Literature Beverly Hills à la russe
Peredelkino Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
My mom is a very special person to me, and since soon I am getting married and moving out I am trying to enjoy every minute spent together with her. Travelling is definitely the best way to create memories together, so I decided to take her on a short weekend trip.
The original idea was to go to Kolomna, a small Russian town about 3 hours away from
Peredelkino is very easily assessable by train from Kievsky rail way station (“Kievskaya” metro station) - actually, driving in the village is no big fun, and train tickets are damn cheap - 52 roubles round trip (about $1,70).
As we got off the train, we headed directly to the
Just across a small field we saw another one, the
We walked around the cemetery and at the end of it reached a simple white monument with a sideview of Pasternak engraved on it. We stood there for a while, crossed ourselves and went to the grave of Korney Tchukovsky, a writer, translator and literature critic, famous in the Soviet Union and
This visit to the cemetery gave us a feeling of accomplishment, like we did something we should do, and it doesn't matter those people we never met in life but read their books and saw their movies.
Now our way led to the village itself, we crossed a bridge over the Setun-river, and in some 10-15 minutes turned right to a small side-street dark from old trees framing it. The first stop in the village and the main destination of the trip, the house of Boris Pasternak. A simple wooden house like millions of others in this country - and here lived someone who was a big thinker and writer. We were the only visitors that day, and one of two women working there gave us a short guided tour: kitchen, living room, Pasternak’s wife room, his office where he wrote “Doctor Zhuvago” and many poems, and his room where he died in 1960. Flowers always lay on his bed.
Our next destination was Korney Tchukovsky House, just 5 minutes walk from Pasternak’s. But first our attention caught a green wooden house with giant letters on it saying “LIBRARY”. This was one of Tchukovky’s activities, still working nowadays. The writer’s house is next building. As we approached it, we could not help smiling - just in front of it we saw a tree decorated with all kinds of shoes (!!!): this refers to one of his famous children’s poems - “Tchudo-derevo” (“Wonder tree”).
The house itself seemed closed, but suddenly we saw a guy crossing the yard. He said he would ask if we can visit the museum. In a minute he let us in, we entered a room where a group of 6 people was listening to a guide… and one of this people was my mom’s secretaryJ Small world!
The guide was telling a story from 1930s and I could not get who he was talking about, and finally I realized: he was telling the plot of a novel written by Lidia Tchukovskaya, Korney Tchukovsky’s daughter, who was also a writer, critic and a citizen ready to fight for human rights and freedom of speech and thought.
After that wonderful guided tour/lecture we headed to pay a visit to another important house - Bulat Okudzhava’s. Poet, writer, composer, singer, one of the most important figures in the life and culture of his time, he is still very influential and beloved by people. We didn’t know that June 12th is his memory day, and we got lucky again: there was a free-entrance open-air concert followed by a documentary. People were sitting there on simple wooden benches, enjoying a nice summer day and singing Okudzhava song. It was a great, home-feel atmosphere and a perfect closing of our short trip. Literature, nature, history, people’s lives, true feelings, emotions - all in one day in one place. Sometimes we don’t need to travel far to experience something new, and I am happy my mom and created some memories together we can always keep in our hearts.
§ Peredelkino Website www.peredelkino-land.ru (English available)
§ Boris Pasternak Museum Website www.
§ Korney Tchukovsky Museum Website www.museum.ru/M489 (Russian only)
§ Bulat Okudzhava Museum www.museum.ru/m2088 (Russian only)