Right before the 80th anniversary of the major USSR's leader, our journalist has met with an author of the latest book about Lenin.
So much has been said and written about Lenin that it seems as though there is nothing left to add. Apparently, there remains something worth mentioning. Editor of the Gorky's Institute of Literature Sergey Esenin has written a novel entitled “Death of a Titan. Lenin.” The book is written in a rather interesting style. The author chose to include a number of monologues-reflections of the leader. Esenin’s Lenin attempts to rationalize life and logic behind various political events which had led him to physical death and immortality.
-Sergey Nikolaevich, you named the book “Death of a Titan.” You chose the word “Titan” not “Tyrant”. The difference is substantial…
-Quite interesting tyrant. He was imprisoned four times. Crossed the Finnish channel on thin ice. While being the leader of the entire empire, he almost never had bodyguards follow him. He led ascetic lifestyle.
Ancient mythology had certain gradation between Gods, Titans and Heroes. I always thought that Lenin had been one of those rare Titans who happened to be in our history. Titans never die. They keep on living in myths and legends that follow.
-How did you decide to write about Lenin?
-You know, it has been quite a long journey. While I was freshmen in University, I along with other kids of my era I had to study “Government and Revolution.” In the course of the reading, I began to notice Lenin’s use of humor in his work. Then I realized that he was a real human. Afterwards, I worked on the radio. We were developing a project “Audio book about Lenin”. I was constantly listening to his talks, stories, stories about him. So in the end, after absorbing and summing up all of the facts, I was suddenly enlightened to write a book about him. During Perestroika however Lenin’s figure was mercilessly offended. I just wanted to understand him better and explain some of his moves.
-Did you have to examine ancient archives?
-I do not like dusty archives. They are too time-consuming. I mainly used regular press. Luckily, I've got about 120 kilograms worth of such literature at my dacha.
In the course of my writing about Lenin, I have been able to experience a new sensation, to come in touch with myself. The person had an absolutely stunning mind. Lenin is the only author in history who was able to turn his chimeras and fantasies into reality.
-That is probably why his followers have turned their leader in God…
-They needed it. Lenin's image was turned into mythology in order to be later turned into a powerful government's weapon. People started to believe such myths. Bolsheviks decided to turn the fairytale into reality. But what fairytale can ever be without a wizard? However, it should be noted that Lenin himself in the course of his entire life has done absolutely nothing for self-idealization. It is worth mentioning that truly remarkable actors do not purposely do anything to promote their fame. They do not strive to be famous. Lenin was playing without any rules, while Stalin for instance had a few rules to abide by.
-Lenin's death was horribly painful. It is believed that only sinners are entitled to suffer so much. This is a punishment from God.
-I am not going to judge. I think suffering is a very personal matter. It would probably be sinful for me to arrive at some conclusions. There are many people who after doing good had to endure excruciating pain before death.
-If we are to imagine that Lenin was resurrected today. What do you think his reaction would be after looking at our country today?
-Well, he was a politician. Politicians are inclined to compromise, even when it has to do with their direct enemies. I do not think he would be hysterical. However, he would have definitely taken up his writing. He was a writer, a theoretician and an expert in one. He would have definitely torn our current existence to shreds in his analysis. I am certain of it.
“Komsomolskaya Pravda” 20.02.04