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Frida Vigdorova’s Transcript of Joseph Brodsky’s Trial:

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Myths and Reality1

The article analyzes the dramatic events surrounding Joseph Brodsky’s trial in Leningrad 1964, focusing on Frida Vigdorova’s transcript of the trial record. Some of these events are not fully known in Russia, and many are either totally unknown or misunderstood in the West. The transcript Vigdorova recorded played a central role in the post-trial collective protests by Soviet intelligentsia, protests unprecedented in the post-Stalin era. It became one of the very first human-rights documents in the ussr and a key contribution to samizdat. The article also treats the Soviet authorities’ persecution of young representatives of the literary intelligentsia, and it highlights Vigdorova’s successful efforts to intercede for several of those individuals before the emergence of the Brodsky case.

Affiliations: 1: Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA


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