Tatiana Goricheva: “I am KGB hymns sang”

“Sacred madness. Christianity in the modern world” is the book of the Orthodox philosopher of Tatiana Goricheva, a newcomer to the shortlist for the literary prize named after Alexander Piatigorsky. Book portal “Bitter.Media” talked to the writer about Christian feminism and Orthodoxy. “Pravmir” publishes excerpts from the interview.

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Tatiana Goricheva — Orthodox philosopher, writer and missionary. Born in 1947 in Leningrad. Baptized at the age of 26 years. In the Soviet years was the co-editor of the samizdat journal “37”. In 1980 he was expelled from the Soviet Union. For eight years before returning to Russia, lived in Germany and France. He studied at the Catholic Institute of St. George (Frankfurt am main, Germany), St. Sergius Orthodox theological Institute in Paris, attended a course of lectures at the Sorbonne. The author of many books about the Orthodox faith and culture. Performs regularly in Russia and in Western countries with lectures about Orthodoxy. In 1988 he returned to Russia and lives in St. Petersburg.


Now the position of women in Russia is deteriorating in all senses. I’m not talking about material because I am indifferent to the material, it is difficult to judge, but the power of the current “Orthodoxy” is in fact much worse than the power of Marxism in the Soviet tradition. Modern Orthodox men, unfortunately, do not understand how humiliated, thinking about the woman in the categories of some of the seventeenth-century “Domostroi”.


The second conference (series of philosophical discussions about the position of women in the Soviet Union – “Pravmir”) was devoted to humility. To her we pushed the fact that the West began to arrive feminists, gorgeous women, clever: we believed that feminism involved poor ugly creature, how, and now we think. And so they come and teach us: “And why do you support the Church, Patriarchal structure? Are you not ashamed?” We to argue not steel, but held a conference on humility, and in the journal “Maria”, whether in the second issue, whether in the third, was published in our reports. And there wasn’t just ranting about how it’s good to be humble. We were interested in the experience of humility as the experience of the struggle. I remember that I lost all fear because of humility. Initially, I was not afraid, but it was thoughtless courage when I once was arrested in “Saigon”, was taken, beaten, and then released, I had a fear that I can not known what to do. Which is awful, nothing to do when I’m afraid. I am very ashamed of this feeling.

Then one day, when I was approached by several men (I lived in Strelna), I began to pray the Jesus prayer to read, and suddenly I had the feeling of fearlessness: I understand that they can’t hurt me. I accept all, no matter what happens, and it makes me happy.


I am a Christian feminist and do not believe that a woman must become a man or that men in General must be destroyed. I’m talking about the fact that a woman is a person par excellence. Simone de Beauvoir’s the formula, according to which a woman in masculinum world is absolute, it exists not as a self, but only as a projection of male desires and needs. I have this same formula using the opposite: you become a person only through Another. As the Other woman’s identity twice, and what feminists usually consider terrible fall and humiliation of women, I, as a Christian, seems to be the pinnacle of her existence.

This obedience and humility, but not before social roles, and to God. The more humility, the more power — enough to remember Joan of Arc.

She got everything set the world on her knees because all the people believed in her humility. Similarly, the STA. Holiness and humility give the absolute power.


We had a very strong poets at the time, many of them have died: Victor Krivulin, my husband to exile, Oleg Okhapkin, Elena Shvarts, Sergei Stratanovsky (he, thank God, alive).

In my opinion, St. Petersburg’s second culture is somewhat different ontological qualities: orphanhood, as defeat, solitude, affinity with Rilke, so their poetry is not like poetry of the sixties. Our St. Petersburg culture was not interested in the kind of world we live in.

Was interested in us, and we are not. We were all the same: what we wear, what we eat. It was kindergarten, but it was a very educated, wonderful people. We and Kivulini were two residential seminar: I am religious on Friday and Victor on Saturday morning poetry. Interestingly, religious collected more people. This St. Petersburg poetry, her Christian character, devoted an entire section of my book.


The advantage of the Christian and the beginning of postmodernism lies in the fact that he speaks of the finiteness of any -ISM, any ideology, that is, he is humble and appreciates any power negatively. Such anarchic Orthodox spirit we have the spiritual hierarchy, archangels, Taxiarches, the angels, but there is no earthly hierarchy. There is no idol, we are free.


If there is truth, there is a miracle, all that we open and open, then why hide it? The occult is all built on the game in secret knowledge, and this is a form of pride. The truth is much more powerful, more fantastic than any occult stuff, alchemy stuff. It is now all funny, because we do not live in the Silver age, and Iron (Yes, Yes, “a century marches by his iron”). We remember about the experience Shalamov, Gulag, a Blockade, two wars, of the Holocaust. Well, what’s the game in the occult? The occult was serious, probably, in the period of transition from medieval to modern times, he was even in Christianity.

<…> And when you’re just theorizing, it’s very dangerous. Any priest will tell you that, if you’re reading about the exploits of ascetics, lying on the sofa and chewing a sausage sandwich, it is downright dangerous.

Because the main idea of a religious path is the coincidence of thought with the case. This is the basic rule even simple morality, not to mention religion.

If you’re schizophrenic from the beginning, then you will entice even more and drag the devil or a demon, you’re still proud. Going to do nasty things, be proud of them, that much is clear. Then you’ll get sick. The majority of people still live. But because their rates are the bourgeois-entropy, they will have time there to tell a lie, and there lie, and there to lie — this zombie demons, small creatures.


In 1979, I met with Tatyana Mamonova: in our “second culture,” an informal, she was known as a painter and stayed away from politics, from all such dangerous games. Once she said she wants to make a feminist magazine or club cabin type. I was already prepared, because I saw that the second culture is one aestheticism, and my heart broke from how we lived our women. And we are able to write, speak, teach, do nothing in order to educate them on all levels. Still considered themselves geniuses, arguing who is more genius. For me it started to irritate, so I immediately responded to the call Mamonovsky. Then I drew Natalia Malachowsky, we were soon joined by Julia Voznesenskaya, which has managed to stay in prison, Sonya Sokolova, a lot of people. All the women were fearless. We, for example, Julia had fun during searches, laughed, sang songs.

I’m in the KGB hymns sang. We didn’t betrayal, it was not schisms, all that usually happened in the dissident environment. Our women’s team was a powerful moral principle.

Natalia Lazareva six years of prison for participation in the women’s movement, which is very unfortunate because with the ascension Sokolova had to leave. And Mamonovo, me and Malahovsky sent, gave us the Jewish visas, although we Mamonova not Jewish. Israel sent the call. These Jews were waiting for, fought to leave, and we are one day issued. The path was through a vein and then or in Israel, or somewhere else.

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