7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki"

As events from the life of Venedikt Yerofeyev and quotes from books that he read, leaked into the text of the famous poem
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

Cover of the book "Moscow - Petushki." Publisher YMCA-Press. Paris, 1977
Auction house and art gallery "Litfond"
1. The Mystery of the Recipe for Bunchy Offal
Here is the recipe of one of the cocktails created by the protagonist of the poem Venichka, a drink that “overshadows everything”:
"Zhiguli beer" - 100 g
Shampoo "Sadko - rich guest" - 30 g
Resol for cleaning hair dandruff - 70 g
Glue BF - 15 g
Brake fluid - 30 g
Disinsectal for the destruction of small insects - 30 g ".
Such a recipe for “Bitch's Offal” was seen by readers of the first separate edition of “Moscow - Petushki” in the Soviet Union (Prometheus Publishing House, 1989). But already in the next edition (Interbook, 1990), the recipe is a bit different: disinsectal needs not 30, but 20 grams. In the almanac “News”, where the full text was published for the first time in the Soviet Union, there are even more differences: BF glue needs 12 grams, and brake fluid - 35.Which recipe is the right one? After all, Venichka says that “life is given to a person only once, and it is necessary to live it so as not to be mistaken in the recipes”.
However, in the very first edition of “Moscow - Petushki” of 1973, printed in Israel, the recipe of “Bitch's Offal” contained neither BF glue nor brake fluid, instead they had a remedy for sweating feet - an integral part of another cocktail mentioned in the poem, "The Spirit of Geneva." The author noticed this repetition not immediately, but after the typewritten copy was made from the manuscript. Therefore, in all foreign editions, the repetition is preserved, as indicated by Yerofeyev himself in a letter to the Hungarian translator Elzbiete Wari (blaming the French publisher YMCA-Press, where Yerofeyev’s book was published in 1977, and once again changing the exact number of grams in the recipe):
“And more about the recipes: YMCA-Press arbitrarily distorted the recipe for“ Bunchy Offal ”. There is no “remedy for sweating feet” in it. And there is (between the resol and the disinsectal): brake fluid - 25 g, glue BF - 8 grams. To err in the recipes is really impossible. "
In modern editions, there is no remedy for sweating feet in “Bunch of Giblets,” but there is still a discrepancy in the number of grams: it all depends on which edition the text is printed on.Well, the reader apparently remains to choose the exact dosage at its discretion.
2. The mystery of "classic faces"
Venichka says so about the appearance of their killers:
“How would you explain what they had for their faces?” No, it's not at all banditry faces, rather, quite the contrary, with a touch of something classic ... ”
How should this description be understood? It is believed that "with a touch of something classic" is a hint of Roman legionnaires crucifying Christ. Like the legionnaires, the four killers of Venichka, in the murder scene they “pin” the hero to the floor, and Venichka himself, shortly before his death, repeats the death-question of Christ: “Why, Lord, did you leave me?”
There is no doubt that the scene of the hero’s murder in “Moscow-Petushki” is somehow connected with the Gospel plot, but the indication of a “classic touch” in the faces of Venichkichny executioners means something else. In the notebook, which Erofeev led in 1969-1970 (the time of writing the novel), there is the following phrase:
“And their faces are smooth, classically clear. If there is acne, then somewhere near the neck. "
The definition of "with a touch of something classic" is an indication of the hated perfection of the authors, the "lack of commitment" of the killers.This is what the poet Olga Sedakova said about Yerofeyev:
“In everything perfect and striving for perfection, he suspected inhumanity. The human meant imperfect for him, and he required the imperfect to treat “with the first love and the last tenderness”, the more imperfect - the more so treated. He deserved the greatest tenderness, in his opinion (I quote), "the one who has ever been pollinated at all."
Several monologues about Venedikt Erofeev. // Theater. No. 9, 1991.
“The one who has been studied at all” is, of course, the chairman from the story of old Mitrich in “Moscow - Petushki”, who “stands and cries and dries on the floor like a little one”. The chairman is "full of chiryas", and the old Mitrich "has all the physiognomy in smallpox, as if shot at point-blank range." Venichka, of course, feels compassion for both.
3. The secret of one quote
In the train, fellow traveler Venichka tells a phantasmagoric story of her relationship with the Komsomol Evtyushkin:
“And somehow wildly, in an operatic way, he laughed, grabbed me, smashed my skull and left for Vladimir-on-Klyazma. Why did you leave? To whom did you go? All Europe shared my bewilderment. ”
