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Our Lending Department was glad to present in December 2013 the three new expositions dedicated to the anniversaries of A. Solzhenitsyn, G. Volchek and T. Shmyga.

December 11th, 2013 is the 95th anniversary of Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) – an outstanding Russian writer, publicist, socio-political public person. Alexander Solzhenitsyn is known not only as a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, winner of the State Prize of the Russian Federation and a participant of the Great Patriotic War. He is also known all over the world as a political prisoner – rehabilitee in 1956, who was then again imprisoned in 1974, deprived of the Soviet citizenship and exiled for his struggle against the Communist ideology and who finally returned to Russia in 1994. His first publication in the “Novy Mir” magazine – novel “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, dedicated to the repressive system of prison camps in Stalin era – had had such a massive public reaction that it motivated the author to continue his literary investigation of the USSR state system of killing people in his novels – “The Gulag Archipelago” and “In the First Circle”. But his ideological position lost the official approval of the Soviet Government and lead to total banning of his works; he was accused of betrayal of the Motherland. His main works were first published abroad and became accessible to the Russian public only since the Perestroika period started. His courage and surprising firmness in protecting his opinion, his profound thoughts of the historical fate of Russia, his social activity were his characteristics for the rest of his life and made his personality one of the most remarkable in the history of the 20th century. Our exposition contains all major works, including his speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm in 1974, his famous essay “Rebuilding Russia”, the story of his exile told by G.Vishnevskaya in her book “Galina. The story of life”, the book by Vl. Lakshin “Solzhenitsyn and the wheel of history” and other interesting publications. Here are the words of the poet Olga Sedakova: “If only Russia would have read Solzhenitsyn, it all could have been different… Resurrection of the truth in a single person – and the truth about a single person – in the situation of the total impossibility of what had happened is Solzhenitsyn’s general message for the future. This message will always strengthen the people not only in Russia, the country Solzhenitsyn was thinking of most of all. He could speak with his books to the whole world just like all “Holy Russian Literature” does”.

December 19th is a birthday of Galina Volchek (born in 1933) – Russian film director, remarkable actress of stage and screen, teacher, People’s Artist of the USSR, Art director of Sovremennik Theatre – the symbol of “Thaw period” of 1960s and the theatre of her life since the very beginning in 1956 until present time.  Sovremennik Theatre was started by young actors – O. Efremov, E. Evstigneev, I. Kvasha, O. Tabakov, L. Tolmacheva, G. Volchek. The first play staged by Galina Volchek was “Two for the Seesaw” by William Gibson, the play that remained one of the most favorite among the spectators and was on stage for 30 years. Galina Volchek received recognition as a high–level professional not only in the Russian theatre environment but also overseas, including the U.S. “There is no feminine grammar variation for the word “Director”, and it is quite natural. – She says, - This kind of work requires exceptional patience that is so often alien to women... The Director should combine the qualities of psychologist, psychiatrist, the one with extrasensory perception and a hypnotizer”. The theatre is her family and she is proud of it, saying: “Gerdt, a great actor, once paid the biggest compliment to me by saying that there were only two places where one would never be cheated – Music Conservatory and Sovremennik Theatre”. We proposed our readers to pay attention to the books written by Galina Volchek’s theatre fellows presented at the exposition – “Actor’s Book” by M. Kazakov, “My Real Life” by O.Tabakov,  “Encore without grease-paint” memoirs by O. Aroseva, and also the new acquisition of our collection – “Galina Volchek as a rule with no rules” by M. Raykina.

December 31st, 2013 is the 85th anniversary of the Queen of the Russian Operetta, an outstanding actress of stage and screen, People’s Artist of the USSR – Tatiana Ivanovna Shmyga (1928-2009).  Her life was devoted to operetta – one of the most complicated genres that demands synthesis of various skills like singing, body mobility and drama talent. She possessed all these skills and performed faultlessly using her wonderful voice, lyrical soprano, her energy and charms and her pure warm-heartedness and lyricism. She was hired by the Moscow Theatre of Operetta in 1953 and soon became its leading actress. Her roles reflected a half-century biography of the Russian operetta, the complex evolution of the genre that was changing thanks to her creative contribution. Here are the words of the critic: “Her life was filled with spotless understanding of genre, lyrical charm, femininity and the unity of outer and inner beauty. Her indisputable merit was that she showed profound meaning, significant problems of life by means of her talent and raises operetta to the level of serious genres”. In 1962 Tatiana Shmyga first acted in the film “Hussars’ Ballad” by Eldar Ryazanov with an unforgettable small role of a French singer. Her talent, energy and her ability to work hard became her basis. “The happiness was smiling at me” – is the name of her book that you can find at the exposition. The publications on the Moscow Theatre of Operetta and the history of the genre were also displayed in our Library.

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