Nobel lecture

For a person of private and particular the lifetime of any public role preferred to, for man, Logged in preference it pretty far — and in particular from their homeland, for it is better to be the last failure in democracy, than a martyr or the dominant intellectual influence in despotism, — suddenly be on this podium — most awkward and testing.
The feeling of this is aggravated not so much the idea of ​​the, who was here before me, as the memory of those, whom this honor has passed, who could not apply, what is called, “Urbi et orbit” from this rostrum and whose total silence as it seeks and finds itself in you exit.
Единственное, what can you reconcile such a state, it is the simple consideration, what — for reasons primarily stylistic -pisatel can not speak for the writer, special — poet for poet; what, Turn out onto this podium Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Robert Frost, Anna Akhmatova, Winston Oden, they unwittingly would speak for themselves, and, perhaps, too, would have felt some awkwardness.
These shadows are constantly confuse me, they confuse me today. In any case, they do not encourage me to eloquence. In its best moments, I seem to myself as if their sum — but always at, than any of them, separately. For it to be better than them on paper can not be; you can not be better than they are in real life, and it is their life, no matter how tragic and bitter they were not, make me often — apparently, more, than it should be — I regret the passage of time. If that light exists — and to deny them the possibility of eternal life, I am no more able to, than to forget about their existence in this — if the light there, they, I hope, forgive me and the quality of, I'm going to outline: eventually, not the behavior on the platform of the dignity of our profession is measured by.
I have mentioned only five — those, whose work and whose lives are dear to me, at least by the, what, without them, I would like a person and as a writer would be of little worth: In any case, I would not be standing here today. Their, these shadows -better: light sources — lamps? stars? — It was, of course, more, than five, and any one of them is able to condemn the absolute dumbness. Their number is large in the life of any conscious man of letters; in my case it is doubled, thanks to the two cultures, to which I was fated to belong. It does not facilitate things also thought of his contemporaries and fellow writers in both cultures, poets and writers, whose talents I appreciate above their own and that, they will be on the podium this, I would long ago have got down to business, because they have more, to tell the world, than I.
Therefore, I will allow myself a number of comments — perhaps, nestrojnyh, inconsistent and able to stump you with its incoherence. However, the amount of time, allotted to me on the, to collect my thoughts, and most my profession protect me, I hope, at least in part, on accusations of randomness. A man of my profession rarely pretends to systematic thinking; at worst, He claims the system. But it had, usually, a loan: on the environment, from the social structure, from the study of philosophy at the tender age. Nothing convinces an artist more randomness in funds, which he uses to achieve this or that — even and constant — goals, rather than processes that use the most creative, writing process. Poems, of Akhmatova, really grow from trash; prose roots — no more noble.
If art is something and teaches (and artist — first and foremost), it is particularly of human existence. It is the most ancient — and most literal — form of private enterprise, it wittingly or unwittingly encourage a man is his sense of individuality, the uniqueness, individually — transforming it from a social animal into a person. Much can be divided: bread, bed, creed, sweetheart — but not a poem, let us say, Rainer Maria Rilke. works of art, literature especially, and a poem in particular refer to the person face-to-wall, join him in direct, without intermediaries, relations. For it is this and not like art at all, literature especially, and poetry in particular, the zealots of the common good, mass lords, heralds of historical necessity. for there, where the art of the past, Where can I read the poem, they find on the site of the anticipated consent and unanimity — indifference and discordant, on-site determination to action — inattention and brezglivosty. In other words, in toe, that the zealots of the common good and the rulers of the masses strive to operate, Art inscribes “point-point-comma-minus”, turning every toe in if not always attractive, But the human face at.
Moscow Baratinsky, speaking of his Muse, He described it as having “face a look of uncommon”. The acquisition of non-general of expression and is, apparently, the meaning of individual existence, For a neobschnosti that we are prepared, as it were genetically. Regardless of, man is a writer or a reader, its task is, to live on their own, and not imposed or prescribed from the outside, even the most noble-looking way life. For it, each of us is only one, and we know, how it ends. It would be unfortunate to spend this one chance to repeat someone else's appearance, the experience of others, of tavtologiyu — especially offensively, that heralds of historical necessity, at whose instigation of the person on the tautology that is willing to accept, in the coffin with him, together will form and will not say thank you.
