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Realism as illustrated in the writing of the nineteenth century Russian masters Duncan, Rosemary 1956

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REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY RUSSIAN MASTERS by ROSEMARY DUNCAN B.A., University of British Columbia, 1955 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of SLAVONIC STUDIES We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1956 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representative. I t i s under-stood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada, ABSTRACT The great movement i n Russian l i t e r a t u r e known as realism has been aptly described by one of i t s l a t e r adherents, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, as "imaginative l i t e r a t u r e " , which "depicts l i f e as i t r e a l l y i s " , and that " i t s aim i s t r u t h -unconditional and honest". There t r u l y could be no better standard than th i s for enlightened l i t e r a t u r e . For although l i f e i s never s t a t i c , and modes i n l i t e r a t u r e of various regimes have come and gone and w i l l continue to do so, nevertheless, truth sought sincerely by a l l serious thinkers throughout the ages remains ete r n a l . Unfortunately hierarchies, oligarchies and dictatorships of various kinds have been forced upon human beings since the beginning of known h i s t o r y . With these regimes have come the masterminds who endeavored to mold into t h e i r particular cast the minds subjected to them. In some instances they have succeeded, but there have always been those refugees of independent thought who, because they refused to bow down to the decrees of a tyrant, have either hid i n catacombes or f l e d to other lands. Such people are the illuminators of the a g e s — God's shining s t a r s . Theirs was the s p i r i t of 19th Century Russian realism. Its portrayal of t r u t h i s one of the most glorious i n a l l l i t e r a t u r e . ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would l i k e to thank the professors i n the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, under whose guidance and encouragement a true under-standing of Russian l i t e r a t u r e and of the heritage of the great Slavonic peoples i n many f i e l d s has been given me. Special thanks are due to Dr. J . 0. St. C l a i r - S o b e l l , Head of the Department, whose kindness over a number of years has been of inestimable value. I am indeed gra t e f u l to Professor A. W. Wainman, with whom I took my f i r s t classes i n t h i s unusual l i t e r a t u r e and under whose e f f e c t i v e guidance the writing of my thesis was accomplished. Also I should l i k e to express appreciation to Dr. C y r i l Bryner, Dr. A. H. Kuipers, Dr. P. Dembowski and the late Professor Peter D. Izaak and other members of the Department under whom I have taken courses. These opened broader horizons along the very i n t e r e s t i n g and adventurous road that I have t r a v e l l e d i n the quest for Truth, that was the i d e a l of the writers of Russian realism. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction: & Short Introduction to the R e a l i s t i c Russian Writing of the Nineteenth Century 1 Chapter I 16 Chapter II 47 Chapter III 72 Chapter IV .... 96 Chapter V 115 Chapter VI 153 Chapter VII 175 Chapter VIII 196 Conclusion 211 Bibliography ..213 1 INTRODUCTION A Short Introduction to the R e a l i s t i c Russian Writing of the Nineteenth Century 7MOM P O C C H B He noHaib ApunmoM o6ssm He n3iiepHXi> 7 HeM ocodeaHaa cxaxb B P O C C H B MOBHO T O J O K O sepHTb. h H. TKHTKes "One cannot comprehend Russia with the mind, One cannot fathom her with a common measure, Her destiny i s of a d i f f e r e n t kind, F a i t h alone i n Russia one must treasure."-— F . I. Tyutchev 1. What i s Realism? 2. The Great Kievan Heritage 2 INTRODUCTION  1 . WHAT IS REALISM? Most assuredly, the great Russian masters of literature deserve a place in the worldfs annals of history. In simplicity of style and yet with great depth of meaning, they have surpassed the writers of a l l other tongues, the Holy Scriptures excepted. Their tradition is not an old one, when compared with ancient writers of Israel, Egypt, Assyria and Persia, or with those of classical Greece and .Rome. Realistic Russian writing came into being only at the beginning of the 19th Century, Indeed, its rapid development since then is somewhat staggering. In tracing the beginning of this great movement in Russian literature it is interesting to note that the Russians have always been a people distinguished by their love of truth, and the search for truth is the key-stone of the Russian Realistic School of writing. Old Russian writing was held almost exclusively within the walls of the ancient Orthodox Church until as late as the reign of Czar Alexis in the 17th Century, who reigned between the years 1645-76. During this reign is to be noted the writings of the Archpriest Awakum "manifested in an optimistic Christian faith, in a profound but unfanatical attachment to the traditions and ritual of the Church in a desire to see everyone around him happy and at peace, and in a highly developed capacity to extract 3 1 a quiet and mellow enjoyment from a l l things". Awakum did not write a great deal, but we have handed down to us from him a "Life Written by Himself" (1672-3) and several letters written to his friends when he was residing at Pustozersk in his later years. The early Muscovite writers of the 17th Century reflected in great measure the attempted Westernization of Russia by Peter I (1689-1725). None of the early writers of this time are outstanding but the names of St. Demetrius Tuptalo (l65l-1709\ Stephan Yavorsky—Metropolitan of Rostov (1658-1722), and that of Theophan Prokovich—Archbishop of Novgorod (I68I-I736) are worthy of mention. The ages of Classicism and Romanticism which directly precede the Age of Realism may be dated from the early 18th Century—the time of the great scholar, Michael Vasilievich Lomonosov, who was born in 1711 and died in 1765. In Lomonosov lived the great desire to bring Russian literary and scientific achievements into line with those of the West. Unfortunately he did not live to see the birth of this school in Russian literary thought which was to surpass the trends the West had produced in its particular field. "The standards of the new literary prose were set up by Lomonosov and remained in force t i l l the advent of Karamzin. Lomonosov1s own practice was limited chiefly to the I D . S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, p. 26. 4 higher kinds—solemn eloquence and rehtorical history. Sumarkov in his periodicals was the first to cultivate the more everyday forms. The Age of Catharine was a great extension in the use of 2 prose, together with the spread of European and modern ideas." This Age of Catharine lasted between the years 1762-96—to the the 19th Century. Catharine also encourage the School of French letters known as Romanticism, which was noted for its affecta-tions and mannerism rather than directness or clarity of style. Outstanding authors of this Romantic period which preceded Realism include Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin,(1745-92), Pavel Alex-androvich Katenin (1792-1853), Baron Anton Antonovich Delvig (1784-l839)j and the great historian, Nickolay Mikhaylovich Karamzin (1766-1826). At the beginning of the 19th Century the Age of Realism suddenly comes into being with the realistic poetry and writing of the realistic novel by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837) and Michael Yurievich Lermontov (1814-41). "To most foreign readers it is the most interesting thing in the whole language. It is Russia's principal contribution to European literature, i f we take that term as denoting, not the sum total of the nationalities of Europe, but the international literature 3 belonging in an equal degree to a l l European mankind." 2 D. S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, p. 55. 3 Ibid.. p. 169. 5 2. THE GREAT KIEVAN HERITAGE In considering the history of the Great Russian group of the East Slavs, it is interesting to observe that the nucleus of their first kingdom started approximately in the year 862 A.D., when the Danish Prince, Rurik, of Jutland and Friesland, became their ruler. Some historians believe that the Eastern tribes, particularly the Rus-Swedish, who became independent of the Khazar domination in 825, asked Rurik to rule over them. There is the tradition that their land was large and rich, but lacked competent administrators and rulers. However, another viewpoint has been expressed and seems more reasonable in the light of history. That is, that the Norse Conquest of the ninth century was a planned and deliberate overthrowing of the East Slavonic tribes by Rurik; in the same way that the Norse had plundered the Slavonic lands along their famous trade route, "The Varangians to the Greeks", as early as the beginning of the fifth century. However these historical incidents are to be explained, the Kingdom of Rurik was definitely founded in the middle of the ninth century, and established first in the vicinity of Old Novgorod on Lake Ilmen and also in the vicinity of Lake Ladoga. The East Slavonic tribes, living in this section of the country, were pleased to pay tribute to Rurik after his conquest, and in time grew to look upon and revere his descendants as of their own princely lineage, until the collapse of the Kievan Kingdom; Kiev having been, made the official capital of the early Kingdom 6 under the Regency of Oleg, who ruled for Rurik*s son, Igor, from 873 to 912. The roots of realistic Russian writing may be found in the "Byliny" of the eigth and ninth century Rus—the folklore of the Kievan Kingdom, which held sway approximately during the years 862-1237* "The significance of the "byliny" in the history of Russian national culture is exceedingly great. In these ancient songs are very clearly and fully reflected the most diverse aspects of the historical and everyday life of the Russian people; they appear as wonderful landmarks of the original folk art. The "byliny" are striking in the wealth of their narrative subjects and motives; in the generalizing force and monumental char-acter of their artistic figures, which incarnate in themselves the heroic features of the Russian people, their dreams and hopes; in the perfection of poetic forms, which have been worked out by many generations of popular singers; in the richness and expressiveness of their folk language."4 Some of these tales are remarkable in their natural beauty and heroic simplicity centering around the brave defence of the early Slavonic warriors against their enemies, the remnants of the old Turkic Khazars, Iranian, Gothic Hunic, Teutonic and Norse peoples, who besieged them relentlessly on a l l sides. Among the best beloved of these early stories of prowess is the tale, Sadko, and those about the exploits of Prince Vladimir and the old Cossacks: 4 Academician Y. M. Sokolov, Russian Folklore. New York, Macmillan, 1950, p. 291. 7 "Vladimir, the sunshine of the city of Kiev Into the wide dining room he comes, His yellow curls thrown back, He himself spoke these words, Oh you, Suhmantee Odehmantevich Why do you of nothing boast, You don't eat, you don't drink, nor eat, The white swan you don't eat? Or the glass of wine to you has no taate, Or your place was it not according to birth, Or have the drunken men laughed you out?'1 "0 height, height that reaches up to heaven Depth, depth of the Ocean-sea, Wide expanse, throughout a l l the earth Deep s t i l l pools of the Dnieper."5 "The Cossacks slew no small number of the Tartars, And the Tartars were astonished at this, How strong the Russian people were, So that they, a l l together, could not overwhelm them; And they were shot ful l of tempered arrows, as in sheaves, But the Cossacks stand unharmed."« The softest rosy light enshrouds the heavens, as the sun sinks into the coral reefs. In the winter the snow shines, "white and glistering", as the shimmering minarets rise toward heaven. The lyes stands silent in its mantle of transparent ice and pure snow. The people portrayed in these tales of ancient heroism are the early Russian Orthodox Christians, known at that time as Greek Orthodox Christians. They are the Eastern group of a great people—the Slavs: 5 Academician Y. M. Sokolov, Russian Folklore. New York, Macmillan, 1950, "p. 302. 6 Ibid., p. 351. 8 "By the ninth century the eastern Slav tribes had settled and entrenched on a large territory: from the region of the lakes Ladoga and Onega in the north to the Dnepr and Dnestr provinces in the south, and from the Lithuanian and Polish borders in the east."7 The Slavonic land, even in ancient times, was vast— the "Vasty Russia", as spoken of by the great Russian poet, Pushkin, in the nineteenth century. Here in this favoured land were abundant stores of honey, red and blue wine-grapes, the finest wax, wheat, horses, cattle and sheep as well as broad forests rich in timber and minerals. The records of Slavonic tradition reveal the purpose of this people was not so rooted in aggressive conquest of other peoples as were the adventurers to the North. The staunch bronze helmets of their ancient warriors were not decorated with the traditional barbaric horns as were those of neighbouring peoples, and their unsheathed swords were more often used in self-defence than in blood-shedding conquest. The Mongol or Tatar Conquest (1237-1480), which took place at the beginning of the 13th Century, left no outstanding heritage of literary work—indeed the complete sacking and dis-ruption of the country by the Tatars did not produce an atmosphere conducive to literary effort and achievement, but rather completely wiped out whatever development there had been in that area: 7 Peter I. Lyashchenko, History of the National Economy of Russia, New York, MacMillan Co., 1949, p. 37. 9 "From Sarai, the khan of the Golden Horde ruled indirectly the Russian principalities, imposing upon them what has become known as the Tatar Yoke. Princes could assume rule in their principalities only with the consent of the khan, and each had to pay tribute and occasionally provide military recruits for the Tatar armies. To insure this control, the khan kept missions in the capitals of the principalities and, i f the princes showed any restiveness, sent expeditions to remind them through fire and sword of the folly of insubordina-tion. Otherwise he left the princes to their own device and offered no interference in the internal affairs of their principalities. 1 1 8 Apart from the folktale background just commented upon, "The Lay of Prince Igor"—whose author is unknown, and the ancient Chronicle are the most important written scripts that remain of the glorious old Kingdom. "The Lay of Prince Igor" relates the adventures of an obscure Prince, who lived near Kiev, in his combat with the Cuman Nomads about the year 1185. The only copies of this folk-epic to be preserved were taken from a man-uscript discovered during the reign of Empress Catharine II (1762-96). Unfortunately the original manuscript is said to have perished in the Moscow fire of 1812: "From tha tenth century to the invasion of the Tatars in the middle of the thirteenth, the political and cultural center of Russia was Kiev. The civilization of the period was dominated by two classes: the urban clergy and the military aristocracy. The former was largely recruited from the latter. The clergy, especially the higher monastic clergy, were the prin-cipal depositories of culture, and the art and literature of the time are mainly religious. The military class, headed by a numerous and warlike race of princes, submitted to the authority of the Church and were Christians in their moral ideals, but they retained heathen traditions and loved war, the chase, 8 Sidney Harcave, Russia A History. New York, J.B. Lippincott Co., 1953> P. 20. 10 and the pleasures of the table above a l l things. They produced the only real literary masterpiece of the period, the prose poem of "The Campaign of Igor"."9 The ancient Chronicle, also worthy of mention, is a Chronicle of the court and government affairs of the Kievan Kingdom, believed to have been compiled and written by Nestor, a monk, of the Crypt Monastery, about the year 1110: "The Primitive Chronicle begins with a geneology of the Slavs "from the generation of Japheth." This is followed by an account of the early history of the Slavs, of their divisions and manners, which is strangely "nineteenth century" in its Panslavist sentiment and its ethnographical . interest. Then follows the well-known story of the "invitation of the Varangians" to Novgorrod, which is curiously similar to that of Hengist and Horsa. The account of events of the later ninth and of the tenth centuries is based on a fairly solid chronological skeleton, but the strictly annalistic entries are very few. They are enlivened by numerous vivid and spirited traditional tales, which form the chief attraction of this part of the Chronicle. The earliest is entered under 882, and they continue as far as the early years of Yaroslav (1019-54). They are obviously founded on oral . tradition, but there is no ground to believe that this tradition was poetical." 1 0 The "Byliny" and other folklore, were handed down from one generation to another by word of mouth, until finally put into written form, as late as the eighteenth century. Since then in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there has been extensive study and research in this field. 9 D. S. Mirski, ft History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, p. 8. 16 Ibid., p. 11. 11 After the gradual decline of the Mongol rule in 1480, with the declaration of the independence of Moscow from the Tatars received by Czar Ivan III (1462-1505), there came into being a Muscovite Dynasty, whose princes are said to be descended from the famous Prince Alexander Nevsky, who died in 1263• Prince Alexander is remembered chiefly for his heroic defense of Novgorod against the Tuetons and the Lithuanians, and for his successful attempt in protecting the province of Suzdal, which had risen in rebellion against the Tatars. The hardships and exposures suffered on this last mission in the service of his Slavonic brethern, are said to have caused his death. "Under Tatar domination the proliferation of Russian principalities continued. Their number varied with the ups and downs of war, but there were usually a dozen or more of them, including Novgorod, Ryazan, Vladimir, Tver, Pereyaslavl, Starodub, and Seversk— al l vying with one another for power. The princes tended more and more to arrogate to themselves absolute political power within their realms, giving l itt le thought to their common cause—that of the Russian state. One bright exception was Prince Alexander Nevsky, of Novgorod, a man of outstanding statesmanship and military prowess, who in the middle of the thirteenth century halted the Swedes, German Knights, and Lithuanians, and frustrated their aggressive plans against the Russians."11 Al l during the 15th and 16th Centuries, through the reigns of Ivan the Terrible (1533-84), the Time of Trouble (1589-1613), and the beginning of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613, l i tt le was produced in the field of literature. These were times for the 11 Sidney Harcave, Russia A History, New York, J.B. Lippincott Co., 1953, P. 22. 12 moulding and growth of constitutional and ecclesiastical laws, and were also periods of military conquest. It was not until the reign of the eighth-. Romanov, Czar Paul (1796-1801), at the close of the 18th Century, that the man was born who was destined to become the greatest Russian poet of a l l times namely, Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. Pushkin also became one of the founders of the new trend in Russian thought which came to birth in the literature at the beginning of the 19th Century in the writings of Pushkin and also in those of the author, Lermontov (1814-41). This ideal continued in the writings of many of the great authors that followed. The meaning of Russian realism has been expressed by several renowned literary critics of the 19th and 20th Centuries, including Vissarion Belinsky and Prince Mirski. The latter 1s comments read as follows:-"The main influences that emancipated Russian realism from pure satire were Pushkin and Lermontov. They gave the example of an equal, level, human treatment of a l l humanity. The "philanthropic" attitude in its more sentimental forms did not much survive the forties, but its substances, and sympa-thetic attitude to human beings, without distinction of intrinsic moral significance, became a principal characteristic of Russian realism. People are not good or bad: they are only more or less unhappy and deserving of sympathy—this may be taken as the formula of a l l the Russian novelists from Turgenev to Chekov. This was what Europe accepted as their message to mankind when they were first revealed to the West. Another important and general characteristic of the Russian realistic novel is its artistic simplicity, a consistent effort to make its style as unobtrustive and as unstriking as possible. What they regarded as good prose was prose adequate to the thing described, prose that answered the reality it spoke of, transparent prose that should not be noticed by the reader. 13 Another obligation generally recognized by the realists was the duty of choosing their subject exclusively from contemporary or almost contemporary Russian l i fe . This was owing not only to their honest desire to speak of nothing but what they actually knew, hut also the social position of fiction in mid- and late-nineteenth-century Russia. The novelists were expected to react, sensitively and significantly, to the current life of the nation. Partly owing to the severity of the censorship of other branches of literature, fiction, from the forties onward, became an important and widely listened-to mouthpiece of social thinking, and the critics demanded that every time a novelist gave his work to the world, it should contain things worth meditating on and worth analyzing from the point of view of the social issues of the day. As a rule, the novelists took the obligation very seriously and never ignored i t , at least in their more ambitious work. This "social" (obschestvenny) or "civic" (grazhdansky) colouring is a general characteristic of the European novel of the mid-nineteenth century, but it is nowhere more apparent than in Russia." 1 2 Realism in Russian writing is most striking in its endeavor to reveal the truth about human life with a deeper understanding of its varied perplexities. The various classes had continued to accept their status quo without questioning. In the Russia of the 19th Century there were the following distinct classes:- 1. the landowners, which included the aristocracy, 2. the intelligentsia, 3. the merchant class, 4. the peasants, 5« the clergy, 6. the petite bourgeoisie, and 7» the proletariat. The trend of French romanticism in literature had been dominated by expressions of superficiality and affectation. These beliefs, no doubt, 12 D. S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, p. 170. 14 brought relief to the imaginations of the people, since except for the few wealthy members of the court, most of the people were bowed down with unbelievably heavy burdens, which enabled the French court to function with its favourites in its very costly fashion. The influence of this School of French thought also included the atheism and Godless philosophy of Voltaire and his associates, which made its bid at the court of Catharine, although she was supposed to be the defender of Russian Ortho-doxy. Catharine herself corresponded with Voltaire and other leading literary men of the time. In contrast Russian realism tried at some length to explain nature and people as they really were. Imagination, affectation and speculation were entirely discarded in a determined attempt to express truth simply and unadorned. This new Idealism in early 19th Century Russian authors so dominated their thought that it became their choice gift to literature, not only to their own people but also to the Western world. It stressed the ideal that there are both good and bad qualities to be found in a l l individuals of a l l classes of society. There has been no return in Russian writing to the romanticism or classicism which preceded realism. The realistic ideal continued .all through the 19th Century and into the 20th. Realistic writing came to its apex in Russian litera-ture in the works of Leo Tolstoi and Feodor Dostoievski. The Soviet writers even after the 1917 Revolution, although their works are usually painfully saturated with Marxist dogma, are -15 pursuing to some extent the spirit of realism. It is hoped that God may show them the way out of the Marxist dilemma, which certainly is not realism, into the light of an emancipated realism in both writing and government. This should by no means be unattainable, as the desire for truth is s t i l l to be found in the writings of many Soviet authors. 16 CHAPTER I REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF  ALEXANDER SERGEYEVICH PUSHKIN (1799-1837) 1. B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Pushkin 2. The Amazing Voice Raised i n 1817 3. Back to Romanticism i n "Ruslan and Lyudmila" 4. Pushkin's Writing of the Period (1822-28), i n Which His R e a l i s t i c Idealism Comes to Flower 5. Pushkin's Writing of the Period (I828-36), i n Which Realism Has Become a Dominant Factor 6. The Lasting E f f e c t of the Great R e a l i s t i c Poet 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF PUSHKIN "Not wholly shall I die—hut in the lyre my spirit Shall, incorruptible and bodiless, survive— And I shall know renown as long as under heaven One poet yet remains alive." —Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin "Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was born in Moscow, May 26, 1799. His father's family was one of the oldest of the Russian gentry. His mother, nee Gannibal, was the grandaughter of "Peter the Great's Nigger"— more exactly Abyssinian—Engineer General, Abraham Gannibal. The poet was always prod both of his "six-hundred-year-old nobility" and of his African blood. His childhood and early boyhood were spent at home in a French eighteenth-century atmospher of frivolous and superficial culture. There was no mutual affection between son and parents. In 1811 Pushkin went to school at the Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo (founded that year). The Lyceum became more of a home to him than his family, and his schoolfellows always commanded the warmest and most permanent of his affections. While s t i l l at the Lyceum, Pushkin began writing verses. In 1814 his first poems appeared in the "Messenger of Europe", and before he left the Lyceum he was a member of the Arzamas, and was regarded as a rival , almost an equal by Zhukovsky and Batyushkov. In 1817, on complet-ing his studies, he became a clerk in the Foreign Office, but the appointment was merely nominal and he did no office work. He lived in St. Petersburg, mixing with the most advanced, brilliant, and dissipated of his contemporaries. All the time he was working at a "romantic epic" in six cantos, "Ruslan and Lyudmila", which appeared in the spring of 1820, taking by storm the young generation and being violently censured by the old. Zhukovsky, on reading the manuscript, gave Pushkin his portrait with the inscription "To a victor-ious pupil from a defeated master." But before its publication some of Pushkin's revolutionary epigrams had reached the knowledge of Alexander I, and the poet was ordered to leave Petersburg. He was trans-ferred to a government office in Ekaterinbslav. Almost immediately on arriving there he fe l l i l l and was taken to the Caucasus by General Rayevsky, a famous soldier of 1812, with whose sons he contracted a lasting friend-ship and for whose daughters he held a fervent admira-tion. From the end of 1820 to 1823 Pushkin served in Kishinev, doing very l itt le official work, and having sufficient freedom to pass much of his time at Kamenka, 18 an estate in the Province of Kiev that was one of the principal centers of the Revoluntionary movement. But he worked more seriously than in Petersburg. He wrote "The Captive of the Caucasus"—which appeared in 1822 and had an even greater success than "Ruslan and Lyudmila". In 1828 he was transferred to Odessa. He was delighted to breathe the freer and more European air of a big seaport, but his life became even more irregular. In August 1824 he was suddenly expelled from the Civil Service and ordered to live permanently on his mother's estate of Mikhaylovskoye in the Province of Pskov. The years spent at Mikhay-lovskoye were particularly productive. Pushkin's forced seclusion at Mikhaylovskoye prevented him from taking part in the December Revolt of 1825. His connections with the rebels were obvious, but the new Emperor overlooked them, and, by a master stroke of clever policy, summoned the poet to Moscow (Sept. 1826), granted him a complete pardon, and promised to be his special protector and patron. In 1829 Pushkin fel l in love with Nathalie Goncharova, a young girl of sixteen, a dazzling beauty, but frivolous and insignificant. He proposed but was rejected. Under the influence of this check he suddenly went off to the Caucasus, where a war was going on with Turkey, but was severly rebuked for doing so by his "protectors". In the spring of 1830 he again proposed to Nathalie and was this time accepted. His own financial affairs were far from brilliant—he got handsome sums for his books, but this was a precarious and Irregular income, a l l the . more so because Nicholas' censorship often held them up. The autumn before his marriage Pushkin spent in the country, at Boldino, and these two months were the most marvelously productive in his l ife. He was married in February 1831. His marriage was, at first, exter-nally happy. But there was no real sympathy between the pair. Nathalie's beauty made her an immense success in Petersburg, in town and at court. It was to be able to invite her to court balls that Nicholas in 1834 made Pushkin a "gentleman of the chamber", an honor deeply resented by the poet. No longer the leader of an advanced school, Pushkin was now the head of the "liter-ary aristocracy". He felt that he was suffocating in a society where a mere poet, in spite of his "six-hundred-year-old nobility", was looked down upon by the great courtiers descended from the favourites of eighteenth-century empresses, and was l itt le more than his wife's husband. He tried to free himself from the noctious and deteriorating atmosphere, but was given to under-stand that i f he left town it would be in disgrace. At 19 last came the tragic end. His jealousy was exasper-ated by the attention paid to Nathalie by Baron Georges D'Anthes, a French Royalist in the Russian service. The duel was fought on January 27, 1837 • Pushkin was mortally wounded, and died on the 29th. For fear of public demonstrations of sympathy his coffin was hurried away in the night from Petersburg to the monastery near Mikhaylovskoye, which he had chosen for his burial place."13 13 D.S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 80 and 81. 20 2. THE AMAZING VOICE OF 1817 It is an astounding fact that one of Pushkin's great-est realistic poems in the cause of freedom and liberty, was written when he was but eighteen years of age, and just leaving the Tsarskoye Selo school. This poem and one written at the same period, "The Village", which is a plea against serfdom, caused Czar Alexander I to exile him to the Caucasus in 1820. These poems were first circulated privately among the poet's closest friends and sympathizers. Although Alexander I was somewhat of a mystic, he very much resented the sentiments Pushkin expressed in his "Ode to Liberty" and "The Village". The Russians were bound at this time not by the Khazars, Mongols, or Norsemen, but by tyrants of their own regime, to Czars, who neither understood individual freedom, nor sympathized with individual expression. In "Ode to Liberty", envisioning the eventual downfall of Czardom, which took place exactly one hundred years later, Pushkin charges: "Tremble, ye tyrants of the earthl Fate's random minions, heed and cower'. Awake, ye bondsmen of their powerI Rise up, I say, and show your worth! Looking around I ever face Whips upon whips and fetters groaning, Laws' peril in a world*s disgrace, And helpless slaves for ever moaning; Arrayed on every hand I mark Dense superstition, fatal craving For fame, and genius for enslaving, And unjust power thunder-dark. Where a sure stronghold doth surround There only o'er the rulers crowned Drones not the people's dire complaining. 21 It is the law that doth instal Your rulers in your kingly station: You stand aloof above the nations, But Law stands high above you a l l . And woe, and woe to every race Where Law shall lurk neglectful, dozing, Where King or People shall outface Her equity, o'er justice glozing. Hark to the Truth, ye Tsars and Kings I Neither rewards, nor prosecutions, Nor prisons' glooms, nor altars1 wings Can shield you, safe from revolutionsI Come first, abase with bended knees Your heads 'neath Law's protective entry— And at your thrones shall stand as sentry The nations' liberty and peacel" These are among the first lines uttered by a European poet on the subject of freedom. It is regrettable that the Czar did not heed their wise counsel; giving freedom and justice to the serfs and passing other amnestic laws to relieve the sufferings of the people. Instead he resented their sentiments, and banished Pushkin to the south of Russia: "His venemous compositions were passed around among a l l the young people in the capital and became so popular that it was not long before every political epigram in any way improper was automatically attri-buted to him. "Anything imprudent, any disgusting pamphlet is immediately attributed to me." Pushkin wrote. And Pustshin^ in turn noted "At the time people were secretly passing around, copying and reciting his poems, "The Village", "Ode to Freedom", "Hurrah, into Russia Gallops", and other l itt le things in the same vein. There wasn't a soul who didn ft know his verses by heart. 14 Translation of Mme. N. Jarintzov, Russian Poets and Poems. Oxford, 1917, PP. 109-110. # Pustshin—a schoolfellow of Pushkin's with a similar name. 22 The three revolutionary poems Pustshin mentioned are worthy of special consideration; for, beginning with the "Ode to Freedom", dated 1817, and ending with "The Village", written in 1819, we have what amounts to Pushkin's testament of liberalism for this first period. Veigel tells us in his "Memoirs" that the "Ode to Freedom" was written in the Turgenev# brothers* house, which was just opposite the sinister Michael Palace where Paul I had been murdered. In his other poem, "The Village", Pushkin was even more outspoken and did not hesitate to stigmatize the institution of serfdom and cruelty of the landowners. These few "forbidden" poems give us a good idea of what Pushkin's liberalism was like. At the age of twenty Pushkin was the favourite poet of his readers, the literary idol of his country."15 15 Henri Troyat, Pushkin. A Biography, tr. Randolph T. Weaver, New York, Pantheon, 1950, pp. 115, 116, 117. # Not the family of the 19th Century author of the same name. 23 ^. BACK TO ROMANTICISM IN "RUSL&N AND LYUDMILA" The first poem to bring Pushkin public recognition was his romantic epic "Ruslan and Lyudmila", written in 1820: "In itself this playful tale of a princess snatched away from the bridal chamber by a magic-ian and eventually by a knight, was a puerile performance, put its appearance was something of an event."1" Avrahm Yarmolinsky says in his introduction to "The Poems, Prose, and Plays of Pushkin". In this gay romantic sketch the first glimpse is seen of Pushkin's early genius, and for the first time, the general public became aware of his potential greatness. However, this poem savors of romanticism not real-ism. In it the influence of his upbringing in the school of French romanticism dominates the scene. It is said that at the time of the writing of this poem the philosophy of Voltaire influenced the poet's thinking. The story is charmingly told, and is an excellent subject for the ballet stage. But there is no voice realistic-ally raised in the interest of the needs of his countrymen, or those banished to the Siberian wastes. Based on a fairy-tale of folklore, it does not in any way contribute to realistic historical data. However, i t is of interest to the scholar of Russian writing, because through it he obtains his first view of Pushkin in the setting in which he was educated. He then 16 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. New York, Random House Inc., 1936, pp. 16,17. 24 emerges from this influence, and the spirit of realism suddenly comes to flower in his poem, "The Lay of the Wise Oleg" (1822). Pushkin's early manifestation of genius has been ably commented upon by Isabel Hapgood: "Karamzin the historian, and Zhukovsky the poet, also divined the lad's wonderful gifts and the latter soon began to submit his poems to Pushkin for the judgment of the boy's wonderfully developed taste. The admiration of the great literary lights at last convinced his parents that dissatisfaction with his school reports as to diligence and the acquisition of general knowledge must be set aside for pride in his future greatness. The important points about his poetry at this epoch were the marvelous variety of subject and the astonishing delicacy with which he had entered a new path: he had begun to write his romantic, fantastic poem, "Ruslan and Lidmila" in which, for the first time in history, Russian poetry dealt with strictly national themes on native soil , expressed in free natural, narrative styles, which was utterly opposed to the prevailing rhetorical school, both in irregularity of movement and diver-sions from the theme. This no doubt was the fruit of his child's fondness for popular tales, which his maternal grandmother had told him, and the startled critics were at a loss what to say when it was pub-lished later on in 1820."17 Henri Troyat another biographer of Pushkin also remarks at the time of Pushkin's graduation from the Tsarskoe Selo School in 1817: "The text of his diploma read as follows: This is to certify that Alexander Pushkin, a student of the Imperial School of Tsarskoe Selo, has completed six years of study in this institu-tion, and that he achieved the following grades: In Religious Instruction, Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy, Natural Law, Russian Criminal and Civi l Law: good. 17 Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature—Comment by Isabel Hapgood, pp. 11904-11924 (on Pushkin) 25 In Latin Literature, Political Economy, Finan-cial Law: very good. In Russian and French Literature as well as Fencing: excellent. He has, furthermore, studied History, Geography, Statistics, Mathematics and German. In witness whereof the Faculty of the Imperial School of Tsarskoe Selo has awarded the present diploma with the seal attached. Tsarskoe Selo, June 9, 1817* Igor Engelhardt, Director. Alexander Kunitiszin, Secretary of the School Faculty." But this diploma, which for so many of the boys had been their sole ambition and reason for studying, for Pushkin was only a scrap of paper. The administrative career which was open to him did not interest him at a l l . The only diploma he cared about was a notebook in which he had, with the help of his school mates, copied, in March, 1817, thirty-six of his best poems. On the cover of the collection was written: Poems by Alexander Pushkin: 1817 Pushkin had been very careful in the selection he made. The poems written during his school years numbered more than one hundred and twenty. Most of them were published only after his death. As a matter of fact, when a publisher included them for the first time in Pushkin's complete works, certain critics protested. They claimed that it was doing the poet's memory a disservice to make public these early efforts which were so childish that Pushkin himself had discarded them. It was maintained that by incorporating them in the edition, the publishers were trying to make an additional commercial profit for themselves, to the detriment of Pushkin's reputa-tion. The Russian essayist Belinsky disagreed. "These schoolboy poems of Pushkin's are important, not only because they show, as compared to his subsequent work, how rapidly his poetic genius developed and matured, but also, and especially, because they establish the historical connection between Pushkin and the poets who preceded him."1" 18 Henri Troyat, Pushkin. A Biography, tr . Randolph T. Weaver, New York, Pantheon, 1950, pp. 84, 85. 26 4. PUSHKIN'S WRITINGS OF THE PERIOD (1822-1828).  IN WHICH HIS REALISTIC IDEALISM COMES TO FLOWER Pushkin's realism is reflected in his descriptions of the glories of the Old Kievan Kingdom, narrated in his unusual poem, "The Lay of the Wise Oleg" (1822). The opening lines of this remarkable work are reminiscent of the ancient conquest of the early Slavs over the Khazars, who s t i l l besieged the early Slavonic Kingdom and ravaged its people. This poem delves into more remote times, before the 10th Century, and mention is made of the god, Perun, who was one of the chief gods of pre-Christian Slavic mythology. The character of the old sorcerer, Murmoh, in this poem illustrates these backward glances into the pre-Christian Slavic era. However the luminous rays of glory in the poem are shed on Oleg, who as regent for the tender Prince Igor, after the death of Rurik, founded Kiev as the capital of the early Slavonic Kingdom around the year 880. The kingdom gradually expanded until, by the time of Oleg's death (912), it constituted most of the prominent cities and wealthy principalities of the surrounding country-side. The romance of this age of Slavonic chivalry breathes with almost unbelievable realism through Pushkin's poetic lines in this poem, as he speaks in the fifth verse of, "the foe viewing with envy the great destiny" of the Kievan Kingdom, as it expanded on a l l sides toward the Volga, Caspian and Black Seas and enfolded the Ural Mountains. 27 The poem progresses as Oleg, known as "The Wise" because of his deeds of prowess and just counseling, meets old Murmon, the sorcerer, who informs him that his death wound shall come at length from none other than his brave battle steed: "Remember now firmly the words of my tongue: The warrior delighteth in glory; On the gate of Byzantium thy buckler is hung, Thy conquests are famous in story; Thou holdest dominion o'er land and o'er sea, And the foe views with envy thy great destiny: Not the rage of the deep with its treacherous wave, At the stroke of the hurricane-hour— Not the knife of the coward, the sword of the brave, To undo thee shall ever have power: Within thy strong harness no wound shalt thou know, A guardian attends thee wher'er thou dost go. Thy steed fears not labor, nor danger, nor pain, His lord's lightest accent he heareth, Now s t i l l , though the arrows fal l round him like rain, Across the red field he careereth; He fears not the winter, he fears not to bleed— Yet thy death-wound shall come from thy good battle-steed'."