Phrases from his children’s poems and fables have been and are being absorbed into the minds of children who grew up in the Soviet Union and are growing up now.
Photo: TASS Newsreel.
“I, a citizen of the former Soviet Union, a former Soviet writer Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov, was born in tsarist Russia, in the city of Moscow, on March 13 (February 28, SO) 1913. He took his first steps in the house number 6 Volkhonka street, not far from the Kremlin. The old reference book of Moscow homeowners says: “Volkhonka. House number 6. Owner of the house Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov (my grandfather’s brother). Construction office S. Marshak. A strange omen that united these two names after twenty years!
This is how Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov began his autobiography. He was called “I was a Soviet writer.” It is worth clarifying: first of all, he is not a prose writer, but a poet and playwright. And one of the main ones, and in every way.
Many could not bear it: even in life, Denis Gorelov, a regular contributor to KP and a prominent film critic, wrote a note about him so poisonous that even quoting it is scary. But at the same time, phrases from his son’s poems and fables have been and are absorbed by the minds of children who grew up in the Soviet Union and are growing up now. They are an integral part of our cultural code. “They say: on New Year’s Eve, whatever you want, everything will always happen, everything will always come true.” “Two rams drowned early in the morning in this river.” “The boy was friends with the girl, the boy valued friendship.” “I am not afraid of vaccinations: if necessary, I will inject myself!” “I’ll take you to the museum,” my sister told me. “Uncle Styopa was walking home from work, he was visible a mile away.” And about half a billion more sentences imprinted in memory. We had only four such children’s poets in the 20th century: Chukovsky, Marshak, Barto and Mikhalkov.
As well as scripts: “Big Space Journey”, “Dear Boy”, “Foam”. And play For example, the author of these lines, when he was seven years old, breathlessly read the play “They have a homeland”. (Today the breath would not stop, but what is there …) And there is nothing to say about the texts of the anthem of the USSR and the Russian Federation.
His enormous and generally very happy life cannot be contained on one page of a newspaper.
Photo: TASS Newsreel.
“WE HAVE LERMONTOV, NOW WE HAVE MIKHALKOV”
The winner of three Stalin prizes belonged to an old noble family. 14,000 sheets of family correspondence, not counting letters and petitions, dating from the 17th century, confirm this. In Soviet times, he was in public service, like his distant ancestors.
My father was a lawyer by profession and vocation, a passionate, terribly passionate poultry farmer. Young Sergey went from house to house in the village of Zhavoronki, near Moscow, selling the booklet “What a Poultry Farmer Needs to Know” written by his father. He forever remembered how a package was brought from England with a dozen eggs, which were placed on the hens. From seven eggs, ducklings of the Indian Runner breed were hatched, which later became widespread in the USSR. He also recalled how, during the NEP years, he won a bottle of port wine in the lottery, brought it home with pride… his father hit his neck and knocked the port wine on the ground. Not because of the hatred of alcohol-he sentenced “Never play”. And Sergey learned this lesson.
And he began to write poetry very early, in childhood. And they weren’t so bad for the boy. “The moral of this fable is this: // That there are a lot of such people in the white world, // What to tell them, // That it is better to help people // Not only in word, but in deed.” And he wrote poetry all the time; when he was 15 years old, they were first published in a magazine published in Rostov-on-Don. Then the family moved to Pyatigorsk, and the Russian teacher joked: “We had Lermontov, now we have Mikhalkov!” Oh, if he had guessed that in the minds of thousands of schoolchildren these names would be next to each other.
IOSIF VISSARIONOVICH SELECTS EPITETS
He climbed and climbed the literary and poetic ladder, wrote a lot and successfully. Not everyone knows that “Uncle Styopa” was written not by the teacher, but by a 22-year-old young man; Samuil Marshak approved the composition, and this is how Mikhalkov became a children’s poet. If it were not for his blessing, then, most likely, Mikhalkov would not have continued to write for children.
“Uncle Styopa” was published when Mikhalkov turned 23, and at the same time the poem “Svetlana” appeared. While studying at the Literary Institute, he courted the girl and promised that tomorrow he would publish a poem dedicated to her in the newspaper. He had no idea that the poem was already in the Izvestia edition, he only had to change the name: from Lullaby to Svetlana. Mikhalkov ran to the newsroom and changed. And then he was proud of the poem itself:
“You do not sleep
the pillow is wrinkled
Blanket on weight…
The wind carries the smell of mint,
The stars fall in dew.
The tits sleep in the birches
And in the quail rye …
Because you can not sleep?
Are you sleepy!”
