1962 Diary

Year:
2016
Language:
Russian

A truck driver's diary as an artifact of a bygone era.

1962. The Soviet Union. The truck driver Nikolai Kozakov embezzles collective farm property in the Gorky region, goes off to build a gas pipeline to Kazakhstan and treats his stutter with hypnosis in Kharkiv. Behind his macho façade (with his affection for hunting, motorbike riding and constant drinking) there lurks the secret life of a man with refined taste and capable of some very attentive observations. He writes verse, photographs, pities himself and is always falling in love.

The book "Diary 1962" was published for the exhibition "Our Days Are Rich and Bright”. It includes personal entries for 1962 by Nikolai Kozakov, a truck driver who had been keeping diaries since the age of fifteen. He invariably starts his detailed remarks with data on air temperature and wind direction, then describes things which happen to him at work and at home and then switching to thoughts about love and his place in life.

The standard 96-page notebooks with the diaries of Nikolai Kazakov were located in a private archive, where they were discovered by the artist Kirill Glushchenko. They took five years to decipher and prepare for printing.

I raised my musket, but the hare was flitting among the pines. Vovka’s shot rang out, and both of us, like hares, set off after the fugitive. When I jumped out on the meadow, the hare was already 100 meters away, no less, down below. I aimed. A gray-red clod danced in view of the crosshairs. A shot cracked sharply. The hare jumped into the openings from the ice, crawled out and climbed up the hill. I took a second hit. The trigger clanged distinctly. The shoulder that was ready to take the recoil tensed in vain.

– Nikolai Kozakov

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