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Extra info for Alexander Zinoviev as Writer and Thinker: An Assessment
29 New arrivals, bringing up-to-date insights, mask and mitigate this problem, and if in future they were to arrive in sufficient numbers, then emigre literature might indeed add up to an unprecedented phenomenon. 30 Zinoviev pours cold water on the treasured roles which the internal and 'external' emigre intelligentsia have traditionally ascribed to themselves. They are no guardians of a pure Russian language or culture. 31 Neither language nor society stand still, and the fate which awaits the emigres of today is that which has already struck the writers of the first emigration, whose style and aspirations are alien to the racially mixed Soviet intelligentsia who today live in the major cultural centres of the USSR.
In the West he drinks only wine, and rarely that. If only Modeste Mussorgsky had followed the same advice! Zinoviev has told me that only exceptionally sanguine people could dispense with vodka, for in the Soviet Union it is needed as a 'confidence-fuel' to make everyone feel that everyone else is their friend. Alexander began his life in the West at Munich University in the faculty of logic. But his teaching there was not a great success on either side. In Europe, from 1979-81, he was becoming a very well-known interpreter of Soviet society and the Soviet system of government.
52 The writer of 'adequate' literature must himself come from and must command all the resources of this background. He must be thoroughly at home in the milieu of the scientific intelligentsia's oral culture. When he senses his powers he will simply burst through all bureaucratic shackles and prohibitions and find his way to his public. 53 Our suspicion that Zinoviev is here writing of himself is confirmed by an interview given to Radio Liberty in August 1979 where he notes that 'I wrote for people like myself', people who in addition to the attributes noted above are given also to reflection, and either are not very successful in their careers, or have no career aspirations.