Moscow in May: Джеймс Кэнтон о его визите в Москву и лекциях в школе филологии
Moscow in May:
Wild Writing in the East
At the kind invitation of Moscow Higher School of Economics, I have just spent five wonderful days in Russia, following the footsteps of some of the world’s finest writers and lecturing the bright-eyed students of HSE on the essentials of Wild Writing.
Sunshine for my wander of Red Square, the flame of the unknown soldier flickering bravely, the glorious classical splendour of the Metro station at Arbatskaya, and then the hidden jewel of Gogol’s home where flames still flicker in the fireplace over the pages of Dead Souls, where a pale death-mask means Gogol’s face still glows from the grave in a darkened room. And then, on another day as the rain falls like arrows there is the gothic glory of Bulgakov’s place, his home enshrined with towering piles of books, where graffiti guides your feet up the stone steps, everywhere black cats flickering on the edge of vision.
There are to be no ‘dreadful May’ days. The students of HSE listen with ardent intent as I tell of Wild Writing, then tell of their reading of lost Victorian wonders like Sabine Baring-Gould’s Mehalah, enthuse at the notion of heading to literary landscapes both urban and beyond, at thoughts of hunting the wilds of their favourite authors.
The highlight is saved for Saturday. Early morning. Still rain. Guided by Natasha Sarana and Gleb Lukin, I head to the home of the finest writer the world has seen – two hundred kilometres south of Moscow, to Tula’s industrial towers on a train packed with Muscovites seeking the wild. From Tula on south – to Yasnaya Polyana – the place where Tolstoy was born; to the space in the woods where his body was buried in an unmarked grave, and where we three souls stand in silence and think for a moment of Anna, of Andrei, of life and death and War and Peace. A perfect wild place in the East.
Интервью с проф. Кэнтоном на англоязычном портале школы читайте здесь.