The Only Monument - ProBa Russian Language School
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The Only Monument

The ProBa Language Centre is located on Rubinstein street where a lot of famous writers and artists lived and worked. But there is only one monument on this street and it is devoted to the famous prose writer and Soviet dissident -Sergei Dovlatov (1941-1990). In this article we’ll talk about this person because learning Russian language – it’s not only about grammar or pronunciation but also about Russian culture itself.

He was born in 1941. Here, on Rubinstein street, Dovlatov lived with his family in a communal apartment beginning in 1944. In 1959 he began to study philology at Leningrad State University but was expelled after two years. Later on after his military service he became a student of journalism and started working at the same time. He worked in different magazines but wasn’t able to publish his novels due to the censorship of the Soviet government. He emigrated to the United States in 1978 and became a published author in Russia only after 1990.

Sergei Dovlatov (1941-1990)

The work named “Zapovednik” (“Reservation”) was written in 1977 but the final version was published in 1983 already in the US. Later on it became the first major work published in his motherland. Dovlatov described the period of his life when he worked in the State museum-reserve of Alexander Pushkin «Mikhailovskoye» as a tour-guide in a characteristic ironic and unembellished style. In 2014 the first Dovlatov museum was opened in the village Berezino where the writer lived during the summer of 1977. In the 1980s he became successful while working in the United States. He worked as the editorial director in a newspaper called “New American”. A lot of works were published there. Dovlatov became the second Russian writer who was published in the New-Yorker magazine.  

ProBa Language Centre’s students on a walking tour. Monument to S. Dovlatov

The monument to Dovlatov was set on Rubinstein street in September 2016 next to the building № 23. Interesting fact – officially, the monument can be founded not less than 30 years after the death of the person. This monument became an exception as it was a personal initiative and no one was opposed to it. The weight of the sculpture is 700 kg plus additional parts of the composition such as a door to the writer’s room and a typewriter “Underwood”. Each year starting from 2016 the Festival “Day D” takes place every September and is devoted to the heritage of Sergei Dovlatov. ProBa Language Center offers the opportunity to study Russian in the place where famous works of literature have been created. 

If you’d like to read more and see pictures from our walking tour around Rubinstein street, please click here

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