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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 p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s 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 a t the  University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and  study.  I further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may of my  be granted by the Head  Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e .  I t i s under-  stood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not be allowed without my  permission.  Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada,  Columbia  written  ABSTRACT The  great movement i n R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e known as  r e a l i s m has been a p t l y d e s c r i b e d  by one of i t s l a t e r adherents,  Anton P a v l o v i c h Chekhov, as " i m a g i n a t i v e "depicts  l i f e as i t r e a l l y i s " , and t h a t " i t s aim i s t r u t h -  u n c o n d i t i o n a l and honest". standard life  l i t e r a t u r e " , which  There t r u l y could be no b e t t e r  than t h i s f o r enlightened  literature.  F o r although  i s never s t a t i c , and modes i n l i t e r a t u r e of v a r i o u s  regimes  have come and gone and w i l l continue t o do s o , n e v e r t h e l e s s , t r u t h sought s i n c e r e l y by a l l s e r i o u s t h i n k e r s throughout the ages remains e t e r n a l . and  Unfortunately  d i c t a t o r s h i p s of v a r i o u s  hierarchies, oligarchies  kinds have been f o r c e d upon human  beings s i n c e the beginning o f known h i s t o r y .  With these regimes  have come the masterminds who endeavored t o mold i n t o t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r c a s t the minds subjected  t o them.  I n some  instances  they have succeeded, but there have always been those refugees of independent thought who, because they r e f u s e d  t o bow down to  the decrees of a t y r a n t , have e i t h e r h i d i n catacombes or f l e d to other  lands.  Such people a r e the i l l u m i n a t o r s o f t h e a g e s —  God's s h i n i n g s t a r s . Russian realism.  T h e i r s was t h e s p i r i t  o f 19th Century  I t s p o r t r a y a l 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 t o thank t h e p r o f e s s o r s i n t h e Department of S l a v o n i c Studies a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, under whose guidance and encouragement a t r u e understanding o f Russian  l i t e r a t u r e and of the h e r i t a g e of the  great S l a v o n i c peoples i n many f i e l d s has been given me. S p e c i a l thanks a r e due t o D r . J . 0. S t . C l a i r - S o b e l l , Head o f the Department, whose kindness over a number o f years has been of i n e s t i m a b l e v a l u e .  I am indeed  Wainman, w i t h whom I took my f i r s t  g r a t e f u l t o P r o f e s s o r A . W. 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 w r i t i n g o f my t h e s i s was accomplished.  A l s o I should  l i k e t o express  a p p r e c i a t i o n t o Dr. C y r i l Bryner, D r . A. H. K u i p e r s , D r . P. Dembowski and the l a t e P r o f e s s o r Peter D. Izaak and other members of t h e Department under whom I have taken  courses.  These opened broader h o r i z o n s along t h e 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  t h a t was t h e i d e a l of t h e w r i t e r s of R u s s i a n  f o r Truth,  realism.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Introduction: & Short I n t r o d u c t i o n t o the R e a l i s t i c Russian W r i t i n g of the Nineteenth Century 1 Chapter I  16  Chapter I I  47  Chapter I I I  72  Chapter IV  ....  96  Chapter V  115  Chapter VI  153  Chapter V I I  175  Chapter V I I I  196  Conclusion  211  Bibliography  ..213  1  INTRODUCTION A Short I n t r o d u c t i o n t o the R e a l i s t i c R u s s i a n W r i t i n g of the Nineteenth Century He noHaib ApunmoM o6ssm He n3iiepHXi> 7 HeM ocodeaHaa cxaxb  7MOM P O C C H B  B  P O C C H B MOBHO T O J O K O  sepHTb.  h H. TKHTKes  "One  cannot comprehend R u s s i a w i t h the mind, One cannot fathom her w i t h a common measure, Her d e s t i n y i s of a d i f f e r e n t k i n d , F a i t h alone i n R u s s i a one must t r e a s u r e . " —F.  1.  What i s Realism?  2.  The Great Kievan  Heritage  I.  Tyutchev  2  INTRODUCTION 1 . WHAT IS REALISM? Most assuredly, the great Russian masters of literature deserve a place in the world s annals of history. f  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 a quiet and mellow enjoyment from a l l things".  1  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.  Lomonosov s own practice was limited chiefly to the 1  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 Alexandrovich 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 (17991837) 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 character 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 f u l 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 bloodshedding 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 disruption 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 insubordination. Otherwise he left the princes to their own device and offered no interference in the internal affairs of their principalities. 118  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 manuscript 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 principal 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." 10  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— a l 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 i t t l e 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  A l 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 t t l e 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 s comments read as follows:1  "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 sympathetic 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 i t 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 f e . 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 i t is nowhere more apparent than in Russia." 12  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 Orthodoxy.  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 i t 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 literature 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.  Brief  Sketch of the L i f e o f Pushkin  2.  The Amazing V o i c e Raised i n 1817  3.  Back t o Romanticism i n "Ruslan and Lyudmila"  4.  Pushkin's W r i t i n g of t h e Period (1822-28), i n Which H i s R e a l i s t i c I d e a l i s m Comes t o Flower  5.  Pushkin's W r i t i n g of the P e r i o d (I828-36), i n Which R e a l i s m Has Become a Dominant F a c t o r  6.  The L a s t i n g E f f e c t  o f 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 "sixhundred-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 completing 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 victorious 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 transferred to a government office in Ekaterinbslav. Almost immediately on arriving there he f e 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 friendship and for whose daughters he held a fervent admiration. From the end of 1820 to 1823 Pushkin served in Kishinev, doing very l i t t l e 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 Mikhaylovskoye 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 f e l 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 i f e . He was married in February 1831. His marriage was, at first, externally 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 "literary aristocracy". He felt that he was suffocating in a society where a mere poet, in spite of his "six-hundredyear-old nobility", was looked down upon by the great courtiers descended from the favourites of eighteenthcentury empresses, and was l i t t l e more than his wife's husband. He tried to free himself from the noctious and deteriorating atmosphere, but was given to understand that i f he left town it would be in disgrace. At  19  last came the tragic end. His jealousy was exasperated 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 greatest 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 altars wings Can shield you, safe from revolutionsI Come f i r s t , abase with bended knees Your heads 'neath Law's protective entry— And at your thrones shall stand as sentry The nations' liberty and peacel" 1  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 i t was not long before every political epigram in any way improper was automatically a t t r i 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 i t t l e things in the same vein. There wasn't a soul who didn t know his verses by heart. f  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, t r . 