(28.02.1922 – 28.10.1993)
Lotman Yuri Mikhailovich (28.02.1922, Petrograd – 28.10.1993, Tartu). The father is a lawyer. In 1939 he entered the faculty of the Leningrad University. After the first year he was drafted into the army. The war was conducted by a signalman in an artillery regiment. He returned to study only at the end of 1946. The first scientific discovery was made by a student: he found an unknown document related to the beginning of the Decembrist movement. He graduated in 1950 from Leningrad University, but because of the struggle with cosmopolitans in postgraduate studies he was refused, he found a vacant position only in the teacher’s institute in Tartu. In 1952 he became a candidate of science. In 1961 he defended his doctoral dissertation in the Leningrad State University “Ways of development of Russian literature of the pre-December period”. But even after that, the authorities continued to treat Lotman with extreme caution. Why?
The clue, it seems, found Mikhail Gasparov. As early as 1996, Gasparov wrote about Lotman: “In the history of Russian literature, he dealt with authors quite reliable: Radishchev, the Decembrists, Pushkin, and Radishchev really was his revolutionary, and the Decembrists heroes, and Pushkin a universal genius, and even Karamzin turned out to be very sympathetic to the French of the revolution, but they turned out to be much more complicated and deeper than in ordinary portraits, which even the good scientists signed, while for the official Soviet literary studies, if Radishchev was good, then Karam Zin had to be bad, but Lotman did not have that, it irritated him. ” In the early 1960s, Lotman attempted to apply structural methods in the study of literature. As a theorist, he published in 1962 “Lectures on Structural Poetics” and in 1970 the monograph ” The structure of the artistic text. “As early as the mid-1960s, Lotman became the leader of the semilotics in the USSR He owned the idea of holding annual summer schools in Tartu on secondary modeling systems and the publication
of” Proceedings on Sign Systems. “Recalling the scientific conferences organized by him Ouspensky noted: “Lotman is a tuner, conductor and first violin… orchestra. He follows the height of the intellectual bar and at the same time observes the democratic ritual. He gives a hand to all the ladies when unloading from the bus. He watches that after breakfast, lunch and dinner all the dishes are carried off the table. He calls all participants, including students, only by name and patronymic. “Lotman’s observations on writing were very interesting, and he hated the references of writers to any vital or censorship circumstances.