i r s t  she r e f u s e d but  she became accustomed to reading these when there i s l i t t l e gather  l e t t e r s and  The  soldier  letters, had  The women became so used to l i s t e n i n g to  these l e t t e r s t h a t they c o u l d not manage without was  i n winter  womenfolk enjoyed the  c r y i n g at what the p o s t m i s t r e s s '  w r i t t e n to her.  eventually  to do about the v i l l a g e women would  to hear her l e t t e r s .  laughing and  writing  i n the v i l l a g e a woman who  a r e a l husband at the f r o n t .  them.  There  a c t u a l l y received l e t t e r s She  demanded of the women  they p r e f e r r e d to f o o l themselves and  l i s t e n to the  from why  post-  m i s t r e s s ' l e t t e r s when she could read l e t t e r s to them from a r e a l husband.  Yours, they t o l d her, w r i t e s p o o r l y ; but  w r i t e s very w e l l indeed.  The  as to what to w r i t e i n these events at the f r o n t . and  She  e v e n t u a l l y made him  hers  p o s t m i s t r e s s , N i u r a , was at a loss l e t t e r s and made up a l l s o r t s of  a l s o awarded her s o l d i e r  decorations  a c o l o n e l i n the Soviet Army.  When  the war  ended and husbands returned home to t h e i r wives,  Niura's  s o l d i e r , of course, d i d not r e t u r n .  So she wrote  h e r s e l f an announcement informing h e r s e l f that her husband had d i e d a hero's death d u r i n g the war. a photo behind.  The  s o l d i e r had  There were people a f t e r the war  who  through the v i l l a g e s making l a r g e p o r t r a i t s out of photos and  f o r t h i r t y r u b l e s Niura had  left  travelled these  a l a r g e p o r t r a i t made  -23from h e r photo and t h a t o f t h e s o l d i e r . rapher  t o p a i n t i n m e d a l s and d e c o r a t i o n s  uniform,  so t h a t i n h e r p o r t r a i t  colonel.  Voinovich  The  original  on t h e s o l d i e r ' s  she was p o r t r a y e d  ended h i s s t o r y a t t h i s  with a  point.  s t o r y was m i s l a i d a n d l o s t .  meanwhile V o i n o v i c h wrote o t h e r to h i s o r i g i n a l  She a s k e d t h e p h o t o g -  In the  things but decided  to return  i d e a and w r i t e a s e c o n d s t o r y o n t h i s  T h i s t i m e he i n t e n d e d  t o make t h e s o l d i e r t h e h e r o o f t h e  s t o r y a n d t o show what h a p p e n e d t o t h a t s o l d i e r .  Voinovich  r e c a l l e d t h a t when he h i m s e l f was a s o l d i e r i n P o l a n d walking  he was  t h r o u g h a m i l i t a r y camp when he was a p p r o a c h e d by a  horse t i e d Looking  to a cart.  However, no one was r i d i n g t h e h o r s e .  u n d e r n e a t h t h e c a r t he saw a s o l d i e r l y i n g  the w h e e l s , sound a s l e e p .  The n e x t t i m e V o i n o v i c h  s o l d i e r a n d a s k e d who he was, he was t o l d The  theme.  name so a t t r a c t e d V o i n o v i c h  between saw t h e  t h a t he was C h o n k i n .  t h a t he d e c i d e d  t h a t a t some  t i m e t o w r i t e something w i t h C h o n k i n as i t s h e r o . First official  n o t i c e o f The L i f e and E x t r a o r d i n a r y  A d v e n t u r e s o f P r i v a t e I v a n C h o n k i n came i n 1963 when t h e October i s s u e o f N o v y i m i r announced t h e works s l a t e d f o r p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e j o u r n a l i n 1964. announced as " Z h i z n '  Voinovich's  I v a n a C h o n k i n a " and was d e s c r i b e d  s t o r y a b o u t s o l d i e r s i n t h e S o v i e t Army. described  novel  was as a  As V o i n o v i c h  i n h i s i n t e r v i e w i n t h e Index on C e n s o r s h i p , h i s  s t o r i e s had j u s t b e g u n t o a p p e a r when K h r u s h c h e v i n 1963 attacked  the l i b e r a l  intellectuals.  Not u n t i l  1 9 6 7 , when  -24"Dva  t o v a r i s h c h a ' a p p e a r e d , was V o i n o v i c h  again  i n the o f f i c i a l  Soviet press.  allowed  to publish  The L i f e a n d E x t r a o r d i -  nary Adventures o f P r i v a t e Ivan Chonkin, meanwhile in  samizdat.  the Russian  Itsfirst  satirical  a p p e a r a n c e i n p r i n t was i n 1969 i n  emigre j o u r n a l , G r a n i , p u b l i s h e d  editors published  the f i r s t  work c r e a t e d  circulated  i n Germany.  The  p a r t , i n t r o d u c i n g i t as t h e b e s t  i n Russian  literature  i n the l a s t  48 fifty  years.  The n o v e l  1975,  p u b l i s h e d b y YMCA P r e s s  o n l y were p u b l i s h e d . in  finally  i nParis.  The f i r s t  1977, t r a n s l a t e d by R i c h a r d  a p p e a r e d i n book f o r m i n P a r t s One a n d Two  E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n came o u t L o u r i e and p u b l i s h e d  Y o r k by F a r r a r , S t r a u s , and G i r o u x . p u b l i s h e d by P e n g u i n Books a y e a r  A p a p e r b a c k e d i t i o n was  later.  Two more p a r t s o f  the proposed f i v e r e c e n t l y appeared i n 1979, a g a i n P r e s s , under t h e s l i g h t l y prestol:  altered t i t l e ,  novye p r i k l j u c h e n i i a  (Pretender  t o t h e Throne:  Chonkin).  Voinovich  t r a n s l a t i o n were g r e e t e d t h i r t y a r t i c l e s , mostly  Pretendent  s o l d a t a Ivana  f r o m YMCA na  Chonkina  t h e New A d v e n t u r e s o f P r i v a t e  i s a t present  Both the Russian  i n New  writing a third  volume.  