Author`s name Michael Simpson

What is Limonov to Do with His Freedom?

Does the Kremlin need Limonov?
It is reported that a delegation from Moscow will come to the Russian city of Saratov on June 27, the day when the National Bolshevik party leader Eduard Limonov is supposed to be released from prison. Twenty activists of the party are expected to meet the leader at the gates of the penitentiary.

A press-conference of Eduard Limonov and his attorney is to be organized right after the release.

The progressive, reactionary, anti- and pro-communist community is triumphant about the forthcoming release of Limonov. This elderly, tired and honored 60-year-old poet will be soon set free. As soon as he is free, Eduard Limonov will immediately become a young, hungry and angry 60-year-old politician. His new image won't have his traditional beard in Trotsky's fashion.

Eduard Limonov was sentenced to four years of imprisonment; he has served almost half of the term when the court decided to release the National Bolshevik leader. It sounds paradoxical that Eduard Limonov is to be released before the fixed time for good behavior. When Limonov gets out of the prison, he will certainly ask himself a question what will come next. Publishers are whipping the cat as they see that they are loosing Limonov, the titbit. It is hardly likely that being free Limonov will devote himself to literature. He will probably write articles or leaflets but not books. 

It was obvious long ago already that Limonov was in the wrong place staying in prison. In fact, even if he was guilty (it is true that Limonov wasn't guilty of what he was accused; his only guilt was the publications in the Limonka newspaper that were rather burning) he has already served out the term.

Now it is important to know what life Eduard Limonov will have being free and what he expects to obtain through his freedom. Parliamentary elections are coming soon in Russia; it seems that the politician's release was timed exactly to the elections. Does it mean that the Kremlin needs Limonov as a politician? It may be so that Limonov is needed as a threat to the peace of the society. It is rather likely that Limonov's release and the forthcoming parliamentary elections have just coincided. Probably it was decided that Limonov was no longer dangerous, that he has become tame.

But Limonov is certainly not tame; he won't give up his national Bolshevik activity. On the contrary, now he has got a unique chance, probably the last one. Limonov has already dropped a hint that he would run for the elections. And he may be a success at the elections, by the way. As for the national Bolshevik party, it will hardly get more than 0.1% of votes at the parliamentary elections, but Eduard Limonov himself is sure to be a success. If he is elected, his future will depend upon himself. Eduard Limonov is a better poet as compared with Anatoly Lukyanov and Yury Andropov (Soveit political leaders), but nothing definite can be said yet about his political destiny. Limonov has won the credit of trust and is surrounded with the halo of martyrdom. This makes him alike with Academician Andrey Sakharov or writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn who got back home from exile.

Limonov is not a worse prose writer than Solzhenitsyn; he is even a better poet. Limonov doesn't consider himself a prophet. He is a revolutionary; the same was as Andrey Sakharov was. Sakharov was a success with his mission; Solzhenitsyn failed. It is not quite clear whether Limonov will be a success or fails. Prison is negative experience, no matter what one says.

Eduard Limonov is not striving for authority, he is an aesthetic revolutionary. His principle is that movement is the most important thing, while an aim is nothing. He is a destructor exclusively. The passion for destruction is a creative passion for Limonov. No matter what one says, the society needs destructors as well. There are some historic moments when destructors and anarchists are required. Has this moment already come?

Eduard Limonov thinks this moment has come. But even if this moment hasn't come yet, Limonov is free to act only now. The National Bolshevik leader is to be released very soon. What will he do with his freedom in a couple of weeks?

Novaya Gazeta

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