... It was long ago.
Self-portrait I drew in the refugee camp.
I came to New York in October, in November Reagan was elected.
SummaryI bring back the metaphysics; right now I want my personal stories in. I am not sure how it will work, because there several stories even with the one story of the single life -- mine. In fact, I hope that writing about myself can help me understand what I don't understand. About myself, about life.
QuestionsWhen will you write the truth, Anatoly?
NotesIt was the year of the Moscow Olympics. The first year of the Afghan War. My Russian life ended in May of 1980. On the day with the bright sun and blue skies. I see better at night, in darkness. If I can see anything at all. We, the writers, got together near the Museum of Revolution, got on the bus to the airport, Seremetyevo International, got on the plane to Italy...
2004 & After
The Possessed 2003
self-portraitOf course, it's an illusion that to write about yourself is easy. Do you know what you do, when you you look at yourself in the mirror? You make faces. You try to look the way you would love yourself look like. I hope that the Tolstoy's tradition of the confessional prose could help...I came to NYC with the Russian typewriter, which I bought in Rome. My Russian Book, I smuggled from Moscow, was waiting to be decoded, typed -- and published, of course.
Hold on! Not "confessional"! I never had anything to hide. I was young and wrote using "fictional" names to tell I thought and feel. Why? Ask somebody who still is doing it.
Second, the "prose" -- what kind of "prose" could I write with my language?
What kind of truth could write anybody, trying to defend himself?
It was twenty two years ago, I was thirty one -- and the book was never published.
There was no book, only a lot of pages. I faked it, the book, the fight...
Maybe it should be simple. With family photos, like a scrap book.
I will clean it up, when it is ready to live as a text only.
The theory texts are too close in style to my other serious texts.
Anyway, if you want to see who I am and who I was, read SELF stories and come back, because in this chapter I want to be short. The book is about Anatoly-American and the family story. From my defection in June of 1980 to our marriage in 1984 I was searching for it, for my place and my family.
I came here with the grey passport of a stateless person and a status of alien resident. On that typewriter I bought in Italy my Italian IRC guide placed this sticker "IRC" -- International Rescue Committee. But did I need a sticker to be recongnized as somebody who needed to be rescued?
The Italian months I left in the chapter "Alienation" (I have to work it out, the order of the texts and the narrative). My New York and New England years I will send to NYC files. There are America and American files in this part one under the name "Outside" (yes, that is who felt, because I was the outsider).
There are some New York stories in SELF, but maybe should go straight to my family story, to Vermont, where I met Esther...
No, I have to write another love story first, since I didn't say anything about Francis in SELF. Maybe you will understand why after my stories with "American" women, I married an Ethiopian girl, who came to the States two years before me. Immigrants marry their own or American girls. I didn't marry my Russian woman in New York, I left her with her music and dreams. I didn't marry Francis.
It was my first American summer and I was directing a show at the Summer School in Vermont. She was a graduate student and a lead in Turgenyev's one-act "Provincial Lady" -- we did it in Russian, of course.
I hope I am not confusing the years, it was so long ago. [ NYC ]
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