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Three Lives of Alexander Galich: How the Disgraced Poet Lived in Emigration
Three Lives of Alexander Galich: How the Disgraced Poet Lived in Emigration

More than 43 years have passed since the strange death of the poet Alexander Galich, but his poems and songs are heard at bard festivals and are carefully stored in the music libraries of admirers of his work. He was an unusually multifaceted personality: a successful playwright, according to the scripts of which high-quality Soviet films were shot and plays were staged, a talented bard and poet who suddenly became uncomfortable and incomprehensible, a forced emigrant who achieved success abroad. But was he happy there, outside his Fatherland?

Successful playwright

Alexander Ginzburg in childhood and youth

Alexander Ginzburg (real name) very early became interested in creativity, already at the age of five he mastered the piano and rhymed the first lines. However, the boy's mother, laughing, said that he began to write poetry even before he spoke.

After moving from Yekaterinoslav (now the city of Dnipro, Ukraine), the family moved to Sevastopol, and then to Moscow, where they settled in a house in Krivokolenny lane that once belonged to the poet Venevitov, and where in 1826 Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin read his Boris Godunov for the first time ".

Alexander Ginzburg

A hundred years later, Lev Ginzburg, the uncle of the future playwright and poet, decided to celebrate the anniversary of the first reading of Boris Godunov in his brother's apartment by arranging a Pushkin evening, where many guests were invited. Actor Vasily Katchalov was also present at it. The whole atmosphere of the evening and the shown scene from the work of the great poet impressed little Sasha so much that he firmly decided to become an actor.

Alexander Galich with a group of actors from the film "On the Seven Winds" in Rostov-on-Don

He studied in the literary circle of Eduard Bagritsky, and after graduating from school he was going to go to the Literary Institute. But it was in the year when Alexander Ginzburg was finishing the ninth grade that Konstantin Stanislavsky was recruiting his last studio. He immediately entered both the literary and Stanislavsky studio, but it did not work to combine them, and Ginzburg became a student of the great director.

Later he moved to the studio of Pluchek and Arbuzov, where just a year later he became a co-author of the play "City at Dawn". True, they were able to show it only a few times. The Great Patriotic War began, Alexander Ginzburg was not taken to the front because of a congenital heart defect, and he first went with an exploration party to Grozny, and later to Tashkent, where he entered the theater.

Valentina Arkhangelskaya, the poet's first wife

In Tashkent, Alexander met the actress Valentina Arkhangelskaya, who soon became his wife. In 1943, the couple had a daughter, Alena. The girl was only two years old when her mother left to serve in the Irkutsk theater, and Ginzburg himself was involved in raising her daughter. A year later, Alena went to her mother in Irkutsk, but after a few months she returned to her father. Until the second grade, she lived with him. The long separation led to the fact that the spouses had hobbies on the side and they parted.

Alexander Galich with his daughter Alena

Alexander Galich (by that time he had already invented a pseudonym for himself) later married Angelina Shekrot (Prokhorova), and Valentina Arkhangelskaya married actor Yuri Averin.

Alexander Galich with his wife Angelina

Alexander Arkadyevich wrote plays that were successfully performed in the theater: "Taimyr is calling you", "The steamer is called" Eaglet "". Films based on his scripts began to be released. And the playwright himself became a member of the Union of Writers and the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR.In 1955, the premiere of the play “Sailor's Silence”, written by Galich, was supposed to take place on the stage of Sovremennik, but the authorities categorically banned the production.

Disgraced poet

Alexander Galich

Alexander Galich felt the need to share with people what had been accumulating in his soul for many years. The first songs appeared, which Galich performed to his own accompaniment on the piano. Later it became clear: these songs need to be sung with a guitar. And he sang at first "Lenochka and" Red Triangle ", then the camp theme began to sound.

He continued to write scripts, he traveled abroad as part of Soviet delegations, but his songs already had a life of their own. He often spoke to scientists and, according to his daughter Alena, became the only writer invited to the anniversary of Lev Landau and often communicated with Pyotr Kapitsa.

Alexander Galich

In 1968, Alexander Galich performed at the festival of bard songs in Novosibirsk, winning the first prize. True, after returning from the festival, there was a call to the Writers' Union and a strict warning from the KGB officer about the possible consequences in case of continuing songwriting.

But Galich simply could not help writing songs and performing them. But even until the summer of 1971, he continued to live, not particularly noticing any inconvenience or harassment from the authorities. However, then the songs of Alexander Galich frankly did not like one of the members of the Politburo, and the poet again received an offer to abandon this part of his work. But he turned out to be intractable and disobedient, continuing to write.


Alexander Galich

But then, according to Galich's daughter, a book was published abroad at the Posev publishing house, the publication of which the author himself did not even know. In addition, songs by Yuz Aleshkovsky, mistakenly attributed to Galich, somehow got into it.

The author was expelled from the Union of Writers and the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR in January 1972. In the same year, he suffered a third heart attack and received a disability. And in June 1974 he was forced to emigrate from the Soviet Union under pressure from the authorities. After 4 months, all of Galich's works were banned in the USSR.

Alexander Galich

At first, Alexander Galich settled in Norway, then he lived in Munich and finally settled in Paris. He toured a lot, gave concerts in America and France, collaborated with Radio Liberty, he had a huge apartment on Mani Street, where Galich lived with his wife.

His daughter Alyona claims that his father did not need anything in emigration. He was quite well off in material terms. But he lacked the main thing: his spectator and his listener. In addition, the radio, where he happened to work, had its own censorship. He was depressed by the fact that he left the pressure and returned to him, only this time in a foreign country.

Alexander Galich

Alexander Galich, as one of his friends told the bard's daughter, turned out to be "the most suffering of all emigrants." He was deprived of the main thing: his Fatherland, his streets and houses. He continued to make plans, believed that he would be able to see his daughter and mother, hoped to return to his homeland, subject to any changes in the country. But his dreams were not destined to come true … On December 15, 1977, Alexander Galich died from an electric shock when he connected the antenna to the TV.

There was much that was unclear in the death of the poet. Someone argued that the hands of the almighty KGB of the USSR reached out to Alexander Galich, someone wrote off the incident as an accident. And the French police closed the case of the poet's death for 50 years. That is, his investigation will be resumed, possibly only in 2027.

Alexander Galich is so dear and close to everyone who lived in the 1970s. Not pretentious, but painfully memorable. He was loved, at times, without knowing either the name or the surname. And even knowing the name, they had no idea what he looked like. But the heroes of his songs huddled in every communal apartment. "A reflector of the intellectual mood" - this is how Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke of Galich.

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