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 magician 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. ism.  However, this poem savors of romanticism not real-  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 s o i l , expressed in free natural, narrative styles, which was utterly opposed to the prevailing rhetorical school, both in irregularity of movement and diversions 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 published 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 institution, and that he achieved the following grades: In Religious Instruction, Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy, Natural Law, Russian Criminal and C i v i 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, Financial 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 reputation. 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, t r . 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 preChristian 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 f a l 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 battlesteed'."^ 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, t r . 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. old sorcerer had come truel  The prophesy of the  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 expressed 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. message of this poem may yet come true.  It is hoped that the 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  Bo  rjtydHHe  Cn6Hpb.  CHOHPCKHX  py«  X p a H H T e 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 G T p e M J i e H b e .  H e c H a c T b i o BepHaa c e e T p a , Ha^exfla B MpaHHOM n o A s e u e J i b e 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 . OKOBH  TaacKHe naayT  TeMHHipi p y x H y T , - H e B o d o f l a 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 t o i 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 The And And  heavy-hanging chains will f a l l , walls will crumble at a word: Freedom greet you in the light, brothers give you back the sword."21  21 Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Poems. Prose and Plays of Pushkin, t r . 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 (16891725)•  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 typified the belated Renaissnance spirit in Russia, while trying to make up—by a short cut, as i t 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 implications. "Peter was undoubtedly a revolutionary by God's  31  grace," he wrote in I 8 3 6 . "The tremendous revolution achieved by his autocratic power abolished the old system of l i f e , 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 freedom 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 blending of European methods and traditions with Russian material and an essentially Russian spirit. The same applies to modern Russian literature, the prodigious 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." 3 2  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 f a l 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." 24  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. heroic verse.  Czar Peter's victory is again re-lived in  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 cultural 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. t r . Oliver Elton, New York, Random House Inc., 1 9 3 6 , 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, Pushkin once remarked to Mine. Smirnova, "that the dead influence the thoughts of the l i v i n g . " 11  26  If such could be, then the ending of this poem might have been perceived better in the light of realism. but more often than not he won them.  Peter lost some battles,  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. boundless energy.  Peter had courage, strength and  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 floodridden 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 f u l l 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. A l l night the madman flees; no matter Where he may wander at his w i l l , Hard on his track with heavy clatter There the bronze horseman gallops s t i l l . 7 u 2  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 unrealistic note.  However Pushkin has not meant this to be so.  In contemplation of the hard and merciless side of Peter's character, he has come to the conclusion that Peter could have nourished 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 purification, Pushkin feels instead his tongue with "the evil things and vain i t 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 interested 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 f e , 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 monument, 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, t r . 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 atmosphere 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 t t l e 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 i t t l e stories.  Although they are  well-written, the reader feels the author is straining himself somewhat unsuccessfully to give insight into a thrilling adventure 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 f e l 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 superf i c i a l 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 i f e , 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 unquestioned.  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 sentiments 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. to the imagination.  They are not mere appeals  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 w r i t i n g . although i t appears realistic.  H i s r e f e r e n c e t o o l d mythologies i s s l i g h t , sometimes, but always  i n the p l a c e of the  In h i s most mature works he e n t i r e l y l e a v e s t h i s  kind of musing. We are g i v e n t o understand by some c r i t i c s and b i o g r a phers t h a t Pushkin l e d a v e r y shocking and w i l d youth, and the author of v u l g a r and b i t i n g epigrams.  But i t i s not n e e d f u l  t o d w e l l upon the baser s i d e of h i s n a t u r e .  I t i s more s a t i s f y -  i n g t o a p p r e c i a t e him a t h i s b e s t , t o d w e l l upon the grandeur and beauty of h i s p o e t i c  was  immortal  writing:  " E q u a l l y a s t o n i s h i n g i s the wealth of l i t e r a r y "genres" i n v e r s e and i n prose which Pushkin handled w i t h such s k i l l as t o r a i s e the l e v e l of R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e t o a h e i g h t which became a standard f o r subsequent generations. According t o the famous c r i t i c V. B e l i n s k y (1811-48), " a l l previous R u s s i a n poets compare w i t h Pushkin as r i v e r s , b i g and s m a l l , compare w i t h the sea. H i s v e r s e s t a r t e d a new era i n the h i s t o r y of R u s s i a n p o e t r y . And what v e r s e 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 harmoni o u s l y i n i t w i t h the enchanting melodies of the romantic rhyme. The a c o u s t i c wealth and a l l the might of the R u s s i a n tongue f i n d here an a s t o n i s h i n g complete expression."35 H i s Immortal s p i r i t  s t i l l l i v e s , as e n v i s i o n e d i n "Wise Oleg" and  "Message t o S i b e r i a " ; i n h i s f r a n t i c appeals f o r freedom liberation.  L e t us remember h i s generous  good wishes  and  expressed  toward a l l — t o the S l a v , F i n n , Tungus, and savage Kalmuck, indeed i n the i n t e r e s t s of a l l mankind i n h i s g r e a t e s t r e a l i s t i c T h i s i s the noble s p i r i t  writing.  of Pushkin's g e n i u s , t h a t can never d i e .  