Kim Yaroshevskaya in the eye of memory

Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
Creator of “Fanfreluche”, the character of the tv series youth of the same name broadcast between 1968 and 1971 on Radio-Canada, Kim Yaroshevskaya enchanted, in the sense of fairy-like term, a whole generation with her stories.

It is at home, in the heights of a tower housing of Île-des-Soeurs in Montreal, Kim Yaroshevskaya receives me on a cold day and the light of November. Despite the years that pass, the old lady of 94 years of age seems to have preserved intact his capacity for wonder. The sound of laughter cascading, if feature, could be that of a young girl. He has kept a freshness that it seems eternal.

 

As soon as the door closed, a few sentences in Russian has on it the effect of a sesame powerful. Before we project all the two, all of a sudden, on one of the main arteries that supply blood to the Red square in Moscow, the huge, street-Tverskaya, where she lived in 1934, in an apartment of a single room with her grandmother.

 

Creator of Fanfreluche, this character of the tv series youth of the same name broadcast between 1968 and 1971 on Radio-Canada, she was enchanted — the faerie of the term — a whole generation with her stories. For other, later, she will be the grandmother in the series Passe-Partout. In the theatre, we sometimes forget, she has played with delight in many parts of Ionesco or Chekhov.

Born in 1923 in the soviet Union, Kim Yaroshevskaya published My journey in America (Boreal), in which she tells of the circumstances that have led to our side of the world.

 

A by-product of a reading made at the Théâtre de Quat’sous in February 2015, she tells in this short text, which has been made into a beautiful book with simple illustrations and archive photographs, the circumstances in which it had left Moscow, and the soviet Union in 1934, before relocating to Montreal.

 

Her parents, she said, were communist revolutionaries of the first hour. They have also named their daughter in honor of the International of communist youth, an organization founded in 1919 whose acronym in Russian form the first name Kim.

 

Reality dark


Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
The soviet passport of Kim Yaroshevskaya

“After the revolution, it was a real burst of freedom, so long choked by the tsarism “, she recalls with enthusiasm that hid a bit of sadness. But soon after the death of Lenin and the firm recovery of hand of the soviet power by Stalin, the reality has become darker.

 

His father, who was a trotskyite, has been put in jail before being relegated to 500 km south-east of Moscow, in Voronezh, where we often sent political prisoners — the poet Ossip Mandelstam has spent three years in exile. His mother, who was in the government, died soon after. “When my mother died, my father came to Moscow to bring me back there. I remember that, the dark side of the building in front of it, there was snow all summer on the balcony ! ” let it fall, still surprised.

  

His father, who wrote, and was a musician, Kim Yaroshevskaya will retain forever the memory of the tales that he read. “What a joy, really ! All this musicality ! Pushkin ! “

 

On the death of his father, after two years spent in a home for the orphans, she returned to live in Moscow with their paternal grandmother. Unable to obtain a U.s. visa to join her maternal grandparents, who lived in New York, she had rather put the cap on Montreal, which was already a sister of his mother, that she had never met.

 

She remembers being quickly integrated. She lived with her aunt and uncle on Park avenue, near the corner of St-Viateur in Mile-End, and attended school in English. “Children, it looks like people everywhere are the same…” But suffering from tuberculosis at the age of fifteen years, and despite his passion for algebra, the teenager will have to go to live for two years in a sanatorium in the Laurentian…


Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
“My first lover”, which was a pilot before becoming an architect.

“I went out to seventeen-year-old,” she says. I didn’t want to go back to school, with small… A friend to me, the sculptor Anne Kahane attended the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. That is what I could do ? I went to the Beaux-Arts for me too ! And here : French immersion ! I’ve made a lot of friends. So many conspiracies ! The music, the arts… And a lover ! This is how I learned the French “, she said. “Quickly, quickly, quickly ! Quickly ! ” she added, whisking the air.

 

If My journey in America begins with his arrival in Montreal, she also discusses her discovery of the theatre. An accident in which Ambroise Lafortune and the ” Order of Good time, this cultural movement launched by Roger Varin, who will, among other have a profound influence on the founding members of the Hexagon, have played a major role.

The children, it looks like people everywhere are the same…
Kim Yaroshevskaya

The theatre of Chekhov, of which she is a great performer, will be particularly marked. But one retains especially that will be as creative and scriptwriter for the character of Fanfreluche loved above all invent stories. “Ah ! This is what I like ! I like to write a text which will please and read it to the people who love them. This is what I like the best in the world ! “

 

It is not returned to the USSR only once, motivated by a longing more powerful than anything else. It was in 1965, thirty years after he left the country. On this occasion, the actress admits that she had even considered not returning to Canada. “I was already working in television. And I said, no, at me it is there. And I am party to perhaps not come back. I had even given my dishes to Marcel Sabourin ” she recalls, laughing.

 

The climate in the USSR was no longer the same. His uncle and his cousins in Moscow, have been afraid to come to the meet. “This was no longer home to me. The spirit was completely different. It was more… vulgar, the most uneducated one might say “, she adds, before bringing up the You Can’t Go Home Again, the American Thomas Wolfe (novel, posthumously translated into French under the title of the angel banned). “I came back, as they say. “

 

In his library, Kim Yaroshevskaya — having just re-read in the Russian war and peace, the masterpiece of Tolstoy — shows me with a passion, some old books among which I recognize Don Quixote and The three musketeers. Despite their coverage élimée, they sparkle still in their own way.


Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
Kim Yaroshevskaya and his father

These are the books of his father, in Russian, who crossed the Atlantic in 1934. With the doll that her mother had agreed reluctantly to offer him, they are his inheritance. “One sees better with the eye of memory, and I know that now — the cave of treasures, it was the library, a legacy from my father,” she wrote.

 

“I didn’t realize it. A child does not know ! For a long time, it is not the connection… It is in writing this story that, all of a sudden, things for me became obvious. It is the miracle of writing. It is like a fairy tale, it’s fabulous ! ” she adds about her own life, before breaking the silence with another round of her wonderful laugh lens.

 

“And I am brought to ask myself : is this possible, is it really possible that what happened to be happened like in the fairy tales ? “Parents, who died a premature death, leaving their child alone as a talisman, something to do with his life, and the joy of his life, as well as that of others.” I dare hardly believe it, but it looks like that is what happened. “

“And I am brought to ask myself : is this possible, is it really possible that what happened to be happened like in the fairy tales ? “Parents, who died a premature death, leaving their child alone as a talisman, something to do with his life, and the joy of his life, as well as that of others.” I dare hardly believe it, but it looks like that is what happened. ”

My journey in America

Kim Yaroshevskaya, Boréal, Montréal, 2017, 144 pages

Share Button