Table of contents:
- Osip Mandelstam (1891–1939) in his autobiographical poem seems to predict his tragic fate: “I was born in an unreliable year - and the centuries surround me with fire”. The poet's mental structure was conducive to a disaster, which he could not cope with after being imprisoned in a prison camp. What mental disorders of a genius led to death?
- The oddities of a genius
- Not feeling the country under me
- Life exhale weakens
Video: "The Mental Structure Is Conducive To Disaster " Pathography Of Osip Mandelstam - Great And Terrible
Osip Mandelstam (1891–1939) in his autobiographical poem seems to predict his tragic fate: “I was born in an unreliable year - and the centuries surround me with fire”. The poet's mental structure was conducive to a disaster, which he could not cope with after being imprisoned in a prison camp. What mental disorders of a genius led to death?
The oddities of a genius
Fortunately, before the turbulent revolutionary events, Osip graduated from the famous Tenishevsky School. In 1907, his parents, worried about the "radical mindset of their son," sent him to study in Paris, where, at last, "poetry is decisively brought to the forefront of his life." Together with his family, and then with his brother Eugene, in calm times, he managed to travel several times to France, Switzerland, Italy, which could not but affect the general cultural level of the young man and was reflected in poems.
The character of the beginning poet was “choleric”. His mother attested him briefly, but expressively - a neurotic. Reviews of contemporaries about Mandelstam were also distinguished by similar monotony. Paying tribute to the poet's genius, in their memoirs, everyone tried to note precisely the strangeness of his behavior. But “genius without weirdness” sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?
When in 1915 Mandelstam was vacationing at the dacha of Maximilian Voloshin in Koktebel, his mother wrote in one of her letters: “He is, in essence, a good person, a talented poet, clever, but for a month of his stay here he managed to get tired of everyone with his suspiciousness, some arrogance, and me - mainly carelessness and unconsciousness about some of my demands."
The oddities of a person are rarely liked by others and usually annoy them. In addition, Mandelstam was often poor and, when it was time for dinner, he began frantically looking for money. “He took these rubles from anyone he met, wherever he could. He never gave up his debt, simply because if money fell into his hands, he urgently needed it all for the same purpose - to have lunch today,”wrote KI Chukovsky.
Against the background of some of the poet's inadequacy, periodic exacerbations of his mental state were clearly evident
Thus, in the winter of 1922-1923, they often spoke or wrote about "some misunderstandings around Mandelstam, about eternal quarrels that broke out over a trifling matter, with exaggerated painful irritation on his part." The poet behaved like a person with mental disabilities. Deterioration of the condition was more often caused by exogenous causes. For example, in 1923, Mandelstam was immediately struck out of "all the lists of employees of Moscow and Leningrad magazines …" They only allow me to translate, "complained Osip Mandelstam.
It is impossible not to mention the weighty support of the poet by Nikolai Bukharin (1888-1938), a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (1888-1938), who repeatedly appealed to various writers' organizations with a request for help to Mandelstam. It is difficult to say to what extent the poet could have taken place, and simply materially survived the poet without the help of this party leader.
Osip Emilievich's behavior practically did not change for decades. In the thirties, according to the memoirs of the literary critic Lydia Ginzburg, he “is reputed to be crazy and really seems crazy among people who are used to hiding or manipulating their impulses. For him, there is probably no distance between impulse and action - the distance that is the essence of the European way.
Not feeling the country under me
Osip Mandelstam of the early thirties “increasingly behaved like a holy fool. He constantly demanded arbitration courts, squabbled, scandalized, - his life turned into a tragedy."
At the same time, it should be emphasized that "in terms of the frequency of occurrence of poems on the pages of Pravda" at that time, Boris Pasternak occupied the first place, and Osip Mandelstam - the second. Moreover, under the patronage of Bukharin "for services to Russian literature," he was assigned a lifetime personal pension, which was paid until 1937.
But already in November 1933, Mandelstam wrote the famous anti-Stalinist epigram "We live without feeling the country", which he reads "in secret" to many acquaintances.
The immutability, lack of "flexibility" in Mandelstam's behavior when the Stalinist terror became a terrible reality is another evidence of infantilism, a childish feeling of "equality" between a poet and a tyrant, belief in the ability to throw the gauntlet to the Father of Nations himself
On the one hand, he seemed to understand that poetry could cost him his life: "If it comes, they can … shoot me!" On the other hand, as it turns out today, he did not hide them, but read to everyone he met and across.
He did not hide his thoughts, not only in a state of poetic inspiration, but also during interrogations. Here it is already difficult to say what this unusual person had more: infantilism or courage?
Here is an excerpt from the interrogation protocol of May 25, 1934: “I take the October revolution sharply negatively. I look at the Soviet government as a government of invaders … And I call Lenin a temporary worker. "
Now it is difficult for us to qualify his behavior: courage, impulsive choleric temperament, infantile misunderstanding of the current situation?