e d i t i o n o f C h o n k i n and i t s E n g l i s h enthusiastically book r e v i e w s  i n t h e West.  i nvarious  j o u r n a l s , have been w r i t t e n t o d a t e about t h e n o v e l .  few  deserve close a t t e n t i o n . first  long review, 49  appeared i n Kontinent. part of her a r t i c l e  some t w e n t y - e i g h t  Violetta  Some  newspapers  and  The  Ivan  A  pages,  I v e r n i devoted the major  t o d i s c u s s i n g t h e c h a r a c t e r s , one by o n e ,  -25t o s e e how w e l l t h e y p l a y what s h e t e r m s t h e " R u l e s o f t h e Game", i . e . t h e r u l e s o f b e h a v i o u r i n o r d e r even p r o s p e r i n S t a l i n i s t R u s s i a .  t o s u r v i v e and  Chonkin i s the hero  b e c a u s e he does n o t p l a y t h e Game a n d does n o t know t h e r u l e s . Another v a l i d point "word."  I v e r n i r a i s e d was t h e a t t i t u d e t o t h e  Under t h e S o v i e t regime t h e a t t i t u d e toward t h e word-  a s - s u c h has c h a n g e d d r a m a t i c a l l y a n d t h e w o r d h a s c h a n g e d being  a means o f c o n v e y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n Following  review  review  t o become a s y m b o l . was a n o t h e r l o n g  f r i e n d a n d f e l l o w w r i t e r , Naum K o r z h a v i n . " ^  o u t t h a t what i s b e i n g  discussed  Congresses.  today t h e " c u l t o f p e r s o n a l i t y " and t h e events  w i t h i t a r e t r e a t e d as i f they had n e v e r e x i s t e d . as K o r z h a v i n  connected But then,  n o t e d , e v e n b e t w e e n t h e two c o n g r e s s e s t h e r e was  the p r e t e n s e t h a t t h e t e r r o r had e x i s t e d but t h a t l i f e been t e r r o r i z e d . of the n o v e l .  Korzhavin  Voinovich,  picture of the S t a l i n i s t has  called  he d e c l a r e d , h a d g i v e n p e r i o d and i t s l o g i c  a  i n recent  was n o t a p o s i t i v e h e r o b u t a new t y p e c r e a t e d  inauthentic existence  full  (a l o g i c  that f o l l o w e d mentioned that  Most a g r e e d w i t h G e o f f r e y  had n o t  t h a t t e r r o r t h e main hero  n o t d i e d b u t r a t h e r has r e t u r n e d Most r e v i e w e r s  "the  He  i n t h e n o v e l was  brought t o l i g h t a t t h e XXth and X X I I t h P a r t y But  book  i n t h e A u g u s t 1975 i s s u e o f P o s e v , w r i t t e n b y  Voinovich's pointed  the Kontinent  from  Hosking that Chonkin  that  years).  Chonkin  by V o i n o v i c h . describes  f o r c e d on e v e r y b o d y by a n o v e r 51  bearing  system o f a u t h o r i t y , . . . "  Both the reviewer f o r  Time m a g a z i n e a n d t h e r e v i e w  f o r t h e New Y o r k Times Book  Review noted t h a t V o i n o v i c h ' s seriousness  heresy  was a l a c k o f s u f f i c i e n t  a b o u t one o f t h e l e a d i n g h e r o e s o f S o c i a l i s t 52  Realism,  t h e Red Army.  idea i n h i s review:  Edward C r a n k s h a w c o n t i n u e d t h e  "Mr. V o i n o v i c h  t r e a t s a l l sorts of sacred 53  cows w i t h c h e e r f u l a n d u n f a i l i n g d i s r e s p e c t . " B a r r y E. L e w i s ,  i n his article  i n World L i t e r a t u r e  T o d a y , made t h e p o i n t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g article  a n d t h e end o f t h e  t h a t " C h o n k i n c o u l d o n l y come a f t e r t h e c a t h a r t i c  denunciation  o f S o l z h e n i t s y n h a d exhumed t h e s p e c t e r o f  54 Stalinism."  Voinovich's  s u s t a i n e d comic s a t i r e o f t h e  p o l i t i c a l hypocrisy  t h a t was t h e e s s e n c e o f S t a l i n i s m , L e w i s  added, i s t h e f i n a l  exorcism  I n h i s most r e c e n t ture ,Geoffrey  sentence of the novel:  out,  i s himself  " I t i s impossible  i n c i d e n t which s e t t h e whole a f f a i r  happened i n t h e v i l l a g e  i n motion  left  from  t o say because  . . .  o f K r a s n o e s o l o n g ago t h a t  a r e p r a c t i c a l l y no e y e w i t n e s s e s  To  ambiguous  or a fantasy or both  d e f i n i t e l y whether i t a l l r e a l l y d i d happen o r n o t , the  that the  S o v i e t s o c i e t y as a  Voinovich, Hosking pointed  about whether h i s s t o r y i s r e a l i t y first  suggestion  Literary  an i n a u t h e n t i c e x i s t e n c e .  t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n he added a n o t h e r :  the  f o r t h e Times  Hosking repeated h i s e a r l i e r leads r  litera-  h i s d i s c u s s i o n of Chonkin  book r e v i e w  Soviet society i n the novel  fantasy.  of Stalinism.  book o n c o n t e m p o r a r y R u s s i a n  Hosking continued  t h a t began i n h i s i n i t i a l Supplement.  of the s p i r i t  there  . . . I've c o l l e c t e d  -27-  e v e r y t h i n g I've heard on the subject and added a l i t t l e t h i n g of my own  some-  as w e l l , i n f a c t maybe I've added a  l i t t l e more than I heard."  Hosking argued that "On one  level,  what V o i n o v i c h i s doing i n Chonkin i s showing up one set of f a n t a s i e s , inhumane and harmful, and t r y i n g  to r e p l a c e them  with another s e t , more g e n t l e , f r u i t f u l and humane."^^ his  With  i n s i s t e n c e on the use of term " f a n t a s y " Hosking f a i l e d  to go f u r t h e r and p o i n t out t h a t most of the " f a n t a s i e s " i n the  novel are grounded  i n the r e a l i a of S t a l i n i s t R u s s i a .  