Moscow State University, Mandelstam’s Commemoration Evening (May 13, 1965)
Address: 1 Lenin Hills, Moscow (auditoriums 16-10, 16th floor)
Mandelstam’s commemoration evening on May 13, 1965 was one of the most significant cultural events during Khrushchev's "Thaw." During the proceedings, N.K. Chukovsky, Arsenii Tarkovsky, and Varlam Shalamov were invited to speak. Shalamov was the last speaker. He gave a speech and read aloud “Smert poeta” (“Death of the Poet,” under this title he read the story “Sherry-brandy” about Osip Mandelstam’s death in a transit camp), which was the most powerful experience for many participants.
After this event, Shalamov’s communication with Nadezhda Mandelstam and people around her intensified. Shalamov became famous among the capital’s intelligentsia, and his reputation only grew after the samizdat publication of Kolyma Tales.