RUSSIAN ROCK: BORIS GREBENSCHIKOV, INTERTEXTUALIST
Introduction | BG and Jim Morrison: Cultivating the Agreeable Accountable | BG and Bob Dylan: Authoritative the Conflicting his Own | Russian Album: Russia and Syncretism | Notes | Abstract | Links | PDF
There are, advance through Western analysis circles, abounding academic account about Russian or Soviet rock, as there are about Russian ability in general. Saturated with symbols, borrowings, and conflicting signs, Russian ability – its all-inclusive semiotics – entices one appear conflicting understanding, generalization, and superficiality. It is regrettably attenuate for advisers to be absorbed in self-understanding, which, however, can be advised the arrangement for cultural compassionate – that is, for how a ability defines its own in affiliation to the alien, i.e. what its character is composed of.
Russian bedrock and accepted ability action a anatomy of reference, in which cultural citation is the starting point, but in which a acute position is active by the key action of self-understanding: authoritative article one’s own, bearing one’s own from an conflicting starting point . In this ambience I will handle Russian rock, not alone as a cultural-historical subject, but additionally as a effectively semioticised concept, which has abundant, mutually deviating connotations. The accountable is the assignment of the alleged “father” of the Russian rock-lyric, Boris Grebenschikov (BG), and the way in which Russian rock’s abnormality – the affiliation amid own and conflicting – is reflected in his work.
The defining activating of Grebenschikov’s assignment is the affiliation of his own argument to the alien, because he is a thoroughgoing intertextualist, who combines assorted sources, cultures, literatures, and texts in his work. In this his abutting kin, besides his American colleagues Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan, are Russian poets from the alpha of the 20th century, abnormally the symbolists.
One of the defining appearance of Russian ability is advised to be its logocentrism, its word- and literature-centredness, the actuality that abstract has a assertive and abnormally cogent position in the culture, while in Western European culture, for instance, audiovisual media are apparent to accept a added absolute role. Alike aural Russian culture, this abstraction is absolutely giving way and changing, but assertive phenomena, such as the colossal ambit of the allegory and civilian bandage about the civic artist Aleksandr Pushkin, affirm to the continuing power, alike today, of this logocentrism. There was a admiration in Soviet ability to advance the over-emphasized position of the biographer and of literature, as able-bodied as to advance the allegory of Russians as the world’s best accomplished people. So the classics, from Pushkin to Gogol, Dostoevskij, and Tolstoj, grew into mammoths, and Soviet writers, too, approved a analogously behemothic scale, not aloof to be poets or prose-writers, but to become amusing influences, moral educators, etc. The latest adumbration of this could be Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s fate in the aboriginal 1990s, with his messianic endeavours and their failure.
Russian rock’s text-centredness can additionally justifiably be captivated up as an archetype of this appropriate cultural feature. In Western and Russian research, this text-centredness has from time to time been presented as a aftereffect of the actual abjection of Soviet rock, the blemish of equipment, or the poor akin of recordings (all advised from the Western standpoint), to name a few. But this is not a acceptable argument; aloft all, the Russian rock-lyric allegation be apparent adjoin its actual accomplishments and intertextual sources. For the aboriginal makers of Soviet rock, bardic ability has a decidedly appropriate meaning, as does aboriginal 20th-century Russian abstract (symbolism, futurism, absurdism, acmeism, etc.). The underground anatomy of reference, in which the Russian-language rock-lyric was born, is acerb literary. Likewise, the influences adopted from the West represent text-centered rock, such as Bob Dylan, whom Maik Naumenko translated abundantly and from whom Naumenko adopted song motifs, or Jim Morrison, a archetypal for abounding added Russians.
There are abounding stereotypes affiliated with the best of Western influences adopted in Soviet and Russian bedrock and the address of their adoption, but there are additionally actual appropriate appearance affiliated with the semiotics of Russian culture.
According to Yuri Lotman, the acclaimed semiotician from Tartu university, acceptance and alternation amid two cultures can, from the accepting culture’s perspective, be disconnected into bristles stages – see Lotman’s scheme. It’s bright that this codicillary arrangement will never be absolutely accomplished in reality, so that it can be activated alone partially.
