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mardi 4 septembre 2012

Mourning for a Good Person: FOMENKO and celebrating his life's lessons

He did not try to adjust to new times, nor did he 
lament the effects of the 
Soviet collapse, but he stayed true to himself, 
letting his natural gift flourish.
He turned freedom into art, overthrowing the 
popular misconception that 
Russian theatre derived its importance and power 
from oppression by the 

His artistic freedom was no longer constrained by ideology, only by his own unfailing sense of proportion, self-irony and ethics. While his theatre was not reflective of life outside, it was connected to it, for resistance is also a form of connection. He told me at the time that without decency and dignity there could be no theatre

Fomenko deplored cynicism, graft and obsession with money. He countered it not by protest and anger, but by creating a different artistic life, which was more genuine and certainly more liveable than Russia’s imitative reality. 

The obituary and the comments by Prospero are from this week's The Economist. The words convey the essence of the life of the man who shone despite the ideological restrictions, which was not his.
Lesson 1  If you place Ideology before people, you will end up serving another master and your talent would be only as good as a photocopy..
that reminded me of a poem I read while still schoolboy:

Xerox Candy Bar

you're just a copy
of all the candy bars
I've ever eaten. 
Richard Brautigan

Fomenko turned his Freedom into Art, condemned 
the obsession with money, which the developing
countries and newly FREE countries blindly follow,
turning good people into robots and local 
psychiatrists and psychologists richer. How to make 
the best of what has come your way, in his case,
Freedom; for many of us, it is also a FREEDOM of
Discovery of another path, to listen and march  to 
another drummer and be courageous in it, the 
happiness naturally follows.
And our own set of rules of morality regarding 
other human beings: be kind, be helpful and dont
be arrogant with whatever little talent you have been
In my travels around the world, I have met people
who embody such principles, in unexpected corners,
Vedado in Cuba, Seri Kembangan in Malaysia, 
Bogor in Indonesia, Muzquiz in Mexico, Walthill
among the American Indians.. the list goes on and on

Thinking of Russia, one is seduced by the
melancholy of its literature, from Sholokov to 
Chekov, with his plays and short stories..Under the
Nevsky Prospekt Cemetery the earth carries so
emotions.. those whose pens turned the russian
of one thousand years..
I am so glad I got to see plays by Chekhov (The
Cherry Orchard, Two Sisters, Uncle Vanya, 
Seagull) during my days as a medical student in
London, staged either at RSC or at the West End,
the other influential playwright of those days was 
Henrik Ibsen with his Hedda Gabler, Wild Duck and 
A Doll's House.
Chekhov is remembered for his wonderful plays 
and novellas but dont forget he was also a 
dedicated doctor...would that have influenced a
budding doctor, away from his home in Australia?
The Economist remains to me one of the best
pleasures of the week, to read in it, flawless 
English language and subject matters not on CNN
or the local rags that call themselves Newspapers
or the Internet News sites such as Yahoo!..The only
exception I would make would be to The New York
Times.. for all those sunday mornings with its thick
edition covering arts in depth along with a fresh 
bagel and lox..