УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2024. no. 2 (32) 

Author: Pakhomova, A.S.
About the author:

Aleksandra S. Pakhomova, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Philology, St. Petersburg School of Humanities and Arts, National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg), Kanal Griboyedov Emb., 119–121, 123 A, 190069 St. Petersburg, Russia. 


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


The literary reputation and creativity of M.A. Kuzmin has been determined to be influential on the unofficial Leningrad culture of the second half of the 20th century, such as works by L.L. Rakov, V.N. Petrov, A.N. Egunov, and others. The analysis of the texts shows that Kuzmin has a shared creative tradition with close friends and young people. Based on the analysis of their texts and the practice of their transmission, the article concludes that these writers formed a kind of emotional community, a bonded memory of Kuzmin, and knowledge of the crucial texts of the elder poet. Many works of Egunov, Petrov, and Rakov of this kind are “coded” by one text or another or by Kuzmin’s method. In turn, Kuzmin’s young friends in the second half of the 20th century themselves take on the role of “masters,” allowing practices, texts, and pre-revolutionary literary culture that support the following representatives, philologists, poets, and writers of the 1950s–1960s. The figure and texts of Kuzmin in these years form a different, unofficial literature, being perceived by authors who are looking for an alternative to Soviet culture. The structure of Kuzmin’s cult was shaped by historical and cultural factors following his demise. For many years, the topics that have been advancing on the periphery of Kuzmin’s work allow us to raise the question of the real influence of Kuzmin’s personality and creativity on the literary culture and literary process of the 20th century. 

Keywords: M.A. Kuzmin, L.L. Rakov, V.N. Petrov, A.N. Egunov (Nikolev), literary reputation, unofficial culture, emotional community.
For citation:

Pakhomova, A.S. “Mikhail Kuzmin’s Circle and the Creation of Unofficial Literature in Leningrad in the Latter Part of the 20th Century.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (32), 2024, pp. 239–262. (In Russ.) 


1. Aigi, G.N. “Tvortsy budushchikh znakov”: Russkii poeticheskii avangard [Makers of Future Sights. Russian Poetry Avant-Garde]. [S. l.]: Salamandra P.V.V. Publ., 2011. 157 p. (In Russ.) 

2. Andreeva, E.Iu. Mul’tiekrannoe vremia: Iskusstvo XX – nachala XXI vekov [Multiscreen Time: Art of the 20th – Early 21st Century]. St. Petersburg, DA Publ., 2023. 272 р. (In Russ.) 

3. Bogomolov, N.A. Mikhail Kuzmin: Stat’i i materialy [Mikhail Kuzmin: Works and Materials]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Publ., 1995. 367 p. (In Russ.) 

4. Bresler, D.M. “Sovetskie ʽemotsionalisty’: Chtenie Vaginova v 1960–1980-e” [“Soviet ʽEmotionalists’: Reading of K. Vaginov Works in 1960–1980”]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 4, 2020, pp. 233–259. (In Russ.) 

5. Bresler, D., and K. Konstantinova. “Andrei Egunov v 1920–1930-e gody” [“Andrey Egunov in 1920–1930”]. Nikolev, A. Po tu storonu Tuly [On the Other Site of Tula]. Moscow, Nosorog Publ., 2022, pp. 131–145. (In Russ.) 

6. Vaginov, K.K. Pesnia slov [ The Song of the Words], comp., text prep., introd. article and notes by A.G. Gerasimova. Moscow, OGI Publ., 2012. 368 р. (In Russ.) 

7. Voznesenskii, A.A. “Mne 14 let” [“I Am Fourteen”]. Pasternak, B.L. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii s prilozheniiami: v 11 t. [Complete Works with Supplements: in 11 vols.], vol. 11. Moscow, Slovo Publ., 2005, pp. 570–609. (In Russ.) 

8. Gasparov, B.M. “Eshche raz o prekrasnoi iasnosti: Estetika M. Kuzmina v zerkale ee simvolicheskogo voploshcheniia v poeme ʽForel’ razbivaet led’.” [“About Beautiful Clarity: M. Kuzmin’s Aesthetics in the Mirror of its Symbolic Embodiment in the Poem ʽThe Trout Breaks the Ice’.”] Malmstad, J.E., editor. Studies in the Life and Works of Mixail Kuzmin. Wien, E. Zeuner Publ., 1989, pp. 83–114. (In Russ.) 

9. Dmitriev, P.V. “ʽKapitan odin ne v schet...’: M. Kuzmin i ʽMarsel’skie matrosy’.” [“ʽThe Captain Doesn’t Count Alone...’: M. Kuzmin and ʽThe Sailors of Marseilles’.”] Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (19), 2021, pp. 163–180. 2021-19-163-180 (In Russ.)

10. Krivulin, V. “U istokov nezavisimoi kul’tury” [“At the Origins of Independent Culture”]. Zvezda, no. 1, 1990, pp. 184–188. (In Russ.) 

11. Kuzmin, M.A. Dnevnik 1905–1907 [The Diary. 1905–1907], foreword, text prep. and comm. by N.A. Bogomolov, and S.V. Shumikhin. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2000. 608 p. (In Russ.) 

12. Kuzmin, M.A. Proza i esseistika: v 3 t. [Essays and Prose: in 3 vols.], vol. 3: Esseistika. Kritika [Essays. Critics], comp., text prep. and comm. by E.G. Domogatskaya, and E.A. Pevak. Moscow, Agraf Publ., 2000. 768 p. (In Russ.) 

13. Kuzmin, M.A. Stikhotvoreniia [Poems], introd. article, text prep. and notes by N.A. Bogomolov. St. Petersburg, Akademicheckii proekt Publ., 1999. 832 p. (In Russ.) 

