Viktor Vladimirovich Erofeyev

Viktor Vladimirovich Erofeyev (1947) is a Russian writer based in Moscow. As a son of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat Vladimir Erofeyev, he spent some of his childhood in Paris, which accounts for why much of his work has been translated from Russian into French, while comparatively little has reached English. Victor Erofeyev graduated from Moscow State University in 1970, where he studied literature and languages. He then did post-graduate work at the Institute for World Literature in Moscow, where he completed his post-graduate work in 1973 and received his kandidat degree in 1975 for his thesis on Dostoyevsky and French existentialism. He became a literary critic, publishing works on Lev Shestov and the Marquis de Sade. He later organised his own literary magazine, Metropol, in which many of the big names of Soviet literature participated, including Vasily Aksyonov, Andrei Bitov, Bella Akhmadulina, and others. The magazine was put into circulation via samizdat, i.e., avoiding Soviet censorship. As a result, Erofeyev was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers and was banned from being published until 1988, when Gorbachev came to power. Victor Erofeyev currently resides in Moscow and frequently appears on Russian television, where he has his own program on the channel Kultura; he also has a program on Radio Liberty, Moscow. Major works: Russian Beauty, The Good Stalin, The Last Judgement, Five Rivers of Life, Encyclopaedia of the Russian Soul, Men and God X, Life with an Idiot (a collection of short stories) and In the Labyrinth of Accursed Questions (a collection of essays). Victor Erofeyev also regularly contributes to The Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The International Herald Tribune.

Victory Day

For me, Victory Day represents a watershed in European history. In essence, the history of wars came to an end in 1945. Until then wars, along with other activities, were regarded as man’’s natural pursuit, his natural need, and the pacifist critique of war was considered a marginal and weak-willed phenomenon. Warrior man was a social and gender model. Surpassing all imagination, the horrors of World War II produced an unprecedented humanist syndrome in post-war Europe, completely shattering the positive image of war as such. It became obvious that war cannot be considered a continuation of politics by other means, […]

Katyń is more than just Katyń

My first wife Wiesława, who is Polish, called me thirty minutes after the disaster, relieved to have received the news that her brother Damian – a cameraman with Polish TV – was alive, since Kaczyński had not taken any journalists on board. I was happy for Damian. I did not check the information regarding journalists. Damian could not have perished anyway since he’’d gone to Katyń with Tusk and stayed there… But now Katyń has claimed fresh victims from Poland. There is a monstrous, mystical sense in this bloodthirstiness that reflects a fatalist consciousness which is characteristic of the Russian […]