Role satire by Alexander Galich


August 11, 2022

Role-playing satire by Alexander Galich - songs and poems written by the author on behalf of "lyrical anti-heroes", in which the characters reveal themselves. Galich himself defined such songs, where the character tells his story, as "genre". Already the first author's song by Galich - "Lenochka" - had a parodic character, but in it the satirical charge was balanced by a comical, carnival style of presentation and a happy ending. In the genre satirical songs of Galich, even frankly comic ones, his laughter ceases to be joyful, it becomes filled with bitter irony and sarcasm. Through the speech and behavior of his satirical "masks" Galich tries to understand and express his time. The typical hero of Galich's role-playing satire is a Soviet layman, a man from the crowd, preoccupied with typical everyday problems. At the same time, in the minds of Galich's characters, subordinated to the absurdity of official slogans, the essential and the superficial are mixed and become indistinguishable, and their lively colloquial speech is continuously interspersed with meaningless propaganda clichés. The text of Galich's role-playing satire imitates the oral speech of the characters, while the speaker's reasoning and the whole style of his speech are somewhat exaggerated, which allows us to perceive the described phenomenon as typical. The main satirical target of Galich is the destruction of the meaning of words and the substitution of concepts that take place in a totalitarian society and their influence on the personality of the characters. At the same time, Galich's authorial sarcasm is directed not so much at the heroes of the songs themselves, but at the reality that gave birth to them, where, by common agreement, hypocrisy and thoughtless adherence to official rituals prevail, behind which the essence of the matter becomes indistinguishable and unimportant.

Characteristics and evaluation of Galich's satire

Galich, when performing his satirical songs, said that they were written “on behalf of an idiot”, but “idiocy” here refers not so much to the heroes themselves, but to a general public delusion, to the rules of the game adopted by the heroes, according to which the life and actions of everyone should be determined by official slogans and slogans. The conflict between the life of the layman, the "little man" and the demands of the authoritarian system turns out to be fundamentally wrong with Galich.