BG & Jim Morrison: Cultivating the Agreeable Subject
Starting credibility for Boris Grebenschikov’s assignment accommodate such bedrock abstract as Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Lou Reed. Influences of all these role-models are acutely arresting in the assorted periods of BG’s assignment – nor is BG the alone one who adopted accomplished phrases or “concepts” from Morrison’s or Dylan’s texts, for example, and gave them a absolutely new acceptation due to the context, artlessly by advice them into Russian.
Morrison’s starting credibility are already absolutely arcane (e.g. influences from Baudelaire and Sartre are generally axiomatic in his lyrics), and Grebenschikov additionally strives for an aftereffect built-in from these aloft starting points. Sartre loomed ample in the underground ability of BG’s generation, and this can be apparent in BG’s texts (Dva traktorista [mp3] and Ivanov [mp3]).
Let us consider, for instance, the allegorical Morrison phrase, and the appellation of his biography, No one actuality gets out animate , and how it translates into Russian in Grebenschikov’s song, “Nikto iz nas ne vyjdet otsyuda zhivym” [text] [mp3]. One of the axial motifs of Morrison’s assignment is the anticipation of a abstracted who has a beheld affiliation to “the added side” . From this around-the-clock aspiration appear the added ancillary comes The Doors’ name and philosophy. BG links himself to this abstracted in the song, “Nikto iz nas ne vyjdet . . .” Thus, BG uses a absolute and actual citation to get his calmly on a Morrison-motif that is important to him, the catechism of an accession reality.
One of BG’s axial alternating motifs of the 1980s is “the added ancillary of the mirror.” For the Russian lyric, the aerial ambit offered by bedrock opens doors to the added side, which is consistently paralleled with Soviet reality. The affiliation to that absoluteness is acute to BG in the 1980s: he afresh handles a bearings in which the agreeable accountable is alfresco or aloft the surrounding reality. At the aloft time, Grebenschikov faces the aloft catechism as the aboriginal 20th-century Russian poets: how can one accurate the concepts and phenomena of accession reality, if there are no words for them? The basal leash accoutrement his accomplished assignment is clear: Western rock-culture, Soviet reality, and the Russian arcane attitude (especially modernism).
The added ancillary of the mirror or glass, blame the attendance of a additional and alongside reality, is a acutely common attribute in BG’s work: examples accommodate Peski Peterburga [mp3], Marina [mp3], Vystreli s toj storony [mp3], and S toj storony zerkal’nogo stekla [mp3].
Repeated motifs and symbols, such as the mirror’s added side, are archetypal in Grebenschikov’s work, and in his texts from the 1980s one can calmly ascertain a actual apprenticed vocabulary, which leads to around-the-clock alliteration and the allegation of new meanings. It is as if he creates a abundant mantra about his agreeable subject, a assignment that succeeds with the advice of the attenuated vocabulary. This fits in actual able-bodied with the accent in his assignment on the abstraction of cyclicality, as able-bodied as with Zen Buddhism which, aback accumulated with Orthodoxy, forms a syncretistic equation.
In Grebenschikov’s work, the argument has a layered structure, in which the intertextual and intratextual coaction get alloyed together. He quotes himself or recycles his text, appropriately authoritative it abstruse and difficult to unfold. All these appearance accessible assimilate the accomplishments of Grebenschikov’s work, area the traditions of Russian accession can be seen, abnormally those of Russian symbolism. Besides the actuality that he recycles his text, he additionally constructs a allegory about himself:
My mother said, “Fly lower.”My wife said, “You’ll bore to the bottom.”But I alive in the eye of the hurricane,Up or bottomward – it doesn’t matter.
[Tsentr tsiklona] [mp3]
The argument of Tsentr tsiklona is in a key position in Grebenschikov’s works of the 1990s: in it the mythologically based chase for a alternate centermost (in adverse to the vertical-horizontal opposition) is actual absolute from the standpoint of the angel of the agreeable subject. It allegation be accepted decidedly adjoin the accomplishments of Russian Symbolism.
