Rus News Journal

Process about two millions

Is on sale Yury Lotman`s archive

In Estonia there are negotiations about destiny of archive of well-known philologist Yury Mihajlovicha Lotman (1922 - 1993). Lotman wanted, that its archive and library, and also archive of his wife of the doctor of philology Zary Minz became a basis of Institute of semiotics created at Tartusky university and Russian culture. However the institute is not created till now, the archive is not disassembled, and Yury Lotman Michael`s son is ready to sell archive. Interest to this inheritance has shown the largest archival centre of the USA - Guverovsky institute (Hoover Institute) in Stenforde. Estonian scientists categorically against such sale.

with Yury Mihajlovicha Lotman`s name, the well-known literary critic, at the beginnings it is Moscow - tartuskoj semiotics school, by right connect a new stage in formation of Russian humanity. Last decade the past century its world famous works were republished with that activity from what it is accepted to erect posthumous monuments. However the archive of the scientist stored at his son, also known philologist Michael Jurevicha Lotman, for work is not suitable yet. Some years ago the archive part has been transferred by successors in the university library which employees worked with manuscripts with support of Estonian scientific fund. Besides this small part the basic file of manuscripts is not disassembled and not described till now. The reason for that is shortage of means for payment of experts which could undertake this business. And here this summer the Guverovsky institute has expressed desire to get Lotman`s archive and by that to resolve a problem of financing of its processing once and for all. Successors have given the preliminary consent.
the idea of sale of archive of Yury Lotman to America has caused the most different reaction in philological circles. Rationalists fairly assert that against financial reasons will make something difficultly: the Guverovsky institute has offered for manuscripts scientific $140 thousand (2 million Estonian crones) - the sum with which any federal program, not to mention money which the Tartusky university has cannot cover. The majority of the western and Russian Slavists of anything terrible on similar sale do not see. In a present situation in a philological science when to reach to the USA to the Russian and European scientists supported by the American grants and grants, happens easier, than to the next Estonia, the Guverovsky institute seems very successful place for storage lotmanovskogo archive. Besides possibilities of Guverovsky institute will allow to disassemble materials unlike faster, than in Tartu where for eight years, the past from the date of Lotman`s death, it has been made only partially. Lotman`s colleague, for example, speaks about it, also one of founders is Moscow - tartuskoj schools Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov: In Stenforde the archive will be accessible, all can be copied, with all it will be possible to work . However, Ivanov now lives in California, than in Moscow more, however to the same opinion adhere both many Moscow and Petersburg philologists who also hope that in America the archive will be in an order and in open access.
however in Estonia with it categorically do not agree. The point of view is extended that this business especially political, it is impossible to give national property supposedly. Colleagues Lotman on university put other arguments. According to the Russian literature of professor Ljubovi Kiselevoj managing chair, only in Tartu there are those experts who can describe properly structure of archive and if necessary to define scientific value of materials stored in it. Moreover, Kiselyov`s professor believes, as from the point of view of elementary common sense the archive should remain in Estonia - the country in which Yury Mihajlovich has worked 43 years and without which he did not think of the scientific activity. it is logical, if Dickens`s archive is in England, and Flaubert`s archive - in France, - she has told. - in this case the defining factor is the size of monetary indemnification. The current situation has no political implied sense. However, he is always easy for thinking up .
it is unconditional, chairs of the Russian literature and semiotics of Tartusky university are to the same extent interested in that the archive has entirely passed in conducting university library, instead of has shared lot of many cultural values which have gone for ocean in the richest country in the world. About necessity to defend Lotman`s archive is told also by wider university public. The situation becomes complicated that there is no inventory of documents stored in archive. In other words, anybody in accuracy does not know that, actually, is exposed on sale. It is necessary to underline that Zary Grigorevny Minz which archive can appear even more valuable as from its works the very few are published is a question of Yury Lotman`s hand-written heritage without its unique library, and also archive of his wife, the known expert in the literature of the XX-th century. With a view of an establishment of exact structure of archive, and also definition of possible expenses for its processing the rector of university has decided to collect the special commission into which have entered zavkafedroj semiotics professor Peeter Torop (Peeter Torop), the professor Rhine Vejdemann (Rein Veidemann), the director of university library Toomas Liivamjagi (Toomas Liivamagi) and a member of a board of guardians of university, the writer and publisher Hando Runnel (Hando Runnel). The commission will continue work till October, 15th, and till this time no preliminary data will be disclosed.
the chairman of the commission professor Torop has informed the correspondent that the commission will achieve the conciliatory proposal - recognising that successors are interested in reception of monetary indemnification in the size offered by Guverovsky institute. Certainly, for this purpose it is necessary to develop the scheme of gradual payment or to raise the question about the symbolical purchase assuming other form of indemnification. First of all the commission takes into consideration the requirements of successors reduced not only to reception of money, but also to creation of appropriate storage conditions of archive in territory of Estonia. The question on creation of memorial library on the basis of archival materials and a private library of the scientist is considered. Michael Lotman essentially not against archive of his father remained to Estonia, however possibility of correct performance of all put forward requirements raises at present the big doubts. Professor Torop is assured that the planned reference of the commission to the governmental circles of the country will help to solve a problem in favour of both parties. As to negotiations with Guverovsky institute, to the real transaction still far enough. Especially now, when Michael Lotman has agreed to wait for the termination of work of the commission.

JAN - LEVCHENKO, Tartu