Only one c r i t i c r e a l i z e d  that the n o v e l ' s impact  depended on i t s being understood i n i t s proper h i s t o r i c a l setting.  At one p o i n t i n h i s a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d  "Vladimir  V o i n o v i c h and the Comedy of Innocence" Robert C. P o r t e r d i s c u s s e d a scene i n the second p a r t of the novel i n which the  l o c a l paper r e f u s e s to announce the German i n v a s i o n but  i n s t e a d devotes columns to l e s s o n s i n e t i q u e t t e . that "In the context of the novel t h i s may  He noted  seem l i k e  more than good f e u i l l e t o n ; i t takes on a s e r i o u s and  little grotesque  aspect when one r e c a l l s the l a c k of p s y c h o l o g i c a l and  military  p r e p a r a t i o n with which the Red Army faced o p e r a t i o n Barbarossa."^ the  Nonetheless, t h i s one sentence was  article.  not t y p i c a l of  E a r l i e r P o r t e r argued that Chonkin might  just  be accommodated, as were I l f and Petrov's w r i t i n g s , " i f i t were read as a b i t i n g  s a t i r e on peasant backwardness,  shortcomings of c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n , and Russia's f o r war  the  unpreparedness  i n 1941," though P o r t e r d i d add the d i s c l a i m e r that  -28e v e n i f t h e n o v e l were p u b l i s h e d o f f i c i a l l y union,  conventional  Soviet l i t e r a r y  i n the  Soviet  c r i t i c i s m would f a i l  to  come t o t e r m s w i t h i t . " ^ Russian  literature  s i n c e WWII has  d e p i c t i o n of Soviet s o c i e t y . (Zhivye  i mertvye  Soldatami  ne  [The  Konstantin  L i v i n g and  41  B y k o v ' s M e r t v y m ne b o l ' n o  S i m o n o v ' s war  t h e Dead ,  r o z h d a i u t s i a [They A r e  64] ) , G r i g o r i i B a k l a n o v ' s I i u l ' Vasili  s e e n some t r u t h f u l  Not  1959]or  Born S o l d i e r s ,  (The  Dead F e e l No  i n j u s t i c e s of the S t a l i n i s t  " v i l l a g e " w r i t e r s , beginning problems t h a t s t i l l  beset  period.  The  d i r e c t e d by  of the r e c e n t  permit  "young p r o s e "  writers  the P a r t y or Party  takes  (the  present  ideals.  f i n d i t s u r p r i s i n g that  recognizably  S o v i e t p a s t " and  t h a t most c e n s o r s h i p  the  of d i s c o v e r i n g themselves, a  H o s k i n g a r g u e d t h a t "Some w i l l should  the  t h e c o u n t r y s i d e more t h a n a g e n e r a -  young p e o p l e i n the p r o c e s s  censorship  the  Many o f  group t o w h i c h the e a r l y works of V o i n o v i c h b e l o n g )  way  and  Pain,  with Ovechkin, described  tion after collectivisation.  d i s c o v e r y i n no  1963-  goda ( J u l y 1941 , 1965),  1 9 6 6 ) a r e o n l y f o u r e x a m p l e s o u t o f many t h a t p o r t r a y e x c e s s e s and  novels  truthful descriptions  t h e n goes on t o p o i n t  p l a c e not  w r i t e r s , by e d i t o r i a l b o a r d s , and  the  by  the  s t a t e but  out by  the  v a r i o u s commissions of  the  58 W r i t e r s ' Union. and  The  s t a t e d e f i n e s what i s u n m e n t i o n a b l e  the p a r t y s e t s g e n e r a l  g u i d e l i n e s and  to  time,  i n a most u n p r e d i c t a b l e  in  t o s t o p what i t v i e w s as e x c e s s e s by  limits.  From t i m e  f a s h i o n , the p a r t y w i l l c e r t a i n authors.  step  -29Writers, like f o r example,  S o l z h e n i t s y n , M a k s i m o v , V o i n o v i c h , and Z i n o v ' e v , h a v e b e e n s t o p p e d when t h e i r " e x c e s s e s " made  them u n a c c e p t a b l e t o t h e i r f e l l o w w r i t e r s i n t h e U n i o n and the P a r t y .  The  f o u r mentioned  above,  to  t h e most r e c e n t b e i n g  V o i n o v i c h , are e x i l e s from the S o v i e t Union. C o n s i d e r i n g the proposed p u b l i c a t i o n announced i n N o v y i m i r i n 1963,what were V o i n o v i c h ' s e x c e s s e s ? t h e r e any?  I f t h e " l i b e r a l " atmosphere  would C h o n k i n have been s e r i a l i z e d V o i n o v i c h had n o t s i g n e d l e t t e r s like  Or were  i n 1963 h a d c o n t i n u e d  i n Novyi mir?  If  i n support of various  S i n i a v s k y , D a n i e l ' s , S o l z h e n i t s y n , and S a k h a r o v ,  C h o n k i n have been p u b l i s h e d i n the S o v i e t Union? be o t h e r r e a s o n s . re-examined  the S o v i e t past i n a serious l i g h t . through r i d i c u l e  appears comic t o the r e a d e r . any  would  There  may  The v a r i o u s n o v e l s r e f e r r e d t o a b o v e  the o t h e r hand, c r i t i c i z e s  it  people  serious import.  Satire,  and t h e  on  ridiculous  To l a u g h a t s o m e t h i n g i s t o deny  As B a r r y L e w i s has o b s e r v e d , C h o n k i n  I s w r i t t e n i n a c a r n i v a l t r a d i t i o n "whose g a i e t y  illuminates  59 every page."  S a t i r e a l s o s e t s up norms o f b e h a v i o u r .  V o i n o v i c h ' s s a t i r e r e v o l v e s around i t s c h a r a c t e r s , a l l of whom r e p r e s e n t some S t a l i n i s t  idea or i n s t i t u t i o n .  e x c e p t i o n i s the hero, Chonkin  (and N i u r a ) .  