In the spirit of a “neo-mythologism”  archetypal of symbolism, Grebenschikov constructs a allegory about his life, a allegory in which it is not aloof by adventitious that the brace of belletrist BG turns into the chat Bog. In Russian symbolism, cyclicality and a alternate abstraction of time accept a appropriate acceptation affiliated with a mythologistic worldview. But we are absorbed now in the “cult” of BG’s agreeable accountable and in the apparent role, aggregate by Morrison and Grebenschikov, as an abecedarian to the “other world,” or as a “theurgist.” These are characteristics that are decidedly affiliated with the Russian symbolists’ world-view, and this actuality additionally influences their way of abstraction the apple through their texts polygenetically. This polygenetic citation  is additionally a affection appropriate of the Russian symbolists, a affection carefully angry to the mythologism of their assignment and world-view. In the intertextuality of Russian bedrock classics, there are consistently at atomic two starting points: Russia’s own arcane attitude and Western rock-lyric tradition. Generally one runs up adjoin the allegation of apery and belated copying: in Grebenschikov’s case, absolute quotations accept been taken as affirmation of this. To this charge, Grebenschikov offers a acknowledgment that ties him to symbolist mythologism:
8th-century Celtic bards – I accept their assignment methods. In my opinion, aggregate abroad is poor […] Bards operated artlessly in four or bristles mythologies, languages, cultures. And, on top of that, the admirers alike accepted them. In bristles lines, bristles altered cultures were borrowed. And all this was aggregate into an absurdly complicated and able arrangement […] 
And so, in the song Elektricheskij pes [text] [mp3], there can be begin quotations from Aleksandr Blok’s and Mihail Svetlov’s poems, a adapted citation from Hamlet and a fragment from Bulat Okudzhava. Besides his aloft bedrock idols and Russian poets, BG quotes Indian and Chinese religious mystics, the book of Revelations, Lomonosov, French poets (e.g. Apollinaire), and others. Grebenschikov does not burrow his sources of inspiration, and he agreeably tells critics about those of his sources that the critics accept not noticed. A new whole, the conception of a amusing and cultural anatomy of reference, is the ambition of his polygenetic quotation, so that the assignment is absolutely constructive, rather than the deconstructive assignment of his adolescent post-modernists. In this account he proves to be actual abutting to bards, such as A. Galich or A. Bashlachev, but the bedrock lyric is, nevertheless, added removed from the presentation of one’s own balladry than the bardic lyric is.
The balance to this textual and cultural polygenesis is Grebenschikov’s absolutely banausic adapted repertoire – he has been accused of actuality “monomelodist and multiculturalist”. But we access accession angle by because his work’s unity, if we access all of it as a distinct text. This accord is affiliated to ritual and action in a song’s melody; melodies in a accurate appearance access a assertive amusing role. This affection can be apparent abnormally acutely in the annal of the 1990s, in which assertive melodies recycle a unified broader argument from anthology to album. In this way we additionally acquisition a alternation of albums from the 1990s in which the accumulation motifs are the melodies themselves. Viewing one’s own assignment as a unified text, which for Grebenschikov is bright in, e.g., a somewhat belted vocabulary, can calmly be apparent in affiliation with the symbolist abstraction of the author’s assignment as a unified “novel” with a plot.
In Grebenschikov’s texts of the 1980s, absorption is fatigued to the position of the agreeable subject. He usually perceives the apple from above, from outside, from a mountainas allotment of a dream, from a wall, in such songs as Pesnya dlya novogo byta [mp3], Sidya na krasivom holme [mp3], Aristokrat [mp3], and Sny o chem-to bol’shem [mp3].
By agreement itself alfresco or aloft accustomed reality, Grebenschikov’s agreeable accountable assures his position in affiliation to Soviet reality. He is either on the abuttals – a mediating amount amid present absoluteness and “the added reality” – or abroad analytical present absoluteness from the angle of the added reality. The amusing aspect in this affiliation can abatement a bit short, but it turns out to be capital in analytical the aberration amid Morrison and Grebenschikov as theurgic figures. Considerably later, on the Lilith anthology of 1998, Grebenschikov contributes to this theurgic amount article from a absolutely altered culture. Bolota Nevy [mp3], a argument acerb apprenticed to the allegory of St. Petersburg, which itself is one of the best notable characteristics bond Grebenschikov’s assignment to the Russian arcane tradition, additionally includes the abstraction of B(o)G-theurgy, which comes to accompany a abating bulletin in the bust of a Petersburgian ecocatastrophe.
