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Good Stalin

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The novel Good Stalin is inspired by Erofeev's experience growing up amidst the Soviet political hierarchy. His father, a staunch Stalinist who has dedicated his life and soul to the party, begins as Stalin's personal interpreter, and rises rapidly to the top of the political ladder and into the leader’s inner circle. The book reflects the family’s prestigious – and yet precarious – position as members of the nomenklatura. In one memorable scene, the main character Viktor recalls how he would walk past the Kremlin as a child and comment to friends, "that's where my father works – he and Comrade Stalin".

Text of Good Stalin

  • GlaGoslav Publications

    victor YerofeYev

    GooD stalin

  • Good Stalin 2012, Victor Yerofeyev

    English translation Scott D. Moss

    2013, Glagoslav Publications, United Kingdom

    Glagoslav Publications Ltd88-90 Hatton GardenEC1N 8PN London

    United Kingdom

    www.glagoslav.com

    ISBN: 978-1-78267-111-4

    This book is in copyright. No part of this publication maybereproduced, stored in aretrieval system or transmitted

    inany form or by any means without the prior permission inwriting of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated

    in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without asimilar condition, including this condition, being imposed

    on the subsequent purchaser.

    UNCORRECTED PROOF

  • Contents

    4 Part 1 40 Part 2 114 Part 3 205 Part 4 274 Part 5

  • 41

    In the end, Ikilled my father. Asingle golden arrow on the dark-blue dial on the tower of Moscow University on the Lenin Hills showed minus forty degrees Celsius. The cars werent able to start. Birds were scared to fly. The city froze like aspic with human stuffing. In the morning, having looked at myself in the oval mirror in the bathroom, Inoticed that the hair on my temples turned gray overnight. Iwas approaching thirty-two. This was the coldest January of my life.

    Its true; my father is still living and even on his days off, until recently, has been playing tennis. Now, although having grown much older, regardless, he still mows the the summer-house lawn between the hydrangeas and rose bushes with the electric lawnmower , among the thicket of gooseberries, his favorite since childhood. He, as before, drives acar, stubbornly not wearing his glasses; the habit drives my mother crazy and horrifies pedestrians. Having retired to the second floor of his dacha study, the window, scraped by the branches of atall oak tree; he sluggishly rubs his strong-willed chin and types something on the typewriter (maybe hes writing amemoir), but all this is just details. Icommitted, if not aphysical, then apolitical murder this was real death according to the laws of my country.

    Is it possible to consider parents as people? I always doubted this. Parents are undeveloped negatives. Of everyone who we meet in life, the least of all we know are our parents, namely because we dont meet them, the initiative is originally seized by

  • 5Good Stalin

    the ancestors: that is to say, they meet us. The umbilical cord is not severed we are created from them exactly as much as they are impossible to understand. The collapse of knowledge is ensured. The rest is conjecture. Were afraid to see their bodies and glance into their souls. So, for us they dont turn into people, forever remaining asequence of impressions, not knowing their beginning, by the unstable scarecrow-mirages.

    They are untouchable essences. Our opinions of them are helpless, sucked out of ones fingers, built on prejudices, persistent children's fears, the struggle of perfection against reality, proof of the improvable. But parents are also helpless as we evaluate them. Our mutual love doesnt belong either to us or to them, but to instinct, which got lost in amothers womb, just like in the womb of civilization. In this instinct we energetically search for the bright human beginning, and we cannot but avenge the instinct for its blindness of our profound speculations. Love under the name of fathers and sons doesnt have the common denominator of appreciation, but is full of endless offenses and misunderstandings, from which sadness will be born of late regret.

    Parents are the buffer between us and death. Like great artists, they dont have the right to age; our inevitable revolt against them is as much biological as morally irreproachable. Parents are the most intimate ones that we have. But when family intimacy grows to the scales of international scandal, which puts the family on the threshold of survival, as it happened in my house, you involuntarily begin to think, reminisce and analyze. Ionly now finally decided to write abook about this.

    ANONYMOUS LETTERTo the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Comrade A.A. Gromyko.CC: Austria. Vienna. Representation of the Soviet Union at the United Nations. To Ambassador V.I. Yerofeyev.

