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Rare Books & Special Collections

The Riurik Marianovich Nemirovskii Collection

MSE/REE 0008

Ruvim (Riurik) Mar'ianovich Nemirovskii (1923, near Uman, Ukraine- 1991, Kiev, Ukraine; Russian: Рюрик Марьянович Немировский) was a Russian poet and literary editor. Born in a Jewish shtetl in central Ukraine, Nemirovskii grew up in Kiev. During the Second World War he served in the Red Army until he was wounded in 1942. He was evacuated to Tashkent, the capital of Soviet Uzbekistan, where he studied literature in the Romance-German languages department of Tashkent University. While in Tashkent he befriended the poets Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Lugovskoi, who predicted a great future for him as a poet. It was in Tashkent where Nemirovskii wrote his first and only poem Pesnia trekh aprelei (Nepravilnaia poema)/ The Song of Three Aprils (Incorrect poem) [1942]. After recovering from his injury, Nemirovskii returned to the front line, was wounded and again returned to Tashkent. The writer Aleksei Tolstoy helped secure permission for him to continue his studies for the remainder of the war. After the war, Nemirovskii spent time in Moscow but later settled in Kiev where he worked as a literary editor at the main academic publishing house for musical works. He married the well-known Soviet Jewish composer Iudith Rozhavskaia (1923-1982) with whom he had a daughter, the future Russian-Israeli theater director Maria Nemirovsky. In Kiev he became a very close friend of the famous Soviet writer and dissident Viktor Platonovich Nekrasov (1911-1987), and was one of the leaders of the circle of intellectuals that included Gelii Snegirev, Ivan Dziuba, Ivan Drach and Vitalii Korotich. Later Snegirev, Dziuba, and Drach became well-known Ukrainian dissidents and political prisoners. Korotich became one of the leading figures of Gorbachev's perestroika in the late 1980s.

This small collection includes a typescript copy (ca 1990) of Nemirovskii's poem with author's annotations and an edition of the 2002 publication of this work. After Nemirovskii's death, Galina Kokhanovskaia, the author's second wife, published the poem apparently against his will. The collection also includes digital copies of photographs of Nemerovskii and letters and postcards from his longtime friend Viktor Nekrasov after his emigration to Paris in 1974.