Edward Radzinsky

Radzinsky Edward

Edward Radzinsky

Edward Radzinsky

Academician of The Russian Academy of Arts. Born on September 23, 1936 in Moscow.

Soviet and Russian Television Presenter, Writer, Screenwriter, Playwright. Literaturnaya Gazeta Prize Laureate, Cyril and Methodius International Prize Laureate, Four-time TEFI Award Winner.

Companion of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (4th class).

Edward Radzinsky’s father Stanisiav Radzinsky was a playwright. He was a promising man intended to stand for the All Russian Constituent Assembly. But the Revolution ruined his dreams. «I think, sometimes I act just like him. Though there is no resemblance between us,» — Edward says. However, he is also interested in mainstream policy and has a dramaturgic talent. And there is no better thing for Edward Radzinsky than writing. «The world that I write about is my real world, — Radzinsky explains. — I always wanted to be a writer and chose the Institute for History and Archives not without a purpose. This purpose was called Karamzin. During his lifetime he wasn’t a respectable person among historians. They made a big mistake by judging the art from the scientific point of view. Being a writer Karamzin was also a historian and did an impressive work. He let his contemporaries become time travelers. I could only dream about it.»

As a playwright Edward Radzinsky started his career early. He was just 22. His first play My dream… India was performed in the Moscow Young Generation Theater. It was dedicated to Gerasim Lebedev, the first Russian Indianist and enlightener. A couple of years later Anatoly Efros from the Lenkom Theater produced his new play 104 Pages about Love. Later it was partially used as a screenplay for a film called Once Again for Love with Tatyana Doronina and Alexander Lazarev. «I was under thirty but the whole country had already seen my plays. Therefore my life is a story of a lucky man,» — Edward noticed.

It was the time when the whole world amazed him. Pablo Picasso’s words «If I had nothing to love then I’d fall in love with the door handle» became a motto for Edward Radzinsky. «I’m sure that any painter dies when the love is over,» — the writer says. But the object of love should equal the painter’s caliber. In the mean time Edward Radzinsky felt that he got too far from a young man that he had created. He needed an equal company. He got bored of a country that made the lack of education a synonym of loyalty. Back to yourself meant back to the history. His companions on the stage became Socrates, Nero and Seneca. So he started writing prose about great historical figures. His passion took shape of many books describing the lives of Napoleon, Alexander II and the last Russian Emperor Nikolai II. These books got a lot of attention around the world; they were translated into English, German, French and Spanish. Their first readers were the heads of the state. It was said that a prophet could not be recognized in his own land. Fortunately this expression had no reference to Edward Radzinsky. One of his judges was a famous Latin-American writer and the Noble Prize Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They first met each other in the beginning of 1970s at Colombia International Film Festival where Once Again for Love won a Grand Prix. Then, in the end of 1980s Marquez visited a spectacle based on the Radzinsky’s play Old Actress for the Role of Dostoevsky’s Wife. The famous writer was always interested in Russian culture and especially in Dostoevsky and liked the production a lot.

«To be honest I was surprised a bit. How come that a well-known playwright decides to step out of his genre and tries his force in fiction and documentary? — Gabriel Garcia Marquez says. — But after reading The Last Czar in Spanish and Stalin in English I understand that these books are the same plays, historical dramas and great spectacles. Yes, if you’re a playwright, then you will never change. And Radzinsky the historian is so strong due to 30-year experience of Radzinsky the playwright. Though, it can also be his weakness. But you can’t call Radzinsky the historian from the canonical point of view. Of course, he collected a lot of historical documents in his books but he is still loyal to his dramatic methods. Therefore his historical events turn into a scene. Radzinsky is a great psychologist. He knows the nature of people, be it the dead or the living. He is a man that knows and loves his country. He understands its history. Who else can reveal the world famous «secrets of Russia?».

Besides that Edward can capture the attention of his readers with bright and inspiring images of historical intrigue. He doesn’t prepare his performances and prefers improvisation. «My only problem is my memory. There are lots of subjects in my head and they are all right here, beside me, — Edward Radzinsky says. — I am a selfless actor… and a good one! I believe in what I say and the audience likes it! I can’t show fury and cruelty of my characters the other way. But I can’t live without my performances. I get sick. Three hours in the Tchaikovsky Hall made me happy and refreshed. If I could perform ten times then I would continue on and on.» Like an ancient king Sisyphus Edward rolls his boulder, his work, up a hill. And he will surely reach the top.