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Leonid Tsypkin (1926–1982)

Autor(a) de Summer in Baden-Baden

5 Works 658 Membros 15 Críticas

About the Author

Obras por Leonid Tsypkin


Conhecimento Comum



Der Berg Ararat, ein ruhender Vulkan im türkisch-armenisch-iranisch-aserbaidschanischen Grenzgebiet, ist das Ziel einer Auslandsreise von Boris Lwowitsch und seiner Frau Tanja. Aufgeregt sind sie ob der Eindrücke der Fremde, wo alles so anders verläuft als in der sowjetischen Hauptstadt, wo der Jurist und die Verwaltungsangestellte angesehene Leute sind. Aber was soll man auch erwarten, fernab des Machtzentrums, wo sich die Menschen verdächtig verhalten und sogar erdreisten Boris und Tanja kurzerhand aus dem Hotel zu werfen. Eine Reise mit Hindernissen, die jedoch auch zeigt, was möglich sein könnte, in einem anderen Land, in einem anderen Leben.

Der russische Mediziner und Autor Leonid Borissowitsch Zypkin schrieb weitgehend für die Schublade, nachdem sein Sohn und dessen Frau aus der Sowjetunion ausgewandert waren und der Autor mit einem Veröffentlichungsverbot belegt wurde. Sein bekanntester Roman „Ein Sommer in Baden-Baden“ musste über Bekannte außer Landes geschmuggelt werden und wurde in New York veröffentlicht, nur eine Woche bevor Zypkin einem Herzanfall erlag. „Die Winde des Ararat“ entstand unter dem Titel „Norartakir“ bereits in den 1970ern, jetzt erstmals in deutscher Übersetzung.

Eines der Kapitel ist mit „Rache“ überschrieben, was symptomatisch für den Roman ist. Boris und Tanja gehören zu jenen, denen es im sowjetischen Moskau gut geht, die sich Auslandsreisen erlauben können. Doch sie können nicht schätzen, welches Glück sie haben und so rächt sich die fremde Welt an ihnen. Das System, das sie noch verteidigen, wendet sich gegen sie und trifft sie mit voller Härte, indem sie ihr Zimmer für eine Gruppe unbedeutender Menschen räumen müssen und zu Bittstellern werden.

Das Buch als Ganzes kann als Rache des Autors gegen das Land gelesen werden, das ihm das Veröffentlichen untersagte. Das Land war festgefahren wie Boris und Tanja, begrenzt im Blick, unfähig sich zu öffnen und zu entwickeln.

Literatur aus dem inneren Exil, da das äußere verwehrt blieb. Heute ein lesenswertes Zeitzeugnis.
… (mais)
miss.mesmerized | May 17, 2022 |
Bewonderenswaardig en koortsig boek waarin de ik-persoon tijdens een treinrit naar en bezoek aan Leningrad/Sint-Petersburg de dagboeken van Anna Grigorjevna Dostojevskaja leest, meer bepaald over de zomer van 1867, wanneer het echtpaar Dostojevski (het casino van) Baden-Baden aandoet. Dostojevski blijkt een kleinzerige, afgunstige, jaloerse, spilzieke, gokverslaafde, antisemitische, schreeuwerige, bijgelovige, paranoïde en haatdragende man te zijn, die niettemin gebiologeerd is door het lijden van de mensheid. Aangrijpend verslag van zijn laatste levensuren. Bijzondere stijl.… (mais)
razorsoccam | 13 outras críticas | Nov 29, 2019 |
What a hidden gem this is. Tsypkin weaves together his own spiritual journey to Dostoevsky’s last house in St. Petersburg in the present with Dostoevsky’s travels abroad in the past, in particular to Baden-Baden, where the author was so famously addicted to gambling. His style is fast-paced and breathless, perfect to the feverish nature of the story, and he uses all the right touches, paying homage to Russian literature, but at the same time, remaining clear-eyed, sober, and accurate.

I’ll be frank: Dostoevsky is shown to be irritable, petty, jealous, obsessive, and an overall pain in the ass. He’s extremely awkward, and blurts out all the wrong things in social situations. His treatment of his second wife is poor, pawning off her things again and again to throw money away at the roulette wheel. His meetings with the polished and Westernized Turgenev are memorably described: “Tugenev’s eyes had followed him through the lorgnette extremely intently, as if the lorgnette’s owner were afraid he would be bitten by a mad dog at any moment…”. Each had some level of grudging respect for the other, but because of their personalities and differing views on the West, conflict was inevitable.

Dostoevsky had been humiliated in prison, suffered from epileptic fits, was afraid of being laughed at, and desperately wanted to be accepted. He knew what suffering was, and gave alms to every beggar he saw, almost to a comical degree. He knew the power of spirituality, but at the same time knew doubt, and channeled that into scenes like that of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov. He once begged for a pardon for a drunk who had literally punched him in the face, and then paid the man’s fine when it was levied. He knew he was deeply flawed, and sought forgiveness and redemption.

Tsypkin’s own story is also quite touching. A doctor whose position was punitively reduced after his son and daughter-in-law emigrated to the United States in 1977s, he wrote in his spare time for the sake of writing, never expecting to be published in the Soviet Union. This book was smuggled out of the country in 1982 and published in America; Tsypkin got word of that from his son and “was an author” for seven days before having a heart attack and dying.