^ Oleg does not wish to heed this counsel, but because of his super stitious dread of the wizard's words, he at once dismounts and immediately unharnesses his beloved charger, leaving him forever 1 •• Years later he finds the bones of his steed, windswept and dry, a l l lying in a heap. He curses the dotage of the one supposed to be endowed with supernatural powers. But fate strikes I Just 19 Avrahm Yarmolinsky. The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin, tr . Thomas B. Shaw, New York, Random House Inc., 1936, pp. 55,56. 28 as Oleg turns away, there darts from the skeleton of his horse a dread black snake, which entwines his leg. He dies almost instantly from the poisonous bite, falling back on the bleached bones of his beloved but forgotten charger. The prophesy of the old sorcerer had come truel The scene in the poem then shifts, as the reader envisions Igor and Olga "Weeping o'er the mound" of him who had so faithfully guided their kingdom. Now, without his blessing or wise counsel, they must continue either to greater glories, or to bitter defeats: "The mead-cups are foaming, they circle around; At Oleg's mighty death-feast they're ringing; Prince Igor and Olga they sit on the mound; The warriors the death-song are singing: And they talk of old times, of the days of their pride, And the frays where together they struck side by side."2° A fine example of Pushkin's nobler sentiments is ex-pressed in his "Message to Siberia", written in 1827 after his pardon and subsequent return to the court of Nicholasl. He returned to the court in this year, but his heart was s t i l l with the Revolutionaries, especially those banished to Siberia in 1825, after the December Revolt, with which Pushkin was in sympathy. His heart s t i l l bled for the prisoners condemned to Siberia, where unfortunately hundreds of lesser political offenders, some for very slight offenses, were banished. It is hoped that the message of this poem may yet come true. Let us envision the people of Russia, with their "infinite kindness" living in their beauteous country free from bondage of any kind. Theirs is a 20 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. New York, Random House Inc., 1936, p. 58 29 bounteous land, which can easily support a l l of its people graciously. Pushkin's message to Siberia reads as follows: HocJiaHHe B C n 6 H p b . Bo rjtydHHe C H O H P C K H X py« XpaHHTe ropXsoe x e p n e H b e : He n p o n a s e x B&HL CKOP<3HHH T p y « H Ryu BHGOKoe GTpeMJieHbe. HecHacTbio BepHaa c e e T p a , Ha^exfla B MpaHHOM noAseueJ ibe n.po<5yflHT 6 o A p o c T b H BeceJibe IIpHfleT xeJiaHHaa nopa: JfoCoBb H apyscecTBO flo B a c flo2ffyT CXBOSb MpaHHHe 3aTBOpH, K a K B BaiUH KaTOpXHHfl HOpH JHoXOflHT MOfi CBOdOAHHS T J i a C . O K O B H TaacKHe naayT TeMHHipi p y x H y T , - H eBodof la Bac npHMeT pa/ tocTHO y B x o f l a , H O p a T b a M O M B a i l OTflaflyr. Message to Siberia "Deep in the Siberian mine, Keep your patience proud; The bitter toi l shall not be lost, The rebel thought unbowed. The sister of misfortune, Hope, In the under-darkness dumb Speaks joyful courage to your heart: The day desired will come. And love and friendship pour to you Across the darkened doors, Even as round your galley-beds My free music pours The heavy-hanging chains will f a l l , The walls will crumble at a word: And Freedom greet you in the light, And brothers give you back the sword."21 21 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin, tr . Max Eastman, New York, Random House Inc., 193©j PP« 23, 63* 30 The descriptive poem, "Poltava" (1828) sweeps the reader into the age of the Romanov Czar, Peter the Great (1689-1725)• Here, Peter himself gallantly leads his troops against the Swedish Charles XII, who previously in the year 1708 had conquered Denmark, Ingria, Narva and Grodno almost at a single blow. Now he went with his battalions to destroy and subdue the Russian Kingdom. This poem, no doubt, was inspired by the story that Peter the Great, at the time of this decisive battle, is said to have charged his soldiers not to think of his personal welfare, but only of the welfare of the Russian State, .Although in many respects Peter was a tyrant and deprived his people of constitutional and ecclesiastical rights, he was, nevertheless, brave in battle, and would gladly have given his life to save the Russian people and their lands. An interesting comment on the characters of Pushkin and Peter the Great by Janko Lavrin reads as follows: "If Peter I "annexed" Russia to Europe and at the same time turned her into a Great Power, Alexander Sergeyvich Pushkin (1799-1837) achieved, just over a century later, something similar with regard to Russian literature and, for that matter, Russian culture in general. There was in fact a certain affinity between these two geniuses. Pushkin, like Peter the Great typi-fied the belated Renaissnance spirit in Russia, while trying to make up—by a short cut, as it were—for her lost opportunities in the past. They resembled each other in their broadness, their assimilative power, their intuitive awareness of the "Zeitgeist", as well as in their Russian character; for their cosmopolitan sympathies did not in the least interfere with what was essentially Russian in both. No wonder Pushkin felt curiously drawn toward a monarch whose work he admired precisely because he understood it in a l l its implica-tions. "Peter was undoubtedly a revolutionary by God's 31 grace," he wrote in I836. "The tremendous revolu-tion achieved by his autocratic power abolished the old system of l i fe, and European influences spread a l l over Russia. Russia entered Europe like a launched ship, accompanied by the noise of axes and firing guns . . . . As the executioner of an era which no longer corresponded to the nation's needs, the Tsar brought us culture and enlightenment, which in the end must bring us free-dom also. Pushkin could not but side with Peter the revolutionary, and for good reasons. As a member of that section of the gentry which was not on good terms either with the Court aristocracy or with the higher bureaucracy, he ( like so many other younger members of his class) adhered to the advanced bourgeois-liberal opinions of his period, and therefore wanted to see Peter's work carried to its logical end. Peter, who in so drastic a manner set the whole of his country before the problem of Europe and Russia, also bequeathed to the younger generations the task of solving i t . And there were only three ways in which it could be tackled. The first was Russia as a docile imitation of Europe. Russia asserting her own individuality against the encroaching Europe was the second. And the third was the prospect of an organic synthesis between the two. Each of these trends seems to have been tried out by Russia at some time or other in the course of her recent history. Hence her vagaries, experiments and contradictions, which are by no means over. Yet in Russian culture, at any rate, one can distinguish the third trend in the making. Russian music, for instance, represents a successful blend-ing of European methods and traditions with Russian material and an essentially Russian spirit. The same applies to modern Russian literature, the prod-igious growth of which, during the last hundred years or so, has been to a large extent a continuation and at the same time a completion of the possibilities inaugurated by Pushkin's work."22 The great epic poem, "Poltava", describes with penetrat ing realism the great battle of the same name, in which Peter was 22 Janko Lavrin, Pushkin and Russian Literature. London, Hodder & Stoughton, (for the English University Press), 1947, PP. 17, 18, 19. 32 victorious over the Swedes in 1709. In Canto III the reader finds: "The East is bright with dawn From field and h i l l the cannon roars."23 The battle is a hard one, Peter is apprehensive because of the former victories of the Swedes. At length his voice rings out clearly and resolutely, "Now, with God's help, to work!" The troops and Cossacks a l l surge forward to a sure and glorious victory. The day is wonI The battle o'er! "Now, with God's help, to work!" And here, His favourites about him surging, Comes Peter from the tent. His eyes Dart fire, his face commands surrender. His steps are swift. The tempest's splendor Alone with Peter's splendor vies. He goes. They bring his charger, panting; High-strung, yet ready to obey, He scents the fire of the fray And quivers. Now with eyeballs slanting, Into the dust of war he fares, Proud of the rider that he bears. Noon nears. The blazing heat bores deeper. The battle rests—a tired reaper. The cossacks steeds, paraded, shine. The regiments fal l into line. No martial music is redounding, And from the hills the hungry roar Of the calmed cannon breaks no more. And lo! across the plain resounding, A deep "Hurrah!" rolls from afar: The regiments have seen the Czar." 2 4 23 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. New York, Random House Inc., 1936, p. 93. 2 4 Ibid.. translation by Babette Deutsch, p. 94 33 This great historical poem ends with these beautiful lines of victory and exultation. The spirit of realism embodied therein reflects a l l the might and consequence of this illustrious battle, which is one of the best known and most decisive in Russian history. Czar Peter's victory is again re-lived in heroic verse. 34 5. PUSHKIN'S WRITINGS OF THE PERIOD (1828-1836), IN WHICH REALISM HAS BECOME A DOMINANT FACTOR The well-known poem, "The Bronze Horseman" (1833)> although supposed to be founded on an incident that occurred over a hundred years after the death of Peter, nevertheless, is woven around the bronze statue of this famous Czar. A statue that s t i l l stands in the Senate Square of St. Petersburg, now Leningrad, the city on the Finnish marshes founded by Peter I as St. Petersburg in 1703« "I love thee, city of Peter's making; I love thy harmonies austere, And Neva's sovran waters breaking Along her banks of granite sheer; Thy traceried iron gates; thy sparkling, Yet moonless, meditative gloom, And thy transparent twilight darkling; And when I write within my room Or lampless, read—then, sunk in slumber, The empty thoroughfares, past number, Are piled, stand clear upon the night; The Admiralty spire is bright; Nor may the darkness mount, to smother The golden cloudland of the light, For soon one dawn succeeds another With barely half-an-hour of night."2? St. Petersburg and Moscow subsequently became the greatest cul-tural and artistic centers of 18th and 19th Century Russia. The poem, "The Bronze Horseman" is woven about the incident of the cruel fate of the young man, Evgeny, who in the year 1833 "as driven mad by seeing the home of the girl he loved, swept away by the flood. The plot of this work is not so satisfying to 25 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. tr . Oliver Elton, New York, Random House Inc., 1936, pp. 9 6 , 9 7 . 35 the reader as is its heroic setting around the famous statue of the old Czar. The reader is more intrigued by Peter and his brave exploits for the Russian land than by the plight of the unfortunate lover. Through a l l these scenes, could the eyes of Peter s t i l l be watching from his horse of bronze? ""I believe,11 Pushkin once remarked to Mine. Smirnova, "that the dead influence the thoughts of the l iving." 2 6 If such could be, then the ending of this poem might have been perceived better in the light of realism. Peter lost some battles, but more often than not he won them. His courage never failed, which is the chief reason for his great triumph as a military leader. In this poem, the reader feels that his spirit almost envelopes the beautiful statue. Peter had courage, strength and boundless energy. Had the Czar been alive at the time of the incident of this sad poem, and heard of the tragedy of Evgeny, there breathes through the poem, the feeling that he might have taken an interest in the unlucky youth. However, in his demented condition Evgeny imagines, as he rushes out into the stormy flood-ridden night, that the statue of Peter has taken after himl "For now he seemed to see The awful Emperor, quietly, With momentary anger, quietly, His visage to Yevgeny turning I And rushing through the empty square, He hears behind him as it were Thunders that rattle in a chorus, A gallop ponerous, sonorous, That shakes the pavement. At full height, 26 Henri Troyat, Pushkin, A Biography, New York, Pantheon, 1950, p. 372. 36 Illumined by the pale moonlight, With arm outflung, behind him riding See, the bronze horseman comes, bestriding The charger, clanging in his flight. Al l night the madman flees; no matter Where he may wander at his will , Hard on his track with heavy clatter There the bronze horseman gallops s t i l l . u 2 7 The result, of this strange hallucination of Evgeny's, leads to his tragic death in the seething waters. This part of the poem does not savor of the spirit of realism. Instead Peter's hover-ing spirit could have made an attempt to rescue the unfortunate youth, just as he rescued the Russian people at Poltava, and as he is reputed to have tried to rescue a. boat single handed, the result of which caused his premature death in 1725* On consider-ation, however, the poet may be alluding to another facet of Peter!s character, which led him to condemn the Czarevich to a terrible death in 1718, on the grounds of religious differences. There was a merciless side to the character of Peter, for even though he often showed great benevolence toward his subjects, he also exhibited much cruelty. However it seems more likely, in the light of history, that had Peter's spirit really hovered near his statue on that dreadful night portrayed in Pushkin's poem, he might have seized Evgeny with a resolute bronze arm and have drawn him to his sculptured self, quieting and restoring his wrecked mentality. Never under any circumstances can one imagine Peter chasing his demented subject through the town, into the 27 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. New York, Random House Inc., 1936, p. 108. 37 dark and turbulent water. This was not Peter. The beautiful poem built around the heroic statue of bronze, ends on an un-realistic note. However Pushkin has not meant this to be so. In contemplation of the hard and merciless side of Peter's char-acter, he has come to the conclusion that Peter could have nour-ished a feeling of cold contempt toward Evgeny's romantic love and resulting dementia. Thus in the spirit of realism Pushkin portrayed the tragic ending. In the poems, "The Prophet" (1826), and "Pure Men and Women Too" (I836), Pushkin tried to grasp at long last the true meaning of God. He implies that he realized that he was not fundamentally a spiritual man. But he tried in the year 1832, from notes which have been found in his letters, to study and put into practice some of the precepts contained in the Holy Scriptures. "The Prophet" although written at an earlier period than "Pure Men and Women Too" reflects in great measure Pushkin's spiritual musings. It was inspired by his reading of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah—Chapter six—verses five to seven: "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 39 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."28 In the poem Pushkin makes a somewhat feeble attempt, to catch the vision of the greatly mystical prophet Isaiah, when he envisioned the Great God, Himself, in the Holy Temple. Instead of Isaiah*s experience in the realm of the Spirit, where a coal of living fire seemed to be pressed to the great prophet's lips for puri-fication, Pushkin feels instead his tongue with "the evil things and vain it babbled", being drawn out by the roots, and being replaced by the "wise" serpent's tongue. This last act is not convincing in the light of Biblical teaching, for in the fateful garden, the serpent spoke worldly wisdom, not the Wisdom of God. Pushkin's idea is obscure. He then imagines his heart—stony, cold, lifeless, Pagan, being plucked out by the winged seraph, and being replaced by a coal of living fire, or perhaps he means a heart of flesh as the scriptures give reference to (Ezekiel 36:26): "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."2? In his vision he then falls lifeless upon the wastes, a clod, until he is at length strengthened through God's voice: 28 King James Version of the Bible, The Book of the Prophet  Isaiah. Chapter 6:5-7, p. 875« 29 Ibid..(The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel), Chapter 36:26, p. 102o"I 40 "And from my mouth the seraph wrung Forth by its roots my sinful tongue; The evil things and vain it babbled His hand drew forth and so effaced, And the wise serpent's tongue he placed Between my lips with hand blood-dabbed; And with a sword he clove my breast, Plucked out the heart he made beat higher, And in my stricken bosom pressed Instead a coal of living fire. Upon the wastes, a lifeless clod, I lay, and heard the voice of God: "Arise, oh, prophet, watch and hearken, And with my Will thy sould engird, Roam the gray seas, the roads that darken, And burn men's hearts with this, my Word. r«30 The following beautiful poem written ten years after "The Prophet" is also worthy of consideration particularly to the reader inter-ested in poetry in which a spiritual theme prevails: Pure Men,^  and Women Too "Pure men, and women too, a l l of the world unspotted, That they might reach the heights to holy saints allotted, That they might fortify the heart against life's stress, Composed such prayers as s t i l l comfort us and bless. But none has ever stirred in me such deep devotions; As that the priest recites at Lententide devotions; The words which mark for us that saddest season rise Most often to my lips, and in that prayer lies Support ineffable when I, a sinner, hear i t : "Thou, Lord of a l l my l i fe , avert Thou from my spirit Both idle melancholy and ambition's sting, That hidden snake, and joy in foolish gossiping. But let me see, 0 God, my sins, and make confession, So that my brother be not damned by my transgression, And quicken Thou in me the breath and being of Both fortitude and meekness, chastity and love."31 30 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin. New York, Random House Inc., 1936, p. 61. 31 Ibid., p.86. 41 At length Pushkin in fancy rears unto himself a mon-ument, not of stone, but in memory of his immortal genius in his poem, "Unto Myself I Reared a Monument" (1835). As the court favourite, at the height of his fame, Pushkin makes this rather bold comment about his own great talent: Unto Myself I Reared a Monument "Exegi monumenturn Unto myself I reared a monument not builded By hands; a track thereto the people's feet will tread; Not Alexander's shaft is loft as my pillar That proudly lifts its splendid head. Ntot wholly shall I die—but in the lyre my spirit Shall, incorruptible and bodiless, survive— And I shall know renown as long as under heaven One poet yet remains alive. The rumor of my fame will sweep through vasty Russia, And a l l its peoples speak this name, whose light shall reign Alike for haughty Slav, and Finn, and savage Tungus, And Kalmuck riders of the plain. I shall be loved, and long the people will remember The kindly thoughts I stirred—my music's brightest crown, How in this cruel age I celebrated freedom, And begged for ruth toward those cast down. Oh, Muse, as ever, now obey your God's commandments, Of insult unafraid, to praise and slander cool, Demanding no reward, sing on, but in your wisdom Be silent when you meet a fool."32 So far this prophesy has come true. In Soviet Russia, even under the iron-hand of Communist dictatorships, Pushkin's name has been and is venerated; his immortal verse is read, and he is s t i l l the best-loved of Russian poets. 32 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin, tr . Babette Deutsch, New York, Random House Inc., 1936, p. 88. 42 Several of Pushkin's long narrative poems have been set to music, among the best known is the "Golden Cockerel" (1835) which is about the exploits of the great Czar Dadon. This work has been set to music by Rimsky-Korsakoff, and includes the popular and expressive, "Hymn to the Sun"; "The Tale of the Czar Sultan"; and the well-known melancholy novel in verse, "Evgeny Onegin", written at Odessa (1823-31) has been made into an opera by the composer Tchaikovsky. Pushkin was the first Russian to write a full-length historical.play in the spirit of realism. This play, centering around the life of the Tatar Czar, Boris Godunov, is told most realistically and keeps well to historical data. It falls short of Shakespeare's genius in the field of the historical drama, but it is entertaining, and will appeal especially to those who appreciate Slavonic literature, because its Eastern Slavonic atmo-sphere is maintained throughout: "This drama is not only of the greatest interest in itself, and as an absolute novelty,-- the foundation of a style in Russian dramatic writing, but also as showing the genesis of Count Alexei K. Tolstoy's famous "Dramatic Trilology" from the same historical epoch written forty years later."33 Four other l i tt le dramas which Pushkin wrote, "Mozart and Salieri", "The Stone Guest", "The Feast During the Plague", and "The Coveteous Knight" are hardly worthy of mention. His genius did not manifest itself in these rather futile attempts to write for the theatre. 33 Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature—Comment by Isabel Hapgood, pp. 11904-11924 Con Pushkin). 43 Pushkin's desire to write the short prose-story was also not overly successful. These writings have been collected into a group of stories known as "The Tales of Belkin" (I83O), but can hardly be classed as a collection of first-rate short stories. None of the genius of the colorful author, Lermontov, is displayed 'in Pushkin's l itt le stories. Although they are well-written, the reader feels the author is straining himself somewhat unsuccessfully to give insight into a thrilling ad-venture tale, with a surprise ending, which in many incidents is neither convincing nor satisfying. "The Postmaster" is perhaps the best written of the group including:- "The Shot", "The Snowstorm", "The Undertaker", "Mistress into Maid", and "The Postmaster". Many critics highly praise "The Queen of Spades" written in 1833» hut its climax does not demonstrate the new realism effectively. "The Captain's Daughter", describ-ing times during the Pugachev Rebellions of 1774 and 75, illustrates the trend of realism in a better light. Pushkin's more lengthy prose works, "The Negro of Peter the Great" (1827) about his maternal great-grand-father; "Dubrovsky" (1832-33), and "Egyptian Nights" (1835), show considerable workmanship. Had Pushkin lived longer, he might also have become a great master of prose, but his God-given genius and the fire of his talent is to be found in his immortal poetry. 44 6. THE LASTING EFFECT OF THE GREAT REALISTIC POET Pushkin must forever he remembered as one of the founders of the School of Realism in Russian literature. Before this new trend of thought, Russian writers had followed the School of Romanticism, which directly preceded i t , and did not stress the importance of portraying scenes and people from life as they really were. Reasonable and psychological conclusions for thoughts and actions had not been considered. The mask of this school fel l off with the dawn of the Realistic Russian School, inaugurated by Pushkin and Lermontov. Pushkin, at times put back his mask and lapsed into the old forms of his super-ficial upbringing. However the mask was never securely placed again over the face of Russian literature, once the ideal of realism took root, it was there to stay: "In the realm for which Russian modern literature holds the palm,—simplicity, realism, absolute fidelity to life,—Pushkin was the forerunner of the great men whose names are synonymous for those qualities. He was the first Russian writer to wage battle against the mock-classicism of France which then ruled Europe, and against the translations to which every writer preceded him had been wholly devoted. He placed Russian literature firmly on Russian soil; utilizing her rich national traditions, sentiments, and l ife, in a manner which is as full of life and truth as it is the highest art. The special direction in which Pushkin surpasses a l l other Russian poets is in his marvelously harmonious blending of truth, beauty, delicate appreciation of the fundamental characteristics of the national life, unsurpassed clearness in setting them forth, with a simplicity which enhances but does not exclude the most satisfying completeness."34 34 Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature—Comment by Isabel Hapgood, pp. 11904-11924 (on Pushkin). 45 The realism in Russian writing, which had its birth in the early 19th Century soon permeated the French and other European schools of writing, and in France, too, there dawned the Age of Reason, beginning, of course, in the court of Louis XIV. It could be, that the French Revolution Itself stemmed from the core of realistic thinking. As in Russia, the peoples' eyes were opened. They could no longer endure the superficialities of the old romanticism, which although artistic and in some instances portrayed with great taste and beauty, was dominated by beliefs in mythology and a tyrannical system, which before had gone un-questioned. No longer were the writers content to grope in the dark, and explain causes and effects away by inane guesses into the realm of fancy. Realism, in a sense was a prelude to the scientific revolution of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Pushkin gives, in his poetry, a vivid picture of many characters exactly as they appeared to him. He voices his senti-ments on human justice and liberty with superb mastery. In his historical poems and plays, which were especially novel to Russian audiences, where the theatre was only founded in 1756, he tried to keep to historical truth and sentiment. Some of his poetry is enshrouded In old superstitions of the pre-Christian Slav and Tatar periods; but these conditions, thoughts and ideas are presented as they truly existed. They are not mere appeals to the imagination. These old beliefs, mentioned by Pushkin in his poems were believed in by the people living in the period of 46 which he i s writ i n g . His reference to old mythologies i s s l i g h t , although i t appears sometimes, but always i n the place of the r e a l i s t i c . In his most mature works he e n t i r e l y leaves t h i s kind of musing. We are given to understand by some c r i t i c s and biogra-phers that Pushkin led a very shocking and wild youth, and was the author of vulgar and b i t i n g epigrams. But i t is not needful to dwell upon the baser side of his nature. I t i s more s a t i s f y -ing to appreciate him at his best, to dwell upon the immortal grandeur and beauty of his poetic writing: "Equally astonishing i s the wealth of l i t e r a r y "genres" i n verse and i n prose which Pushkin handled with such s k i l l as to r a i s e the l e v e l of Russian l i t e r a t u r e to a height which became a standard for subsequent gener-ations. According to the famous c r i t i c V. Belinsky (1811-48), " a l l previous Russian poets compare with Pushkin as r i v e r s , big and small, compare with the sea. His verse started a new era i n the h i s t o r y of Russian poetry. And what verse i t i s I Antique p l a s t i c power and c l a s s i c a l s i m p l i c i t y blend harmon-io u s l y i n i t with the enchanting melodies of the romantic rhyme. The acoustic wealth and a l l the might of the Russian tongue fi n d here an astonishing complete expression."35 His Immortal s p i r i t s t i l l l i v e s , as envisioned i n "Wise Oleg" and "Message to S i b e r i a " ; i n his f r a n t i c appeals f o r freedom and l i b e r a t i o n . Let us remember his generous good wishes expressed toward a l l — t o the Slav, Finn, Tungus, and savage Kalmuck, indeed i n the interests of a l l mankind i n h i s greatest r e a l i s t i c w r i t i n g . This i s the noble s p i r i t of Pushkin's genius, that can never d i e . 35 Janko Lavrin, Pushkin and Russian L i t e r a t u r e . London, Hodder & Stoughton, (for the English U n i v e r s i t y Press), 1947, pp. 66, 67 47 CHAPTER II REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF  MICHAEL YURIEVICH LERMONTOV (1814-1841) B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Lermontov The Ea r l y Manifestation of Lermontov's Genius A Hero of Our Times—A Monument to Realism Lermont ov's Poetry Lermontov 's Lasting Imprint on the School of Russian Realism 48 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF LERMONTOV "We set out, the five lean nags hauling our carriages with difficulty along the tortuous road up Gud-Gora. We walked behind, setting stones under the wheels when the horses could pull no longer; it seemed as i f the road must lead straight to heaven, for i t rose higher and higher as far as the eye could see and finally was lost in the cloud that had been reposing on the mountain summit since the day before like a vulture awaiting its prey," — Michael Yurievich Lermontov "Michael Yurievich Lermontov was born October 2, 1814 in Moscow. His father, an army officer and small squire, was a descendant of Captain George Learmont, a Scottish adventurer who in the early seventeenth cen-tury entered the Russian service. Learmont, it will be remembered, was the surname of Thomas the Rhymer, and the Learmonts are traditionally descended from him. Lermontov, however, seems to have been ignorant of this poetic ancestry. His mother was an Arseniev, and her mother, nee Stolypin, was a wealthy landowner and an important figure in Moscow society. When he was three his mother died, and this led to a breach between his father and Mme. Arseniev, who appropriated her l itt le grandson and brought him up as a spoiled child. At nine he was taken to the Gauscasian waters— where the mountains and the new environment left a lasting impression on him. He was thirteen when he began writing verse. In 1830 he entered the University, but studied l i t t le 1 and* kept aloof from the Idealists who were there at the same time as he. As a penalty for some riotous conduct he was not allowed to take an intermediate examination, and in I832 he left the University of Moscow and went to Petersburg with the intention of matriculating at the University there. But instead of the University he entered the School of Ensigns of the Guards and of Cavalry Cadets. Lermontov did not like either Petersburg or the school. But he soon adapted himself to his new surroundings and became, on the face of it at least, a typical cavalry cadet. In 1834 Lermontov was given a commission in the Hussars of the Guard. His poetic and romantic nature burst out at the death of Pushkin. In a memorable poem (which may sound today like rhetoric rather than poetry but is in any case rhetoric of the finest quality) he voiced the feelings of despair at the death of the nation's greatest glory, indignation at the alien murderer, who 49 "could not understand whose life he attempted" and scorn and hatred for the base and unworthy courtiers that had allowed the foreigner to k i l l the poet. The poem hit its mark—and Nicholas reacted accord-ingly. Lermontov was arrested, tried by court-martial, expelled from the Guards, and transferred to a regiment of the line stationed in the Caucasus. The first disgrace was not of long duration. Before he had been a year in the Caucasus he was pardoned and restored to the Guards. But the short time spent in the Caucasus revived his old romantic attachment of that domestic orient of the Russians and is abundantly reflected in his work. By the beginning of I838 he was back in Petersburg, this time a famous poet and a lion. In 1840 a selection of his poems and the novel, "A Hero of Our Times" appeared in book form. But like Pushkin, only with more real grounds and more effectively, Lermontov disliked being regarded as a man of letters. Society l i fe , in spite of a l l the satisfaction it provided for his vanity, galled and goaded Lermontoy. His life at Petersburg came to an abrupt end. On the most trivial pretext he fought a duel with M. de Marante, the son of the French Ambassador. No blood was spilled but a l l the same the poet was arrested and once again transferred toa line regiment in the Caucasus (1840). This time he took part in several military expeditions against the Chechens and proved himself a brilliantly brave officer. He was mentioned in dispatches and twice recommended for rewards, but these were not approved in Petersburg. In the summer of 1841 he went to Pyatigorsk, the Caucasian watering-place, where he found many acquaintances from Peters-burg and Moscow, among them his old schoolfellow, Major Martynov. Lermontov and Martynov paid court to the same lady. Martynov bore it for some time but at last called Lermontov out. Lermontov was always glad of a duel. They met on July 15, 1841, in the plain of Pyatigorsk. Martynov was the first to fire, and Lermontov was killed on the spot."36 36 D.S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 131,132, 133. 50 2. THE EARLY MANIFESTATION OF LERMONTOV1S GENIUS Michael Yurievich Lermontov along with the poet, Pushkin, was one of the founders of realism in Russian litera-ture. He did not display the poetic genius of Pushkin, but was definitely his superior in the field of prose. In fact, he is considered by many shrewd and learned critics, to be the greatest writer of Russian prose that has ever lived, even surpassing so great an author as Leo Tolstoi. There is no doubt that Lermontov's great prose work, "A Hero of Our Times", will be read so long as people are interested in reading stories of realistic adventure. Certainly, it is a true account of much of the great author's brief l i fe , which ended tragically in a ridiculous duel, when he was but twenty-seven years of age. Strangely enough, the poet Pushkin's life ended in like manner, when he was but ten years older. Just what would have been the harvest of Lermontov's genius, had he lived out the usual life span, is difficult to estimate. He might have become the greatest writer of the realistic adventure-story that the world has ever known. 51 3. A HERO OF OUR TIMES—A MONUMENT TO REALISM The realistic adventure-story, "A Hero of Our Times", published in 1840, is Lermontov1s most famous work. It is divided into two parts. The first part, consisting of an introduction and two stories. The second part, a short intro-duction and three stories. I . Introduction (a) Bela (b) Maxim Maximich II. Introduction (a) Taman (b) Princess Mary (c) A Fatalist (the last three selections are grouped together and are published under the t it le , "Pechorin*s Diary") Most close students of the life of Lermontov are convinced that the character, Pechorin, was none other than Lermontov, himself, although to the last the author stoutly denied this. The stories are related as though an unknown author were the narrator. Maxim Maximich, an army captain, whom the narrator meets in the Cau-casus, relates to him the tragic, touching story of "Bela". Later when he meets this same captain on government business in Vladikavkaz, he meets also the man, Pechorin, of whom Maxim Maximich had told him so exhaustively and vividly in the tale, "Bela". Pechorin hardly remembers Maxim Maximich, much to the latter's chagrin. In disgust he tosses to the narrator ten 52 books of Pechorin's diary, which Pechorin had given him when the two of them had dwelt in such happiness with Bela at the Port. After the narrator hears of Pechorin's untimely death in Persia, he has part of the diary published. These tales comprise the last three stories—"Taman"/, "Princess Mary", and "A Fatalist". Certainly, in beauty of expression, the remarkable descriptions of nature interspersed throughout the pages of "Bela", have not been surpassed by any other writer. The description of the Gud Mountain, as Pechorin and Maxim Maximich reached the Army Post of Krestovy, is one of the most magnificent descriptions of scenic beauty in any language: "We left the hut. In spite of the captain's forecast, the weather had cleared up and promised a quiet morn-ing. On the far horizon were marvelous patterned constellations, which were extinguished star by star, as the pale glow in the east spread over the purple heavens, lighting up gradually the dark, mysterious chasms into which the mist whirled and writhed like a snake, creeping along crevices of rock, as though it felt and feared the on-coming day. There was quiet In heaven and on earth, as there is quiet in the heart of a man at the time of-morning prayer; only the wind, every now and then, blew up cold from the east, lifting the horses' manes, which were white with frost. We started off and our sorry horses were hardly able to drag the carriages along the winding road up to Mount Gud. We followed behind on foot and put stones under the wheels when the horses stopped to rest. The road looked as if it led to heaven, for it went on raising as far as the eye could follow It, until it disappeared in a cloud which had been hang-ing over Mount Gud since the evening before, like a hawk waiting for its prey. The snow crunched under our feet and the air was so keen that it hurt to breathe. The blood mounted to my head, but a pleasant feeling prevaded my body and I > 53 was exhilarated to feel myself so high above the world. It was a childish feeling, of course, but when we get away from artificial conditions and approach nearer to Nature we cannot help becoming children. Al l that we have acquired falls away from our being and we become once more what we were and what we shall one day assuredly be again."37 This passage just quoted is of superb beauty in the original Russian tongue. In the first tale, "Bela", supposedly told to the narrator by the Captain, the atmosphere of the Caucasus is strongly felt. As soon as the Caucasus, that stormy mountain-ous part of the Russian lands is entered, swords clash. It is not Infrequent for shirts of mail to be worn under coats here I These people do not live or think as European Russians do. This is a different culture; one much closer to the natural elements, one too, Incidently, steeped in hot-tempered, short-lived duels. There are more intense feelings, more primitive loves for women, horses, and belongings in general. This is the treacherous Caucasus, not the pastel tints of the Kievan Kingdom of yore, but a land of dark crimson shadows, rich purple gorges, deep green valleys,—black sharply-shadowed ravines, and foaming waterfalls cut deeply into great mountains, ominous in their dark blue and misty shrouds. Here the Dagestan, Georgian, Circassian and Ossetain Tatar peoples, mostly of Turkic and Mongolian bloods live. The intensity of their loves, hatreds, 37 M. Y. Lermontov, A Hero of Our Times. Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1951, pp. 34, 35 . 54 feuds, and devious ways of life are known only here in these steep mountain defiles. This story, dealing with the adventures of Pechorin, gives an account of the love affair of the young Russian officer with Bela, the beautiful daughter of a Tatar chieftan. This spritely Tatar maiden personified beauty itself in form, symmetry and grace. Her bewitching narrow face, and slightly slanting gazelle-like eyes enchant. Her magic Caucasian beauty, like that of a beautiful wild fawn delights and torments the young officer from his first glance at her in the mountain hut, where he and Maxim Maximich are entertained at her older sister's wedding. After this meeting in the hut—Bela is abducted to the Fort, by her young brother, Azamat, at the bidding of Pechorin. At first she does not encourage the glances and petitions of the young Russian officer. His entreaties and gifts are a l l in vain. But at last she decides to remain with him at the fort, be it either for her good, or for her eventual destruction. Pechorin remains true to her, but apart from her extraordinary beauty, she has none of the development of mind that he would have found satisfying. She very probably had never read a book in her l i fe . Very likely she could not even read or write. But she could sing, dance like the wind, and sway to music as gracefully as a young acacia tree in the breeze. Pechorin does not abandon her for other women. He takes to hunting—is off days with the hunt. Bela grows discouraged and strays from the fort, only to become the victim of treacherous old Kazbish, who had been secretly 55 enamoured of her for a long time. He also has had his faithful charger (which he loved, in Circassian fashion, more than any woman) stolen from him by Azamat, with the help of Pechorin. Hence his extreme thirst for revenge. In exchange for Pechorin's help in securing his wish, Azamat had bound Bela and brought her to him at the Fort, as already mentioned. The ending is tragic. The medical techniques of those days were unable to restore her l i fe . At this point in the story the dramatic intensity is at a high level. Bela lives only a few days after the fatal stabb-ing inflicted on her by Kazbish, after he was forced to drop her from his horse as Maxim Maximich and Pechorin pursued him. Like an unfortunate l itt le bird, which has been struck down by a mauraudring falcon, they bury her in a grave not far from the fort, where a gentle acacia, which she so ressembled, blooms tenderly over her remains. She is buried with Moslem rites, not wishing to become a Christian, which is offered her tenderly at the last by Pechorin. At first Pechorin's grief is very poig-nant, but eventually he recovers and moves on again with his regiment. The short story, Maxim Maximich, is then related to bring to the reader's attention, Pechorin's whereabouts, and just how and why his diary happened to be handed over to the narrator by Maxim Maximich. The two stories, "A Fatalist" and "Taman", taken from the diary of Pechorin, are indeed among the greatest short stories ever written in any tongue. The story, "Princess Mary", is more 56 commonplace, and ressembles many of the novels of the 18th and 19th Century European writers. It is more a diary of insigni-ficant trivia among members of European Russian families, who meet at Kislovodsk in the Caucasus. "Taman",# the first story of the second group, was considered by Checkhov the greatest short story that has ever been written. It is exceptional in its brevity and realism. This is an adventure tale, but its setting is in the l itt le sea-side village of Taraan on the Taman Peninsula. This remarkable tale gives a picture of Pechorin, who this time is on his way to join his regiment at Gelenjik, when he encounters smugglers. They were an unusual group of persons consisting of an old woman, a young gir l , and an unfortunate blind boy, who has been blind from birth. The gir l , sings of Yanka, the smuggler, who comes in his l ittle boat from over the sea. He brings a precious cargo of silk stuffs, ribbons etc., whatever he can muster, which may be sold for profit on the other side. Pechorin, senses this situation from the time of his first night spent in the l itt le hut, where the smugglers are more or less forced to take him in, until the arrival of his boat, because he is an army officer seek-ing lodgings. Being unable to sleep, Pechorin leaves his servant in the hut, and proceeds to follow the girl and blind boy down along # "Taman is on the eastern shore of the Straits of Kertch, which unite the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It faces Kertch and the Crimea across the straits." 