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Vladimir Lukin about the phenomenon of the unique reader Raphael Kleiner, who was the voice on the stage not only of poets, but also of philosophers – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: May 20, 2024 Time: 09:36:32

How did you meet Rafael Kleiner and what connected you?

Vladimir Lukin: Rafael Alexandrovich, or Rafik, as we all called him, appeared in my life in 1968 of the last century, or millennium, if you will.

By the will of circumstances (or perhaps fate), I found myself in a company whose center and powerful magnet of attraction was the outstanding and, in my opinion, one of the greatest Russian poets of the second half of the 20th century, David Samoilov . . We periodically met at Samoilov’s dacha in Opalikha, near Moscow. Almost at the same time, young Rafael appeared there. Later, Samoilov published the book “Around Myself”, where, in a playful and informal style, he describes the life and everyday life of the main characters of this “Opalikhovo Lyceum”.

Rafael immediately became one of the main characters of the book, because he was bright, loud, expressive and emotional in his every word and action.

It can be said without exaggeration that he was the main participant in that game, full of sky and farce, in which we, with all our strength, imagination and sense of humor, existed on “Opalikhov” weekends. And the performers of numerous roles, large and small, were different people, from outstanding and talented poets, scientists, musicians and actors to less famous, but no less interesting and original people.

Friendly relations with Rafael developed immediately and forever. The meetings have become less frequent over the years, but that’s not the point. It’s about his place in my heart (and I think vice versa). He is two years younger than me. As Alexander Tvardovsky says: “I know, it’s not my fault… but still, still…”

He worked at the Taganka Theater and performed there, but the main thing for him remained reading from the stage. What inspired you about this? At the service of the culture of speech? Or did he consider his art to be the primary channel for conveying important meanings to the public?

Vladimir Lukin: The search for the optimal form of self-realization of life is a mysterious matter. But even rereading the lines of Raphael’s formal biography, one can find a thousand memorable touches that led to the main work of his life. Including his arrival and quick departure from the then famous Taganka.

Raphael was a fervent patriot of world culture, which is revealed in the Russian word and especially in Russian poetry. In very difficult and contradictory circumstances, he sought to help preserve and extend to his compatriots the thread of Russian culture and enlightenment, based on all the riches of world civilization.

Honored Artist of Russia Rafael Kleiner at the presentation of the book “Daily Notes” by David Samoilov. November 2002. Photo: Konstantin Kizhel/TASS

“The Greeks hit Elena with the waves, but they hit me with salt foam on the lips,” Mandelstam said. Rafael, behind the salty foam, from his youth felt the immense depth of the wave of the sea of ​​the culture of word and thought and tried with all his might to convey to all who listened to him, “that the past is, that the night of The future is not empty,” in the words of Blok. Until his last days, he tried to ensure that his audience did not forget the enormous ethical, aesthetic and intellectual wealth that is hidden deep within each person if they listen to Rafael’s heartfelt, passionate and, at the same time, precise speech. .

He made numerous tours through the Soviet Union and Russia. I first heard it in the early 80s on the stage of the Rostov Philharmonic and remembered it for the rest of my life. Did she talk about the experience of touring and people’s perception of the art of reading?

Vladimir Lukin: In our Lyceum “Opalikhovsky” two layers of mutual exchange have developed: external – comic, ridiculous, playful and hidden – confessional preaching, search and semantics. Rafael’s travels, his everyday situations, real and fictional, everyday and romantic adventures: all this was the surface. Behind this was literally the hard work of a person who took on the seemingly unbearable burden of memorizing the often most difficult texts. And not just memorization. We admire a magnificent artist (in my opinion, the best in his genre), who is able to convey to listeners who are not always ready for it not only the surface, but also the second and third layer of what they hear .

Outwardly, we often laugh snobbishly at his desire to enlighten and introduce to the eternal values ​​of culture those who are now commonly called “deep people.” I remember once telling him about my own incident of “enlightening” the broad masses of workers (I had quite a bit of experience lecturing in my field, through the Soviet Knowledge Society). One day, after finishing a conference on the international situation in one of the most remote corners of the country, I, as usual, asked the attendees if they had any questions. There was a pause. Then an older gentleman stood up from the back rows and asked if the glass of water on my podium was empty.

When the general laughter died down, Raphael said thoughtfully: you didn’t understand anything. This old man subtly and politely evaluated the quality of his lecture: no one asked me for glasses. Half a century later, I think perhaps the truth was between the glass half full and the glass half empty. But Rafik spent his entire life trying to make sure the glass didn’t break.

