OUTSTANDING SIXTEEN EVGENY EVTUSHENKO
Yevgeny Yevtushenko – a poet with a capital letter, and even much more than a Russian poet. This single word has absorbed all the facets of his work – from the writer to the director and songwriter. Sometimes it seems that even a multivolume edition will not be able to cover his creative biography, because his life is so rich. Even at a respectable age, he was vigorous and active, he continued to create and teach, repeating that writing poetry and life itself are equivalent concepts for him.
Ukrainian + Polish
The poet’s life began in the distant Siberian town of Zima, Irkutsk Region on July 18, 1932. There he spent his childhood years, and then the family moved to the capital. Yevgeny Yevtushenko often recalls how his father introduced his son to the outside world through books and art, told his son for hours about the history of the ancient world, taught him how to write and read, so Yevgeny read the world classics excitedly at an early school age.
Pope Eugene – Alexander Gangnus – was a geologist and raised his eldest son in poetry. When he had another family, he did not interrupt the conversation, often met with him and gave an assessment of his early attempt at writing. Mother – Zinaida Yevtushenko – sincerely believed in her son’s poetic abilities, the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko saved his notebooks with rhymes, sent her son’s poems to her ex-husband, and instilled in Yevgeny a love for the theater. She worked at the Stanislavsky Moscow Theater, and later graduated from a music school and parallel to a geological prospecting institute. Theatrical celebrities and entertainers came to their house for friendly gatherings. Eugene since childhood absorbed the creative atmosphere.
Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian and Belarusian blood mixed up in Yevtushenko’s veins. My maternal great-grandfather was a Polish nobleman, came to work in Zhytomyr and married a Ukrainian woman there. He led a peasant uprising against the cruelty of the landowner, for which he was with other villagers and sent into exile in the Irkutsk region. All the way from Ukraine to Siberia, these people crossed on foot in shackles. Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s grandmother spoke Ukrainian, and her grandson from childhood fell in love with Taras Shevchenko’s poetry. His father added him Latvian and Belarusian roots.
When the war began, the boy was sent alone to evacuate his grandmothers in the Irkutsk region. For four whole months he traveled by train to relatives. A nine-year-old child had to go through a lot during this time – bombing, hunger and trips on the roof of the cars. On the platform, he read poetry to earn a single piece of bread and a cup of boiling water. For the rest of his life, Yevgeny remembered how at one of the Ural stations he was a poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko saw women who were selling hot potatoes at the market. He could not restrain himself, approached, took one potato and began to greedily inhale its aroma. Merchants immediately flew at him and began to severely beat a starving child. It was saved by the local homeless, pulled out of the angry mob. Eugene miraculously survived, paying two broken ribs.
Mom acted on the fronts, then for a long time could not be cured of typhus, and in 1944 she returned with her son from evacuation to Moscow. During this trip, she changed his date of birth to 1933 so as not to receive a pass at his age. And so it happened that in official documents he is a year younger.
Evgeny Evtushenko – the scout of the future
In the capital, Eugene began to attend a poetry studio at the House of Pioneers, and his teachers were engaged in the development of his abilities, and in the house his mother hospitably met his many “associates” – Robert Rozhdestvensky, Mikhail Lukonin, Mikhail Roshchin, Yevgeny Urbansky, Yuri Kazakov and Bell Akhmadulin, who later became his wife.
The first poems published by Yevtushenko appeared in the newspaper “Soviet Sport” in 1949, and in 1952, onpoet Yevgeny Yevtushenko became the youngest member of the Union of Writers of the USSR. His first book was called “The Scouts of the Future”, but he considers the poems “Before the Meeting” and “The Car” to be the beginning of serious work. Eugene studied at the Literary Institute, but was expelled from him for supporting the novel “Not by bread alone” by Vladimir Dudintsev.
Two collections of his poems “Highway enthusiasts” and “The Promise” showed that a new formation poet, an extraordinary creator, the brightest representative of the generation, who would later be called the Sixties, appeared in the country.
Poet in Russia – more than a poet
In 1963, the French weekly magazine Expresso printed the prose Autobiography of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, which caused the ire of the Soviet party leadership. The ideologists of the CPSU Central Committee deliberately inflated a scandal from this event, perhaps hoping to expel the poet outside the country or intimidate all dissenters.
No less resonance caused his works “Babi Yar”, “Stalin’s heirs” and “Tanks go around Prague.” They became an act of real civil courage and a bright event in the literary life of the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenkostrana.