- 22 May 2015
May 24, the day of the 75th anniversary of Joseph Brodsky in St. Petersburg nominally opened museum, located in an apartment where the poet lived up before emigrating in 1972.
“Our fifteen rooms were part of the extensive, long the third quarter, the suite that ran on the north side of the six-storey building, which looked at the three streets and the area at the same time. The building is one of the huge briquettes in the so-called Moorish style of the beginning of the century in Northern Europe. Completed in 1903, the year of birth of my father, it was an architectural sensation of St. Petersburg at the time, and Akhmatova once told me how she and her parents went to the cab to look at this miracle. In its western wing, which faces one of the most famous streets in the Russian literature – Foundry Avenue, once rented an apartment Alexander Blok. As for our suite of rooms, it took the couple, whose supremacy was palpable as the pre-revolutionary Russian literary scene, and later in Paris in the intellectual climate of Russian emigration of the twenties and thirties: Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Zinaida Gippius. And just from the balcony of our room and a half, arching caterpillar, Zinka shouted abuse revolutionary sailors “.
So, in America, long gone from his hometown of St. Petersburg, in his famous essay” Fifteen rooms, “he wrote about the house his childhood, Joseph Brodsky. He wrote in English, which made it a bit excluded memories, but gave aching sadness nostalgia common human nature.
Сборник essay “Less than One” (“Less Than One”), which included “Room and a Half”, was released in 1986 and, according to many, largely determined the choice of the Nobel Committee, awarded a year later Brodsky highest literary award.
“And I, and many others of his friends, we understand that we are dealing with an extraordinary poet. No one then could have imagined that the Soviet Union would collapse so quickly. But I knew that sooner or later, perhaps many years after my death, this museum will be. And to help the future of its creators, I photographed in detail Joseph’s room in the form in which it left her. Photographed immediately after returning from the airport, where we followed him without any hope of meeting June 4, 1972 “.
So says today about the origin design of the Museum Brodsky his old friend, the founder and head of the foundation of the Museum Joseph Brodsky Mikhail Milchik.
Even though the idea is embodied in the life of a lot sooner than expected 43 years ago Milchik on its implementation left many decades.
Parents Brodsky – Maria and Alexander Moiseevna – continue to live in a room and a half before his death – in 1983 and 1984. After their death, the rooms were inhabited by other tenants, personal belongings Brodsky and his archive disassembled for storage of friends – most notably Jacob Gordin, has been for many years the chief editor of the literary magazine “Star”.
With the restructuring, says Gordin, “when it became clear that these things will not be thrown in the trash,” they were transferred to the Public Library, the Museum of St. Petersburg and established in 1989, Anna Akhmatova Museum.
In 1998, after the death of the poet, prominent Russian and foreign culture, among them Dmitry Likhachev, Daniel Granik, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich , Nobel Prize winners Czeslaw Milosz, Derek Walcott and others appealed to the Governor of St. Petersburg with a letter in which they asked to help in the creation of the museum.
The main and most difficult task was to a large communal resettlement. Despite a positive response of the then Governor Vladimir Yakovlev, the funds for this foundation had sought from sponsors.
Four of the five rooms have been redeemed. Living in the fifth room of an elderly woman does not want to leave, despite the many tempting offers.
The approaching anniversary of the forced rush to the project. The situation is aggravated by the fact that in the only room not owned by the Fund remained the main entrance to the house from the street Pestel. Visitors to the museum will have to go into it with a courtyard and climb the “stairs” which Brodsky himself never used.
But, oddly hurry, they do not have time. Therefore, rendered in the title of this article said with bitter sarcasm Michael Milchik words – “we like the opening like a museum”.
However, the case moved from the dead point. The new space has finally accommodate scattered in various institutions of the city scattered archives Brodsky – basically what refers to the period of residence in his “room and a half”, ie from 1955 to 1972.
Among the things – many authentic items used by the poet and his parents. Here and useful as a precaution taken by Michael Milchik 1972 photos.
However, the only existing in the city and dedicated to Brodsky museum space will remain untouched. The so-called “American cabinet” of the poet Anna Akhmatova museum is made up of things that Brodsky had enjoyed in America. By “room and a half,” they no longer have a relationship and will remain at the Fountain House.
The opening (albeit nominal) museum – not only what is happening in the city during these jubilee celebrations dedicated to Brodsky event.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre all day Sunday will take place performances, concerts and presentations. The award-winning garden of the Fountain House, next to the Museum of Anna Akhmatova, the whole end of May and June, in the midst of the White Nights – a special festival “Brodsky Drive”. The city organized a series of exhibitions dedicated to Brodsky.
Well, the already famous Muruzi House on the corner of Liteiny Avenue and the streets Pestel will be another important landmark of St. Petersburg.