57 the steep bank to the shore. He listens intently "chto eto onee nesut" he thinks: "Now and then snatches of their conversation reached me down wind. "Well, blind boy", a woman's voice said; "the storm is heavy—Yanko won't come." "Yanko's not afraid of storms", he replied. "The mist is getting thicker", the voice said, with an inflection of sadness." "All the easier for him to slip past the guard ship." "But supposing he's drowned?" . "Well, what of it? You'd go to church next Sunday without your new ribbon!" There followed a silence. It had been struck during this conversation by the fact that though to me the boy talked with a Little Russian accent, he now talked perfect Russian. "You see, I was right," said the boy suddenly striking the palm of his hand with his fist. "Yanko fears neither sea nor winds nor mist nor guardships. Listen now. That noise is not the sea—that's his long oars." The woman looked anxiously into the distance. "You're talking nonsense, blind boy," she said. "I see nothing." I tried hard to distinguish the outlines of a boat in the distance, but without success. Ten minutes went by, and then among the mountainous waves I made out a black dot, which became now bigger, now smaller. The boat rose slowly on the crests and sank quickly to the troughs as i t approached ever nearer to the shore. He must be a brave man to risk the fifteen miles of the straits on such a night, and urgent must be the reason of his voyage! With these thoughts I looked at the wretched little boat, my heart beating violently. But she dived like a duck and emerged from the abyss with a great sweep of the oars amid sheets of spray. Now, I thought, she will surely be swept violently ashore and be dashed to pieces. But she cleverly turned on her side and was washed unhurt up a l i tt le creek. From her emerged a man of middle height in a Tatar sheepskin cap. He waved his hand and a l l three started dragging something out of the boat. She was so heavy-laden that I have never to this day understood how she kept afloat. They each took a load on their shoulders and went off along the shores, where I soon lost sight of them. I had to go back to the hut, but so perturbed did I feel by the strange happenings of the night that I awaited the morning with impatience."3o These people are smugglers indeed, plying their dangerous trade in the deep waters. He tells the "mermaid", as he grows to call the rather attractive smuggler maiden, who sings to him gaily, on the roof of the hut, about the exploits of her smuggler friend, that he will accompany her on her venture the next night to the perilous shore. The girl is deeply alarmed because she suspects that Pechorin has discovered their secret. She determines to take him out in the l itt le boat and foist him overboard. . She is terrified that he may reveal to the authorities how she and her friends make their treacherous living, and that they may a l l be arrested. After the l itt le boat has pulled slowly out from the shore, the smuggler maiden tries to throw Pechorin overboard. He is not entirely surprised at her attempt. After a brief struggle he prevails, and it is he who throws the "mermaid" into the sea. However she swims to land, and soon drenched to the skin clambers up the bank. But she had not been able to do away with Pechorin, the only living being who knows about the trade that she, the blind boy and Yanka ply in the dangerous waters. Pechorin leaves the next day after this strange encounter in the deep, to rejoin his regiment. He decides not to report 38 M.Y. Lermontov, A Hero of Our Times, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1951, pp. 70, 71. 59 t h e s e s m u g g l e r s t o t h e a u t h o r i t i e s , more on t h e grounds o f con-t e m p t , than warm-heartedness, w h i c h i s somewhat disappointing. However his sentiments are realistic for those t i m e s . The fact t h a t he i s somewhat c o n t e m p t u o u s t o w a r d t h e one horn blind displays a hardness o f h e a r t , w h i c h one w o u l d not ordinarily have e x p e c t e d . The m e r m a i d ' s gay s o n g he says he m e m o r i z e d word f o r words " H 3anoMHHJi 3Ty JISCHIO O T cJiOBa «o cJioBa." KaK n o B O J I B H O M BOJimmae--IIo 36JieHy MOpK), X o f l S T BC6 KOpafijIHKH, EeJXOnapycHHKH. I l p o u e x Tex KopafijiHKOB Mo a JioflOMKa, JIoflKa HecHameHaa, /{ByxBecejibHaa. Eypa-Jib p a 3 H r p a e T c a « GTapHe KopaCjiHKH IIpHnOflHMyT KpHJIHIUKH, IIo Mops p a s u e n y x c a . CxaHy Mopio KJiaHaThea H HH36XOHbKO; "MC H6 TpOHb TH, 3JI06 HOpe , M O M Jioflo^Ky: B e 3 e i M O a JIOROHRBL Bei^a flparoueHHHe, IIpaBHT 6E> B TCUHy HOHb BygHaa FOJioBynnca." 6 0 "Over boundless billows green, Over billows surging, Fly the ships with sails a-spread, Onward urging. There among those ships at sea, Sails my shallop sprightly, Curtsying to wind and wave, Kissed by combers lightly. Stormy winds begin to blow, Stately ships a-rocking, Widely do they spread their wings— To leeward flocking. The angry ocean then I pray, Bending low before him: "Spare my barque, 0 fearsome one'." Thus do I implore him.— "Precious goods are stowed on board!— Fierce the sea is foaming!— Keep her safe—a madcap steers Through the gloaming!"39 The daring maiden decides to join Yanka on the other side. Their trade in the deep and mounting waves is becoming very dangerous. There are too many guard boats, the waves beat too high in the storms, so Yanka and his "mermaid" decide to seek a new home. The blind boy is broken hearted. As they leave, they carelessly toss him a coin. He,miserably poor as he is, does not even pick it up. The reader hopes that somehow the old woman, who owns the hut may have compassion on him, because of his dejection and loneliness, and of course because of his blindness. 39 M.Y. Lermontov, A Hero of Our Times, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1951, p. 73. 61 This story is particularly remarkable in its real-istic dramatic Intensity, The reader feels the sea-breeze on his cheek, the sound of the smugglers running breathlessly past the hut—quickly, dangerously plying their occupation. Al l this is told in simple language, yet every sentence is alive I The tense breathing of the blind boy and the "mermaid" are per-fectly described. Their quick, surefooted steps, the atmosphere of suspense in which they live is retold with great realism. The fact that the action centres about adventure, which had disappeared almost completely from the lives of the teeming crowd of men and women at that time, and even now, also holds the attention. Seldom does one ever find a short adventure story, of no more than a few thousand words, told with more vivid realism and action. "A Fatalist", the last story in the diary, is likewise an amazing story of adventure told at its best. It almost con-verts the reader to the doctrine of fatalism. Sometimes the evidence may seem very strong in favouring that events are pre-destined, nevertheless to discard entirely free-will and con-science in regard to thoughts and actions, has never seemed true nor practical realism. However, this may have seemed the very truth to Lermontov, especially since his ancestors on his father's side were of Scottish descent, a people given especially to beliefs of superstition, commonly spoken of as "second sight". 62 In the character of Vulich In the story, the reader meets the same daring spirit that is Pechorin's own, only Vulich is not so likeable, so detached or uninhibited. The story, "A Fatalist", opens as a group of army officers and their friends grow tired of cards and gossip, and their conversation drifts to a discussion about predestination— "the Mohammedan belief that one's fate is written in the sky." Vulich, a young Serbian officer, makes a bet with Pechorin that a Circassian gun which hangs on the wall is loaded, and goes to prove whether or not he is right by holding the gun.to his fore-head! The pistol clicks, and everyone stands aghast. It does not go off. However Vulich has not lost his bet. He fires at a cap hanging on the wall. The room is filled with smoke. The guests this time are flabbergasted. Vulich has won his bet, but Pechorin has yet to prove his premonition. Pechorin had thought he saw a look of inescapable death on the face of the young Serbian officer, such is his premonition about him—that he must somehow encounter death itself before the dawn! Vulich collects his roubles, but he has not far to go before he does encounter death, fatalistically indeed, in the sword thrust of a drunken Cossack, whom he does not even know, but who in a drunken fit has run amok striking wildly at anyone or anything in his path. In the morning Pechorin is astounded to hear of the death of Vulich. He is even more surprised to learn of the last 6 3 strange words he uttered—"He was right". Vulich here indicated with his last breath, that he believed he must have after a l l been predestined to die that night, as Pechorin had predicted. The fatalists will be sure to agree, that indeed this must have been the case; although persons who do not adhere to these views, may contend just as reasonably, that had Vulich just happened to turn down a different street, out of the Cossack's reach, a l l would have been well with him. It is interesting to'note, however, that the fatalis-tic part of this story, that is really gripping, is the stand Pechorin now takes on the grounds of fatalism. After hearing of Culich's death, he undertakes to extricate the Cossack mur-derer from a hut in which he has barricaded himself. His epaulette is badly shattered, but his life is spared. Pechorin no doubt remained a fatalist the rest of his short l i fe , and could he have commented on his untimely death in Persia a few years later, would have thought it could not have been otherwise: "Then he added after brief reflection: "Yes, I'm sorry for the poor chap. . . Why the devil did he stop to talk with a drunk at night! But, I suppose, that was his destiny!"40 Just why are "Bela", "Tainan", and "A Fatalist" so extraordinary? It is because of their sincerity of purpose, and their arresting spirit of adventure—their realism. Whoever the 40 M.Y. Lermontov. A Hero of Our Times. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1951, p. 174. 64 character, Pechorin, was, if it were Lermontov himself, or i f someone whom he knew very well, or merely a fabrication of his imagination, fashioned from memories of himself and his comrades in his Caucasian Army days, certainly he was not a perfect character, but undoubtedly he was a hero-, and a real person. In spite of the undesirable traits, the devil-may-care part of his character stands out more strikingly than his less admirable qualities. He often takes his life in hand quite lightly, as illustrated in his duel with Grushnitzki, in the tale "Princess Mary", and in his decision on the basis of fate, to arrest a murderer single-handed. Throughout a l l of the five stories one glimpses the character of Lermontov himself; that is, in Pechorin, the hero. His vanity, recklessness, and self-sufficiency appear again and again. But let us remember that Lermontov too was adventurous and brave. These nobler qualities are more clearly manifested in the last two stories, "Taman" and "A Fatalist". Neither of these stories express his own sentiments. They are pure adven-ture. In both of them Pechorin risks his life to probe into the very souls of the people whom he is among, perhaps to test more accurately his fatalistic doctrines and beliefs. In summary it might be said, that in the story, "Bela", the poetic beauty of the Caucasus, given vividly, and painted in such realistic colors; and the dramatic intensity of the Plot combine to make of this unusual adventure tale a masterpiece 65 rarely surpassed. The very short story, "Maxim Maximich", is -really in the nature of an explanatory—explaining how the diary eventually came into the hands of the narrator, in order that the reader may better understand the incidents of the stories from the diary that follow. The introduction to these tales mentions the untimely death of Pechorin in Persia. "Princess Mary", the second tale of the Diary Group contains much realistic adventure encountered by Pechorin in the mountain resorts of the Caucasus—such adventure as led to Lermontov's own untimely death in a duel is narrated. This story too has been described as being the most soul searching narrative in regard to Pechorin himself, and is considered to contain some of Lermontov's most powerful writing. "Taman" and "A Fatalist" must remain forever as excellent examples of truly great stories inthe interesting realm of pure adventure. This whole work, "A Hero of Our Times", must always stand as a monument through-out the ages to heroic realistic adventure. 66 4 . LERMONTOV'S POETRY Lermontov had a religious and patriotic side to his character, and these traits are displayed in some of his poetry, which was much read, and beloved by the Russian people of the age in which he wrote, and is s t i l l a reading favourite. Lermontov, like Pushkin, was exiled because he expressed freely and openly some of his patriotic sentiments about liberty, which were raised in protest against the existing regime. For the very scathing poem he wrote commenting on the death of Pushkin, "On the Death of a Poet", in which he blames the corrupt prac-tices of the time for the tragedy, he was exiled to the Caucasus in I 8 3 7 . But this certainly worked out for his good fortune, and that of the reading public, as it was there that he received his inspiration for the writing of "A Hero of Our Times". His poem, "The Demon", although somewhat gaunt and mysterious contains also amazing and realistic descriptions of natures "And over the Caucasian ranges Flew the exile from Paradise; Beneath, Kazbek, like diamonds edges, Flashed its eternal snow and ice; Black as a creviced den confining A serpent, deep below ran twining The narrow chasm of Daryal; And down its way, like a lion roaring, There lept the streams of Tereik, foaming, With a frayed mane along its back. Both mountain beast and soaring eagle Circling against the azure sky Harked to the calling of the waters; And golden clouds, due north, a l l day Flew rapidly along its way From far-off southern countries roaming. 67 And closely crowding gloomy rocks, Mysteriously s t i l l and pensive, Inclinded their heads with snowy locks, Watching the flickering waves, attentive. And castle-towers on the cliffs Scowled with dark menace through the hazes— The giants, there to dominate Where Caucasus its gateway raises! Both wild and glorious was the world Around him; but the haughty ghost Contemptuously cast a glace On the creations of his Lord, • And naught of what he saw or thought Reflected in his countenance."41 Lermontov's religious musings are revealed in the poems, "The Angel" and "The Prayer", which express profound faith and deep reverence. He also wrote many other poems of descriptive beauty and religious sentiment of which there is not space to comment upon here. "The Prayer" is exceptionally beautiful in the original Russian: MoJXHTBa. B MHHyTy KH3HH TpyflHVK), TecHHTca-jrb B cepflije r p y c i b ; OflHy MOJIHTBy HyflHVK) TBepacy a HaH3ycTh; E C T B GHjia ojiaroflaTHaa B co3Byn>n C J X O B S C H B H X ; H flimiHT, He noHaTHaa CBaxaa npejiecxb B H H X . C flyiffiH KaK 6peMa CKaTH-rca, CoMHeHbe RELJIBKO -M BepHTca Et miaieTca, H xaK JierKO, jierKO. 41 From the Translation by N. Jarintzov. 68 The Prayer "In life's hard, trying moments, With sorrow in my breast, I breathe a prayer most wonderful, Which ever brings me rest. There is a power of blessedness In those sweet words enshrined, Thought cannot grasp their sacred charm That calsm the anxious mind. Doubt stays no more, the soul is free, Her burden rolls away, Her faith renewed, tears bring relief, When this sweet prayer I pray."4 2 42 From the Translation by F. P. Marchant. 69 5. THE LASTING EFFECT OF THE GREAT REALISTIC POET There is ho doubt that the poet, Lermontov, has made a lasting imprint on the realistic school of Russian writing. Unfortunately he is not so well known to Western readers, but it is hoped that they and particularly the English speaking peoples may become eventually better acquainted and aware of his tales of adventure and his unusually beautiful descriptive poetry. Lermontov's writing should appeal especially to people of Anglo-Saxon lineage, who have always exhibited a great admir-ation and enthusiasm for tales and poetry centring around heroic adventure. Lermontov's Scottish ancestry is felt in his great appreciation of the grandeur of nature. His descriptions of the Caucasus echo some of the scenic descriptions of Walter Scott and Robert Burns although painted on a wider canvas and with deeper and more mysterious coloring. He has been compared to the English poet, Byron: "No, I am not Byron,1 he wrote, 'I have been chosen as another; like him, a wanderer hunted through the world, but only with a Russian soul. I began young, will finish early, achieving l i t t le . On my heart, like in an ocean, lies a load of shattered hopes.' As a result of his over-bold verses on Pushkin's death, he was exiled to the Caucasus, where, like Pushkin before him, he found in-spiration for romantic poems in an Oriental setting. But Lermontov was no meek imitator, and he differed both from Pushkin and Byron in his deeper sense of loneliness, his firmer hatred of society, and his absolute personal fatalism.' With a moral ideal, which found no 70 echo around him, he fixed his attention on his own generation in his own country, and was not afraid to face the painful conclu-sions which he reached: 'I survey sadly our generation and Its future, either empty or dark. Meanwhile, laden with knowledge and doubt, it grows old and accomplishes nothing. Hardly out of the cradle, we are enriched by the mistakes of our fathers and by their wisdom after the event. Life already wearies us like a smooth path without a goal. Shame-fully indifferent to good and evil, we fade away without a fight at the beginning of our course, timid in the face of danger, and con-temptible slaves to power1.1 (Meditation)"43 Although it is now over a hundred years since the death of Lermontov he continues to be among the best beloved writers in his own country. Just recently his name has been mentioned in a Russian magazine published in Moscow popular with the Russians of the 20th Century which is printed in eight lan-guages, and his great novel, "A Hero of Our Times" is mentioned as becoming the subject of a new Soviet film. An illustration from "Princess Mary" has the following inscription beneath it: "Princess Mary" After a story by M. Lermontov. Produced by the Gorky Studio. Scenario and directed by I. Annesky. Camera-man: M. Kirilov. Starring Sanova as Mary and Verbitsky as Pechorin"44 "What Lermontov might have grown into as a poet is a matter of wide speculation. Even as it is, he is one of the small number of great poets, and, though today his star is under an eclipse, it is probable that posterity will once again confirm the judgment of the nineteenth century and place him immediately next to Pushkin. As a romantic poet he has (with the conceivable exception of Blok) no rival in Russia, and he had in him everything to become also a great realist (in the Russian sense). But it is highly 43 Richard Hare, Russian Literature, London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1947, P. 40. 44 Soviet Union. Pravda Publication, Moscow, November,1955, p.28. 71 probable also that the main line of his further development would have been in prose, which is regarded today as his least questionable title to a first rank."4? 45 D. S. Mirski, A History of Russian Literature. New York, .Alfred A. Knopf, 19 49, p. 138. '. 72 CHAPTER II I REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE 7JRITING OF  NIKOLAI YASILIEYICH GOGOL (1809-1852) B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Gogol Gogol's E a r l y R e a l i s t i c Writing, Which Was Immediately Accepted by Both C r i t i c s and Public "Taras Bulba" and "Dead Souls"—Landmarks Along the Path of Realism Other Works Gogol's Tragic and F u t i l e Search for a Living F a i t h 73 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF GOGOL "And, Russia, art not thou too flying onwards like a spirited troika that nothing can overtake? The road is smoking under thee, the bridges rumble, everything falls back and is left behind 1 The spectator stands s t i l l struck dumb by the divine miracle: is it not a flash of lightning from heaven? What is the meaning of this terrifying onrush? What mysterious force is hidden in this troika, never seen before? Russia, whither flyest thou? Answer! She gives no answer. The ringing of the bells melts into music; the air, torn to shreds, whirs and rushes like the wind, everything there is on earth is flying by and the other states and nations, with looks askance, make way for her and draw aside." —Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol "Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was born on March 19, 1809 in the market town of Sorochintsy, in the Pro-vince of Poltava. He came of a family of Ukrainian Cossack gentry. His father was a small squire and an amateur Ukrainian playwright. In 1820 Gogol went to a provincial grammar school and remained there t i l l 1828. It was there.he began writing. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, mingled with painful self-consciousness and bound-less ambition. Equally early he developed an extra-ordinary mimic talent, which later on made him a matchless reader of his own works. In 1828, on leaving school, Gogol came to Petersburg, full of vague but glowing ambitious hopes. He entered the Civil Service, s t i l l hoping to become a great admin-istrator, and he began writing prose stories. He came in touch with the "literary aristocracy", had a story published in Delvig's "Northern Flowers", was taken up by Zhukovsky and Pletnev, and, in 1P31, was introduced to Pushkin. In the meantime (1831) he brought out the first volume of his Ukrainian stories (Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka), which met with immediate success. It was followed In I832 by a second volume, and in 1835 by two volumes of stor-ies entitled "Mirgorod" (containing "Viy", Taras Bulba", "Old-World Landowners", and "Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich"), as well as two volumes of miscellaneous prose entitled Arabesques (containing, besides a variety of essays, "The Nevsky Prospect", 74 "The Memoirs of a Madman'1!, and the first draft of "The Portrait"). In 1834 Gogol was made Professor of History of the University of St. Petersburg, though.except an unlimited self-confidence, he had absolutely no qualifications for the chair. His first lecture, an introduction to mediaeval history, was a brilliant piece of showy rhetoric, but those which followed it were poor and empty. Gogol resigned his chair in 1835. His good relations with the "literary aristocracy" continued, and Pushkin and Zhukovsky continued encouraging him. But while the "aristocracy" gave him qualified admiration, in Moscow Gogol met with the adulation and entire recognition sufficient to satisfy him. The young Idealists, with Belinsky at their head, carried him to the skies. Through between I832 and 1836 Gogol worked at his imaginative creations with great energy. It was only after the presentation, on April 19, I836, of his comedy "Revisor" that he finally believed in his literary vocation. The comedy, a violent satire of Russian provincial bureauocracy, was met by enthu-siastic praise and virulent obloquy. The Petersburg journalists, the spokesmen of the official classes, raised the hue and cry against Gogol, while the "aristocrats" and the Moscow Idealists of every shade of opinion were equally emphatic in admiring i t . When, two months after the first night, he left Petersburg for abroad, he was finally convinced that his vocation was to "be useful" to his country by the power of his imaginative genius. Henceforward for twelve years (1836-48) he lived abroad, coming to Russia for short periods only. He chose Rome for his headquarters. The death of Pushkin produced a strong impression on Gogol, especially by emphasizing his conviction that he was now the head of Russian liter-ature and that great things were expected of him. His principal work during these years was "Dead Souls". At the same time he worked at other tasks—recast "Taras Bulba" and "The Portrait", completed his second comedy, "Marriage", wrote the fragment "Rome" and the famous tale "The Greatcoat". After the publication of the first part of "Dead Souls", Gogol, it would seem, intended to continue it on the plan of Dante's "Divine Comedy". Instead he decided to write a book of direct moral preaching that would reveal his message to the world. The book, entitled "Selected Passages from a Correspondence with Friends" (though it contained practically no passages from actual letters), appeared 75 in 1847• Gogol expected it to be received with awe and gratitude, like a message from Sinai. He was cruelly disappointed before long. His best friends, the Slavophils, were painfully and unmistakably dis-gusted. His despair of himself was enhanced by the pilgrimage he undertook (in 1848) to the Holy Land. His incapacity to warm himself up to genuine religious experience in the presence of the Lord's footsteps increased his conviction that he was irrevocably lost and damned. Prom Palestine he returned to Russia and passed his last years in restless movement from one part of the country to another. He met Father Matthew Konstantinovsky, a fierce and narrow ascetic, who seems to have had a great influence on him and strengthened in him his fear of perdition by insist-ing on the sinfulness of a l l his imaginative work. However, Gogol continued working at the second part of "Dead Souls", a first draft of which he had destroyed in 1846 as unsatisfactory. His health gradually gave way. He undermined it by exaggerated ascetic practices, a l l the time trying to compel himself to Christian inner l i fe . In an access of self-mortification he destroyed some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this as a mistake—a practical joke played on him by the Devil. It is not clear whether he really meant to do it or not. After that he fel l into a state of black melan-choly, and died on February 21, 1852. 1 , 4 6 46 D.S. Mirski. A History of Russian Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, PP. 143-4b. : 76 2 . GOGOL'S EARLY REALISTIC WRITING. WHICH WAS  IMMEDIATELY ACCEPTED BY BOTH CRITICS AND PUBLIC Nicolai Vasilievich Gogol is generally acknowledged to be the greatest writer of the Ukraine, although his great works are a l l written in the Great Russian language. He was fortunate to have received an excellent education. His ances-tors on his father's side belonged to the Ukrainian gentry, and his mother's descent, is said to include an heritage from the Polish priesthood. Gogol was somewhat of a mystic. He surely did not find a satisfactory answer to the riddle of l i fe , which he so earnestly sought. His intense desire to find this answer makes the reader hope it was realized by him, i f not here, at long last on the other side. Perhaps Gogol was too brilliant. His. writing is a series of brilliant character studies in unusual detail. Nothing escaped his sharp eyes and shrewd observation. There is a lovable Ukrainian charm through a l l his stories. He did not mean to criticize and carp. He saw, in detail, men and women with a l l their human frailities as a heterogeneous mosaic. Such was his mind. Al l these critical observations disturbed him, and this tendency became more pro-nounced as time went by. Gogol has been designated as "the father of Russian realism" by some of the critics, but can hardly be justified as such. Certainly he carried forward the torch of the realistic school. Gogol never for an instant returned to the old romantic and classical schools, which preceded the realism of the 19th 77 and 20th Century authors. Gogol's stories are very realistic indeed. He keeps close to facts. Most of his stories were taken directly from l ife , and were either told to him or were the result of his own keen observations among persons whom he knew well. From stories told to him by his grandfather, he is said to have jotted down much valuable data, about the exploits of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Gogol saw situations with unusually observant eyes, and from the standpoint of a critic. He was able to caricature anyone, or any situation in l i fe , to the satisfaction and amusement of his readers. Gogol is most famous for his amazing and humourous satires. He is notably a writer of comical tales and plays. From their first appearance his plays were popular. When members of Leo Tolstoi's household were planning to stage an amateur play—"The Marriage Broker" by Gogol—Tolstoi Is said to have remarked, "You can't go wrong with Gogol".47 Gogol's first work, that is said to have attracted public attention, was his "Evenings at the Farmhouse Near Dikanka", published in 1831, when the author was but twenty-two years old. These tales of the Ukrainian gentry are remarkably realistic and entertaining. Through these pages there breathes the spirit of the Ukraine, with a l l its warmth and friendliness. During evenings spent among these countryfolk, he heard many of the stories which he re-told so realistically, and in such a lively 47 Tatyana Behrs Kuzminskaya, Tolstoi As I Knew Him. New York, MacMillan Co., 1948, p. 90. 78 manner. Pushkin praised these stories very highly and encour-aged Gogol in his budding literary career. Even the hard-to-please critic, Belinski, had a good word of encouragement for the early manifestations of Gogol's genius: "The chief impression left by Gogol's work is: how simple, natural, and true; and yet how novel and originall The reader feels that he has long been familiar with these characters which the artist has created, that he has himself lived with them, that he could almost remind the author of certain of their features which have not yet been mentioned, so true to life are the personages which he has created. And in this very ordinariness of subject, this matter-of-fact, everyday quality of the events which he describes, resides the true mark of the art i s t ." 4 ® And in commenting on Gogol's own unique and peculiar type of wit the great critic continues: "While the stories of Gogol are to the highest degree genuine portrayals of Russian reality, their national character is not a special quality conscious-ly imposed but a necessary condition of the true work of art, which by definition reflects the manners of a people. True national character is to Gogol as his shadow: without his thinking about it at a l l it attaches itself to him. In this, it is like origin-ality. For while Gogol's originality lies in his individual humor, his humor consists in his fidelity to life and not in the caricature of r e a l i t y . " 4 ° 48 H. E. Bowman, Vissarion Belinski. Harvard University Press, 1954, p. 74. 49 Ibid., pp. 75, 76. 79 TAR AS BULBA AND DEAD SOULS—LANDMARKS ALONG  THE PATH OF REALISM "Dead Souls" written between the years 1836-48 is Gogol's best known work. It is founded upon the history of a young upstart, who, in order to obtain the number of serfs re-quired in order to mortgage land, and thus eventually become a landowner, (which was considered the highest status in Czarist Russia), decides to get a list of serfs, who were already dead— in short "dead souls". He intends to present these names to the land office. He imagines their validity will never be questioned, and this might not have been, as the censorship in those days was indeed very slack. Then, if his list were favourably received, he feels he could proceed to purchase a desirable piece of pro-perty. Thus he expects to settle down comfortably and in great self-esteem, until his land actually yields the increase suffi-cient to buy the needed serfs; although who would work his land in the meantime never seemed to enter his mind'. "What a plant" the reader will exclaim in astonishment. But the title of Chichikov's amazing plan to become a mighty landlord, does not refer alone to the souls—dead, which he tried to muster to gain himself an estate. The meaning of the title goes much deeper than this. Gogol here refers also to the souls of the men and. women around him, who seemed to him veritably dead. This fact depressed him. Indeed they were either dead in spirit, in many instances, or at least he could not detect their spiritual 80 animus. In the writings of this great satirist, one does feel an over-criticism of his fellow man. However, each character is described just as he or she appeared to him, and Gogol did not glimpse anything very commendable about most of them. No doubt, he fe l l short here. Surely there was some kindliness and warmth deeply hidden in the souls of most of those whom he cleverly and scathingly caricaturized. In "Dead Souls" Chichikov, the typical pandering young fellow, in a l l his encounters never stops ingratiating himself to others, from the time he sets out in his troika to the end of the tale. Most of the persons he encounters are astonished at his plan. Nevertheless a l l are finally persuaded, and live him the required list of their "dead souls". They then proceed to send him on his way, good-speed, although in some instances it is felt they rather question his sanity. Most amused of al l at his ridiculous plan, was the old general. Interspersed with the superficiality and the rather tiresome conversations of Chichikov with his prosperous benefac-tors, there are beautiful descriptions of the Russian country side, as he travels over it in his spirited troika—drawn by three fine horses. This was a popular means of conveyance in Gogol's time. Gogol was a great lover of nature, and describes it with intense feeling and unusual charm. Through this unique story runs this continual thread: 81 "And, Russia, art not thou too flying onwards like a spirited troika that nothing can overtake?"50 Gogol wonders wistfully, just where Russia is heading; Russia— with a l l her beauteous lands, vast potentialities, and her strong and original peoples. Was she headed for a higher skyline? He ponders, lingers, dimly sees the far horizons, but does not clear-ly sense what the future holds. Surely some great good must ultimately be hersl "Dead Souls" is written in a style such as Gogol only could write. Chichikov's many exploits travel along at an amazing speed, that could not ordinarily be imagined, except written as they are in Gogol's brilliant and penetrating style. To Gogol belongs the term "unique", his style being so very different from any of his contemporaries. He has an inimi-table way of writing a l l his own, which is not found in any other author either before or after his time. In "Dead Souls" the con-versation is always crisp and entertaining; this is the singular magic of Gogol. His works resound with humor, mirth and spark-ling wit. He gives his original descriptions of situations in his own unrivalled style of writing, which never fails to brim over with laughter and subtle candor. The following beautiful description of the Russian countryside exemplifies his great descriptive observations: 50 Nickolai Gogol, Dead Souls, (a translation in two volumes), New York, Modern Library, 1936, vol. I, book I, p. 38. 82 "Like the innumerable multitude of churches and monasteries with their cupolas, domes and crosses scattered over holy, pious Russia, swarms the innumerable multitude of races, generations and peoples, a many coloured crowd shifting hither and thither over the face of the earth. And each people, bearing with i t -self the pledge of powers, full of creative, spiritual faculties, of its own conspicuous individuality, and of other gifts of God, in which, whatever subject it describes, part of its own character is reflected."5l Again when questioning Russia's great destiny he remarks with masterful power and beauty: "Russia! Russia! I behold thee, from my lovely faraway paradise, I behold thee! But what mysterious inexplicable force draws one to thee? Why does the mournful song that floats over the length and breadth of thee from sea to sea echo unceasingly in the ear? What is in' i t , in that song? What is i t calls and sobs and clutches at my heart? What are these strains that so poignantly greet me, that go straight to my soul, and throb about my heart? Russia! what wouldst thou of me? What is the mysterious hidden bond between us? Why dost thou gaze at me thus, and why is everything within thee turning upon me eyes full of expectation?. . . . and s t i l l ful l of perplexity I stand motionless; and already a threatening cloud, heavy with coming rain, looms above my head, and thought is numb before thy vast expanse. What does that im-mense expanse foretell? Is it not here, is it not in thee that limitless thought will arise, since thou are thyself without limit? . . . . Is it not here there should be giants where there is space for them to develop and move freely. And thy mighty expanse enfolds me menacingly, with fearful force reflected In the depths of me; with supernatural power light dawns upon my eyes Ah, marvelous, radiant horizons of which the earth knows nothing! Russia l'»52 51 Nickolai Gogol, Dead Souls, (a translation in two volumes) Modern Library, New York, 1936, vol.11, book I, p. 78. 52 Ibid., pp. 39, 40. 83 The unusual tale, "Taras Bulba", which is about the Cossack exploits of the 16th Century, is said to have been related to Gogol by his grandfather. The hero of the story is the Hetman of Zaporozhie Cossacks. He is bent on the slaughter of the l itt le Polish town, Koven, even though it may be at the cost of the lives of his own two sons. Nothing matters to him but his fiery zeal to stamp out Catholicism in this Polish town, and in its stead esta-blish Orthodoxy in the districts surrounding the Cossack lands. His unreasonable fanaticism is keenly felt, as he rides away with his two sons to join the Cossack host. The old mother left behind at home—considered by her husband little better than a chattel in comparison with his designs for religious conquest, voices her despair on their departure in the following lines: "The mother alone did not sleep. She bent over the pillow of her beloved sons, as they lay side by side; she smoothed with a comb their carelessly tangled locks, and moistened them with her tears. "My sons, my darling sons! what will become of you? What fate awaits you?" she said, and tears stood in the wrinkles which disfigured her once beautiful face. Bulba suddenly awoke, and sprang to his feet. He remembered quite well what he had ordered the night before. "Now, my men, you've slept enough*, 'tis timel Water the horses! "Be quick, old woman, get us something to eat; the way is long. The poor old woman, deprived of her last hope, slipped sadly into the hut. Whilst she, with tears, prepared what was needed for breakfast. Bulba gave orders, went to the stable, and selected his best trappings for his children. The scholars were suddenly transformed. Red morocco boots with silver heels took the place of their dirty old ones; trousers wide as the Black Sea, with countless folds and plaits, were kept up by golden girdles from which hung 84 long slender thongs, with tassels and other tinkling things for pipes. Their jackets of scarlet cloth were girt by flowered sashes into which were thrust engraved Turkish pis-tols; their swords clanked at their heels. Their faces, already a l itt le sunburnt, seemed to have grown handsomer and whiter; their slight black moustaches now cast a more dis-tinct shadow on this pallor and set off their healthy, youthful complexions. They looked very handsome in their black sheepskin caps, with cloth-of-gold crowns. When their poor mother saw them she could not utter a word, and tears stood in her eyes. "Now,my lads, a l l is ready; no delay1." said Bulba at last. "But we must first of a l l sit down together in accordance with Christian custom before the journey."53 There was a time in Russian History (1569) when at the signing of the Lublin union between Poland and Lithuania, the Ukraine was also incorporated into Poland. However by 1620 freedom had been won from this domination and the Polish government recognized again the existence of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. In the year 1648 Bogdan Khmelnitsky with his combined forces of Cossacks and Crimean Tatars made a decisive effort to free the Ukraine from the Polish domination. In 1649 a peace treaty was signed whereby Poland recog-nized the Cossacks as an autonomous army. However the Polish landlords retained their Ukrainian estates. In the year 1654 the Cossacks freed the entire land of the Ukraine from Polish domination. Unfortunately this did not last long: 53 Nickolai V. Gogol, Taras Bulba and Other Tales. Everyman's Library, No. 740, 1952, p. 10. 85 "After thirteen years of conflict, which exhausted both sides, an armistice was signed in 1667. Moscow gave up White Russia but kept Smolensk. The Ukraine was divided in two, the right bank (west of the Dnieper) being returned to Poland and the left bank (east of Dnieper) re-maining united with Moscow. Poland ceded the city of Kiev (on the right bank) to Moscow for two years, and in 1686 agreed to cede it permanently to Russia."54 These historical incidents may account for some of the bitter feelings nurtured by the Cossacks against the Poles, and such a leader as Taras Bulba Is an outstanding never-to-be-forgotten example• It is interesting to note here, however, that Gogol himself was descended from both Polish and Ukrainian ancestors. It is no wonder that he wrote about the sentiments of his own people with such masterful understanding, since strains of both bloods flowed in his veins. Returning to the story—eventually Taras1 younger son, Andrei, falls in love with a beautiful Polish g ir l . This.is more than the old father can bear. He feels that his younger son, has sacrificed al l honour by such an attachment. When the Cos-sacks at length enter the beseiged Polish town, where Old Bulba finds Andrei helping to protect the garrison of his bethrothed, he immediately shoots him down as a traitor. He does not spare his own son, any more than he would have spared any one of his 54 George Vernadsky, A History of Russia. New Haven,Yale Uni-versity Press, 1954, p. 129 . 86 other men guilty of what he considered an unpardonable breach of faith. At length, both Ostap, his elder son, and Taras himself, meet tragic deaths at the hands of the enraged Poles. But even as Taras is being burned at the stake, he directs his loyal "Farewell, comrades1." he shouted to them from above; "remember me, and come hither again next spring and make merry in the same fashion! What! cursed Lyakhs, have ye caught me? Think ye there is anything in theworld that a Cossack fears? Wait; the time will come when ye shall learn what the orthodox Russian faith isi Already the people scent it far and near. A czar shall rise from Russian soil , and there shall not be a power in the world which shall not submit to him!" But the fire had already risen from the fagots; i t lapped his feet, and the flames spread to the tree. . . But can any fire, flames or power be found on earth which are capable of overpowering Russian strength? Broad is the river Dniester, and in it are many deep pools, dense reed-beds, clear shallows and l itt le bays; its watery mirror gleams, filled with the melodious plaint of the swan, the proud wild goose glides swiftly over it; and snipe, red-throated ruffs, and other birds are found among the reed's and along the banks. The Cossacks rowed swiftly on in the narrow double-ruddered boats—rowed stoutly, carefully shunning the sand bars, and cleaving the ranks of the birds, which took wing—rowed, and talked of their hetman."