14. Kuzmin, M. Dnevnik 1934 goda [The Diary. 1934], ed., introd. article and notes by G. Morev. 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2011. 416 p. (In Russ.) 

15. Lev L’vovich Rakov: Tvorcheskoe nasledie. Zhiznennyi put’ [Lev Lvovich Rakov: Creative Heritage. Life Path], comp. by A.L. Rakova. St. Petersburg, The Hermitage Publ, 2007. 464 p. (In Russ.) 

16. Lekmanov, O.A. Kniga ob akmeizme i drugie raboty [Book about Acmeizm and Other Works]. Tomsk, Vodolei Publ., 2000. 703 p. (In Russ.) 

17. Likhachev, I.A. “O Kuzmine” [“About Kuzmin”], publ., introd. and notes by Zh. Sheron. Zvezda, no. 9, 2014, pp. 161–163. (In Russ.) 

18. Mauritsio, M. “Bespredmetnaia iunost’” A. Egunova: Tekst i kontekst [The Pointless Youth by A. Egunov: Text and Context]. Moscow, Kulagina Publ., 2008. 254 р. (In Russ.) 

19. Meilakh, M. “Iakov Druskin ʽVestniki i ikh razgovory’.” [“Yakov Druskin: ʽMessengers and Their Conversations’.”] Logos, no. 4, 1993, pp. 89–90. (In Russ.) 

20. Nikolaev, N.I. “Vospominaniia o poezii Aleksandra Mironova” [“Memories About the Poetry of Aleksandr Mironov”]. Ivanov, B., editor. Peterburgskaia poeziia v litsakh: Ocherki [St. Petersburg Poetry in Faces: Essays]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Publ., 2010, рр. 369–389. (In Russ.) 

21. Nikol’skaia, T.L. Avangard i okrestnosti [Avant-Garde and Surroundings]. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2002. 320 p. (In Russ.) 

22. Nikol’skaia, T.L. Spasibo, chto vy byli [Thank You for Your Being]. St. Petersburg, Iuolukka Publ., 2014. 220 p. (In Russ.) 

23. Panova, L.G. “ʽForel’ razbivaet led’ (1927): Dialektika liubvi. Stat’ia 1. Siuzhet, struktura, estetika” [“ʽTrout Breaks the Ice’ (1927): Dialectics of Love. Article 1. Plot, Structure, Aesthetics”]. Sed’maia mezhdunarodnaia Letniaia shkola po russkoi literature: stat’i i materialy [7th International Summer School on Russian Literature: Articles and Materials]. 2nd ed., rev. and. enl. St. Petersburg, Svoe Izdatel’stvo Publ., 2012, pp. 111–129. (In Russ.) 

24. Pakhomova, A.S. “Kuda plyli ʽMarsel’skie matrosy’ v 1917 godu?” [“Whither Drifted ʽThe Sailors of Marseilles’ in 1917?”]. Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (19), 2021, pp. 181–199. (In Russ.) 

25. Pakhomova, A.S. Pisatel’skaia strategiia i literaturnaia reputatsiia M.A. Kuzmina v rannesovetskii period (1917–1924 gg.) [Writing Strategy and Literary Reputation of Mikhail Kuzmin in Early-Soviet Period (1917–1924)]. Tartu, University of Tartu Press, 2021. 288 p. (In Russ.) 

26. Petrov, V.N. Turdeiskaia Manon Lesko; Dnevnik 1942–1945 [Tourdean Manon Lescaut; Diary. 1942–1945]. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2022. 264 p. (In Russ.)

27. Petrov, V.N. Turdeiskaia Manon Lesko: Istoriia odnoi liubvi; Vospominaniia [Tourdean Manon Lescaut; The History of One Love; Memories]. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2016. 269 р. (In Russ.) 

28. “Posmotrim, kto kogo pereupriamit...”: Nadezhda Iakovlevna Mandel’shtam v pis’makh, vospominaniiakh, svidetel’stvakh [“Let’s See Who Will Out-Stubborn Whom...”: Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam in Letters, Memoirs, Evidences], comp. by P.M. Nerler. Moscow, AST, Elena Shubina Publ., 2015. 733 p. (In Russ.) 

29. Timenchik, R.D. Istoriia kul’ta Gumileva [The History of Gumilev’s Cult]. Moscow, Mosty kul’tury Publ., 2018. 607 p. (In Russ.) 

30. Timofeev, A.G. “Kommentarii” [“Notes”]. Kuzmin, M.A. Arena: Izbrannye stikhotvoreniia [Arena: Selected Poems], comp., introd. article, text prep. and comm. by A.G. Timofeev. St. Petersburg, Severo-Zapad Publ., 1994, pp. 365–470. (In Russ.) 

31. Ustinov, A. “ʽChinari’ v dnevnikakh Mikhaila Kuzmina” [“ʽChinary’ in Mikhail Kuzmin’s Diaries”]. Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (19), 2021, pp. 200–252. https://doi. org/10.22455/2541-8297-2021-19-200-252 (In Russ.) 

32. Iur’ev, O.A. Pisatel’ kak sotovarishch po vyzhivaniiu: Stat’i, esse i ocherki o literature i ne tol’ko [The Writer as a Companion to Survival: Articles, Essays and Essays on Literature and More]. St. Petersburg, Ivan Limbakh Publ., 2014. 264 p. (In Russ.) 

33. Malmstad, John E. “ʽYou Must Remember This’: Memory’s Shorthand in a Late Poem of Kuzmin.” Malmstad, John E., editor. Studies in the Life and Works of Mixail Kuzmin. Wien, E. Zeuner Publ., 1989, pp. 115–140. (In English)