Well, and so on, very nice. But the most important thing is that Stalin liked the poem, especially since his own daughter was called Svetlana. Stalin “instructed to meet with the poet, find out in what conditions he lives and, if necessary, help him. (…) The reader has the right to think that I classify that case as some kind of fateful gifts. However, in reality this is not the case. In my long life there have been many accidental successes of this kind – when, without expecting anything, you suddenly reap successes, and vice versa, fatal failures – when it seems that manna from heaven is about to fall on you, but in reality everything is come back a failure. I have never attributed this kind of random luck to the gifts of fate, considering them ordinary luck. How fate favored both Sergei Vladimirovich and his sons Nikita Sergeevich and Andrei Sergeevich, if everyone considered such things to be ordinary luck (!) …
In the same way, he was lucky when it was his poem that was considered the best for the Anthem of the Soviet Union. There were many applicants for the authorship of the Main Text of the Country, many options, but Stalin took and chose Mikhalkovskiy. And somehow it was created by himself: Gabriel Urakelyan, who published under the pseudonym G. The Registan, approached Mikhalkov, said that a new hymn would be created and offered to try his hand. “I had a dream that you and I became the authors of the anthem!” he solemnly announced. Mikhalkov composed the text, El-Registan corrected the wording. True, the music written by Dmitry Shostakovich (that is, the co-authors sent him the poem) did not like it, they chose the melody “Bolshevik Party Anthem”, written by Alexander Alexandrov five years earlier. In the end, Stalin personally called Mikhalkov, and after a while he invited them to the Kremlin with The Registan and handed them a sheet with his corrections: “The main thing is to keep these thoughts. Maybe?” Mikhalkov said that he would think about it. Stalin sent the poets to the next room, where they made all the necessary changes with lightning speed. Stalin looked at the text: “What invaders? Sneaky? What do you think, comrades ?” – “That’s right, Comrade Stalin! Furtive! Beria agrees. “Let’s stop there! “We will sweep the vile invaders out of the way!”
The authors of the USSR national anthem are the correspondent of the newspaper “Stalin’s Falcon” El-Registan, the composer Alexander Vasilievich Alexandrov and the poet Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov.
Photo: TASS Newsreel.
And, voila, Sergey Vladimirovich became the author of not only “Uncle Styopa”, but also the “people’s civil prayer”, as hymns were called in encyclopedias.
Andrey Sergeevich Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky later wrote: “I didn’t even know how terrible life was. She didn’t seem to touch us. More precisely, it was then that she did not know how terrible it was and, as for everyone, we, of course, too. So I asked my father:
“You were afraid?” “No,” she replied, “I wasn’t afraid.” – “How were you not afraid?!” – “You know, they put that one, they put that one. You think, if they put you in jail, it means you’re guilty. But I’m not guilty. It is better to think like this, because if it is not because of the cause, then it is a disaster. Then you can’t live.”
I still think that’s not true. Or not the whole truth. My father’s intuition clearly worked. Where they were not asked to go up, he did not go up.
DANCE WITH FURTSEVA AND A TRIP WITH BLEACH
Mikhalkov is also, for example, the satirical newsreel “Wick” (he was the object of his special pride). His status as the author of the anthem and as a living classic allowed him to break through plots that were completely insurmountable in Soviet conditions. For example, there was a sketch about speculators trading gold on Novy Arbat. They called from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and said: “There is no speculation with gold in Moscow and it cannot be!” And what does Mikhalkov do? He calmly calls the Minister of Internal Affairs Shchelokov, arranges a meeting, takes him to Novy Arbat in his car and shows the speculators … All objections instantly evaporate.
Those who criticize him today should not forget: he helped many. For example, once at a reception he waltzed with the Minister of Culture Ekaterina Furtseva, and coincidentally asked the “disgraced young artist from Leningrad” Ilya Glazunov for help. He soon received an apartment, and then all-Union glory began. An even more interesting story is the story of how Mikhalkov spoke out in defense of the ancient Russian churches. Not everyone today remembers that under Khrushchev they were brought down more violently than under Stalin – Nikita Sergeevich simply hated religion. For example, Academician Likhachev said that in Karelia it was planned to demolish 116 monuments of wooden architecture and destroy 1000 icons stored in the funds of the Petrozavodsk Museum. It was legalized barbarism. And it was Mikhalkov who was not afraid to speak at the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU with a speech – it spread smoothly, but then moved on to the accusations …
Film director Nikita Mikhalkov with his father, writer Sergei Mikhalkov
Photo: TASS Newsreel.
His huge and generally very happy life cannot be contained on one page of a newspaper. And yet, now that the controversy surrounding his name has more or less died down, it’s worth thanking him. Well, for example, from the fact that he was.
Fable “Two Brides”
“You live wonderfully
He said enviously visiting the Rat Mouse.
What do you eat and drink?
What are you sitting on?
Wherever you look, everything from abroad!
“Oh, if only, my dear, you knew
With a sigh, the Rat replied:
I’m always looking for something!
I am day by day in the career abroad
Everything about us seems gray and ordinary to me,
I’m just dragging the alien into my hole.
Here is a hair from a Turkish sofa!
Here is a piece of Persian rug!
And this soft fluff caught me yesterday
He’s African. He’s from Pelican!”
“What are you eating?” asked the Mouse Rat.
There is what we eat, it does not suit you!”
“Oh, darling!” replied the Rat.
There is nothing that pleases me!
Only I eat bread and butter!..”
* * *
We know there are still families.
Where is our fault and scold,
where they look tenderly
For stickers abroad…
And lard … they eat Russian!