Literature

 

Literary heritage of Pavel Zaltsman numbers two novels, a play, tens of stories and poems. Same as in case with easel paintings Zaltsman fixed the creation date of his works to the minute. In poems, as a rule, the day is given, sometimes even the circumstances are given (like ride on the commuter train or path on certain street). As to the prose the unique dating of most of that is difficult due to the fact that the author was re-writing texts almost all his life (“the comedy”, as he called it, “Ordinamenti” Zaltsman continued to edit even in hospital, before his death).

We can judge about the beginning of work on some of them not only using the information of the author himself, but by the material itself. Novel “Puppies” (Schenki) has been started in 1932 under the impression of first expedition to Baikal lake region, first chapters are taking in the city of Verhneudinsk.Page from the novel manuscript The other novel, “Middle Asia In Middle Ages”, is made on the materials of Central Asian expeditions of 1934 and 1938. We can clearly see Alma-Ata’s hotel “House of Soviets”, where Zaltsman’s family lived in evacuation from 1942 to 1954, in the story “Reflection”. Some of the stories were invented as tales for the daughter, others were fixation and revision of dreams (as we see from the author’s notes). None of the texts were published during the author’s lifetime, they were known to a very narrow circle of relatives and friends. Besides fiction there are memoirs that are saved – “Head Without The Tie” and “Under Filonov’s Sign”.

Zaltsman archive consists of a mass of notebooks, block-notes and different sheets of paper recorded with very small hand that is extremely difficult to decrypt, most of them are made in pencil. The reason for such writing is, first, that the conditions of work were minimum uncomfortable; second, Zaltsman was afraid of attention for the corresponding services and made his notes maximum unreadable for the case of arrest. Decryption and retyping of the manuscripts had been started in 80’s by the daughter Lotta Zaltsman and art critic Bayan Barmankulova. First publications appeared in 90’s. A major part of the archive was decripted by Zaltsman’s daughter Lotta and her husbend Alexey Zusmanovich. The decription was finished by professionals. “The Puppies” novel, many stories and diaries (that were published under the title “Shards of shattered smithereens“) had been editied, commented and prepared for publication by philologists Ilja Kukuj and Peter Kazarnovsky. “Middle Asia in the Middle Ages” novel is prepared for publication and commented by historian and translater Tatyana Baskakova.

 

This part of the site shows texts of already published stories and poems and excerps of novels. The detailed list of all published materials – texts of Zaltsman himself and articles about him – you can see in sections “Публикация текстов” and “Исследование жизни и творчества”.