?? In this last passage of the book there is displayed a loyalty and singleness of purpose, despite the fanaticism, which is seldom found in any literature. A strength which is super-human. What a tragedy such determination could not have flowed into constructive channels! 55 Nikolai V. Gogol, Taras Bulba and Other Tales. Everyman's Library, No. 740, p. 135. 87 Gogol's magnificent pictures of the steppe-land rival those of Lermontov on the Caucasus. The reader actually feels the tal l feather-grass brushing gently on his cheek, as Ostap and Andrei ride over wellbeaten Cossack trails into the s t i l l and shadow-filled steppe-land: "In the evening the whole steppe changed its aspect. Al l its varied expanse was bathed in the last bright glow of the sun; and as i t grew dark gradually, i t could be seen how the shadow flitted across it and it became dark green. The mist rose more densely; each flower, each blade of grass, emitted a fragrance as of ambergris, and the whole steppe distilled per-fume. Broad bands of rosy gold were streaked across the dark blue heaven, as with a gigantic brush; here and there gleamed, in white tufts, light and transparent clouds: and the freshest, most enchanting of gentle breezes barely stir-red the tops of the grass-blades, like sea-waves, and caressed the cheek. The music which had resounded through the day had died away, and given place to another. The striped marmots crept out of their holes, stood erect on their hind legs, and filled the steppe with their whistle. The whirr of the grasshoppers had become more distinctly audible. Sometimes the cry of the swan was heard from some distant lake, ringing through the air like a silver trumpet. The travellers, halting in the midst of the plain, selected a spot for their night encampment, made a fire, and hung over it the kettle in which they cooked their oatmeal; the steam rising and floating aslant in the air. Having supped the Cossacks lay down to sleep* after hobbling their horses and turning them out to graze. They lay down in their gaber-dines. The stars of night gazed directly down upon them. They could hear the countless ' myriads of insects which filled the grass; their rasping, whistling, and chirping, softened by the fresh air, resounded clearly through the night, and lulled the drowsy ear. If one of them rose and stood for a time, the steppe pre-sented itself to him strewn with the sparks of glow-worms. At times the night sky was illum-ined in spots by the glare of burning reeds along pools or river-bank; and dark flights of 88 swans flying to the north were suddenly l i t up by the silvery, rose-coloured gleam, t i l l i t seemed as though red kerchiefs were float-ing in the dark heavens. The travellers proceeded onward without any adventure. They came across no villages. It was ever the same boundless, waving, beau-tiful steppe. Only at intervals the summits of distant forests shone blue, on one hand, stretching along the banks of the Dnieper. Once only did Taras point out to his sons a small speck far away amongst the grass, say-ing, "Look, children! yonder gallops a Tatar." The l itt le head with its long moustaches fixed its narrow eyes upon them from afar, its nos-trils snuffing the air like a greyhound's, and then disappeared like an antelope on its owner perceiving that the Cossacks were thirteen strong. "And now, children, don't try to over-take the Tatar! You would never catch him to a l l eternity; he has a horse swifter than my Devil." They galloped along the course of a small stream, called the Tatarka, which falls Into the Dnieper; rode into the water and swam with their horses some distance in order to conceal their tra i l . Then, scrambling out on the bank, they continued their road."56 56 Nikolai V. Gogol, .Taras Bulba and Other Tales. Everyman's Library, No. 740, 1952, pp. 20, 21. 89 4. OTHER WORKS Gogol's minor works and plays may mostly be described as whimsical. Such short stories as "St. John's Eve", "The Nose", "How the Two Ivans Quarrelled", "The Mysterious Portrait", "The Calash", "Memoirs of A Madam", "A May Night" and "Viy'» along with his l ittle plays "Marriage", "The Gamblers", "An Official's Morning", "A Lawsuit", and "The Fragment" seem strangely infer-ior to "Dead Souls" and "Taras Bulba". Most of Gogol's lesser works are saturated in the superstitions of the Ukraine. Gogol was ever watchful of the strange and unusual. He would have been delighted, had some grotesque form appeared to him from another world. In much of his work there is an element of horror although he seemed ever searching for light and truth, he more often found only darkness and error, which he seemed never to understand to his entire satisfaction. Gogol must live on in the minds of his readers as a Russian realist, who although often beset by a strange despair and the victim of uncanny melancholy and superstition also possessed a loving heart, which was never truly understood by himself or others: "Gogol was a strange creature, but genius is always strange; it is only your healthy second-rater who seems to the greateful reader to be a wise old friend, nicely developing the reader's own notions of l ife. Great literature skirts the irrational. Steady Pushkin, matter-of-fact Tolstoy, restrained Checkhov have a l l had their moments of irrational insight which simultaneously blurred the sentence and disclosed a secret 90 meaning worth the sudden focal shift. But with Gogol this shifting is the very basis of his art, so that whenever he tried to write in the round hand of literary tradi-tion and to treat rational ideas in a logic-al way, he lost a l l trace of talent. When as in his Immortal "The Overcoat", he really let himself go and pottered happily on the brink of his private abyss, he became the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced."57 Gogol's best-known play is "The Inspector General". Here again, he satirizes the classes of his time, particularly the official class. This work is considered by some critics the greatest work of its kind in the Russian tongue, or indeed in any other. Even the somewhat tyrannical Nicholas I did not object to its production, and warmly applauded its first per-formances in the theatres of Moscow and St. Petersburg In I 8 3 6 . This play, a biting satire on the different classes of Gogol's time, shows their superficialities, their utter lack of sincerity and any genuine standard of ethics whatsoever; when as depicted in the play, a si l ly youth is able to masquerade as the Inspector General of the district, and not be immediately detected: "It is difficult to conjecture what pleased Nicholas I in "The Government Inspector". The man who a few years before had red-penciled the manu-script of Pushkin's "Boris GodunovW with inane remarks suggesting the turning of that tragedy into a novel on the lines of Walter Scott, and generally was as immune to authentic literature as a l l rulers are (not excepting Frederic the Great or Napoleon) can hardly be suspected of having seen anything 57 Vladimir Nabokov, Nikolai Gogol. Norfolk Conn., New Direction Books, 1944, p. 140. 91 better in Gogol's play than slapstick entertain-ment. On the other hand a satirical farce (if we imagine for a moment such a delusion in regard to "The Government Inspector|J) seems unlikely to have attracted the Tsar's priggish and humorless mind. Given that the man had brains—at least the brains of a politician—it would rather detract from their quality to suppose that he so much en-joyed the prospect of having his vassals thoroughly shaken up as to be blind to the dangers of having the man in the street join in the imperial mirth. In fact he is reported to have remarked after the first performances "Everybody had got his due, I most of all"; and if this report is true (which it probably is not) it would seem that the evolutionary link between criticism of corruption under a certain government and criticism of the government itself must have been apparent to the Tsar's mind."58 Both Pushkin and Lermontov were sympathetic toward the revolutionaries, but Gogol in his unusual story, "The Greatcoat", was the first to write in behalf of the poor, downtrodden indivi-dual. In this unusual tale Gogol pictures an unfortunate clerk who loses his mind when his greatcoat, which he had saved many years to purchase, is stolen. This story probably will be under-stood least by our contemporary North American civilization. However, the Russia of Gogol's time included no Salvation Army, no general welfare agencies. With the writing of this story, Gogol is said to have become a recognized member of the realistic schools "The plot of "The Overcoat" is very simple. A poor little clerk makes a great decision and orders a new overcoat. The coat while in the making becomes the dream of his l ife. On the very first night that he wears it he is robbed of it on a dark street. He dies of grief and his ghost haunts the city. This is a l l in the way 58 Vladimir Nabokov, Nikolai Gogol. Norfolk Conn., New Direction Books, 1944, pp. 36, 37. 92 of.plot, but of course the real plot (as always with Gogol) lies in the style, in the inner structure of this transcendental anecdote. In order to appreciate it at its true worth one must perform a kind of mental somersault so as to get rid of conventional values in literature and follow the author along the dream road of his super human imagination. Gogol's world is somewhat related to such conceptions of modern physics as the"Concertina Universe" or the "Explosion Universe"; it is far removed from the comfortable revolving clockwork worlds of •the last century. There is a curvature in literary style as there is curvature in space, —but few are the Russian readers who do care to plunge into Gogol's magic chaos head first, with no restraint or regret. But the diver, the seeker for black pearls, the man who pre-fers the monsters of the deep to the sunshades on the beach, will find in "The Overcoat" sha-dows linking our state of existence to those other states and modes which we dimly apprehend in our rare moments of irrational perception. The prose of Pushkin is three-dimensional, that of Gogol is four-dimensional, at least. He may be compared to his contemporary, the mathemati-cian Lpbachevsky, who blasted Euclid and dis-covered a century ago many of the theories which Einstein later developed. If parallel lines do not meet it is not because meet theycannot, but because they have other things to do. Gogol's art as disclosed in "The Overcoat" suggests that parallel lines not only may meet, but that they can wriggle and get most extravagantly entangled, just as two pillars reflected in water indulge in the most wobbly contortions i f the necessary rip-ple is there. Gogol's genius is exactly that ripple—two and two make five, if not the square root of five, and it a l l happens quite naturally In Gogol's world, where neither rational math-ematics nor indeed any of our pseudophysical agreements with ourselves can be seriously said to exist."59 59 Vladimir Nabokov, Nikolai Gogol. Norfolk Conn., New Direction Books, 1944, pp. 144, 14T. 93 In none of his later stories does he display any disposition to return to romanticism. As his writing continued, it became even more realistic. He tried at length in his, "Correspondence with Friends" to change his style, and to depict Christianity as he saw it then; but evidently his genius did not lie in this kind of writing, or his critics were too set in their own prejudices to realize its valued Whatever the cause, this last writing has never been widely read"or appreciated. He undoubtedly exper-ienced a change of heart, but could not express this positive way of thinking appealingly after having written many years in a satirical vein. 94 5. GOGOL'S TRAGIC AND FUTILE SEARCH FOR A LIVING FAITH After Gogol returned to Russia i n 1848 he started w r i t -ing a second part to "Dead Souls". However at t h i s period of h i s l i f e he was plagued with a f u t i l e search for a l i v i n g f a i t h and a l i v i n g God that he could understand. He made one f r u i t l e s s pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and his b i t t e r quest to f i n d a rea-sonable answer to the mysteries of God are p a r t i c u l a r l y deserving of honor, and should be remembered by admirers of his genius. We are given to understand by Gogol's biographers that i n February, 1852 just before his death i n March of the same year he purposely burned the second and t h i r d parts of "Dead Souls" and then lapsed into h y s t e r i c a l weeping and some kind of mental depression, from which he never f u l l y recovered. It does appear at the l a s t that his f u t i l e attempt to experience the genuine conversion, which he so earnestly sought, may have deranged his finely-balanced mentality: "The high post to which B e l i n s k i assigned Gogol as "the chief of our l i t e r a t u r e , the chief among our poets," who "stands i n the place l e f t by Pushkin," i s proof of the impact which Gogol had made upon B e l i n s k i 1 s thought."60 "On the stage, as i n f i c t i o n , Gogol's action, h i s t o r i c a l l y , , was i n the d i r e c t i o n of realism. This was h i s t o r i c a l l y the most important aspect of his work. Nor was the younger generation's general concept of him as a s o c i a l s a t i r i s t 60 H.E. Bowman, Vissa r i o n B e l i n s k i . Harvard Uni v e r s i t y Press 1954, p. 82. 95 e n t i r e l y u n j u s t i f i e d . He did not paint (scarcely knew) the s o c i a l e v i l s of Russia. But the c a r i c -atures he drew were, weirdly and t e r r i b l y l i k e the r e a l i t y about him; and the sheer vividness and convincingness of his paintings simply eclipsed the paler truth and.'irrevocably held the fascinated eye of the r e a d e r . " 6 1 61 D. S. M i r s k i , A. History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 152,155-96 CHAPTER IV. REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IP THE 7/RITING OF  IVAN SERGSYEVICE TURG5NSV (1813-1883) 1. B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Turgenev 2. Turgenev the Westerner 3. Turgenev's R e a l i s t i c Pity of the Serfs as Revealed i n "A Sportsman's Sketches" 4. "Rudin", "Fathers and Sons", and "Vi r g i n S o i l " — Studies i n Prototypes 5*. The Narrator Rather Than the Reformer 97 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF TURGENEV "In days of doubt, i n days of oppresive ponder ing about the destinies of my Motherland—you alone are my sustainer, and support, o great, mighty, t r u t h f u l , and free Russian language!—If i t had not been for you—how i s one not to f a l l into despair at the sight of a l l that i s happening at home?— But i t i s impossible to believe that such a lang-uage was not given to a great people!" — I v a n Sergeyevich Turgenev "Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was born on October 28, 1818, i n Orel. His father, a handsome but im-poverished squire who had served i n the cavalry, was married to an heiress older than himself. She had had a very unhappy childhood and girlhood and adored her husband, who never loved her. This com-bined with the control of a large fortune to make of Mme. Turgenev an embittered an i n t o l e r a b l e domestic tyrant. Though she was attached to her son, she treated him with exasperating despotism, and with her serfs and servants she was p l a i n l y c r u e l . It was i n his mother's house that the future author of "A Sportsman's Sketches" saw serfdom i n i t s least a t t r a c t i v e form. In 1833 Turgenev entered the U n i v e r s i t y of Moscow, but remained there only one year, for i n 1834 his mother moved to Petersburg and he went over to the other u n i v e r s i t y . He studied under Pushkin's f r i e n d , Professor Pletn&v, and had occasion to meet the great poet himself. His f i r s t verses were pub-lished i n Pletnev's, formerly Pushkin's, "Sovremen-nik" (I838). A f t e r taking his degree he went to B e r l i n to complete his philosophical education at the university that had been the abode and was s t i l l the temple of Hegel—the d i v i n i t y of the young gen-eration of Russian i d e a l i s t s . Several of them, including Stankevich and Granovsky, Turgenev met at B e r l i n , and henceforward he became the fr i e n d and a l l y of the Westernizers. When i n 1841 he returned to Russia he at f i r s t intended to devote himself to a university career. As t h i s did not come o f f , he entered the C i v i l Service, but there also he remained only two years, and a f t e r 1845 abandoned a l l pursuits except l i t e r a t u r e . His work at f i r s t was c h i e f l y i n verse, and i n the mid f o r t i e s he was regarded, c h i e f l y 98 on the strength of the narrative poem "Parasha" (1843), as one of the principal hopes of the young generation in poetry. In 1845 Turgenev fel l out with his mother, who ceased to give him money, and for the following years, t i l l her death, he had to live the life of a literary Bohemian. On her death he found himself the possessor of a large fortune. (1850) Meanwhile Turgenev had abandoned verse for prose. In 1847 Nekrasov's "Sovremennik" started the publication of the short stories that were to form "A Sportsman's Sketches". They appeared in book form in 1852, and this, together with the pub-lication, about the same time, of other stories gave Turgenev one of the first places, if not the first, among Russian writers. "A Sportsman's Sket-ches" was a great social as well as literary event. On the background of the complete silence of those years of reaction, the "Sketches", seemingly harm-less if taken one by one, produced a cumulative effect of considerable power. Their consistent presentation of the serf as a being, not only human, but superior in humanity to his masters, made the book a loud protest against the system of serfdom. It is said to have produced a strong impression on the future Emperor Alexander II and caused him the decision to do away with the system. Meanwhile the authorities were alarmed. The censor who had passed the book was ordered to leave the service. Shortly after that an obituary notice of Gogol by Turgenev, written in what seemed to the police a too enthusi-astic tone, led to his arrest and banishment to his estate, where he remained eighteen months (1852-53)• When he was released he came to Petersburg already head of Petersburg literature, and his judgment and decisions had the force of law. The first years of Alexander II's reign were the summer of Turgenev's popularity. No one profited more than he from the unanimity of the progressive and reforming enthusiasm that had taken hold of Russian society. He was accepted as its spokesman. In his early sketches and stories he had denounced serfdom; in "Rudin" (1856) he paid homage to the idealism of the elder generation while exposing its inefficiency; in "A Nest of Gentlefolk" (1859) he glorified a l l that was noble in the old Orthodox ideals of the old gentry; in "On the Eve" (i860) he 99 attempted to paint the heoric figure of a young girl of the new generation. Dobrolyubov and Chernyshevsky, the leaders of advanced opinion, chose his words for the texts of their journalistic sermons. His art answered to the demands of everyone. It was civic but not "tendentious". It painted life as it was, and chose for its subjects the most burning problems of the day. It was full of truth and, at the same time, of poetry and beauty. It satisfied the left and Right. It was the mean term, the middle style for which the forties had groped in vain. It avoided in an equal measure the pitfalls of grotesque caric-ature and of sentimental "Philanthropy". It was per-fect. Turgenev was very sensitive to his success, and particularly sensitive to the praise of the young gen-eration and of advanced opinion, whose spokesman he appeared, and aspired to be. The only thing he had been censured for (or rather, as everyone believed in the photographic ver-acity of Turgenev1s representation of Russia, it was not he, but Russian l ife, that was found fault with) was that while he had given such a beautiful succes-sion of heroines, he had failed to give a Russian hero; it was noticed that when he had wanted a man action, he had chosen a Bulgarian (Insarov in "On the Eve"). This led the critics to surmise that he believed a Russian hero an impossibility. Now Turgenev decided to make up for this shortcoming and give a real Russian man of action—a hero of the young generation. This he did in Bazarov, the nihil-ist hero of "Fathers and Sons" (1862). He created him with love and admiration, but the result was unexpected. The radicals were indignant. This, they said, was a caricature and no hero. This nihilist, with his militant materialism, with his negation of a l l religious and aesthetic values and his faith in nothing but frogs (the disection of frogs was the mystical rite of Darwinian naturalism and anti-spiritualism), was a cariacture of the young generation drawn to please the reactionaries. The radicals raised a hue and cry against Turgenev, who was proclaimed to have "written himself out". A l itt le later, it is true, a s t i l l younger and more extreme section of radicals, in the person of the brilliant young critic Pisarev, reversed the older radicals1 verdict, accepted the name of nihilist, and recognized in Bazarov the ideal to be followed. But his belated recognition from the extreme Left did not console Turgenev for the profound wound in-flicted on him by the first reception given, to Bazarov. 100 He decided to abandon Russian and Russian l i ter-ature. He was abroad when "Fathers and Sons" appeared and the campaign against him began. His decision to abandon literature found expression in the fragment of lyrical prose "Enough", where he gave full play to his pessimism and disi l lu-sionment. He did not, however, abandon litera-ture, and continued writing to his death. But in by far the greater part of his later work he turned away from contemporary Russia, so distaste-ful and unresponsive to him, towards the times of his childhood, and old Russia of before the reforms. Most of his work after 1862 is either frankly mem-oirs, or fiction built out of the material of early experience. He.was loath, however, to resign him-self to the fate of a writer who had outlived his times. Twice again he attempted to tackle the problems of the day in big works of fiction. In "Smoke" (186?) he gave full vent to his bitterness against a l l classes of Russian society; and in "Virgin Soil" (1877) he attempted to give a pic-ture of the revolutionary movement of the seventies. But the two novels only emphasized his growing estrangement from living Russia, the former by its impotent bitterness, the latter by its lack of information and of a l l sense of reality in the treatment of the powerful movement of the seventies. Gradually, however, as party feeling, at least in literature, sank, Turgenev returned into his own (the popularity of. his early work had never dimin-ished). The revival of "aesthetics" in the later seventies contributed to a revival of his popular-ity, and his last visit to Russia in 1880 was a triumphant progress. In the meantime, especially after he settled in Paris, Turgenev became intimate with French literary circles—with Merime'e, Glaubert, and the young naturalists. His works began to be trans-lated into French and German, and before long his fame became international. He was the first Russian author to win a European reputation. In the literary world of Paris he became an important personality. He was one of the first to discern the talent of Maupassant, and Henry James (who included an essay on Turgenev in a volume of French novelists) and other beginning writers looked up to him as to a master. When he died, Renan, with pardonable lack of information, proclaimed that it was through Turgenev that Russia, so long mute, had at last 101 become v o c a l . Turgenev f e l t much more at home among his French confreres than among his Russian equals (with most of whom, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Nekrasov, he sooner or l a t e r quarreled), and there i s a s t r i k i n g difference between the impres-sions he produced on foreigners and on Russians. Foreigners were always impressed by the grace, charm, and s i n c e r i t y of his manner. With Russians he was arrogant and vain, and no amount of hero worship could make his Russian v i s i t o r s blind to these d i s -agreeable c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Soon a f t e r his l a s t v i s i t to Russia Turgenev f e l l i l l . He died on August 22, 1883, i n the small commune of Bougival, on the Seine below P a r i s . " 0 ? 62 D.S. M i r s k i , A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York, A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 184-188. 102 2. TURGENEV THE WESTERNER There i s no doubt whatsoever that Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev belonged to the Western camp. He spent most of his mature l i f e abroad, returning to Russia only for b r i e f v i s i t s . He v i s i t e d England- quite frequently and i s said to have been interested i n the United States, and wished he could see that country. He surely f e l t that one of the factors which had kept Russia back was the fact that s c i e n t i f i c a l l y , economic-a l l y and i n d u s t r i a l l y she was behind her Western neighbours. He would have agreed with Peter I and the modern Soviet Regime that vast s c i e n t i f i c and i n d u s t r i a l projects are of paramount advantage to progress. However, he would not have sided with such p o l i t i c a l leaders as Lenin and S t a l i n . He often voiced the b e l i e f that a s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t y was necessary i n the pro-cess of the l i v e s of human beings, although he did not praise T o l s t o i ' s works of the l a t t e r period. "Turgenev had taken a vow to f i g h t against Russian serfdom, and as a professing Westernizer he f u l l y approved the d r a s t i c work of Peter the Great, which he c a l l e d a 'coup d'etat', one of the v i o l e n t jerks from above which helped to push Russia into the European family of nations. 'The necessity of similar reforms has not ceased 1, he wrote i n his " L i t e r a r y Recollections". 'History w i l l show what place we are destined to take, up to these times we have followed and are obliged to follow ways ( i n which the Slavophil gentlemen w i l l not agree with me) other than the more or less organic development of Western nations.' Later on he remarked: 'We do not need now any unusual talents or outstanding minds— neither too large nor too i n d i v i d u a l — w e must recon-c i l e ourselves without disgust to the petty d u l l tasks and routine of d a i l y l i f e . The f e e l i n g of duty, and of patriotism i n the genuine sense of that 103 word, is a l l that is necessary; we are entering a period of merely useful people—they will be better people; there will probably be many of them—but very few beautiful or charming ones.1 Yet Turgenev, in spite of his effort to see the best in them, did not really feel at home among the useful and rational beings who started to come to their own after the abolition of serfdom in 1861. He certainly could not find in these sober signposts of the future that rich and mellow background of the traditional pre-reform Russia to which he instinc-tively returned in the majority of his novels and stories. The gardens and parks of the 'noblemen's nests1 were being overgrown with weeds, the ancient lime-avenues were cut down for timber, largely owing to the sheer fecklessness of their owners; Turgenev saw that such a mode of life was doomed, but his artistic genius was s t i l l irresistibly attracted by i t . In this autumnal setting he created the figure of Lavretsky, the enlightened but unlucky landowner, and the devoted self-sacrificing Liza, a lineal des-cendant of Pushkin's Tatiana."63 Richard Hare, the critic, in making this comment sur-mises that Turgenev believed wholeheartedly in the emancipation --but also that its necessity must bring about a certain amount of ugliness and discomfort at first, as the result of the magni-tude of its upheaval (he could not, of course, have guessed the magnitude of the Bolshevik upheaval in 1917). Hence he clung somewhat tothe old ways and modes of life in many of his novels. However Mr. Hare goes on to comment that this was not always so, as "Rudin" and "Fathers and Sons" have their most important character picked from among those of revolutionary and scienti-fic sentiments. 63 Richard Hare, Russian Literature From Pushkin To The Present  Day. London, Methuen & Co.,Ltd.., 1947, pp. 9» 10. 104 ^. TURGENEV'S REALISTIC PITY OF THE SERF AS REVEALED  IN "A SPORTSMAN'S SKETCHES" Ivan Turgenev, was acclaimed by many as one of the earlier reformers in Russia. He was brought up in a most in-hibiting and drastic atmosphere. His mother, an heiress of Tatar ancestry, was one of those landowners who actually in-flicted cruelty in the way of bodily pain on her unfortunate serfs and servants. The young Turgenev is said to have turned in disgust from this spectacle of his early childhood and youth. He inherited none of his mother's severe tendencies? "Turgenev recalled how because of some slight misdeed he would be first lectured by his tutor, then whipped, then deprived of his dinner, finally wander-ing out, hungry and sore, into the park, and 'drink-ing with a kind of bitter pleasure the salt water which streamed from his eyes down his cheeks into his mouth.' He was given to exaggeration, but it is cer-tain that his mother believed in the rod, and used it readily. At another time the boy was made to recite a fable of Dmitriev's before the author himself, a ven-erable old man and a third-rate writer, who was visit-ing the house. Not content with the role of performer, Ivan assumed that of critic, and remarked to Dmitriev point-blank: "Your fables are good, but Krylov's are much better.' In recounting the story later Turgenev said: 'My mother got so angry that she flogged me, and thereby fixed in my mind the memory of my first meeting with a Russian writer.' Dmitriev, like not a few of his mother's friends, belonged to the age of the great Catharine. Indeed, representatives of that formally courteous, suavely cynical period were not infrequently to be seen at Spasskoye, and Ivan was also reminded of it by the ladies and gentlemen whose portraits stared at him from the walls of home. The exquisites and the skep-tics of the eighteenth century were as irrelevant to 105 the Russian scene as a paste buckle to a bast shoe, and they themselves must have known i t . This pic-turesque incongruity of crinolines, powdered wigs, patches, and quizzical eyebrows with coarse native, rusticity, impressed itself on the boy indelibly." 0 4 As early as 1845* he had fallen out with his mother, chiefly be-cause he objected to the way she mistreated her serfs. Because of this his mother ceased to send him his usual allowance. Turgenev is said, like the great author, Leo Tolstoi, to have contemplated the unfair status of the serfs (these, incidentally, are said to have accounted for over 90$ of the population by the beginning of the 19th century) in Russia. He was grateful that he lived to see their emmancipation in 1861, although this measure was not carried out effectively. Like, Tolstoi, Turgenev tried to better the condition of the serfs on his own lands to some degree, after he became master in 1850. When he started to write prose seriously in I838 he chose, as a subject, his observations as a sportsman among the unfortunate serfs. His two volumes "A Sportsman's Sketches", which are certainly a realistic observation of the serfs on his lands, and the sur-rounding estates, was accepted by his generation with much approbation. It has been suggested by some of Turgenev's biographers that he thought this problem of serfdom had become too great to be successfully tackled. It had gained huge proportions in 64 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, Turgenev. The Man. His Art, and His Age. London, Hodder & Houghton, 1926, pp. 13, 14. 106 Russia. Like his Tatar mother, i t smothered him, hence he fl e d from i t to France and Germany where he li v e d most of his l i f e , returning only to Russia for short v i s i t s . In these countries he spent many hours discussing the problems and philosophies of the day with men of diverse revolutionary ideals such as Bakunin, Chernyshevsky, Prince Kropotkin, and the great l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , Belinsky, and many others. Sometimes these debates were exceedingly long and wearisome, and l e f t him., f e e l i n g t i r e d and worn out. He did not fin d any s a t i s f a c t o r y s olution, and i n t h i s way was no d i f f e r e n t from other i d e a l i s t s of his time, who could not seem to impress upon the government, the importance of giving the peasants back t h e i r land i n f a i r d i s t r i b u t i o n . "A Sportsman's Sketches" i s divided into sixteen s t o r -i e s . In these t a l e s many p i t i f u l incidents witnessed by Turgenev as he rode through his lands and the surroundihg countryside are narrated with great depth of f e e l i n g . Not a l l the tales are of cruelty and hardship, for although these people were i n bondage they also found much meaningfulness and happiness i n t h e i r l i v e s . The tales give the reader an intimate understanding of the r e l a -tionship between serf and master—the pathetic, and the better side, where masters were neither severe nor c r u e l , but some even taking personal inter e s t i n the welfare of those entrusted to them. Turgenev's descriptions of nature and the surrounding countryside are somewhat overdone i n monotonous d e t a i l s . They do not come spontaneously from his pen l i k e the magic scenes 107 depicted by Lermontov, Gogol and Checkhov. His more arr e s t i n g passages are rather his characterizations and his writings which are pointed against e v i l and i n j u s t i c e . 108 • 4. "RUDIN". "FATHERS AND SONS" AND "VIRGIN SOIL" Turgenev was undoubtedly a master of characteriza-t ions. He is a great portrayer of prototypes. That i s , he set within his novels certain characters, who are exact replicas of men and women of his time engaged in some special department of knowledge or society. Turgenev1s prototypes a l l have ideas and belong chiefly to men of differing ideologies in schools of philosophy, science and p o l i t i c s . There were many trends of thought in this regard just as there are to-day. The teach-ings of the Russian Orthodox Church were continuously being questioned at the time when Turgenev began to write seriously. This gave rise to the acceptance of many philosophical explana-tions, chiefly German, such as those advocated by the philosophers, Hegel and Schell ing. Also the sciences of biology, mathematics and physics were for the f i r s t time being considered much more earnestly. Especial ly the ideas of Darwinian evolution were changing the minds of many who had before adhered s t r i c t l y to the teachings of the Orthodox priest . In pol i t ics there were dozens of diverging groups, and Turgenev was the f i r s t to coin the word "nihi l i s t" , which means—one who genuinely believes in nothing! Turgenev wrote seven major novels altogether, which are outstanding portrayals of prototypes of his time. He drew from the 19th Century in te l l igents ia , nobi l i ty and peasants for his models. His three most s tr iking works are undoubtedly, "Rudin", 109 "Fathers and Sons" and " V i r g i n S o i l " . There i s no doubt that "Rudin" i s a character study of the strange revolutionary f i g u r e — M i c h a e l Bakunin, who was a close friend of Turgenev's during his stay i n Pa r i s . Bakunin was one of those persons, who held an unusually spell-binding charm on the minds of many of his acquaintances. In time he either completely dominated t h e i r thinking or they turned from his domineering mentality i n disgust. The character, Rudin, i s that of a "superfluous man"—one who spends his time simply roving from one country home to another, l i v i n g on the h o s p i t a l i t y of others while ex-pounding to them his f a n t a s t i c philosophy. Rudin i s perhaps a gentler sould than Bakunin, who became a revolutionary of the most t e r r o r i s t i c type i n his l a t t e r years. Rudin goes on ex-pounding his endless theories instead of making something out of' his l i f e . When the daughter of his current hostess i s f o o l -i s h enough to f a l l i n love with him, he does not run o f f with her, and here shows better judgement than the young woman. He rea l i z e s his shortcomings and that he is only capable of i n f e r i o r oratory, so concludes that he does not have the a b i l i t y to main-t a i n a family. Turgenev depicts t h i s character with remarkable realism and understanding. The reader f e e l s the f u t i l i t y of such a mind, which i s t o t a l l y absorbed i n philosophies and abstract thinking. Bakunin, of course, developed into a man of dangerous act i o n . This l a t t e r q u a l i t y i s not f e l t strongly i n Rudin. Only i n t h i s way does he depart from the o r i g i n a l pattern. However, his useless verbosity and theorizing, his wish to dominate a l l 110 around him and his determination to l i v e a l i f e of utter useless-ness absorbs his entire strength and mentality, hence he f a i l s to become a useful member of society. The reader comes to the conclusion that a l l who are spared his company and from l i s t e n i n g to the monotony of his unending ravings are fortunate. Turgenev was undoubtedly hoping that the character depicted i n his book would be one that would cause his readers to ponder c a r e f u l l y before they allowed themselves to be swept away by the influence of such a mentality. That there must be a sound a p p l i c a t i o n to a l l theories or they are valueless, i s the eternal message of t h i s unusual novel. In "Fathers and Sons" Turgenev again depicts an extra-ordinary prototype of his time. In the hero of the book, Bazarov, i s found the man who i s e n t i r e l y absorbed i n the study of b i o -l o g i c a l science. What was known i n those times as "the cult of Darwin", or the dissecting of frogs,- held his entire attention. S k i l f u l l y Turgenev paints him i n a rather unfavourable l i g h t — he has no f a i t h i n God—as one given over to atheism. The clash between the older order and the younger generation i s f e l t keenly i n this penetrating novel. N i k o l a i Kirsanov, the father, does not wholly approve of his son's or Bazarov's ways, once he gets to know them more intimately, when his son returns from the Uni-v e r s i t y . This book can be read with appreciation i n the 20th century. There i s the argument of the eager young s c i e n t i s t , and the d i s t r u s t of such arguments by the previous generation. I l l However the older generation} although i n many instances God-fearing, cannot answer a l l the questions of the Bazarovs s a t i s -f a c t o r i l y . The s o l u t i o n of t h i s controversy i s s t i l l to be proved to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of many serious thinkers. Of "Fathers and Sons" the c r i t i c , Thomas Se l t z e r , has said: "Turgenev 1s art attained i t s climax i n the un-folding of t h i s theme. The unity of structure, the intense personal interest sustained throughout "Fathers and Sons" seems almost miraculous i n a work i n which the ideas loom so big that, handled by a less s k i l f u l a r t i s t , they would have drowned a l l in t e r e s t i n the characters. Turgenev succeeded not only i n preserving the human i n t e r e s t , but i n creat-ing a character that must be pronounced one of the most s t r i k i n g i n f i c t i o n . "When I meet a man", says Basarov, "who can hold his ownjaeside me, then I ' l l change my opinion of myself." 6? In " V i r g i n S o i l " the eager young revolutionaries come p l a i n l y into view, and not i n a bad l i g h t . These young people are serious about the i n j u s t i c e s of t h e i r time, and are not t h e o r e t i c a l d i c t a t o r s l i k e Rudin. Unfortunately the young popu-l i s t , Nezhdanov, abandons his ideals and no longer cares for the woman he loved. Because he cannot come to a s a t i s f a c t o r y under-standing with himself he ends his l i f e . Realism i s f e l t strongly i n t h i s character who suddenly comes face to face with changes i n his mind and heart. However the t r a n s i t i o n i s a l l too overbearing and i t i s unfortunate that the ending i s t r a g i c . The novel depicts the times about which i t was written very w e l l , overwhelming changes were coming about i n the minds and hearts of the populace, 65 I.S. Turgenev, Fathers and Sons. Translation Constance Garnett, The Modern Library, New York, Random House, with i n t r o d . by Thomas Seltzer, 1952, pp. x i , x i i . 112 who could no longer accept the old status quo. The strains of the young energetic revolutionaries are impressively sounded i n this work. I t i s regrettable tha.t many of them eventually succumbed to the doctrines of K a r l Marx. I t i s s t i l l hoped that a broader horizon may yet be obtained by t h e i r descendants. 113 =>. THE NARRATOR RATHER THAN THE REFORMER Although Turgenev has been classed advantageously along with the reformers, he seemed to possess more the temper-ment of the successful narrator and describer of prototypes than that of the man of acti o n . He exhorts people i n d i r e c t l y through his many characterizations, and he has given a r e a l i s t i c picture of serfdom, which was an i n s t i t u t i o n to be deplored by a l l humane and deep-thinking i n d i v i d u a l s . In "A Sportsman's Sketches" i s glimpsed the true and sympathetic character which was Turgenev 1s, but we f e e l also that apathy which i s also expressed i n some of his writings about the landlords and the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a not being able to come to any solution whatsoever about the gigantic problems of t h e i r times. There i s no doubt that Turgenev wrote hoping to a l l e v i a t e the sufferings of those he portrayed, and he may have a c t u a l l y had some influence on the p o l i t i c a l p o l i cy of Alexander I I . It i s int e r e s t i n g to consider the remarks of the great Russian l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , V i s s a r i o n B e l i n s k i , on Turgenev a f t e r describing Turgenev 1s early poem "Parasha" as one of "unusual poetic t a l e n t " Herbert Bowman has commented: "Between t h i s praise of Turgenev 1s f i r s t work and his l a s t c r i t i c a l review, B e l i n s k i continued to discuss, for the most part with l i v e l y approval, a l l of Turgenev 1s writings as they appeared. I t was i n -evitable that the c r i t i c of the new "realism" would find i n "A Sportsman's Sketches" (Zapiski Okhotnika), 114 many admirable qual i t i e s ? "accurate observation; deep thought, c a l l e d up from the secret places of Russian l i f e ; a f i n e and elegant irony, beneath which so much f e e l i n g i s c o n c e a l e d — a l l t h i s shows that the author, besides having a creative g i f t , i s a son of our time, who hears i n his breast a l l i t s sorrows and qu e s t i o n s . " 6 0 66 H.E. Bowman, Vi s s a r i o n B e l i n s k i . Harvard University Press 1954, p. 197. 