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TRAC
Interview Transcript

Sergei Kapitsa   (cont)
Interviewer:  So your general sense is that they are making a go of it in most areas.

Mr.  K:  I think they are.  Unfortunately, in our cinema and much of our journalism, we get much more messages of a negative character than an objective character.  And I think the film industry has done a disgusting job of creating a really bad lasting or basically false image of Russia, both for Russians and for the world.  

Interviewer:  Now, to assess the whole situation of culture, let's just say a few words about that.  I mean, here's the theater that seems to be burgeoning here.

Mr.  K:  Two hundred or four hundred theaters in Moscow.  Don't know how they exist, but they're certainly producing and delivering.

Interviewer:  Miraculous.

Mr.  K:  Yes.  Well that's fine again, you see, and I do hope that they will succeed.

Interviewer:  And the musical scene?

Mr.  K:  Oh, music is great.

Interviewer:  On the other hand, those things that need a lot of money, the movie industry is kind of...

Mr.  K:  Literature, I think, is in a difficult state.  They have not managed I'd say to deliver a positive message; not I'd say in terms of propaganda--not in sort of--but creating some sort of even an understanding of what's happening.  They've gotten so introverted and so occupied with their own ideas that in Russia, there is certainly tradition for literature to be, not exactly soul-searching, but open to public issues.  That literature in our country is in a very poor state.

Interviewer:  Now, if you compared it to say the sixties and seventies, has there been a decline in literature?

Mr.  K:  In what type of literature?

Interviewer:  Well, let's say the novel and poetry and ...

Mr.  K:  Perhaps there has been.

Interviewer:  There is no Pasternak now.

Mr.  K:  Well, Pasternak was a rather special case, you see.  Again, he's well known in the West, but his entrance inside the country was not at all of the same importance as say people like Grossman or Tvardovsky or people like that, you see.  Even Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.  His novel Zhivago is a very well-known parallel in Russian due to Alexis Tolstoy.  He wrote a trilogy covering much the same material with the same story-telling ability, maybe even a better story-teller ability than Pasternak did, you see.  But that was done years ago.  It was filmed, well-known and well read.  

Interviewer:  Of course you could make an argument that, here are all of these new freedoms, now, but it has not automatically meant a great flowering of all the arts by any means.

Mr.  K:  Definitely.

Interviewer:  Some have flowered a little bit: the theater and museums.

Mr.  K:  Well, numerical rather than terms of quality.  

 

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RAO > Catalgoues > Transcripts > TRAC > Sergei Kapitsa p.14

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