Lev Slavin - “Armenia! Armenia!“
Lev Isayevich Slavin (15 on October (27), 1896, Odessa - on September 4, 1984, Moscow) - the famous Soviet playwright, the writer, the screenwriter.
I entered Armenia through painting gate. I rejected what in nature did not coincide with Martiros Saryan, Arutyun Galents, Minas Avetisyan`s cloths as heresy. So was until I arrived to Garni.
Alexander Humboldt called Armenia the center of gravity of a classical antiquity as it stood from all cultural countries of antiquity equally spaced. Garni`s
- the plateau on which harmonously grew white, hanging over a ravine, the antique temple. For nineteen centuries which passed from the date of its birth from it there were ruins. I wandered among razjyaty parts of fine - prostrate columns, bluish basalt blocks, fragments of statues, plafonds, plates with the image of Atlases.
This pagan pagan temple saw a lot of things. It changed religion, was converted to Christianity and again, under the influence of the tsar Trdat III, fell into the Hellenistic idolatry. Only after the marked tsar, according to the legend, was turned into a boar, he thought again, having thought it must be assumed that all - is more pleasant to be a person, though the Christian, than the pagan, but a boar.
This plot of land radiates visions of Rome. But, in effect, small freedom-loving Armenia was never a captive tsezary. Thucydides wrote: “We it is only illusive we take control of Armenia …“ The Armenian tsar Artavaz II, Tigran Veliky`s son, composed the Greek tragedies. It was those days when there the Roman interventionists interfered. They were conducted by Mark Litsiny Crassus, known as Rich. He was the largest financier of Rome who profited on assignment of the seized property of victims of political repression during Sula`s revolution which it adjoined. Plutarch describes his end. During a feast which the playwright and the tsar Artavaz, “the tragedian Yason from Trall gave, - Plutarch writes, - recited from Euripedes`s “Bacchantes“ … While clapped to it, in the hall Sillak entered, bit the dust before the tsar and then threw on the middle halls Crassus`s head … Such is, speak, there was an end with which, as if the tragedy, Crassus`s course came to the end“.
The scattered ruins of the temple are similar to huge increased game “Designer“. Similarity amplifies thanks to what this antique “Designer“ is mounted now, the Armenian Parthenon will arise among mountains, surrounded with twenty four columns growth about the four-storeyed house Soon. To it the ladder with nine large basalt steps will lead. It will be an amazing show - classical Hellas among chaos of mountains, is yellow - ocherous close and gently turning blue as they leave afar. It will be other Armenia, Greco - Roman, not touched by a brush of remarkable Yerevan artists. Now here masons and carvers to whom with such attention Vasili Grossman who left unforgettable notes “Good to you“ about modern Armenia got accustomed work.
Grossman grounded the high thoughts of Armenia. He was afraid to seem grandiloquent and eloquent. It cut through the nervousness by household popular speech. Example:
“And a sheep whom the translator wanted to smooth (so Grossman called himself. - The h.p.), nestled on a burro, looking for at him protection and protection. There was in it something inexpressibly touching - the sheep instinctively feels that the hand of the person given to her bears death, and here she wanted to be saved from death, looked for at a four-footed burro of protection against that hand that she created steel and the thermonuclear weapon“.
having As if been ashamed of own insight, Grossman right there muffles the philosophic heat:
“On the same day visitor (that is it, Grossman. - Hp) bought in a selmaga a piece of children`s soap, toothpaste, warm drops“.
Grossman knew the word price. “The word is the whole world“, - the Armenian classic Tumanyan told. Grossman brought this world in that work for the sake of which it arrived to Armenia. Certification in the third party by “translator“ whereas for Vasili Grossman there were already widely famous books “Glyukauf“, “Stepan Kolchugin“, “For a Right Cause“ can be proved to be frivolous and even partly self-pejorative. What for the sake of it charged itself with work of the translator, it is conversation special. But, having charged, it concerned her honestly. In process of conversion of the novel of R. Kochar “Children of the big house“ the translator and the author made friends. “Cachar tea is very lovely, attentive, - Grossman in one of letters to the wife writes, - everything seeks to show me interesting monuments and places“. Nevertheless in the notes Grossman was careful to bring Ruble. Cachar tea under his own name, it is obvious not to limit accuracy of characteristics. The translator calls the author Martirosyan.
Grossman`s notes about Armenia “Good to you“ could be called “A declaration of love to Armenia“. Whether its work of the translator was pleasant to it? Grossman always Grossman, even then, when he suffered from unrealized desire, such passionate and such - I will tell - natural: to be oneself, “… I dream of that, - he writes the wife, - as I will finish work and I will have a rest in silence, I am oneself again, but not the translator. And in other letter: “… I like to be oneself, as if it was heavy and difficult“.
It reached it on the pages “Kindly to You“. Describing the first minutes in Yerevan (yes generally and further in Armenia), Vasili Grossman let out from himself the demon of figurativeness. Never before he wrote so picturesquely, so metaphorically. It approached in the invoice of the last pages of the life Oleshe, Katayev.
Reading the published Vasily Semenovich`s letters from Armenia, it is easy to notice that admiration of the country is sometimes painted by grief. And in Armenia it liked everything: both people, and the nature, and art, and customs, - the word, all! With one exception: its translation work. He calls it in the letters “breakbone“. It also responded in his letters grief and bitterness.