How did you come up with the idea of ​​reading Plato’s Apology of Socrates and Mamardashvili’s Lectures from the stage?

Vladimir Lukin: Your “philosophical sector” of professional passion is, to some extent, “my fault.” It so happened that another circle of my conscious habitat in the 60s and 80s was the environment of then young, and now deservedly recognized as outstanding philosophers. My closest friend was Merab Konstantinovich Mamardashvili. His lectures at Moscow State University, at the Institute of Cinematography and elsewhere in Moscow were a less fashionable, but no less significant event in the cultural life of Moscow than the performances of young poets at the Polytechnic Institute or the exhibitions of innovative artists.

Merab Konstantinovich’s interpretation of the content of the philosophical ideas of Plato, Kant, Descartes, Proust, his interpretation of the movement of human civilization from mythology to classical rationalism, and from there to the modern post-rationalist style of self-knowledge, was combined with the brilliant charisma and intellectual originality of the personality of this extraordinary person. The image of the Master creating his own vision of the humanized world and man in the world before your eyes was irresistible.

Rafael Kleiner at the presentation of the Order of Friendship. October 2010. Photo: Alexey Danichev/RIA Novosti

It is this format: a Master who has understood something difficult to convey and passionately strives to break through to “his” audience, so that they too can join this understanding, the successes and failures on this path – all this prompted me to draw . Rafael’s attention to the “Mamardashvili phenomenon.” The rest is Raphael’s feat, his attempt with a truly Promethean effort to connect the Master with his students, to introduce them to Russian, European and world culture, this form of “cogito ergo sum” (existence of thought). .

Tell us about your friendship with David Samoilov, how the poet helped the reader “direct” his reading. What did this give you both?

Vladimir Lukin: David Samoilov was practically a second father to Rafael. In his work, Rafael constantly felt that Samoilov was his main reference. He “worked for Samoilov” in the sense that, while working on some issue, he always tried to listen to and accept the verdict of the supreme judge. And here he was not wrong. Samoilov’s opinion on art is, as mathematicians say, “necessary and sufficient.”

For his part, Rafael, in my opinion, is without a doubt the best interpreter of David Samoilov’s poetry that I know. Even Mikhail Kazakov, with all his acting skills, was inferior to Raphael. He leaned on the expression a little more than necessary and drowned out the music of the text. In the reader-text dichotomy, it is very important not to upset the balance in either direction. Perhaps because Raphael was so personally attached to Samoilov, he felt this balance better than others. Only Samoilov himself felt it better than him.

What did you like about their reading programs?

Vladimir Lukin: In Raphael’s reading programs, two features mainly attract attention and hearing.

Firstly, the artist’s comprehensive absorption in his work, the level of reading the text mainly for himself. There is a formula: understanding means becoming equal. Rafael understood the text. He was neither deaf nor blind in relation to the text. But he was not so arrogant as to go beyond the text. Therefore, the text he interpreted was truly his second being. The second, but at the time of execution, the only one.

Secondly, Raphael’s desire from the beginning of the performance to immediately dominate the listeners, to subordinate them to his energy and rhythm was striking. Here he accepted no compromises. “I’m coming to see you,” as Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich said. And in most cases that I know of, the public obeyed.

What did he contribute to our culture with his stage presence and unique reading?

Vladimir Lukin: Many, many. He brought into culture those who listened to him and did not forget. Although, surely, they read the texts he interpreted without him. What remains are intonations, accents, outbursts of emotions, and this is enough.

Those who listened to him in one way or another transmitted to others everything they perceived. In other words, they created and polished the cultural environment. Remember what Pasternak said: “We were music on ice, I mean that atmosphere…”.

What was the basis of your friendship? Didn’t you consult it before preparing to give Mamardashvili’s lectures?

Vladimir Lukin: I’m not sure that Merab and Rafael knew each other personally. So, yeah, I was the connection in this case. More precisely, a signpost in the formation of “that environment,” without which that story and that audience would not have existed.

What about friendship? Half a century of continuous communication, no matter what. When, as Tsvetaeva wrote: “Distance: versts, miles… / We were spaced, spaced.” Isn’t this friendship? In recent years, my eldest son, Alexander, has resumed and greatly supported this friendship. There is something very good in this. Of course not forever. But still.

Raphael was the Don Quixote of Russian literature of his time.

The windmills, of course, survived. But his life’s journey on the Rocinante was beautiful.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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