The  The Stalinist  idea - the p o s i t i v e , S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s t hero - against  which  C h o n k i n i s t o be c o m p a r e d i s i n t r o d u c e d i n t h e n o v e l ' s b e g i n n i n g by t h e n a r r a t o r : to take from l i f e  "'.  . . wasn't the a u t h o r a b l e  a r e a l m i l i t a r y hero - t a l l ,  well-built,  -30d i s c i p l i n e d , a top He  student i n m i l i t a r y and  political  could have, of course, but d i d n ' t manage.  were grabbed up and the novel's end that V o i n o v i c h interview.  so I got Chonkin."  as the norm: described  A l l the  champions  Chonkin emerges by  the honest, n a t u r a l , r e a l  as h i s f a v o u r i t e type i n the  Chonkin, however, no matter how  Russian l i t e r a t u r e has  training?'  man  Rossiia  much recent  broadened the concept of the p o s i t i v e  hero, i s not a p e r m i s s i b l e  type Of hero.  Chonkin, i n a word,  i s an "excess ." I f s a t i r e demands norms, i t a l s o has purpose of s a t i r e i s to c r i t i c i z e and  targets.  " i t should be  to the reader what i t i s that i s c r i t i c i s e d . t a r g e t s of s a t i r e are not represent  fictions.  obvious  . . . The  They or the o b j e c t s  e x i s t or e x i s t e d i n the realm of r e a l i t y .  s a t i r e , the f i c t i o n a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s i n the r e a l world.  The  The  they  In  have d e f i n i t e r e f e r e n t s  i l l u s i o n of f i c t i o n i s i n e v i t a b l y 60  broken as the reader recognizes The  L i f e and  the  satirical  Extraordinary  satiric  target."  i n the r e a l  Since the novel i s b a s i c a l l y a  novel of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s , the p a r t i c u l a r character, stakhanovism  In  Adventures of P r i v a t e Ivan Chonkin  t a r g e t s have d e f i n i t e r e f e r e n t s  world of S t a l i n i s t Russia.  camps  the  t a r g e t s may  be l i n k e d to a  so that the f o l l o w i n g groupings emerge: - Liusha Miakisheva - Lesha Zharov  anti-semitism  - Moishe  trials  - J r . Lieutenant  and a r r e s t s  collective  farms  - Ivan  Stalin Bukashev  Golubev  Communist P a r t y  - Borisov, K i l i n ,  Revkin  Lysenko  - Kuz'ma G l a d y s h e v  secret police  - A f a n a s i i M i l i a g a and t h e "Institute"  Red  Army & WWII  - Lt. Colonel Lapshin, Drynov, Chonkin's  General  regiment,  Chonkin An  a r g u m e n t , p e r h a p s , c o u l d be made f o r a n y one o f t h e  above-mentioned s a t i r i c a l the group.  targets being  As h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i a t h e y  m u t i l a t i n g aspect  t h e most i m p o r t a n t i n  a l l represent  some  o f t h e S t a l i n i s t r e g i m e i n t h e 1930s a n d  1940s.  However, they  a r e not given equal  weight w i t h i n the  novel.  T h e i r appearance i s i n d i r e c t p r o p o r t i o n t o the  l e n g t h o f t h e appearance o f the c h a r a c t e r r e p r e s e n t i n g Some t a r g e t s a n d t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e c h a r a c t e r s once i n s h o r t scenes and  ( l i k e Liusha Miakisheva,  t h e Two T h i n k e r s ) .  foreground,  specially  are.  only  Zharov,  from t h e n o v e l .  as a b a t t l e - f r o n t n e v e r a p p e a r s - t h i s  i n t h e sense t h a t Simonov's n o v e l s the  Lesha  Some a p p e a r i n r a t h e r e x t e n d e d  l i k e Moishe S t a l i n , and t h e n d i s a p p e a r war  appear  them.  scenes, The  i s n o t a war n o v e l  The war i s n e v e r i n  b u t i t shapes t h e e v e n t s o f t h e n o v e l ,  t h e Second P a r t .  The n o v e l  i s organized  as a  s e r i e s o f a n e c d o t e s t o l d b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s he a n d C h o n k i n  -32witness  v a r i o u s events and  encounter v a r i o u s  characters.  S a t i r e s i n general are e p i s o d i c i n s t r u c t u r e the Second Part of the novel the reader  and,  though i n  senses a more r i g o r o u s  p l o t development, the novel as a whole appears as a loose arrangement as V o i n o v i c h moves from one ety to another, i n t r o d u c i n g and, i t s various representatives.  l e v e l of Soviet  i n some cases,  soci-  devastating  In the o r g a n i s a t i o n of  my  d i s c u s s i o n of s a t i r i c a l t a r g e t s I have chosen an  ascending  order of importance of the c h a r a c t e r s w i t h i n the  novel,  l e a v i n g the main c h a r a c t e r s - l i k e Golubev, M i l i a g a , Gladyshev, and The  Chonkin - f o r the l a s t  chapters.  s u b - t i t l e of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n d e s c r i b e s i t as a  commentary and  explication.  The  i d e n t i f y the t a r g e t , d e s c r i b e and  v a r i o u s chapters  will  e x p l a i n what event or person  or i n s t i t u t i o n i s being s a t i r i z e d , and  then comment on  that s a t i r e i s achieved  In t h i s way  c h a r a c t e r s and  i n the n o v e l .  how  various  scenes i n Chonkin w i l l be examined i n the  of the a p p r o p r i a t e h i s t o r i c a l , p o l i t i c a l , or economic events i n S t a l i n ' s regime.  social,  light  intellectual,  These r e a l i a might  be immediately r e c o g n i s a b l e to the o l d e r , more a s t u t e  Russian  reader,  s u r v i v o r s from that time, but not to the common  reader,  I would argue, i n e i t h e r the Soviet Union or the West.  