Veniamin Erofeev: biography (photo)

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Veniamin Erofeev: biography (photo)
Veniamin Erofeev: biography (photo)

Video: Veniamin Erofeev: biography (photo)

Video: Veniamin Erofeev: biography (photo)
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The name of the writer Veniamin Erofeev is known to everyone who is seriously interested in underground Soviet literature. The work of the prose writer has repeatedly received high marks from Russian and foreign critics, and since the middle of the 2000s of the 21st century, it has been subjected to careful study within the framework of academic scientific works. Most of the author's famous works, such as, for example, the "alcoholic short story" "Moscow-Petushki", were circulated among the people, released unofficially through samizdat, in lists from original manuscripts or free retellings of listeners.

In just a few years since the beginning of his literary career, Veniamin Erofeev acquired the status of a creative personality known throughout the Soviet Union, quickly won the sympathy of readers and managed to actively resist Soviet censorship.


Veniamin Erofeev
Veniamin Erofeev

The writer was born on October 24, 1938 in the remote northern village of Niva-3. The locality was onlyin addition to a huge waterworks, around which several settlements were built. One of the farms was called Kandalakshi, and it was in it that Veniamin Erofeev was born.

Despite this fact, the official documents of the writer indicate that he was born at the Chupa station of the Loukhsky district of the Karelian ASSR. Because it was there that the Erofeev family lived for many years.

The father of the future writer, Vasily Erofeev, served for a long time as the head of the railway station, until he was repressed and sent to a camp for anti-Soviet propaganda. Mother - Anna Erofeeva - had no education and was a housewife all her life.


Veniamin Erofeev was the sixth child in the family. The writer's early years were spent in an atmosphere of poverty. Young Venechka had to look for part-time jobs and "kalyms" to help his mother support his family. During his school years, he managed to work as a parcel delivery man, a loader, and a janitor.

When the writer's father died, Venechka was sent to an orphanage in the city of Kirovsk. The mother could not drag six children alone, so she sent the youngest to a state institution, hoping that there he could live better than a starving family.

Beniamin loved to read since childhood, studied very well. Teachers noted the boy's phenomenal talent for literature, language and drawing.

Erofeev graduated from school with a gold medal, and as the best graduate of the orphanage. Was sent to Moscow to study at Moscow State University.

Erofeev and student
Erofeev and student

Early years

Having moved to the capital, Veniamin Erofeev, not hoping for a state scholarship, almost immediately decides to get a job in order to be able to purchase literature and rare publications of interest to him.

A strong northern guy is happy to be hired as a construction worker. Erofeev will work on it for the next two years, contriving to find time to work as a loader and janitor at the nearest grocery store.

Veniamin spends his entire salary on purchasing scarce literature in second-hand bookshops, buys subscriptions and periodicals, spending his free time reading and working with works of interest to him.


In 1955, Veniamin Erofeev entered the Faculty of Philology of the Moscow State University. M. V. Lomonosov. The first year he studied "excellent", he devoted himself to linguistic and literary work, made several sketches of scientific articles (which, however, were never completed), worked as an assistant laboratory assistant at the Department of Slavic Languages and Russian Studies.

Benjamin at the table
Benjamin at the table

The next year became more difficult for Benjamin. The guy felt a strong craving for creativity and began to pay great attention to working with his early literary opuses. He abandoned his studies, stopped attending lectures and practical classes, sitting for hours in his dorm room and working on manuscripts, or walking around Moscow at night.

About the same time, the writer became addicted to alcoholic beverages and began to spend all available funds inpubs and restaurants, simultaneously leading an active literary activity.

Such behavior could not but affect the performance of Erofeev. And after several university meetings, where he was given "probationary periods" and all kinds of deferrals, in 1957 he was expelled from the university for "failure and immoral behavior."

Veniamin Erofeev did not despair and, two years after his expulsion, he applied to the Orekhovo-Zuevsky Pedagogical Institute, where he was admitted in 1959. Here, the future writer did not study even a year - in 1960 he was expelled from the second year with the same wording.

Subsequent attempts to continue studying at the Vladimir and Kolomna Pedagogical Institutes were also unsuccessful.

In 1963, Erofeev finally abandoned the idea of getting a higher education.


pistael erofeev biography
pistael erofeev biography

While still a student at Moscow State University, Veniamin began to look for a job. Having extensive experience in the labor field, he easily found part-time jobs for one evening, for a week or even for a month, working as a loader, builder, carpenter, painter or mail carrier.

