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Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Sergey Yesenin - Great And Terrible
Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Sergey Yesenin - Great And Terrible

Video: Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Sergey Yesenin - Great And Terrible

Video: Brilliant Suicides Of The Soviet Union. Sergey Yesenin - Great And Terrible
Video: Козырев – любить страну и ненавидеть государство / вДудь 2023, June

The name of Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925) is strongly associated with alcohol addiction among readers. But the pathological structure of the poet's personality seems to be more complex.

From childhood, the future poet was distinguished by impulsiveness and imbalance. Yesenin, “the only one of the whole class in the Spas-Klepikovskaya second-class school, had … an A with two disadvantages in behavior, which made it completely impossible for a young man to work in the specialty of a teacher received at school” (Panfilov A. D., 1996).

"When the rebellious youth came" Yesenin's time, his psychopathic actions became even more pronounced. In 1912, the first suicide attempt occurs. Here are the lines from a letter from 17-year-old Yesenin: “I could not bear the fact that empty tongues were chatting about me … I drank, although not very much, the essence. I caught my spirit and for some reason frothy; I was conscious, but in front of me everything was a little obscured by some kind of dull haze. Then - I myself do not know why - I suddenly began to drink milk and everything went away, although not without pain. My mouth burned badly, the skin fell behind, but then everything went away again, and no one recognized anything."

See also: Ingenious suicides of the Soviet Union

  • Vladimir Mayakovsky
  • Alexander Fadeev

By the time of his acquaintance with Isadora Duncan (1921), the fame of the "bitter drunkard" was firmly entrenched in him, but with an interesting addition: "His life … was increasingly a struggle with despondency and deepening melancholy," writes the English-language biographer Gordon McVeigh. “In reality, this path led to alcoholism and ultimately only to death” (Kurt P., 2007).

The motive of his own death began to sound early in Yesenin's work:

I came to this land, To leave it as soon as possible.

“Beloved Land! The heart is dreaming … ", 1915

Until 1923, this mood was periodically interrupted by desperately optimistic lines: "I will never die, my friend, never."

But the poet's last masterpieces - "Letter from Mother", "Answer", "Letter to Grandfather", "Snowstorm" - are the most hopeless pages of Yesenin's work.

In 1922-1923, even his friends did not deny the presence of alcoholism in Yesenin. The poet used any excuse to get drunk to a state of severe intoxication. By 1924, he “already had a complete set of basic symptoms, allowing him to diagnose chronic alcoholism (including … partial memory lapses, hallucinosis and delirium tremens). Before … he could pretend to be more drunk than he really was, now it was the other way around. If earlier his hooligan antics were often a game, a kind of self-promotion, now they more often testified to a complete loss of control over his behavior in drunkenness”(Miroshnichenko L. D., 1998).

At the end of 1923, after a comradely trial in the House of Press, Yesenin was forced to be hospitalized in a "sanatorium for nervous patients." At this time, the poet had already come close to that stage of the disease, when “persecutors” appeared in the imagination of a “seriously ill person”. Once, when it seemed to him that the "pursuers" got close to Prechistenka, he jumps off the second floor and forces the cabman to drive at full speed in order to break away from the "pursuers". The poet supplies himself with a long rope and tells, without hiding his triumph, how he will go down this rope from the seventh floor to leave his “pursuers” with his nose”(Panfilov A. D., 1996).

The dominant traits of his personality “constitute a special mental disorder called mental infantilism. Against the background of the latter, there was chronic alcoholism, which is often found in such people”(Buyanov MI, 1995).

In the last years of his life, symptoms began to appear more and more often, which can confidently be attributed to the paranoid spectrum. Yesenin's friend, the poet Anatoly Mariengof, recalls: “He sucked his enemies out of his finger, and the tricks that were supposedly plotted against him, and gossip, as if they were spreading about him … Yesenin has fear - it seems to him that everyone is either robbing him or wants to steal … Several times a day he checks suitcase locks … On poets, friends and acquaintances he imagines his socks and ties. When you meet, he sniffs: does he smell of his perfume? And a sad, finishing touch: “In the last months of his tragic existence, Yesenin was a man no more than one hour a day. From the first, morning glass, his consciousness was already darkening … By the end of 1925, the decision to “leave” became manic in him. He lay down under the wheels of a suburban train, tried to jump out of the window, cut his vein with a piece of glass, stab himself with a kitchen knife."

The poet himself treated his suicide "philosophically":

In this life, dying is not new, But living, of course, is not new.

"Goodbye, my friend, goodbye …", 1925

It would be wrong to imagine Yesenin as a person cut off from real life, existing only in the world of his fantasies. Until his last days, he very prudently wages a literary struggle, defending his magazines and royalties. For his material independence, not forgetting the interests of close relatives, he fights very persistently. For all the outwardly carelessness of his behavior, he had no need for a worldly grasp.

There is documentary evidence of the fact that Yesenin's last hospitalization was associated with the development of alcoholic psychosis. In the American edition of the biography of Sergei Yesenin, a photocopy of the following document is given: “Yesenin went to the clinic of the 1st Moscow State University on November 26, 1925. In his medical history, instituted on December 5, the diagnosis was indicated:“Delirium trem / ens /, Hallu / cinations /, c XI.1925 " (Shumikhin S. V., 1990).

Already in the course of treatment, the well-known psychiatrist PB Gannushkin gave him "an accurate, patient-tested diagnosis: Yesenin suffers from pronounced melancholy" (Roizman MD, 1973). Treatment in this clinic was calculated for two months, but under some pretext on December 21, Yesenin left the hospital. There were cases when the poet was released from the clinic because of business, but they let him out with a doctor, and he returned the same day. Didn't come back last time.

In recent years, it has been increasingly suggested that in a psychiatric hospital Yesenin was “fleeing from arrest,” and that his suicide was staged. A specially created commission in 1993 did not confirm the fact of premeditated murder

It can be assumed that Yesenin suffered from psychopathy, complicated by alcoholism. He reveals a typical "biographical set" of a psychopathic personality: incessant scandals, repeated marriages, alcoholic depression and psychosis (and not domestic drunkenness), suicidal tendencies. The poet's psychopathy and alcoholism were based on mental infantilism: he remained a touchy and capricious "child" until the end of his life. The whole life of the poet and his fate were determined, in addition to the difficult social conditions of that time, by the pathological features of his personality.


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  2. Kaverin V. A. Epilogue. Memoirs. M.: Moscow worker, 1989.
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