Languages, I think, literature — things older, unavoidable, durable, than any form of social organization. Indignation, irony or indifference, expressed by literature towards the state, there is, essentially, DC response, rather — endless, with respect to temporary, limited. At least, as long as the state allows itself to interfere in the affairs of literature, Literature has the right to interfere in the affairs of state. Political system, form of social organization, like any system at all, there is, by definition, preterit, trying to impose itself present (and often to the future), and the man, whose profession is language, — last, who can afford to forget about it. The real danger for a writer is not only an opportunity (often reality) Persecution by the State, as opportunity to be mesmerized by its, state, monstrous or undergoing changes for the better — but always temporary -ochertaniyami.
state Philosophy, his ethics, not to mention its aesthetics -always “yesterday”; language, literature — is always “Today” and often — especially in the case of the orthodoxy of one system or another — and even “tomorrow”. One of the literary merit and is, it helps a person to specify the time of its existence, distinguish themselves in the crowd as the precursor, and their own kind, avoid tautology, ie fate, otherwise known by the honorary title “victims of history”. Art in general, and in particular the literature and remarkably, It differs from life, that always runs repetition. In everyday life, you can tell the same anecdote three times and three times, causing laughter, be soul Society. In art, this form of behavior is called “cliche”. Art is a recoilless gun, and its development is determined not by individual artists, but the dynamics and logic of the material, previous history of funds, you want to find (or prompting) each time a qualitatively new aesthetic solution. Has its own genealogy, dynamics, logic and future, art is not synonymous, but, best case scenario, parallel stories, and the way of its existence is to create each time a new aesthetic reality. That is why it is often “ahead of progress”, ahead of history, primary tool which is — Do we not clarify Marx? — it is a cliche.
To date, very common statement, if the writer, poet especially, must use in their work the street language, crowd language. For all its apparent democracy and tangible and practical benefits for the writer, this assertion is absurd and represents an attempt to subordinate art, in this case literature, stories. Only if we decided, what “sapiensu” time to stop in its development, literature should speak the language of the people. Otherwise, people should speak the language of literature. Every new aesthetic reality clarifies the reality of ethical for a man. for aesthetics — ethics mother; notion “OK” and “badly” — concepts primarily aesthetic, anticipating category “good” and “evil”. In ethics, not “everything is permitted” because, that aesthetics are not “everything is permitted”, because the number of colors in the spectrum is limited. inexperienced babe, crying rejects the stranger or, conversely, trailing him, reject it, or drawn to him, instinctively making an aesthetic choice, and not moral.
Aesthetic choice is always individual, and aesthetic experience-always experience particular. Every new aesthetic reality makes man, it perezhivayushego, face even more special, and this particular, sometimes takes the form of a literary (or any other) taste, in itself may be, if not a guarantee, or at least a form of protection from enslavement. For a man of taste, in particular literary, less susceptible to repetition and rhythmic incantations, characteristic of any form of political demagogy. It's not so much, that virtue is not a guarantee of a masterpiece, how much is, that evil, particularly political, always a bad stylist. The richer the aesthetic experience of the individual, the harder it taste, the sharper his moral choice, so it is freely — although, perhaps, and happier.
It is in this, most application, than platonic sense, it should be understood the remark Dostoevsky, what “Beauty will save the world”, or statement of Matthew Arnold, what “poetry will save us”. World, probably, will not be able to save, but the individual is always possible. Aesthetic sense in man is evolving very rapidly, for, not even fully aware of the fact, what it is and what it is actually necessary, person, usually, instinctively know, he does not like, and that he is not satisfied. In an anthropological sense, repeat, man is an aesthetic before, than ethical. Art so, in particular literature, not a by-product of specific development, but exactly the opposite. If the, what distinguishes us from other members of the animal kingdom, it is, this literature, and in particular, poetry, It is the highest form of slovestnosti, a predstavljaet, roughly speaking, our goal species.
I am far from the idea of ​​indiscriminate learning prosody and composition; However, division of people on the intelligentsia and the rest seems to me unacceptable. The division of morally it is like division of society into rich and poor; but, if the existence of social inequality is still conceivable some purely physical, study material, inequality intellectual, they are unthinkable. What-what, and in this sense, equality is guaranteed to us by nature. We are not talking about education, a speech about education, slightest proximity which is fraught with the invasion of a person's life a false choice. Sushestvovanie literature implies the existence at the level of literature — and not only morally, but lexically. If a piece of music still leaves a person the opportunity of choosing between the passive role of listener and the active artist, product literature — art, in the words of Montale, hopelessly semantic — dooms him to the role only artist.
In this role, a person act, it seems to me, should usually, than any other. Moreover, it seems to me, that this role as a result of the population explosion and the associated increasing atomization of society, t. е. with the increasing isolation of the individual, It is becoming more inevitable. I do not think, I know more about life, than anyone my age, but I think, that as a companion book is more reliable, than a friend or lover. A novel or a poem — not a monologue, but the conversation with the reader writer — conversation, repeat, very special, excluding all other, if anything — mutually misanthropic. And at the time of this conversation a writer is to the reader, as, however, and vice versa, regardless of, a great writer he is or not. equality is — consciousness of equality, and it remains with a person for life in the form of memory, vague or distinct, and sooner or later, way or inappropriate, determines the behavior of the individual. That is what I mean, speaking about the role of the Executive, the more natural, that the novel or poem is the product of mutual loneliness of the writer and the reader.
