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DOI 10.52172/2587-6945_2022_20_2_41


The aim of this article is to undertake textual research and reconstruction of the first variant of Boris Ruchev's poem "The Pole", as well as to present a previously unpublished variant of the introduction to the poem. The combination of comparative-historical and biographical methods allows us to look at the tragic period in Russian history, associated with Stalinist repressions, through the prism of personal history, presented by the poet in imagery, and to reveal the specificity of Ruchev's camp poetry. The importance of the undertaken study is determined by the fact that the camp poetry of Boris Ruchev is insufficiently researched. An unpublished handwritten variant of the introduction to Ruchev's poem "The Pole" with an autograph of the poet was found among the archival documents of Magnitogorsk poetess N. G. Kondratkovskaya. In this, most likely, first version, the documentary function prevails over the aesthetic one. While in the later, ready-for-press, censored versions of this text, the edits aim at strengthening the artistic aspect and weakening the emotional aspect and expressiveness. The introduction to B. Ruchev's poem "The Pole" is one of the masterpieces of camp poetry, it possesses typical features of "camp literature": biographical nature determined by personal experience; documentality (an artistic document about a person); the artistic image of the camp as a special space (a camp-island, an archipelago); the image of the camp as hell; philosophical reflection on man in the situation of "unfreedom", the situation of "existential choice", loneliness, abandonment, confusion.


Camp poetry, hidden literature, Boris Ruchev, Magnitostroy, Soviet culture, literature of the Urals.