115 CHAPTER V REALISM .AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF  FEODOR MIKHAYLOVICH DOSTOIEVSKY (1821-1881) B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Dostoievsky-Dostoievsky—A R e a l i s t from His E a r l i e s t Works Consideration of His Greatest Works—"The Possessed" "Brothers Karamazov" and "Crime and Punishment" Dostoievsky's Later Ideas on Orthodoxy and Slavophilism (a) 1. E a r l y Church History 2. E a r l y Czars Who Prayed Hours but F a i l e d i n Their Highest Purpose 3. A Church Disrupted During the Reigns of Peter I (1689-1725) and Catharine II (1762-1796) 4. The Orthodox Church of the 19th Century with Which Dostoievsky Could Find No Flaw (b) Slavophilism—To Dostoievsky—The Orthodox Church Triumphant and the Slavs a People Apart From Europe (a) Dostoievsky's Short Stories (b) His Last Tribute to Realism—The Address on Pushkin (1880) 116 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF DOSTOIEVSKY "I t i s alleged that the Russian people i s ignorant of the.Gospels, and even the Commandments, which are the very foundation of our f a i t h . In-deed, t h i s i s so, but the Russian people knows Christ and bears Him i n i t s heart through a l l time." —Feodor Mikhaylovich Dostoievsky "Fedor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was born October 3 0 , 1821, i n Moscow, where hi s father was a doctor at a big public h o s p i t a l . The Dostoyevskys were a family of southwestern (Volynian) o r i g i n , while Dostoyevsky 1s mother was the daughter of a Moscow merchant; so he united Ukrainian and Muscovite blood. Very e a r l y FSdor and h i s elder brother Michael (afterwards h i s associate i n journalism) developed a passion for read-ing, and Dostoyevsky 1s c u l t of Pushkin dates also from very e a r l y . The brothers studied at a private school i n Moscow, whence i n I837 FSdor went to Petersburg, to the M i l i t a r y Engineers' School. He remained there for four years, not very deeply interested i n engineering but much more i n l i t e r a t u r e and reading. In 1841 he obtained a commission but continued his studies at the school for another year, after which he received a post i n the engineering department. In return for his f i v e years at school he was obliged to serve two years i n the army. He did not remain i n the service any longer than was obligatory but resigned h i s commission i n 1844. Dostoyevsky was not penniless, his father having l e f t a small fortune, but he was impractical and improvident and thus often i n f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l -t i e s . On leaving the service he decided to devote himself to l i t e r a t u r e and i n the winter of 1844-4? wrote "Poor Folk". Grigorovich, a beginning novelist of the new school, advised him to take the novel to Nekrasov, who was then planning the publication of a l i t e r a r y miscellany. On reading i t Nekrasov was over-whelmed with admiration and took i t to Belinsky. "A new Gogol has arisen!" he exclaimed, breaking into the c r i t i c ' s room. "Gogols grow l i k e mushrooms i n your imagination," Belinsky r e p l i e d , but took and read the novel and was impressed with i t as Nekrasov had been. .A meeting was arranged between Dostoyevsky and Belinsky, and the l a t t e r poured out to the young novelist a l l his enthusiasm exclaiming: "Do you yourself understand what you have written?" Dostoyevsky, remembering the whole business t h i r t y years l a t e r , said that t h i s was the happiest day of his l i f e . "Poor Folk" appeared 117 i n January 1846 i n Nekrasov's Petersburg Miscellany. I t was rapturously revised by Belinsky and by other c r i t i c s f r i e n d l y to the new school and received with great favor by the public. His second novel, "The Double", (1846), had a much cooler reception. His works continued appearing but met with l i t t l e approval. He was a member of the s o c i a l i s t c i r c l e of Petrashev-sky, who gathered to read Fourier, to t a l k of s o c i a l -ism, and to c r i t i c i z e the e x i s t i n g conditions. The reaction that followed the Revolution of 1848 was f a t a l to the Petrashevskians: In April,1849 they were arrested. Dostoyevsky was confined i n the Peter and Paul Fortress for eight months while a court-matrial was deciding on the fate of the "conspirators". He was sentenced to eight years' penal servitude. The sentence was commuted by the Emperor to four years, after which he was to serve as a private s o l d i e r . But instead of simply communicating the sentence to the prisoners, the authorities enacted a wantonly c r u e l tragicomedy: a sentence of death was read but to them and preparations were made for shooting them. A l l the prisoners naturally took the death sentence quite ser-i o u s l y . One of them went mad. Dostoyevsky never f o r -got the day: he remembers i t twice in his w r i t i n g s — i n "The Idi o t " and i n "An Author's Diary" for 1873* This took place i n December 22, 1849. Two days l a t e r Dostoyevsky was taken off to S i b e r i a , where he was to serve his term. For nine years he drops out of l i t e r -ature. For his own sake i t i s convenient to regard the young Dostoyevsky as a d i f f e r e n t writer from the author of his l a t e r novels; a lesser writer, no doubt, but not a minor one, a writer with a marked o r i g i n a l i t y and an important place among his contemporaries. The p r i n c i -pal feature that distinguished him i s his p a r t i c u l a r l y close connection with Gogol. Like Gogol, he concen-trated on s t y l e . His i s as tense and saturated as Gogol's, i f not as unerringly r i g h t . Like the other r e a l i s t s , he seeks, i n "Poor Folk", to transcend Gogol's purely s a t i r i c a l naturalism by infusing i t with elements of sympathy and human emotion. But while the others sought to solve the problem by adopting a middle way between the extremes of the grotesque and of the s e n t i -mental Dostoyevsky i n a much more t r u l y Gogolian s p i r i t , and continuing, as i t were, the t r a d i t i o n of "The Great-coat", sought to combine extreme grostesque naturalism with intense sentiment; without losing t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l -i t y i n a golden mean, the two elements are fused together. "Poor Folk" i s the acme of the "philanthropic" l i t e r a t u r e 118 of the f o r t i e s , and has a foretaste of the wracking v i s i o n of pi t y that are such a l u r i d feature of the Dostoyevsky of the great novels. On completing h i s term he was transferred as a private s o l d i e r to an infantry b a t t a l i o n garrisoned at Semipalatinsk. In October 185*6 his commission was restored to him. He was now free to write and receive l e t t e r s and to resume his l i t e r a r y work. In 1857, while staying at Kuznetsky, he married the widow Isayeva. This f i r s t marriage was not a happy one. He remained i n Siberia t i l l 1859. During these f i v e years he wrote, besides some shorter s t o r i e s , the novel "The Manor of Stepanchilovo", which appeared i n 1859, and began "Memoirs from the House of Death". In 1859 he was allowed to return to European Russia. Later i n the same year he was f i n a l l y amnestied and came to Petersburg. He arrived i n the midst of the great reform move-ment and was immediately sucked into the j o u r n a l i s t i c whirlpool. Together whith his brother Michael he started the review Vremya (The Time), which began appearing i n January 1861. In the f i r s t two years he contributed to a review a novel, "The Humiliated and Insulted", and "The House of Death", besides a great number of a r t i c l e s . Though the position that the Dostoyevskys took up f i t t e d i n with no part, t h e i r review was a success. What they stood for was a sort of mystical populism that did not want to make the people happy along Western and progressive l i n e s , but to assimilate the ideas of the people. In 1863, l i k e a bolt from the blue, came the suppression of Vremya for an a r t i c l e on the Polish question by Strakhov, which had been, quite l i t e r a l l y , misred by the censor-ship. The misunderstanding was cleared up before long, and the Dostoyevskys were allowed to resume t h e i r review i n January 1864 under the new name "The Epoch", but the f i n a n c i a l damage caused them by the suppression were in c a l c u l a b l e . For eight years Dostoyevsky was unable to free himself from them. "The Epoch" began under the worst auspices. The action of the authorities prevented i t from being ad-vertised i n due time, and i t never succeeded i n recover-ing the good w i l l of the subscribers of Vremya. Soon af t e r i t was started, Dostoyevsky 1s wife and almost simultaneously, Michael Dostoyevsky died. Dostoyevsky found himself alone, and with the whole family of his brother to provide f o r . After f i f t e e n months of hero-119 i c a l and hectic labor he gave i n , recognizing that "The Epoch" could not be saved. The review was closed. To meet his enormous l i a b i l i t i e s he set down to work at his great novels. In 1865-6 he wrote "Crime and Punishment". He sold the copyright of a l l his works for the ludicrous sum of three thousand rubles to the publisher Stellovsky. The contract stipulated that bsides a l l previously published work Dostoyevsky was to d e l i v e r to Stellovsky by November 1866 a f u l l -length unpublished novel. To meet t h i s o b l i g a t i o n he began writing "The Gambler", and, to be able to f i n i s h i n time, he engaged a shorthand secretary, Anna G r i -gorievna S n i t k i n . Owing to her e f f i c i e n t help, "The Gambler" was delivered i n time. A few months l a t e r he married his secretary (February 1867). When they returned to Petersburg the Dostoyevskys, though not at f i r s t free from a l l d i f f i c u l t i e s , began to have better luck. The publication at t h e i r own expense, of "The Possessed" (I837) was a success. In the same year Dostoyevsky became editor of Prince V. Meschersky's "The C i t i z e n " . This gave him a set t l e d income. The high-water mark of his populatiry was reached i n the year preceding his death, when "The Brothers Karamazov" appeared. The culmination was his famous address on the occassion of the unveiling of the Pushkin memorial i n Moscow, delivered on June 8, 1880. The address evoked an enthusiasm that had no precedents i n Russian l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y . The following winter he f e l l i l l , and, on January 28, 1881 he died."67 67 D.S. M i r s k i , A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 173-176, 263-266. " 120 2. DOSTOIEVSKY—A REALIST FROM HIS EARLIEST WORKS It i s astounding how many volumes, the great r e a l i s t i c author, Dostoievsky, wrote altogether. Between the years 1846-1880 at least thirty-two volumes were published. A l l show the same keen observations of l i f e , his revolutionary sentiments, his forever probing into the reasons for extreme poverty, mental retardation, and p a r t i c u l a r l y mental i l l n e s s , and degeneracy of d i f f e r e n t kinds often r e s u l t i n g i n crime. Dostoievsky laboured unceasingly to penetrate the extraordinary complexes of the human mind, going so far as to t r y to uncover the very roots of crime. Like Gogol, he was incl i n e d to be too c r i t i c a l l y obser-vant, and usually emphasized the negative and strange t r a i t s of persons, rather than t h e i r positive and nobler c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . He t r i e d however to describe people as he believed them to ac t u a l l y be. Dostoievsky did not emerge from romantic or c l a s s -i c a l ideals i n writing, but wrote r e a l i s t i c a l l y from his f i r s t book, "Poor Folk", to the end of his l i f e : "Dostoyevsky 1s realism i s an inheritance from his normanised ancestors. A l l writers of Norman blood are distinguished by t h e i r profound realism."68 Nekrasov exclaimed on reading, "Poor Folk", that a new Gogol had aris e n . This f i r s t story also brought encouraging comment from 68 Aimee Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. New Haven, Yale Univ e r s i t y Press, 1922, p. 13. (Dostoyevsky's daughter i n t h i s biography of her father claims that the Dostoyevsky family was descended from Lithuanian stock, which she believes to have been o r i g i n a l l y Norman.) 121 the famous critic, Belinski. Gogol's works, however, are not so grim. He did not experience life in a political prison camp, as Dostoievsky had from the years 1849-53* "Poor Folk", written in 1845 was the first work of Dostoievsky to bring him to the attention of the reading public. In this book he raises his voice on behalf of the oppressed. It exposed the deplorable conditions of the down-trodden, underfed and illiterate. "Poor Folk" revealed the genius of Dostoievsky as a writer, as a master of clever repartee and candid descrip-tions. He, like Gogol, saw very deeply into human frailties, and with a somewhat satirical turn. Dostoievsky relates bluntly many grim situations that existed in his time, such as the experiences of persons, who through sheer poverty had sunk far below decent living conditions. Persons, who could not get a fresh start are described with understanding and poignancy. Many readers complain that Dostoievsky's writings are depressing, because so much of it centers around degenercy. In this modern age Dostoievsky would have made a competent psychiatrist. His father was a medical doctor, and the disposition to enquire into the reasons for misery, ill-health, poverty, insanity and crime, which is at the roots of his most prolific writing may have resulted from many conversations with his father regarding his medical practice, and scientific knowledge. Some of his shorter works are amusing. These were written chiefly to sell, as Dostoievsky had soon squandered a small fortune, left him by his father, and is said not to have been a practical man in his busi-ness affairs. He seemed to always have had to endure a certain 122 amount of poverty aft e r his inheritance dwindled. This was e s p e c i a l l y true after his imprisonment i n S i b e r i a , and con-tinued u n t i l almost the end of his l i f e , when at long l a s t , he was established as one of the great l i t e r a r y l i g h t s o f his time. 123 3 . CONSIDERATION OF DOSTOIEVSKY'S GREATEST WORKS—  "THE POSSESSED", "BROTHERS KARAMASOV" AND  "CRIME AND PUNISHMENT" "The Possessed", written by Dostoievsky i n 1 8 7 0 - 7 2 , i s a masterpiece, describing with great accuracy and poignancy the events of the pre-revolutionary period. Its plot i s centered c h i e f l y around the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . Varvara Petrovna, a widow of a Czaris t general, t y p i f i e s well the doubts and bewilderments of her generation, and those of her son's which d i r e c t l y followed. Her keeping of Stepan Trofimovitch, a flabby and i r r e s o l u t e man, as a sort of pet to wait upon her, was not uncommon, but t y p i c a l of a type of Russian l i f e at that time, based on a somewhat Goncharovan philosophy. Stepan takes to l i v i n g i n his dressing gown, does not even c a l l the maid to dust out his l i t t l e house, indi c a t i n g he had v i r t u a l l y sunk into a kind of "Oblomovism", which i s eventually his undoing, but more t y p i c a l of 18th than 19th Century customs. The fact that Varvara never r e a l l y forgave him on two occassions i s a de l i c i o u s piece of Dostoievsky's own spec i a l kind of infectious humor. On one occasion i t was the fact that he allowed a bold "Hurrah" to escape from his l i p s before one of Varvara's' special f r i e n d s — a baron—when i t was declared that the end of serfdom was c e r t a i n l y not very far o f f ; "When the baron p o s i t i v e l y asserted the absolute truth of the rumours of the great reform, which were then only just beginning to be heard, Stepan Trofimo-v i t c h could not contain himself, and suddenly shouted "Hurrah!" and even made some ge s t i c u l a t i o n i n d i c a t i v e 124 of d e l i g h t . His ejaculation was not over-loud and quite p o l i t e , his delight was even perhaps premedi-tated, and his gesture purposely studied before the looking-glass half an hour before tea. But something must have been amiss with i t , for the baron permitted himself a f a i n t smile, though he, at once, with extra-ordinary courtesy, put i n a phrase concerning the uni-v e r s a l and b e f i t t i n g emotion of a l l Russian hearts i n view of the great event. Shortly afterwards he took his leave and at parting did not forget to hold out two fingers to Stepan Trofimovitch. On returning to the drawing-room Varvara Petrovna was at f i r s t s i l e n t for two or three minutes, and seemed to be looking for something on the table. Then she turned to Stepan Trofimovitch, and with pale face and f l a s h i n g eyes she hissed i n a whispers "I s h a l l never forgive you for that!"69 The other occasion had been before t h i s incident shortly a f t e r the death of Varvara !s husband and seemed to indicate that she thought perhaps Stepan was growing fond of her, as Dostoievsky assures us that as the r e s u l t of meetings between Varvara and Stepan on warm May nights i n the arbour the conversation some-times reached a height of poetic sublimity! "He (Stepan) had only just gone i n , and i n r e s t -less h e s i t a t i o n taken a cigar and not having yet lighted i t , was standing weary and motionless before the open window, gazing at the l i g h t feathery white clouds g l i d -ing around the bright moon, when suddenly a f a i n t r u s t l e made him s t a r t and turn around. Varvara Petrovna, who he had l e f t only four minutes e a r l i e r , was standing before him again. Her yellow face was almost blue. Her l i p s were pressed t i g h t l y together and twitching at the corners. For ten f u l l seconds she looked him i n the eyes i n silence with a firm r e l e n t l e s s gaze, and suddenly whispered r a p i d l y : "I s h a l l never forgive you for this!"70 69 F;eodor Dostoyevsky, The Possessed. Translation by Constance Garnett), New York, The Modern Library, 1936, pp. 12, 13. 70 I b i d . . p. 15 125 The term "Varvara Petrovna" became at length a word coined by the Russians of Dostoievsky's time to designate the type of woman portrayed in this novel—the imperious domineering and overbearing matron. "The Possessed", a remarkably realistic novel shows the trend of thought of the peoples of the intel-ligentsia as expressed explicitly in the rather lesser gentry. Even Varvara, had decided to proclaim herself a Nihilist, so it is easy to understand that Orthodoxy and other trends of Christian thought were losing their hold, and indeed had prac-tically no support. Strange cults such as Nihilism, Marxism, Socialism, (the beginnings of the two Socialistic parties in Russia—the Revolutionary Socialists and the Social Democrats, the latter eventually becoming the Bolshevik Party), came into being in the newly formed Dumas of Nicholas II (1894-1917), after the 1905 Revolt. The Revolutionary trends as witnessed in the Provisional Government of 1917 were also gaining influence at this time. In "The Possessed", there lurks a feeling of uncertainty in the minds of the principal.characters. They do not know just which "ism" or cult to adopt. Their minds have become befuddled. The chief characters—the hero—Stavrogin, Kirilov, Shatov, Shigalov and others actually belong to an underground revolutionary group. Here Dostoievsky is reminiscing about his own grim exper-iences and the consequences which he endured from belonging to such an assembly in 1849* 126 In considering a few of the prominent characters of the book, there i s found, Shatov, a kindly Russian soul seeking truth. He does not r e a l i z e how corrupt some of his comrades have grown, and that h i s l i f e i s a c t u a l l y i n danger when among thems "The idea of the Russian 'Christ that Shatov proclaims i n "The Possessed" i s reasserted i n the Diarys "I believe i n Russia. . . I believe i n her orthodoxy. One cannot have f a i t h i n the one with-out having f a i t h i n the other."71 However Shigalov, represents a sinster type, one who i s an unrepentant, d e v i l i s h kind of man. His eventual hounding to death, of the weaker character, K i r i l o v , i s a blood-thirsty and h o r r i b l e deed. He i s also eventually responsible for Shatov 1s murder. Dostoievsky was r e a l i s t i c enough here, be-cause many p o l i t i c a l bosses of the early Leninist regime were men with propensities such as Shigalov's, who was an i n s a t i a b l e fanatic i n pursuit of his own p a r t i c u l a r kind of p o l i t i c a l i n -tolerance. The character, Shigalov, i s presented so r e a l i s t i c -a l l y i n Dostoievsky's book, that the term "Shigalovism" became at length a slang expression, with a d e f i n i t e meaning. At length Shigalov became a f r a i d l e s t he be betrayed to the a u t h o r i t i e s , hence he ran away, and t r i e d desperately to keep i n hiding even at the expense of taking the l i f e of the unfortunate Shatov, who became the l a s t v i c t i m of his intolerant fanaticism. 71 Henry Troyat, Firebrand. The L i f e of Dostoievsky. New York, Roy Publishers, 1946, p. 3b"6. 127 The suicide of the most important character, Stavro-gin, the son of Varvara Petrovna, i s not pleasant to contem-plate, but r e a l i s t i c enough, since he i s described as one who had been corrupt from his youth. Certainly i n t h i s sense h i s end i s r e a l i s t i c . Such unfortunate persons more often than not experience a miserable f a t e . This unsual novel gives, better than any h i s t o r i c a l document, a picture of immediate pre-revolutionary Russia. Its characters are representative portrayals' of persons whom Dostoievsky knew. The c i r c l e described i s based on f a c t s : "Every one of these f i v e champions had formed t h i s f i r s t group i n the fervent conviction that their quintet was only one of hundreds and thous-ands of similar groups scattered a l l over Russia, and that they a l l depended on some immense ce n t r a l but secret power, which i n i t s turn was intimately connected with the revolutionary movement a l l over Europe. But I regret to say that even at that time there was beginning to be dissension among them. Though they had ever since the spring been expect-ing Pyotr Verhovensky, whose coming had been herald-ed f i r s t by Tolkatchenko and then by the a r r i v a l of Shigalov, though they had expected extraordinary mircales from him, and though they had responded to his f i r s t summons without the s l i g h t e s t c r i t i c i s m , yet they had no sooner formed the quintent than they a l l somehow seemed to f e e l insulted; and I r e a l l y believe i t was owing to the promptitude with which they consented to j o i n . They had joined, of course, from a not ignoble f e e l i n g of shame, for fear people might say afterwards that they had not dared to j o i n ; s t i l l they f e l t Pyotr Verhovensky ought to have ap-preciated t h e i r heroism and have rewarded i t by t e l l -ing them some r e a l l y important b i t s of news at l e a s t . But Verhovensky was not at a l l i n c l i n e d to s a t i s f y t h e i r legitimate c u r i o s i t y , and t o l d them nothing but what was necessary; he treated them i n general with great sternness and even rather casually. This was p o s i t i v e l y i r r i t a t i n g , and Comrade Shigalov was a l -128 ready egging the others on to i n s i s t on his "ex-plaining himself," though, of course, not at Virginsky's, where so many outsiders were present."72 The aristocracy was not represented among them, although such women as Varvara Petrovna and J u l i a Mikhailovna, would have considered themselves paragons of the best society; even though Varvara's salon did not meet with much success i n St. Petersburg, because she had neither the needed assets nor the i n t e l l e c t f or such a.venture. Anna Pavlovna of To l s t o i ' s "War and Peace" had such f a c i l i t i e s at her command. Varvara, after t h i s disappoint-ment, returned to her country dwelling, and spent the rest of her days there f o i s t i n g her ideas on Stepan ( u n t i l he at length gave up the quest and died), and the surrounding countryside, where for some reason the simple country f o l k thought they owed her homage. Her horror on learning of her son's suicide i s the climax of the book. Certainly her N i h i l i s m brought her no com-f o r t i n t h i s overwhelming tragedy. She appears most p i t i a b l e i n her extreme g r i e f . She and indeed a l l the characters of the book i l l u s t r a t e the dreadful uncertainties of existence, which haunted the l i v e s of a l l persons i n Russia just before the Revo-l u t i o n . The Old Regime was fast crumbling, but those who wished to maintain i t could not find the correct solution to uphold the old t r a d i t i o n s . The various i n e q u a l i t i e s , although the serfs were t h e o r e t i c a l l y emancipated aft e r 1861, s t i l l p ersisted. 72 Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Possessed. (Translation by Constance Garnett) New York, The Modern Library, 1936, pp. 389, 399. 129 Hence there came about many cults above and under ground, that had as followers many sincere seekers of t r u t h such as Shatov and K i r i l o v . However i n larger numbers there were blood-thirsty, reckless characters, such as Varvara's son and Shigalov. "The Possessed" i s not a work of exaggeration, rather an accurate and comprehensive statement of the prevailing ideas, under-currents and ideals of society i n general i n Russia immediately preceding the revolution. "Brothers Karamazov", i s considered by most c r i t i c s to be Dostoievsky's greatest masterpiece. However i t i s not so r e a l i s t i c a l l y portrayed as "The Possessed". In "Brothers Kara-mazov" Dostoievsky tends to paint a more horrib l e and t r a g i c picture than r e a l l y existed among the majority of the people of pre-revolutionary Russia. In t h i s respect t h i s novel f a l l s short of "The Possessed", i n the l i g h t of r e a l i s t i c w r i t i n g . I t has been described, as an attempt to sum up a l l of Dostoievsky's mature i d e a l s — r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l , economic and s o c i a l . The three brothers—Alyosha, Ivan and Dmitri Karamazov portray three d i s t i n c t and representative i n d i v i d u a l s . Alyosha i s the most s p i r i t u a l of the three. That his soul i s saved at last the reader fe e l s assured, and his love for Lisa remained pure. Ivan could not reconcile the good and e v i l t r a i t s i n his nature. At length, the e v i l triumphed. Dmitri i s depicted as being between these two extremes. He wanted very much to l i v e a good and glorious l i f e , but did not have the strength of character to put these ideals into practice. In the characters of the three 130 brothers Dostoievsky attempts to describe what he considers to be three representative types of men of his time; f i r s t l y the one seeking s p i r i t u a l t r u t h , secondly the dominant and sensual, and t h i r d l y the moderate, who sought the middle of the road, but because of his innate weakness attained no better l i f e than h i s companions, who were perpetrators of wickedness. The vileness and the many human f r a i l t i e s of the elder Karamazov are probably exaggerated. There are few human beings surely so depraved as he i s depicted. The most outstanding part of t h i s book, and the part most widely known, i s the story which appears on page 292—"The Grand Inquisitor's Tale." This t a l e i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of Dostoievsky's r e l i g i o u s c r i t i c i s m . I t i s given to i l l u s t r a t e what Dostoievsky thought would have been the reception meted to Christ had he appeared i n medieval Spain. Dostoievsky feels He would have been immediately cast into prison and there received as unfair a t r i a l as was waged against Him by P i l a t e and the Rabbis. Christ's amazing t r i a l given Him i n 15th Century Spain i s written with great s p i r i t u a l power and beauty. The only part that i s disconcerting, i s that the reader knows Dostoievsky thinks Christ could never have suffered such an i n d i g n i t y i n the precincts of Orthodoxy at the same period of h i s t o r y . He forgets about Awakum's infamous martyrdom a century l a t e r I I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that "The Grand Inquisitor's Tale" also had a profound e f f e c t upon the mind of the great Russian 131 philosopher Nicholas Berdyaey. He f e l t that there he glimpsed more c l e a r l y , than elsewhere, the true image of Christ J e s u s — His greatness, compassion, and suffering i n an inhuman and e v i l world. This particular story i n i t s s p i r i t u a l content seems to have been of i n f i n i t e blessing to Berdyaev. He came to believe at length that Dostoievsky was one of the few persons of h i s time who sensed the oncoming gigantic upheaval which took place i n Russia i n 1917. Both he and Dostoievsky, before his e x i l e , were i n sympathy with the Revolution, but Berdyaev, because he l i v e d to see i t a c t u a l l y happen, was forced to f l e e from the early Bolsheviks rather than renounce his C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . Referring to Dostoievsky, Berdyaev says: " I t was given to him to reveal the struggle i n man between the "God-man" and the "man-god", between Christ and A n t i c h r i s t , a c o n f l i c t unknown to preceding ages, when wickedness was seen i n only i t s most e l e -mentary and simple forms. To-day the soul of man no longer rests upon secure foundations, everything around him i s unsteady and contradictory, he l i v e s i n an atmosphere of i l l u s i o n and falsehood under a ceaseless threat of change. E v i l comes forward under an appear-ance of good, and he i s deceived; the faces of Christ and of A n t i c h r i s t , of man become god and God become man, are interchangeable."73 "Crime and Punishment" written i n 1865, i s one of Dostoievsky's best known works. In i t he t r i e s , as ever, to search into the hidden motives for crime. The p r i n c i p a l charac-t e r , Raskolnikov, commits the vicious crime of murdering two old spinsters for their bag of money. He intends with t h i s money 73 Nicolas Berdyaev, Dostoievsky - An Interpretation, ( t r a n s l a -t i o n by Donald Attwater) Sheed & Ward Inc., London, 1934, p .60. 132 to f i n i s h his education, and talks himself into believing that t h i s motive i s legitimate grounds for committing the crime. However, l i k e most cri m i n a l , he does not carry out the plan which his subconscious mind presents to his conscious mind i n the way of j u s t i f i c a t i o n . Raskolnikov, however, i s not the most hardened kind of c r i m i n a l , and a f t e r the infamous murder has been committed, his conscience i s so tortured, that instead of going ahead with his education with the money thus obtained, he decides to give himself up to the a u t h o r i t i e s , and make a confession of his crime, which r e s u l t s i n him receiving a heavy sentence to remote S i b e r i a . He i s accompanied there by the woman he made his com-panion, and there Dostoievsky portrays him as finding through much hardship and p r i v a t i o n , s a l v a t i o n at l a s t . Just how close Dostoievsky comes to absolute truth i n t h i s t a l e i s hard to estimate, but the struggle i n the mind of the murderer i s most r e a l i s t i c , and i t i s a book i n which much ca r e f u l and thoughtful study pertaining to the criminal i n s t i n c t s and the psychological impulses behind t h e i r desires, i s given attempted r a t i o n a l ex-planation, k book which should be read by a l l persons who are interested either i n criminology or i n psychiatry. It i s unfortunate that the most important character i n t h i s story i s given the name—Raskolnikov—but perhaps Dostoievsky i s having a remonstrance with the old Raskolniki group, who were the remnant of Avvakum's followers known as Old Bel i e v e r s . This, no doubt, was done to boost 19th Century Orthodoxy i n contrast;. 133 Although t h i s character i s supposed to fin d eventual forgiveness and expiation for his crime, his name nevertheless, i n the role of a cold-blooded murderer i s continually associated with h i s crime more than with his redemption. This probably was the way Dostoievsky wanted i t , although he may not have admitted such a motive even to himself. Unlike the author, Leo T o l s t o i , who could quite r e a d i l y see the glaring inadequacies of the Orthodoxy of his time, Dostoievsky chose to exalt i t at the expense of a l l other demoninations and c u l t s . The group—the Raskolniki, which separated i t s e l f from the Church i n the 17th Century under the leadership of Archpriest Avvakum, from h i s t o r i c a l accounts, unlike Dostoievsky's charac-ter bearing i t s name, was perhaps the closest of a l l to s p i r i t u a l t r u t h . But i t was so savagely put down by both the Patriarch, and Church Council, and not upheld by the Czar as i t should have been, with the re s u l t that i n the 19th Century i t s torch was a l l but extinguished. 134 4. DOSTOIEVSKY'S LATER IDEAS ON ORTHODOXY AND SLAVOPHILISM (a) 1. Early Church History In studying the character and writings of Dostoievsky, i t i s in t e r e s t i n g to note his b e l i e f s about the church of his time and some of the other trends of thought current i n the mind of the populace which he knew. In tracing the history of the Orthodox Church consider-ation must be given to the f a c t , that t h i s church was brought to the South Slavs through the Greek Orthodox monks, who formulated t h e i r alphabet i n the ;9th Century~SS. C y r i l and Methodius; and to the East Slavs c h i e f l y through the Ch r i s t i a n Princess Olga after her conversion i n Constantinople i n 957» and continued through her grandson, Vladimir I, who made Greek Orthodoxy the state r e l i g i o n of the Kievan Kingdom i n 989. During the subse-quent years t h i s f a i t h took strong root among the Eastern and Southern Slavs. Even the Tatar invasion affected the church but l i t t l e , as the Tatars with a l l t h e i r devastation and cruelty for some inexplicable reason l e f t the church alone. One of the sons of Khan Batu (1237-46) i s said to have become a C h r i s t i a n ; but ce r t a i n l y C h r i s t i a n i t y was not ever adopted r e s o l u t e l y or devout-l y among the Mongols. Shamanism, Buddhism, and Islam were the chief r e l i g i o n s among t h i s people. Some of the i r descendants are now thought to be found c h i e f l y interspersed throughout the Moslems of the Uzbek, Turkic and Kasakh S.S. Rs, also among the Bashkirs and other Siberian t r i b e s . Among the peoples of the 135 Caucasus and Crimea are also believed to be remnants of the old tatars who have survived. After the expulsion of the Tatar Rule—approximately 1480—The Greek Orthodox Church again became the state r e l i g i o n of the new Nevski Muscovy Dynasty. Its teach-ing even became more dominant among the l i v e s of the people of t h i s new regime, since Constantinople had f a l l e n to the Turks i n 1453, and i n 1550 Moscow became o f f i c i a l l y the Mother Church of Greek Orthodoxy, or Russian Orthodoxy as i t then became more gen-e r a l l y to be known* Referring to the year 1444—"Nine years l a t e r Constantinople was stormed by the Turks. The Byzan-tine Empire was overthrown and the Cathedral of St. sophia turned into a mosque. The Turks, however, did not destroy the Greek church as an i n s t i t u t i o n and permitted a new patriarch to be elected. The church union was now repudiated and the Greeks returned to Orthodoxy. The Russians had no inten-t i o n of breaking with t h e i r mother church i n Con-stantinople but at the same time they now consider-ed the church schismatic. They waited vai n l y f o r several years for the rest o r a t i o n of Orthodoxy i n Byzantium. F i n a l l y B a s i l II convoked a council of Russian bishops to elect a new metropolitan. Bishop Iona, a wise old prelate, thus became the f i r s t head of an autonomous Russian church (1448). This act was not meant, however, as a d e f i n i t e separation from Constantinople. It was considered an emergency mea-sure, and i t was explained that when Orthodoxy was restored i n Byzantium the patriarch's blessings would again be sought for future candidates to the see of Moscow. Orthodoxy was restored i n Constantinople i n 1453 but under p o l i t i c a l conditions which made i t psychologically d i f f i c u l t for the Russians to sub-ordinate their church to the patriarch once more since that patriarch's see was i n the camp of i n f i d e l s . Thus the Russian church became self-governing through the course of events and not as a result of any d e l i -berate opposition of the patriarch."' 7 4 74 George Vernadsky, & History of Russia. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1954, pp. 82, 83. 136 The f i r s t Romanov Czar, Michael I, elected by the people i n 1613, was the son of a Bishop of t h i s church. He and his predecessors then continued to uphold Orthodoxy as the state church of Holy Russia i n their subsequent reigns, as had the Muscovy and Kievan Dynasties before them. 137 2. Early Czars Who Prayed Hours But F a i l e d  In Their Highest Purpose A l l went comparatively well with the Church u n t i l the reign of Czar Alexis (1645-76). In his reign the c o n f l i c t or schism within the church, came prominently into being. This 17th Century schism began as the result of the assigning of the Patriarchate to the man, Nikon, who had become Metropolitan of Novgorod i n 1648, and Patriarch i n 1652. Czar A l e x i s , i s pur-ported to have been a pious Czar, one who spent hours i n prayer, but he did not seem to have the resolve or s p i r i t u a l understand-ing to manage the stormy a f f a i r s of the Church i n his time. He merely kept out of a l l the bickering, and i n time completely f e l l out with, and became e n t i r e l y estranged from Patriarch Nikon, but did not appoint a competent man as his successor. Nikon i s accused of allowing the re-editing of the Holy books to be inaccurately and ca r e l e s s l y carried out, aft e r the deaths of Maxim the Grec and Abbot Dionysius, who had started t h i s Holy project with reso-lute purpose and c a r e f u l preparation. On the other side, opposed to Nikon and his methods, was the Archpriest Awakum, who has been r i g h t l y described by many h i s t o r i a n s as a man of "vast s p i r i t u a l powers". There seems to be no doubt whatsoever of Avvakum's super i o r i t y i n conducting the a f f a i r s of the Church. This i s the opinion of a l l competent writers, who have commented on t h i s par-t i c u l a r stage of Church History i n Russia. I t would seem also from accounts, that the roots of the schism went much deeper than just the re-editing of the prayer books. I t would appear from 138 c a r e f u l study, that a worldly clique had gained power within the precincts of the Church at t h i s time, and knew that Nikon was not a strong enough man to oppose them. The Church Council which met i n Moscow i n 1666, however, decided to condemn Nikon, and reduce him to a monk of lowest order, but i t also decided to uphold his so-called reforms, which remained i n force i n the Russian Orthodox Church. Such measures seem most contradictory. They would suggest, that many did not l i k e Nikon personally, but were i n favour of the lax type of worship which he advocated; that they did riot mind departing from the purer Orthodoxy advo-cated by Awakum and his followers. With the inhuman burning at the stake.of Awakum i n 1681, t h i s group accomplished t h e i r pur-pose within the church. After his Unfortunate martyrdom, his followers became known as a mere c u l t — t h e Raskolniki—which became a small minority, and endured great persecution during the years that followed. During the years 1681-1700 p a r t i c u l a r l y , thousands of Awakum1 s followers are said to have perished through self-immolations "The reform of the r i t u a l was begun i n 1653• At the distance of nearly three centuries, the changes made then appear of l i t t l e moment. But to many of the Russian Orthodox the s l i g h t e s t a l t e r a t i o n i n r e l i g i o u s practices which they had been taught to regard as sacred and in a l t e r a b l e appeared to be the work of the d e v i l , and they were quick to interpret the reform as an i n s p i r a t i o n of foreigners who were seeking to cor-rupt "Holy Russia". Opposition to reform grew both among the Russian clergy and among the l a i t y . In I667 the Patriarch recognized i t by anathematizing a l l who expressed adverse opinion and by having many of the opposition leaders burned. S t i l l the changes were not accepted by a l l ; thousands of pious clergy 139 and l a i t y committed suicide rather than face the neces-s i t y of l i v i n g under the reign of the An t i - C h r i s t , whom they expected to appear soon, and thousands more l e f t the reformed Church. Those who left—known as the schismatics or as Old Believers—were vigorously per-secuted by the government. But they survived to become a strong group i n Russia. After the reforms the Ukrainian Orthodox Church maintained close relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, but i t did not agree to place i t s e l f under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Moscow Patriarchate u n t i l 1687."75 I t i s most regrettable that Czar Feodor (1676-82) did not take an honourable stand i n behalf of his devout arc h p r i e s t . Here he most t r u l y f a i l e d as the protector of the Holy Russian Ortho-dox Church. In the very year Avvakum was martyred, he i s said to have been greatly displeased. No doubt he thought Awakum was becoming a tiresome crank, and so allowed his enemies to do away with him, lending him no assistance i n his hour of greatest need! 75 Sidney Harcave, Russia A History. New York, J.B. Lippincott Co., 1953, PP. 39,40. 