In the history of our species, in history “Sapiens”, book — anthropological phenomenon, essentially the same invention wheels. Arose for, to give us an idea not so much of our origins, how about, for what “sapiens” this method, book is a means of moving in space at a speed experience turning page. Move it, в свою очередь, as any movement, It turns into a flight from the common denominator, the attempt to impose the denominator of the line, does not rise above the waist, our heart, our consciousness, our imagination. Escape is — fleeing towards uncommon facial expressions, towards the numerator, towards identity, in particular side. According to whose image we were created, We have five billion, and other future, except delineated art, the person does not. Otherwise we will have past — first of all, political, with all its mass police delights.
In any case, the position, wherein the literature and art in general is the property of a particular (the prerogative) minority, It appears to me unhealthy and threatening. I am not calling for the replacement of the state library-although this idea I have repeatedly visited — but I have no doubt, what, we choose our rulers on the basis of their reading experience, and not based on their political programs, on the ground would be less sorrow. I think, that a potential ruler of our fates should be asking is not primarily about, he is currently the foreign policy course, on this, as it relates to Stendhal, Dickens, Dostoevsky. If only for the reason, that the daily bread of literature is precisely the human diversity and ugliness, she, literature, is a reliable antidote to any kind was — known and future — total attempts, mass approach to solving the problems of human existence. As a moral system, at least, insurance, it is much more efficient, rather than one or the other system of beliefs or a philosophical doctrine.
Because there can not be laws, protecting us from ourselves, none of the Criminal Code does not provide for penalties for crimes against literature. And among these the most serious crimes is not censorship, etc.. P., not predanie book Kostru. There is a crime more serious — books neglect, their non-reading. For an offense is the person pays all his life: if it commits an offense Nation — she pays for it with his history. Living in the country, in which I live, I first was ready to believe, that there is a proportion between the material well-being of man and his literary ignorance; It keeps me from this, однако, the country's history, in which I was born and raised. For reduced to a minimum of cause-and-effect, to brute formula, Russian tragedy — this is the tragedy of a society, Literature which was the prerogative of the minority: famous Russian intelligentsia.
I do not want to dwell on the subject, I do not want to mar the evening thinking about the tens of millions of lives, ruined millions of the same, — for that, what happened in Russia in the first half of the XX century, It occurred before the introduction of automatic weapons — in political doctrine triumph, which inconsistency already lies in the fact, it requires human sacrifice for its realization. I can only, what — not experience, Alas, but only in theory — I suppose, that person, I read a lot of Dickens, to shoot his like in the name of whatever it was the idea of ​​a predicament, than human, Dickens never read. And I'm talking about reading Dickens, Stendhal, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Balzac, Melville, etc., ie. References, but not literacy, not about education. Competent something, educated a man may well, this or that political treatise reading, kill his own kind, and even experience with the enthusiasm convictions. Lenin was literate, Stalin was literate, Hitler, too,; Mao Zedong, so he even wrote poetry; List of victims, However, far exceeds their reading list.
However, before moving on to poetry, I'd like to add, that the Russian experience could reasonably be regarded as a warning, if only because, that the social structure of the West in general, are still analogous to, that existed in Russia before 1917 of the year. (It is this, by the way, It explains the popularity of Russian psychological novel of the XIX century in the West and a comparative lack of success of contemporary Russian prose. Public relations, established in Russia in the XX century, submitted, apparently, the reader at least outlandish, than character names, preventing him to identify himself with them.) Alone political parties, eg, on the eve of the October revolution 1917 , there were certainly no less than in Russia, what exists today in the US or UK. In other words, dispassionate person might notice, in a sense, XIX century in the West, is still ongoing. In Russia it was over; and if I say, that it ended in tragedy, it is primarily because of the number of casualties, which entailed the onset of social and chronological change. This tragedy is not the hero dies — die chorus.
Although human, whose mother tongue — Russian, talk about political evil is as natural, as digestion, I would now like to change the subject. talk about the obvious flaw in the, they corrupt the minds of its ease, its easy to acquire a sense of rightness. This is their temptation, similar in nature to the temptation of a social reformer, This gives rise to evil. Awareness of this seduction and repulsion from it to a certain extent responsible for the fate of many of my contemporaries,, not to mention the fellow writers, responsible for literature, from beneath their feathers arose. She, this literature, It was not an escape from history, no muting memory, as it may seem from the outside. “How can one write music after Auschwitz?” — voprošaet Adorno, and the man, familiar with Russian history, can repeat the same question, replacing it camp name, — repeat it, perhaps, with even greater right, for many people, perished in Stalin's camps, far exceeds the number of perished in German. “And how after Auschwitz can eat lunch?” — I saw this as something the American poet Mark Strand. Generation, to which I belong, anyway, It proved to be capable to compose the music.