35 Janko L a v r i n , Pushkin and R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . London, Hodder & Stoughton, ( f o r the E n g l i s h U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ) , 1947, pp. 66, 67  47  CHAPTER I I 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 E a r l y M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Lermontov's Genius A Hero of Our T i m e s — A Monument t o Realism Lermont ov's P o e t r y Lermontov's L a s t i n g Imprint on the School o f Russian R e a l i s m  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 century entered the Russian service. Learmont, i t 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 i t t l e 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 l e 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 i t 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 1  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 accordingly. Lermontov was arrested, tried by courtmartial, 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 f e , in spite of a l l the satisfaction i t provided for his vanity, galled and goaded Lermontoy. His life at Petersburg came to an abrupt end. On the most t r i v i a l 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 wateringplace, where he found many acquaintances from Petersburg 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 LERMONTOVS GENIUS 1  Michael Yurievich Lermontov along with the poet, Pushkin, was one of the founders of realism in Russian literature.  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 f e , 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 Lermontov s most famous work. 1  divided into two parts.  It is  The first part, consisting of  introduction and two stories.  an  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 i t l e , "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 Caucasus, 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 morning. 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 i t 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 i t went on raising as far as the eye could follow It, until it disappeared in a cloud which had been hanging 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 i t 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. A l 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, shortlived 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. 3 4 , 3 5 .  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 i t 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 f e .  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 life.  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 i t t l e 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 poignant, 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 i t t l e seaside 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 g i r l , and an unfortunate blind boy, who has been blind from birth.  The g i r l , sings of Yanka, the smuggler, who comes  in his l i t t l e 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 i t t l e hut, where the smugglers are more or less forced to take him i n , until the arrival of his boat, because he is an army officer seeking 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 f i s t . "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 l i t t l e 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 t t l e 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 i t t l e 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 i t t l e 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 these  smugglers  tempt,  than  t o t h ea u t h o r i t i e s ,  warm-heartedness, w h i c h  on  more  h e i s somewhat contemptuous  toward  displays a hardness  o f heart, which  have  mermaid's  for  expected.  The  gay  song  times.  t h e one  one  would  he  3anoMHHJi 3 T y  JISCHIO  OT  The fact  not ordinarily  says  he memorized  cJiOBa «o c J i o B a . "  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 « G T a p H e KopaCjiHKH IIpHnOflHMyT KpHJIHIUKH, IIo  con-  horn blind  words "H  of  disappointing.  i s somewhat  However his sentiments are realistic for those that  grounds  the  Mops p a s u e n y x c a .  C x a H y Mopio K J i a H a T h e a 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."  word  60  "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.  leave, they carelessly toss him a coin. he is, does not even pick i t up.  As they  He,miserably poor as  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 realistic 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. A l l this is told in simple language, yet every sentence is alive I The tense breathing of the blind boy and the "mermaid" are perfectly 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. verts the reader to the doctrine of fatalism.  It almost conSometimes the  evidence may seem very strong in favouring that events are predestined, nevertheless to discard entirely free-will and conscience 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 forehead!  The pistol clicks, and everyone stands aghast.  not go off.  However Vulich has not lost his bet.  a cap hanging on the wall.  It does  He fires at  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 fatalistic 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 murderer 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 f e , 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, i f i t 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 i s , 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". these stories express his own sentiments. ture.  Neither of  They are pure adven-  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 i t 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 throughout 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 practices of the time for the tragedy, he was exiled to the Caucasus in  I837.  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; ECTB  B  GHjia  co3Byn>n  ojiaroflaTHaa CJXOB  SCHBHX;  H flimiHT, He noHaTHaa CBaxaa npejiecxb B H H X . C flyiffiH KaK 6peMa CKaTH-rca, CoMHeHbe RELJIBKO -  M BepHTca Et m i a i e T c a , 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." 42  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 admiration 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, 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 l e . On my heart, like in an ocean, lies a load of shattered hopes.' 1  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 inspiration 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 conclusions 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. Shamefully indifferent to good and evil, we fade away without a fight at the beginning of our course, timid in the face of danger, and contemptible slaves to power . (Meditation)" 3 1 1  4  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 languages, 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 i t : "Princess Mary" After a Lermontov. Produced by the Scenario and directed by I. man: M. Kirilov. Starring and Verbitsky as Pechorin"  44  story by M. Gorky Studio. Annesky. CameraSanova as Mary  "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 i t is highly 43 Richard Hare, Russian Literature, London, Methuen & Co. L t d . , 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 9, p. 138. '. 4  72  CHAPTER I I I REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE 7JRITING OF NIKOLAI YASILIEYICH GOGOL  (1809-1852)  B r i e f Sketch o f the L i f e of Gogol Gogol's E a r l y R e a l i s t i c W r i t i n g , Which Was Immediately Accepted by Both C r i t i c s and P u b l i c "Taras B u l b a " and "Dead Souls"—Landmarks the Path of R e a l i s m  Along  Other Works Gogol's T r a g i c and F u t i l e Search f o r a L i v i n g Faith  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 Province 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 boundless ambition. Equally early he developed an extraordinary 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 administrator, 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 stories 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'!, 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. 1  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 enthusiastic 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 literature 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 disgusted. 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 insisting 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 f e . 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 i t or not. After that he f e l l into a state of black melancholy, and died on February 21, 1 8 5 2 . 1,46  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. fortunate to have received an excellent education.  He was 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 f e , 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. brilliant.  Perhaps Gogol was too  His. writing is a series of brilliant character  studies in unusual detail. shrewd observation. a l l his stories.  Nothing escaped his sharp eyes and  There is a lovable Ukrainian charm through  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.  