Why is bewilderment "shared by all Europe" and what does it even mean? It is easiest to assume that a newspaper cliche is being played up: in the official Soviet press it was customary to write about joy, grief or pride that other peoples or even “all progressive humanity” share with the Soviet Union - why shouldn't “all Europe” share the bewilderments of Venichkina? fellow travelers, especially since Yerofeyev in Moscow-Petushki often parodies the official Soviet language. However, in fact, the source of this phrase is completely different, namely, this is almost an exact quotation from Anatol France's novel Amethyst Ring, published in the Soviet Union in the translation of Grigory Yarkho. The hero of the novel, Mr. Bergere, receives a letter from his friend in Milan, Carlo Aspertini, in which he answers the question of his correspondent about an old funeral hymn and adds in the postscript:
“Why are the French stubbornly unwilling to admit an undisputed legal mistake that it is so easy for them to fix without harming anyone? I try in vain to find the cause of their perseverance. All my compatriots, all of Europe, the whole world share my bewilderment. ”
The speech, of course, about the Dreyfus case, Mr. Bergere, from the very beginning, is a supporter of the officer’s innocence, but how did this phrase turn out in the speech of Venichkina fellow traveler? In 1966, Erofeev reads The Violet Ring and writes out a few phrases from there (he always did this, reading books). “Moscow - Petushki,” like other works by Yerofeyev, are full of such quotations — be it the Bible, the Mahabharata, the novel of Frans, a radio program, an article in Pravda, or an extract from the tear-off calendar — as well as replicas of friends or random acquaintances. But the context for Erofeev, as a rule, is not important. He takes quotes from various sources and, like bricks, builds his own text out of them.
4. The mystery of the Finnish song
In the chapter "Saltykovskaya - Kuchino", Verichka sits by the crib and tries to cheer up her sick son:
“You still get up, boy, and you will again dance under my“ pig's farandola ”- remember? When you were two years old, you danced under her. ”
But then he corrects himself:
“... no, we will not dance to farandol. There are words that do not go to the point ... "I’m walking on the legs of a stretch-la ..." this is no good. Much better is this: “One-two-shoes-nad-ka-kak-ti-be-no-shame-sleep?” "
And adds:
"I have special reasons to love this vileness ..."
What are these reasons? Perhaps, the fact is that Venichka suggests her son to dance under “Enku” - a Finnish song popular in the 1960s. In the Soviet Union, this melody was known in different arrangements and with different texts: the version that Erofeev mentions was performed to the music of Gennady Poelsky and the words of Dmitry Ivanov. And the reason for the author's love for this melody lies in his special attitude to Scandinavia and in general to the northern countries.
"Enka" performed by Kalmer Tennosaar. 1966
Yerofeev was born on the Kola Peninsula, graduated from high school there and even claimed at the end of his life that he crossed the Arctic Circle for the first time only at the age of 17, when he went to enroll in Moscow State University [But this statement is wrong - at the beginning of the war the village of Elshanka (two hours drive from Syzran), and after the 5th grade I went to the pioneer camp in Rybinsk]. The North really had a special place in his life: as a student, Yerofeyev wrote several articles about Norwegian writers, the reasons for which, as the author himself explained, are rooted in geography. Later in an interview, Yerofeyev talked about it this way:
“... I was then blinded by this Scandinavian literature here. And only about her and wrote. <...> Because they are my countrymen. <...> Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun in particular. Yes, I, in essence, love music only by Grieg and Jan Sibelius. There is nothing you can do about it. ”
5. The mystery of "individual schedules"
Venichka, who briefly became a brigadier and failed in educating his subordinates, comes up with a system of “individual schedules”:
“So, after a month, a worker comes up to me with a report: on such and such a day, so-and-so was drunk, and so-and-so, et cetera. And I, with black ink and vellum paper, depict all this with a beautiful diagram. ”
This witty episode only seems fictional. In the late 1960s, Yerofeyev really worked as a cable jointer at the PTUS Moscow suburb [PTUS - production and technical department of communications], and in a notebook of 1969-1970 some Totoshkin was mentioned, to whom the writer owed 20 kopecks. One of the members of the Venichkina brigade carries the same name.
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

