Today marks 110 years since Dmitriy Sergeevich Likhachev was born. A renowned philology, culture and arts expert. He's range of interests was wide. Likhachev was called “the consciousness of the nation”. Alexander Brius reports on his unique personality and how residents of St. Petersburg remember him.
Can literature change the world? Yes it can.
He is words changed the world of literature. And after his speech at Ostankino, piles of paper grew at Likhachev's table – letters arrived from every corner of the country.
Dear Dmitriy Sergeevich! I enjoyed your speech on television. Usually, after 10 PM I turn off the light and try to go to bed to avoid excessive heartbeat, but this time I made an exception and did not regret it – received much desired food for thoughts.
Zinaida Kurbatova, grand daughter of D.S. Likhachev: “People sent entire notepads describing their lives and what was going on with them. Some people who went through repressions, one woman described the collectivize Asian. This table did not look this way – it was full of letters. And this room look like a cave where he sad all the time. Everything was stacked up like this.
Dmitriy Sergeevich’s study was partially re-created at the museum of political history of Russia. This interior became part of the exhibition to mark the honorary citizen’s jubilee. The granddaughter of the famous academic, Zinaida Kurbatova, is hurting that his hometown which he loved greatly does not have a permanent exhibition.
Zinaida Kurbatova, grand daughter of D.S. Likhachev: “It's been 17 years since my grandfather’s death. There's nothing happening in St. Petersburg, no initiative on creating a museum. This is unjust, this is a real shame.
He's name is very closely connected with Petrogradskya Storona area. There is a square named after him by the Birzhevoy bridge. His working study in the Pushkinskiy building, where he had worked most of his life, faced the square
Oleg Panchenko, chief researcher at Institute of Russian Literature: “Now we can take people on the tour like this. But back then we felt great deal of distance between us and Likh. He was like a giant to us.
The apprentice of the giant of language studies, Oleg Panchenko, shows us the treasures stored at the Institute of Russian literature.
Oleg Panchenko, chief researcher at Institute of Russian Literature: “He left a detailed tale on the topography of the Solovki concentration camp, memories of particular prisoners. Here, for instance, is a blueprint of the cell where he had spent almost 6 months.
The memoirs of Likhachev about Solovki, where he was imprisoned for a joking letter from the Pope, is something students of the 47th school know by heart.
Darya Kochneva, student at school 47 named after Likhachev: “He considered this as the most important school in his life. He mentioned that there were people shot and arrested for nothing there.
The famous graduate of the Lentovskaya gymnasium has a dedicated spot in the school’s museum.
Valentina Rykhlova, principal of school 47: “He always said I'm thankful to the Lentovskaya School for making me a humanitarian. In 1991 he signed a book and brought it to us – letters about the good things. It is still here.
Considered as benchmark of morality in the 20th century, here his life is studied from childhood, his works are regarded as basics of upbringing. Quotes from them are always handy, on every page of a jubilee record book.
I was arrested on February 8th 1928, came back on August 8, 1932. I could not find a job for six months. That's despite me being a distinguished worker at the Belomoro-Baltiyskiy canal, and despite receiving the document with a red crossing line, signifying that my criminal record was erased. Still, I couldn't find a job.
The Solovki became the biggest test in Likhachev’s scientific career. After the concentration camp he worked at the Institute of Russian literature - up until the end of his life - but he only became a teacher after 14 years since his release. Everyone turned him down. The dean of the historic faculty at The Leningrad State University, Vladimir Mavrodin, took that risk. Starting from 1946, Likhachev was doing lectures in this building. First as an intern, and then as a professor.
Alexander Brius, reporter: “This hall is the only one to remain in its initial design, but it still the largest in the building. It fits around 400 people. When Likhachev did lectures here, there were no free spaces.
Evgeniy Vodolazkin, writer: “He was a man of colossal internal temperament. Like magma sipping out of volcano - just like that. There were cases, occasionally – two or three times, when his explosive character was felt.
His character would without question have been shown today – in protecting the city. Likhachev rescued Nevskiy from reconstruction, defended+ St. Petersburg skyline.
Mikhail Milchik, friend of Likhachev: “Dmitriy Sergeevich, as you understand, had no administrative tools and influence, it is clear. But it was all about his word. The word of authority from a very respectable man made those in charge listen
The word has always been this man's main weapon - he was often called the consciousness of the Russian nation. Now the word is the main hope of his family. They are dreaming of creating a memorial museum. And even asked the President for help