Isaak Babel - Paris


In 1932, after numerous requests he was permitted to visit his estranged wife Yevgenia in Paris. While visiting his wife and their daughter Nathalie, Babel agonized over whether or not to return to Soviet Russia. In conversations and letters to friends, he expressed a longing of being "a free man," while also expressing fear at no longer being able to make a living solely through writing. On July 27, 1933, Babel wrote a letter to Yuri Annenkov, stating that he had been summoned to Moscow and was leaving immediately.

Babel's common-law wife, Antonina Pirozhkova, recalled this era,

"Babel remained in France for so long that it was rumored in Moscow that he was never returning. When I wrote to him about this, he wrote back saying, 'What can people, who do not know anything, possibly say to you, who knows everything?' Babel wrote from France almost daily. I accumulated many letters from him during his 11-month absence. When Babel was arrested in 1939, all of these letters were confiscated and never returned to me."

After his return to Russia, Babel decided to move in with Pirozhkova, beginning a common law marriage which would ultimately produce a daughter, Lidya Babel. He also collaborated with Sergei Eisenstein on the film Bezhin Meadow, about Pavlik Morozov, a child informant for the Soviet secret police. Babel also worked on the screenplays for several other Stalinist propaganda films.

Read more about this topic:  Isaak Babel

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Famous quotes containing the word paris:

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