  • 6Victor YerofeyevAirmail, on the envelope the names of three pilots: Heroes of the Soviet Union: P. Osipenko, V. Grizodubov, and M. Raskov. The 40th anniversary of the non-stop flight from Moscow to the Far East. Stamp # 311791840 (sent on January 31, 1979 at 6:40pm) Moscow, Post Office, Unit#9.The second copy (to me) MOSCOW. 2729 Gorky Street, Apt. 30. To: V. Yerofeyev.Airmail, on the envelope the Baikal Seal. From the series: contemporary animal fauna of the USSR. Stamp # 311791840. Moscow, Post Office, Unit #9.The return address and last name shown on the envelope were false. The writing and punctuation of the anonymous author remain without changes.

    Respected Comrade Minister!It seems that from the local scandal, which is going on now

    in literary circles, and in some other institutes have to draw conclusions which concern the struggle of two social systems. Particularly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    To think only: in the family of our profound diplomat, having an irreproachable, ideological reputation, atrue scum grew up, who writes obscene sexual-pathological short stories, and now released them, being the editor and one of the authors of the underground almanac, having aclear anti-Soviet track. And Victor Yerofeyevs story, the plot of which unfolds in apublic bathroom, which is understood as Russian society, in general, aprecedent that never-before existed!

    And while there is an examination in literary circles, how ayoung man, not having one book of his own, got to be amember of the Union of Soviet Writers, shouldnt one think about what strange ideas he picked up abroad, where he used to be, and now appears there often, because of the official position of his parents? We dont think that hed be directly recruited, but

  • 7Good Stalin

    one thing is almost undoubted: the ideology of the enemy went straight to his head!

    There are alot of conversations now that his parents connections will help this class dropout free himself from history, in which he, for now, behaves extremely impudently, without ahint of any kind of repentance. It would have been very regrettable, if the high parental authority put down this political matter, close to this rehearsed diversion, as they say

    put on the brakes. Just the opposite, it is extremely important based on the example of this regrettable matter to conduct an educational action and within the confines of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself, in order that all others would contemplate what consequences parental liberal views and the absence of comprehensive vigilance to questions can lead (The second page of the letter in both copies is missing).

    Perhaps, Iam the freest man in Russia. In reality, this is an insignificant achievement; aspecial competition in this sphere isnt observed. Everyone competes in other ways. Idont know what to do with my freedom, but it was given to me like clairvoyance. Somehow it happened that I was left out of various ranks, regalia, confessions and premiums. Isuppose that I got lucky. Ihave no bosses or underlings. Im not dependent on cunts or the Red Army. Idont give ashit about critics, fashion or fans. To be the freest man in the most ridiculous country is hysterically funny. Serious people live in other countries, carrying the weight of responsibility, like full pails of water, but we have male and female peasants, militia, intelligentsia, collective farmers, political prisoners, retards, managers and other left-overs funny, untranslatable into foreign languages. Funny people dont need freedom.

    What kind of genial ideas havent come to Russians minds each one is genially funny. The Third Rome has been created, the

  • 8Victor Yerofeyev

    fathers have been resurrected, they were building Communism. Theres nothing they wouldnt have believed! In the tsar, white angels, Europe, America, Orthodoxy, the NKVD, rule of council, unification, commune, revolution, 10ruble bank notes, national exclusivity they believed in everything and everyone, except in themselves. But the funniest thing was to call the Russian people toward self-knowledge, to bang the gong, to ring the small Buddhist bell:

    Arise, Brothers! Lets Embrace one-another! Lets drink!The brothers will arise and definitely have adrink. You will

    sit with the intelligentsia all night long, talking about God, death, women, the authors song, fate the veins will expand, conceptions multiply. The horizons expand in all directions: you are smoking with Byron, playing pool with Che Guevara. But in the morning you wake up and there is no more intelligentsia. Bohemia is going out of style. Then in big business, in television, in politics, toward oligarchs you sit and get dumber. Or you end up with the youth in the disco: in the toilet youll find out about the cosmic wars of good and evil, the etymology of Japanese curse words, forty-four possibilities not to like top-models, the mythical abyss of Armageddon: youll dance the ethnic dance and at the same time.

    Russian writers are also funny people. Some laugh through their tears, others simply laugh. They freak out about morality in this funny country. But, like the Aztecs, they are bloodthirsty, have apenchant toward human sacrifice. They cut off the heads of women and enemies. Novels are filled with themes of funny fathers and funny children. Not only Turgenev and Dostoyevsky, but also the Silver Age in Petersburg of Andrei Bely, talked to death about this theme. The revolutionary-son and the reactiona