Western r e a d e r s , translation. h i s novel  f o r the most p a r t , w i l l read Chonkin i n  V o i n o v i c h h i m s e l f has  i n t r a n s l a t i o n may  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between people.  s a i d that those who  understand i t s essence — In g e n e r a l , however, he  read the feels  -33-  that readers  i n one  understand those  country would f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t  experiences  to  through which people i n another  6 2  country have l i v e d .  This d i s s e r t a t i o n attempts to  fill  those kinds of gaps. In each g e n e r a t i o n  the S o v i e t Union needs, l i k e  the  p r o v e r b i a l wheel, to be r e d i s c o v e r e d i n i t s true essence by the West. West has  One  of the most s u c c e s s f u l myths taken up by  been the one  p e a c e f u l and  that p o r t r a y s the S o v i e t Union as a  p r o g r e s s i v e country,  b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m , and  slowly a c h i e v i n g , with some setbacks, communism. and  the  the f i n a l goal of  A ' s u c c e s s f u l propaganda machine, both i n t e r n a l l y  i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y , sweeps mistakes under the  rug.  Khrushchev's speech to the XXth Party Congress on crimes, however, opened the way  to a f l o o d of memoirs and  s t o r i e s about those very crimes. with "Odin den'  S o l z h e n i t s y n l e d the  Ivana D e n i s o v i c h a "  Ivan D e n i s o v i c h ) .  Stalin's  (One  Day  i n the L i f e of  In h i s subsequent works, s p e c i a l l y  massive Gulag A r c h i p e l a g o ,  way  the  S o l z h e n i t s y n began, i n e f f e c t , to  give h i s people back t h e i r h i s t o r y , to remember f o r them those  t h i n g s the a u t h o r i t i e s would l i k e as not have them f o r -  get.  In many ways V o i n o v i c h i s a part of that remembering.  Nadezhda Mandelshtam remembered f o r years a f t e r her husband's death i n the camps, but  she could never say i n p r i n t what had  happened u n t i l her memoirs appeared i n the West. had  to appear i n the West f i r s t  and  Chonkin too  then be smuggled back  i n t o the S o v i e t Union to j o i n the ranks of the  unofficial  -34h i s t o r i e s of the S o v i e t Union. Since December 1980  V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h has been i n the  West and many commentators have wondered about h i s f u t u r e as a writer.  He has  s a i d r e c e n t l y that h i s readers are i n the  Soviet Union and he w i l l  continue w r i t i n g f o r them.  A  w r i t e r needs to imagine an i d e a l reader and V o i n o v i c h imagines his  reader t h e r e , i n the S o v i e t Union.  w r i t e r s who  have emigrated  U n l i k e other  Russian  V o i n o v i c h has no i n t e n t i o n of  t r y i n g to w r i t e , f o r example, l i k e an American w r i t e r . will  only w r i t e about those things he knows about.  adventures w i l l readers his  f i n d t h e i r way,  i n the S o v i e t Union.  audience:  there and  He  Chonkin's  by v a r i o u s means, to  Voinovich's  V o i n o v i c h has no f e a r of l o s i n g  "Oni tarn e s t ' - d a ,  there are many of them).  i mnogo e s t ' "  (They are  NOTES TO INTRODUCTION  1  C a r l P r o f f e r , "The Immediate Past and Future of Russian L i t e r a t u r e , " Department of S l a v o n i c S t u d i e s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 26 February 1 9 8 1 . 2 The c i t y has seen three names changes i n t h i s century: u n t i l 1921 i t was c a l l e d Diushambe, from 1929 to 1961 i t was c a l l e d S t a l i n a b a d , and a f t e r " d e - S t a l i n i z a t i o n , " i t was re-named Dushanbe. 3 V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , "I am a r e a l i s t , " Index on Censorship, IV, No. 2 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 4 9 . A part of t h i s i n t e r v i e w was p u b l i s h e d i n German i n Die Z e i t , 17 January 1975 and i n Russian i n Russkaia mysi', 27 February 1 9 7 5 . ^ V o i n o v i c h , P- 49. " V o i n o v i c h , P- 49. ^ V o i n o v i c h , P-  50.  V o i n o v i c h , P-  51.  ^ V o i n o v i c h , P-  51.  7  ^ V o i n o v i c h , P- 51. Leonid I l i c h e v was Khrushchev's a d v i s e r on i d e o l o g i c a l and c u l t u r a l matters. " T h i r t y Years of Moscow Art,", an e x h i b i t i o n i n c l u d i n g modern and some a b s t r a c t a r t , was h e l d at the Manege' G a l l e r y i n Moscow at t h i s time. Khrushchev attended, was outraged by what he saw and had the e x h i b i t i o n c l o s e d . This i n c i d e n t marked a t u r n i n g p o i n t i n c u l t u r a l p o l i c y and a s h i f t away from l i b e r a l i s a t i o n . V o i n o v i c h , p. 5 1 . V o m o v i c h , p. 52. 12 Voinovich,  p. 5 2 .  V o i n o v i c h , p. 54. gazeta  V o i n o v i c h , p. 54. The 14 October 1 9 7 0 , p. 9. "^Voinovich, p. 54. V o i n o v i c h , p. 54. -35-  -3617  An E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h i s l e t t e r i s i n c l u d e d i n t h e i n t e r v i e w w i t h V o i n o v i c h p u b l i s h e d i n Index on C e n s o r s h i p , IV, No. 2 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 52-53. The o r i g i n a l R u s s i a n v e r s i o n h a s b e e n p u b l i s h e d i n V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , Putem v z a i m n o i perepiski (Paris: YMCA P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) , pp. 245-48. 