УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2024 №31

Author: Igor E. Loshchilov
About the author:

Igor E. Loshchilov — PhD in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Philology of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nikolaeva St.,8, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia.


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The article examines the history of the book “Yal-Mal” (1930) by the forgotten Kharbin poet, writer, and journalist Vasily Stepanovich Loginov (1891–1945/1946?). The author uses descriptive and historical-functional research methods. The article focuses on the publication of Loginov’s letter to Mikhail Osorgin, where he responds to Osorgin’s opinions regarding his impressions of “Yal-Mal.” In 1931, Loginov purposefully distributed the book among émigrés. The appendix to the article also contains other reviews and responses to the book that appeared in both eastern (Harbin, Shanghai) and western (Prague) émigré publications. Also, the book appears among publications received by the Parisian journal “Sovremennye Zapiski” for a review. The critics who wrote about the book did not appreciate the dystopian story “Yal-Mal (Half-Rotted Letters in a Box),” however they noted the writer’s skill in addressing Siberian and Ural themes. They also mentioned the book’s cover that reproduced Mikhail Vrubel’s painting “Pan,” and concluded the writer’s inherent pantheism and the literary influence of Knut Hamsun. The author’s hopes for recognition and wide dissemination of the book have failed, but its fate allows us to speak of “Yal-Mal” as an accomplished “literary fact.” The article makes a significant clarification to the writer’s bibliography: the mention of his book “Kharbin in Verse (Everyday Pictures),” printed under the pen name “Captain Cook” in Paris, allows to set the year of its publication as 1927 (not 1932 as it was considered earlier).

Acknowledgements: The work was carried out at the Institute of Philology of Siberian Branch of the Russian academy of sciences with the financial support from the Russian Science Foundation, project no. 19-18-00127 “Siberia and the Far East in the First Half of the 20th Century as a Space for Literary Transfer” (

Keywords: Vasily Loginov, Mikhail Osorgin, Russian emigration, Russian Harbin, Siberia, utopia.
For citation:

Loshchilov, I.E. “ʽI Am Establishing Relations with Abroad Regarding My 'Yal-Mal'’: The Letter of a Kharbin Writer Vasilii Loginov to Mikhail Osorgin.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (31), 2024, pp. 104–128. (In Russ.)


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