How to Cite
Tretyakova, E. Y. (2020). “I Caught the Instant Hint of Truth”: About the Poetry of Arkady Slutsky. Heritage of Centuries, (1), 64-75.
Biographics: In Memory of Arkady Slutsky

“I Caught the Instant Hint of Truth”: About the Poetry of Arkady Slutsky

  • © Tretyakova Elena Yu. Dr. Sci. (Journalism), Assoc. Prof., Leading Researcher, Southern Branch of the Likhachev Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage, Krasnodar, Russian Federation


he aim of the article is to comprehend the scientific worldview and career of Arkady Slutsky (1940–2019), a scholar, book historian, poet and teacher who left a bright mark in the history of the artistic life of the South of Russia. The research methodology is based on a historical and biographical approach, through which the influence of life circumstances on the worldview, attitudes, creative and professional achievements of the person studied is revealed. The materials were poetry collections and research articles by Slutsky, research by historians and cultural scientists. Among the collections of lyrics and translations published in 1995–2012, the key ones were Intersections (1995), Conceptual Apologies (2000), Selected and Penultimate Poems (2002), The Time of Vers Libre (2005), While I Am a Wanderer (2008), From the Ukrainian Poetry of the 20th Century (2011). During the study, the biographical context of the main poetic cycles (Voronezh poems, “provincial sketches”, dedication verses to friends, “diachronic business trips to the capital”, etc.) and the genre-style palette of lyrics by Slutsky are determined. Treating the palette as a revealing and outstanding phenomenon, the author of the article substantiates her version of the approach to the poetic world created by Slutsky. This version takes into account the nature of his relationship with his predecessors (poets of the Silver Age), the features of dialogue with fellow poets, versatile interactions with fellow artists, and Slutsky’s understanding of sound and silence. The poet’s work is considered in close connection with the events of his life, as well as with the features that distinguished the dynamics of the literary process in the Russian province of the second half of the 20th – beginning of the 21st centuries. As a result of the study, Slutsky’s concept of cultural interactions between the capital and the province was analyzed. Based on the poet’s statements about this concept, as well as its stable manifestations in poetic texts, by analyzing the relevant keynotes, the author concludes that high-quality poetry is distinguished by an “instant hint of truth”. This trait is an essential property of poetry, a providential property, not a provincial one. The article proves that the “crystal of provincial time” as a poetic seed of artistic generalizations allowed Slutsky, a charming and vibrant person, to educate in himself, to capture in his poetic world the qualities of a person of his native culture.

Keywords: художественная жизнь Краснодара, capital and province, Kuban literature, biography, poetic works, Arkady Slutsky, history of book publishing in South of Russia, artistic life of Krasnodar