18 Voinovich,  " I am a r e a l i s t " ,  Voinovich,  p . 52.  p. 52.  19 ^Voinovich  Voinovich's  italics.  p. 52.  21 Voinovich,  p. 52.  Voinovich,  p. 53.  Voinovich, 24 Voinovich, 25 Voinovich,  p. 53.  p. 57.  ^Voinovich,  p. 56.  22 23 p. 53.  27 An E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e l e t t e r i s i n c l u d e d i n t h e i n t e r v i e w w i t h V o i n o v i c h p u b l i s h e d i n Index on C e n s o r s h i p , p. 55. The o r i g i n a l R u s s i a n v e r s i o n h a s been p u b l i s h e d i n V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , Putem v z a i m n o i p e r e p i s k i ( P a r i s : YMCA P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) , pp. 249-51. 28 V o i n o v i c h , " I am a r e a l i s t , " p. 55. 29 V o i n o v i c h , p. 55. 30  V o i n o v i c h , " I am a r e a l i s t , " p. 56. D u r i n g h i s i n t e r v i e w w i t h t h e KGB i n May 1975 V o i n o v i c h d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f as " a p o l i t i c a l " and , to h i s interviewer's amazement, added " l i k e Chekhov." See V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , " P r o i s s h e s t v i e v ' M e t r o p o l e ' . " K o n t i n e n t , No. 5 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 67. 31 V o i n o v i c h , " I am a r e a l i s t , " p. 57. 32  V l a d i m i r Tendriakov, " S v e z h i i golos - e s t ' ! " , L i t e r a t u r n a i a g a z e t a , 25 F e b r u a r y 1961, p. 3 33 V. K a r d i n , "'Vechnye v o p r o s y ' - novye otvety," V o p r o s y l i t e r a t u r y , V, No. 3 ( 1 9 6 1 ) : 25-48. The s h o r t s t o r y i n q u e s t i o n i s "My Z d e s ' zhivem," N o v y i m i r , No. 1 ( 1 9 6 1 ) : 21-71.  34  B. Moskva, No.  Brovman, " G r a z h d a n s t v e n o s t ' a v t o r a 6 (1963): 197-203.  i  geroia,"  35 Brovman, p.  198.  My  translation.  36 G. Brovman, Problemy i g e r o i s o v r e m e n n o i p r o z y : k r i t i c h e s k o e o b o z r e n i e (Moskva: Khudozhestvennaia l i t e r a t u r a , 1966), pp. 202-06. 37 L. A n n i n s k i i , I a d r o o r e k h a : k r i t i c h e s k i e ocherki (Moskva: S o v e t s k i i p i s a t e l ' s , 1965), pp. 116-23.  38  E z h e g o d n i k b o l ' s h o i s o v e t s k o i e n t s i k l o p e d i i , 1968 (Moskva: S o v e t s k a i a e n t s i k l o p e d i i a , 1968 ) , p~. 98 . 39 V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , Putem v z a i m n o i p e r e p i s k i ( P a r i s : YMCA P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) . Quote t a k e n f r o m E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n by R i c h a r d L o u r i e , I n P l a i n E n g l i s h (New Y o r k : Farrar, Straus, G i r o u x , 1 9 7 9 ) , p. i x . 40 L o u r i e , p. i x . A1 Andrew R. MacAndrew, ed. and t r a n s . , F o u r S o v i e t M a s t e r p i e c e s (New Y o r k : Bantam Books, 1965). Besides V o i n o v i c h , t h e c o l l e c t i o n i n c l u d e s V l a d i m o v ' s "The ore;" A k s e n o v ' s " H a l f w a y t o t h e Moon," and K a z a k o v ' s "The K a b i a s y Imps." 42 Deming Brown, " S o v i e t R u s s i a n F i c t i o n : Changes, C h a l l e n g e s , and F r o z e n P r o p o s i t i o n s , " i n C o n t e m p o r a r y E u r o p e a n N o v e l i s t s , ed. S i e g r i e d Mandel ( C a r b o n d a l e : Southern I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 8 ) , pp. 3-38. A- 3 G e o f f r e y H o s k i n g , "The S e a r c h f o r an Image o f Man i n C o n t e m p o r a r y S o v i e t F i c t i o n , " Forum f o r Modern Language S t u d i e s , I I (1975): 349-65. 44 V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , "0 s o v r e m e n n o s t i i i s t o r i i , " R o s s i i a , No. 2 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 228-39. R o s s i i a began p u b l i s h i n g i n 1974 and p u b l i s h e s a r t i c l e s on R u s s i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e i n R u s s i a n , I t a l i a n , and F r e n c h . The j o u r n a l i s e d i t e d by V i t t o r i a S t r a d a , an e s s a y i s t , c r i t i c , and p r o f e s s o r o f R u s s i a n at the U n i v e r s i t y o f V e n i c e . S t r a d a , by t h e way, was t h e model f o r t h e c h a r a c t e r B e n i t o Spada, t h e I t a l i a n communist, i n V s e v o l o d Kochetov's n o v e l , Chto t y khochesh? (1964). See S t u a r t Hood, "Comrade B u l a t o v ' s I t a l i a n J o u r n e y , " S u r v e y , Nos. 74-75 ( W i n t e r - S p r i n g 1970): 175-84, f o r a d i s c u s s i o n f o r t h e d e b a t e between S t r a d a and K o c h e t o v about t h i s n o v e l . T  ^"Voinovich,  "0  sovremennosti  i istorii,"  p.  231.  "0  sovremennosti  i istorii,"  p. 231.  46 Voinovich, translation.  My  -3847 1981. 4 8  Personal  Grani,  i n t e r v i e w w i t h V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h , 29  No.  72  (1969):  May  3-82.  49 of  V i o l e t t a I v e r n i , " K o m e d i i a n e s o v m e s t i m o s t i [A Comedy I n c o m p a t i b i l i t y ] ," K o n t i n e n t , No. 5 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 427-54.  "^Naurn K o r z h a v i n , " S t o l k n o v e n i e s t i k h i i o f Elements],"" P o s e v , No. 8 ( 1 9 7 5 ) : 50-58. 