A l l these critical  observations disturbed him, and this tendency became more pronounced 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. school.  Certainly he carried forward the torch of the realistic 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. indeed.  Gogol's stories are very realistic  He keeps close to facts.  Most of his stories were  taken directly from l i f e , 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 c r i t i c .  He was  able to caricature anyone, or any situation in l i f e , 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". 7 4  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 encouraged Gogol in his budding literary career.  Even the hard-to-  please c r i t i c , 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 matterof-fact, everyday quality of the events which he describes, resides the true mark of the a r t 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 consciously 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 originality. 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, p. 74.  1954,  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 required 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". land office.  He intends to present these names to the  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, i f his list were favourably received,  he feels he could proceed to purchase a desirable piece of property.  Thus he expects to settle down comfortably and in great  self-esteem, until his land actually yields the increase sufficient to buy the needed serfs; although who would work his land in the meantime never seemed to enter his mind'. the reader will exclaim in astonishment.  "What a plant"  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. than this.  The meaning of the title goes much deeper  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 f e 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 a l l at his ridiculous plan, was the old general. Interspersed with the superficiality and the rather tiresome conversations of Chichikov with his prosperous benefactors, there are beautiful descriptions of the Russian country side, as he travels over i t in his spirited troika—drawn by three fine horses. Gogol's time.  This was a popular means of conveyance in  Gogol was a great lover of nature, and describes  i t with intense feeling and unusual charm. story runs this continual thread:  Through this unique  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 clearly sense what the future holds. ultimately be hersl  Surely some great good must  "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. ling wit.  His works resound with humor, mirth and spark-  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 i n ' 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 f u l l of expectation?. . . . and s t i l l f u l 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 immense 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 i t t l e Polish town, Koven, even though i t 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 establish 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 l i t t l e 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 pistols; their swords clanked at their heels. Their faces, already a l i t t l e sunburnt, seemed to have grown handsomer and whiter; their slight black moustaches now cast a more distinct 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 delay ." said Bulba at last. "But we must first of a l l sit down together in accordance with Christian custom before the journey."53 1  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 recognized 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) remaining 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 Taras younger son, 1  Andrei, falls in love with a beautiful Polish g i r l . than the old father can bear.  This.is more  He feels that his younger son,  has sacrificed a l 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 University Press, 1954, p. 1 2 9 .  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, comrades ." 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 i s i Already the people scent it far and near. A czar shall rise from Russian s o i l , 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 i t t l e bays; its watery mirror gleams, filled with the melodious plaint of the swan, the proud wild goose glides swiftly over i t ; 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."?? 1  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 t a l 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. A l 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 perfume. 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 stirred the tops of the grass-blades, like seawaves, 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 i t the kettle in which they cooked their oatmeal; the steam rising and floating aslant in the a i r . Having supped the Cossacks lay down to sleep* after hobbling their horses and turning them out to graze. They lay down in their gaberdines. 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 presented itself to him strewn with the sparks of glow-worms. At times the night sky was illumined 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 floating in the dark heavens. The travellers proceeded onward without any adventure. They came across no villages. It was ever the same boundless, waving, beaut i f u l 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, saying, "Look, children! yonder gallops a Tatar." The l i t t l e head with its long moustaches fixed its narrow eyes upon them from afar, its nost r i l s 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 overtake 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 t r a 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 i t t l e plays "Marriage", "The Gamblers", "An Official's Morning", "A Lawsuit", and "The Fragment" seem strangely inferior 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 i f e . 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 tradition and to treat rational ideas in a logical 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 performances in the theatres of Moscow and St. Petersburg In  I836.  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 s i l l y 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 manuscript 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 entertainment. 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 enjoyed 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 i f this report is true (which i t 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 individual.  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 l i t t l e clerk makes a great decision and orders a new overcoat. The coat while in the making becomes the dream of his l i f e . On the very first night that he wears i t he is robbed of i t 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 f i r s t , with no restraint or regret. But the diver, the seeker for black pearls, the man who prefers the monsters of the deep to the sunshades on the beach, will find in "The Overcoat" shadows 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 mathematician Lpbachevsky, who blasted Euclid and discovered 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 ripple 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 mathematics 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, i t 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  A f t e r Gogol returned t o R u s s i a i n 1848 i n g a second l i f e he was  part t o "Dead S o u l s " . plagued  a l i v i n g God  he s t a r t e d  writ-  However a t t h i s p e r i o d of h i s  w i t h a f u t i l e search f o r a l i v i n g f a i t h and  t h a t he could understand.  He made one  fruitless  p i l g r i m a g e t o the Holy Land, and h i s b i t t e r quest t o f i n d a r e a sonable answer t o the mysteries of God a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y d e s e r v i n g of honor, and We  should be remembered by admirers are g i v e n t o understand  i n February, 1852  of h i s g e n i u s .  by Gogol's biographers t h a t  j u s t b e f o r e h i s death i n March of the same year  he purposely burned the second and t h i r d  p a r t s of "Dead S o u l s "  and then lapsed i n t o h y s t e r i c a l weeping and d e p r e s s i o n , from which he never  some kind of mental  f u l l y recovered.  