Is strange that Grossman does not mention the road on Gegard, delightfully beautiful. Mountains approach to crush the traveler, with unexpected courtesy suddenly generous swing open, opening meadows, floodplains, plains. The most amazing in mountain tops of Armenia - that ease and hunting with what they turn into similarity of the balloons which are gently floating in the sky. And meanwhile their wildness is incontestable. It is the hardened hurricane, the stiffened mutiny of the nature. Whether stiffened? It sounds, this revolt. I witnessed how from the gorge wind of metaphors suddenly escaped, hit me in a face, nearly brought down from legs. I understood that minute stylistic sources “Good to you“.
Armenia - the country many-tier. Red abysses, cyclopean grace of huge chaotic heaps, which as if compete in surpassing each other by fancifulness of forms … And everything as O. Mandelstam once wrote about places of these, “is painted by ochre hoarse“.
assumes Creation of the Gegardsky cave monastery in unknown medieval builders not only talent, but also special knowledge. However, why “unknown“? In cave church Avazan on one of walls the name of the builder which is cut down in a stone remained: Galdzak. Yes, of course, it built for certain: the slightest miscalculation - and the mountain in which the temple is hollowed would sit down on the heads of builders. So let do not speak to me about the engineering miracles which are allegedly created by belief. The believing ignoramus could not create this architectural masterpiece. It is impossible to doubt that Galdzak possessed necessary knowledge of mathematics, of resistance of materials. Remarkable ancient constructions are given rise not by a mystical trance, but strict and exact calculation of talented and skilled builders.
Gegard means - a spear. Yes, there is in these ancient temples something aggressive, rough, serf. And - country. “Plechmi osmigranny you breathe rustic bychachy churches“ (O. Mandelstam). The legend says that vishapa own these mountains. The word means it - a dragon. In case of need, explains the legend, they accepted an image of people. Therefore, other tsars and commanders were actually unknown dragons.
We came to Giotto. So all call Gevorga Grigoryan. Though, in my opinion, if to nickname it from stock of the Renaissance, so it is rather an El Greco whom, by the way, Grigoryan loves and whom resembles scale of dark tones, dramatic nature of plots and oblongness of images. there is also no
On the Armenian Giotto`s cloths any open-air which is so generously poured in works of many Armenian artists, prompted probably by color of Armenia, and a beginner which at whom to accept a little persuasive character. The works Guevorg Giotto showed how many shine it is concealed in dark scale of paints. It is not similar
to anybody of the contemporaries. Unless only on Ruo. The small room of Giotto (it a workshop) is filled up with his pictures. Unfortunately, they badly (and in it not wine of the artist) disperse on the museums, they here almost everything, these strange, concerning compositions, such, for example, as “The keyboard and a swallow“ or the numerous portraits of the composer Komitas written as if and not paints, and grief and anger. The rigid brush of Giotto becomes unexpectedly soft when he writes the wife. Since sixtieth years, it enters hands in which image it reaches sharp expressiveness into the portraits. But generally long way of this old artist surprisingly virgin soils. Apparently, his radical artistic virtue - fidelity to. However, saying goodbye to me, he told:
- When I was young, I wrote as the old man. Now I write as the excited young man …
in the Evening we went to cinema. Huge amphitheater. A roof - the star Yerevan sky. S. Paradzhanov`s movie “Color of pomegranate“ very talented. And very Armenian. Perhaps, even sometimes too Armenian. He insists on the national originality with such persistence that he somewhere sometimes goes astray to universal. And in art only that and obshchechelovechno that originally national. Otherwise it risks to fall into provincialism, that is into narrowness and insignificance. “Color of pomegranate“ tells about destiny, about an eminence, about unseparable love and the tragic end of the famous poet of the 18th century Sayat - Are new.
this Movie does not cease to strike you on all the extent. You admire care of director`s work, its inexhaustible ingenuity. Yours faithfully you think of that how many work was never necessary on creation of these uncountable dexterous and to each other of the repeating combinations of beautiful people and beautiful things. In a word, I admired Paradzhanov`s movie. And did not worry at all. And - the tragedy. The tragedy of the ruined life of the poet. Tragedy of love. Tragedy of huge talent. Washing coldness, perhaps, resulted also because that performers, - whose suits are magnificent, gestures are faultless, - keep full impassivity on faces. These are not actors, and, will of the director, persons involved. In a word, I did not worry. I only admired. Whether it is a penalty which comprehends the artist for absence of passion, simply for removal in an estheticism? Passion and a muzeynost - two things not joint. Poetry not an exhibit, and on love you will not hang an inventory zhetonchik.
In the twenties last century went russko - the Persian war. On October 1, 1827, in two years after Decembrist uprising, the general Paskevich storm took Erivan. The group of officers by own efforts played “Woe from Wit“. Lisa, Sofya and other female roles were played by very young soldiers. All this occurred in the Palace Sardarov.
Now there hangs on a basalt wall a memorial plate. I wrote off its lines:
“Here in 1827 in the presence of the author was for the first time presented the immortal comedy of the great Russian writer Alexander Sergeyevich Griboyedov. Statement was carried out by officers - fans from Erivansky Karabingersky 7 - go the regiment participating in capture of Erivansky fortress“.
“I read, - Vasili Grossman writes, - as the Armenian intellectuals of the fact that in Yerevan earlier, than in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Griboyedov`s comedy was put were proud“.
