From “Ardent Boy” to “A Man with Honour and Intellect”: David Samoilov’s Pre-War and Wartime Diaries


David Samoilov
diary of poet
spiritual search
revolutionary idea
romantic illusions


This article is devoted to Podennie zapisi [Daily Notes], the diaries by Russian poet David Samoilov (1920–1990), which depict the main events in his life and the historical period in which he lived. The article focuses on the years 1934 to 1945, a crucial period for the foundation and evolution of the poet’s moral and creative principles, which shaped the poet’s personal artistic world, his political ideology and his philosophical worldview. Samoilov’s diaries provide a “mirror” of the historical fate of his generation, whom he calls “the generation of 1940”. Ultimately, I argue that Samoilov’s diaries are not simply an autobiographical document, but a “personal history”, which is developed more fully in Samoilov’s poetry.


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Samoilov 2006: D. Samoilov, Stikhotvoreniia, Akademicheskii proekt, Sankt-Peterburg, 2006

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