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Victor Korotayev

Victor Korotayev. Photo from the family archive of the writer. Victor Korotayev with readers. Photo from the family archive of the writer Family and close friends of the writer at the meeting dedicated to the 75th anniversary of his birth (2014)
  • Victor Korotayev. Photo from the family archive of the writer.
  • Victor Korotayev with readers. Photo from the family archive of the writer
  • Family and close friends of the writer at the meeting dedicated to the 75th anniversary of his birth (2014)

The poet Victor Korotayev (1939 – 1997) was born in Vologda. He spent his childhood which concurred with the war, in the village Lipovitsy of the Sokolsky region of Vologda Oblast. The grandmother has imparted Korotayev love to national creativity, native village. The boy learnt to read early. Korotayev started writing verses at 14. His compositions were published in regional newspapers, almanacs, collections. In 1963 he graduated from the Department of History and Philology of the Vologda pedagogical institute. In 1963-65 he served in army beyond the Arctic Circle, then worked in the newspaper «Vologda Komsomolets». In 1962 the first book of verses «Examination» was published in Vologda. In 1965 after publishing the book «the World which I love» the poet was allowed to join the Union of Writers of the USSR.

In 1969 3 poetic collections by Korotayev were issued: «Boys from far villages» and «Lot» – in Moscow, «Lipovitsa» – in Arkhangelsk. In 1969-71 studied at the Higher literary courses in Moscow.

In due course Korotayev's creative work received the All-Russia popularity. From 1962 to 1991 21 books of verses were written. In 1973-78 Korotayev headed the Vologda literary organization, for many years he was an editorial board member of the magazine «North». He carried out about 5000 creative meetings with readers, supervised literary consolidations over the Vologda region. In 1992-97 he headed the book-publishing firm «Vestnik» (Bulletin) which released about 30 books. He is the laureate of A. Jashin, N. Ostrovsky, A. Fadeev literary Premiums (1973, for his poem «Slavyanka»), was awarded with «The sign of Honour» (1989).

Korotayev is an original representative of the so-called «silent lyrics», «the Vologda school» of the 1960-70ss. We can name A. Jashin, A. Peredreev, A. Prasolov, N. Rubtsov, J. Kuznetsov, A. Romanov as his predecessors and colleagues. The main theme of Korotayev's work – love to the big and small Native land, feeling of blood connection with the Fatherland. His moving force is indissoluble unity with the world of village, with the native land and people, who work on it.

Gradually from landscape sketches and household scenes the poet turns to the life of soul, becoming a psychologist, capable to embody the slightest nuances of moral experience.

Korotayev practiced also epic genres. The poem «Slavyanka» (1972) is based on the legend about the rescue of a monument by several Russian women during the war which cost them their lives.

In 1970-80s Korotaev worries about the destiny of perishing villages and their centuries-long culture. «Attraction» (1976), as well as other books of this period, is a confession of the soul tormented, crying, thirsting pleasure and revelations.

Korotayev's poetic system is close to the national song and romance. Korotayev uses repetitions, folklore metaphoricalness, introduces informal conversation into poetic language. The poetics of contrasts is typical for his verses: love and hatred, life and death, the good and the evil. To draw attention of the reader, К. sometimes eliminated excessive euphony of the rhymes, loved the play of mind, accuracy and clearness of ideas.

Verses of this period were influenced by the pain for human poverty, sufferings, poverty and disintegration of the country, status of the Russian poet.

Such songs as «Maiden lyrical», «March of metallurgists», «A Song about Vologda», «Mothers give birth not to the soldiers …» were written to his lyrics.

Korotayev is also the author of books of prose «On the date: tales and stories» (Moscow, 1978) and «There stood two pines» (Arkhangelsk, 1984). The main characters of his stories – rural old men and old women – strong people, carrying the spiritual light of an imperceptible feat of life. In the book «Trump queen: almost a documentary story with an epilogue how poet N. Rubtsov was killed» (1991) Korotayev showed the last years of the poet, presented the documents from the closed trial on the Rubtsov's murderer.

Lyubomudrov A.M. // Bibliographical dictionary. – Moscow, «Olma-Press invest», 2005.

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