The poet Katsev called Andrei Bitov talented and intelligent writer

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade in fotobanka Bits. Archival photoThe poet Katsev called Andrei Bitov talented and intelligent writer© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade the image Bank

One of the founders of Soviet postmodernism, winner of two state prizes of the Russian Federation Andrey Bitov was not only an extraordinary talented writer, but also a very clever man, told RIA Novosti the well-known journalist, writer, poet and essayist Gennady Katsev, living in new York.

Writer Andrei Bitov passed away on December 3 in Moscow at the age of 81 years.

Katsev shared with RIA Novosti his memories of one of his meetings with the writer, which occurred about 20 years ago, and look at creative way Bitov.

The meeting with the drafts
«In January 1996, Andrei Bitov has performed in new York, and the destiny has disposed so, that is a performance I missed. One night on a compact and low podium popular Manhattan cafe club Anyway, a co-owner which I was, came the Andrew Bits. He was holding a stack of paper sheets – judging by the declared title of the presentation, drafts of Pushkin. At least their copies,» recalls Katsev.

Bits read from the sheet musical accompaniment. The performance was attended by Alexander Alexandrov from the composition of the legendary «Aquarium» and «Sounds of Mu», and also a jazz trumpeter and composer Yury Parfenov.

The speech lasted about 20 minutes, then Gennady Katsev asked Bitov page «drafts». «It was the texts in the genre of «theme and variations» — is painted line by line, so they were convenient to read aloud his notes on Pushkin,» he says.

«The main idea Bitov distinct and clear: same as specified around a jazz square or a well-known theme, jazz musicians through jam sessions weave of harmony and disharmony, and each many times corrected Pushkin line fully self-sufficient discourses that filled draft», – says Katsev.
Titan of postmodernism

Describing the work Bitov, Katsev said that he was one of the founders of Russian postmodernism, with all the signs of this movement in his prose and poetry have already existed in the West until the publication of his first novel «Pushkin house», which in 1978 published in the United States.» The novel comes out almost simultaneously with two other masterpieces of Russian postmodernism: the first novel by Sasha Sokolov «School for fools» (1976) and the famous Paris edition of «Moscow – Petushki» Venedikt Erofeev (1977).

«I wonder what Pushkin house Bitov began writing in 1964 as the first story under the impression the trial of Joseph Brodsky, and in the future – a novel in the spirit of intertextual Antiochene in Russian literature. And almost 14 years for the novel to publication, apparently at the right time,» Katsev said.

«One of the first bits instilled in postmodern techniques, scarcity, principles of editing — in any case do not want to say «borrowed», it was self-discovery — life in Russian literature. He was a smart man. In this opinion I am not alone. Perhaps that’s the main thing that was felt at the meeting with Andrei Bitov,» adds the source RIA Novosti.

«We, his contemporaries, were lucky to meet him and future generations – only remain of his work. Agree, too much. Peace to his soul.» – concludes Gennady Katsev.

One of the founders of Soviet postmodernism, winner of two State prizes of the Russian Federation Bitov was born in Leningrad. He began writing in 1956, the first Bitov’s stories have been published in the almanac «Young Leningrad» in 1960. The first book of the writer «Country area» was released in 1967 in Moscow, followed by «Aptekarsky island», «Lessons of Armenia», «lifestyle», «Days of man» (1976), «Seven voyages», «the Pushkin house», published in the USA in 1978, in the USSR, the novel was first published almost 10 years later — the magazine «New world» in 1987.

Bits published in banned in the Soviet Union the dissident almanac «Metropol», for which he was dismissed from the Moscow literary Institute, where he led classes on writing. After that, it ceased to publish in the Soviet Union, he was restricted from travelling abroad. New publication in the homeland has become possible only with the beginning of perestroika in the USSR.

Since 1985, it has published more than 30 books Bitov, including «the Georgian album», «Book of travel», «Man in landscape» (1988), «Flying Monks» (1990), «Catechumens», «Empire in four dimensions», «the Agony in the garden» (2007), «the symmetry Teacher» and others.

The works of writer translated into almost all European languages. Bits winner of numerous Russian and international literary awards. Since 1991 the writer is President of the Russian PEN club.