And will give inspiration, and will bring to the grave: the muses of famous writers
The love of poets and prose writers has also not always been healthy and rosy.
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Almost at all times there were unique women who somehow inspired men to do wonderful things. Many Russian writers had their own muses. Who are they — those amazing women, thanks to whom the most significant and touching works of Russian literature were written?
Vladimir Mayakovsky — Lilya Brik
Of course, the first one that comes to mind when it comes to the muses of feeders is the incomparable Lilya Brick.
It was she who had the most ambiguous love triangle with her husband Osip and the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Their relationship and the famous “threesome marriage” made quite a lot of noise.
Lilya has always driven men crazy with her charm and charisma, although she was considered a beauty. Mayakovsky could not resist her either. And, oddly enough, her husband Osip was absolutely not against it. For several years, all the heroes of this triangle lived as one family, spent time together, created and suffered, which was reflected in many lines of Mayakovsky, filled with pain, torment and worship of Lila.
Nevertheless, the woman was in no hurry to feel sorry for him. That’s what she said:
“It is useful for Volodya to suffer, he will suffer and write good poems.”
And Mayakovsky suffered. And then he really wrote real masterpieces. All of his most famous works are dedicated to Lila. Among them are these lines:
“If I tortured the poet like that, he would exchange his beloved for money and fame, and I don’t like any ringing, except for the ringing of your beloved name.”
Alexander Pushkin — Anna Kern
The “Sun of Russian Poetry” met his muse in St. Petersburg at one of the literary evenings. Anna Kern was smart and beautiful, so she easily hooked Pushkin. But he made an impression on her far from immediately. Initially, the poet did not like the girl at all, although after getting acquainted with his work, she quickly changed her mind.
When Anna came to visit her aunt in Trekhgorskoye, an affair began between the young lovers. It was quite passionate, but short-lived. Although during this time Pushkin still managed to write his famous lines dedicated to Anna.
“I remember a wonderful moment:
You appeared before me,
Like a fleeting vision,
Like a genius of pure beauty.”
Ivan Turgenev — Polina Viardot
Previously, Russian writers quite often met with actresses. One of these girls was Pauline Viardot. They began to communicate with Turgenev when the girl and her husband came to St. Petersburg on tour. The writer saw her from the audience and fell in love. A little later, he met her husband while hunting, and then with Polina herself. Since then, the writer has had an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
The opera singer, like the previous heroine, did not immediately take Turgenev seriously. The writer himself followed her everywhere, quarreled with his mother and left his hometown for the sake of Pauline’s tour. No one can still say for sure whether they had physical intimacy, but Turgenev lived in the Viardot family for a long time, including when Polina’s husband was paralyzed.
This relationship lasted for 40 years, until the death of the writer. And he died right in the arms of his beloved.
Leo Tolstoy — Sofia Bers
Leo Tolstoy’s wife is admired to this day. And all because besides the fact that she was his muse, the woman turned out to be a real fighting friend.
Leo could always rely on his wife, as they worked perfectly in tandem. He created, created a new history and even a whole philosophy. Meanwhile, Sophia took over most of the affairs related to the estate, gave birth and raised children, rewrote her husband’s novels dozens of times and was his personal secretary. Surely you’ve heard about how a woman rewrote the novel “War and Peace” by hand several times.
Both people in this union understood the importance of the writer creating. Therefore, Tolstoy’s wife sought to create ideal conditions for him to do this. In their story, the inspiration turned out to be the extraordinary hard work of a woman.
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Alexander Blok — Lyubov Mendeleeva
Blok’s beloved was none other than the daughter of one of the most outstanding scientists — Dmitry Mendeleev. Lyubov and Alexander had known each other since childhood, but after that there was a long break in communication. And after a long time, fate, as if on purpose, began to push them on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The symbolist poet could not ignore such signs of the universe, so he decided to marry the girl after several such meetings. Moreover, when Blok made an offer, a farewell note was prepared in his pocket, which begins with “I ask you not to blame anyone for my death…” in case the girl refused.
