"I was stabbed at a silent audience"

From Moscow to Leningrad

March 19, 1932

Dear Pavel Sergeevich!

The Bolshoi Drama Theater in Leningrad sent me a message saying that the Hudpolitsovet rejected my play Moliere. The theater freed me from the obligations under the contract.

A) On the play of the letter “B” of the General Repertoire Committee, permitting the production unconditionally.

B) The theater has paid money for the right to stage the theater.

B) The play has already gone to work.

What is it?

First of all, this is such a blow for me that I will not describe it. Hard and long. On the April (approximately) premiere on Fontanka, I put everything. The map was killed. Summer flew in smoke ... well, in short, what can I say.

The fact that this is a real blow, I inform you alone. Do not tell anyone not to play on this and would not cause me any further harm.

Further, this means that, to my horror, the General Repertoire Committee's visa is valid for all plays, except mine.

I consider it a pleasant duty to declare that this time I can’t have any complaints against the state bodies. Visa - here it is. The state in the person of its control bodies did not remove the play. And it is not responsible for the fact that the theater shoots the play.

Who took off? Theater? Have mercy! Why did he pay 1,200 rubles and drive a member of the directorate to Moscow to write a contract with me?

Finally, information burst from Leningrad. It turned out that the play was not shot by the State body. Destroyed "Moliere" completely unexpected character! The "Moliere" was killed by a private, irresponsible, non-political, artisanal and modest person, and for reasons not at all political. The person is a playwright by profession. It came to the theater and so frightened him that he dropped the play.

Initially, when I was informed about the appearance of the playwright, I laughed. But I stopped laughing very quickly. Doubt, alas, no. Reported by different faces.

What is it?!

This is what: on Fontanka, in broad daylight I was struck from behind by a Finnish knife with a silent audience. The theater, however, swears that he shouted "guard", but no one came to the rescue.

I dare not doubt that he screamed, but he screamed softly. He would shout by telegraph to Moscow, at least to the People's Commissariat of Enlightenment.

Two or three sympathetic faces leaned toward me. See: a citizen is swimming in his blood. They say: "Shout!" Shouting, lying down, I consider it uncomfortable. This is not a dramatic affair!

Please, Pavel Sergeevich: maybe you saw in the Leningrad newspapers the footprint of this case. Sign: some kind of caricature, perhaps notes. Notify!

What for? I do not know myself. Probably just a bitter pleasure to look once more in the face of a kidnapped person.

When a hundred years ago the commander of our Russian order of writers was shot, a heavy pistol wound was found on his body. When in one hundred years they will undress one of the descendants before being sent on a long journey, they will find several scars from Finnish knives. And all on the back.

The weapon is changing.

To be continued, if you do not mind. Overcast in my heart.

  1. Images for the announcement of the material on the main page and for the lead: wikipedia.org

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