Really, in Moscow it was put later, in the thirties. Not fans, but great actors - Shchepkin, Mochalov, Lensky and others played. But at officers 7 - guo Karabingersky of a regiment at all their professional not skill was the integral advantage: they represented the present. For them time of action of the comedy of Griboyedov there was “this century“ whereas the Moscow statement recreated “the past century“. But, as Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov in the well-known critical etude “Milyon of Torments“ thinly notices: “… there will be an aspiration to honors besides a merit so far until masters and hunters are found to cringe and “to take and to live rewarding cheerfully“ until gossips, inaction, emptiness dominate not as defects, and as passions of public life, - until then, of course, will flash also in modern society of line Famusovy, Molchaliny and others …“ Sometimes it seems to
that the nationality of talent of Armenians is explained by their origin: these are peasants. Also now nearly a half of the population of Armenia lives in villages (from everyone hundred - forty four). About whom you ask, the answer follows: it from such - that villages (sometimes foreign). As often the source of endowments proceeds from the earth! These thoughts come to mind when you adjoin to portrait painting of Akop Ovnatanyan. For a long time this artist is dead. But the merchants, mayors, generals, petty bourgeoises, officials, their wives covered by the jewelry which are written out with jeweler painstaking are living on its cloths. you see
Behind any portrait of Akop Ovnatanyan and I smother, both time, and the personality, and an era. On such portraits it is possible to study history of society. At the same time everyone tells about any intimate passion which is taking priority in soul of its model - about arrogance (A. Sargsyan), romanticism (Akimyan), wisdom (Nersesashtaraketsi), tendernesses (Nazelli Orbelyan), to love (Ananyan).
Six generations Ovnatanyanov throughout two centuries were artists. Their sort was interrupted on Akop. It was the peak of hereditary talent. Endowments genes, collecting, reached top in Akop Ovnatanyan, and on him this artistic dynasty sputtered out, the creative force.
For some reason all call this artist just by name: Minas. Though, of course, it has also a surname: Avetisyan.
the Nature of Armenia is joyful. But also it is severe. On Minas`s cloths of paint of Armenia gain new quality. When I look at a picture which is called “At a threshold“, - ognenno - the yellow figure of the peasant looks out of a brown gloom of the slightly opened house door, - I see not only the ardent nature of Armenia, but also shyness of country soul, its hidden force in shape of modesty, its unity with essence of the country.
In a remarkable self-portrait Minas represented himself not with a traditional bunch in hands, and with a brown, dusty prickle, repy or a thistle. He fights against sensitivity, against prettiness. Before us On a portrait there is also a fighter, the knight, the devotee or maybe the plowman. In the picture “Dedication“ the artist represented on a cross of himself. On each side - parents, old peasants. There is neither suffering, nor the excruciation peculiar to this subject here. On the contrary - vitality, warm-heartedness. As one of contemplators of a picture noticed: “Well, all - crucified achieved which - what in life …“ I did not manage to ask whom he meant: Christ or Minas? And the artist I could not ask because he those days was in Moscow, at the personal exhibition.
Leaving Minas`s workshop, we once again saw Yerevan through staircase apertures. We go down from the sixth floor, and on each platform before us there is a mountain embracing the city. On its slopes evening fires are already lit. The landscape becomes another not only in promptly fading light of the sky, but also in the changing foreshortening. As we went down, the mountain on the horizon grew. At last, at the very bottom, it was covered by one-storeyed pise-walled houses in the middle of which uncombed hostesses fried shish kebabs on braziers.
First we did not understand in what case so many people always crowd at Lenin Square, at Armenia hotel. Explained to us: to Yerevan there come foreign Armenians. Locals (in the majority elderly people) ask visitors on destiny of the relatives and fellow countrymen who went once to the USA, to Ethiopia, to France, to Syria, to Argentina, to Lebanon, to Bulgaria, to Canada. This dispersion of Armenians on the world went after notorious slaughter which Turks made in 1915.
At the same Lenin Square, only from the opposite side, in the Historical museum we considered the ancient vehicle found in the drained territory of the Lake Sevan. This primitive construction keeps on four huge wooden disks playing a role of wheels. We looked at the vehicle respectfully. To it obliged its age: 13th century B.C.! Thousand three hundred years moreover take our era. Total the rattletrap is about three thousand three hundred years old. Anything to!
Near us there was elderly Armenian. I remembered: yesterday I saw it in one tavern in Echmiadzin. They were three behind a little table, three gray-haired boys: the red-cheeked fat man, the lean aged man with a worn-out and passionate face of the bible prophet and this our today`s neighbor - a quiet, balanced exterior.
Now it was lop-sided on us and told, swinging the head:
- How about that … The thirteenth century …
Then it is unexpected:
- Just in such cart we ran fifty years ago … is not present, it is already more, fifty five, before the slaughter …
- From where?
- We lived at the lake Wang. We ran to Echmiadzin. There I live still. I was a boy then. To me now sixty four …
- And you, I`m sorry, who?
- the Driver I. Kazaryan my surname. We everything looked at
on the three-thousand-year cart again.
- Harnessed in it a buffalo, - he told, - and - to Russia. Strong cart. In our village at all such were.
In April, 1915 was destroyed about two million Armenians - the third part of the people. In Echmiadzin many refugees crowded. The great Armenian poet Hovhaness Tumanyan came to the rescue to them. Remember that it “hurried from one place to another, from tent in tent, from one group to another, from one dying to another“. Levon Akhverdyan tells about such case from this activity of Tumanyan:
“Once during a pouring rain it violently opened doors of new Patriarchal rooms under construction which till that time were inviolable. Refugees were killed inside. The Catholicos was indignant how the poet dared to afford it, - “before him the Catholicos of all Armenians …“ Speak, Tumanyan answered it: “But with you the Poet of all Armenians speaks“.
