Everyone interested in the biography of the poet heard about the love story between Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lily and Osip Brik. A painful relationship in which there were no happy people. Mayakovsky loved Lilia, and after trying to start another relationship, he always returned to her. Osip, her lawful husband, treated Vladimir with great respect and even allowed him to call Lily his wife. Lily herself, caught in the middle, was never able to forgive herself for the death of the poet. How could such a strange relationship exist? How did this scandalous love affect the work of Mayakovsky? How did Lilya Brik live after his suicide? Well, first thing first.
“So, Volodya fell in love with me immediately and forever, just as Osya fell in love with Volodya. I say - forever, forever, because it will remain for centuries and that bogatyr who will erase this love from the face of the earth has not been born yet. Unless the earth "collapses", and then - all the same.” (c) memories of Lilya Brik
Lilya and Osip had known each other since the age of 14, but at that time there were only friendly relations between the teenagers: they communicated and corresponded. When Lilya was 17, her music teacher Gregory Crane got her pregnant, and then Osip revealed his feelings: he was ready to accept the young woman with her child if she agreed to marry him. Then Lilya refused and had an abortion at the insistence of her parents, after which she could no longer have children.
Nevertheless, six years later, in 1911, she accepted the offer from her friend. They had a happy marriage, even though over time the spouses estranged.
In Petrograd, many people knew the Brik family: they organized a literary club at home and invited young poets. Although Vladimir Mayakovsky was already famous at that time, he once visited this event. When he saw Lilia Brik, he read the poem “A Cloud in Trousers” and asked for permission to dedicate this work to her. Since then, the poet devoted many of his works to his only love.
Immediately after the momentous meeting, Vladimir Mayakovsky confessed to his friend Korney Chukovsky that he had found true love...
According to Lilya’s memories, she did not like the poet right away. He was too "sonorous", attracting attention, and people turned around to him on the street. On the other hand, Osip was a close man, quiet, inconspicuous.
Osip, although Mayakovsky was rushing for his wife, considered the poet a great cultural event and helped him in every way. He even financed one of the collections of Mayakovsky - and the poet, without hiding, devoted this book to Lilya.
Over time, Mayakovsky and the Briks began to live together. In the modern world, some admirers of the poet do not think well about his muse. The reason for this, among other things, is the recollection of Andrei Voznesensky about a conversation with Lilya. The woman told him how she and Osip locked Vladimir in the kitchen while they were making love and the poet "was broken ... he scratched at the door and wept." Another famous phrase of the woman, which rouses the dislike for her personality: "It is useful for Volodya to suffer, suffering, he writes good poems."
The trinity lived together for a while, and they even had to huddle in the same room. In 1922, Lilya's feelings for Vladimir began to subside, and in 1925, she divorced her lawful husband. However, all three had an inextricable connection. The career of Mayakovsky went up, he received decent fees and for some time almost supported the Briks - the couple spent the money of the poet traveling, Lilya bought outfits.
The next trip of the former Brik spouses to Europe ended up in tears. If Mayakovsky indeed worked better, suffering from love, then it was impossible to leave him in that state. He said goodbye to Lily and Osip in February 1930, and in April, Vladimir Mayakovsky shot himself to death.
Lilya Brik did not forgive herself for leaving alone the man she loved. Since then, she devoted her life to perpetuating the memory of the great poet. She took up assembling the collected works, organized the Mayakovsky Museum. One of her future husbands, Vasily Katanyan, also turned out to be connected with Vladimir: he was the poet's biographer.
In 1935, a woman even sent a letter to Stalin asking for help in popularizing and promoting Mayakovsky’s works. Indeed, Stalin helped: in his return letter, he called Vladimir the most talented poet. Triumphal Square was renamed Mayakovsky Square.
Lilya was a friend with Osip until his death. For some time they even lived together, the four of them: Lily with a new husband and Osip with a second wife.
At the end of the 1950s, the book “New facts about Mayakovsky” was published, including his private correspondence between him and his muse. Such intimate letters disturbed the society: in the Union of Soviet Writers, the book was considered to discredit the name of the great writer, the use of the book as the source of information was prohibited for scientific reports and dissertations. Sister of Mayakovsky claimed that his relationship with the Briks only brought him much misfortune.
Nevertheless, the letters appeared in print, and the campaign against Lilya Brik began. The Mayakovsky Museum, located in the apartment, where the trinity lived together, was closed. The official sources concealed the relationship between Vladimir, Lilya and Osip; however, the society discussed the private life of the trio during the life of Mayakovsky, as well as after his death.
“There are plenty of them, those nasty gossips! As if they were spread intentionally, after the entreaty «please, do not gossip». There were lots of them during the life of Volodya too. However, we did not pay any attention to them at that time.” (c) memories of Lilya Brik
Lilya Brik was not invited for the celebration of the 80’s anniversary of Mayakovsky. She could not get him out of her head even after his death. According to the woman, she saw Vladimir in her dreams and he told her that she would follow his example. The dream became true.
In 1987, Lilya Brik broke a femoral neck and could not get up anymore. A few months later, she committed suicide by taking the fatal dose of the sleeping-draught.
Until her last day, she was afraid that the people who hated her would desecrate her grave. For this reason, according to the testament, the body of Brik was cremated and the ashes were scattered. Nevertheless, a monumental boulder, devoted to Lilya Brik, was put up, with the inscription “L.O.V.E.” on it. Once Vladimir Mayakovsky gave his muse a ring with the same initials.