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Moscow - Petushki: One Way Ticket - Great And Terrible
Moscow - Petushki: One Way Ticket - Great And Terrible

Video: Moscow - Petushki: One Way Ticket - Great And Terrible

Video: Moscow - Petushki: One Way Ticket - Great And Terrible
Video: Mark Lipovetsky. The Trickster and Violence 2023, March

The widespread opinion that Venichka Erofeev was a banal alcoholic and wrote a book about how a drunkard travels in a train is far from the truth. He portrayed drunkenness as the "norm of life" during the years of the ubiquitous idea and slogan "Sobriety is the norm of life." And he paid for alcoholism with his own health

Author of one book

Venedikt Erofeev (1938-1990) without belittling his work can be called the author of one book. Only a very talented person could write the second after “Dead Souls” poem in prose, which is being republished up to the present time. Recognition of talent is unconditional, but there is one "but".

The year of the creation of the cult work coincides with the peak of the author's vagrancy and daily service to Bacchus. The interaction of alcohol addiction and productive creativity in most cases implies only one option: the creator stops drinking, “comes to his senses” and creates another masterpiece. However, in relation to Venedikt Erofeev, this approach is incorrect.

Systematic alcohol abuse is noted in him all the time, but, oddly enough, does not particularly harm the creative process.

He writes in his autobiography: "In the fall of 1969 he finally got to his own manner of writing and in the winter of 1970 he unceremoniously created" Moscow - Petushki "(from January 19 to March 6, 1970)."

A boy with a phenomenal memory

Little is known about the childhood of the future popular author. He spent it in Kirovsk on the Kola Peninsula. Father in 1946 was arrested "for anti-Soviet propaganda" and served time until 1951, mother was a housewife. Not the rarest family history of the time. But if in some such dramas cultivated obedience to the authorities, in others - resentment and a spirit of rebellion. In Venedikt Erofeev we see a second life scenario.

The sister of the writer N. V. Frolova recalls:

“Venichka was unusual and small: when he learned to read, we didn’t even know, no one specially taught him … He was restrained, deep in his thoughts, he had an excellent memory.

We didn't have any special books, so we read everything that came to hand; we had a small tear-off calendar that does not hang on the wall. Venichka knew this calendar - all 365 days - completely by heart even before school; for example, say to him: July 31 - he answers: Friday, sunrise, sunset, day length, holidays and everything that is written on the back. That was a phenomenal memory.

In addition, he always had an independent character. He never became an Octobrist. And he was neither a pioneer nor a member of the Komsomol. But these were the 40s and 50s.

In 1946, my father was imprisoned … We are starving, and my mother is not given a card, because she is not hired as the wife of an enemy of the people (we have dependents' cards). It turns out that she lives at our expense, eats us. In short, my mother, apparently, decided so: if she leaves, the state will take care of us. They really came to us from the police immediately, immediately took us to an orphanage and took us to Kirovsk."

Let us also note this psychological moment, which predisposes to serious mental trauma.

Beyond stereotypes

The future writer spent six years in an orphanage. At school he was a "terrible quiet man", graduated with a gold medal and entered the philological faculty of Moscow State University. M. V. Lomonosov. But after a year and a half he was expelled for "not taking military training classes." Subsequently, with the same success (no longer than a year) he studied at other institutes, from which sooner or later he was expelled.

From the Vladimir Pedagogical Institute, for example, he was expelled "for the moral, moral and ideological degradation of students."

The reason for those times was convincing: they found a Bible in Venedict's bedside table, “which he knew by heart and without which he could not live” (N. Shmelkova, 1999).

Already at the Vladimir Pedagogical Institute, Venedict emerged victorious from the duels "with the most famous drunks." He drank them all, and the "celebrities" were lying under the table, and he, "clean as glass … condescendingly accepted the raptures of the virgins." But he also dropped out of the "ped" for these exploits, although he studied there the best, receiving a personal scholarship. Venedict's surprising ability not to get drunk lasted a very long time.

One thing remains obvious - Venedict did not fit into the framework of generally accepted stereotypes and tried to live by his own principles and laws. The fact that the opinion of those around him was of little interest to him remains an indisputable fact.

Found my husband "in the trash heap"

Subsequently, already without a registration, without a permanent place of residence, Erofeev got a job in different and unpredictable places, a single listing of which would take a whole page.

