Table of contents:

Ingenious Alcoholics Of The Soviet Union. Part 1 - Great And Terrible
Ingenious Alcoholics Of The Soviet Union. Part 1 - Great And Terrible

Video: Ingenious Alcoholics Of The Soviet Union. Part 1 - Great And Terrible

Video: Ingenious Alcoholics Of The Soviet Union. Part 1 - Great And Terrible
Video: Меня похитили и это даже не кликбейт/Russian kidnapping [ENG SUB] 2023, June

Most scientists recognize that certain mental disorders can enhance creativity. Among them is the German psychologist Karl Jaspers, who has been researching a number of addictions. Is it so? Let's figure it out

We bring to your attention a series of articles-pathographs by famous Soviet poets and writers of the 20th century.

See also: Ingenious alcoholics of the Soviet Union, part 2 and part 3

In this context, the literary work, which has always coexisted with various mental disorders, stands out, although the gravitation of representatives of Russian literature to drunkenness is truly unprecedented. Even the Nobel Prize in Literature Mikhail Sholokhov could, if desired, "boast" of the symptoms of alcohol addiction. But the adherence to alcohol of all our other heroes will not cause any doubts among readers.

Mikhail Sholokhov


Mikhail Sholokhov (1905-1984) - writer, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1939), Nobel Prize laureate (1965); twice Hero of Socialist Labor.

We will not touch upon the problem of authorship of texts published under the name of Sholokhov - this is a matter of discussion among specialists. However, we note that this fact in itself could not but have a strong negative impact on the personality of the writer

Already in the thirties, they whispered about Sholokhov's hard drinking in the nomenklatura lobby with a grin. The secretary of the Rostov regional committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union could even at the opening of the next plenum suggest that "Deputy Sholokhov" leave the hall and go to the hotel to get drunk.

In January 1957, Leonid Brezhnev was sent the conclusion of the professor of psychiatry I. V. Strelchuk with a recommendation to treat Sholokhov for alcohol addiction "forcibly for at least six months." In the correspondence, a curious phrase was used: "His stubborn resistance to treatment is very much like trying to 'emigrate' into drunkenness."

Sometimes the writer agreed to anti-alcohol therapy, but the doctors' conclusions often shone with a kind of wit: “For a month and a half comrade. Sholokhov MA was treated with absolute, if I may say so, failure. " As a result of many years of drunkenness, one can consider the fact that since 1961 this famous person has not published a single literary text, although he appeared in print intensively and more often with condemnation of writers inclined to dissidence. “We write at the behest of our hearts, and our hearts belong to the party,” Sholokhov said.

The question of compulsory treatment for alcoholism, as a rule, was raised only in extreme cases, when alcoholism acquired a systematic and asocial character. This indicates that Sholokhov has at least a middle stage of alcoholism

The life span of the writer speaks of professional preventive supervision and treatment, good quality of alcohol consumed and the constitutionally strong, stable body of the Nobel laureate.

Alexander Galich


Alexander Galich (1918-1977) - poet and playwright, author and performer of songs-novellas of a tragicomic and dramatic nature; died in Paris in an accident.

Alexander Galich is now, of course, included in the cage of literary classics. During the Soviet era, his songs were banned from censorship, but were loved by intellectuals throughout the country, and based on the scripts of the plays, plays were performed and films were made, the most famous of which are Taimyr and Loyal Friends.

But behind the external well-being was hidden mental disorder, which the poet poured with vodka. On this basis, in 1962, he had his first heart attack. However, even after the first "call" Alexander Galich did not say goodbye to the alcoholic "comforter". Throughout his subsequent life, he continued to drink

The poet's alcohol tolerance changed with the development of the disease. At the beginning: "He drank quite a lot, but behaved normally, never got drunk - that was his peculiarity." Later: “I loved, but could not drink. I mean, he got drunk instantly, literally from three glasses, and then fell asleep. " And here is an entry in his diary left by Korney Chukovsky in 1967: “Yesterday Galich was at my place - drunk without restraint. He promised to come at four o'clock, came at 7 - with a guitar … He tried to kiss my hand, fell to his knees and, getting up, leaned on the guitar, which immediately broke."

Vigilant censorship often erased pieces and replicas of characters from Galich's plays, accusing the author of anti-Sovietism. When he tried to express overwhelming doubts about the correctness of life, plays were sent to the shelf. But the author's songs were not subject to any censorship. Therefore, the poet arranged "apartment houses" at his acquaintances, since no one forbade him to sing there. Having set foot on the dangerous path of disobedience, the poet could no longer stop. As it was customary to write at that time, "the party and the government" could not tolerate fundamental disagreement with the main ideological line.

