Letters to the Zone
This 1990 article published in Iskusstvo Kino contains two letters written to Sergei Paradjanov when he
was in prison. One letter is from Tarkovsky and the other one is from
Vasily Katanyan. The Editor, Svetlana Shcherbatyuk, writes:
[This correspondence to Paradjanov] deserves to be published in full.
Those of the letters which were particularly dear
to him, Sergei would send to me asking me to save them.
Amongst them there are wonderful letters
from Lili Brik and Vasily Katanyan, Vasily Shukshin, Andrei
Tarkovsky, Yuri Lubimov, Kira Muratova, Emil Lotyanu. [...] Together
with [Iskusstvo Kino] we are preparing them
for publication. In the meantime — two friendly messages to Sergei in
A scan of the article is found below.
We have translated the letter from Andrei Tarkovsky into English.
References and acknowledgements: Iskusstvo Kino, no. 12, 1990.
Thanks to Vlad Shamailov for his kind assistance.
See also [ Tarkovsky visits Parajanov ].
[ page 1 | page 2 ]
Photo: Sergei Paradjanov and Lilya Brik.
Photo credit: V. Plotnikov.
18 October 1974
You are right — Vasya's death [Footnote: Vasily Shukshin died 2 October
1974 -Ed.] — it's
a link in the chain which ties us all together. We all really
miss you here, love you very much and, naturally, we are waiting.
How is your health?
Are you able to receive books?
Write me (when you have a chance) if there is
anything I could do for you now.
Here in Moscow it's same old thing: my
Mirror was not being approved for half a year. But now I hope they
approve it, either today or tomorrow. I am extremely tired of this
absurd bureaucratic pushing around. I am leaving to spend this winter in
the countryside by the Oka [river].
You understand — everyone in Moscow is
stunned by your epic experience.
It's strange how before we allow ourselves to take care of and love
one another, we so typically wait for untold cataclysms to occur first.
And here, in truth, "no prophet is accepted in his own country."
The only thing I'm sure of is your heroism which
is your salvation. After all, you are a very talented man (and that's not
saying enough!) And talented people are strong.
Let all that's best stay within your soul and
lend you strength now.
I am embracing you, dear friend!
Larissa sends you her greetings and Gala Shibanova
presents her compliments.
Your friend Andrei Tarkovsky
[Paradjanov's note to Ms. Shcherbatyuk on the reverse: 'I'm sending the
letters and the photo I received. Save them. Please.']