All chelovekoubiystvenny crimes, all mass slaughters, genocides and riots are similar at each other. The formulation of the initiator of the Armenian slaughter of the sultan, disgusting on the cynicism, Adbul - Hectare - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is known: “We will finish the Armenian question, having only been through with Armenians“. It almost coincides with not less brutal formulation of Hitler about “a final decision of a Jewish problem“. Not without reason, passing this “decision“, Hitler gave this terrifying slaughter of Armenians as the justifying example. “Who remembers now, - he told, - that Turks cut out Armenians?“
of the Murderer, hope that at mankind short memory.
Die people, but memory lives.
We rise up wide to the road. We go to a material evidence of enduring memory of mankind. The road is paved by big, slightly rough plates, on this granular surface it is easy to go. Far below gorge. At the bottom of it Hrazdan flows. Through the gorge the bridge is thrown.
I Love bridges! In them there is something brave, victorious. Here and this, the handsome and the daredevil, fastened with a huge arch both regions of the gorge. And on top arches with faultless geometrical beauty there is a bridge tangent.
On both sides of the road was stretched young park. I continue to rise on this woody hill. Gradually from - for a crest the edge of an obelisk is shown. And here we already see it entirely, in all its forty-meter growth. And nearby - similarity of a tent. It is formed by twelve huge granite poles. They decline the tops over a bronze bowl in which the eternal flame burns. Music sounds, its source is not visible, it seems generation of the flame which is torn from a bronze bowl - the music pressing heart, sad and solemn. If the people had a grief, there will always be a singer of this grief. The composer Komitas became him.
Ya a tent, I at an obelisk foot leave. All the easy body directed in the sky it somehow crosses out at once mood. In this flying-up needle there are a power and pleasure. Already later I learn that in it and there is an obelisk purpose because it is a sign of revival of Armenia.
is well visible Yerevan From here - the city which call pink though it, in effect, multi-color as a tufa from which it is built, not only pink, but also orange, both brown, and lilac, and gray, and yellow. And mountains add to this landscape from the blueness, gentle smokiness and silver blinking of mountain tops around.
The garden in Arutyun Galents`s house keeps the same appearance what it had during lifetime of the artist. Among trees there are things which he loved: a big amphora, an ancient stone with an ornament, so-called “õà÷êàð“, to which kind one thousand years. The sculptural head as though her owner stood up to a throat in the earth looks out of a grass.
of the Picture of Galents quickly dispersed on hands. He did not value the works, he easily gave them. Having painted a picture, he quickly forgot about it. It was Mozart in painting. Nevertheless a quantity of cloths still remained in his house thanks to care to Armina, his wives and the schoolgirl. Having risen by the second floor, in a workshop of the late artist, you can admire his mighty, courageous and free brush.
When Galents arrived from Syria, it was accepted in Yerevan, as well as all repatriates, with open embraces. The exhibition of its works made impression exclusive. To Galents the highest award was awarded - he became the winner of the state award of the republic. The diploma about award hangs in a workshop now. Galents did not manage to see it. He died on a threshold of the house. He was fifty seven years old.
Galents`s Art is full of mind and power. From each picture light of pleasure beats. Comparing contrast colors, it in the language tells us about how it is fine to live, simply to live. When you watch Galents`s pictures, the vitality raises. The infectious force of its art not only in color energy of its paints, but also in incontestably convincing composition. Let`s remember at least a portrait of the ballerina Maya Plisetskaya - the image crosses canvas space on diagonal, and it strengthens impression of tendency, almost flight.
If Galents`s portraits - disclosure of a sincere essence of the person, then his landscapes made in extraordinary intensity of yellow and blue flowers - country portraits.
First seems strange and unexpected that at this artist of pleasure were, under the general certificate, sad eyes. The deep grief in a look of this cheerful person was noticed almost by all knowing it. Raisa Messer calls Galents`s eyes “is concealed - suffering“. Levon Mkrtchyan finds in his shape “something festive and something tragic“. Martiros Sergeyevich Saryan said about “sad eyes“ of Galents, that he “in himself carried sufferings of the whole generation of the people which worried 1915“. At the same time Saryan notes that Galents`s pictures “take freshness, purity, pleasure and kindness“.
As were combined in one soul grief and pleasure? Saryan explains it with the fact that Galents “personified vital spirit of the native people“.
It so, of course. But also, the possession of talent gives feeling of pleasure, giving rise to confidence in the force and correctness in the artist. The well-known words of Mayakovsky that he steps on a throat to own song in itself a powerful image, - that is they - that and are that song which it is impossible to strangle because the act of self-strangulation turns talent of the artist into a work of art. So the genius Galentsa processed the grief into pleasure.
I go to Tsakhkadzor. The word it means - the Valley of flowers. I leave mountains. Together with them the tranquility leaves. As it is strange, but mountains, this hardened perturbation of the earth, for some reason make soothing action. I was born in the flat steppe and very much I love it. But when I there, I am restless. Its equal infinity gives rise to some languor. It is incomprehensible in the monotony, she calls to solve itself, secret of the boundlessness. Perhaps, therefore I also love the steppe. It as the sea, it is monotonous and changeable.
A of the mountain is plainly. It something time forever this. Whether not from here feeling of rest? Or from their durability? Durabilities, you speak? And earthquake? But while it is absent, do not believe in him how you do not believe in the death.
However when I was above a crater of Vesuvius, I had other feeling. Vesuvius was silent. The half-drunk Italian in a captain`s peak-cap with a braid calling himself “the commandant of Vesuvius“ lit the newspaper and threw it into a crater. From there vybukhnut clubs of a white smoke. I involuntarily started back. To me the menacing grumble was heard from a dark mouth of a volcano.