at the l a s t t h a t h i s f u t i l e attempt  I t does appear  t o experience the genuine  c o n v e r s i o n , which he so e a r n e s t l y sought, may  have deranged h i s  finely-balanced mentality: "The h i g h post t o which B e l i n s k i a s s i g n e d Gogol as "the c h i e f of our l i t e r a t u r e , the c h i e f among our poets," who "stands i n the p l a c e 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 s thought."60 1  "On the s t a g e , as i n f i c t i o n , Gogol's a c t i o n , 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 r e a l i s m . This was h i s t o r i c a l l y the most important aspect of h i s work. Nor was the younger g e n e r a t i o n ' s g e n e r a l concept of him as a s o c i a l s a t i r i s t  60  1954,  H.E. p.  Bowman, V i s s a r i o n B e l i n s k i . Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press  82.  95 e n t i r e l y u n j u s t i f i e d . He d i d not paint ( s c a r c e l y knew) the s o c i a l e v i l s of R u s s i a . But the c a r i c a t u r e s he drew were, w e i r d l y 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 v i v i d n e s s and convincingness of h i s p a i n t i n g s simply e c l i p s e d the p a l e r t r u t h and.'irrevocably held the f a s c i n a t e d eye of the r e a d e r . " 6 1  61 D. S. M i r s k i , A. H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . New A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 152,155-  York,  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 P i t y of the S e r f s as Revealed i n "A Sportsman's Sketches"  4.  "Rudin", "Fathers and Sons", and " V i r g i n S o i l " — S t u d i e s i n Prototypes  5*.  The N a r r a t o r 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 d e s t i n i e s of my M o t h e r l a n d — y o u alone are my s u s t a i n e r , and support, o g r e a t , mighty, t r u t h f u l , and f r e e R u s s i a n l a n g u a g e ! — I f i t had not been f o r you—how i s one not t o f a l l i n t o d e s p a i r at the s i g h t of a l l t h a t i s happening a t home?— But i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to b e l i e v e t h a t such a l a n g uage was not given to a great people!" —Ivan  Sergeyevich  Turgenev  "Ivan S e r g e y e v i c h Turgenev was born on October 28, 1818, i n O r e l . H i s f a t h e r , a handsome but impoverished s q u i r e who had served i n the c a v a l r y , was married t o an h e i r e s s older than h i m s e l f . She had had a very unhappy c h i l d h o o d and g i r l h o o d and adored her husband, who never loved h e r . T h i s combined w i t h the c o n t r o l of a l a r g e f o r t u n e t o make of Mme. Turgenev an embittered an i n t o l e r a b l e domestic t y r a n t . Though she was attached t o her son, she t r e a t e d him w i t h e x a s p e r a t i n g despotism, and w i t h her s e r f s and s e r v a n t s she was p l a i n l y cruel. I t was i n h i s mother's house t h a t the f u t u r e author of "A Sportsman's Sketches" saw serfdom i n i t s l e a s t 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 t h e r e only one y e a r , f o r i n 1834 h i s mother moved t o P e t e r s b u r g and he went over to the other u n i v e r s i t y . He s t u d i e d under Pushkin's f r i e n d , P r o f e s s o r Pletn&v, and had o c c a s i o n t o meet the great poet h i m s e l f . H i s f i r s t v e r s e s were publ i s h e d i n P l e t n e v ' s , f o r m e r l y Pushkin's, "Sovremennik" (I838). A f t e r t a k i n g h i s degree he went t o B e r l i n t o complete h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l e d u c a t i o n a t the u n i v e r s i t y t h a t had been the abode and was s t i l l the temple of H e g e l — t h e d i v i n i t y of the young gene r a t i o n of R u s s i a n i d e a l i s t s . S e v e r a l of them, i n c l u d i n g S t a n k e v i c h and Granovsky, Turgenev met a t B e r l i n , and henceforward he became the f r i e n d and a l l y of the W e s t e r n i z e r s . When i n 1841 he r e t u r n e d to Russia he at f i r s t intended t o devote h i m s e l f t o a u n i v e r s i t y c a r e e r . As t h i s d i d not come o f f , he entered the C i v i l S e r v i c e , but t h e r e a l s o he remained only two y e a r s , and a f t e r 1845 abandoned a l l p u r s u i t s except l i t e r a t u r e . H i s work a t f i r s t was c h i e f l y i n v e r s e , 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 f e l 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 publication, about the same time, of other stories gave Turgenev one of the first places, if not the first, among Russian writers. "A Sportsman's Sketches" was a great social as well as literary event. On the background of the complete silence of those years of reaction, the "Sketches", seemingly harmless i f 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 enthusiastic 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 g i r l 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 f u l l 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 caricature and of sentimental "Philanthropy". It was perfect. Turgenev was very sensitive to his success, and particularly sensitive to the praise of the young generation 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 veracity of Turgenev s representation of Russia, i t was not he, but Russian l i f e , that was found fault with) was that while he had given such a beautiful succession 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 nihilist 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. 1  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 i t t l e 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 radicals 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 inflicted on him by the first reception given, to Bazarov. 1  100 He decided to abandon Russian and Russian l i t e r 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 d i s i l l u sionment. He did not, however, abandon literature, and continued writing to his death. But in by far the greater part of his later work he turned away from contemporary Russia, so distasteful 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 memoirs, or fiction built out of the material of early experience. He.was loath, however, to resign himself 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 f u l l vent to his bitterness against a l l classes of Russian society; and in "Virgin Soil" (1877) he attempted to give a picture 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 diminished). The revival of "aesthetics" in the later seventies contributed to a revival of his popularity, 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 translated 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 i t 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 a t home among h i s F r e n c h c o n f r e r e s than among h i s R u s s i a n equals (with most of whom, i n c l u d i n g T o l s t o y , Dostoyevsky, and Nekrasov, he sooner or l a t e r q u a r r e l e d ) , and t h e r e i s a s t r i k i n g d i f f e r e n c e between the impress i o n s he produced on f o r e i g n e r s and on R u s s i a n s . F o r e i g n e r s were always impressed by the g r a c e , charm, and s i n c e r i t y of h i s manner. With Russians he was arrogant and v a i n , and no amount of hero worship could make h i s R u s s i a n v i s i t o r s b l i n d t o 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 h i s l a s t v i s i t t o R u s s i a Turgenev fell ill. He d i e d on August 22, 1883, i n the s m a l l commune of B o u g i v a l , on the Seine below P a r i s . " ? 0  62 D.S. M i r s k i , A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . New A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 184-188.  York,  102 2.  TURGENEV THE  WESTERNER  There i s no doubt whatsoever t h a t Ivan S e r g e y e v i c h Turgenev belonged to the Western camp.  He  mature l i f e  only f o r b r i e f  He  abroad, r e t u r n i n g to Russia  v i s i t e d England- q u i t e f r e q u e n t l y and  i n t e r e s t e d i n the United country.  He  kept Russia a l l y and He  S t a t e s , and  s u r e l y f e l t t h a t one back was  spent most of h i s visits.  i s s a i d t o have been  wished he could  see  that  of the f a c t o r s which had  the f a c t t h a t s c i e n t i f i c a l l y , economic-  i n d u s t r i a l l y she was  behind her Western neighbours.  would have agreed w i t h Peter  t h a t v a s t s c i e n t i f i c and advantage t o p r o g r e s s .  I and  the modern S o v i e t Regime  i n d u s t r i a l p r o j e c t s are of paramount However, he would not have s i d e d w i t h  such p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s as L e n i n and  Stalin.  