Reciting their names seems to allow the reader to travel without any interruption to the luxurious palaces of Saint Petersburg or the frozen Siberian steppes by simply reciting them. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Akhmatova. Bulgakov... Maybe there was no national literature of the 19th or 20th century that could rival, or even come close to, Russian literature. Behind the works is the life of these geniuses. They were often tortured. Santiago Velazquez, a novelist from Madrid (1977), traces the biographical portraits twenty great Russian authors in his dazzling book "Writing in the Snow" (Caligram), which includes a prologue written by Juan Bonilla.
Velazquez believes that to truly understand the Russian soul, one must read the writers who lived in the world they were influenced by. The soul is divided between the Europeanist writers and the pure Slavs. However, they are all linked by different patterns. They were all poor at one point or another, regardless of whether they were born to wealthy families or not. They all faced persecution from Lenin and Stalin, the tsars and Lenin, including prior censorship, the withdrawal of economic funds, imprisonment, torture, or murder.
"Writing in snow" suddenly becomes a collection of the most bizarre tricks Russian writers had to use to save their work. Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" left Russia in a suitcase to reach Italy. Grossman's "Life and Fate" was smuggled to Paris in 1976 in microfilms. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn was the persecuted par excellence. He had memorized 12,000 verses on small pieces of paper to leave the Ekibastuz concentration Camp, which is now part of Kazakhstan and where he got the inspiration for his book, the 'Gulag Archipelago".
There were many other consequences. Universities in Ukraine, unable to tell the difference between the persecutors and the persecuted (Putin from Vasili Grossman), decided to cancel their Russian literature classes. The author of "Writing in the Snow" explains that this bizarre wave of punishment is "outlandish". Velazquez says, "If Dostoevsky had written today, he'd be persecuted"
"Writers had influence over society in the 19th and 20th centuries. Russia was more aware of this than any other country. They were persecuted for this reason. Velazquez explains that dictators used to fear the word just as they do today with social media. What inner fire did they have to keep writing, despite the risk of losing their lives? "Everyone felt a deep need to share the horrors and injustices. They were very courageous", says the author of books like 'The Conviction Of Salomon Koninck (Young and Brilliant Prize), and 'The Strange Illusion (Tiflos Prize). He read Dostoevsky as a teenager and was fascinated by the prose.
The world could have lost Dostoevsky on the 23rd of December 1849 if a bizarre order from the Tsar hadn't reached the firing squad that was about end his life. "Not having denied the publication of the criminal letter by Belinski against religion or the State," he was charged. It was actually an arbitrarily made decision by the justice system which paradoxically triggered the save's desire for writing and living. Velazquez says that the traumatic experience was an epiphany. He spent the next ten year in prison and returned to St. Petersburg to pursue a literary career. Also driven by the need for support for his family, Velazquez.
Dostoevsky's stories are part of a book that gives us a glimpse into a world as near as Russia, but at the same moment as far as Russia. It was something like what "la Garcia" felt as a Spanish gypsy living and working in Paris. She fell in love with Ivan Turguenev, a poet. Louis Viardot was the strong director of Paris's Italian theaters. Paulina Viardot nee Garcia married Paulina Viardot at 19 to make it convenient. Turgenev became a close friend and would kiss her "toenails for hours." The poet invited the couple to Saint Petersburg bear hunting to be closer to her. However, there are questions about the validity of that invitation.