The biography of the writer Veniamin Erofeev contains the following information about his work:

  • 1957 - worked as a laborer in Moscow after being expelled from Moscow State University;
  • 1958 - 1959 - moved to Slavyansk, where he got a job as a loader in a grocery store;
  • 1959 - moved to Ukraine, became a member of the geological party and worked as a driller for a year;
  • 1960 - lived in the cityOrekhovo-Zuevo, where he worked as a watchman in a sobering-up station;
  • 1961 - returned to Vladimir, got a job as a loader and handyman in a furniture store;
  • 1962 - went to work at the Vladimir Construction Trust, where he took the positions of an electrician and plumber;
  • 1963 - 1973 - joined the mobile installation team and worked as a cable line installer;
  • 1974 - got a job as a laboratory assistant in the parasitological expedition of VNIDIS, worked as part of a group studying the winged blood-sucking gnat in Central Asia;
  • 1975 - worked as an editor, checking and correcting scientific papers and reports of students of Moscow State University;
  • 1976 - moved to the Kola Peninsula and joined the aerological expedition, taking the position of a worker;
  • 1977 - got a job as a shooter in the paramilitary security service.


Benjamin with his wife
Benjamin with his wife

According to the writer himself, he always had "an inexplicable attraction to the rich and powerful Russian culture", either impressive erudition prompted the writer to study the culture of his native country, or an innate love for his small motherland, but in 1969 Erofeev takes a literary pseudonym, leaving the surname and changing the name to Venedikt - an older, old Russian form of the name Veniamin.

Under this name, he will publish all his most important prose opuses and go down in the history of Russian literature.

Creative career

Erofeev began to engage in literary activities at school age. At the age of 17, he began work on his first work, Notes of a Psychopath. Theseunique notes were considered lost for a long time, but at the beginning of the 2000s they were found with one of the writer's friends and published in 2004. In 1970, Erofeev published his debut voluminous work - a prose poem called "Moscow - Petushki". The novel instantly became popular among the reading youth of the time.

A little later, other books by the writer Veniamin Erofeev were published: "Walpurgis Night or the Commodore's Steps", "Good News", "My Little Leniniana", "Dissidents, or Fanny Kaplan". Most of these works were not published during the lifetime of the writer, and were published only at the beginning of the 2000s of the 21st century.

Moscow - Petushki

Portrait of Veniamin Erofeev
Portrait of Veniamin Erofeev

One of the most famous works of the writer, which is, in fact, an allegory for one of his long train rides. In the book, Erofeev describes the life of a simple Russian person, snacks, alcoholic drinks, and conveys the content of heartfelt table conversations.

The most famous lifetime publications of the poem:

  • 1970 - the author's manuscript and the first ten lists made by Erofeev's friends;
  • 1973 - Israeli magazine "AMI";
  • 1988 - domestic magazine "Sobriety and Culture";
  • 1989 - republished in Sobriety and Culture;
  • 1989 - publication in the anthology "News" (uncensored).

In this and his other works, Erofeev gravitates towards the traditions of surrealism and literary buffoonery.

Controversial issues

The biography of Veniamin Erofeev contains a lotinteresting and curious cases, one way or another connected with the literary activity of the writer.

For example, in 1972 he claimed to have finished work on the novel Dmitri Shostakovich, but could not publish it because the manuscript had been stolen. Moreover, they stole it on the train while the writer was sleeping during a long journey. Most of all, Erofeev regretted not the lost work, but the fact that two bottles of chatter disappeared along with the manuscript.

After 22 years, a friend of the writer, Vladislav Bogatishchev-Epishin, said that the manuscript was not lost at all, but was kept by him and promised that very soon the unknown work of Erofeev would be released.

In 1994, he really made a small fragment publicly available. After careful analysis, most literary scholars recognized the fragment as a fake.

Erofeev in a Moscow apartment
Erofeev in a Moscow apartment

Attitude towards religion

In 1987, Venedikt Erofeev decides to be baptized in the bosom of the Catholic Church. His friend, writer and translator Vladimir Muravyov, rendered all possible assistance to Veniamin and even became his godfather.

The Sacrament of Baptism took place in Moscow, in the church of St. Louis of France.

Close ones

The personal life of the writer Veniamin Erofeev was quite calm. In 1976, the writer married for the first time - to Valentina Zimakova. The marriage produced a son Benedict.

Eleven years later, Erofeev married a second time - to Galina Nosova, with whom he lived until his death in 1990.

The family of the writer Veniamin Erofeev is activelyparticipates in various events dedicated to his work, organizes memorable evenings and literary fairs.


In 1985, Veniamin Erofeev was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. The following year, the writer underwent an operation, after which he lost the ability to speak and in the future could only explain himself with the help of a voice-forming apparatus.


Veniamin Erofeev died on May 11, 1990 in Moscow. His grave is located at the Kuntsevo cemetery.

A photo of the writer Veniamin Erofeev is available in the gallery of outstanding students of the university.