the b e l i e f t h a t a s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t y was  He  often  necessary i n the  cess of the l i v e s of human b e i n g s , a l t h o u g h he d i d not T o l s t o i ' s works of the l a t t e r  voiced pro-  praise  period.  "Turgenev had taken a vow t o f i g h t a g a i n s t R u s s i a n serfdom, and as a p r o f e s s i n g W e s t e r n i z e r 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 ' e t a t ' , one of the v i o l e n t j e r k s from above which helped t o push Russia i n t o the European f a m i l y of n a t i o n s . 'The n e c e s s i t y of s i m i l a r reforms has not c e a s e d , he wrote i n h i s "Literary Recollections". ' H i s t o r y w i l l show what place we are d e s t i n e d t o t a k e , up t o these times we have f o l l o w e d and are o b l i g e d t o f o l l o w ways ( i n which the S l a v o p h i l gentlemen w i l l not agree w i t h me) other than the more or l e s s organic development of Western n a t i o n s . ' L a t e r on he remarked: 'We do not need now any unusual t a l e n t s or outstanding m i n d s — n e i t h e r too l a r g e nor too i n d i v i d u a l — w e must r e c o n c i l e o u r s e l v e s without d i s g u s t t o the p e t t y d u l l tasks and r o u t i n e of d a i l y l i f e . The f e e l i n g of duty, and of p a t r i o t i s m i n the genuine sense of t h a t 1  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 instinctively returned in the majority of his novels and stories. The gardens and parks of the 'noblemen's nests 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 descendant of Pushkin's Tatiana." 3 1  6  Richard Hare, the c r i t i c , in making this comment surmises that Turgenev believed wholeheartedly in the emancipation --but also that its necessity must bring about a certain amount of ugliness and discomfort at f i r s t , as the result of the magnitude 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 scientific 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 i n hibiting and drastic atmosphere.  His mother, an heiress of  Tatar ancestry, was one of those landowners who actually inflicted 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 wandering out, hungry and sore, into the park, and 'drinking 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 i t is certain 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 venerable old man and a third-rate writer, who was v i s i t ing the house. Not content with the role of performer, Ivan assumed that of c r i t i c , 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 i t by the ladies and gentlemen whose portraits stared at him from the walls of home. The exquisites and the skeptics 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 picturesque incongruity of crinolines, powdered wigs, patches, and quizzical eyebrows with coarse native, rusticity, impressed itself on the boy indelibly."  04  As early as 1845* he had fallen out with his mother, chiefly because 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 surrounding 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.  L i k e h i s Tatar mother, i t smothered  him, hence he  f l e d from i t t o France and Germany where he l i v e d most of h i s l i f e , r e t u r n i n g only t o R u s s i a f o r short v i s i t s .  I n these  c o u n t r i e s he spent many hours d i s c u s s i n g t h e problems and p h i l o s o p h i e s of the day w i t h men of d i v e r s e r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e a l s such as Bakunin, Chernyshevsky,  P r i n c e K r o p o t k i n , and the great  l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , B e l i n s k y , and many o t h e r s .  Sometimes these  debates were e x c e e d i n g l y long and wearisome, and l e f t him., f e e l i n g t i r e d and worn o u t .  He d i d not f i n d any s a t i s f a c t o r y  s o l u t i o n , 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  h i s time, who c o u l d not seem t o impress upon the government,  the importance  of g i v i n g t h e peasants back t h e i r land i n f a i r  distribution. "A Sportsman's Sketches" i s d i v i d e d i n t o s i x t e e n ies.  stor-  I n these t a l e s many p i t i f u l i n c i d e n t s witnessed by Turgenev  as he rode through h i s lands and the surroundihg c o u n t r y s i d e a r e narrated with great depth of f e e l i n g .  Not a l l t h e t a l e s a r e of  c r u e l t y and h a r d s h i p , f o r although these people were i n bondage they a l s o found much meaningfulness and happiness i n t h e i r  lives.  The t a l e s g i v e the reader an i n t i m a t e understanding of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s e r f and m a s t e r — t h e  p a t h e t i c , and t h e b e t t e r  s i d e , where masters were n e i t h e r severe nor c r u e l , but some even t a k i n g p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t i n t h e w e l f a r e of those e n t r u s t e d t o them. Turgenev's  d e s c r i p t i o n s of nature and the surrounding  c o u n t r y s i d e a r e somewhat overdone i n monotonous d e t a i l s .  They  do not come spontaneously from h i s pen l i k e the magic scenes  107 d e p i c t e d by Lermontov,  Gogol and Checkhov.  H i s more a r r e s t i n g  passages are r a t h e r h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s and h i s w r i t i n g s which are pointed a g a i n s t  e v i l and  injustice.  108 • 4.  "RUDIN". "FATHERS AND SONS" AND "VIRGIN SOIL" Turgenev was undoubtedly a master of characteriza-  tions.  He is a great portrayer of prototypes.  That i s , he  set within his novels c e r t a i n characters, who are exact r e p l i c a s of men and women of his time engaged i n some s p e c i a l department of knowledge or society.  Turgenev s prototypes a l l have ideas 1  and belong c h i e f l y to men of d i f f e r i n g ideologies of philosophy, science and p o l i t i c s .  in schools  There were many trends  of thought i n t h i s 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 s e r i o u s l y . This gave r i s e to the acceptance of many philosophical explanat i o n s , c h i e f l y German, such as those advocated by the philosophers, Hegel and S c h e l l i n g .  Also the sciences of biology, mathematics  and physics were for the f i r s t time being considered much more earnestly.  E s p e c i a l l y 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 p r i e s t .  In p o l i t i c s there were  dozens of diverging groups, and Turgenev was the f i r s t to coin the word " n i h i 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 i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , n o b i l i t y and peasants for his models.  His three most s t r i k i n g 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 c h a r a c t e r study of t h e strange r e v o l u t i o n a r y f i g u r e — M i c h a e l Bakunin, who was a c l o s e f r i e n d during h i s s t a y i n P a r i s .  of Turgenev's  Bakunin was one of those persons,  who h e l d an u n u s u a l l y s p e l l - b i n d i n g charm on t h e minds of many of  h i s acquaintances.  I n time he e i t h e r completely dominated  t h e i r t h i n k i n g or they turned from h i s domineering m e n t a l i t y in disgust.  The c h a r a c t e r , Rudin, i s t h a t of a " s u p e r f l u o u s  man"—one who spends h i s time simply r o v i n g from one country home t o another, l i v i n g on the h o s p i t a l i t y of others while expounding t o them h i s f a n t a s t i c p h i l o s o p h y .  Rudin i s perhaps a  g e n t l e r sould than Bakunin, who became a r e v o l u t i o n a r y of t h e most t e r r o r i s t i c type i n h i s l a t t e r y e a r s .  Rudin goes on ex-  pounding h i s e n d l e s s t h e o r i e s i n s t e a d of making something out of' h i s l i f e . ish her,  When the daughter of h i s c u r r e n t h o s t e s s i s f o o l -  enough t o f a l l i n love w i t h him, he does not run o f f w i t h and here shows b e t t e r judgement than the young woman.  He  r e a l i z e s h i s shortcomings and t h a t he i s only capable o f i n f e r i o r o r a t o r y , so concludes t h a t he does not have t h e a b i l i t y t o maintain a family.  Turgenev d e p i c t s t h i s c h a r a c t e r w i t h remarkable  r e a l i s m and u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  The reader f e e l s t h e 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 p h i l o s o p h i e s and a b s t r a c t thinking. action. in his  Bakunin, of c o u r s e , developed i n t o a man o f dangerous This l a t t e r q u a l i t y i s not f e l t  s t r o n g l y i n Rudin.  