Non-Memoirs (Scholarly Series)
One afternoon in December 1992, in Tartu, Estonia, Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman reluctantly sat down to dictate his memoirs to Elena Pogosian, his assistant, over a pot of tea. It was to be the first of twelve dictation sessions during which the initial draft of Non-Memoirs was created. The sessions were spread out over that winter and into the spring of 1993 -- the last spring of Lotman's life. The result of the process is this book -- a book of memories and recollections of a good part of 20th century, divided into seven sections. The five shorter sections concern themselves with a single anecdote or theme (lice on the front, an encounter with a hare, a "totally Bulgakovian" episode, a visit from the KGB, Tartu School politics); the two longer sections provide the narrative backbone of the memoirs, tending to treat the passage of time, rather than a single event (school and frontline life, the end of the war and postwar university life).