"Here, admire, for example, this is the line of the Komsomol Viktor Totoshkin."
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

"And this is Alexey Blindyaev, a member of the CPSU since 1936, a battered old horseradish."
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

“But this is your humble servant, ex-brigadier of installers PTUS, author of the poem“ Moscow - Petushki ”.”
On the graphs depicted in the book, the vertical axis shows the amount drunk, and the horizontal axis shows the days, and only two dates are signed - the 10th and 26th, that is, the dates of salary and advance payment (they, naturally, have peaks). Why is the 26th, although the advance was more often issued on the 25th? This is a mistake of the typist who reprinted the copy of the novel, which later turned out to be abroad and which was used to make the first edition: the author has the 25th in the manuscript. In all subsequent editions, this error remained uncorrected. By the way, the same typist, and not Yerofeyev himself, apparently, also has the image of the graphs themselves. In the manuscript they look a little different, but, not being able to reproduce them exactly, the typist was obviously forced to draw them on her own.
6. The mystery of the pink glass
There is a dialogue between Venitska and the “black-haired man in a jacket”, proving that “all the valuable people of Russia drank like pigs”:
“- Well, Nikolai Gogol ...
- What is Nikolai Gogol? ..
- He always, when he visited the Panayevs, asked him to put a special, pink glass on his table ...
- And drank from a pink glass?
- Yes. And drank from a pink glass.
- What did you drink? ..
- Who knows!..Well, what can you drink from a pink glass? Well, of course, vodka ... "
Where did black-skinned could get this information about the life of a writer? The most obvious source is the memoirs of Ivan Panaev and his wife Avdotya. Panaeva writes that “Gogol had a special faceted large glass in the carafe and red wine” [“Memories” (1889)], and her husband - that “in front of his device at dinner was not simple, but pink glass” [“Literary memoirs "(1861)]. Chernousy as if connected these two descriptions, taking from one the “special glass”, and from the other its color. However, in describing the glass, the Panaevs clarify that he did not serve Gogol in their house at all, but in the Aksakovs, as a sign of this family’s special respect for the writer. The fact is that Yerofeyev read “Not a day without a line” by Yuri Olesha, who, in turn, just read the memoirs of Avdotya Panaeva: “In memoirs there is the appearance of Gogol. Before him at the dinner is a special device, a special pink wine glass. ” The Aksakovs at Olesha are not mentioned, and the reader, who is not familiar with the original source, can really think that this is a dinner at the house of the Panayevs. This is what happened. Yerofeyev wrote this episode in one of the notebooks of 1966,taking from Olesha not only the story itself, but also the definition of a “special pink glass”, he added from himself that the glass was set at the request of Gogol himself, and stuck the plot into the story of the black-eyed in “Moscow - Petushki”.
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

Avdotya Panaeva. Watercolor by Kirill Gorbunov. 1841
Wikimedia commons
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

Ivan Panayev. Photo by Sergey Levitsky. 1856
Wikimedia commons
It is curious that in the very first publication (in the almanac "News"), the Panayevs were replaced by the Aksakovs. Maybe the editor intervened here, maybe the writer himself, noticing the mistake, decided to correct it. In any case, already in the next edition (1989) this place remained uncorrected, and since then in various editions of Moscow-Petushki one can meet either the Panayevs or the Aksakovs, depending on the source.
7. The Mystery of the "Mad Poet"
Venichka describes the day of her thirtieth birthday:
“When did you turn thirty last fall?” And when he turned thirty - the day was sad, like the day of the twentieth. Borya came to me with some kind of crazy poetess, they came to Vadya with Lida, Ledik with Volodya. ”
What kind of "crazy poetess" and who are all the other people mentioned here? The writer celebrated his thirtieth birthday on October 24, 1968, and in the text of the poem he lists the guests who came to celebrate his own birthday.This is Vladimir Muravyov, a fellow student of Yerofeyev at Moscow State University, and his brother Leonid, “the beloved firstborn” Vadim Tikhonov [the “Favorite Firstborn”, the author named Tikhonov in a dedication to “Moscow - Petushki”. The writer had in mind that Tikhonov became for him something like the first student], to whom the author devoted "Moscow - Petushki", and his wife Lydia Lyubchikova, Boris Sorokin, with whom the writer met while studying at the Vladimir Pedagogical Institute, and Olga Sedakova , who met with Erofeev just the day of the celebration of his thirtieth. “Why did you call me“ crazy ”?” She later asked Yerofeyev. - "I was half wrong."
7 secrets of "Moscow - Petushki" Yerofeyev, Yerofeyev, only, Venichka, Mystery, Petushki "," Moscow, author, life, novel, recipe, editions, pink, then, glass, poem, grams, text, other, writer

Benedict Erofeev. Moscow, 1988
Erofeev not only made himself the main character of the book, but also added his friends and acquaintances to it. Olga Sedakova later recalled how, reading “Moscow - Petushki,” she did not immediately understand that she was reading artistic prose, and not a diary. You can find Yerofeyev’s acquaintances in other texts of the writer: Lev Gurevich, the main character of Walpurgis Night, probably borrowed his surname from Orekhovo-Zuyevsky teacher’s fellow student, and the hero of another play unfinished Dissidents, Mikhail Kaplan, from the eponymous poet.In “Walpurgis Night”, Gurevich, who is in a mental hospital, reports to the head physician: “For example, Count Tolstoy calls me ...”, and this is not the delirium of a madman. It is about Nikita Ilyich Tolstoy, great-grandson of Lev Nikolayevich and a friend of Erofeev.
Sources -
* Vlasov E. The Immortal poem by Venedikt Erofeev “Moscow - Petushki”. Companion writer. Erofeev V. Moscow - Petushki. With comments by Eduard Vlasov. St. Petersburg, 2015.
* Erofeev V. Notebooks of the 1960s. M., 2005.
* Erofeev V. Moscow - Petushki, etc. M., 1989.
* Chronicle of the life and work of Venedikt Erofeev. Living Arctic. Number 1, 2005.

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