UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Book launch: 'Venedikt Erofeev ‘Moscow–Petushki’ or ‘The rest is silence' by Svetlana McMillin

02 November 2022, 5:00 pm–8:00 pm

Svetlana McMillin book cover

Book launch with author Svetlana Shnitman–McMillin organised by the SSEES Culture and Society in Modern Russia seminar series

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









Room 433
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton steret

In the early 1970s a ‘poem in prose’ called Moskva–Petushki spread throughout metropolitan samizdat. The book describes a train journey by an alcoholic Venichka Erofeev — the hero’s name replicates that of his author — from Moscow to the small town of Petushki. Consumption of alcohol on the way takes Rabelaisian proportions. Venichka’s journey plays out on two levels: physical, from a morning hangover to delirium tremens, and metaphysical, from a dubious resurrection to a horrifying vision of mystical crucifixion.

Erofeev’s grotesque masterpiece, with its breathtaking mastery of the Russian language, sharp satire and brilliant humour ending in nightmarish tragedy, left its readers shaken, perplexed and fascinated. When in 1989 the ‘poem’ was finally published in Russia, its author immediately became a recognized classic, the most loved and admired writer of his time and generation.

The monograph “Венедикт Ерофеев Москва-Петушки или The rest is silence” (Venedikt Erofeev “Moscow–Petushki” or “The rest is silence”) by Svetlana Shnitman–McMillin contained the first detailed intertextual analysis, research of the genre and style of Erofeev’s extraordinary oeuvre. This book together with a volume of articles “Венедикт Ерофеев и о Венедикте Ерофееве» (Venedikt Erofeev and about Venedikt Erofeev), including two publications of Svetlana Shnitman–McMillin and the article of Zinovy Zinik was recently produced by NLO, Moscow.

The discussion panel includes Prof Phil Cavendish (SSEES), writer Zinovy Zinik and Dr Svetlana McMillin (SSEES). This event will be in English.

Some copies of the monograph “Венедикт Ерофеев Москва-Петушки или The rest is silence” (in Russian) will be available for a price of £10 pounds. If you would like to buy a copy, please bring cash.

The discussion will be followed by reception with “Mineral Vodka” and snacks in Senior Masaryk room.