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Vasily Filippov - tragic voice of Leningrad uncensored poetry


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ST. PETERSBURG. Publishing house «Palmira» in the series «Parts of speech» published a book of poems by Vasily Filippov, whose poetry was called «collective unconscious» of the Leningrad underground.

In mid-August 2013, the poet Vasily Filippov, one of the most tragic figures in the Leningrad uncensored literature, died at the St. Petersburg Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 named after Kashchenko. «Pencil pupil» - the first collection of poems, released after his death. Four more were published during the life of the poet.

On the cover is a picture of a young man. Beautiful, spiritual, outwardly calm face. And only demanding, burning with a dumb question, a slightly otherworldly look reveals the inner tension that is burning inside the fire. Filippov was 19 years old. It is time for his university students, the first literary experiments, participation in the religious and philosophical seminar Goricheva, realizing oneself true. The author of the photo is the genius Boris Smelov, the chronicler of the unmarried Petersburg, a dissident in photography, a symbolic person for the so-called «second culture».

David Yakovlevich Dar, the head of the literary association «The Voice of Youth», a remarkable prose writer, born teacher and just an honest man, played a major role in the development of the creative personality. One of those few who dared to raise their voice in defense of Joseph Brodsky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Brodsky called Dara an unread writer, whose writer’s talent turned out to be in the shadow of the genius of his personality. Poetess Olga Beshenkovskaya admitted: «All of us, who somehow went beyond the general channel, chilled Leningrad sparrows, fate generously endowed and warmed David...». Among them was Vasily Filippov, in which Dar discerned that special storehouse of the soul, which distinguishes the real poet.

1979 is a turning point in his life. The mental illness that has been waning his consciousness and the growing conflict with his parents due to their militant atheism, irreconcilability to dissent, the impossibility to realize the scale of his talent led to a tragic failure. His permanent home was psychiatric hospitals. Since the early 90’s, he no longer left these walls. Although, according to people who took in his fate a hot part and highly valued his talent, the development of mental illness could be stopped, not let it flare up at all. Among them: writer and teacher Asya Lvovna Meisel, who published for her money one of the collections of the poet, poets Victor Krivulin, Elena Shvarts and many others.

Most of the works (there are more than 400 of them) were written by Filippov in the mid-1980s. Mostly these are vers libre which were printed in samizdat magazines and collections published since the late 90’s. In the book «Pencil pupil» included for the first time included his prose and poetry, written during his creative take-off.


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