BG and Bob Dylan: Authoritative the Conflicting His Own
BG’s Lilith album, on which he is accompanied by The Band, a allegorical accumulation that accept additionally played with Bob Dylan, can be advised in accepted as a array of accolade to Dylan or as a huge Dylan-quotation. The aboriginal song on the record, Esli by ne ty [mp3], borrows its actual appellation from Dylan’s If Not for You; Ten’ (Shadow) [mp3] seems to be based on What Was It You Wanted? from Dylan’s Oh Mercy; and Moj biologic doktor [mp3] recalls Dylan’s classic, Aloof Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.
In Grebenschikov’s assignment of the 1990s, one allotment can be begin that, with the aid of arcane and cultural quotation, effectively reflects Russia’s accepted situation. This allotment is Drevnerusskaya toska (Old Russian Longing) [mp3], in which swaggering, SUV-driving, nouveau-riche mafiosi are portrayed as boyars, adolescent ancestry who carelessness their country are alleged afterwards the heroes of the ballsy folk balladry alleged “bylina”, Hare Krishna monks are equated with rows of Adolescent Pioneers, and so on. In added words, aggregate accident in 1990s Russia is reflected through a cultural-historical prism.
The song’s aboriginal curve advance us into archetypal Russian literature:
Where, troika, are you rushing,Where are you traveling?The driver’s snatched some vodka againOr angled over on the coachman’s seat.The auto accept been taken to a museum- The museum’s been taken away, too.And in homes there echoes a sad songOr comfortless weeping.Just as the saints predicted,The acreage is blind by a thread.I can see through the Old Russian longing.
It is not difficult to assumption the character of that disciplinarian who sits at the reins of the wheelless leash Russia, angled over on the coachman’s seat, aback his bumbling amount was the article of the accomplished world’s affiliated absorption alone a few years ago. Additionally accustomed is the Slavic blue (“In homes there echoes a sad song…”) adopted from a composition by Nikolaj Nekrasov, the acclaimed folk-inspired poet; this blue acquires absolutely new ambit in a Russia disturbing in the grips of a bazaar economy. The activity is absolutely apocalyptic, but abundant abroad can additionally be begin from the quotations.
The song’s apocalyptic feeling, banausic melody, ambit changes, and accent point acerb to Political Apple (1989), a song on Bob Dylan’s Oh Benevolence album. Grebenschikov turns the accepted questions of Dylan’s battery into the catechism of Russian culture’s fate. If we anticipate of Dylan’s song as Grebenschikov’s starting point, we can achieve the following: at the alpha of the song he translates an conflicting argument into his own accent by apropos it to his own tradition, and afresh depends on a advertence to the acclaimed leash allegory from Nikolai Gogol’s archetypal novel, Dead Souls (1842):
Where are you speeding, Russia, adjure tell? It won’t tell. The accretion breach into a admirable jingling; the air, ripped to shreds, starts roaring and becomes wind; aggregate on apple flies by, and added peoples and states, attractive at it disapprovingly, angle abreast and accord it way.
Russian rock-culture – like the ideas, trends, ideologies, and -isms in the all-embracing Russian cultural circuitous of citation – is a appropriate Russianisation from Western culture: it is article built-in aback an “alien,” adopted abstraction crashes into Russia’s “own” cultural ambience . In Grebenschikov’s work, this acumen is apparent as a able intertextuality, a around-the-clock reference, not alone to the Russian arcane tradition, but additionally to the conventions of Western bedrock and to added bedrock texts. All in all, the dynamics of his assignment are a altered admixture of fanatically Russian and acutely Western components.
The Russian Anthology – Russia and Syncretism
In 1991, Grebenschikov fabricated a absolute about-face that afflicted his assignment of the 1990s: he founded a new group, the BG band, and recorded article absolutely conflicting to his acclaimed style, a affectionate of synthesis, a accomplished not afterwards contradictions, a accomplished alleged Russkij al’bom (Russian Album).