Of course, Mandelstam was immediately arrested. The poet was sure that he would be shot. But the "humane" Special meeting at the OGPU Collegium decided to send the poet to the city of Cherdyn, Sverdlovsk region for a period of three years.
When his wife Nadezhda Yakovlevna visited the poet, it struck her that both her husband's hands were bandaged: he cut his veins with a razor. In her subsequent memoirs, phrases such as "mentally ill, delirious, hallucinating, threw himself out of a second-floor window and that on the spot, in Cherdyn, medical assistance is not provided …" Thanks to the next intervention of Nikolai Bukharin, Mandelstam was transferred "to a settlement" in Voronezh.
Anna Akhmatova writes in her memoirs: “In February 1936 I visited the Mandelstams in Voronezh and found out all the details of his“case”. He told me how, in a fit of insanity, he ran around Cherdyn and looked for my shot corpse, about which he spoke loudly to anyone, and considered the arches in honor of the Chelyuskinites to be erected in honor of his arrival."
By the beginning of 1936, the poet's condition worsened. In the psychiatric clinic, Mandelstam was examined by the head of the department of psychiatry of the medical institute S. S. Sergievsky, since he was tormented by hallucinations. The psychiatrist found he had a typical prisoner syndrome.
In 1937, the term of exile ended, but the memory of such an evil epigram about Joseph Stalin himself remained in the heads of those in power. Osip Mandelstam was arrested for the second time in May 1938, when he was in a sanatorium for the mentally ill near Moscow at the Cherusti station.
The prison conducted another psychiatric examination. Three doctors delivered their verdict: “Does not suffer from mental illness, but is a psychopathic personality with a tendency to obsessive thoughts and fantasies. As a mental patient, we are sane."
Life exhale weakens
And if we are "sane", then be kind to answer for every word you say. So began the last descent of the poet along the steep stairs to death in a prison near Vladivostok in the Second River. One of the inmates recalled: “A period of relative calm gave way to depression. He came running to me and begged me to help him move to another barrack, as they supposedly wanted to destroy him, giving him an injection with poison at night … He quickly ate everything, was terribly thin, excited, walked a lot around the zone, was constantly hungry and melted before our eyes.
Here are a few more eloquent quotes from camp prisoners, which are clearly inappropriate to retell in their own words. Here are some of them: “We very quickly began to notice the oddities behind him: he told us in confidence that he was afraid of death - the camp administration wanted to poison him. In vain we dissuaded him - before our very eyes he was going crazy. He had already stopped reading poetry and was whispering in our ear, in great secrecy, about more and more intrigues of the camp administration. Everything went to a sad outcome … He was haunted by the fear of being poisoned - and he did not eat government food at all."
Another testimony - by the writer Igor Postupalsky - is simply shocking: “In the camp, Mandelstam was almost insane, he was known as a madman. On his head he wore a woman's stocking, on his legs - fur pants with torn tufts of cotton at the back. Shouted something about the Pope, sometimes read poetry for a smoke, they did not understand him, but they still gave him smoke. He was severely beaten more than once. By the spring of 1939, he had become so weak that he was removed from this job (he “guarded” the clothes of the dead). He was admitted to the hospital, and in March he died of heart disease, scurvy and vitamin deficiency."
Paying tribute to the memory of this great poet, the most faithful are the words of Anna Akhmatova, who wondered: “Why don’t the memoirists … bow their heads before such a huge and incomparable event as the appearance of a poet, whose very first poems are striking in perfection and go nowhere? It is amazing that spaciousness, breadth, deep breathing appeared in his poems in Voronezh, when he was not at all free. Osip Emilievich did not belong to those poets, from whom poems “pour in a continuous stream”. New works were not always born and not immediately, which unsettled the poet. More than anything in the world he was afraid of his own muteness, calling it suffocation. When she overtook him, he rushed about in horror and came up with some ridiculous reasons to explain this disaster."
Mandelstam is a classic example of a genius poet, as he usually appears to the romantic imagination. Impractical, amorous, inspired, impulsive, out of this world
But when this tangle of nerves fell into the jaws of the "wolfhound age", only the unsightly shell of a madman remained from it, from which the last sparks of poetic genius flew away.
There is a limit to the difficulties of being. Of the tens of millions who ended up in the Gulag Archipelago, only a few were able to preserve their talent and, having lived to the liberation, realize it: Solzhenitsyn, Zhigulin, Shalamov, Volkov … Maybe two or three more names. For most of them, it was the GULAG that served as the starting point of creative activity.
Osip Mandelstam is not one of them. Under the conditions of the barracks' confinement, his delusional disorder worsened again. The delirium of poisoning and persecution, and in everyday, normal life, makes the patient socially unfit, forcing him to be placed in a psychiatric hospital.
If such a patient finds himself in a concentration camp situation, his fate is predictable in advance and, of course, tragic. The poet felt this tragedy better than others: "A wolfhound century rushes on my shoulders, but I am not a wolf by my blood …"
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