However, even the most "exotic" of them - a driller in a geological party, a watchman in a sobering-up station, a police officer on duty, an inspector of glass containers, an installer of cable lines, a parasitological expedition laboratory assistant, an editor and proofreader of student papers at Moscow State University, a seasonal worker - did not interfere with drinking practically constantly. Only his marriage in 1976 gave him the opportunity to register in the capital.

A very characteristic line from the memoirs of the second wife of Erofeev G. P. Nosova: "I literally found Erofeev in the garbage."

The path to alcoholic psychosis

Here is an impressive list of Erofeev's hospitalizations associated with alcohol addiction. In 1973 and 1979, due to delirium tremens, he ended up in the Kashchenko psychiatric hospital. Everything is repeated in June 1982 and January 1983, when he is being treated for alcohol addiction in a boarding house near Moscow.

In the summer of the same year, Erofeev and his friend made a literally "drunken" trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg by car. Stopping at each "Radishchevskaya" station, they drink to Radishchev, to Pushkin, to the Decembrists and to the "awakened Herzen".

In St. Petersburg, friends-poets and friends-artists joined the Muscovites, but a week later the holiday ended with Erofeev's alcoholic psychosis

Venedikt Erofeev
Venedikt Erofeev

Yerofeyev's grave at the Kuntsevo cemetery in Moscow

In July 1985, Erofeev was again undergoing treatment at the psychiatric hospital. P. P. Kashchenko.

But he was already seriously ill and hopelessly, the doctors discovered "cancer of the larynx." After the operation, he could speak only with the help of a voice-forming apparatus. He was assigned the second group of disability.

The writer died, contrary to the forecasts of narcologists, not from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, but from cancer. Erofeev's early death is framed by another tragedy: his wife Galina Nosova committed suicide in 1993 by throwing herself from the 13th floor of their apartment.

Notes of a Psychopath

From a young age, Venedict was distinguished by his outstanding erudition and love of the literary word. At the age of 17, he began to write Notes of a Psychopath (first published in 1995). In all his works, Erofeev gravitates towards the traditions of surrealism and literary buffoonery, but in our time, literary critics ranked among the "postmodernists".

His creative process, willy-nilly, was associated with an alcoholic illness and the accompanying living conditions. Not surprisingly, he often lost his notebooks and manuscripts

A contemporary recalls his words: "All the leaves fall off me, like from a tree in autumn." In his Autobiography, the writer states the following fact: “In 1972, Petushki was followed by Dmitry Shostakovich, whose draft manuscript was lost, and all attempts to restore it were unsuccessful.”


Introverted schizoid personality; alcohol addiction with psychotic episodes.

It is a pity for Erofeev's unfinished and lost, possibly talented manuscripts. But what's left is enough. He is one of those creators for whom a single work was quite enough for glory. Indicative is the fact that the clinical picture of alcoholism and delirium tremens to the maximum extent found its artistic reflection in his famous book (Shuvalov A. V., Buzik O. Zh., 2016).

Life threatening

Readers' reactions to the unique prose poem were naturally different. The most gullible simply went into a heroic binge with the preparation of cocktails according to the author's recipes. “Venichka probably took no less unfortunate people with him than Werther did in his time, with the difference that Goethe, having passed the cup of his melancholy to the readers, only sobered up, and the author of“Petushkov”honestly drank what he offered to the bottom "(Sedakova O. A., 2010).

One of the cocktails recommended by the author was called "Tear of a Komsomol Woman" and was accompanied by the following comment: "… you drink a hundred grams of it, this tear, - the memory is solid, but your sane mind is gone. If you drink another hundred grams, you are surprised to yourself: where did so much sound mind come from? and where did all the hard memory go?"

Of course, it's better not to check the author's cocktail recipes - it is fraught with consequences both for life and for literature


  • Erofeev V. V. My very life path // Works and memoirs of contemporaries. M.: Vagrius, 2008.
  • Sedakova OA About Venedikt Erofeev // Four volumes. Volume IV: Moralia. Moscow: Russian Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Science, 2010. P. 741–756.
  • Shmelkova N. In the womb of a mother, or Life is the dictatorship of red. SPb: Limbus Press, 1999.
  • Shuvalov A. V., Buzik O. Zh. "Moscow - Petushki" - the Way to Nowhere? // Personal independence. 2016. No. 4. P. 44–48.

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