Bulat Okudzhava, the prominent poet, writer, and singer, died last week during a trip to Paris. Okudzhava, born in Moscow in 1924, had recently undergone heart surgery in the U.S. In the 1960s and 1970s, he achieved huge popularity among Soviet audiences. His writings circulated chiefly in samizdat but his wistful lyrics contained a subtext so hidden that Soviet officials were never able to ban his work. Okudzhava’s body will lie in state on June 18 at the Vakhtangov Theater on Moscow’s Old Arbat, the street he immortalized in his songs, and the funeral will take place the following day. (AP, June 12; Itar-Tass, June 14)
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