t h i s way does he depart from t h e o r i g i n a l p a t t e r n .  Only  However,  u s e l e s s v e r b o s i t y and t h e o r i z i n g , h i s wish t o dominate a l l  110 around him and h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o l i v e a l i f e  of u t t e r u s e l e s s -  ness absorbs h i s e n t i r e s t r e n g t h and m e n t a l i t y , hence he to  become a u s e f u l member of s o c i e t y .  c o n c l u s i o n t h a t a l l who to  fails  The reader comes t o the  are spared h i s company and  from  listening  the monotony of h i s unending r a v i n g s are f o r t u n a t e . Turgenev was  undoubtedly  hoping t h a t the c h a r a c t e r  d e p i c t e d i n h i s book would be one t h a t would cause h i s r e a d e r s to  ponder c a r e f u l l y before they allowed themselves  away by the i n f l u e n c e of such a m e n t a l i t y .  t o be swept  That t h e r e must be a  sound a p p l i c a t i o n t o a l l t h e o r i e s or they are v a l u e l e s s , i s the e t e r n a l message of t h i s unusual n o v e l . In  "Fathers and Sons" Turgenev a g a i n d e p i c t s an e x t r a -  o r d i n a r y prototype of h i s time. i s found the man l o g i c a l science.  who  I n the hero of the book, Bazarov,  i s e n t i r e l y absorbed  What was  i n the study of b i o -  known i n those times as "the c u l t  Darwin", or the d i s s e c t i n g of frogs,- h e l d h i s e n t i r e  attention.  S k i l f u l l y Turgenev p a i n t s him i n a r a t h e r unfavourable he has no f a i t h i n God—as one  g i v e n over t o atheism.  light— The  between the o l d e r order and the younger g e n e r a t i o n i s f e l t i n this penetrating novel.  clash keenly  N i k o l a i K i r s a n o v , the f a t h e r , does  not wholly approve of h i s son's or Bazarov's to  ways, once he  gets  know them more i n t i m a t e l y , when h i s son r e t u r n s from the U n i -  versity.  This book can be read w i t h a p p r e c i a t i o n i n the 20th  century.  There i s the argument of the eager young  and  of  scientist,  the d i s t r u s t of such arguments by the previous g e n e r a t i o n .  Ill However the o l d e r generation} although  i n many i n s t a n c e s  f e a r i n g , cannot answer a l l the questions factorily.  The  of the Bazarovs  s o l u t i o n of t h i s c o n t r o v e r s y  satis-  i s s t i l l to  proved t o the s a t i s f a c t i o n of many s e r i o u s t h i n k e r s . and  God-  be  Of  "Fathers  Sons" the c r i t i c , Thomas S e l t z e r , has s a i d : "Turgenev s a r t a t t a i n e d i t s climax i n the unf o l d i n g of t h i s theme. The u n i t y of s t r u c t u r e , the i n t e n s e p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t s u s t a i n e d throughout "Fathers and Sons" seems almost miraculous i n a work i n which the ideas loom so b i g t h a t , handled by a l e s s s k i l f u l a r t i s t , they would have drowned a l l i n t e r e s t i n the c h a r a c t e r s . Turgenev succeeded not o n l y i n p r e s e r v i n g the human i n t e r e s t , but i n c r e a t ing a c h a r a c t e r t h a t 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 h i s ownjaeside me, then I ' l l change my o p i n i o n of m y s e l f . " ? 1  6  I n " V i r g i n S o i l " the eager young r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s come p l a i n l y i n t o view, and  not i n a bad  light.  These young people  are s e r i o u s about the i n j u s t i c e s of t h e i r t i m e , and 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  l i s t , Nezhdanov, abandons h i s i d e a l s and woman he l o v e d .  are  not  the young popu-  no longer cares f o r the  Because he cannot come t o a s a t i s f a c t o r y under-  standing with h i m s e l f he ends h i s l i f e . in  t h i s c h a r a c t e r who  his  mind and h e a r t .  and  i t i s unfortunate  Realism  i s f e l t strongly  suddenly comes f a c e t o face w i t h changes i n However the t r a n s i t i o n i s a l l too t h a t the ending i s t r a g i c .  the times about which i t was  The  overbearing novel depicts  w r i t t e n very w e l l , overwhelming  changes were coming about i n the minds and  h e a r t s of the  populace,  65 I.S. Turgenev, F a t h e r s and Sons. T r a n s l a t i o n Constance Garnett, The Modern L i b r a r y , New York, Random House, w i t h i n t r o d . by Thomas S e l t z e r , 1952, pp. x i , x i i .  112 who  could no longer accept the o l d s t a t u s quo.  The s t r a i n s of  the young e n e r g e t i c r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s are i m p r e s s i v e l y sounded i n t h i s work. succumbed  I t i s r e g r e t t a b l e tha.t many of them e v e n t u a l l y  t o the d o c t r i n e s of K a r l Marx.  t h a t a broader h o r i z o n may y e t be obtained  I t i s s t i l l hoped by t h e i r  descendants.  113 =>.  THE NARRATOR RATHER THAN THE REFORMER  Although Turgenev has been c l a s s e d  advantageously  along w i t h t h e r e f o r m e r s , he seemed t o possess more t h e temperment of t h e s u c c e s s f u l n a r r a t o r and d e s c r i b e r of prototypes t h a n t h a t of t h e man of a c t i o n . his of  He exhorts people i n d i r e c t l y  through  many c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s , and he has g i v e n a r e a l i s t i c  picture  serfdom, which was an i n s t i t u t i o n t o be d e p l o r e d by a l l humane  and d e e p - t h i n k i n g i n d i v i d u a l s . In  "A Sportsman's Sketches" i s glimpsed the t r u e and  sympathetic c h a r a c t e r which was T u r g e n e v s , 1  but we f e e l a l s o  that apathy which i s a l s o expressed i n some of h i s w r i t i n g s  about  the l a n d l o r d s and t h e i n t e l l i g e n t s i a not being a b l e t o come t o any s o l u t i o n whatsoever times.  about the g i g a n t i c problems o f t h e i r  There i s no doubt that Turgenev wrote hoping t o a l l e v i a t e  the s u f f e r i n g s of those he p o r t r a y e d , and he may have a c t u a l l y had some i n f l u e n c e on t h e p o l i t i c a l p o l i c y of Alexander I I . It  i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o c o n s i d e r t h e remarks of t h e great  R u s s i a n 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 d e s c r i b i n g Turgenev s 1  after  e a r l y poem "Parasha" as one of "unusual  p o e t i c t a l e n t " H e r b e r t Bowman has commented: "Between t h i s p r a i s e of Turgenev s f i r s t work and h i s l a s t c r i t i c a l review, B e l i n s k i continued t o d i s c u s s , f o r the most part w i t h l i v e l y a p p r o v a l , a l l of Turgenev s w r i t i n g s as they appeared. I t was i n e v i t a b l e t h a t the c r i t i c of t h e new " r e a l i s m " would f i n d i n "A Sportsman's Sketches" ( Z a p i s k i Okhotnika), 1  1  114 many admirable q u a l i t i e s ? "accurate o b s e r v a t i o n ; deep thought, c a l l e d up from the s e c r e t places of R u s s i a n l i f e ; a f i n e and elegant i r o n y , 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 t h a t the author, b e s i d e s having a c r e a t i v e g i f t , i s a son of our time, who hears i n h i s b r e a s t a l l i t s sorrows and q u e s t i o n s . " 6 0  66 H.E. Bowman, V i s s a r i o n B e l i n s k i . Harvard U n i v e r s i t y p. 197.  1954,  Press  115  CHAPTER V REALISM .AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF FEODOR MIKHAYLOVICH DOSTOIEVSKY  (1821-1881)  B r i e f Sketch o f the L i f e o f DostoievskyDostoievsky—A  R e a l i s t from H i s E a r l i e s t Works  C o n s i d e r a t i o n of H i s Greatest Works—"The Possessed" "Brothers Karamazov" and "Crime and Punishment" Dostoievsky's L a t e r 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 D i s r u p t e d During the Reigns of Peter I (1689-1725) and C a t h a r i n e I I (1762-  1796)  4. The Orthodox Church of the 19th Century Which Dostoievsky Could F i n d No Flaw  with  (b) S l a v o p h i l i s m — T o D o s t o i e v s k y — T h e Orthodox Church Triumphant and the S l a v s a People A p a r t From Europe (a) Dostoievsky's Short  Stories  (b) H i s Last T r i b u t e t o R e a l i s m — T h e Address on Pushkin (1880)  116  1.  