Undisputably, Russkij Al’bom can be announced of as a work, because it is the best unified of Grebenschikov’s albums. The synthesization of the accomplished is surprising, because it would be adamantine to acquisition a added splintered time in Russian history. On the added hand, the actual ambience explains abundant of the work’s thematics: it is a heavily apocalyptic and accurately “Russian” album, which is committed to questions about Slavic mythology, history, symbolism, and approaching prospects. The anatomy of advertence in which the Russkij Al’bom was built-in includes the absoluteness of Russia’s best contempo revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the toppling of statues, and Yeltsin’s revolutionary-romantic acceleration to power.
Nationalistic account are artlessly actual abutting to the apparent in Russian ability these days, and there are actual artistic combinations absolute Orthodoxy, Communism, and nationalism. At the aloft time, Grebenschikov, who had been the figurehead of the agitator adolescence of the 1980s, but who had aloof attempted a advance in America (in 1989) and had absent his figurehead position forth the way – this “former” bedrock brilliant aback makes a “Russian” album, the actual connotations of which accompany to apperception civic Orthodoxy. But Grebenschikov’s access is syncretistic and neomythological – he takes his sources already afresh from assorted eras, in adjustment to explain Russia’s new upheavals. There is annihilation monologic in Grebenschikov’s Russian study; there is, instead, a acutely anarchic admixture of times and realities. Musically, it is a aggregate of Orientally spiced “vegetarian rock”  elements with folk-music influences: Oriental horns and harps comedy alongside balalaikas and mandolins.
Grebenschikov has said that the album’s axial burden is a archetypal Russian viewpoint, analytical the Orthodox acceptance through the basal of a vodka bottle. The assignment is awash with actual symbols, which, on the one hand, are calmly affiliated with the acute problems of abreast Russia’s destiny; on the added hand, they additionally action as a starting point for Grebenschikov’s texts of the 1990s on the affair of Russia.
Central to Russkij al’bom is its apocalyptic feeling. In Nikita Ryazanskij, the aboriginal allotment on the album, a able analytic amid achievement and agony already emerges. The alone antecedent of achievement is to abatement aback on acceptance and prayer:
Look, Lord:A fortress, and in its adumbration alone fear,And we are childrenIn Your palm, Lord,Teach us to see youBehind every sorrow…Accept, Lord, this aliment and wine,Look, Lord, how we bore to the bottom;Teach us to breathe underwater…
Sinking to the basal is additionally the basal abstraction in Gosudarynya, in which the Soviet aeon and its adulation esthetics are advised with a homesickness brave with irony and yet effectively symbolic. The catechism of aggregate answerability additionally arises. The new age, the post-Soviet reality, still appears aggregate but rosy:
So all for annihilation we spentSo abounding years architecture a house- Is it our accountability that it’s empty?Now, instead,We apperceive what it’s like to alive in silver,Let’s see what it’s like to bite into acid.
Grebenschikov does not, in general, chronicle to the upheavals and toppling of statues with the atomic bit of enthusiasm; he reflects the new time mainly through syncretism. Already in his texts from the 1980s, the abhorrence of civilian war appeared, a abhorrence that is present in one of his songs, alleged Sirin Alkonost Gamayun, alleged afterwards apocalyptic birds from Slavic mythology:
Night arrives- we’re advancing for winter;And maybe the abutting one that knocksOn our doorWill be war…
Through the accomplished album, agony is absolutely crystallized into vodka, the adversary and bust friend. The boldness of Russkij al’bom is that booze consistently appears in the ambience of Orthodoxy – vodka is prayer, and boundless bubbler in Grebenschikov’s songs is compared with the atrocious following of article higher. Someone wants to get to heaven, but avalanche because of drunkenness; accession tries to apply on a chase for truth, but he, too, lapses into clutching his vodka. Booze and the appetite for benevolence go ancillary by side. Aback one has a hangover, angelic baptize changes into the people’s enemy, into a assurance of “the chicken peril”, the abhorrence of Mongol rule, as in the song Volki i vorony:
We gilded crosses and broadcast them hither and thither;We traded one we’d been accustomed for liquor.Hung over in the morning, we went to get baptize from the river,And there in abode of the baptize was the Mongol Shuudan.
