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

Naum Reznichenko


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.


David Samoilov; diary of poet; spiritual search; dialogue; counterpoint; revolutionary idea; romantic illusions

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



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Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

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