Table of contents:

Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Vladimir Mayakovsky - Great And Terrible
Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Vladimir Mayakovsky - Great And Terrible

Video: Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Vladimir Mayakovsky - Great And Terrible

Video: Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Vladimir Mayakovsky - Great And Terrible
Video: Колокольников / Kolokolnikov - Russian from Games of Thrones 2023, April

Sigmund Freud argued that a person balances his whole life between two forces: Eros and Thanatos. In old age, Thanatos begins to dominate in many - the desire for death. In addition to the age factor, a person has many others that turn out to be decisive at one time or another, taking the side of Thanatos

The ability to create is the highest property of the psyche, but also the most vulnerable. Therefore, the frequency of suicidal attempts and suicides among creative individuals is not very surprising. Let us take the writers of the Soviet period as an example. Sincerely serving their system, they eventually became disillusioned with it and did not find any other way but to voluntarily die.

Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930) was a Soviet poet and reformer of classical poetry, a representative of avant-garde art.

Lilya Brik, widely known in the literary environment, who survived the poet by 48 years, recalled: “Mayakovsky's everlasting talk about suicide! It was terror. In 1916, early in the morning, I was awakened by a phone call. The deaf, quiet voice of Mayakovsky: “I'm shooting myself. Goodbye Lilik. " I shouted: "Wait for me!" - She threw something over her dressing gown, rolled down the stairs, begged, drove, and hit the cabman in the back with her fists. Mayakovsky opened the door for me. There was a pistol on the table in the room. He said: “I shot, misfired, I didn't dare a second time, I was waiting for you …” The thought of suicide was Mayakovsky's chronic illness, and, like every chronic illness, it worsened under unfavorable conditions”(Brik L. Yu., 1990).

Increasingly, I wonder

if it's better to put the bullet point at its end.

Today I am

giving a farewell concert just in case.

"Spine Flute", 1915

According to Korney Chukovsky, Mayakovsky was "a suicide by vocation." He attempted suicide twice: in 1916 and in the early twenties. “Both attempts at suicide were a classic game of Russian roulette. One cartridge in the drum - and let's go! It worked both times."

Swedish literary critic Bengt Yangfeldt writes about Mayakovsky's diary dating back to 1922: “… even in a truncated form, it is a stunning document written by a person on the verge of a mental breakdown, maybe even suicide. The full text is a continuous indictment against Lily: he blames her for being completely indifferent to him and for ruining his life. Making notes, he sobbed, the pages are covered with traces of tears, and large sweeping letters are written by the hand of a man who has been driven to the limit."

In the spring of 1929, the poet was ill. "A prolonged and severely passing flu, which Mayakovsky was terrified of as hell, and - even worse - a grave nervous disorder bordering on insanity … This was already a seriously ill mentally ill person who needed immediate medical attention."

In 1930, during the organization of the exhibition "20 years of work", there were attempts to ignore and even disrupt its presentation. The poet sent out invitations to it to many representatives of the Soviet elite. No one came. “The portrait of the author was cut out of the anniversary issue of the journal“Print and Revolution”at the last moment. Someone called on the phone, planted libelous notes”. Mayakovsky found himself in a void - and could not endure it.

I want to be understood by my country, but I will not be understood -

what then ?!



walk through my native country as the

slanting rain passes.

Home, 1925

Mayakovsky managed all the main things in his life before he was twenty-two: to start a poetic career, arrange a scandalous futuristic tour and meet the main woman of his life. “Further - editorial work, traveling, incessant literary squabbles and several more or less lengthy novels that did not leave a deep trace in his writings (maximum two poems) and almost no - in his soul … When you study the circumstances preceding Mayakovsky's suicide, you are surprised at the wrong that he did it, but that he didn’t do it before …”- writes literary critic Dmitry Bykov.

The poet shot himself in a butterfly, as if everything was happening on the stage, when parting with the artist Veronica Polonskaya. Perhaps in front of her eyes. The revolver had only one round. Shooting with it, aiming at the heart, is not very easy. Apparently, Mayakovsky again tried to play Russian roulette and this time he lost.

“Suicidal motives in his work and behavior were manifested from an early age. Many poems literally ooze with aggression directed either outward or, during depressive periods, at oneself (“And the heart is eager for a shot, and the throat is raving with a razor …”)”.

The conflict between art and politics was characteristic of Mayakovsky, especially in the last decade. He left an imprint on all his creative activities, accelerating death

It can be assumed that the most reliable treatment - therapy with creative self-expression - kept the poet from suicide for a long time. When access to this self-therapy disappeared, the precarious mental equilibrium in which he was constantly lost also disappeared.

Poet Georgy Shengeli cites the chronological gradation of Mayakovsky's work: “Talented in 14, still interesting in 16, - now, in 27, he is already hopelessly repeating himself, is already powerless to give anything new and is only able to react to external irritations like the issue of a winning loan, an epidemic of waste, Mosselprom orders for advertising rhymes.” A mass of affective, neurotic and psychopathic disorders against the background of a creative crisis inevitably led to suicide.

See also: Ingenious suicides of the Soviet Union

  • Sergey Yesenin
  • Alexander Fadeev


  1. Buyanov M. I. Passion and Fate. M.: Russian Society of Medical Writers, 1995.
  2. Zelinsky K. L. In June 1954 // Past. Historical almanac. No. 5. M.: Progress, Phoenix, 1991. P. 54–103.
  3. Kaverin V. A. Epilogue. Memoirs. M.: Moscow worker, 1989.
  4. Mariengof A. B. A novel without lies // My century, my friends and girlfriends: Memoirs of Mariengof, Shershenevich, Gruzinov. M.: Moscow worker, 1990. S. 300-416.
  5. Mariengof AB My century, my friends and girlfriends // My century, my friends and girlfriends: Memoirs of Mariengof, Shershenevich, Gruzinov. M.: Moscow worker, 1990. S. 21-299.
  6. Miroshnichenko L. D. Encyclopedia of alcohol. Great people. History. Culture. M.: Veche, 1998.
  7. Pogodina-Kuzmina O. Bewitched by Death // Literary Matrix. Soviet Atlantis. SPb.: Limbus Press; K. Tublin Publishing House, 2014. P. 236–251.
  8. Razzakov F. I. Dossier on the stars. M.: EKSMO-Press, 1999.
  9. Razzakov F. I. Star tragedies. M.: Eksmo, 2006.
  10. Chkhartishvili G. Sh. The writer and suicide. M.: New Literary Review, 1999.
  11. Shumikhin S. V. Comment // My century, my friends and girlfriends: Memoirs of Mariengof, Shershenevich, Gruzinov. M.: Moscow worker, 1990. S. 697-724.

Popular by topic