“I love to study materials. This is my favorite. This is what I do and when I get tired of writing, I move to another room, and I rest there, again in work. Work on the Russian portrait and in the work on the Russians pedigrees.”
The unique writer – novelist Valentin Savvich Pikul left after his life an incredible amount of work. At one time, after reading the novel “Pen and Sword”, I was struck by the method of writing the book. At the end of the novel, Pikul writes that he stands on the supposed grave of his hero, Chevalier d’Éon, from whom there is no trace of the railroad that passes through the grave, but he tries to feel the presence of his hero, imbued with his spirit. Then I was impressed, here’s how to write books, I thought, you have to become one with the heroes.
Being interested in the writer’s biography, I was once again surprised when I learned that in addition to novels that were written, in my opinion, by a unique method, there was a whole archive, portrait file and card file on Russian genealogies.
Portrait card file
“Before writing about a hero, Pikul should have looked at his face.”
V.S. Pikul gathered a valuable gallery on the history of the Russian portrait, as well as portraits of foreigners who left their mark on the history of Russia. A portrait file of 50,000 units of storage. For each collected portrait, a catalog card was entered where the biographical data was entered, the data on the creation of the portrait itself, and also from where the information about the person and the portrait was taken. Such a refined sheet person.
A writer worked on the history of the Russian portrait for about 40 years.
“For studying the portrait I’m kind of imbued with the mood of the time, I feel the characters of the people of that era, I see what their eyes are, how they dress, etc.” Looking at the faces of my heroes, I read their thoughts, guess the hidden ones thoughts and motives of their actions. From the portrait many of my miniatures were born…”
The portrait file is a unique creation of the writer, which has no analogues.
Card index of historical persons or the “dead”
This is another creation of V.S. Pikul, a kind of bibliography of a particular historical person. The file itself is compiled on the basis of a unique library V.S. Pikul, which has more than 10,000 books. More than 10,000 thousand cards arranged in alphabetical order from A to Z, the cards contain biographical data of a long-dead person who left a mark in history, right there is his painted portrait or photo.
Pikul and genealogy
After reading the novel I Have Honor, I became interested in the name of the main character, which the author hid in the novel, but gave a hint and a link to the Velvet Book. Finding a link in the book, I learned the name. This is a book about the genealogy of nobles. Pikul was interested in genealogy, it can be seen from his novels, in his interview he admitted that it is his hobby to compose genealogies, a matter for the soul.
According to his main characters, Valentin Savvich did genealogical calculations, he painted the character’s genealogy on which he worked on large sheets, and in his office he hung a portrait of the hero of his future novel.
“This is my rule; I’m working on someone else – I’m always hanging his image.”
Certainly V.S. Pikul was a unique person, a talented writer and a workaholic. His system and method of writing books inspired me to a genealogical search for my ancestors. His filing cabinets are priceless treasures, and his works have no analogues; this is an example of how to love your hobby. Maybe his method will inspire you.
Good luck in finding.