УДК / UDK: 821.161.1(081)

2024 № 2 (32) 

Author: Druzhinin, P.A.
About the author:

Petr A. Druzhinin, PhD in History, Senior Researcher, V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Volkhonka St., 12, 119019 Moscow, Russia. 


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The article is dedicated to the handwritten legacy of Isaac Babel and examines the writer’s letters, inscriptions, and drawings introduced into scientific circulation in the last decade. Based on the analysis of these findings, the article concludes that all these “autographs of Isaac Babel” are hoaxes of varying degrees of persuasiveness. These results confirm the effectiveness of philological methods for recognizing falsified manuscripts of the classics of literature. The article pays special attention to the analysis of Isaac Babel’s gift inscription to Solomon Mikhoels, written partly in Yiddish. The research establishes that the text of the inscription testifies to the writer’s poor command of Yiddish, which in turn refutes the possibility of the authenticity of such an inscription as a whole. The issues considered in the article correlate with the general problems of modern textual criticism. 

Keywords: Isaac Babel, Judaica, Yiddish, Solomon Mikhoels, textual criticism, manuscript, signature, fake, counterfeit, forgery, falsifier, language of writers.
For citation:

Druzhinin, P.A. “The Falsifications of Isaac Babels Manuscripts and Their Recognition.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (32), 2024, pp. 136–160. (In Russ.) 

  1. Babel’, I. Sochineniia: v 2 t. [Works: in 2 vols.], vol. 1, comp. by A.N. Pirozhkova, comm. by S.N. Povartsov. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1990. 478 p. (In Russ.) 
  2. Babel’, I. Sobranie sochinenii: v 4 t. [Collected Works: in 4 vols.], vol. 4, comp. and comm. by I.N. Sukhikh. Moscow, Vremia Publ., 2006. 640 p. (In Russ.) 
  3. Vospominaniia o Babele [ Memoirs About Babel], comp. by A.N. Pirozhkova and N.N. Iurgeneva. Moscow, Knizhnaia palata Publ., 1989. 336 p. (In Russ.) 
  4. Geizer, M. “Mikhoels, Babel’ i ʽEvreiskoe schast’e’.” [“Mikhoels, Babel and ʽJewish Happiness’.”] Sovetskii ekran, no. 4, 1990, pp. 22–23. (In Russ.) 
  5. Druzhinin, P.A. Ideologiia i filologiia: v 3 t. [Ideology and Philology: in 3 vols.], vol. 3: Delo Konstantina Azadovskogo [The Case of Konstantin Azadovsky]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Publ., 2016. 528 p. (In Russ.) 
  6. Efimov, B. Mne khochetsia rasskazat’ [I Want to Tell]. Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik Publ., 1970. 208 p. (In Russ.) 
  7. Ivanov, V.V. “Stilizatsiia Mikhoelsa?” [“Stylized as Mikhoels?”]. Voprosy teatra, no. 1–2, 2017, pp. 247–252. (In Russ.) 
  8. Ivanova, T. “Glava iz zhizni: Vospominaniya. Pis’ma I. Babelia” [“A Chapter from Life: Memories. Letters of I. Babel”], comm. by E. Peremyshlev. Oktiabr’, no. 5–7, 1992. (In Russ.) 
  9. Inber, V. “Poeziia byla dlia nego vsem: (Eduard Bagritskii)” [“Poetry Was Everything for Him: (Eduard Bagritsky)”]. Inber, V. Sobranie sochiniyenii: v 4 t. [Collected Works: in 4 vols.], vol. 4. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1966, pp. 347–366. (In Russ.)
  10. Krumm, R. Isaak Babel’. Biografiia [Isaac Babel. Biografy]. Moscow, Rossiiskaia politicheskaia entsiklopediia Publ., 2008. 208 p. (In Russ.)
  11. Levin, F.M. I. Babel’: Ocherk tvorchestva [I. Babel: Essay on His Work]. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1972. 206 p. (In Russ.) 
  12. Losskaia, V. Marina Tsvetaeva v zhizni: Neizdannye vospominaniia sovremennikov [Marina Tsvetaeva in Her Life: Unpublished Memoirs of Contemporaries]. Moscow, Kul’tura i traditsii Publ., 1992. 348 p. (In Russ.) 
  13. Olesha, Iu. Ni dnia bez strochki: Iz zapisnykh knizhek [Not a Day Without a Line: From Notebooks]. Moscow, Sovetskaia Rossiia Publ., 1965. 302 p. (In Russ.) 
  14. Pogorel’skaia, E.I. “Khronika zhizni i tvorchestva I.E. Babelia” [“Chronicle of Isaac Babel’s Life and Work”]. Babel’. I. Rasskazy [ Stories], comp. by E. Pogorel’skaia. St. Petersburg, Vita Nova Publ., 2014, pp. 599–650. (In Russ.) 
  15. Povartsov, S. “Neizvestnye pis’ma Isaaka Babelia” [“Unknown Letters of Isaac Babel”]. Voprosy literatury, no. 1, 1990, pp. 269–271. (In Russ.) 
  16. Reiser, S.A. Osnovy tekstologii [ Fundamentals of Textual Criticism]. 2nd ed. Leningrad, Prosveshchenie Publ., 1978. 175 p. (In Russ.) 
  17. Chudakova, M.O. Rukopis’ i kniga: Rasskaz ob arkhivovedenii, tekstologii, khranilishchakh rukopisei pisatelei [ A Manuscript and a Book: A story About Archiving, Textual Criticism, and Repositories of Writers’ Manuscripts]. Moscow, Prosveshchenie Publ., 1986. 176 p. (In Russ.)