Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dear, Central Committee of the Communist Party

I came upon this via two sites and thought I'd post this here. It is the suicide note of Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Fadeev, Soviet author of the The Rout and Young Guard. I haven't read him, but after reading what follows, which was written almost 50 years ago to the day, I feel I should.

To the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union:

It is impossible for me to live any further since the art to which I have given my life has been destroyed by the self-confident, ignorant leadership of the Party and can no longer be corrected. The best cadres of literature--in number far more than the tsarist satraps could even dream of--have been physically exterminated or have died thanks to the criminal connivance of those in power. The best literary people died at an unnaturally young age; all the rest who were, even to the smallest degree, capable of producing true works of value died before reaching 40-50 years of age.

Literature--this holy of holies--was handed over for extermination to bureaucrats and the most backward elements of the people, and from the highest tribunals--such as the Moscow Conference and the XXth Party Congress, came a new slogan: "Onward!" The path by which they intend to correct the situation provokes indignation. They gathered together a group of ignoramuses, with the exception of a few honest people who find themselves in exactly the same situation of persecution and therefore are unable to speak the truth--and their conclusions are deeply anti-Leninist because they arise from bureaucratic habits, accompanied with the threat of the same cudgel.

With what a feeling of freedom and openness my generation entered literature during Lenin's life; what unbounded strength was in our soul, and what beautiful works we created and still might have created!

After Lenin's death they brought us down to the level of children; they destroyed us; they threatened us ideologically and called this "the Party spirit". And now, when everything might be corrected, primitivism and ignorance--along with a disgraceful share of self-assurance--manifest themselves in those very ones who are supposed to correct everything. Literature has been placed under the control of untalented, petty, rancorous people. Those few individuals who have retained the holy fire in their souls find themselves in the position of pariahs and--because of their age--will soon perish. And there is no longer any stimulus in the soul to create...

Born for great creative work in the name of Communism, connected with the Party for almost sixty years, with the workers and peasants, endowed by God with an unusual talent, I was filled with the most lofty thoughts and feelings, which can only be given birth by the life of the people, united with the excellent ideas of Communism.

But I was turned into a horse pulling a broken-down cart ...

To read more, go here.