Works and Days

Works and Days

I, Vadim Rabinovich, was born on 20 February, 1935 in Kiev, on the Dnieper River. My mother Valentina and my father Lev were doctors. My father perished in the Big War and it is nearly quarter of a century now that my mother has gone too.

I spent my early childhood in Ukraine, my school years in Syzran, on Volga; my youth in Moscow where in the Mendeleyev Chemical and Technological Institute I have become an engineer; I was a young adult working at a chemical plant in Dankov, on the Don river, in a leafy tranquility of provincial prudence.

Dnieper, Volga, Don…

From 1962 — I am in Moscow again, in academia: for the first five years still in chemistry. — My alchemy ofof diverse historical, philosophical and cultural reflections started later. In a whirlwind of love, and fueled by ambitious competitiveness at the Gorky Literary Institute I carried on writing poetry. It was Alexandr Tvardovsky who in 1967 first published my poems in Novy Mir, his «real» literary magazine.

My life took me from plowing virgin lands in Kazakstan to, operating machinery at the Dorogomilovsky Chemical Plant, from being a soot sifter and a presser at a caoutchouc plant, to working as a laboratory assistant at the Institute of Combustible Resources Chemistry, to lecturing at the Textile Institute; from proofreading for a factory newspaper «Mendeleyevets», to writing precis for the «Chemistry» journal; from marching as a Private and then as a Junior Lieutenant with the Chemical troops to lecturing in community on popular chemistry; to heading a literary association at the Moscow Institute of Chemical

Engineering, to working as a journalist at the Central Television, to being an editor of the publishing house «Nauka», and to answering readers’ letters addressed to «Literaturnaya Rossiya» weekly

My teachers were Ilya Lvovich Selvinsky and Vladimir Solomonovich Bibler.

I was delivered from troubles by Bonifaty Mikhailovich Kedrov and Ivan Timofeyevich Frolov. I have friends, but also enemies. I have pupils and disciples, too. I do not know all of them well, but I sense that something keeps growing in them…

My son is Maxim and my daughter is Claudia.

My main interest is Man in culture… Open and clandestine, mainstream and marginal, refined and common, clinging to the traditional and professing avant-gardism… In the word of prophecy, sermon, confession, prayer and incantation. In the word of vision and commandment. In secret writing. In the word of the Poet, in inner speech, in silence… At the borders… In Europe and in Russia, in the Middle Ages and in the 20th century. In Love and on a deathbed… Apostle John, Augustine, Alcuin, Abelard, Saint Francis, Roger Bacon, Raymond Lully, Albert the Great, William Langland, Dante, Petrarch, Agricola, Cardano… Trediakovsky, Khlebnikov, Krutchonikh, poets of the Silver Age… All of them are the old and invariable subjects of my scholarly interpretations-reconstructions and academic eloquences. I have published more than 800 texts in prose of different genres and approximately as many poems. They include techincal licensees, books, academic and newspaper articles, collections of poems, translations, anthologies… More than 70 of them were translated into foreign languages. My awards are: the Galileo Medal of the Paris International Academy of Sciences and the Blue Ribbon of Sofia University.

My academic interests embrace Medieval studies, studies of the Russian avantgarde, history and philosophy of culture, epistemology and philosophical anthropology What am I at present? I am Head of the Department of Cultural Languages of the Russian Institute for Cultural Studies; Professor, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Chemical Sciences; member of editorial boards of academic and literary journals «Gazeta POeziya», «Epistemology and Philosophy of Science», «Culture and Art» and a number of other printed and electronic publications; member of the Union of Russian Writers, member of International Реп-Club and of the Russian Pencentre.

My main scholarly books are: Alchemy as a Phenomenon of Medieval Culture. Moscow, «Nauka», 1979; Confessions of a Skribe Who Taugth the Letter But Fostered the Spirit. Moscow, «Kniga», 1991; Human being in Culture… Moscow, «Forum», 2008; Imitaphors of Rabinovich, or the Heavenly cutter. Moscow, «Zakharov», 2010.

My poetic collections include: A Violin in Every Tree. Moscow, «Sovetsky Pisatel», 1978; The Purple Rook. Moscow, «Sovetsky Pisatel», 1988; Twenty-One Themes for Pipe, Echo and a Jingling Bell. Moscow, 1995; A Tomtit of the Eye. Moscow, «Strategiya», 2008.

Перевод E. Петровской

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