The 50th anniversary of the October Revolution was approaching, and clouds were gathering over the head of the seditious bard. One secret admirer from the KGB warned that a decision had been made to physically eliminate him, and added that when crossing the streets, he should be especially careful about trucks, and even better for a while completely leave Moscow. Alexander Galich did not go anywhere, but reacted the way a poet should: he wrote a "guard song-talisman":

When a car hits me

The sergeant will write the protocol …

And a personable man

That protocol will put on the table …

("Happiness Was So Possible")

The restless bard, whose song popularity was becoming more widespread thanks to the emerging tape recorders, they decided to rein in already to the fullest extent. Temporarily saved by the fact that Galich began to invite to their anniversaries such people who were not so easy to “brush off the board”. For example, in 1968, Alexander Galich performed at the celebration of the Nobel Prize laureate Lev Landau, after whom he sang the most "politically poignant" songs in the office of Professor Sergei Kapitsa.

In 1969 a book of poems by Galich was published in the foreign publishing house "Posev". This fact became a sufficient reason to expel the poet and playwright from the Union of Writers of the USSR, and then from the Union of Cinematographers.

The period of success and prosperity in the life of Alexander Galich ended, and the fall into the abyss of poverty began. In April 1972, Alexander Arkadievich came down with a third heart attack. And when his condition improved, like some other “forbidden writers” (for example, Igor Guberman, now widely known for his satirical “gariks”), Galich began to earn money as a “ghost writer” - he wrote scripts for other films. But the "system" was not going to tolerate his increasingly frank satirical creativity.

At this time Galich drank especially "brutally", and what is on the mind of a sober, then a drunk on the tongue. So the songs didn't become more acceptable for official performance. In 1972, a decision was made to withdraw all films based on the scripts of Alexander Galich from the box office. His career as a Soviet screenwriter ended.

Innocent of art

Not admitted to the temple, I sing along with a snack

And two thousand grams.

That I should be foaming

In trouble on the edge ?!

You pour it first, And I'll sing to you!

("Desire for Glory")

The events that followed after the expulsion from all creative unions showed that Galich was not at all ready for them. While composing his openly "anti-party songs", he had to understand that he was playing with fire

Despite the critical attitude of the authorities to the songs of Bulat Okudzhava or Vladimir Vysotsky, both had defenders and patrons. Of course, there were admirers of Alexander Galich's creativity “at the top”, but none of them dared to directly intercede for him. In June 1974, the poet, along with his faithful wife, emigrated from the Union. In October of the same year, all previously published works of the disgraced creator were banned.

In the West, Alexander Galich was welcomed, but he felt strong nostalgia. And from the middle of 1976 he began such a binge, which, according to the testimony of his friends, he had never had. Incessant drunkenness, women of easy virtue, scandals. The life of Alexander Arkadievich, including his creative one, was approaching an inevitable end.

In terms of diagnostics, the personality of Alexander Galich is devoid of clinical intrigue. As in a number of other similar cases, talent did not help get rid of alcohol addiction, from which the poet died

Nikolay Rubtsov


Nikolai Rubtsov (1936-1971) - Russian lyric poet.

They will erect a monument to me in the village!

I'll be a stone drunk too!..

Nikolai Rubtsov grew up and was brought up in a village in the Arkhangelsk region. In the boarding school, the future poet graduated from seven classes of school. Already in the third he began to compose the first poems. He was waiting for his father to return from the front and take him home (mother died). But this dream was not destined to come true, the father started a new family.

Rubtsov served in the Navy, after demobilization he lived in Leningrad, worked as a mechanic and a fireman. The passion for versification became more and more stable, and he began to study in the literary association "Narvskaya Zastava".

The workers' dormitory of the Kirovsky plant was not suitable for poetic inspiration. “In the room for four, where he lived, there were constant libations, always smoky, musty, always someone drunk, in outerwear and boots, snoring menacingly, snoring on the bed … But it was here … that the poems that entered the treasury were written Russian classics: “Visions on the Hill”, “Good Filya” … The first verses of the real Rubtsov”.

In 1962, Nikolai Rubtsov passed exams at the Literary Institute. A. M. Gorky. But the very next year he was expelled due to the fact that on December 3 he showed up drunk at the Central House of Writers and started a fight in it. Such behavior and concomitant conflicts were associated with Rubtsov's loss of control over alcohol consumption. This is one of the symptoms of alcohol addiction.

The others were annoyed by the conspicuous discrepancy between the rustic appearance and the poet's complex spiritual world. Many simply did not understand how to behave with him: how with a rustic boyfriend shirt or with an intelligent poet?

The winter of 1965 turned out to be especially uncomfortable for the future celebrity. "He did not have a residence permit in the capital, so he had to wander in different corners, right down to the benches at the stations." He was not hired to work without registration. The rector of the Literary Institute advised Rubtsov to enter the correspondence department. In January of the same year, the first collection of poems "Lyrics" was published in the North-West Book Publishing House in Arkhangelsk.