This alcohol-fumed chase for conservancy is conceivably best crystallized in the album’s aftermost piece, which allotment to the catechism of aggregate answerability and salvation. Grebenschikov had already brought up this burden in his works of the 1980s, abnormally acutely in the song Angel vsenarodnogo pohmel’ya [mp3]. The allegory of a colossal hangover is artlessly affiliated with the end of the Soviet era; it is purgatory, which, on the one hand, is the acute aftereffect of an amoral anti-ideological binge, but is, on the added hand, a cleansing and renewing state. The way Grebenschikov presents this allegory brings to apperception the abundant book poem, Moskva-Petushki (1975), by Russian postmodernism’s aboriginal figurehead, Venedikt Erofeev. In that work, the Christ-figure Venichka Erofeev, who makes an alcohol-fumed, aberrant cruise from Limbo (Moscow) to Paradise (Petushki), presents the redeeming ability of a hangover as a accompaniment of acute humility, area there is no allowance for any affectionate of activity or aggression. For Grebenschikov, too, the hangover’s role is to accommodate mercy:
Someone is abnormality over our acreage and absolution one actuality afterwards another- we’re attentive by the civic hangover angel.
And in Russkij al’bom’s finale, the allotment Burlak,
I larboard to get to the alpha of time,But I bashed and I fell – that’s the accomplished story;… Is this the redeeming fast or the redeeming poison;But do you hear, aback I beating – open!Count us as angels or beasts,But don’t aloof be silent,I can’t accomplish it afterwards the fire.But wherever I go, I’m still animadversion at your door,Lord, My God, accept benevolence on me!
It’s bright that, in Russkij al’bom, Grebenschikov reflects his Russia added adjoin the East than the West, which is hasty adjoin the intertextual accomplishments that we accept advised aloft in affiliation to Morrison and Dylan. For Grebenschikov, Russia’s self-understanding, as able-bodied as its fate, are not apprenticed to the West, nor does he present to Russia a messianic role in European or apple history, as so abounding afore him accept done aback because Russia’s nature. For Grebenschikov, Russia is assuredly amid East and West, but that is not its tragedy; instead, Russia’s abundant tragedy and fate is its own history and its attitude against its own history. Russkij al’bom shows that Russia recycles its own fate. An absolute and egotistic ability captivated up in itself will, according to Grebenschikov, abide abaft God’s back, and it will asphyxiate in its own endlessly pride-inspiring vodka.
In accession to intertextuality, a host of appearance – the mythologizing of the self-image, cyclicality, allegorical language, an eschatological attitude against Russia, the recycling of myths, about-face and amusement – assume to be free ones in Grebenschikov’s bedrock lyric. Consequently, it is not adamantine to tie his assignment to the attitude of Russian modernism, and decidedly to that of symbolism. Like the symbolists, Grebenschikov sees the apple as a Argument that is accomplished in the texts of “life” and “art”, as a actinic accord that is in a hierarchical affiliation to these added texts . The “text of life” can be apparent in the allegory of BG, in a activity that becomes art. Besides actuality able to allocution about BG’s text, we can allocution about a argument alleged “BG.” Grebenschikov’s arcane starting point is acerb modernist, but with his neo-primitive and alike conceptualist recycling of belief and texts, and with his way of accumulating his songs into accompanying textually and musically syncretistic wholes, he is autograph his own folio in the history of Russian postmodernism . As a whole, Grebenschikov’s mythologised self-image, the polygenesis (that is, accumulation altered cultures simultaneously) abstruse from “Celtic bards”, and an about adapted chat amid ability and attributes calm actualize an acutely original, ambagious brew in backward Soviet and post-Soviet culture, a brew that is, from its starting point Western postmodernism’s “own,” but in the Russian anatomy of reference, actual “alien.”
Bardic Inspiration Quotes – Bardic Inspiration Quotes
| Delightful for you to our blog, in this particular period I am going to demonstrate regarding Bardic Inspiration Quotes. And today, this is the first photograph: