ENG / RUS
hard cover, ill., 512 pp., 2008
Covering the period between 1964 and 1993, the correspondence between Yuri Lotman and Boris Uspensky touches on a wide range of contemporary issues in the humanities, as well as providing a fascinating look at student living and family life in the USSR. As we read about the development of academic thought, we also gain a unique insight into the personalities of Lotman and Uspensky.
“It is hard for me to imagine, what the contemporary reader will gain from this correspondence, or how interesting it will seem,” Uspensky writes. “But whether or not the reader is interested in the specific events we describe, our correspondence, I feel, gives a good idea of those times — of our life and work… We lived in a country that was not free, yet we strove towards inner freedom. There were many horrible things that happened back then, but there were also many good things. As a rule, the unpleasant things had to do with officialdom, while the good things came from the relationships between people. Our correspondence clearly shows this.”