Detailed, though not always disagreeable, memoirs of his contemporary and biographer Nikolai Konyaev have been preserved about Rubtsov's personality traits. “He was very reserved when he was sober. It was impossible to get him to talk. And when he drank, he opened up and became an interesting conversationalist, took a guitar or an accordion, sang his songs. People enjoyed it. And to get this pleasure, they came to him with a bottle. Or where he came, a bottle appeared, but there was no snack. " “And there was no help from him for the family, and the character was, to put it mildly, not easy … Rubtsov understood this, but understood it in his own way:“… How do they know that after several (any, successful and unsuccessful) poems written by me I need relaxation - drink and pamper.”

The absence of normal family relationships with parents played an important role in the formation of the poet's personality: there was no father from whom he “wrote” his male life scenario, and no mother who would teach him about relationships with women. He remained an orphan from childhood, was left to himself and survived more than lived.

An interesting coincidence, but on the very day when Rubtsov was once again in the sobering-up center, the country's main newspaper Pravda published his lyric poems "The Katun Shumit" and "Childhood".

In the winter of 1966, he again had to spend the night on the floor, hiding in his coat, with friends and sometimes half-acquaintances. Finally, in April 1968, Nikolai Rubtsov was admitted to the Union of Writers of the USSR, and in the fall he was able to obtain a residence permit and a one-room apartment in Vologda. But happiness did not increase, and alcohol dependence grew.

In the summer of 1970, writers and poets gathered in the Vologda Regional Committee of the CPSU to "somehow help Rubtsov, try to save him." The only way out was offered - a medical and labor dispensary, but the poet refused from "compulsory treatment".

See also: Ingenious alcoholics of the Soviet Union. Part 2

The poet's personal life, despite the "luxury of owning" an apartment, did not become more prosperous. There was a common-law wife with whom he hardly lived or lived not very amicably. A daughter grew up, whom he rarely saw. And then a second "wife" appeared, also a poet …

From the memoirs of Lyudmila Derbina, the terrifying details of life became known: “He was a poet, but he slept like the last tramp. He did not have a single pillow, there was only a burnt sheet, a burnt torn blanket. He had no linen, he ate straight from the pan. I broke almost all the dishes I brought”. In recent months, a strong fear has appeared - he was afraid to be alone in his apartment. This is already a symptom of incipient alcoholic delirium.

And now let's imagine the last pre-wedding evening of the bride and groom who have already applied to the registry office. The drunken Rubtsov, "joking," throws lighted matches at his bride, Lyudmila Derbina. The same episode, by the way, took place in a drunken Kuprin with his first wife, who, as an intelligent woman, immediately filed for divorce. But in the depths of Russia, everything is exactly the opposite. A brief retelling of what happened later is given by psychiatrist Mikhail Buyanov: “The enraged woman grabbed Rubtsov by the throat, the thin neck could not stand it, crunched, the poet died, his wife went to prison.” The trial protocol stated dryly: "The death was violent, it occurred as a result of strangulation - mechanical asphyxia from squeezing the organs of the neck with his hands."

In people with alcohol dependence, the autodestructive radical is hypertrophied, and alcoholism itself is an indispensable consequence of it. This is most obvious in Rubtsov

Rubtsov was abandoned by his father, did not have the opportunity to feel the emotional support of his mother, which reduced the value of his own life. Only an extraordinary talent kept him within the framework of this world and did not allow him to end his life with banal suicide. But he constantly tempted and provoked fate, and as a result he achieved his goal: he found the executioner in the person of his beloved woman.


  • Aronov M. Alexander Galich. Full biography. M.: New Literary Review, 2012.
  • Buyanov M. I. Passion and Fate. M.: Russian Society of Medical Writers, 1995.
  • Dorman O. Interlinear. The life of Lilianna Lungina, told by her in the film by Oleg Dorman. M.: Astrel; CORPUS, 2010.
  • Zelinsky K. L. In June 1954 // Past. Historical almanac. No. 5. M.: Progress, Phoenix, 1991. P. 54–103.
  • Konyaev N. M. Nikolay Rubtsov. M.: Young Guard, 2015.
  • Laptsenok EE Vices and diseases of great people. Minsk: Literature, 1998.
  • Nagibin Yu. M. Diary. M.: Book Garden, 1995.
  • Pogodina-Kuzmina O. Bewitched by Death // Literary Matrix. Soviet Atlantis. SPb.: Limbus Press; K. Tublin Publishing House, 2014. P. 236–251.
  • Razzakov FI Dossier on the stars (1934-1961). M.: EKSMO-Press, 1998.
  • Razzakov F. I. Dossier on the stars. M.: EKSMO-Press, 1999.
  • Chukovsky K. I. Diary (1930-1969). M.: Soviet writer, 1995.
  • Jaspers K. Strindberg and Van Gogh. The experience of comparative pathographic analysis using the cases of Swedenborg and Hölderlin / Translated from him. G. B. Notkina. SPb.: Publishing group "Progress", 1999.

Popular by topic