In Pompeii was remembered another. Excruciation. But not the nature, and people. When I saw in the middle of this unique museum of antique life the figure of the person which reached us from time immemorial and crooked in intolerable suffering, I remembered war, fascism, Maydanek, Auschwitz. Skeletons of antique houses were similar to skeletons of the houses burned by Hitlerites in the Eagle, Gomel, Warsaw among which ashes we wandered with Grossman in day of its release, on January 17, 1945 …
I went To Tsakhkadzore to the house where eight years ago Vasily Semenovich lived and worked. Two-storeyed white building of traditionally resort type. So built in the thirties. Here the small House of creativity of the Writers` Union of Armenia was placed. On a verandah the peeled billiards - that on which Grossman liked to play. Rooms are closed. On all a print of desolation and grief. I attentively peer into everything around, endeavoring to look Grossman`s eyes. Yes, I tried to get for the period of it slightly surprised, slightly quizzical searching look. And - kind. This last is probably the most difficult. When to one old man who addressed Grossman on all the time - Armenian noticed what Vasily Semenovich does not understand, he became angry and told: “Cannot be that the person with such kind eyes did not understand on - Armenian“.
assure Me that is here, in Tsakhkadzore, nothing was changed since those times. In a garden - a pear tree, an old hornbeam, the small fountain with a reservoir in which yellow leaves of fall float. Under the house the stream murmurs. (“I open a window at night, and it is heard, the stream … rustles“ - from Grossman`s letter to the wife.) Near the house the ancient temple which is nine hundred years old. Vasily Semenovich somehow told about this temple to Mary, R. Kochar`s daughter:
- Here so should be written - as the Armenian architects built: simply and that inside god …
I very much wanted to see in Tsakhkadzore the mad old man Andreas, both the fireman Ivan, and his father, the old Molokan, and, maybe, if it is possible, to test in conversation with them that high feeling about which Grossman writes to “Good to you“. I moved off in their searches. Any more neither Andreas, nor Ivan, nor his father, nor Karapet are absent - Aga, nor all those whom Vasily Semenovich met here. But also those that dispersed who where and that died continue to live on the pages “Kindly to You“.
In Yerevan Grossman was almost lonely. He testifies to it:
“I lived in Armenia two months; I carried out nearly a half of this term in Yerevan. I arrived to Yerevan, knowing the writer Martirosyan and the translator Gortenziyu … and left Yerevan, being familiar with Martirosyan, his family and the translator Gortenziya“ (so Grossman calls A. Taronyan. - H.p.).
Why so happened? It is not enough to tell that Vasily Semenovich was a person sociable: his greed on new acquaintances, his passion to knowledge of people was really inexhaustible. On the other hand, also hospitable sociability of Armenians is well-known. What formed the atmosphere of loneliness around Grossman? He writes about it with ironical disappointment:
“And I - that believed that I, like Platon, will begin to give the conversation not only the Yerevan artists of a feather and brush, but also scientists …“
Under this irony is probed melancholy for people. I heard two opposite opinions. Which - which of “artists of a feather“ convinced me that River. Cachar tea (it, I remind, Martirosyan from “Good to you“) discharged Grossman in Yerevan of new acquaintances. At the same time Kochar surrounded it with all cares that in this gold cage nothing distracted Grossman from work on the translation of its novel.
was told Differently (and despite the fact that Grossman writes) about it by the daughter R. Kochara, Mary, the young orientalist, assuring me that Vasily Semenovich himself did not want to see anybody, itself avoided new acquaintances, itself did not want to leave the narrow circle outlined by Kochar.
Ya I do not challenge any of these statements. In each of them, perhaps, there is the truth. But in the same way is not subject to doubt and Grossman`s thirst to communicate with people and the width of his friendly relations.
Certainly, the force field which surrounded Grossman in Yerevan irrespective of whether it was excited by Grossman or others, afflicted him. He tried to console himself that it was also lonely here and Osip Mandelstam whose poetry Grossman highly appreciated:
“Was consoled I in several the fact that it asked somehow Martirosyan about stay in Armenia of Mandelstam … However Martirosyan did not remember Mandelstam. Martirosyan at my request specially rang round some poets of the senior generation - they did not know that Mandelstam was in Armenia. Martirosyan told me that he vaguely Remembers the thin big-nosed person, probably, of very poor: twice Martirosyan treated him with a dinner and wine; having drunk, the big-nosed person read some verses, - on all visibilities, it was Mandelstam“.
to Grossman, undoubtedly, were known also O. Mandelstam`s notes “Travel to Armenia“ (“Star“, 1933, No. 5). One chapter is called “Ashot Ovanesyan“ there. I remembered it now that is why. Now there were I with Levon Mkrtchyan in the avenue of one of the Yerevan boulevards in the summer. Suddenly my attention was drawn by the person passing not far. Than? Something strong and considerable was in his face which did not lose sculptural outlines despite advanced years. Its camp was direct, the thick hair rejected back reminded a lion`s mane. I thought, keeping eyes glued from it: the age squared this face, it became goropodobny. Certainly, I saw this person for the first time. And still in it there was something painfully familiar. Levon tracked my look and exclaimed:
- Same the academician Ovanesyan! You remember, at Mandelstam?
“… entered the elderly person with despotic manners and a stately bearing. His Promethean head radiated smoky, pepelno - blue color as the strongest quartz lamp … It is black - the blue, shaken-up with vykhvalyyu locks of his hard hair had in themselves something from the radicular force of the bewitched bird`s feather“.
- Acquaint me with it! - I begged, having seen that my friend and the academician Ovanesyan were exchanged by bows.