140 3. A Church Disrupted Purine the Reigns Of  Peter I And Catharine II In 1689» the Church again suffered a severe blow, with the coming to the throne of Peter I, who was the son of Czar Alexis and his second wife, Natalie Naryshkin. Peter was not i n sympathy with the Russian Orthodox f a i t h , and was i n many ways an impious and profane man, although able and s k i l l e d i n stat e s -manship and va l i a n t i n b a t t l e . Peter was more favourably d i s -posed toward Lutheranism, i f , i n t r u t h , he were disposed toward any church at a l l . He therefore abolished the Patriarchate i n 1700, on the death of Patriarch Adrian. He then placed the Church under a Holy Synod, including a council of Bishops, of which he, himself, was the head. After Peter's reign the Church remained under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Emperor, losing her r i g h t to voice her opinion on matters which pertained to her welfare. During the reign of the German Empress Catharine II (1762-96) Russian Orthodoxy suffered another set-back. Catharine although she remained i n name the head of the Holy Synod, was hardly a devout r u l e r . More than any rul e r before her, she en-couraged at the Russian court the study of the philosophies of such men as V o l t a i r e , Diderot, and other a t h e i s t i c philosophers of t h e i r time. After the death of Catharine, and continuing into the rule of her son, the Emperor Paul (1796-1801) the Church had almost e n t i r e l y l o s t i t s s p i r i t u a l intent. Both Peter and Catharine tightened rather than a l l e v i a t e d the hapless hardships of the s e r f s . By the time of the reigns of the Czars Alexander I* 141 (1801-25) and his brother, Nicholas I (1825-55), the Church as anything l i k e a l i g h t for the people, p a r t i c u l a r l y the poor and unfortunate, as a regenerator of the sinner, or reclaimer of the i n f i d e l had p r a c t i c a l l y ceased to function. I t was most unfor-tunate, that during the reign of Peter, the Emperor had been made the o f f i c i a l head of the church. It henceforth became just the t o o l of whatever Emperor happened to be i n power. Thus the Church was bereft of either service to mankind or power i n d i v i n -i t y . 142 4. The Orthodox Church Of the 19th Century With  Which Dostoievsky Could Find No Flaw During the reign of Czar Nicholas II (1894-1917) and also the Czars, who had d i r e c t l y preceded him, the church had no voice of her own. The voice of the Czar was the voice of the Church. After 1700 the Church no longer had a channel through which to express her i d e a l s . I f the patriarchs of the Church had been able to sponsor some of the neededreforms of these times, the l a t e r Revolution, which seems i n e v i t a b l e , might have been attended with less violence. A f t e r 1796 the Church had become p r a c t i c a l l y a dead body. During the reign of the l a s t Czar, i t was used sometimes as a show piece on state occasions with great pomp and ceremony; but as a succour for the oppressed i t had become p r a c t i c a l l y v o i d . However Dostoievsky thought i n his l a t t e r days, that he had indeed found Christ within the Russian Orthodox Church as i t existed i n his time. He, therefore, e n t i r e l y refused to recog-nize i t s f a i l i n g s . He even boasted that within i t s sacred walls was to be found a salvation not only for Russians, but at length for the whole world. In his more mature writing, as just comment-ed on, he quite scathingly condemned other churches and sects: "Dostoievsky thought that his C h r i s t i a n freedom had been better safeguarded by Eastern Orthodoxy than by the Catholicism of the West. But he was often un-just to Catholicism and shut his eyes to the f a i l u r e s and defects of Orthodoxy* there was no l i b e r t y i n the Byzantine imperial theocracy."76 76 Nicholas Berdyaev, Dostoievsky - An Interpretation, (trans-l a t i o n by Donald Attwater) Sheed & Ward Inc., London, 1934, p. 79. 143 (p) Slavophilism—To Dostoievsky—The Orthodox Church  Triumphant And The Slavs A People Apart From Europe In the 19th Century c e r t a i n factions came into being known as the Slavophiles and Westerners. I t i s hard to d i s t i n -guish i n some instances just exactly what was meant by these terms. Generally speaking, the Westerners were supposed to favour the p o l i t i c a l union of Russia with the West. They wished to see an i n d u s t r i a l revolution take place i n Russia s i m i l a r to that which had taken place i n Western European countries a f t e r the middle of the 19th Century. They favoured the p o l i t i c a l p o l i c i e s of Peter and Catharine. To them the Orthodox Church was not of much consequence. Everything was to be concentrated on the catching up of Russia with the West, p o l i t i c a l l y , indus-t r i a l l y and economically. The Slavophiles, on the other hand, favoured the restoring of the Patriarchate, and held to the b e l i e f that p o l i t i c s , economics and i n d u s t r i a l developments were of l i t t l e value, i f the souls of the people were starved through lack of s p i r i t u a l growth, caused t h i s time through hav-ing no channel either for expression or subsistence. T o l s t o i and Dostoievsky have sometimes been given as exponents of the id e a l s . That i s , T o l s t o i has been described as favouring the ideals of the Westerners, and Dostoievsky as the champion of the Slavophiles. But t h i s statement i s hardly accurate, f o r T o l s t o i , although he l e f t the 19th Century Orthodox Church of his time, claiming i t was no longer a p r a c t i c a l vehicle for 144 re l i g i o u s expression, nevertheless did not admire Peter I, and was very outspoken i n his b e l i e f s that Russia should be allowed to develop i n her own way; that i t was not necessary at a l l that she adopt other methods, or t r y unceasingly to "catch up" with Western Europe. In t h i s respect T o l s t o i was no Westerner at a l l . In Dostoievsky's Slavophilism, the Orthodox Church, as i t existed i n the time of Alexander II and III and Nicholas II did not receive any censure. I t has been necessary to note these trends i n Church History, because they do bear on the writings p a r t i c u l a r l y of these two great masters of the Russian tongue, c h i e f l y because through t h e i r writing i t was expressed more deeply and broadly i n a l l i t s aspects. Toward the close of the 19th Century t h i s trend culminated i n t h e i r great and massive c o l l e c t i o n of w r i t -ings. Realism was considered by these authors not just a vehicle for voicing the truth i n poetic beauty, as Pushkin and Lermontov had f i r s t voiced i t , but was now considered i n a l l i t s aspects from the standpoint of the human soul i n r e l i g i o n , p o l i t i c s , economics and sociology. Dostoievsky makes an appeal for h i s pure Orthodoxy and Slavophilism and attacks through various mediums other trends of thought. T o l s t o i who held a d i f f e r e n t conviction saw much f a u l t In the fashionable Orthodoxy of his time. After his "conversion" i n 1880 he embraced an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t v i s i o n . He found his Christ i n the souls of the men and women near to him, i n some instances i n the souls of the 145 very humble. Such ideals had not been voiced i n Russia since the 17th Century. However the long drawn-out. conversion of T o l s t o i must be discussed i n another chapter r e f e r r i n g express to that great author and his works. 146 5. (a) Dostoievsky's Short Stories As well as being one of the most serious writers on matters pertaining to r e l i g i o n , e t h i c s , and the very psychologic-a l make-up of mankind from the standpoint of Russian realism that the world has yet witnessed, Dostoievsky was also a great humorist. The humourous side of the great writer i s depicted best i n his short s t o r i e s , most of which were written urgently to s e l l , and he therefore s l i p s into a l i g h t e r vein knowing that that i s the kind of material the public i s most apt to buy and appreciate generally. However some of h i s shorter works are also i n a very serious vein such as "Notes from Underground" and "The House of the Dead". "The Gambler" published i n 1866 i s among the best of Dostoievsky's well written and keenly comical t a l e s . In i t he * makes the best of a l l the deplorable mannerisms of the society which he i s describing—one i n which a l l the characters are t r y -ing to outwit each other with the same s k i l l they use at the roulette tables i n the evening. There i s not a serious open-minded character i n the whole gathering, which i s r e a l i s t i c enough and very t y p i c a l of the people he i s here portraying, whose sole aim i n l i f e was to win as much as they could at Casino and do as l i t t l e as possible. Even the old grandmother i n the story completely gambles away what l i t t l e she has l e f t , and as a consequence did not lose too much sleep over i t : 147 "In the f i r s t place, to f i n i s h with Granny. The following day she lost everything. It was what was bound to happen. When once any one i s started upon that road, i t i s l i k e a man i n a sledge f l y i n g down a snow mountain more and more s w i f t l y . She played a l l day t i l l eight o'clock i n the evening; I was not present and only know what happened from what I was t o l d . " 77 Dostoievsky's short, story, "The Double" i s not too convincing, and may be classed as one of the great writer's poorer s t o r i e s . It has never been acclaimed e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y by the reading public. It's theme i s r e a l i s t i c enough i n portraying an insane man who associates himself with another character to the extinc-t i o n of his own personality. Such cases are to be found i n the realm of the mentally i l l , which was of course, of s p e c i a l interest to Dostoievsky's ever-probing mentality. "Uncle's Dream" i s one of the most amusing st o r i e s written i n the countless realms of f i c t i o n . A r e l i a b l e c r i t i c says: "His (Dostoievsky's) story "Uncle's Dream" (1856), which has been magnificently dramatized for the Moscow Art Theatre, i s an almost h i l a r i o u s picture of provin-c i a l society, i n which an ambitious matchmaker t r i e s to marry off her daughter to a decrepit and nearly h a l f -witted prince. " 7 ° Some of the passages describing the prince's attempts to rejuven-ate himself, and 6f the ambitious Marya Alexandrovna 1s regard for her husband—a man of quieter and more sensible d i s p o s i t i o n 77 F.M. Dostoievsky, The Short Novels of Dostoievsky, ( t r a n s l a -t i o n by Constance Garnett) New York, D i a l Press, 1951, P» 86 . 78 Richard Hare, Russian Literature from Pushkin to the Present  Day. London, Methuen & Co.Ltd., 1947, p. 136. 148 than herself are among the most amusing passages of Dostoievsky's p r o l i f i c pens "By the way, since we have mentioned him we w i l l say a few words about Afanasy Matveyitch, Marya Alex-androvna's husband. In the f i r s t place he was a man of very presentable ex t e r i o r , and indeed of very cor-rect p r i n c i p l e s , only on c r i t i c a l occasions he somehow lo s t his head, and looked l i k e a sheep facing a new gate."79 And i n regard to the old prince, who was fast f a l l i n g aparts "The ladies expecially were i n perpetual ecstasy over t h e i r charming v i s i t o r . A number of curious rem-iniscences of him were preserved. People said among other things that the Prince spent more than half of the day over his t o i l e t , and was, i t appeared e n t i r e l y made up of d i f f e r e n t l i t t l e b i t s . No one knew when and where he had managed to become so d i l a p i d a t e d . He wore a wig, moustaches, whiskers, and even a l i t t l e " i m p e r i a l " — a l l , every hair"of i t f a l s e , and of a magnificent black colour, he rouged and powdered every day. It was said that he had l i t t l e springs to smoothe away the wrinkles on his face, and these springs were i n some peculiar way concealed i n his hair."°° In t r y i n g to accomplish her design of obtaining t h i s senile prince for her young and b e a u t i f u l daughter s o l e l y for his money, and with the hope that the prince would soon d i e , the f o o l i s h Marya Alexandrovna decides to i n v i t e him to her country estate. She hopes i n t h i s way to keep him from the other feminine conquerors of Mordasov, and informs her bewildered husband that his whole duty on the a r r i v a l of t h e i r distinguished v i s i t o r i s just to 79 F.M. Dostoievsky. The Short Novels of Dostoievsky, (transla-t i o n Constance Garnett) New York, D i a l Press, 1951, p. 227. 80 I b i d . , p. 230. 149 keep his mouth completely closed! "Molchat!" she might have conveniently commanded. Thus t h i s humourous t a l e of f o l l y pro-ceeds to the merriment of either the reader or the audience. "The Friend of the Family" (1859) i s also a comical s a t i r e centering around a t y p i c a l "leech". Foma i s the duMaurier parasite. In some respects he resembles "Turgenev*s "Rudin" only he i s not even as i n t e l l i g e n t a man as Rudin was purported to have been. He simply and e f f o r t l e s s l y , despite his d u l l and blunted mentality, dominates a rather dense house-hold and makes his stupid slaves u t t e r l y r i d i c u l o u s under the reign of his petty tyranny. "The Eternal Husband". (1880) i s one of the l a s t short stories to be written by Dostoievsky and to quite an extent ref l e c t e d his own l i f e at the time when i t was written. At th i s time he experienced much unhappiness after his marriage with the widow Isayaev i n 1857» "He put a l l his bitterness as a betrayed husband into the novel "The Eternal Husband", which he wrote l a t e r . It i s curious to notethat he painted the hero of t h i s story as a contemptible creature, o l d , ugly, vulgar and r i d i c u l o u s . In spite of his sufferings and despair, Dostoyevsky continued to send money to Maria Dmitrievna, placed c o n f i d e n t i a l servants with her at Tver, and l a t e r went himself several times to see i f she had a l l she needed. Their marriage was shattered, but the sense of duty toward her who bore his name remained strong i n Dostoyevsky 1s Lithuanian heart."81 81 Aimee Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1922, p. 101. 150 5. ; (b) His Last Tribute to Realism—The Address  on Pushkin (1880) Dostoievsky's l a s t t r i b u t e to realism came with his celebrated address on the unveiling of the Pushkin Memorial i n Moscow i n June of 1880. This great event took place just a few months^before the death of Dostoievsky i n January, 1881. At th i s l i t e r a r y f e s t i v a l i n honour of the best-beloved of Russian poets both the Slavophiles and Westerners paid t h e i r homage to the great Russian poet of such singular genius. This f e s t i v a l was perhaps the greatest event of i t s kind occurring during the 19th Century. A l l p o l i t i c a l parties were represented on t h i s occasion. A l l hates seemed to be forgotten, i n the universal admiration of the great poet. People who had been enemies of long standing are reported to have become friends a f t e r l i s -tening to Dostoievsky's s t i r r i n g words. His r i v a l and colleague, the author, Ivan Turgenev, who had always acted most f r i g i d l y i n Dostoievsky's presence pressed his hand a f f e c t i o n a t e l y at the close of his great and p a t r i o t i c address. The leader of the Slavophiles, Aksakov, looked upon the speech as one of the greatest, i n the cause which he represented, ever to have been voiced. Dostoievsky's daughter i n the biography of her father gives the following resume of the national part of her father's speech and commentss 151 "The speech, which i s rather long, contains a very subtle analysis of Pushkin's poetry. The reader would do well to read the complete text. I only give my father's conception of the Russian people and i t s future. It was a new conception which had so f i r e d the imaginations of our i n t e l -l e c t u a l s . " 8 2 Her short resume reads as followss "You are discontented, you s u f f e r , and you ascribe your unhappiness to the system under which you l i v e . You think you w i l l become happy and contented i f you introduce European i n s t i t u t i o n s into Russia. You are mistaken. Your sufferings are due to another cause. Thanks to your cosmopolitan education, you are es-tranged from your people, you no longer understand them; you form a l i t t l e clan, u t t e r l y foreign and antipathetic to the rest of the country, i n the midst of a vast empire. You despise your people for t h e i r ignorance, and you forget that i t i s they who have paid for your European education, they who support by the sweat of th e i r brows your u n i v e r s i t i e s and higher schools. Instead of despising them t r y to study the sacred ideas of your people. Humble yourselves, before them, work shoulder to shoulder with them at t h e i r great task; for t h i s i l l i t e r a t e people from whom your turn i n disgust bears within i t the C h r i s t i a n word which i t w i l l proclaim to the world when i t i s bathed i n blood. Not by s e r v i l e r e p e t i t i o n of the Utopias of the Europeans, which lead them to t h e i r own des-t r u c t i o n , w i l l you serve humanity, but by preparing together with your people the new Orthodox idea." "These words went to the hearts of my compatriots, who were t i r e d of despising t h e i r country. They were glad to think that Russia was no mere copy, no s e r v i l e caricature of Europe, but that she i n her turn might have a message for the world."83 With these i n s p i r i n g words the career of Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoievsky distinguished p a r t i c u l a r l y by his great r e a l i s t i c 82 limee Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1922, p. 248. 83 Ibid., pp. 248, 249. 152 writing came to a close. The zeal he put into the speech may have hastened his death. So earnest was he about his message to his people, that persons who witnessed the gathering say that sweat ran down his face and tears shone i n his eyes. As well as being a great writer, Dostoievsky was also a great Russian p a t r i o t , and i f the making of the triumphant speech did shorten his l i f e , he probably was pleased that i t happened that way. He would have given his l i f e gladly at any moment i n the cause of his Slavonic brethren whom he loved so we l l . 153 CHAPTER VI REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF  LEO NICKOLAEVICH TOLSTOI (1828-1910) B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of T o l s t o i ' T o l s t o i — T h e Giant of Russian Realism To l s t o i ' s Works of the Pre-Conversion Period (1852-1880) T o l s t o i ' s Works of the Post-Conversion Period (1880-1910) Tolstoi's Parables—Monuments to Serious Theo-l o g i c a l Study 154 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF TOLSTOI "For, indeed, a l l men l i v e , not by the thought which they may take for themselves, but by the love which dwells i n a l l mankind." — L e o Nickolaevich T o l s t o i "Purity, humility, and lo v e — t h e s e were T o l s t o i ' s t r i n i t y . In times l i k e these, when r e v i s i o n and recon-sid e r a t i o n are going on i n every d i r e c t i o n , and old barri e r s are being swept away, i t may be that our love for t h i s noble Russian may help to bring about a better understanding of, and a closer brotherhood with, that great people to whom he belonged, and for whom he stands. We are beginning to r e a l i z e that a l l nations, l i k e a l l i n d i v i d u a l s , have the i r good q u a l i t i e s , and that i t i s a much more pro f i t a b l e thing to admire these than to be so constantly on the look-out f o r t h e i r weaknesses." —Author Unknown Count Leo Nikolaevich T o l s t o i , that great Russian humanitarian and thinker, so l a t e l y dead, was born In 1828 on the maternal estate at Yasnaya Polyana i n Tula Province, Russia. He received the usual education of an a r i s t o c r a t of his day. After leaving Kazan Uni-v e r s i t y , where he studied Oriental languages and law, without taking a degree he entered the army, and fought i n the Crimean War (1854-55). After a few winters spent i n Petersburg and Moscow, and a journey to Europe he married i n l8b l Sonya Andreyevna Behrs. The rest of his l i f e was spent almost uninterruptedly as a pat r i a r c h a l country gentleman on his inherited estate, where he busied himself with his writings and i n bettering the conditions of his s e r f s . T o l s t o i speaks of his r e c o l l e c t i o n s of a happy childhood i n his work "Childhood" (1852). He was the fourth son of a family of f i v e c hildren, and he rem-embers l i f e f i r s t with his younger s i s t e r , Maria, and his beloved Auntie Tatyana, who was a great i n s p i r a t i o n to him during his tender years, his mother having pass-ed away when he was l i t t l e more than an inf a n t . In the sequels of "Childhood"—"Boyhood" and "youth", T o l s t o i 155 was already proving himself a mature writer with a vigorous genius for portraying his characters 1 per-s o n a l i t i e s "through a picture of thei r actions and physical mannerisms". About t h i s time the develop-ments i n his own character were becoming more mani-f e s t , and there was already seen quite a c o n f l i c t between the t r a i t s of the z e s t f u l , gay nobleman, and the deeper s p i r i t u a l aspect of his soul which came to l i g h t i n his l a t e r writings. In his writings of "Sevastopol" (1856) T o l s t o i relates his own experiences i n that famous siege i n the Crimean War, where he fought throughout the en-t i r e campaign. These battle preludes are broadened into a much wider theme i n his great novel, "War and Peace", considered by many c r i t i c s the greatest h i s -t o r i c a l novel ever written. In "Albert" (185D one fee l s the s p i r i t u a l T o l s t o i i n the making. The poor ragged musician c a r r i e s the guests away on his inspired bow. "A pure f i r m note rang out i n the room and com-plete silence f e l l . Not a single f a l s e or exaggerated sound disturbed the harmonious absorption of the aud-ience; every note was clear-cut, s i g n i f i c a n t " . The lis t e n e r s are carried away to n o s t a l i g i c scenes—a forgotten memory of some happy moment, and i n s a t i a b l e longing for power, a sense of ..dumb resignation, or of sadness." Later when the s p i r i t was f u l l y develop-ed i n the soul of T o l s t o i he writes i n the parable " E l i a s " , after the old servant has given an account of the conversation of his old wife and himself, "Do not laugh, good s i r s . This i s no j e s t , but human l i f e . Once I and my wife were gross of heart and wept because we had lo s t our riches, but now God has revealed unto us the tru t h , and we reveal i t unto you again not for our div e r s i o n , but for your good." The great-master writer has turned from the remin-i s c i n g nostalgia of the sobbing v i o l i n to the great chords of the human soul, played i n a divine harmony. Tol s t o i ' s great epic novel, "War and Peace" (1862-69), considered by most c r i t i c s his greatest^ describes the heroic f i g h t of the Russians against Napoleon i n 1812. The f e e l i n g i s not so b i t t e r at A u s t e r l i t z where the Russians and the Austrians fought the French. But when Napoleon a c t u a l l y v i o l a t e s Russian s o i l , the Russians see t h e i r glorious Moscow burn rather than l i s -ten to the dictates of the repugnant l i t t l e Corsican. From the standpoint of h i s t o r y down to the i n t r i c a t e family l i v e s of the Rostovs, the book gives a wonderfully 156 comprehensive study of a people at war, and at the same time the very inner temperment of that people i t s e l f . The fundamental Russian longing for t r u t h i s expressed throughout. This i s s t r i k i n g l y r eveal-ed in the great inner struggles of Pierre Bezukhov— the h e r o — h i s repulsion for much of the corrupt soci-' ety around him, his inner c o n f l i c t over h i s u n f a i t h f u l wife, his attempts to find his soul i n Free Masonry— and his eventual marriage to Natasha Rostov, whose l i v e l y Russian v i v a c i t y he always admired. He takes to the road as a vagabond rather than leave Moscow when Napoleon enters—and finds i n a fellow prisoner the extraordinary soul of the peasant, Karataev. I t i s indeed a glowing account of a v i t a l freedom-loving people, with a l l t h e i r soul-searching loves and hates, caught i n a gigantic thrust against t h e i r beloved country, by a barbaric conqueror. Every reader f e e l s relieved when Napoleon's troops withdraw, and j o i n i n a vigorous "hurrah" for these brave, homeloving and staunch people. The gentle Princess Mary Volkonski i s thought to be a portrait of Tolstoi's own mother, and the vivacious Natasha that of his s i s t e r - i n - l a w , Tatyana Behrs Kuzminskaya; Nicholas Rostov, his father, and P i e r r e , to some extent the author himself, revealing many of his inner c o n f l i c t s . However the deep understanding and kindness of T o l s t o i i s f e l t i n i t s f u l l e s t development i n his novel, "Resurrection" (1899), and i n his many b e a u t i f u l parables. The hero of the l a t t e r , Nekhlyudov, indeed finds the true meaning of that great w o r d — r e s u r r e c t i o n — i n the great atoning s a c r i f i c e of helping one for whose downfall he f e e l s he i s to blame. He changes his way of l i f e , and learns i n his trek to Siberia that, many of the prisoners and strange outcasts whom he meets are merely unfortu-nates and, of course, i n the case of p o l i t i c a l prisoners, most of them had been unjustly sentenced. .An e n t i r e l y new l i f e opens for Nekhlyudov—he never returns to the old corrupt double-standard that he had previously accepted. This was the true meaning of Resurrection to T o l s t o i — n o t the symbolic processions—but the new i d e a l of l i f e through Christ grew to mean everything to him. This urging for p r a c t i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y i s f e l t even stronger i n T o l s t o i ' s c o l l e c t i o n of Parables. In "The Two Old Men", T o l s t o i again brings out p r a c t i c a l C h r i s t i -anity as the only salvation for the soul. The reader f e e l s convinced that E l i j a h , the pilgrim, who redeemed the land of the starving peasants has found his blessing although he did not a c t u a l l y get to Jerusalem. E f i m — the other old peasant sees him there though,at the 157 congregation—just in fancy? Tolstoi with his great mystical sense lets the reader guess. Again, in "Where Love is, There is God Also", the old shoemaker realizes at length, that just as he fed the hungry and clothed the naked did Christ in Truth visit him. In the parable "That Whereby Men Live" the soul of the departed mother of the homeless twins looks down with satisfaction and Is recompensed through the love, which a woman she had not even known has bestowed upon them. Space does not permit commenting further on some of Tolstoi's other great parables pertaining to the Christian faith, but this fine commentary on his char-acter and works is worthy of notes- "This great Russian thinker and teacher was beloved to thousands who had never seen him. In the pages of his masterpeices, we first saw the new light and truth of the great field of Russian literature in which he stands pre-eminent. Unlike a l l other literature its keynote is sympathy with suffering, it is one continuous hymn to the unfor-tunate. Purity, humility, and love—these were Tolstoi's trinity. In times like these, when revision and recon-sideration are going on in every direction, and old barriers are being swept away, it may be that our love for this noble Russian may help to bring about a better understanding of, and a closer brotherhood with, that great people to whom he belonged, and for whom he stands. We are beginning to realize that a l l nations, like a l l individuals have their good qualities, and that it is a much more profitable thing to admire these than to be so constantly on the look-out for their weaknesses. We shall do well in the future to study Tolstoi's countrymen at firsthand; and Anglo-Russian friendship could lead to as fine a human brotherhood as the world has ever seen." Tolstoi died in November, 1910 after leaving his home and renouncing a l l worldliness.°4 84 From excerpts by author. 158 2. TOLSTOI—THE GIANT OF RUSSIAN REALISM (A Glance At The E a r l y T o l s t o i ) Count Leo Nickolaevich T o l s t o i , has been described as the greatest writer produced by Russian realism. He was undoubtedly the greatest author of th i s new school of Russian thought, and i s rated as one of the most spontaneous and com-petent writers the world has ever known. He has written an amazing quantity of material and i n great d e t a i l . His l i f e i s divided into two d i s t i n c t p a r t s — t h e preconversion (1852-1880) and the post-conversion (1880-1910) period. Before his con-version, Leo Nickolaevich entertained similar views to most of the landed gentry of his time, but a l l through his l i f e , as may be read i n the i n t e r e s t i n g biographies of him, he had an unusual and mystical i n d i v i d u a l i t y . He deplored the many i n j u s t i c e s i n the society i n which he l i v e d , and very early i n his l i f e , when he was only i n his late twenties, he expressed his disapproval of serfom. Eventually t h i s caused him much unpopularity among his own c l a s s , and led him to free his s e r f s . Even before the emancipation of 1861, he had established schools f o r the c h i l d r e n on his lands, which often, i n his youth, he himself taught. This was a new venture. Most of the landlords of the time had no notion at a l l for such humanities. After his conversion i n 1880 he renounced the vanity of t h i s world and t r i e d to practise and teach his new-found f a i t h . The conclusions he came to at t h i s time appear i n his post-conver-159 sion works. The reader need not always agree with T o l s t o i on every point, but he most assuredly i s one of the greatest human-it a r i a n s of his age. He genuinely wished to better the condi-t i o n of a l l those around him. Although he undergoes considerable changes of thought throughout his l i f e , one never doubts T o l s t o i ' s .., s i n c e r i t y . From his e a r l i e s t works to the most mature his q u a l i t y - asserts i t s e l f , and never f a i l s to grip and absorb the attention of those who have found t h i s unusual author's ideals a guide and a help along the pathway of l i f e . 160 3. TOLSTOI1S PRE-CONVERSION WORKS Tolst o i ' s f i r s t writings to gain favour with the read-ing public were his books, "Childhood" (1852), "Boyhood" (1854) and "Youth" (1855-57). The experiences related i n these books were taken from reminisences about his own youth, which he seemed to remember i n extr a o r d i n a r i l y minute d e t a i l . They are retold d i r e c t l y and by means of characterizations i n a very entertaining manner, which i s not only readable, but displays the budding genius of a master writer. T o l s t o i ' s experiences i n the Crimean War (1854-56), are v i v i d l y portrayed i n three books, "Sevastopol" (1854-56), "Meeting a Moscow Acquaintance at the Front" (1856) and "The Two Hussars" (1856). Most of the notes f o r these books were jotted down during his s o l d i e r i n g days. The siege of Sevastopol i s p a r t i c u l a r l y well written. In thi s campaign, T o l s t o i exhibited the q u a l i t i e s of a brave s o l d i e r , and f e l t keenly the Russian sentiment i n defending t h i s strategic post of the Russian lands against the Turks, who were aided by regiments of B r i t i s h and l a t e r French s o l d i e r s . Incidently i t i s g r a t i f y i n g to note that after the Peace Treaty of Paris, concluded at the end of the war, the Fort of Sevastopol was returned to the Russians. In "Sevastopol" the reader i s p a r t i c u l a r l y struck with the daring exploits of the young Russian o f f i c e r s , f i g h t i n g i n defense of the Fort, and the Russian possession of the Crimean Peninsula. There were seemingly insurmountable odds against the, Turkey and her a l l i e s making a 161 determined stand for the coveted stronghold. The bravery of the Russian Cavalry, of which T o l s t o i was a member i s well de* scribed i n r e a l i s t i c and c o l o u r f u l prose. His early work, "The Cossacks", also w r i t t e n i n 1852 brought him immediate and w e l l -earned praise from the c r i t i c s ; the c o l o u r f u l d e s c r i p t i o n of the grape-harvest i n the land of the Terek Cossacks awakens the imagination, and the scene r i s e s r e a l i s t i c a l l y before the eyess " I t was also the sea-son for the harvest work. The entire population of the v i l l a g e was busy In the water-melon f i e l d s and the vineyards. The gardens, thick with rank vegetation, alone offered a cool, . pleasant shade. Everywhere ripe bunches of black grapes hung down among broad, serai-transparent leaves. Along the road which led to the gardens creaking car t s , heaped to the very top with black grapes, were slowly dragged, and bunches of grapes, mashed by the wheels, lay about i n the dust of the highway. In some court-yards the peasants had even begun to press the grapes, and the smell of new wine f i l l e d the a i r . The f l a t roofs of the cottages were quite covered with the large c l u s t e r s , which were drying i n the sun. Jackdaws and crows coll e c t e d on these roofs, Recking among the grapes and flew caw-ing from place to place. The f r u i t of the year's labour was being c o l -lected; and t h i s year the vintage was unusually abun-dant and good. In the shady green gardens, amid the sea of vines, on every side one heard laughter and merry voices, and amid the leaves one obtained glimp-ses of the light-coloured garments of the women."°? T o l s t o i early developed a masterful s t y l e In writing, and has produced more i n bulk than any other Russian author. Once he started writing his pen became very p r o l i f i c indeed. From his e a r l i e s t years he observed and considered i n j u s t i c e s . 85 Count Lyof N. T o l s t o i , The Cossacks and Other S t o r i e s . London V i z e t e l l y &Co., 1887, p . 12o"7 162 The h o r r i b l e spectacle of serfdom always touched and haunted him. He has been designated by most c r i t i c s as a Westerner, but many of h i s sentiments, such as those expressed against the attempts to Europeanize Russia by Peter I, and his somewhat i n -difference to mechanical progress, place him with the Slavophiles. He p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s l i k e d the European reforms s t a r t i n g with Peter, and thought that Russia would have been better to develop i n her own original way. T o l s t o i was a reformer. Although t h i s q u a l i t y showed i n his writing but f a i n t l y a t - f i r s t , i t was always there. I t grew immeasurably, as his novels and proseworks developed. This t r a i t was very much i n evidence even before the experience, which he nominated "My Confession" or"Conversion" written during the years 1879-82. Some c r i t i c s contend that T o l s t o i was a moral-i s t from the beginning; that even i n casual conversation with, his friends he could not r e f r a i n from moralizing. I t i s argued by those who do not l i k e his philosophy, that t h i s kind of moraliza-t i o n marred his writings, and that because of t h i s tendency his l a t e r writings became i n t o l e r a b l e . However, those who appreciate his deep insight into the good and e v i l t r a i t s i n the characters of the people whom he knew, and h i s unusual grasp of C h r i s t i a n i t y elucidated i n some of his l a t e r writings, consider him because of t h i s moralizing propensity indeed one, i f not the greatest writer of contemporary times. He made very p r a c t i c a l suggestions for the a l l e v i a t i o n of human misery, which set him apart from the average day-dreaming n o v e l i s t . 163 A f t e r the l i b e r a t i o n of the serfs i n 1861 by Czar Alexander I I , and some years before,the p i t i a b l e existence of t h i s c l a s s , that had been ground under foot since 1689 by sheer poverty, e x p l o i t a t i o n , and ignorance roused i n T o l s t o i the determination to help a l l e v i a t e t h e i r sufferings. In his l a t e r novels he raises a voice on behalf of a l l , who may have suffered through poverty or neglect i n childhood. T o l s t o i always sym-pathized with those whom he considered the victims of moral i n j u s t i c e s . The unfortunate existence of the peasants appealed to his sympathy from his e a r l i e s t youth. His novels overflow with pleas on behalf of these unfortunate persons. His s i s t e r -in-law relates i n her memoirs, " T o l s t o i , As I Knew Him", that no down-and-out pilgrim, feeble-minded person, or beggar was ever turned away unheeded from his doors "Strangely enough, Leo Nikolaevich honestly loved these "God's folk"s the feeble-minded, the h a l f i n -sane, the wanderers, r e l i g i o u s pilgrims and even the a l c o h o l i c s . Naturally, we, his l i s t e n e r s , questioned t h i s good nature and t h i s s i n c e r i t y . The interest and h o s p i t a l i t y he showed toward these people he inherited from his mother. (Princess Marya i n "War and Peace" i s modeled on his mother.) The custom of o f f e r i n g h o s p i t a l i t y to pilgrims was established long ago by his aunts and grandmothers. Many beggars, pilgrims and wanderers came to Yasnaya Polyana while on pilgrimage to Kiev, New Jerusalem, and the T r i n i t y Monastery of St. Sergius. They were fed and given alms."® 6 86 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, Tolstoy As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Boris Igor and others) New York, MacMillan Co., 1948, pp. 174, 175. 164 "War and Peace" published i n I869 i s considered by-many c r i t i c s to be the greatest novel ever written i n any lang-uage. I t appeals much more to the 20th Century reader than some of T o l s t o i ' s other works c r i t i c i z i n g 19th Century conditions that have now passed by. This h i s t o r i c a l novel i s based on the great c o n f l i c t which took place i n Russia i n 1812—the in t r u s i o n of Napoleon and his French Army upon Russian s o i l . I t i s a mag-n i f i c e n t study i n Russian History, apart from the appeal of i t s plo t . The characters, as the characters i n a l l T o l s t o i ' s novels, are drawn from persons whom he knew intimately. This i s the chief reason for t h e i r realism. The s p r i t e l y heroine, Natasha Rostov, i s said to be a study of Tol s t o i ' s vivacious and charming s i s t e r -in-law, Tatyana Behrs Kuzminskaya, of whom he was extremely fond. She v e r i f i e s t h i s i n her inte r e s t i n g and d e l i g h t f u l l y narrated memoirs, recently translated into E n g lish. There she describes with c l a r i t y and truthfulness many of Tols t o i ' s early comments, to her and to members of her family, against the e v i l s of serfdom, which were not received with approbation by his l i s t e n e r s ! " I t was the end of July and harvest time. The weather was splendid, and the f i e l d s were humming with a c t i v i t y . "How lovely i t i s i n the f i e l d s now," I said, with the peasant women a l l i n d i f f e r e n t colours." "Yes, i t i s good to see, "Leo Nikolayevich-agreed. "Those people out there i n the f i e l d s are doing v i t a l work, while we, the gentlefolk, do nothing." "What do you mean we do nothing? Mama and Papa do a great deal," I said i n a hurt voice. "And we children are having our school holidays now." 165 "Yes, of course," Leo Nikolayevich r e p l i e d h a s t i l y , "Now you're vexed with me. Never mind, I shan't say another word." 0' The portrayals of h i s t o r i c a l personages such as Napoleon, General Kutuzov, General Bagration and Barclay de T o l l y are given with commendable realism (although these h i s t o r i c a l figures were roundly c r i t i c i z e d by General Saltykov, who at the same time praised T o l s t o i ' s general c r i t i c i s m of the society of his times), as are the p r i n c i p a l characters including, P i e r r e , the hero, who i s thought to express much of T o l s t o i ' s mature sentiments about l i f e . T o l s t o i ' s novels are remarkable i n t h e i r s t r i k i n g characterizations. His characters l i f e and breathe, there are no waxen models among them. Tolstoi's impressions of his parents although they died young and when he was but a small c h i l d , have been s t r i k i n g l y described i n his f i r s t books, "Childhood", "Boyhood" and "Youth". These narratives about his early l i f e were the f i r s t s t o r i e s that brought him recognition. The c r i t i c s were amazed at t h e i r r e a l i s t i c charm, and the ease with which they were narrated. He was a master of t h i s kind of prose from the beginning of his l i t e r a r y career, because he had l e i s u r e i n which to develop his great t a l e n t . Some i n s i s t that because of t h i s he i s t r u l y not a r e a l i s t i c writer. They prefer Dostoievsky or Maxim Gorky, who they claim r e a l l y experienced the ri g o r s of l i f e . They maintain 87 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, Tolstoy As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Boris Igor and others) New York, MacMillan Co., 1948, p. 89. 166 that T o l s t o i belonged to the class which the revolutionaries i n Russia snuffed out with a single blow i n Oct.