The author caught in a short list of award “Big book” of the novel “Bureau of inspection” Alexander Arkhangelsky says “RG” on how he researched the times, “discerning the spirits” and spent your hero through unusual trials. Alexander Arkhangelsky: the Writer puts himself in the place of the hero and trying to live your lives together. Photo: RIA Novosti
Author and hero – for Bakhtin, the most important concept in any work. So at the risk of sounding unsophisticated reader will ask you about these boundaries: your hero and hurt you?
Arkhangelsky: Well, to tell you about myself so much easier. I’m saving this story for last, when there will be less power… this Story, by the way, often turns out the best. Have loved Herzen’s best book – “Past and thoughts”. But if it was not “Who is guilty?” there would be no “Past and thoughts”.
And the style you’ve chosen for the hero or for themselves?
Arkhangelsk: Who knows where is the border. The writer puts himself in the place of the hero, trying to get into his skin. And live – along with the hero – life, which in reality will never live. He sends the hero some of his traits. But my own character, not mine. And double – hero tells about the time ex -, but says something is now. All three of us from each other differ. Hero, different from me, different from what anyone says – young. Was lives, it has accumulated experience, and may have outgrown your former self. Hypercriticism towards the young hero, comes from him – not from me.
When I had finished to read the novel, found that similar to your story was in reality – people texting with unseen and unknown by man, O. Paul the Trinity, he foresaw their future and in letters previously warned about what would happen to them. You too when something similar happened?
Arkhangelsk: I’m not. And with none of my loved ones. I just saw hero, entered into correspondence with the kind of spiritual person. And I think of this story. Moreover, not until the end. What will come of this, I didn’t know. And when I dobridol and have almost finished the novel, I learned about the mysterious story of father Paul the Trinity, who allegedly died in the camp, and concealed and transferred “favourites” his instructions through a trusted aide.
Among those who corresponded with father Paul the Trinity called, among other things a very well-known people today Bishop Panteleimon ( Shatov) and the rector of St. Tikhon’s University FR Vladimir Vorobiev.
Arkhangelsk: still, it’s another thing, they wanted to become – and became – very good priests, and a greater role was played by the mysterious “Trinity”, which, as we now know, after all, died in the camp. Who wrote his name the letters, I don’t know. Someone thinks that for a non-existent figure O. Paul the Trinity stood security services. But not too simplistic explanation? However, any direct Parallels with the story of O. Paul the Trinity in my book search is not necessary. I just do not hide the fact that you have read and parodied fairly well-known book “Father Arseny”. But the real history of correspondence with non-existent old man I still do not fully understand.
The two most common interpretations of the novel… One – at the end we waited for a sort of spiritual pyramid MMM – emptiness. But a believer can not be interpretation, a man came down from the spiritual path, and the old man disappeared. As you are such differences in perception?
Arkhangelsk: don’t make me into a criticism of his novel, don’t make hindsight to interpret their own text. For me the final email in the first nor in the other. Hero did nothing to come to God. God himself came to him. And the hero is trying to seek here – the old man, there – the spiritual and scientific leader. The bride manages his life and he is suffering: whose power to choose is the mother’s or bridesmaid, the chaplain, or Professor? And then stops to hide from. And there begins the road. But after a conversation with a mysterious old man, and with the usual priest, father Elijah. He in the end, as befits the believer is “naked”: stops someone from themselves to represent becomes what it is. And from this point begins to move again. That’s why the old man and disappears. It just becomes junk character.
You have a novel in a nice KGB…
Arkhangelsk: Not pretty, but just a weakening, lost his iron grip. Although in real history it was not so. Just in 1980, after the failure of the Olympics, KGB rears… But I’m not a historical novel. And it KGB, right, shows the weakening power, losing the aggression. dissolving in the world, tied cronyism, personal relationships, and the already-festering corruption (friendship of the bride’s father with the KGB is based on Mercantile interests). All relationships became human, all too human. Weak security forces – time formula. But somewhere on the margins of society is formed by young, aggressive, religious, passionate, in its own sincere and merciless power, which is itself and yet not dangerous. But if it will merge with the security forces, it will be quite scary.
This young aggressive force at the end of the novel disappears…
Arkhangelsky: Yes, as tornado goes nowhere. To return. In the novel I am specifically opposed to the new young force of senile apathy apparatchiks. And if to choose between them, I’d rather choose a senile apathy. So it may seem that the KGB in the novel prettier than the elder.
Under a new young force, you mean…
Arkhangelsk: That obscure man, whose hero found himself. At least, it seems that you have found.
Maybe you wrote a key for our time book?
Arkhangelsk: I really think the most dangerous possible this meeting is exhausted, has lost himself the Manager class and this fearless, inhuman, fanatical force.
In the novel is the real story of the arrest of a prominent priest, father Dimitry Dudko.