After several insignificant words entering an acquaintance ceremony I asked the academician with fervor which, apparently, surprised several him, to tell me what to it was remembered about a meeting with Mandelstam.
On with astonishment - a polite smile of the academician Ovanesyan I understood that this meeting did not sink down to it in memory.
Ya thought, looking to it following that this conversation, be present at it Vasili Grossman, would also bring it some consolation.
was Heard by me and about another story. Too in Yerevan. About conversation between two poets - Charents and Mandelstam. Having listened to Mandelstam`s verses on Armenia, Charents told:
- whether you Understand that from you the book is torn?
Mandelstam was surprised. He also did not notice that from it “the book is torn“. To Grossman of it niktabout did not speak. He noticed and wrote to the wife from Yerevan that he makes entries for future book about Armenia. Wrote somehow confusedly, timidly. Perhaps, not really trusted in future book. But Armenia so powerfully worked on it that he could not but take up the pen. It happens almost to each writer who there visited.
Today the clear sky, and since morning “gave“ Ararat. To us released it without bargaining, completely, both Big and Small. It whimsical. And incorruptible. Pushkinskaya Street was called before Imperial because here the tsar Nicholas I in the house which remained still stopped. During stay of the tsar Ararat never looked out from - for clouds. It was possible to doubt its existence. So Nikolay also left, without having seen Ararat and having told in some irritation: “But also Ararat did not see the Russian tsar!“ Who knows! I think that Ararat spotted in a shchelochka between clouds. Whether it gave it pleasure - other question. Clouds are something like servants of Ararat. Any minute it can cover with them the golovopodobny top in a fashionable gray-haired wig. “I managed to see service of clouds to Ararat“, - Mandelstam whom Ararat treated favourably joyfully reports. However, Mandelstam assured that he “developed in himself the sixth “Ararat“ sense: feeling of an attraction mountain“. In a word, Ararat - sight of Yerevan though it does not appear as that in guides, but got to the coat of arms of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. At the beginning of the Soviet power it even caused the protesting note of the neighboring state. The Foreign Commissar G. V. Chicherin immediately answered the neighbor that here at his coat of arms there is an image of the moon which, as far as we know, does not belong to it. On it diplomatic discussion ended.
In guides is other useful data. For example, that Yerevan - the age-mate of Rome and Babylon (that, however, does not prevent it to keep very young look and even that year, to look younger). Or that from each hundred residents of Yerevan - forty two children and thirteen old men (the others, on my supervision, artists). What average life expectancy of women in Armenia is six years higher, than at men (whether the sure bearing charming an erevanok is explained by it?) .
In cracks of new houses still remained old Yerevan court yard, deadlocks, side streets. In them there is a special southern charm. Such court yard were not removed in many cities of midday Europe yet - in Hungary, in Italy and at us, in Tbilisi, for example, or in Odessa, - with their external ladders, mulberry trees, glass terraces, small reservoirs, with their life outside, with an appetizing savor of boiled corn and the smoking mutton which prepare right there, in the yard. Everywhere these court yard disappear, their identical, not really tidy everywhere, but nevertheless lovely cosiness is swept away new high-rise and too to horror by identical houses.
I went across the Armenian Highlands to that time when at tops snow already laid down. On the road from Hrazdan to Yerevan I saw a flock of the birds sitting on the shchebnevaty earth behind a roadside. I was surprised to their immovability.
Having come nearer, I saw that it is not birds, and stones …
We, inhabitants of infinite flat steppes, with amazement inspecting the reared Armenia, we ask: “Who it piled so much stone here!“ Nothing, except stones and the sheep who are grazed among them. Here and now I see in the distance, at the foot of a hill, a gray curly flock. Leonid Gurunts assures of the excellent novel “Our Lovely Shushikend“ that a sheep - the only animal who does not recognize the person. Gurunts knows, he was a shepherd.
Having come nearer, I saw that it is not sheep, and stones … Are not present
, more you will not deceive me, is angry I thought, addressing stones, no, no, it is not carcasses of the fallen asleep elephants, these are hardly fitted low an izzhelta - a gray grass stones. No, no, you will not spend me, these are not the gophers who rose at the minks on back pads and with curiosity looking the vicinity, are the ruffled-up stones. Anything, except a stone and prickly bushes - a barberry, a hawthorn, a dogrose. It becomes boring among this stony lifelessness! Glory those My God, at last people! Probably, there is a general meeting of collective farmers, - can be, meeting on the occasion of delivery of a harvest.
Having come nearer, I saw that it is not people, and stones …
I I gave up.
Stones were the tribe, they approached the car, were scattered, again gathered in crowds and something shouted … Yes, shouted! It was heard also by Mandelstam, he wrote: “the shouting stones the state“. And Amo Sagiyan: “To me in a cradle stones sang“. It was told about them: stones were exorcized. About what? What at last exorcized stones about?
Ya stopped the car, left. I stood among stones. Listened attentively to their silent rumble. Yes, they spoke a thunder of collapses, a tongue twister of the rolled pebble, rustle of sand under legs, hails of the boulders sliding from mountains. But except words: “I cannot be silent! - I could sort nothing.
When we returned to Yerevan, I breathed sigh of relief. To admit, I was tired of stones. Here they are too, but tamed, squared, laid to the houses able to behave. Only in one place I saw in foundation of the house of a block of a wild stone as though the house the weight squeezed out them from - under itself. It I saw
on Barekamuntyan Street that is meant by friendship.