-Nov., 1917. However, i n regard to these c r i t i c i s m s , i t should be remembered that T o l s t o i himself was no ordinary landowner. He carried out an e f f e c t i v e plan i n regard t o h i s peasants' maintenence which he considered j u s t . Because he was a very unusual man for the class of persons to which he belonged, T o l s t o i may be j u s t l y rated as indeed a great r e a l i s t as well as a great man. 167 4. TOLSTOI'S POST-CONVERSION WORKS Tolstoi's unusually o r i g i n a l ideas about land tenure are stated i n his book, "Resurrection" published in,1899, a f t e r the experience he spoke of as "my conversion". I t i s in t e r e s t i n g to note that T o l s t o i ' s immediate family did not share his con-vi c t i o n s regarding r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the s e r f s , nor did they accept i n general his thoughts as they became more transparent and s p i r i t u a l . After 1880 T o l s t o i grew t i r e d of worldly vanity of any kind. He wished to give himself unreservedly to C h r i s t -ian l i v i n g and teaching. From his r e l i g i o u s conclusions at t h i s time, the c u l t of Tolstoism emerged. Unfortunately toward the end of his l i f e , T o l s t o i no longer believed i n the D i v i n i t y of Ch r i s t . This strange unbelief which seized upon him i s very contradictory to the s p i r i t of his great mystical writings, where the Holy S p i r i t of Christ shines so r e a l i s t i c a l l y i n his great parables. These are without question the best fabulous f i c t i o n pertaining to the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h to be found i n the Russian language. T o l s t o i ' s s p i r i t u a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s d i f f i c u l t to understand to some extent, because of his break with Russian Orthodoxy, which he condemned quite re s o l u t e l y a f t e r the exper-ience of his conversion. He, at length, came to the conclusion that Orthodoxy taught a "D i v i n i t y dogma", but did nothing i n the s p i r i t of Ch r i s t i a n charity to re l i e v e human misery and oppression. He thought that many of the priests did more i n the way of robbing the peasants, than i n helping them either materially 168 or s p i r i t u a l l y . He then turned from the fashionable prelates about him, and believed he found the true Christ for the f i r s t time i n his own soul, and r e f l e c t e d i n the souls of others. Most of the God-fearing men he admired at t h i s period, he found among the old peasantry. He may have to some extent over-rated t h e i r s i n c e r i t y , but i n many instances the peasants because they l i v e d more simply, glimpsed Christ more c l e a r l y than the court-i e r s of the day, whose l i v e s of empty s u p e r f i c i a l i t y more often than not, l e f t them shorn of any s p i r i t u a l experience whatsoever. Thus T o l s t o i reasoned, that Orthodoxy indeed was dead i n s p i r i t , and that he had found the great heart of C h r i s t , outside of the • church, i n the l i v e s of simple and kindly f o l k . He determined to pursue t h i s new-found Truth as long as he l i v e d . Even before his conversion, he, to some extent, exhibited t h i s side of his character, and t r i e d to educate his children i n s i m p l i c i t y , and without ostentation. Although the magnitude of the Bolshevik Revolution would c e r t a i n l y have amazed T o l s t o i , he probably would not have been so shocked at some phases of i t . The clouds of revolution do not hang so heavily i n his writings as i n those of Anton Chekhov« They burst with f u l l vehemence i n the works of Maxim Gorki, who was to some extent a Bolshevik himself. One of the factors which closed T o l s t o i ' s eyes to i t somewhat, was that he himself was a member of the n o b i l i t y . That he did have such a clear comprehension of his own class i s amazing i n i t s e l f . This comprehension was much more s t r i k i n g l y true a f t e r his conversion i n 1880. 169 5. TOLSTOI'S PARABLES—MONUMENTS TO SERIOUS  THEOLOGICAL STUDY After T o l s t o i ' s conversion to a new way of thinking and of l i f e i n 1880, he wrote many works pertaining to these new-found i d e a l s . Among them notable are, "My Confession" (1879-82), "My Religion" (1884) , "The Death of Ivan I l i c h " (1884-86) , "Thoughts on God" (1885-1900) , "On the Meaning of L i f e " (1885-86) , "What S h a l l We Do There?" (1886) , "The Power of Darkness" (1886) , "The F r u i t s of Enlightenment" (1889) , "The Kreutzer Sonata" (1889), "The Kingdom of God i s Within You" ( 1893) , "Religion and Morality" (1894) , "What i s Art" (1897) , "Patriotism and C h r i s t i a n i t y " (1894), and many be a u t i f u l parables on the teaching of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h which have been published together as "Parables and Tales" with his short story "Master and Man" (1895) . In a l l of these works the new T o l s t o i comes to l i g h t , and they should be examined c a r e f u l l y by a l l persons deeply interested i n his i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . Among the most notable of the Parables are, "The Two Old Men" (1897) , "That Whereby Men Live" (1881) and "Where Love i s There i s God Also" (1885) . "The Two Old Men" i s not only un-usually b e a u t i f u l i n i t s explanation of simple homely v i r t u e s , but i t i s extremely appealing i n i t s mysticism—the mystic part of T o l s t o i ' s character i s revealed i n t h i s t a l e , which was e v i -dent even when he was just a young man, and noted by those close to hims 170 "When he was young, Leo Nikolayevich was always tormented by his personal appearance. He was con-vinced that he was r e p u l s i v e l y ugly. I have heard him say t h i s more than once. Naturally, he did not r e a l i z e that his charm lay i n the s p i r i t u a l strength which was ever v i s i b l e i n his searching, thoughtful gaze. He could not see or appreciate t h i s expression i n his own eyes, but i n i t lay a l l the charm of h i s f a c e . " 8 8 . Such people as the two old pilgrims described i n t h i s work did l i v e i n Tolstoi's time and t h e i r l i v e s are e v e r l a s t i n g , i n v i s i b l e monuments to the nobler side of Russian Orthodoxy, which had survived despite the havoc played within the church by various monarchs and prelates during the centuries. It i s believed that several m i l l i o n of the type of C h r i s t i a n peasant described by T o l s t o i i n his parables were transported to S i b e r i a , under the early Bolshevik regime, where most of them are said to have perished from starvation! In the parable, "The Two Old Men", two old friends determine to go together on a pilgrimage to ancient Jerusalem. They s t a r t out with high hopes and i n s p i r a t i o n s , and a l l goes well the f i r s t few miles. However when they reach the country of the Tuftedmen (Bashkirs) E l i j a h stops to beg a drink of water at a hut. His old fr i e n d Efim, s t r o l l s on. E l i j a h finds to his amazement that the people i n the hut where he begs are on the point of starvation. He then proceeds to redeem t h e i r land and set them on t h e i r feet again; he can do no otherwise i n Christ's name. He then has no money to proceed on his journey, so returns 88 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, Tolstoy As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Boris Igor and others) New York, MacMillan Co., 1948, p. 110. 171 to his old wife before the winter has set i n . Efim, however, continues his journey and arrives i n Jerusalem s a f e l y a f t e r his tramp overland from Odessa. He i s sure sometahere his old frie n d w i l l catch up with him. He does not f i n d E l i j a h , but three times he sees him i n the church with the pilgrims at the head of the congregation—here the mystical part of To l s t o i ' s writing shines with superb significance and inner meaning. When he at length returns toward his own v i l l a g e once more, he passes through the v i l l a g e where E l i j a h had redeemed the land of those starving to death. Then he understands partly the great mystery of E l i j a h ' s disappearance. On his return home he presents his old friend with a bottle of holy water from the r i v e r Jordan: "Then E l i j a h ' s wife c a l l e d out: "Husband! A frie n d has come to see you." E l i j a h looked round, his face broke out into smiles, and he ran to meet his comrade, gently brushing some bees from his beard as he did so. "Good day to you, good day to you, my dear old f r i e n d ! " he c r i e d . "Then did you get there safely?" "Yes of a surety. My feet carried me s a f e l y , and I have brought you home some Jordan water. Yet I know not i f my task has been accepted of God, o r — " "Surely, surely i t has. Glory be to Him and to Our Lord Jesus C h r i s t ! " Efim was s i l e n t a moment; then continued: "Yes, my feet carried me t h i t h e r ; but whether I was there also i n s p i r i t , or whether i t were another who—" "Nay nay. That i s God's a f f a i r , my old comrade— God's a f f a i r . " Well, on my way back," added Efim, "I stopped at the hut where you parted from me." E l i j a h seemed frightened, and hastened to i n t e r -rupt him. "That also i s God's a f f a i r , my friend—God's a f f a i r , " he said. "But come into the hut, and I w i l l get you some honey"—and he hurried to change the con-versation by ta l k i n g of household matters. 172 Efim sighed, and forebore to t e l l E l i j a h of the people i n the hut or of h i s having been i n Jerusalem. But t h i s c l e a r l y did he understand: that i n t h i s world God has commanded everyone, u n t i l death, to work off his debt of duty by means of love and good works."89 The parable, "Where Love i s There i s God Also" relates the conversion of one, Martin Avdeitch, a shoemaker, and the great blessings that came to his soul when he found that the truest C h r i s t i a n experience i s to be attained i n the helping of others. He extends C h r i s t i a n kindliness to three groups of persons i n one day—a poor old s o l d i e r , a woman and her baby, who are suffering from cold and hunger, an el d e r l y woman s e l l i n g apples i n the street and a young boy who t r i e s to rob the old peddler. On picking up his Testament i n the evening and reading, he r e a l i z e s that just as he t r u l y helped the souls and bodies of these needy persons did Christ i n Truth v i s i t him: "Next he l i f t e d the lamp down, .placed i t on the table, and took his Testament from the s h e l f . He had intended opening the book at the place which he had marked l a s t night with a s t r i p of leather, but i t opened i t s e l f at another instead. .The instant i t did so, his v i s i o n of the l a s t night came back to his memory, and, as i n s t a n t l y , he thought he heard a movement behind him as of someone moving toward him. He looked round and saw i n the shadow of a dark cor-ner what appeared to be f i g u r e s — f i g u r e s of persons standing there, yet could not di s t i n g u i s h them c l e a r l y . Then the voice whispered i n his ear: "Martin, Martin, dost- thou notl know Me?" "Who art Thou?»said Avdeitch "Even I I " whispered the voice again. "Lo, i t i s I I " and there stepped from the dark corner Stepanitch. He smiled, and then, l i k e the fading of a l i t t l e cloud, was gone. 89 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and Tales, Everyman's Library, ed. Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1911, pp. 170, 171. 173 "It i s I I " whispered the voice again—and there stepped f o r t h the old woman and the boy with the apple. They smiled and were gone. Joy f i l l e d the soul of Martin Avdeitch as he crossed himself, put on his spectacles, and set him-s e l f to read the Testament at the place where i t had opened. At the top of the page he reads "For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat5 I was t h i r s t y , and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me i n . " 'And further down the page he read: "Inasmuch as ye have done i t unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done i t unto Me." Then Avdeitch understood that the v i s i o n had come true, and that his Saviour had i n very t r u t h v i s i t e d him that day, and that he had received Him."90 In the t h i r d parable of pa r t i c u l a r note, "That Whereby Men Live " , T o l s t o i gives the account of the experience of a super-natural being on earth, and his conclusion before returning to Heaven, that men here on earth t r u l y Live only i n helping one another i n brotherly acts of kindliness, as the Master required of his d i s c i p l e s and followers many hundreds of years ago: "And the Angel said: "Yes, I learnt that every man l i v e s not by taking thought for himself, but by Love. " I t was not given to the chi l d i n g woman to know what was needful for the preservation of her.children's l i v e s . It was not given to the r i c h man to know what was needful for his body. Nor i s i t given unto any man to know whether, before the sun s h a l l have set, i t may be boots f o r his l i v i n g body or bosoviki for his corpse that he s h a l l require. "When I was a man, my l i f e was preserved to me, not by taking thought for myself, but by the love which dwelt i n a passer-by and his wife, so that they could f e e l for me pity and a f f e c t i o n . Again, the two orphans were preserved a l i v e , not by any thought which was taken for them but by the love which dwelt i n the heart of a 90 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and Tales. Everyman's Library, ed..Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent. & Sons Ltd., New York, E. P. Dutton •& Co., 1911, pp. 142, 143. 174 strange woman, so that she could f e e l for them pity and a f f e c t i o n . For, indeed, a l l men l i v e , not by the thought which they may take for themselves, but by the love which dwells i n a l l mankind. "I had known before that God gave l i f e to men, and that He. would have them l i v e ; but now I understood another thing. I understood that God would not have men l i v e apart from one another—wherefore He had not revealed to them what was needful for each one: but that He would have them l i v e i n unity—wherefore He had revealed to them only what was needful both for themselves and for t h e i r fellows together. "Yes, at las t I understood that men only appear to l i v e by taking thought for themselves, but that i n r e a l i t y they l i v e by Love alone."91 Certainly T o l s t o i , as the above i l l u s t r a t i o n s confirm became after his conversion, one of the greatest writers on Chr i s t i a n themes pertaining to p r a c t i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y that the world has ever known. One need not accept a l l his views, and i n his l a t t e r days just before h i s death >his v i s i o n may have become to some extent dimmed. But he indeed reached out success-f u l l y to the souls of men and women in his wonderfully inspired and clear perception of the Ch r i s t i a n f a i t h . He progressed from being perhaps the greatest writer of the r e a l i s t i c . h i s t o r i c a l novel that the world has ever seen, to one of unusual profundity and understanding in the f i e l d of r e a l i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to the human soul, as i t reaches out i n i t s quest of the Divine. This did not s p o i l his creative genius as some avow, i t rather climaxed a glorious career, which was inspired as few have been by the Christian f a i t h . 91 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and Tales. Everyman's Library, ed. Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., New York, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1911, pp. 106, 110, 111. 175 CHAPTER VII REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE SITING OF  ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV (1860-1904) 1. B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Chekhov 2. The Nostalgic Mood Which i s Peculiar to Chekhov 3« Chekhov's Distress at the Passing of the I n t e l l i g e n t s i a of His Time 4. Chekhov's Great R e a l i s t i c Plays and Short Stories 5. Chekhov's Amazing Grasp of Realism to the End of His L i f e 176 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF CHEKHOV "On July evenings and nights already there c r i e s neither a q u a i l nor a corncrake, nor does a nightingale sing i n the forest glad, nor i s there to be found the perfume of flowers, but on the steppe everything i s s t i l l b eautiful and radiant. Scarcely has the sun d i s -appeared and the earth become covered with shadows, than the cares of day are forgotten, everything i s forgiven, and the steppe breathes a wide sigh. The soul experiences a longing for the b e a u t i f u l , severe nativeland, and wishes to f l y over the steppe with the night b i r d . " —Anton Pavolivich Chekhov "Anton Pavolich Chekhov was born i n Taganrog, on the sea of Azov. The family consisted of several sons and a daughter. They were a l l given a l i b e r a l educa-t i o n . Anton, who was the youngest but one, was sent to the gymnasium (secondary school) of Taganrog. In 1879 he finished his time at the gymnasium and went to Moscow to j o i n his family. He was matriculated as a student of the Faculty of Medicine. After the nor-mal course of f i v e years, he took his degree i n 1884. From his a r r i v a l i n Moscow to his death he never parted from his parents and s i s t e r , and his l i t e r a r y income soon became important, he early became the mainstay of his family. Checkhov began working i n the comic papers the year he came to Moscow, and before, he l e f t the univer-s i t y he had become one of t h e i r most welcome c o n t r i -butors. So on taking his degree, he did not s e t t l e down to practice as a doctor, but f e l l back on his l i t e r a r y work for subsistence. In 1886 some of his comic stories were collected i n book form. The book had an immediate success with the public and was soon followed by another volume of comic s t o r i e s . The shrewd and clever Suvorin at once saw the great pos-s i b i l i t i e s of Chekhov and invited him to contribute to his paper, where he even started a s p e c i a l weekly l i t e r a r y supplement for Chekhov. They became close f r i e n d s , and i n Chekhov's correspondence his l e t t e r s to Suvorin form undoubtedly the most int e r e s t i n g part. Chekhov had now gained a firm footing i n "big l i t e r -ature" and was free from the tyranny of the comic papers. At the same time Chekhov wrote his f i r s t play, "Ivanov", which was produced i n Moscow i n December 1887 177 and i n Petersburg a year l a t e r . It i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s period of t r a n s i t i o n that Chekhov continued working at these pieces after t h e i r f i r s t publication; "The Steppe" and "Ivanov" that are now reproduced i n his "Works" are very d i f f e r e n t from what f i r s t appear-ed i n I887. Henceforth Chekhov's l i f e was rather un-eventful, and what events there were, are c l o s e l y con-nected with his writings. An isolated episode was his journey to Sakhalin, the Russian Botany Bay. He went there i n 1890, t r a v e l i n g through Siberia (before the Trans-Siberian) and returning by sea via Ceylon. He made a very thorough investigation of convict l i f e and published the result of i t i n a separate book (Sakhalin Island, 1891). It i s remarkable for i t s thoroughness, o b j e c t i v i t y , and i m p a r t i a l i t y , and i s an important h i s t o r i c a l document. It i s supposed to have influenced certa i n reforms i n prison l i f e introduced i n 1892. This journey was Chekhov's greatest p r a c t i c a l c o n t r i -bution to thehumanitarianism that was so near his heart. In private l i f e he was also very kindhearted and gen-erous. He gave away much of his money. His native town of Taganrog was the recipient of a l i b r a r y and a museum from him. In 1891 Chekhov was r i c h enough to buy a piece of land at Melikhovo, some f i f t y miles south of Moscow. There he settled down with his parents, s i s t e r , and younger brother, and live d for six years. He took part i n l o c a l l i f e and spent much money on l o c a l improve-ments. In 1892-93? during the cholera epidemic, he worked as head of a sanitary d i s t r i c t . He remained at Melikhovo t i l l 1897, when the state of his health forced him to move. This was not the only change i n his l i f e . A l l h is surroundings changed, owing to his new connection with the Moscow Art Theatre and his more decided p o l i -t i c a l orientation toward the l e f t . During these l a s t years he saw much of Tolstoy. In the popular opinion of that time, Chekhov, Gorky, rand Tolstoy formed a sort of sacred t r i n i t y symbolizing a l l that was best i n inde-pendent Russia as opposed to the dark forces of Tsarism. After "Ivanov", Chekhov had written several l i g h t one-act comedies that had a considerable success with the public but added l i t t l e to his i n t r i n s i c achievement. In 1895 he turned once more to serious drama and wrote "The Seagull". It was produced at the State Theatre of Petersburg i n 1896. It was badly understood by the actors and badly acted. The f i r s t night was a smashing f a i l u r e . The play was hissed down, and the author, con-founded by his defeat, l e f t the theatre aft e r the second act and escaped to Melikhovo, vowing never again to 178 write a play. Meanwhile K. S. Stanislavsky (Alekseyev), a wealthy merchant of Moscow, and the dramatist Vladimir Nemirovich-Canchenko founded the Art Theatre, which was to be such an important landmark i n the h i s t o r y of the Russian stage. They succeeded i n getting "The Seagull" for one of th e i r f i r s t productions. The cast worked at i t with energy and understanding, and when the play was acted by them i n 1898, i t proved a triumphant success. Chekhov turned with new energy towards dramatic writing, and wrote his most famous plays with a di r e c t view to Stanislavsky's casts. "Uncle Vanya" (which had been planned as early as 1888) was produced i n 1900, "The Three S i s t e r s " i n 1901, and "The Cherry Orchard" i n January 1904. Each play was a greater triumph than the preceding one. There was complete harmony among play-wright, actors, and public. Chekhov's fame was at i t s height. However, he did not become so r i c h as to be compared with K i p l i n g , or D'annunzio, or even with Gorky. For l i k e his f a v o r i t e heroes, he was eminently unprac-t i c a l ; i n 1899 he sold a l l the works he had hitherto written to the publisher Marx for 75,000 roubles. I t turned out after the transaction that Marx was not aware of the extent of his w r i t i n g s — h e had reckoned on four volumes of short s t o r i e s , and he had unconsciously bought nine I In 1901 Chekhov married an actress of the Art Theatre, Olga L . Knipper; so his l i f e became further changed. He was constantly besieged by importunate ad-mirers, with whom he was very patient and kind. In June 1904 his i l l n e s s had so advanced that he was sent by the doctors to Badenweiler, a small health resort i n the Black Forest, where he died. His body was brought to Moscow and buried by the side of his father, who had preceded him i n I899.""2 92 D.S. M i r s k i , A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1949, pp. 353-355. 179 2. THE NOSTALGIC MOOD WHICH IS PECULIAR TO CHEKHOV The works of Anton Chekhov were written in. an atmosphere saturated with heavy hanging revolutionary clouds. Things were getting worse, and Chekhov knew otfly too well what the f i n a l outcome must be. However, he kept veering away from i t . He knew the inevitable consequences of which most of the old Russian land-owners could not become convinced. Some of them had a c t u a l l y become Micawber-like i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e . They were sure to the l a s t , "that something would turn up", which, of course, did not happen. Chekhov was too clever and r e a l i s t i c to indulge i n such vain hopes. He knew that things would not change f o r the better i n the a f f a i r s of the n o b i l i t y or the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , of which he himself was a member. Chekhov was educated i n the f i e l d of medicine, however he plunged more wholeheartedly into writing, and i s said to have supported i n one way or another his entire family from almost the f i r s t publication of his stories i n 1880. Thus he knew a l l the rigors of a severe d i s c i p l i n e , and was e n t i r e l y free from i l l u s i o n s . Butatthe same time he was a gentle soul, and one very kindly d i s -posed toward a l l mankind. He did not enjoy, as did T o l s t o i , the reputation of being a l i t e r a r y giant, but he was a very great r e a l i s t . Chekhov saw events r e a l i s t i c a l l y . In a l l his plays and st o r i e s which have been dramatized, p a r t i c u l a r l y the great ones, hi s nostalgia for a regime that he knew was fas t crumbling almost overpowers the audience. In most of his lengthy works-the atmo-180 sphere i s permeated with foreboding revolutionary clouds. The a i r hangs heavy i n them as a s u l t r y evening i n June. Chekhov knew what was coming. He f e l t i n e f f e c t i v e i n preventing i t , so wrote his stories as a l a s t evening song of praise to a dying regime. This does not mean that he was unsympathetic with revo-lutionary i d e a l s . He was d e f i n i t e l y sympathetic, hut he feared and r i g h t l y so, the oncoming slaughter of a l l classes but the p r o l e t a r i a t , and he deplored the fact that such people, as h i s character, Lopakhin, i n "The Cherry Orchard", were gaining the upper hand. He loved the 19th Century Russian i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . Their mental alertness was dear to him. He loved the Uncle Vanyas and Mme. Ranevskys portrayed i n his plays. He valued them more than the n o b i l i t y , because he thought them usually more i n t e l l i -gent and i n t e r e s t i n g . Chekhov was not bound to Russian Orthodoxy, the n o b i l i t y , the merchant c l a s s , or the peasants. He belonged rather to an enlightened i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . 181 3. CHEKHOV1S DISTRESS AT THE PASSING OF THE  INTELLIGENTSIA OF HIS TIME Chekhov's i n t e l l i g e n t s i a was by no means free from f a u l t s . Mme. Ranevsky's treatment of her old servant, i n the play, "The Cherry Orchard", i s an example of some of t h e i r f l a -grant inconsistencies. Chekhov was not blind to the f a i l i n g s of th i s group, otherwise he would not have given to the theatre such a character as Mem. Ranevsky. Perhaps i n portraying such a character he was try i n g to exhort the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a to improve th e i r behavior, but t h i s hardly seems true. Chekhov, a l i t e r a r y genius, had not found l i f e p a r t i c u l a r l y easy. Most of his v i t a l -i t y had been spent i n a ba t t l e for existence and i n supporting his family as his generous soul chose to see them. He does not t r y to reform people, there i s none of the moralist i n him that was i n T o l s t o i . Chekhov portrayed the characters i n his plays just as he knew, admired or disdained them. He did not think they would change, perhaps ever. In some instances we f e e l he would not have them change. He grappled to his soul the people with whom he l i v e d , and was fond of them to the point of l i k i n g t h e i r defects. He f e l t had they recovered altogether from unlovely t r a i t s , they would no longer have been human beings, but gods. He would not have considered t h i s r e a l i s t i c . Chekhov did not have enough physical reserve l e f t to become a p a t r i o t i c leader. But he understood well his people, t h e i r needs, and the needs of his country. Much of his writing i s tinged with feelings of 182 regret. He waits for the very l a s t curtain c a l l on the Old Regime, k certain part of i t was so dear to him. Could i t have partly survived! He lingers longingly i n the old Cherry Orchard, the garden of Peter Nicolayevich Sorin, and the house of Uncle Vanya. One f e e l s he wished that the characters i n his plays could l i v e forever. Despite t h e i r lightness and f a i l -ings he lived them deeply and tenderly to the l a s t . Like, T o l s t o i , Chekhov did not witness the Revolution of 1917* The reader i s grat e f u l for t h i s . I t would have been too much for his sens i -t i v e soul. I f he had li v e d he might e a s i l y have met the same fate as Uncle Vanya or Konstantin Tryeplyev, as he was indeed the creator of these characters. The impending disaster may have unconsciously affected Chekhov's sensitive nature. Many persons of his class did do away with themselves v o l u n t a r i l y after 1917<> The onslaught was too much for them to meet. In many instances the Bolsheviks, would not have liquidated them, i f they had manifested great t a l e n t . However many were done away with, i f thought to be wholly unsympathetic toward the new regime. Hence they v o l u n t a r i l y took t h e i r own l i v e s . Chekhov's f r i e n d s , who he so i n t e r e s t i n g l y describes i n his great plays, are the very ones, who might eventually have met a dastardly end. Even the author T o l s t o i , would have endured the shock of the Bolshevik revolution better than Chekhov. He had a har d i -er constitution, and had he been banished, or sentenced to execution, u n t i l the l a s t b u l l e t was f i r e d he would have been sure 183 he could have reasoned or written them out of i t . Not so Chekhov. He would have known the inevitable fate that waited. Nor would he have been as r e s e n t f u l . He had tasted to some ex-tent the burden of the landlord. However he would have contin-ued, as he always had, inconsolable about such persons as are characterized i n his great plays. The plight of the n o b i l i t y did not appeal to him with much regret; i t was rather the fate of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a which he deplored. 184 4. CHEKHOV'S GREAT REALISTIC PLAYS AND SHORT STORIES "The Cherry Orchard", which Chekhov fin i s h e d writing i n 1903j just a year before his death, i s considered his best play. Certainly i t i s the most widely known and l i k e d by Russian theatre audiences. This play centers around the hapless plight of a family of the f a i l i n g i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . The heroine—Mme. Ranevsky, well known and beloved of Russian theatre audiences, (a part which Chekhov's famous actress wife, Olga Knipper, was renowned in) just cannot believe that her b e a u t i f u l old orchard and home i s about to be sold for debt. Right to the l a s t she f o o l i s h l y squanders her money. She never understands the down-to-earth side of l i f e . As a r e s u l t , her dear old home is sold, because she cannot rai s e the needed funds to pay off the long overhanging mortgage. Mme. Ranevsky i s an inte r e s t i n g character study. .Always she had squandered, li v e d comfortably and some-what dangerously. .After the death of her husband, she had become involved with a worthless man and had gone to l i v e with him i n Par i s . F i n a l l y he deserts her, and she makes a f u t i l e attempt to take her own l i f e . Later her l i t t l e boy, Grishka, was accidently drowned. She could not become reconciled to t h i s tragedy. She then decided to return to Russia and her Cherry Orchard. She recounts, when reminiscing to her brother Gayev: "And suddenly I f e l t a longing for Russia, for my native land."93 93 .A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov. Plays and Sto r i e s , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. Koteliansky) Everyman's Library, New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., J.M. Dent & Son Ltd., London, 1942, No. 941, p. 24. 185 Her return there i s most touching. She arrives i n the early morning of a spring day. The cherry trees are i n f u l l bloom. Fondly she looks out of the old room i n which she had been so tenderly cared for as a c h i l d . However, her unfortunate past weighs heavily on her mind, and she does not seem capable of much change. Yermolay Lopakhin, a t i g h t f i s t e d business man, urges her to have the orchard demolished and to lease the land to contractors for the building of bungalows. This plan he maintains might save her land for her. She would have done better to have carried out his plan, for i n the end he buys the property himself, and carries out the plan, even to the cutting down of the l a s t b e a u t i f u l cherry t r e e . She i s sure that her mother or aunt, who are s t i l l l i v i n g , may send her enough money to save her home. But her hopes are not r e a l i z e d , the mortgage i t s e l f being more than the money they do eventually send to her. Chekhov l i k e Gogol and T o l s t o i , voices his love for his native Russian land through his characters. The character Trofimov, who at one time had been employed by Mme. Ranevsky as a tutor f o r her l i t t l e son, exclaims when addressing her daughter, Anya: "The whole of Russia i s our orchard. The land i s great and b e a u t i f u l , there are many wonderful places i n i t . Now, think Anyas your grandfather, your great-grandfather, and a l l your ancestors were s e r f -owners, proprietors of l i v i n g souls. Don't you see that from every cherry i n the orchard, from every l e a f , from every trunk, human beings are looking at you; can't you hear th e i r voices?. . . . Oh, i t i s dreadful, your orchard i s t e r r i b l e , and when on an evening or at night I walk i n i t , the old bark on the trees glows dimly and the cherry trees seem to see i n t h e i r sleep what happened a hundred, two 186 hundred years ago, and sombre vis i o n s v i s i t them* Why say more? We have lagged behind, we are at least two hundred years behind, we have not yet achieved anything at a l l , we have no d e f i n i t e a t t i -tude toward the past, we do. nothing but theorize, complain of nostalgia, or drink vodka. Indeed, i t i s so obvious! i n order to st a r t to l i v e i n the present, we must f i r s t of a l l redeem our past, have done with i t , and i t s redemption can be achieved only through tremedous, incessant labour. Do r e a l -ize i t , . Anya."94 Chekhov through his character reminisces over the spectacle of serfdom i n Russia over a period of approximately two hundred years (1689-1861), and masterfully gives his musings on the times at hand. Anya, Mme. Ranevsky's daughter, must mend her ways, he says, and not succumb to the t r i v i a l i t i e s , which spoiled her mother's l i f e . She must learn to l i v e i n harmony with her generation. Chekhov keenly sensed the oncoming change. The reader f e e l s sure that Anya did not, and could not change her way of l i f e . Just what became of her type i n Russia i s hard to e s t i -mate. Such persons surely are not to be found there now. At length, after much verbal contriving, lime. Ranevsky's orchard i s sold to the highest bidder. The buyer i s none other than the d i s l i k e d Lopakhin. As the play closes Chekhov explains dramatic-a l l y : "They go out, the stage i s empty. The doors are heard a l l being locked, and then the carriages d r i v i n g away. It grows quiet. In the s t i l l n e s s i s audible the d u l l thud of an axe on a tree, a f o r l o r n and melancholy 94 A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov. Plays and Stories, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. Koteliansky) Everyman's Library (No. 941) Hew York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1942, pp.29,30. 187 sound. Footsteps are heard. Through the door on the right appears Feers. He i s dressed as usual i n a jacket and white.waistcoat, with slippers on his fe e t . He i s 111."95 Feers, the eighty-seven year old servant, who had been born into the family's service even before the emancipation i n 1861 then speaks i "He goes to the door, try i n g the h a n d l e — I t i s locked. He exclaims—They have gone. . . ( S i t t i n g down on the sofa.) They have forgotten me. . .No matter. . . I ' l l s i t down here for awhile. . . . and I am sure Leonid Andreyevitch (Gayev) has not put on his fur coat, he's gone off i n his coat. (With anxious sigh) I ought to have seen to i t . Young people never stop to think. (He mutters somethingwhich cannot be understood) L i f e has gone by as though I hadn't l i v e d . . . . (lying down) You have no more strength l e f t ; there's nothing l e f t , nothing—Oh, you nyedotyopa'. . . . (He l i e s with-out motion) There i s a f a r - o f f sound, as though out of the sky, the sound of a snapped s t r i n g , dying away, mournful. A s t i l l n e s s f a l l s , and there i s heard only, far awav^in the orchard, the thud of axes s t r i k i n g on trees."?° Thus the curtain rings down on the poor old s e r v a n t — f o r g o t t e n — and l e f t alone to d i e ! As the carriages draw away, Mme. Ranevsky and her family hear the thud of the axes s t r i k i n g on the trees, and the audience i s reminded of the tragedy that awaited the bea u t i f u l orchard. How q u i e t l y and yet how r e a l i s t i c a l l y Chekhov condemned ingratitude. How keenly he f e l t the charm of Mme. Ranevsky and her home—the laughter and the tears. He was indeed a very great r e a l i s t , and a perfect example of the Russian i n t e l -95 A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov, Plays and Stories, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. Koteliansky) Everyman's Library (No. 941) New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., London, J . M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1942, p.52 96 Ibid. 188 l i g e n t s i a as i t existed at the close of the 19th Century. Chekhov's well-known play, "The Seagull" echoes many of the strains heard i n "The Cherry Orchard". Irene .Arkadin, the actress i s not so shallow or so Impractical as Mme. Ranevsky, but she, or her son, Nina Zaryechny (who aspires to the stage), Boris Treegorin, the n o v e l i s t , Sorin (Mme. Arkadin's brother), his steward—Ilya Shamrayev, his daughter, Masha, and Semyon Myedvyed-enko, are a l l persons of similar emotions and a s p i r a t i o n s , ss were the characters i n "The Cherry Orchard". In t h i s play one again fe e l s so strongly the suspense and uncertainty of the times. This i s Chekhov's mood. Mme. Arkadin's son i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y miserable creature. He feels that no one r e a l l y l i k e s him for himself, but merely because he i s the son of Mme. Arkadin. Instead of honour-ing his mother's achievements, he has become thoroughly spoiled. He i s charming and very good-looking. Masha i s i n love with him. However he i s interested i n .the would-be-actress, Nina. He r u t h l e s s l y k i l l s a b e a u t i f u l seagull on Zaryechny's estate, where 0 the setting of t h i s play takes place, the characters being guests there during several days. This gross act of Konstantin gives a hint as to his own f a t e f u l end, as despite his love for Nina he eventually shoots himself. The audience may f e e l t h i s tragedy might have been better omitted. But quite often Chekhov's heroes can f i n d nothing better to do than shoot themselves! Is the author's subconscious mind somehow satiated here i n portraying such actions, by knowing that such characters a f t e r they are shot, are at least 189 f i n a l l y safe from the executions which came l a t e r with the revo-lution? One cannot know. He did possess a somewhat prophetic and very i n t u i t i v e nature. Chekhov c e r t a i n l y did not take his own l i f e . He loved i t dearly, passing on his keen and amusing observations to his fellow beings. He i s said to have been fonder of writing than anything else i n the world, and usually slipped away to his writing desk i n the midst of s o c i a l gatherings given i n his home. He,has a unique s t y l e of humour. I t has been ably described by some c r i t i c s as "laughter through tears". Many of the situations i n his plays and stories are unusually humourous, but always i n the background there i s nostalgia; the weeping of Mme. Ranevsky, the despair of Konstantin Tryeplyev, and the t r a g i c exit of Uncle Tanya—such strains as these echo throughout his works. With a l l the laughter, one cannot escape the tears, he seems to e t e r n a l l y keep reminding his readers and audiences. In his l i t t l e play within a play enacted i n "The Seagull", which i s supposed to be written by the author, Treegorin, and enacted i n the play by Nina for the few guests assembled at the home of Zaryechny—the author expresses some of the opinions he envisions i n the world to come after many thousand of years have lapsed and "the sad cycle" has been accomplished—everything has at l a s t become p e t r i f i e d ! The speaker t r i e s to unravel the mysteries of e t e r n i t y — a n d feels that af t e r a l l human l i f e has ceased from t h i s earth there w i l l s t i l l be, what i s described as eternal matter expressed i n rock and p e t r i f i e d substance. She voices the author's b e l i e f that a common universal soul must l i v e ' 190 on and on i n some mysterious shape. These surmisings do not make a great deal of sense, hut the audience generally i s pleased and diverted with t h e i r abstract ideas. No mention i s made of an eternal S p i r i t , but rather "the d e v i l " , who i s described as, "the father of eternal matter", i s the character that, Dr. Dorn, one of the guests, finds most r e a l i s t i c . After the play, the guests resume t h e i r t r i v i a l con-versations. Yifhen Dr. Dorn, a rather unlovable but p r a c t i c a l character, r e a l i z e s that Konstantin has shot h i m s e l f — h i s only wish i s to remove his mother as quickly as possible from the scene. The reader ponders—does the play end r e a l i s t i c a l l y i n Konstantin having shot himself? The end, i t seems, could have been so much pleasanter for the audience. But Chekhov, here again, re-echoes r e a l i s t i c a l l y his nostalgic and revolutionary moods. Stark tragedy resulted for many i n the years just follow-ing his death. F a t a l shots rang out many times indeed, e s p e c i a l l y for persons of Konstantin's type, who had become n'er-do-wells. In Chekhov's plays the element of tragedy i s regrettable, but remains r e a l i s t i c i n the l i g h t of the era i n which he l i v e d , and that which d i r e c t l y followed. His sensitive soul, unfettered, caught the sombre warnings of the future, and breathed them unknowingly through the medium of his sensitive pen. After "The Cherry Orchard" (1903), and "The Seagull" (1900), Chekhov's bestknown play i s "Uncle Vanya" (1895) which was f i r s t written as "The Wood Demon". This play i s a comedy i n four acts, but the ending i s hardly comical, and there i s much 191 food for serious thought throughout i t s discourse. Here again the characters are simi l a r to those i n both "Cherry Orchard" and "Seagull". They are the same sensitive persons of the Russian i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , most of them consciously or unconsciously wearied and bewildered by the unpredictable and everchanging times i n which they l i v e d . Chekhov's many stories run into the hundreds, and have been edited i n nine volumes. Among the best known translated i n -to English ares "The Black Monk" (1894), "My L i f e " (I896), "The House with the Mezzanine" (1896), "Typhus" (1887), "Gooseberries" (1898), "In E x i l e " (1892), "The Lady with the Toy Dog" (I898), "Goussiev" (1890), "A Moscow Hamlet" (1888), "Schulz" (1896-97), " L i f e i s Wonderful" (1885) and " A Fa i r y Tale" (1890). Perhaps Chekhov's greatest novel of the l a s t period of his l i f e i s that known as "The Steppe". I t c h i e f l y concerns his v i s i t to the Ukraine i n 1888, and i s also known as "The Story of a Journey". S t r i c t l y speaking i t belongs to the group of descriptive narra-tion s , rather than the novels. This work a c t u a l l y contains no plot. It i s Chekhov's marvelous impressions during his v i s i t to the Ukraine. He wonderfully describes the subtle beauty he f e l t i n the Russian steppe-land p a r t i c u l a r l y during the summer evenings. These descriptions are rare i n the realm of a l l r e a l i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e . They are narrated with such vividness and th e i r moods become so hauntingly r e a l i s t i c , that one fee l s actu-a l l y transported both i n body and soul to the scenes describeds 192 "More and-more frequently i n the midst of the monotonous crackle, distrublng the motionless a i r , someones astonishing "Ah! ah!" ( i s heard,) and one can hear the cry of a raving b i r d , which has not yet f a l l e n asleep* Broad shadows come and go on the plains, l i k e clouds on the sky, and i n the incom-prehensible distance, i f you look at i t for a long time,., there a r i s e and p i l e up foggy and fa n t a s t i c images. You go on an hour or two. There turns up on your way a s i l e n t , ancient grave, or stone woman, noise l e s s l y there f l i e s over the earth the night b i r d . And then i n the crackle of inse c t s , i n the suspicious figures and graves, i n the l i g h t blue sky, i n the l i g h t of the moon, and the f l i g h t of the night b i r d , i n everything you see and hear, seems to appear the triumph of beauty, youth, and flowering of strength and a passionate t h i r s t of life."97 Chekhov caught the s p i r i t of the mood of his genera-t i o n — t h a t of the Russian i n t e l l i g e n t s i a just before the revo-l u t i o n , as few a r t i s t s have portrayed a mood i n any language. An appreciation of t h i s fact i s witnessed p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the fact that i n the present day Soviet Union "The Cherry Orchard" and the dramatization of other Chekhov's plays and sto r i e s are s t i l l among the most popular i n the repertoire of the great Moscow Art Theatre. Regimes of one kind or another may come and go, but the music of the soul and the nostalgic longings glimpsed i n the r e a l i s t i c plays and sto r i e s of Anton Chekhov must remain unchanged, as long as men and women are sensitive to the beauty and pathos of l i f e around them. 97 Chekhov, Anton, "The Steppe" or "The Story of A Journey", t r . by author, Russian Prose.XIX Century Writers, ed. S. Konovalov, and S. Feeley, Oxford, B a s i l Blackwell, 1946, p. 47. 