Article: PDF
DOI: 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-18
Abstract: This is the first time the historico-literary materials related to the creative biography of Reed Grachev (R. I. Vita, 1935-2004), a Leningrad writer well-known in the 1960s and almost forgotten at the present time, are published in a scholarly journal. It poses a research hypothesis concerning a special type of the writer’s autobiographism based not on the description of real events but on the reflection of the mental states that accompanied them. Among Grachev’s literary discoveries, new types of characters are identified – “faceless man”, “stranger”, “nobody’s brother”. Attention is drawn to the unusual poetics of “zero writing” producing an expressionistic explosion at the expense of the plots that contain in the deep subtextual conflict between the character and reality. The article suggests a structural-semiotic analysis of the stories “The House Stood on the Outskirts”, “Snabsbyt”, “Suspicion” and explores the subtext elements originating from the writer’s general worldview. The study characterizes the publicistic heritage including the articles “The Meaningful Absence”, “Why Art Does Not Save the World”, “There is no More Intelligentsia” that rationalized the ethical and aesthetic views of the writer, expressed in his literary works and described more consistently his creative credo. Grachev also wrote poems, three of which – “How everything is fine with people”, “Among the plants cut into a circle” and “Mozart and Salieri” – are included in the article. Grachev’s mental disease is described as a fact of his biography that played a tragic role in his fate. It was provoked by the impossibility of creative realization caused by the refusal to publish his works for censorship reasons. During the writer’s life, only one book “Where is Your House” (1967) was published, greatly abbreviated; it did not match the then reputation of the writer. Censors considered Grachev’s characters to be too much vulnerable, deprived of an optimistic spirit. It is concluded that Grachev followed the humanistic traditions of classical Russian literature, primarily of F. M. Dostoevsky, and that Grachev’s literary heritage – the heritage of an undeservedly forgotten original Russian writer – is worth popularizing and studying by specialists.
Key words: Сreative portrait; Leningrad writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; short stories; poetics; characters; literary personages; typology of characters

Для цитирования:

Колесникова, Е. И. Ленинградский Сизиф: творческая судьба Рида Грачева / Е. И. Колесникова // Philological Class. – 2021. – Vol. 26 ⋅ №4. – С. 206–218. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-18.

For citation

Kolesnikova, E. I. (2021). Sisyphus from the Leningrad: The Creative Life of Reed Grachev. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №4. P. 206–218. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-18.

About the author(s) :

Elena I. Kolesnikova

Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Science (Saint Petersburg, Russia)


Publication Timeline:

Date of receipt: 02.09.2021; date of publication: 25.12.2021.


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