Before reaching the well-known lake, we pass the town of the same name: Sevan - mix sat down, the resort and archeological excavations. One-storeyed pise-walled lodges, modern hotel, antiquities of a legendary kingdom of Urartu. But here and it, the immense bowl poured by blueness. We go on the former bottom of the lake. Highly on the mountain - white columns of the abandoned road. There was a coast of the lake twenty years ago. There is a lot of “former“, - for example, the island where there is a temple; for the same twenty years the island turned into the peninsula because water level in Sevan decreased by seventeen meters. Now punch a fifty-kilometer tunnel on which waters of the Arpa River will join Sevan through mountains. However, you will not return former, the peninsula will not become the island, water level will not rise, but though at least will cease to decrease.
Beyond Sevan become blue Areguniysky mountains. You notice them not at once, they are colors of the sky, so and the lake. In a subsoil of one of mountains - it is called Zod - found gold. What rich mountain and what rich alliteration!
of the Cloud slowly leave the sky and sit down on mountains. They creep below and below. Here they already at a foot. And I saw a surprising show: clouds concerned the lake and floated on it. Now they are called fog and already forgotten about their heavenly origin. But I am ready to swear that this fog over the lake no other than clouds which sparashyutirovat on tops of mountains descended on water and, similar on a camel from there, on the lock, and even on the person, walked on it as on go on.
the Lake Sevan as it is strange, did not please Grossman. Its description in “Good to you“ differs in coldness. He also admits it: “Sevan - one of the most beautiful places on the earth“. But “… the meeting with Sevan did not leave, did not sink down to me in soul“. Why? In vain Grossman brings down it on the satiety images of Sevan in art, on a satiety in an initial, most literal sense of this word, that is on gluttony, on a feast which developed before it the Armenian hospitality. Of course, Vasily Semenovich did not address in panic flight at the sight of a glass of vodka and furthermore cognac. And perception accuracy did not change it on Sevan at all. It is all about sincere bitterness which in the last years of life Grossman generally did not release him. He was seriously ill and, perhaps, guessed it. Vasili Grossman wrote with
“Good to you“ with extreme sincerity, with dedicated return of sincere forces. the Medieval Armenian poet, ingenious Narekatsi wrote
Do not allow to suffer to me birth pangs and not to give rise.
to Grieve and not to cry,
to Think and not to groan.
to Become covered by clouds - and not to spill a rain,
to go and not to reach …
“The good to you“ for the first time was published in the Yerevan magazine “Literary Armenia“ in 1965.
Not without nervousness entered I a house museum of Martiros Sergeyevich Saryan. Three-storyed glass cylinder. In its corkscrew the ladder rises. We reach the third floor, survey begins from here. We hope to see the artist below, on the first floor. The fire of saryanovsky paints flares on all floors. Saryan is an artist of the sun. Not only on fiery heat of the paints, but also on all the exulting essence. Not only in landscapes, but also in portraits. Saryanovsky Anna Akhmatova is the for some reason dearest to me. Not widely known picturesque portrait, but little known drawing pencil. In it all Anna Andreevna, her sincere courage, her mind, her pride modesty, its high human dignity, its poetic greatness. by
As old acquaintances we meet originals of the works famous on reproductions, - a self-portrait “Three age“ and a threefold portrait Lusik Saryan. Unusual courage of the artist is that in these portraits he brings painting out of borders of space and tells her extent in time as though it was not the fine arts, but music or literature.
In the bottom of us was asked to wait a little bit. Martie - Sergeyevich`s dew foreign admirers exasperated so far. We wanted to leave, but us, at the request of the artist, detained.
First impression: Saryan, despite fatigue from the conveyor of guests, fully equipped with the spiritual powers. Smoothly shaved face it excised by wrinkles shines kindness, mind and benevolence, slightly prisolenny small share of good-natured slyness. Reads without points. It is pleasant to me that he showed it to us on my book. Mainly - on illustrations to it. He approved their skill, and the exaggerated their convention did not cause in it objections. It pleased my companion. Saryan looked at it, in the opinion of him, surprisingly live, the irony flashed, and he told:
- In general I about everything speak well because if what is bad, then why to speak about it? You will not help …
It is already whole philosophy of a primirennost. I was silent. I for some reason felt like in its society the boy. And it, without looking away from my companion, suddenly asked: - Forgive to
whether you the doctor is? there is no
- … - she was surprised. - And why you so thought?
- Therefore, - he thoughtfully, - told that you have a useful look. He repeated
- Is people who have a harmful look, and at you useful. Then we told
about the Russian artists. He remembered the teachers - Serova and Korovin.
Ya wanted to tell that I find in it more Serov, than Korovin. But did not decide.
Why I felt like in its society such boy? Eventually, we are divided by only sixteen years. Everything put, apparently, aged. If I met Martiros Sergeyevich in the middle of life, between us the same sixteen years, of course, would lie. But what huge qualitative difference! Age-mates forty-year-old and fifty-six-year-old generally. And quite another matter - a ratio 73 - 89, here the same abyss, as between ten-year-old and twenty-six-year-old. Other level of consciousness. Lagging behind in the childhood, we make up for seniors in maturity and again we lag behind them in old age.
So, looking at Saryan and listening to his speech, I saw before myself great rest of wisdom which so there is no my rushing-about, chaotic seventy-three-year youth!
In a small workshop of Ruben Adalyan smelled of a fresh tree. Where you will look, canvases in newcomers, just worked frames or just empty frames, so to speak a form without contents. Ruben (young, low, all right put, silent and fast, in special clothes - the worker, and dress up him in a chain armor and armor - the knight) confirmed that two months he does not work as the artist but only does frames that in a decent look to show the pictures to some high commission. Builds frames itself, of course, the working hands of the artist.