5. CHEKHOV'S AMAZING GRASP OF REALISM TO THE LAST OF HIS CAREER. Anton Chekhov undoubtedly remained a great writer of r e a l i s t i c plays and s t o r i e s u n t i l his untimely death i n 1904. He was ever fond of and searching out the- truth about human beings and nature. I t was a great tragedy that his death came so soon aft e r his happy marriage to Olga Knipper, an actress of the Moscow Art Theatres "Chekhov's wedding to Olga Knipper took place on Friday, May 25th, 1901, i n a small Moscow church i n the presence of only four witnesses, two of them Olga Knipper's uncle and brother. None of Chekhov's family was present. His brother Ivan had been to see him a few hours before the wedding, but. he did not t e l l him anything about i t . And he made sure that none of his numerous friends turned up at his wedding by arranging with Vishnevsky to i n v i t e them a l l to a s p e c i a l luncheon. While they were a l l waiting and wondering what the idea of the luncheon was, Chekhov and Olga Knipper got married, and, a f t e r paying a v i s i t to Olga's mother, took a t r a i n to Nizhny-Novgorod, where they went to see Gorky, who was under house arrest at the time. From Nizhny-Novgorod they went by boat to Ufa and from there by coach to the sanatorium at Axenovo, where they spent t h e i r honeymoon. 'In Axenovo', Olga Knipper writes, 'Chekhov liked the countryside, the long shadows on the steppe after s i x o'clock, the snorting of the horses i n the droves, the f l o r a , the r i v e r Dema to which we drove, to' f i s h one day. The sanatorium was i n a b e a u t i f u l oak wood, but everything there was rather primitive and uncomfortable. At f i r s t Chekhov liked the 'kumys', but soon he got t i r e d of i t and aft e r s i x weeks we returned to Y a l t a ' . Chekhov loved to s i t on the steps of th e i r Axenovo bungalow and watch the sunset, the distant h i l l s and the wide steppe. 194 They returned to Yalta at the beginning of July . Soon Olga Knipper l e f t for Moscow, where the reher-sals at the Moscow Art Theatre were due to begin on August 20th- and Chekhov joined her there on Septem-ber 16th."? 8 Chekhov was anxious that his wife's marriage should not i n any way impede her career, and he often went to the theatre with her for rehearsals. He i s said to have been expecially fascinated while watching the actors and actresses put on t h e i r makeup! His wife was always exhorting him to write, and not to l e t his talent l i e dormant. He finished "The Bishop" i n February, 1902, and wrote his l a s t story, "The Bethrothed" i n October of the same year. In June, 1904 he was ordered to Badenweiler i n the Black Forest as a last resort to gain his health. At f i r s t he seemed to improve but the end came suddenly on the night of July 15th. "His l a s t words were: 'I'm dying'; then i n a very low voice to the doctor i n German 'Ich s t e r b e 1 . His pulse was getting weaker. He sat doubled up on his bed, propped up by pillows. Suddenly, without uttering a sound, he f e l l sideways. He was dead. His face looked very young, contented and almost happy. The doctor went away. .A fresh breeze blew into the room, bringing with i t the smell of newly mown hay. The sun was r i s i n g slowly from behind the woods. Out-side, the birds began to s t i r and t w i t t e r , and i n the room the silence, was broken by the loud buzzing of a huge black moth, which was whirling round and round the e l e c t r i c l i g h t , and by the soft sobbing of Olga Knipper as she leaned with her head against Chekhov's body."100 98 David Magarshack, Chekhov: A L i f e . New York, Grove Press, Reprinted as an Evergreen Book, 1955, p. 360. 100 I b i d ., p. 388. 195 Thus the curtain rang down qu i e t l y and slowly on Chekhov's l i f e as i t does on the stage aft e r one of his i n s p i r i n g plays. From then on he must be remembered i n the "laughter and tears" he has brought his countless readers. He would rather they remembered him i n his happy roamings of an enchanged evening over the beauti-f u l steppe-land—humming and bursting with l i f e . He would have no mourning or muffled funeral drums. He loved l i f e and wrote r e a l i s t i c a l l y about i t to the l a s t . 196 CHAPTER VIII RE A. LI SM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF  MAXIM GORKI (1868-1936) 1. B r i e f Sketch of the L i f e of Gorki 2. A Child of the Revolution 3. Gorki's Innate Longing for a F a i t h i n his Early-Days, and the Amazing Genius of his Early R e a l i s t i c Short Stories 4. Gorki's Later Works—Concentrated on a Theme D i f f i c u l t to Grasp—His F a i t h Grown into "The Quest of God" 5*. Gorki's Part i n the Russian Theatre After the Revolution 197 1. BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF GORKI "Opening the book at random, I read the words: "A land unappointed that s h a l l produce a nourisher of humanity, a being that s h a l l put f o r t h the bounty of his hand to feed every creature." "A, nourisher of humanity". Before my,eyes that "nourisher" lay outspread, a nourisher overlaid with dry and fragrant herbage. As I gazed, i n the haze of a v i s i o n , upon that nourisher's dark and enigmatic-a l face, I saw also the thousands of men who have seamed th i s earth with furrows, to the end that dead things should become things of l i f e . " "Nay, and never would t h i s man r i s e again?" —Maxim Gorki "Maxim Gorky (pseudonym of A. M. Pshkov, 1868-1936) had a t r u l y wonderful career. He was not yet t h i r t y when he became the most popular writer and the most discussed man i n Russia. After a period of dazzling c e l e b r i t y , during which he was currently placed by the side.of Tolstoy and unquestionably above Chekhov, his fame suffered an e c l i p s e , and he was almost forgotten by the Russian educated classes. Gorky has t o l d us the story of his "Childhood" and drawn unforgettable p o r t r a i t s of his close and harsh grandfather and of his charming, beauty-loving, and kind grandmother. His grandfather sent him out into the world to earn his bread, and for more than ten years he made the acquaintance of every conceiv-able kind of drudgery. At f i f t e e n Gorky t r i e d to get into a school at Kazan, "but as", he says, " I t was not the fashion to give education for nothing," he did not succeed i n the attempt. In Kazan he came into contact with students who sowed i n him the seeds of his future revolutionism, and he became f a m i l i a r with the l i f e of those "ex-people" who were to become his stepping stone to c e l e b r i t y . Leaving Kazan, he moved from place to place over the whole of southeast-ern and southern Russia, taking odd jobs, working hard, and often remaining without work. He soon l e f t his work and again went wandering over Russia. During these wanderings he began to write. In the following years he continued writing for the p r o v i n c i a l press and was soon able to r e l y on his l i t e r a r y work for a l i v e l i h o o d . But i t was not t i l l 1895 that he d e f i n -i t e l y entered into the " b i g - l i t e r a t u r e " , when Korolenko 198 had one of his stories "Chelkash" printed i n the i n -f l u e n t i a l monthly "Russkoye bogatstvo". Though he continued working for the p r o v i n c i a l press, he was now a welcome guest i n the Petersburg magazines. In I898 h i s stories came out i n book form (two volumes). Their success was tremendous and, for a Russian author, unprecedented i n the s t r i c t sense of the word. From a promising p r o v i n c i a l j o u r n a l i s t , Gorky became the most famous writer of his country. From thi s date to the F i r s t Revolution, Gorky was, next to Tolstoy, the figure i n Russia that aroused the greatest public i n t e r e s t . Interviews and p o r t r a i t s of him flooded the press, and everyone thought i t his duty to have a look at his person. International fame was not slow to follow. In Petersburg, Gorky came i n contact with the Marxists and became himself a Marxist and a S o c i a l Democrat. It was also for a poem by Gorky that the review was suppressed. This poem was the "Song of the P e t r e l " ! the Russian name for " P e t r e l " means storm messenger, and the "Song" was a very transparent allegory of the coming Revolutionary storm. I t was easy to become a martyr i n Russia about 1900, and Gorky was very soon arrested and banished to Nizhny. In 1902 he was elected an honorary member of the Imperial academy of Science. This was an unpreceden-ted act i n regard to a writer of t h i r t y - t h r e e . Gorky played a prominent part i n the F i r s t Revolution. In January 1905 he was arrested for taking part i n the F i r s t Revolution. In January 1905 he was arrested for taking part i n a protest against the "9th of Jan-uary", and his arrest became the cause for world-wide demonstrations i n his favor. In 1906 he l e f t Russia for the United States. His journey through Finland and Scandinavia was a triumphal procession. His a r r i v a l i n New York was equally triumphant. On his return to Europe he set-t l e d i n Capri, where he remained t i l l s h ortly before the f i r s t World War, and where he became immensely popular with the natives. His I t a l i a n popularity was increased by the active part he took i n the r e l i e f work afte r the t e r r i b l e "Messian" catastrophe. When the f i r s t World War broke out, Gorky took up a d i s t i n c t l y i n t e r n a t i o n a l and " d e f a i t i s t e " p o s i -t i o n , and i n 1917 he gave his support to his old 199 friends the Bolsheviks. But t h i s support was quite unconditional, and though the balance of Gorky's influence was i n favour of Lenin and his p o l i c y , he did not t h i s time i d e n t i f y himself with the party, but rather t r i e d to assume the role of a non-party umpire and champion of peace and culture. The debt of Russian culture to him i s very great. Everything that was done between 1917 and 1921 to save the writers and other higher i n t e l l e c t u a l s from s t a r -vation was due to Gorky. This was c h i e f l y arrived at by a whole system of centralized l i t e r a r y e s t a b l i s h -ments where poets and novelists were set to work at t r a n s l a t i o n s . ' In 1921 Gorky l e f t Russia and settled i n Germany. In 1924 he moved to Sorrento, i n I t a l y , returning to the Soviet Union i n 1928 for the celebration of his s i x t i e t h birthday. The following year he returned for good as the unquestioned dean of Soviet l e t t e r s , labor-ing indefatigably for the improvement of l i t e r a r y standards and the encouragement and t r a i n i n g of younger writers. He also became an ardent apologist for the S t a l i n i s t regime, and his death i n 1936 was according to the allegations of Prosecutor Yyshinsky two years l a t e r , the r e s u l t of a Trotskyite p l o t . " 1 0 1 101 D.S. M i r s k i , k History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 376, 380. 200 2 . A CHILD OF THE REVOLUTION In the works of Maxim Gorki the Russian revolution r e a l l y comes to l i f e . He was i n every sense a true c h i l d of the Revolution. During his e a r l i e r years he was subjected to abject poverty. He experienced the soul-searching exigencies that often develop Marxian tendencies; although Gorki was never a r e a l Bolshevik of the cr u e l type. His l i t e r a r y works are written with great s k i l l from his e a r l i e s t e f f o r t s to his more mature and voluminous texts. The reasons which brought about the Revolution are keenly and r e a l i s t i c a l l y portrayed i n Gorki's writings, and yet they never become e n t i r e l y b r u t a l . Gorki witnessed such dreadful examples of b r u t a l i t y a l l through his l i f e from infancy and was somewhat subdued as a res u l t of these experiences. He believed r i g h t l y i n the cause behind the Revo-l u t i o n and he knew the privations which kept the regime of Czar Nicholas II i n t a c t . Often he was the v i c t i m of dire poverty and his stories give accounts of starvation, bleak suffering and the inhuman conditions under which many persons of his time were compelled to eke out th e i r existence. Gorki l i v e d to witness the Revolution. He was the f i r s t author commented on i n t h i s series who a c t u a l l y experienced the great upheaval that took place i n 1917- Here i n the most gigantic t r a n s i t i o n i n the history of the Russian people the reader finds Gorki believing i n the s p i r i t of i t a l l , but not i n many of the methods of cold s t e e l that made up part of the sum and t o t a l of 201 Bolshevism. Gorki t r i e d v a l i a n t l y towards the end of his l i f e to lead the Revolutionaries In the great t r a d i t i o n s of Russian l i t e r a t u r e , but at length some antagonistic clique i s thought to have snuffed out his l i f e i n 1936. After working i n many menial jobs he gained a l i t t l e business t r a i n i n g , and was able to work as secretary i n a lawyer's o f f i c e . Here his l i t e r a r y talent was noted, and soon after he began to publish his f i r s t short s t o r i e s , which s t i l l remain among his outstanding c o n t r i -butions to Russian r e a l i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e . Some of his longer novels w i l l never be read extensively, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h i s country. Characters such as Klim Samgin would hardly make a r e a l i s t i c appeal to readers In contemporary North American c i v i l i z a t i o n . Such writing made altogether a quest from the standpoint of s p i r i t u a l l i f e , p o l i t i c s , and economics i n the Russian s o c i a l structure of that time, which were so removed from Western ideals and background, that they seem tedious and often meaningless to our readers. However Gorki's short s t o r i e s and his play,."Mother", which describes a pathetic facet of the revolution very r e a l i s t i c a l l y , i s l i k e l y always to be read and appreciated by sensitive and searching readers of any tongue. Gorki's most famous short s t o r i e s are written around l i t t l e incidents i n which he himself took part, or was the observer of i n his early youth. They have a freshness and charm that i s t y p i c a l of r e a l i s t i c Russian w r i t i n g . In his younger days Gorki seems to have experienced an innate s p i r i t u a l longing, 202 which he could not quite understand. This q u a l i t y may have been inherited from his maternal grandmother, who was an unusual person—marvelously courageous—one who made the best of heart-rending meagre conditions. U n t i l her death she kept encouraging her daughter and l i t t l e grandson, who had been so sadly bereaved by the loss of th e i r beloved husband and father. 203 3. GORKI'S INNATE LONGING FOR A FAITH IN HIS  EARLY DAYS, AND THE AMAZING GENIUS OF HIS EARLY  REALISTIC SHORT STORIES Gorki's innate longing for an understanding of s p i r i t -ual truth i s expressed i n his remarkable short story, "The Dead Man". This story i s an account of his youthful.wanderings, as a tramp over the Russian countryside. He stops to beg a morsel of bread at a hut, only to f i n d that the old man there has died, and the poor old woman and those with her ask i f he w i l l be kind enough to read a prayer over the corpse of the deceased before b u r i a l . He complies with the request, although he finds the book handed to him i s not the usual prayer book, but instead a grammar of the Church-Slavonic d i a l e c t I Just as he i s about to pronounce some kind of a benediction on the one about to be l a i d to r e s t , the half-intoxicated priest arrives and proceeds with the service more professionally. He learns from the old woman that t h i s priest has for years been the v i c t i m of drunkenness, due to g r i e f caused by stories circulated about his wife. "And, the next moment, a bulk so large and shape-less that i t might well have been the darkness of the night embodied stumbled against the outer side of the door, grunted, hiccuped, and, lurching head foremost into the hut, grew well nigh to the c e i l i n g . Then i t waved a gigantic hand, crossed i t s e l f i n the d i r e c t i o n of the candle, and bending forward u n t i l i t s forehead almost touched the feet of the corpse, queried under i t s breath: 204 "How now V a s i l ? " Thereafter the figure vented a sob, whilst a strong smell of vodka arose i n the room, and from the doorway the old woman said i n an appealing voice! "Pray give him the book, Father Demid". "Ko indeed! Why should I? I intend to do the reading m y s e l f . " 1 0 2 The picture of the besotted priest r i s e s before one's imagination. A l l i s s t i l l i n the quiet l i t t l e cottage, yet along with the ragged, eager young adventurer, the old drunken p r i e s t , the corpse, and the deserted old woman, one fe e l s that perhaps the eternal S p i r i t of God might be there too. This story creates an unusu-a l l y quiet, meditative, and thoughtful mood. This i s part of the genius of the Russian writers and t h e i r r e a l i s t i c i nterpre-t a t i o n s . In this l i g h t the writings of Gorki deserve the t i t l e of realism i n every sense. ,At length i n the story, he leaves the dreary scene with the mumblings of the old p r i e s t s t i l l echoing i n his ears. He does not take a small coin offered him by the g r i e f - s t r i k e n old woman, but proceeds on his way with only a crust of bread which she has given to him. He i s off again as the sun comes over the h i l l s , and Gorki ends t h i s t a l e with the unusual l i n e s ! "0 Thou of intangible greatness Reveal now that greatness to me! Enwrap me within the great vestment Of l i g h t which encompasseth Thee! That, with Thy uprising, my substance May come a l l - p r e v a i l i n g to b e i , , 1 0 3 102 Maxim Gorki. Through Russia; A Book of Sto r i e s , t r . D.J. Hogarth, Everyman's Library, No. 741, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1945, p. 270. 103 I b i d . . p. 276. 205 Other short stories containing the same simple r e a l i s t i c charm contained i n "The Dead Man", which have been translated into English includes- "The Icebreaker","Gubin", "Nilushka", "On a River Steamer", "A Woman", "In a Mountain D e f i l e " and " K a l i n i n " 206 4. GORKI'S LATER WORKS—CONCENTRATED ON A THEME  DIFFICULT TO GRASP—HIS FAITH GROWN INTO  "THE QUEST OF GOD" Gorki's writings of the l a t e r period are more d i f f i c u l t ' for the Western reader to grasp as has already been mentioned. Through them he weaves his sentiments on the Revolution and also his mystical philosophy. The novels of note which belong to the period 1899-1910 are "Foma Gordeyev", "Three of Them", "Okurov C i t y " , "A Confession" and "Matvey Kozhemyakin"s "Of the l a t e r novels, "Okurov C i t y " and "A Con-fession" are better than the others, f i r s t of a l l because they are shorter. "A Confession" i s , as f a r as about the middle, a good story of the adventures of the tramp afte r t r u t h , with a rapid development of narrative on which there l i e s a pale and distant (very distant but unmistakable) r e f l e x of Leskov's narrative masterpiece, "The Enchanted Wanderer".1C4 Works of the period a f t e r 1910 include three volumes of autobio-graphical s e r i e s , "Childhood" (1913), and a volume of "Recollect-ions" commenting on his reminiscences of such well-known personages as T o l s t o i , Korolenko, Chekhov, Andreyev and others. "Notes from a Diary" was published i n 1924. In speaking of Gorki's great genius, D. S. M i r s k i , the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , has commented, "He i s a r e a l i s t — a great r e a l i s t f i n a l l y freed from a l l the scales of romance, tendency, or dogma". Gorki believed to the l a s t of his l i f e that the virtues which must ultimately save humanity were "enlightenment, beauty and . 104 D.S. M i r s k i , A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, p. 383. 207 sympathy". In "Notes from a Diary" the p a t r i o t i c Gorki shines through with superb strength and everlasting f a i t h i n his country* " O r i g i n a l i t y i s the keynote. Some of the char-acters are those of very eminent men: two fragments are devoted to Alexander Bloc. Memorable p o r t r a i t s are drawn of the well-known Old Believer m i l l i o n a i r e Bugrov, who himself used to c u l t i v a t e Gorky as an o r i g i n a l ; and of Anna Schmidt, the mystical corres-pondent of Vladimir Soloveiv. With the exception of "Recollections of Tolstoy", t h i s l a s t book i s perhaps the best Gorky ever wrote."10? In the l a t t e r novels of Gorki his characters are either i n pursuit of the r e l i g i o n which became known as "bogostroitelstvo" (the making of God), as contrasted with "Bogoiskatelstvo" (the quest of God). Gorki thought i n his l a t t e r days that the people must reconstruct t h e i r own true concept of God again through a return to ancient miracles and the old f a i t h which was rooted and grounded i n the devoutness of the Russian Christians of the 17th Century, and which was subsequently l o s t through the s e c u l a r i z a t i o n of the church i n the succeeding centuries. This kind of f a i t h i s understood better by the Russians of Eastern t r a d i t i o n where every man from the tramp to the privileged had some great "quest of God" hidden deeply i n his soul, and which he was s t r i v i n g to understand and unravel. In the West we have attained a better expression of i n d i v i d u a l freedom and enterprise through our Western C h r i s t i a n i t y and p o l i t i c a l system, but we are s t i l l behind the East i n the realm of i n d i v i d u a l expression of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and p h i l -105 D.S. M i r s k i , .A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949, P- 3®&. 208 osophies. Unfortunately many of us here, although able to express ourselves f r e e l y , have no inner s p i r i t u a l l i f e . The peoples of the East are more meditative. Thus Gorki describes through many hundreds of pages i n his longer novels, the s p i r i t -ual struggles and inner quests of man i n the shaping of his b e l i e f s . After having read these books, the average Western reader i s often l e f t i n somewhat of a quandary, as to the exact meaning of many of the terms used i n describing Eastern trends of mystical thinking. 209 5. GORKI'S GREAT PART IN THE RUSSIAN THEATER AFTER THE REVOLUTION A l l people who have studied the l i f e of Maxim Gorki know that he returned to Russia i n 1929, af t e r l i v i n g for some years on the Isle of Capri. He threw himself wholeheartedly into the recovery of his country i n the f i e l d of the a r t s . As the biographical note states at the beginning of these remarks— he spent a l l of his time and energy i n try i n g to encourage and sustain the a r t i s t s during those dreadful years of the late twenties and t h i r t i e s i n post-Revolutionary Russia. Perhaps his greatest single contribution to the arts apart from his books was the part he played i n the reconstruc-t i o n of the Moscow Art Theatre i n Moscow founded i n 1898. He became one of the chief contributors and supporters of the actors of the new repertoire a f t e r the revolution. Fortunately the Bolsheviks even during t h e i r worst purges of the late t h i r -t i e s under Stalin's iron hand s t i l l encouraged i n t h e i r works of genius the great a r t i s t s of the time. Great actors, actress-es, b a l l e t dancers and others were paid adequate sa l a r i e s and given good l i v i n g conditions under which to develop t h e i r t a l e n t s . Gorki contributed plays to the Russian theatre which i n c l u d e — "Suburbans", "The Children of the Sun", "The Barbarians", "Enemies", and "Vassa Zheleznova" and also acted himself i n many productions of the famous Russian theatre. His best-loved plays are "The Lower Depths" and "Mother", which were and s t i l l are frequently 210 applauded by'.large audiences. The setting of the l a t t e r i s said to have been portrayed with such realism i n the Bolshoi Theatre that members of the audience have l e f t the Theatre spell-bound and speechless. Along with Anton Chekhov, Gorki must ever be remembered as one who t r i e d throughout his l i f e time to advance the l i t e r a t u r e and arts of t h i s native land, which he continued to love with a deep regard despite the con-d i t i o n s , which ultimately brought his untimely death. Like Pushkin he believed that such conditions would ultimately give place to those of peace and prosperity i n the experience of the peoples of the vast Russian lands„ 211 CONCLUSION The great 19th Century Russian r e a l i s t i c writers have expressed l i f e just a s i t appeared to them„ a l l who admire good l i t e r a t u r e must ever he g r a t e f u l to these authors for giv-ing the candid descriptions of Russian l i v i n g and ideals of the time i n which they were written. The amazing trend i n writing portrayed i n the 19th Century, known as realism,is one which deserves l a s t i n g praise from a l l serious students of l i t e r a t u r e , added to their l i t e r a r y genius was t h e i r heroic and transparent interpretations of r e a l i t y . Each of the masters considered i n the preceding pages contributed immeasurably to the new trend, and each i n his own i n d i v i d u a l way. In Pushkin's works the trend was portrayed through h i s immortal v e r s e , — h i s reminiscences of the Old Kievan Kingdom, of Poltava and i n his exhortations to f a i t h and l i b e r t y . Ler-montov's genius has given us l a s t i n g word-images of the pictures-que and treacherous Caucasus with i t s heroic adventure, both grim and gay. In similar vein Gogol wrote of adventures i n the beauteous Ukraine and of a l l Russia speeding w i l d l y on tr o i k a wheels. Realism i s somewhat subdued i n the writings of Ivan Turgenev, but i t s s p i r i t i s not e n t i r e l y absent. He makes hi s plea for the unfortunate serf and exhorts the older generation to be tolerant with the new. Dostoievski presents to the reader the perplexing and r e a l i s t i c problems pertaining to 19th Century 212 Russian Orthodoxy, Slavophilism and the reasoning of the human mind. T o l s t o i , considered the greatest writer of the r e a l i s t i c group, brought his readers closer to the s p i r i t of C h r i s t i a n t r u t h . We are ever grat e f u l to Chekhov fo r his r e a l i s t i c plays and short s t o r i e s — h e a v y with nostalgic longings for a passing regime. The writings of Maxim G o r k i — p a r t i c u l a r l y his early short s t o r i e s , make an i n d e l i b l e impression on the reader seeking a r e a l i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of l i f e . Always with Gorki was the u n f a i l i n g search towards "enlightenment, beauty and sympathy" even under the most pathetic and d i f f i c u l t conditions. Through the writing of a l l these authors the r e a l i s t i c i d e a l was adhered to, giving t h e i r works a v i t a l i t y and realness unknown before i n the world of writing. Their torch, although i n some measure dimmed, has not been extinguished. May Russian writers of to-morrow carry i t proudly, and fan i t s flame into an even greater radiance. 213 BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin Books by: The Poems, Prose and Plays of Pushkin, edited by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, ( t r s . by Babette Deutsch, Thomas B. Shaw, Max Eastman, Oliver E l t o n , A l f r e d Hayes, T. Keane and Natalie Duddington), New York, Random House Inc., 1936. Russian Poets and Poems, t r . Mme. N. Jarintzov, Oxford, 1917* Extracts from 'Boris Godunuff' and 'Evgeny Onyegin', t r . with biographical and c r i t i c a l essay by Isabel F. Hapgood, Warner's Library of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 11904-11924. Marie:a story of Russian love, t r . Marie deZielinska, Chicago, McClurg, 1888. (Published 1846 u n d e r . t i t l e : The Captain's Daughter). Tales of the late Ivan Petrovich B e l k i n . ed* B.O. Unbegaun, Oxford, B. Blackwell, 1947. (General editors:S. Konovalov) Books about: Pushkin. A Biography. Henri Troyat, t r . Randolf T, Weaver, New York, Pantheon, 1950. Warner's Library of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , Comment-on Pushkin by Isabel F. Hapgood, pp. 11904-11924. Pushkin; a c o l l e c t i o n of a r t i c l e s and essays on the great Russian  poet. A. S. Pushkin. Moscow, The U.S.S.R. Society for c u l t u r a l r e lations with foreign countries, 1939. Pushkin, Prince D. S. M i r s k i , London, C-. Routledge and Sons Ltd., New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1926. 214 Michael Y u r i e v i c h Lermontov Boobs by: A Hero of Our Time. Moscow, Foreign Languages P u b l i s h i n g House, 195T. A Hero of Our Own Times, t r . Eden and Cedar Paul f o r the Lermon-t o f f Centenary, London (1914)? George a l i e n f: Unwin L t d . , 1940. Geroi Nashego Vremeni. New York, I n t e r n a t i o n a l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1947. The Demon, t r . A r c h i b a l d Gary C o o l i d g e — w i t h an i n t r o d . by P r i n c e D. S. M i r s k i — L o n d o n , Eyre and Spottiswoode L t d . (Published by the School of Slavonic Studies i n the U n i v e r s i t y of London, King's C o l l e g e ) . Pushkin, Lermontov, Tyutchev:Poems, Stephan Schimanski, t r . V l a d i m i r , London., Lindsay Drummond, 1947. Books about: Etudes de L i t t e r a t u r e Russe—1931-32, Prosper Merimee, P a r i s , H. Champion, No."595. : ' C r i t i c a l Essay. V. Burenin, S. Petersburg, A. S. Syvorena, 1888. Lermontov, M i l h a i l U r ' e v i c h . (Polnoe sobranie s o c h i n e n i i ) of M. Y. Lermontov—Caobo, 1921. N i k o l a i V a s i l i e v i c h Gogol Books by: Dead Souls, t r . The Modern L i b r a r y , New York, Random House, 1936. Dead Souls, t r . George Reavey, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1948. (The Novel L i b r a r y ) Taras Bulba and Other Tales, t r . Everyman's L i b r a r y , No. 740, " i n t r o d u c t i o n by John Cournos, London, J . M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York, E. P. Dutton & Co. In c . , 1952. 215 Taras Bulba;a t a l e of the Cossacks, t r . Isabel F. Hapgood with an introd., New York, Knopf, 1929. Migorod, containing Old-World Landowners, Taras Bulba. Viy, Ivan  Ivanovich and Ivan N i k i f o r o v i t c h T t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 192b. Evenings On a Farm Near Dikanka, t r . A. A. Knopf.New York, 1926. The Government Inspector, and Other Plays, t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. The Mantle, and Other Stor i e s , t r . Claud F i e l d and with an i n t r o d . on Gogol by Prosper Merimee, London, T. Werner Laurie Ltd., 1916. St. John's Eve and Other Stories from"Evenings at the Farm", and  "St. Petersburg S t o r i e s " , t r . Isabel F. Hapgood, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York, 1886. Books about; Nikolai Gogol, Valdimir Nabokov, Norfolk, Conn., (New Directions Books), 1944. Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev Books by; Fathers and Sons, t r . Constance Garnett, The Modern Library, New York, Random House, with an i n t r o d . by Thomas Seltzer, 1952. Rudin, ed. with intr.od. Galina Stilman, New York, Columbia U. Press, 1955. V i r g i n S o i l , t r . Constance Garnett, New York, London, The MacMillan Co., 1917-On the Eve;a t a l e , t r . C. E. Turner, London, Hodder & Stoughton, TB7T. The Novels and Stories of Ivan Turgenieff (Sportsman's Sketches  and other important works), t r . Isabel F. Hapgood, with an int r o d . Henry James, New York, C. Scribner's Sons, 1903-04. 216 Books about: Turgenev:A L i f e , David Magarshack, London, Faber and Faber, 1954. Turgenev«, the man, his a r t , and his age, Avrahm Yarmolinsky, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1926. Warner's Library of World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 15057-15130 (on Turgenev). Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoievski Books by: The Possessed, t r . Constance Garnett with a forword by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Modern Li b r a r y , New York, Random House, 1936. The Brothers Karamasov, t r . Constance Garnett, Modern Library, New York, Random House, 1950. Crime and Punishment:A Novel i n Six Parts and an Epilogue, t r . Jessie Coulson, New York, London, Oxford Uni v e r s i t y Press, 1953. The Short Novels of Dostoievsky, t r . Constance Garnett, New'.'.York, D i a l Press, 1951. The Insulted and In.iured, a novel i n four parts and an epilogue, t r . Constance Garnett, New York, The MacMillan Co., .1915. The Diary of a Writer, t r . and an. Boris Brasol, New York, Charles Scribner, 1949. Notes from Underground, ed. Charles Neider (Short stories of the masters, ed* with an introd. C. Neider), New York, Rinehart & Co., 1948, White Nights, and other s t o r i e s , t r . Constance Garnett, New York, . xne macMllan C 6 . , ± 9 1 8 . — 217 Books about: Dostoyevsky. Stanislaw Mackiewicz, London, OrMs, 1947. Firebrand:the L i f e of Dostoyevsky. Henri Troyat, New York, Roy Publishers, 1946. Dostoyevsky—An Interpretation. Nikolai'A. Berdiaev, t r . Donald Attwater, London, Sheed & Vferd Inc., 1934. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A Study. Aimee Dostoyevsky, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1922. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: i n s i g h t , f a i t h and prophecy, t r . Richard and Clara Winston, New York, Scribner, 1950. Dostoyevsky and his influence on the philosophy of Niko l a i Berdiaev. David Arthur Price, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953. Leo Nikolaevich T o l s t o i Books by: Master and Man and other Parables and Tales. Everyman's Library, ed. Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., New York, E. P. Dutton & Co.,.1911. War and Peace, t r . Louise and Aylmer Maude, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1942. The Cossacks: and other s t o r i e s . Count Lyof T o l s t o i , 3d. ed., London, V i z e t e l l y Co. (The Cossacks, The Prisoner of the Caucasus, Recollections of Sevastopol, Three Deaths), 1887., Anna Karenin. t r . with i n t r o d . R. Edmonds, London, Penguin Books, 1954. Childhood. Boyhood and Youth. Count Leo Tolstoy, London, J . M. Dent & Sons Ltd., New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1912. Nine Stor i e s , 1855-63. t r . Louise & Alymer Maude, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, London. The l e t t e r s of Tolstoy and his cousin Countess Alexandra Tolstoy (1857-1903), t r . Leo I s l a v i n , London, Methuen & Co., 1929. 218 Books abouts Tolstoy As I Knew Him, t r . Boris Igor and others, Tatyana A, Kuzminzkaya, New York, The MacMillan Co., 1948. Leo Tolstoy. The Grand Mujik, G. H. P e r r i s , I898. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Books bys Chekhov, Plays & Sto r i e s , t r . S. S. Koteliansky, Everyman's Library, New York, E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., London, J . M<> Dent & Sons. Ltd., 1942. The Beggar, and other stories selected by J . I. Rodaie Ielus, Geo. W. Rickey, Emmaus, Pa., (Story C l a s s i c s ) , 1949. The Bet, and other s t o r i e s , t r . S. Koteliansky & J . M. Murray, New New York, John W. Luce & Co., 19l5<> The Black Monk, and other s t o r i e s , t r . Constance Garnett, New York, The MacMillan Co., 1919» The Seagull« as produced by Konstantin Sergeyevich S t a n i s l a v s k i i , production score for Moscow Art Theatre by K. 8. Stanislavsky, edited with an in t r o d . by S. D. Balukhaty, t r . David Magarshack, New York, Theatre Arts Books, 1952. The Cherry Orchard and other plays, t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 1946^ (The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, The Seagull,The Bear, the Proposal). The Letters of Anton Pavlovitch Chekhov to Olga Leonardovna Knipper, t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. Nine Humorous Tales, t r . Issac Goldberg & Henry T. Schnittkind, 2nd. ed. (rev.) Boston, The Stratford Co., 1918. The Wood Demonsa comedy In four acts, t r . S.S. Kotetiansky, London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. My L i f e i n The Russian Theatre, t r . John Cowmos, London, Geoffrey Bles, 1937. 219 Books about; Chekhov; a l i f e . David Magarshack, New York, Grove Press, Reprinted as an Evergreen Book, 1955« Chekhov, a biographical and c r i t i c a l study. George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 19?0« Maxim Gorki Books by; Through Russia; A Book of Stor i e s, t r . D. J . Hogarth, Everyman's Library, No. 741, London, J..M. Dent & Sons Ltd., New York • E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1945. Chelkash and other s t o r i e s , t r . A l f r e d A. Knopf;New York, 1915. Creatures that Once were Men, t r . J . M. S h i r a z i and others with i n t r o d . G. K. Chesterton, Modern Library, New York, Random House, 1952. Culture and the People. International Publishers, New York, 1939. Decadence., t r . Veronica Dewey, New York, R. M.McBride & Co., 1927. Foma Gordyeeff, t r . Isabel F. Hapgood, New York, Scribner's, 1901. Fragments from My Diary. Maxim Gorki, London, P. Allan & Co.,1924. Mother; with eight i l l u s t r a t i o n s by Sigmund de Ivanowski. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1923. Reminiscences. Dover, New York Publications, 1946. Selected Works. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publications House, 1948. 220 GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY Vis s a r i o n B e l i n s k i . H. E. Bowman, Harvard University Press, 195$. A History of Russian L i t e r a t u r e . D. S. M i r s k i , New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. Russian F o l k l o r e . Academician Y. M. Sokolov, ( t r . Catharine Ruth Smith), New York, The MacMillan Co., 1950. A History of Russia. George Vernadsky, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1954. Russia A History. Sidney Harcave, New York, J.B. Lippincott Co., Short Stories by Russian Authors, t r . R. S. Townsend, Everyman's LiDrary, No. 75b, ed. Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., NewYork, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1943. Russian Literature from Pushkin to the Present Day. Richard Hare, ~ Methuen & Co. Ltd., London, 1947 Pushkin and Russian L i t e r a t u r e . Janko Lavrin,London, Hodder & Stroughton.r (for the English University Press), 1947« The Novels of Ivan Turgenev. t r . Constance Garnett, New York, The MacMillan Co., London, William Heinemann, 1920. Poems i n Prose, In Russian and English, ed. from the o r i g i n a l ms. with i n t r o d . by Andre' Mazon, t r s . Constance Garnett and Roger Aus, Oxford, Blackwell, 1951. The Novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, t r . Constance Garnett, New York, The MacMillan Co., 1918. The Novels and Other Works of Lyof N. T o l s t o i , Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1910-11. On L i f e , and essays, and r e l i g i o n ( T o l s t o i ) , t r . with an i n t r o d . by Aylmer Maude, London, Oxford University Press, (The World's C l a s s i c s , 426), 1950. F i f t y One-Act Plays. Anton Chekhov, t r . Andreyev, Arnstein, Asch and others, V. Gallancz Ltd., London, 1934. The Best Known Works of Anton Chekhov, one v o l . ed., Blue Ribbon Bopks, New York, 1929. 2 2 1 Letters on the short s t o r y ? the drama and other l i t e r a r y t o p i c s , Anton Chekhov, selected and edited by Louis S. Friedland, Minton, New York, Black & Co., 1924. Warner's Library of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e . Russian Prose. XIX Century Writers; ed. S. Konovalov and S* Oxford, B a s i l Hlackwell, 1946| p.47. 222 ARTICLES Moscow University, (comments on Mikhail Lermontov, V i s s a r i o n Belinsky, Alexander Griboyidov, Alexander Herzen), Soviet Union, Pravda Publications, Moscow, No. 5(63), May, 1955* 190ft, F i f t i e t h Anniversary of the F i r s t Revolution ? (comments on Maxim Gorki and his works), Soviet Union Pravda Publications, Moscow, No. 12(70), December 1955-New Films, (comments on the recent Russian f i l m i n g by the Gorky Studio of M. Y. Lermontov's "Princess Mary", and the f i l m -ing of A. P. Chekhov's "Grasshopper" produced by the Mosfilm Studio.), Soviet Union, Pravda Publications, Moscow, No. 11(69), November, 1955. F. M. Dostoyevski ? (comments on the author and his works on the occasion of the 75th year since his death), Soviet Union, Pravda Publications, Moscow, No. 2(72), February, 1956. Chekhov's Seagull and Shakespeare's Hamlet;a Study of a Dramatic Device, Thomas G. ?/inner, The American Slavic and East European Review, February, 1956. Russian Writers and Soviet Readers. Maurice Friedberg, The American Slavic and East European Review, February, 1955. A History of Tolstoy's Posthumous Play, Sergei Bertensson, The American Slavic and East European Review, A p r i l , 1955. The Soviet Interpretation of Gogol, Robert L. Strong J r . , American Slavic and East European Review, December, 1955« 

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