This generation — generation, born at a time, when the Auschwitz crematoria were working at full capacity, when Stalin was at the zenith of godlike, absolute, by nature, казалось, authorized power, It came into the world, looking at all, to continue the, which in theory should be interrupted in those crematoria and in the anonymous common graves of Stalin's archipelago. That fact, that not all interrupted, — at least in Russia, — have to a great extent the merit of my generation, and I am proud of their affiliation to it is not in the least, than the, I stand here today. And the fact, I stand here today, there is a recognition of this generation services to culture; remembering Mandelstam, I would add — to world culture. Looking back, I can say, that we started from scratch -Just, at frightening her waste places, and that more intuitive, than consciously, we sought was to recreate a culture of continuous effect, to restore its forms and tropes, to filling its few surviving, and often totally compromised forms of our own, new or seemed to us such, contemporary content.
There, probably, another way — further deformation path, poetics of fragments and debris, minimalism, defunct breathing. If we abandon it, it is not because, it seemed to us by samodramatizatsii, or because, we were extremely animated by the idea of ​​preserving the hereditary nobility of the known forms of culture, equivalent in our consciousness forms of human dignity. We abandoned it, because the choice really was not our, and the choice of culture — and this choice was once again an aesthetic, and not moral. Of course, natural person to talk about himself, not as an instrument of culture, but, conversely, how about its creator and preserver. But if today I assert the opposite, it is not because, that there is a certain charm in paraphrasing at the end of the XX century Dam, Lord Shaftesbury, Selling or Novalis, but because, that anyone who, and the poet always knows, something, which in common parlance is called the voice of the Muse, it actually dictates the language; that is not the language of his instrument, and he — language means to continue its existence. Language also — even if we imagine it as a kind of animate being (it would be only fair) — the ethical choice is not capable.
Man taken to compose poems for different reasons: to win the heart of his beloved, to express their attitude to surrounding reality, whether it's a landscape or gosudarsvo, to capture the state of mind, in which it is currently, to leave — he thinks at this moment — after a Zemlya. He resorted to this form — the poem — for reasons, probably, unconsciously mimetic: Black vertical middle clot words white paper, apparently, It reminds him of his own position in the world, prostranstvak of proportion to his body. But regardless of the reasons,, on which he takes up the pen, and regardless of the effect, produced by the, what comes out of his pen, to his audience, no matter how big or small it may be, — the immediate consequence of this enterprise — feeling of coming into direct contact with the language, more precisely — a sense of immediate confluence of dependence thereof,, from everything, that have expressed it, written, done.
this dependence — absolute, despoticheskaya, but it also liberates. For, always being older, what the writer, language has more colossal centrifugal energy, informs him of his temporal capacity — that is, the whole time lying ahead. And this potential is determined not so much by the quantitative composition of the nation, it talking, although this, too,, as the quality of the poem, it composes. Suffice it to recall the authors of Greek or Roman antiquity, suffice it to recall Dante. Created today in Russian or in English, eg, It guarantees the existence of these languages ​​in the next millennium. Poet, repeat, Language is a means of existence. Or, as the great Oden, it — the, whom the language alive. I will not, writing these lines, will not you, their reading, but the language, on which they are written and in which you read them, remains not only because, that the language is more durable than human, but also because, that it is better adapted to the mutations.
writing a poem, однако, He writes it not because, that he expects to posthumous fame, although it often and hopes, that the poem will outlive him, albeit not for long. Writing a poem writes it because, he suggests that language, or simply dictates the following line. since the poem, поэт, usually, does not know, what it will end, and sometimes it is very surprised, what happened, for often turns out better, than he thought, often thought of it goes further, which he relied. This is the moment, when the future of language interferes with their present. Exist, as we know, Three methods of cognition: analytical, and intuitive method, which was used by the biblical prophets — by revelation. poetry unlike other forms of literature in, it uses all three at once (tending predominantly to the second and third), because all three are in language; and sometimes with a single word, One who writes a poem rhyme unable to be there, where no one before him did not happen, — and more, may be, than he would have wished. Writing a poem writes it above all because, the poem — extraordinary accelerator of conscience, thinking, attitude. Having experienced this acceleration once, people are no longer able to refuse to repeat this experience, he becomes addicted to this process, both fall into dependency on drugs or alcohol. Man, located in a similar depending on the language, I suppose, and it is called a poet.

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Joseph Brodsky
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