Veniamin Iakovlev

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(4107) Iakovlev, Veniamin (1946-).”Zapiski Iurodivogo” (“Notes of an Innocent”)

Copy of an original typescript. 141 pages. 29,5cm. Hardbound. Samizdat dated 1989.

Iakovlev Veniamin, born Bereslavskii Veniamin Iakovlevich or Blazhennyi Ioann (Innocent Ioann) – Spiritual leader, said to possess the charisma of a sage, a prophet. Between 1996 and 2009 he headed the Congregation of Bishops in the Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary “Derzhavnaia”. Innocent Ioann preached that the way towards Sainthood was to submit oneself entirely to the protection of the Virgin Mary and believed himself to have discovered what would be fundamental principles of spiritualism in the third millenium.
At some point near the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies, he began taking interest in music, poetry, languages, philosophy and sociology. As a translator he also gave English classes. He only finds his faith at the end of the 1970’s and was himself baptised as late as 1980.
His first literary essays date from the mid seventies prior to his religious awakening and at first writes for his desk drawer not holding any hope to be published.
V.I. belongs to a circle of Muscovite poets during the 1960’s. During the christian period from 1982 to 1991 Iakovlev had no other alternative to the samizdat for reaching a readership. Some works would be republished during the nineties and others after the turn of the new century. Believers for whom Iakovlev would become a sacred figure [figure de proue] made their own copies at the typewriter, by hand xerocopies and distributed them among friends and close ones.
A more clandestine manner could not have been accorded anything by christian literature, which was considered as being ardently anti-Soviet and, from 1982 officially considered as being in the service of foreign powers. Following the publication in samizdat the KGB who was still at this point monitoring dissidents began to express interest in Iakovlev who had just been denounced but fortunately with the Perestroika and the fall of the Soviet system Iakovlev was saved from imminent arrest.
This text would not be published until after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993 and 1999.

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