Vysotsky: Times, Heritage, Fate



It is well known that back in the communist years in Russia no literary work could ever be printed without a prior approval from authorities. Since Vladimir Vysotsky never won a formal recognition from authorities as a poet, he didn't have any chance to see his verse printed. He used to say to his audience: «Rather than turn into a lame duck and beg of editors for publication of my verse, I can just write songs and sing them to you. It's the same». However, authorities wouldn't even let him have his songs recorded. Out of hundreds of songs he wrote, only a dozen or so were on records. The only way for him to go public was through performances and amateur tape records. His audience were people who longed for good poetry and desperately needed a straightforward and unvarnished discussion of present-day and «eternal» problems.

No matter how many performances he gave (in which hundreds of sound tracks were made), they all were unofficial or, let's say, never formally allowed. As a rule, sponsors would announce a dramatic performance or a free-and-easy with actors or a lecture and bring up Vysotsky instead.

This part of the web site offers complete verbatim transcripts of Vysotsky's numerous performances (and there are more transcripts to come) which contain his songs, contemplations, retrospections, answers to questions.


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