Биография Исаака Бабеля: мифы и реальность


Concrete facts
Biographical events


Isaak Babel’ seemed to put into practice in his everyday routine the method he used in his literary works, as facts and fiction constantly overlapped – just as it happened in his short stories and in his autobiography. In real life Babel’ was discreet and prone to hoaxes, however he always dated his letters carefully and wrote down each time the place where the letter was sent from. The work on the biography of Babel’ suffers from the absence of his archive, confiscated during the writer’s arrest in 1939 and not yet found. Therefore, one of the main tasks of the biographer of Babel’ is to separate what occurs in his tales from real biographical events. At the same time, it is interesting to see how real events were portrayed in his prose works. The biographer has no right to fill in the gaps of the writer’s biography using imagination instead of concrete facts and documents, but the biographer should not treat such gaps with silence. Moreover, the biographer should not ignore all the blank spots or open questions, but rather use them.
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