Arkhangelsky: Yes, it runs in the background and reflects what is happening with the protagonist: he pays for his faith and political views or not? And is it true that the KGB did not interfere in Church life, as he explains Sergeyev, with whom he is left alone in the interrogation about? Or is it, in fact, interfere. This is an important story for the 80-year and overall for late-time, and maybe for us.
I was friends with a sociologist, who was arrested in the 80s, at a time when arrested Gleb Pavlovsky. And he told me in a confidential conversation that, judging by interrogations, the KGB didn’t want him to plant.
Arkhangelsk: the 80-year – one era ended and another began. At this time, all who seemed to be the Almighty, becomes powerless structure, and anyone who still doesn’t have power… This is the time when it is solved, what will be the future. And in part it becomes clear what it will be… But no one knows when it will come.
80s popular today?
Arkhangelsk: at the same time we didn’t conspire – Cyril pieces of Silver made the film “Summer” where the action takes place in 1981 year.
Arkhangelsk: But that is the birth of a new era. And Naumenko with a young music like Mozart and Salieri… In 1981, indeed, a new era has begun. But I needed the 80-th, when the era ended. And the old time did not vote because he died Vysotsky.
Vysotsky was the last voice of the era?
Arkhangelsk: From my point of view, Yes. Because Okudzhava another thing. Galich may be stronger than all the sayings about time, but it is still intellectual poet. And Vysotsky – universal. This Yesenin not yet been.
That era closed the death of Vladimir Vysotsky?
Arkhangelsk: the Era of naive, believing in the right social arrangement of life of people. A sort of Communists without communism: ever be, to justice for all. I don’t believe in a time when all will be well. I am skeptical and believe that the world can be build by putting evil at least some of the border. But it will still seep. And we must build this dam, set rivets. While strengthening her, nothing tolerant. But I believe only “tolerable”…
Antiutopichesky and social sobriety is enjoined on the believers.
Arkhangelsk: I know a lot of believers who still believe in the good social development. But for the 80 th year there have been a lot of unbelievers in this. And the higher people were on the social ladder, the less they are in no matter what was believed. They just upgraded. Besides, it was a time of closed social strata. People from the nomenklatura, bourgeois, working, intellectual families lived strictly within his circle. But my character falls in love with the heroine from the nomenklatura circle. The bride sees a sober middle-class, moderately educated the world in which he lives. But love, as you know, higher social boundaries. And my hero was one of the first moves between them. But in whatever circle we are everywhere Vysotsky, as the glue of life. With his death, as if the tube was closed and put on the shelf: there is nothing more glued will not. The time will come of abundance, and everyone will be in the role of the hero of my novel: alone. And what you really believed. Here we leave the hero. At a crossroads.
Naked before God…
Arkhangelsky: And himself.
Not afraid that the reader won’t understand the topic the life of a believer in the Church importance of confession and communion…
Arkhangelsk: I Have an iron rule: only after finishing the book, think how to read it, and to whom it is addressed. When I sit down to write you not about what should not think. Nor about the money ( I have only once in my life signed a contract for the book, and didn’t write it), nor about the reader. But when I finished and began to think about the reader – I was horrified. The elders and my peers it can be cut off: because everyone has their own, different, memories of the 80s. the Young will be interested because they don’t know what the 80s and don’t understand them. Many believers may seem offensive, because I’m not shy in thinking. And unbelievers may seem unpleasant, the very presence of faith. And the hero is not that perfect. Fall in love with it. So the risks were large. But the novel read. Reviews and reader feedback was a lot. The funny on instagram some girl wrote: have read the book, interesting, but furious about the fact that the book is about priests – I had to warn.
The key point of the novel – a hero’s welcome appearance uninteresting o Elijah and his words about human freedom in faith. And that we hear only what is ready.
Arkhangelsky: And, Yes, Ilya not charismatic. His daughter evil, a sick mother, and he likes brandy. It was important for me that comes from him. His mechanismfirst does not prevent, but helps the hero. He speaks through him with God, and through God himself. Reaching the stage when it starts to scream. With God not talking to God cry. And when the hero starts screaming, and gets the first answer.
Hero did nothing to come to God. God himself came to him
But this is boring, I have adopted the first author, the criticality of the aged hero…
Arkhangelsk: Its criticality in relation to itself means that some way he walked and something in this life understand. And then sent him the test of Providence are not in vain. And rigidity did come in handy. But not towards others and towards himself. The only stiffness that is acceptable.
Your hero fit into a new life?
Arkhangelsk: I Think not. In any case, a great career did not. But the test passed.
At the end of the novel are indicated by two dates of 2014 and 2018, then for some reason he decides to look back on your younger self. And the haven’t yet started the epoch when it was born of today’s conflicts…
The conflict of ambition and of disobedience?
Arkhangelsk: Aggression and structure. Aggression that is depicted in the novel alone, it’s dangerous for only one individual. The maximum for 10-15 people. But if it spreads wider, the risk may be all we have.
*This is an extended version of the text published in the “RG”