5 1  Literary  [A  Collision  G e o f f r e y H o s k i n g , "The Good S o l d i e r C h o n k i n , " S u p p l e m e n t, 23 J a n u a r y 1976, p. 93.  Times  52 R. Z. S h e p p a r d , " K i e v s t o n e Cops," Time, 3 J a n u a r y 1977, pp. 61-62. T h e o d o r e S o l o t a r o f f , " T h e T i T e and E x t r a o r d i n a r y A d v e n t u r e s o f P r i v a t e I v a n Chonkin," New Y o r k Times Book Review, 23 J a n u a r y 1977, pp. 4, 7, 24, and 26. 53 Edward Crankshaw, " I v a n t h e T e r r i b l e " The O b s e r v e r Review, 20 March 1977, p. 29. 54 B a r r y E. L e w i s , " V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h ' s A n e c d o t a l Satire: The L i f e and E x t r a o r d i n a r y A d v e n t u r e s o f P r i v a t e I v a n C h o n k i n , " VJorld L i t e r a t u r e Today, 52,No. 4 ( 1 9 7 8 ) : 544-60. r  Fiction  " ^ G e o f f r e y H o s k i n g , Beyond S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s m : Soviet S i n c e " I v a n D e n i s o v i c h " (London: Granada P u b l i s h i n g ,  1 9 8 0 ) ,  p.  146.  56 R. C. P o r t e r , " V l a d i m i r V o i n o v i c h and t h e Comedy o f I n n o c e n c e , " Forum f o r Modern Language S t u d i e s , XVI, No. 2 ( A p r i l 1980)1 IU6~. 5 7  Pbrter,  p.  100.  58 Hosking, 59  Lewis,  p.  Beyond S o c i a l i s t  R e a l i s m , p.  199.  549.  60 P e t e r P e t r o , "Four T w e n t i e t h Century S a t i r e s : Novels o f Hasek, B u l g a k o v , O r w e l l , and Vonnegut," D i s s . U n i v e r s i t y o f A l b e r t a 1978, p. 25. One might add t h a t i n R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e as w e l l t h e f i c t i o n a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s have d e f i n i t e r e f e r e n t s i n t h e r e a l w o r l d , a f a c t r e c o g n i z e d by b o t h t h o s e who c r e a t e t h a t l i t e r a t u r e and t h o s e who c r i t i c i z e i t h e r e and i n t h e S o v i e t U n i o n . The s t a t e m e n t a l s o h o l d s t r u e f o r m o r e - o r - l e s s r e a l i s t i c works l i k e C h o n k i n and f a n t a s t i c n o v e l s l i k e Aleksandr Zinov'ev's Z i i a i u s h c h y e vysoty.  -39G i l b e r t H i g h e t , The Anatomy o f S a t i r e (1962; r p t . Princeton: P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1972) , p. 206. 62 Personal  interview  with  Vladimir  Voinovich,  29  May  interview with  Vladimir  Voinovich,  29  May  1981. 63 Personal 1981.  CHAPTER  THE  STAKHANOVITES:  Work has The  industrial  showed man blast  ONE  LIUSHKA MIAKISHEVA  a l w a y s been a m a j o r theme f o r S o v i e t or  production  novel  i n h i s workplace:  furnaces,  rolling  of  the  i n t h e s e n o v e l s were i n v o l v e d  perfecting  some i n d u s t r i a l  increase  by  t h e i r a t t i t u d e to  positive  the  output  of  t h e i r work and  hero i n s p i r e d h i s  example o f d e d i c a t i o n ,  The  novel  and  occasionally  showed t h e  awakening to  the  the  psychology of  Soviet  classic,  novels  that  the  true  Cement  followed.  Kataev's Vremia Vpered! the in  b u i l d i n g of the  Urals.  the The  to  the  The  C h a r a c t e r s were  social  worker.  Fedor  best,  novel t e l l s  the  story  world's  plant of  It at  an  Valentin  describes  Magnitogorsk  attempt  time r e c o r d the  forming  production  p e r h a p s , was  successfully captures -40-  The  Gladkov's  One  (Time F o r w a r d , 1 9 3 2 ) .  by  peasants  o f work i n  a model f o r t h e  the  feats  meaning o f work. value  The  intelligent-  (1925) was of  judged  sensibilities.  pre-revolutionary  Soviet  or  attempting  i n c l u d i n g backward  huge m e t a l l u r g i c a l  novel  or  The  t h e i r f e l l o w workers.  show t h e  b r i g a d e o f workmen t o b r e a k the concrete.  forth.  i n developing  hardwork, and  wider s o c i a l  n o v e l ' s m a i n p u r p o s e was  plants,  f e l l o w workers to g r e a t e r  characters,  members o f  so  product  their plant.  his  sia,  process or  1930s  power  r a i l r o a d s , and  characters  to  1920s and  hydro-electric  mills,  writers.  by  for  tempo and  a pouring mood  -41of these men as they prepare f o r t h e i r c o m p e t i t i o n . V o i n o v i c h has h i s own r e c o r d - s e t t i n g worker i n The L i f e and E x t r a o r d i n a r y Adventures  of P r i v a t e Ivan Chonkin.  In a  few short chapters i n the second part of the novel the reader meets Liushka Miakisheva, the milkmaid h e r o i n e of l a b o u r .  A  c l e v e r and b o l d woman, she i s a c r e d i t t o her n a t i v e v i l l a g e where she i s a f a v o u r i t e daughter.  No longer a k o l k h o z n i k ,  n e v e r t h e l e s s , she r e t a i n s a l l the cunning and shrewdness c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of most v i l l a g e r s i n the n o v e l .  She has  returned t o her n a t i v e v i l l a g e to urge her f e l l o w c i t i z e n s t o do t h e i r part f o r the war e f f o r t .  In the episode V o i n o v i c h  s a t i r i z e s one f e a t u r e of the S t a l i n i s t p e r i o d :  the  Stakhanovite, the shock-worker who, the s t a t e myth d e c l a r e s , changed the pace of work by d e s t r o y i n g outdated work norms. V o i n o v i c h a l s o shows the reader an example of how the word-assuch l o s t i t s meaning i n S t a l i n i s t times when he d e s c r i b e s the labour a labour heroine does. Liushka's i n i t i a l  appearance  i s s e t i n G o g o l i a n terms.  