Ya I love this moment when the artist begins to turn pictures facing the viewer. Long silently there were they, ranks leaned against a wall, having turned to you the gray linen wrong side. But here the artist turned them, and they started talking, cried, started singing, moaned or began to finish you long and not always the convincing speech.
Ya first of all demanded that Adalyan showed me “Horse“. I knew it only on reproductions. Then it very much was pleasant to me the power, an expression of the movement which is breaking off a picture immovability, surprising connection of irreality and vitality. In a word, I was eager to see the original it in the real sizes, and, above all - in color. Did not leave! In a workshop “Horse“ was not. The artist showed me the one-color copy and only added that in a picture the scale of the fire - red, yellow, ardent tone prevails. But I saw
in the original of “Bull“ which too sharply interested me before in reproduction. Undoubtedly, it is one of the strongest works of Adalyan. The picture is simple. The bull, small, but powerful, costs, having threateningly bent the mighty neck, against the huge, not located in a frame, painfully monotonous building going somewhere to infinity the heartless standard columns. Let say that it is symbolical that it is an expressionism that “figurative abstraction“, etc. I do not know and do not want to be let in art criticism dispute and to be thrown by special terminology. For me it is indisputable that contemplation of this picture gives rise to many associations - about opposition of the nature and civilization, order and spontaneity, a personal freedom and bureaucratic indifference. Adalyan as well showed the “Hiroshima“. It is unclear, why this bright thing was not accepted in Moscow on an exhibition. And in Yerevan she got on an exhibition not without effort, and eventually got an award. Work, certainly, interesting though has to tell that after I saw on the square in Rotterdam the well-known sculpture of Tsadkin “The tormented city“, all other things of this plan to me seem versions of the tsadkinsky solution of a subject.
Adalyan is not the most not Armenian artist from all whom I saw here. Of course, and in it strongly national beginning. But in general in its work there is a refusal shade, even a protest against sainting of signs of Armenia - sunniness, rockiness, okhristo - a yellowish rozovatost, etc. of
A at all unusual things went then. They went series. Series of applications. Series as if cities. Series as if manuscripts. As if mountain collapses. On a blue background a difficult zigzag which I mentally called “Line adventures“. Other zigzag - black which I, this time aloud, called: “A black lightning“ - it was also satisfied, having heard that the picture and is called.
Was a lot of unexpected. The generous artist! Very wide. Very skillful, sometimes reminding the inventor. And sometimes I remembered remarkable words of Hovhaness Tumanyan: “When speak, there is a wine, you understand that it in a vessel. But if tell: there is a vessel, - it does not mean that in it there is a wine“.
Already leaving, in a workshop corner I noticed the small picture so not similar on a manner for Adalyan`s works that I took it for work of some other artist. No, it was Adalyan, quite realistic portrait of the woman written by the master`s hand in strictly classical style.
When great Saryan saw this picture, he told Adalyan:
- Well, time you already are able, you are free to do everything that you want … to
in art Travelling around Armenia, I eventually told myself: “Let`s go deep into history, but we will not allow it to seize us“. In Armenia there are so much antiquities that the age them gradually ceases to blow the mind. Begins to seem absolutely natural that the Echmiadzinsky temple is erected in 301. Well and well, Ararat still ancient. Sardarabad us attracts
B a monument. No, not ancient. Absolutely new. Even as though yet not finished. However if we decided not to allow history to seize us, then we will try ovladto etyet it. Having come to this reasonable decision, I could not execute it. There is no description of Sardarabadsky fight. The heroic feat of the Armenian people made not in dark depths of the Middle Ages, and fifty years ago is imprinted not on paper, and in a stone, not by historians and poets, but sculptors and architects. That the little that I knew of Sardarabadsky fight, I learned from oral stories.
the Ararat valley through which we go to Sardarabad is absolutely other Armenia not similar to that that we saw still. Huge flat plain. All mountainousness was pulled together to one place: Big Ararat persistently accompanies us, striding on the horizon accompanied by the aide-de-camp - Small Ararat from which it is separated by Sardar - a bulaksky saddle.
Orchards, the opened fields, vineyards … This country of Nov is densely inhabited. Villages are almost closed with each other. Houses from a pink tufa staled. It is a lot of cars, motorcycles. Tractors attract the trucks filled by a geranium on perfumery factories. Sometimes white saline soils come across, and near apple-trees and grenades tomarisk and camel prickles adjoin.
Sardarabad declares itself from a distance the grandiose gate made of two enormous bulls who stretched to each other the massive heads on powerful necks. They symbolize force of the Armenian people which reflected in 1918 in this hill attack of the Turkish hordes. Against 53 - thousand troops of interventionists were sent in fight of 17 thousand Armenians and Russians. From them 10 thousand - soldiers of the former imperial army, the others - volunteers from the civilian population. Memory of slaughter of 1915 was absolutely fresh. In Erivani panic began. The Armenian fighters died in the last ditch. Among them there were five hundred priests - suicide bombers in white shrouds, with a cross in one hand and a sword in another.
Defenders beat off an impact of the Turkish interventionists and put to flight them. Especially caused a stir 5 - y a regiment. In his honor on the hill five huge pyramids from a red tufa topped with the eagle heads are erected.
Having left the Sardarabadsky hill, we long still, looking back, saw huge bulls, and a high belfry with memorable bells, and a semicircular wall with the bas-reliefs representing fighting episodes, and this five of red eagles, which as if moved the regal heads, seeing off us.
But here again the Ararat valley, and we roll afar on the road surrounded with gold poplars. I Wander
- means, I live.