In one of the interesting bits of introspection, Tsypkin wonders why he and other Jews like Dostoevsky despite his anti-Semitism, even if it was pretty common in the 19th century. “…it struck me as being strange to the point of implausibility that a man so sensitive in his novels to the sufferings of others, this jealous defender of the insulted and injured who fervently and even frenetically preached the right to exist of every earthly creature and sang a passionate hymn to each little leaf and every blade of grass – that this man should not have come up with even a single word in the defence or justification of a people persecuted over several thousands of years – could he have been so blind? - or was he perhaps blinded by hatred?” And later: “what, in fact, was I doing here? - why was I so strangely attracted and enticed by the life of this man who despised me and my kind (and deliberately so or with his eyes wide open, as he liked to put it)? – why had I come here under cover of darkness, walking along these empty and godforsaken streets like a thief?...”

There are no simple answers, or really any answers, proffered. One suspects it’s appreciation for Dostoevsky’s tortured soul, his humaneness, and his great depth as an author. This book is certainly a must for any fan of Dostoevsky, or of Russian literature in general, and I wish I had read it while on my own spiritual journey to Dostoevsky’s House-Museum in St. Petersburg. However, the book speaks to such basic truths and is so well written, I would recommend it to anyone.

On humiliation:
“…and once again he was flying downhill, bruising himself painfully against things and feeling that he had nothing to hold on to – and that whole theory of his about falling was worthless – he had simply invented it to make his injuries less painful, presenting the wounds to himself and everyone else surrounded by the self-sacrificial halo of some great ‘idea’ – but do we not all do the same thing, deceiving ourselves time and again as we think up convenient theories designed to soften the blows continually rained on us by fate or to justify our own failures and weaknesses? – and is this not the explanation of the so-called crisis which Dostoevsky went through during his penal servitude? – could his morbid pride ever have become reconciled with the humiliations to which he was subjected there? – no, he had only one way out: to consider these humiliations as his just desserts – ‘I bear a cross, and I have deserved it,’ he wrote in one of his letters…”

On Pushkin, I found it insightful and likely true:
“…but you will probably never find as fierce and passionate an admirer of Pushkin as Dostoevsky, for whom Pushkin may have been just as unattainable an antithetical dream as Stavrogin, embodying as he did harmony of spirit (though it may only have appeared that way), a high sense of honour (did Dostoevsky know how loyally Pushkin used to bow to Count Orlov at the Mariinsky Theatre?), strength and constancy of character (did Dostoevsky realized that the Decembrists did not really trust Pushkin very much, considering him both unstable and indiscreet?) and finally the nonchalance of a seducer who always achieved success (here there is really nothing to add in brackets, as Pushkin’s perfection in this sphere was genuinely beyond dispute) – or perhaps the antithetical element lay elsewhere: Dostoevsky the prose-writer was perhaps the most passionate poet and romantic of his age, while Pushkin the poet was possibly the most sober realist of his – but the most important thing, however, was that they lived in different times so that Dostoevsky managed to avoid being the object of one of the poet’s sarcastic epigrams – and if had been, Pushkin would undoubtedly have been ranged with all the other literary enemies of Dostoevsky and might even have held a leading position.”

Lastly, this ending, which reminded me of another Doctor-Author, Anton Chekhov:
“…and the girl went on ahead, like a guide, or perhaps she was simply ashamed of her parents – and in the haloes around the street-lights on Svechnoy Lane snowflakes were slowly circulating – I was approaching the Ligovka, and somewhere behind me was a semi-dark, endlessly straight street all covered in snow which the wind was piling into drifts, lined with silent tenement buildings and with the darkest and most silent of all – at the corner.
A few minutes later I was already in the tram heading towards Gilya’s house, and half an hour later after that I was once again chatting with her, sitting on Mozya’s sofa, as she told me about the Blockade, about Mozya, about the year ’37, and outside lay the wintry Petersburg night, and each time a tram clattered past down below, the whole house together with Mozya’s lamp shuddered, like a ship straining at its moorings.”
… (mais)
2 vote
gbill | 13 outras críticas | Dec 24, 2015 |
This may well be the most extraordinary book I know. T. found his breathless style interweaving the past with the present, the inclusion of stark black-and-white photographs (reminiscent of Sebald), in isolation from contemporary world-literature. Living in the Soviet Union, a medical researcher by profession, Tsypkin wrote without hope of being published, solely for the drawer. We must thank Susan Sontag for rescuing this work. She tells us in the Introduction how she rediscovered an obscure edition, about Tsypkin’s life and much more: she calls the book an ‘I-novel’ known in the Japanese literature as shishosetsu : an autobiographical novel with fictional episodes - in the past: the summer Dostoyevsky spent in Baden-Baden, in the present: the narrator in search of Dostoyevsky. It is one of the rare books I like to re-read again and again. If you love Dostoyevsky don’t miss this book! (XII-15)… (mais)
MeisterPfriem | 13 outras críticas | Dec 6, 2015 |



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Associated Authors

Susan Sontag Introduction
Roger Keys Translator
Angela Keys Translator
Alfred  Frank Translator
Heleen ten Holt Translator
Jos Vonhoff Translator


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