She i s "an enormous backside covered i n dark blue m a t e r i a l " emerging  from a c a r door.  She has a r r i v e d a t the kolkhoz i n  an MK jeep, a symbol of power and p r o v i n c i a l - l e v e l  officialdom  that causes s u r p r i s e i n the v i l l a g e people and unease i n the kolkhoz a u t h o r i t i e s .  When she emerges from the jeep she i s  immediately r e c o g n i z e d and her name, the n a r r a t o r t e l l s h i s reader, r u s t l e s through the crowd l i k e the sound of "dry leaves ."  As she walks toward  the kolkhoz o f f i c e the crowd  -42-  of v i l l a g e r s p a r t s r e s p e c t f u l l y f o r her.  When she seats herse  at the chairman's desk, K i l i n , the kolkhoz conversation to S t a l i n .  p a r t o r g , turns the  K i l i n supposes t h a t Liushka and S t a l i  have tea a t l e a s t once a day together.  To Golubev's q u e s t i o n  as to what S t a l i n i s l i k e , Liushka answers, a f t e r a f a s t s i d e l o n g glance a t the r e p o r t e r s , that he i s simple, modest, and very sympathetic.  Golubev, apparently taken aback by  her answer, repeats her l a s t e p i t h e t w i t h q u e s t i o n i n g i n h i s voice.  Then he asks how S t a l i n l o o k s .  he looks good and then breaks hard f o r him r i g h t now.  Liushka answers t h a t  i n t o t e a r s because " I t ' s so  Having t o t h i n k f o r us a l l h i m s e l f  (p. 165). Liushka i s a shrewd woman with a f i n e sense of u s i n g the s i t u a t i o n a t hand to her own advantage, a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c that helped her t o achieve fame i n i t i a l l y , goes on t o i l l u s t r a t e .  as her biography  Her d e s c r i p t i o n of S t a l i n , f o r  example, i s t o l d l e s s to answer Golubev's q u e s t i o n than t o impress  the r e t i n u e of r e p o r t e r s who f o l l o w h e r everywhere and  r e c o r d her every word. much  a product  biography  This d e s c r i p t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , i s as  of c a l c u l a t i o n as she h e r s e l f i s . Her  d e s c r i b e s how the Liushka Miakisheva  j u s t met was c r e a t e d from a v i l l a g e Her biography  the reader has  milkmaid.  g i v e s the n a r r a t o r the o p p o r t u n i t y to  give a tongue-in-cheek h i s t o r y of both Liushka and the Miakishevite movement. how to advance h e r s e l f .  A c l e v e r peasant,she l e a r n e d q u i c k l y Before c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n ,  she was  -43a  young  girl  who  as a farmhand because  lived  i n t h e summer and  she had n e i t h e r  collectivization  " h a l f - d e a d " cow  The  cow,  i n fact,  milkmaid; because At t h i s  felt  she would  the  dead.  w i t h her poor peasant f a m i l y , spending winters  boots nor pants.  n e v e r have  s o o n became o f no u s e o f skimpy  point  feeding  because  register  f o r the kolkhoz.  belonged  t o k u l a k s and,  She was  though  not  come i m m e d i a t e l y when she j o i n e d shoes, n i c e  heroes of labour narrator  tells  category.  and r e g i o n a l a  he w r o t e whole  article  National  t h i n g up" Liushka's  achievement  method o f m i l k i n g  cient  " t o grab four  each hand" met  (p. 1 6 6 ) .  with S t a l i n ,  once  co-operative  Though fame d i d  a Party  card.  appeared, fell  things  into  appeared only  When  the this  i n the  fame came when a r e p o r t e r  words,  to  loca  wrote  the n a r r a t o r notes,  o r e l s e he made t h e  (p. 1 6 6 ) .  traditional way:  and  about h e r ; though,  i t " b a s e d on h e r own  had  t h e k o l k h o z , many  i udarniki")  achievements at f i r s t  similar  of the f i r s t  "by a l l a c c o u n t s " L i u s h k a  press.  sensational  one  obil'no."  a husband,  ("peredoviki  us  Her  clothes,  yields.  saved from a  t h e y were n o t v e r y  po i n e r t s i i p r o d o l z h a l i d o i t ' s i a  because  "entirely"  g i v e n cows t h a t  "no  did:  Without  record  i t became  she was  stove  t o t h e would-be-famous  i n t i m e L i u s h k a was  end by c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n  on t h e  become famous  on h e r f a r m d i d n o t g i v e  working  She  was  the abandoning  cows f o r a new  teats  of the  and more  effi-  a t t h e same t i m e , two i n  t h e n gave  a speech at the K r e m l i n ,  and p l e d g e d t o t e a c h h e r method t o a l l  -44-  milkmaids,  a s s u r i n g him that everyone of them c o u l d l e a r n  i t because "every milkmaid's got two hands" (p. 166). that time on Liushka's c a r e e r as a working milkmaid  From  was  over and her c a r e e r as a p u b l i c f i g u r e began. One  of the f i r s t  signs of her new  that time on Liushka was kolkhoz.  She was  c a r e e r was  never to be found on her  that from own  always on the move, t a k i n g p a r t i n the  Supreme S o v i e t or a t t e n d i n g a conference or r e c e i v i n g a d e l e g a t i o n of E n g l i s h dockworkers, c h a t t i n g w i t h the German w r i t e r L i o n Feuchtwanger or being presented with a d e c o r a t i o n in  the Kremlin.  The reader wonders what any of t h i s has  do with m i l k i n g cows.  to  Great fame came to L i u s h k a :  newspapers wrote about her, the r a d i o t a l k e d about he