But, fortunately, Love gave her consent to the marriage. Blok praised his wife in poems as the “Virgin of the Rainbow Gate”, but the role of this muse was the hardest — there was never intimacy between the spouses, because the poet was afraid to destroy the innocent image of his inspirer. Instead, he was attracted to other women, while remaining with Love.
The woman felt unnecessary, so she also cheated on her spouse. At some point, she was attracted to another poet — Andrei Bely, who had more “earthly” feelings for her. For three years, the woman tossed around trying to make a choice, but decided to refuse Andrey and eventually stayed with the Block until the end of her days. And all this undoubtedly affected his work.
“It’s already evening with a bright streak
It burned down on cold rails.
You, slender, with a tight braid
I walked through the black spots of the sleepers.”
Sergey Yesenin — Augusta Miklashevskaya
A woman of extraordinary beauty met the devastated and tired Yesenin after his marriage with the ballerina Isadora Duncan and returning to his homeland. With all her external virtues, she died listening and understanding — doing what the poet’s soul craved.
However, Augusta did not reciprocate Sergei, because she had other worries on her shoulders. She tried to combine work in the theater to survive, and raising her son alone. Besides, the woman didn’t think she was capable of love at all.
And all the same, Yesenin dedicated poems to her, some of which were included in the famous cycle “Love of a Bully”.
He also addressed his most famous lines to Augusta:
“I’d forget pubs forever
And I would have given up writing poetry.
Only it would be fine to touch the hand
And your hair is the color of autumn.”
Joseph Brodsky — Marina Basmanova
Perhaps this poet is a record holder in our (and any other) list for the number of poems dedicated to his muse. Brodsky dedicated poems to Marianna Basmanova right up to his death. And you can trace this by marking M.B. above the first lines.
And although Marianna still lives in St. Petersburg, almost nothing is known about her, since the woman is hiding from the public. However, contemporaries spoke of her as a gentle and very attractive person. In the last years of his life, Brodsky wrote a lot to Marianne even from America, where she refused to go with him. He sent gifts to the woman and continued to dedicate poems to her.
Vladimir Vysotsky — Marina Vladi
It seemed that only the lazy one did not know about the love story of the now widely known bard and the French-Russian actress at the time. And all because it seemed that their love continues to exist despite all the obstacles of the world. They were separated by the distance between Paris and Moscow, different financial situation (Marina was much more famous than Vladimir), other people, Marina’s inability to read Russian and Vysotsky’s dependence. But despite everything, the lovers continued to be together.
Vysotsky also wrote a lot about these relations. For example, he has lines about how he desperately cut off the phones in the hope of once again hearing the voice of his beloved:
“For me, this night is illegal,
I write — there are more topics at night.
I grab the dial of the phone,
Dial the eternal zero seven.
“Girl, hello! What’s your name?“ — „Volumes“.
“Seventy-second! I’m waiting for the breath holding…
It can’t be, repeat, I’m sure — at home!..
They have already answered.
Well, hello, it’s me!…“».
After Vysotsky’s death, there was also a “reverse inspiration” – Marina herself wrote a book about their relationship called “Vladimir, or the interrupted flight …”.
By the way, if you are interested in the topic of strong and inspiring women, then be sure to listen to the “Muses” podcast in VK Music. He just had the launch of the second season!
The podcast tells about the lives of women who have remained in the shadow of their famous men. In addition, it is arranged as an immersive show in which the names of the heroines are not revealed until the very last moment, so that listeners have the opportunity to see the world through their eyes and feel what they felt.
Another pleasant surprise — the episodes will be voiced by famous women of our time — Olga Seryabkina, Susanna, Mary Gu, Lolita, DEAD BLONDE, Elena Pinskaya and others. The first episode featuring Olga Seryabkina is available now, and new ones will be released weekly on Wednesdays.