Bulat Okudzhava - Poet-symbol
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Bulat Okudzhava – Poet-symbol

Many legends are associated with the name of Bulat Okudzhava. No wonder, because such personalities appear in the poetic and musical world infrequently and deservedly become legendary.

His poems were disassembled for quotations, the songs became iconic and symbolic for the era of the sixties, and Bulat Shalvovich himself was the brightest representative of his generation.

Unenviable childhood
It so happened in nature that the fate of talented people is full of personal tragedies, struggle, searching, wandering and other adversities. Probably only experienced and experienced many people can create works for centuries. Only then are they filled with true meaning, deep and meaningful, penetrate into the souls and find a response there. This was the fate of Bulat Okudzhava.

His life coincided with an era of change, globality and the consequences of which only a few could understand and appreciate. Bulat Okudzhava was born on May 9, 1924 in Moscow. His parents came to the capital to study on the party line. Bulat’s father was Georgian, and his mother was Armenian. At the same time, they named their son Dorian in honor of a famous literary hero.

poet Bulat Okudzhas father
Two years later, the whole family returned to the capital of Georgia, where Shalva Stepanovich was moving up the party ladder. Then he had a conflict with Lawrence Beria, after which Bulat Okudzhava’s father asked to be sent to work in Russia. So the family was in Nizhny Tagil.

Thunder struck (as for many families of that bloody period of Soviet history) in 1937, when Shalva Stepanovich was arrested on a false denunciation of his allegedly counter-revolutionary Trotskyist work. Next was the sentence and execution. The same fate befell the father’s siblings. In 1939, Okudzhava’s mother, Ashkhen Stepanovna, was arrested. At first she was sent to the camps of the Karaganda region, and ten years later she was sentenced to eternal settlement in the vastness of the vast Krasnoyarsk Territory. Bulat and his brother Viktor were transported to Moscow by their grandmother, and then the aunt from Tbilisi took her to her upbringing.

First successes
In Georgia, Bulat Okudzhava graduated from school, worked at the plant as an apprentice turner, and was looking forward to coming of age to go to the front. the poet Bulat Okudzhava In August 1942 he was sent to the mortar division, in which he participated in battles, and in 1943 he was wounded under Mozdok. Okudzhava was demobilized and sent to the rear. He passed the external examinations, received a secondary education and entered the philological faculty of Tbilisi University.

After graduation, Bulat Okudzhava went to work as an ordinary teacher of Russian language and literature in the most ordinary village of Kaluga. At home, after work, he tried to write poetry, although he treated his hobby completely frivolously, but over time Bulat’s poetic syllable grew brighter and more confident. Some of his poems even began to publish in the newspaper, and after Stalin’s death in 1953 he was offered to head the propaganda department in the regional newspaper. It was there, in Kaluga, near Okudzhava that the first small book of poems was published.

The young poet had no creative competitors in the provincial town, therefore he felt dizzy from his first successes. Later, Bulat Shalvovich said that his poems were mostly imitative, but an awareness of his own success in the literary field gave him the strength to move forward.

Bard Bulat Okudzhava
In 1956, after the famous XX Congress of the CPSU, Okudzhava’s parents were rehabilitated. Bulat himself even joined the party, and in 1959 he moved to Moscow. poet Bulat OkudzhavaTam he met with young poets – Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Andrey Voznesensky and others. At the same time, he first picked up a guitar (paradoxically, but Okudzhava did not have a musical education and did not even know musical notation) and began to accompany his poems. Thus began his bard creativity, or rather, he became one of the founders of the author’s song.

When he already had several such songs behind him, Bulat began to invite friends and simple acquaintances to visit them to perform these author songs. If there was a tape recorder in the house, Okudzhava’s singing was necessarily recorded. In this way, Moscow quickly became acquainted with his work.

He continued to work in newspapers, write poems and try himself in other literary genres. His story “Be Healthy, Schoolboy” Konstantin Paustovsky included Bulat Okudzhavaalmanakh in the literary poet, and director Vladimir Motyl later shot a film based on this work “Marrying, Genia and Katyusha”

Bulat Shalvovich became popular in narrow circles of people who understand and think. At that time, he wrote the songs “Midnight Trolleybus”, “Not Tramps, Not Drinkers”, “Sentimental March”, “Song of the Lyonka Korolev” and others.

The first evening of the author’s song Bulat was held in Kharkov in 1961, and the following year he performed the song “Midnight Trolleybus” in the film “Chain Reaction”.

System resistance
Soon the work of Bulat Okudzhava became interested in the “competent authorities”, his songs with a guitar turned out to be too unusual for many.

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