congress / people

Wiktor Jerofiejew

Date and place of birth: 1947, Moscow, Russia

Living place: Moscow, Russia

Theme: literature

ECC Participation: Congress Council

photo: private archive

Russian writer and publicist. Author of, among others, “Russian Beauty”, “Encyclopaedia of the Russian Soul”, “The Good Stalin”, “Life with an Idiot”( a selection of short stories). Erofieyev uses parody and mixes reality with dreams and delusion, constantly provoking readers and making them go through real ordeal, both intellectual and moral one. Heroes of his books – frequently alcohol abusers that run amok – surrender to basic instincts and don’t know what’s right and wrong; in the end, they have nothing but the sense of despair and senselessness to live with. Erofieyev sarcastically and ruthlessly reviews Russian history, mythology and megalomania – he turns the romantic motif of an impetuous Russian soul into a bitter view of degeneration and apathy.

“Human being is inactive and idle; that isn’t favourable to economy and civilization, but sometimes it’s good for culture.”

He was born in the family of a soviet diplomat and spend few years as a child in Paris. In 1975, he completed his doctorate at the Moscow University. Erofieyev was one of the initiators of the samizdat “Metropol” (1979), in which writers banned by the censorship published. This publication met with a hostile reaction from the soviet authorities – Erofieyev was expelled from the union of writers and his writings were banned. His books were published officially only after 1988, when Gorbachev came to power.

Erofieyev hosts his own program on the Russian TV channel “Kultura” and on the Moscow Radio “Svoboda”.