BRIEF SKETCH OF THE  LIFE OF DOSTOIEVSKY  " I t i s a l l e g e d t h a t the R u s s i a n people i s i g n o r a n t of the.Gospels, and even the Commandments, which are the very f o u n d a t i o n of our f a i t h . Indeed, t h i s i s so, but the R u s s i a n people knows C h r i s t and bears Him i n i t s h e a r t through a l l time." —Feodor Mikhaylovich  Dostoievsky  "Fedor M i k h a y l o v i c h Dostoyevsky was born October 3 0 , 1821, i n Moscow, where h i s f a t h e r was a d o c t o r a t a big public h o s p i t a l . The Dostoyevskys were a f a m i l y of southwestern ( V o l y n i a n ) o r i g i n , w h i l e D o s t o y e v s k y s mother was the daughter of a Moscow merchant; so he u n i t e d U k r a i n i a n and Muscovite b l o o d . Very e a r l y FSdor and h i s e l d e r b r o t h e r M i c h a e l (afterwards h i s a s s o c i a t e i n j o u r n a l i s m ) developed a p a s s i o n f o r r e a d i n g , and D o s t o y e v s k y s c u l t of Pushkin dates a l s o from v e r y e a r l y . The b r o t h e r s s t u d i e d a t a p r i v a t e s c h o o l i n Moscow, whence i n I837 FSdor went t o P e t e r s b u r g , t o the M i l i t a r y E n g i n e e r s ' S c h o o l . He remained t h e r e f o r f o u r y e a r s , not v e r y deeply i n t e r e s t e d i n e n g i n e e r i n g but much more i n l i t e r a t u r e and r e a d i n g . In 1841 he obtained a commission but continued h i s s t u d i e s a t the s c h o o l f o r another y e a r , a f t e r which he r e c e i v e d a post i n the e n g i n e e r i n g department. In r e t u r n f o r h i s f i v e years at s c h o o l he was o b l i g e d to serve two years i n the army. He d i d not remain i n the s e r v i c e any longer than was o b l i g a t o r y but r e s i g n e d h i s commission i n 1844. Dostoyevsky was not p e n n i l e s s , h i s f a t h e r having l e f t a s m a l l f o r t u n e , but he was i m p r a c t i c a l and improvident and thus o f t e n i n f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l ties. On l e a v i n g the s e r v i c e he decided t o devote h i m s e l f t o l i t e r a t u r e and i n the winter of 1844-4? wrote "Poor F o l k " . G r i g o r o v i c h , a beginning n o v e l i s t of the new s c h o o l , advised him t o take the n o v e l t o Nekrasov, who was then p l a n n i n g the p u b l i c a t i o n of a l i t e r a r y m i s c e l l a n y . On r e a d i n g i t Nekrasov was overwhelmed with a d m i r a t i o n and took i t t o B e l i n s k y . "A new Gogol has a r i s e n ! " he exclaimed, breaking i n t o the c r i t i c ' s room. "Gogols grow l i k e mushrooms i n your i m a g i n a t i o n , " B e l i n s k y r e p l i e d , but took and read the n o v e l and was impressed w i t h i t as Nekrasov had been. .A meeting was arranged between Dostoyevsky and B e l i n s k y , and the l a t t e r poured out t o the young n o v e l i s t a l l h i s enthusiasm e x c l a i m i n g : "Do you y o u r s e l f understand what you have w r i t t e n ? " Dostoyevsky, remembering the whole business t h i r t y years l a t e r , s a i d t h a t t h i s was the h a p p i e s t day of h i s l i f e . "Poor F o l k " appeared 1  1  117 i n January 1846 i n Nekrasov's Petersburg M i s c e l l a n y . I t was r a p t u r o u s l y r e v i s e d by B e l i n s k y and by other c r i t i c s f r i e n d l y t o the new s c h o o l and r e c e i v e d w i t h great f a v o r by the p u b l i c . H i s second n o v e l , "The Double", (1846), had a much c o o l e r r e c e p t i o n . H i s works continued appearing but met with l i t t l e a p p r o v a l . He was a member of the s o c i a l i s t c i r c l e of Petrashevsky, who gathered t o read F o u r i e r , t o t a l k of s o c i a l ism, and t o c r i t i c i z e the e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n s . The r e a c t i o n t h a t f o l l o w e d the R e v o l u t i o n of 1848 was f a t a l to the P e t r a s h e v s k i a n s : In April,1849 they were a r r e s t e d . Dostoyevsky was c o n f i n e d i n the Peter and Paul F o r t r e s s f o r e i g h t months w h i l e a c o u r t m a t r i a l was d e c i d i n g on the f a t e of the " c o n s p i r a t o r s " . He was sentenced t o e i g h t y e a r s ' penal s e r v i t u d e . The sentence was commuted by the Emperor t o f o u r y e a r s , a f t e r which he was t o serve as a p r i v a t e s o l d i e r . But i n s t e a d of simply communicating the sentence t o the p r i s o n e r s , the a u t h o r i t i e s enacted a wantonly c r u e l tragicomedy: a sentence of death was read but t o them and p r e p a r a t i o n s were made f o r shooting them. A l l the p r i s o n e r s n a t u r a l l y took the death sentence q u i t e s e r iously. One of them went mad. Dostoyevsky never f o r got the day: he remembers i t twice i n h i s w r i t i n g s — i n "The I d i o t " and i n "An Author's D i a r y " f o r 1873* This took place i n December 22, 1849. Two days l a t e r Dostoyevsky was taken o f f t o S i b e r i a , where he was t o serve h i s term. For nine years he drops out of l i t e r ature. For h i s own sake i t i s convenient t o r e g a r d the young Dostoyevsky as a d i f f e r e n t w r i t e r from the author of h i s l a t e r n o v e l s ; a l e s s e r w r i t e r , no doubt, but not a minor one, a w r i t e r with a marked o r i g i n a l i t y and an important place among h i s contemporaries. The p r i n c i p a l f e a t u r e t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e d him i s h i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h Gogol. L i k e Gogol, he concent r a t e d on s t y l e . H i s i s as tense and s a t u r a t e d as Gogol's, i f not as u n e r r i n g l y r i g h t . L i k e the other r e a l i s t s , he seeks, i n "Poor F o l k " , t o transcend Gogol's p u r e l y s a t i r i c a l n a t u r a l i s m by i n f u s i n g i t w i t h elements of sympathy and human emotion. But while the others sought t o s o l v e 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 c o n t i n u i n g , as i t were, the t r a d i t i o n of "The Greatc o a t " , sought t o combine extreme grostesque n a t u r a l i s m w i t h i n t e n s e sentiment; without l o s i n g 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 t o g e t h e r . "Poor F o l k " i s the acme of the " p h i l a n t h r o p i c " l i t e r a t u r e  118 of the f o r t i e s , and has a f o r e t a s t e of the wracking v i s i o n of p i t y t h a t are such a l u r i d f e a t u r e of the Dostoyevsky of the great n o v e l s . On completing h i s term he was t r a n s f e r r e d as a p r i v a t e s o l d i e r t o an i n f a n t r y b a t t a l i o n g a r r i s o n e d at S e m i p a l a t i n s k . In October 185*6 h i s commission was r e s t o r e d to him. He was now f r e e t o w r i t e and r e c e i v e l e t t e r s and t o resume h i s l i t e r a r y work. I n 1857, while s t a y i n g a t Kuznetsky, he married the widow I s a y e v a . T h i s f i r s t marriage was not a happy one. He remained i n S i b e r i a t i l l 1859. During these f i v e years he wrote, b e s i d e s some s h o r t e r s t o r i e s , the n o v e l "The Manor of S t e p a n c h i l o v o " , which appeared i n 1859, and began "Memoirs from the House of Death". In 1859 he was allowed t o r e t u r n t o European R u s s i a . L a t e r i n the same year he was f i n a l l y amnestied and came t o P e t e r s b u r g . He a r r i v e d i n the midst of the great r e f o r m movement and was immediately sucked i n t o the j o u r n a l i s t i c whirlpool. Together whith h i s b r o t h e r M i c h a e l he s t a r t e d the review Vremya (The Time), which began appearing i n January 1861. I n the f i r s t two years he c o n t r i b u t e d t o a review a n o v e l , "The H u m i l i a t e d and I n s u l t e d " , and "The House of Death", b e s i d e s a great number of a r t i c l e s . Though the p o s i t i o n t h a t the Dostoyevskys took up f i t t e d i n with no p a r t , t h e i r review was a s u c c e s s . What they stood f o r was a s o r t of m y s t i c a l populism that d i d not want t o make the people happy a l o n g Western and p r o g r e s s i v e l i n e s , but to a s s i m i l a t e the ideas of the people. In 1863, like a b o l t from the b l u e , came the s u p p r e s s i o n of Vremya f o r an a r t i c l e on the P o l i s h q u e s t i o n by Strakhov, which had been, q u i t e l i t e r a l l y , misred by the censors h i p . The misunderstanding was c l e a r e d up b e f o r e l o n g , and the Dostoyevskys were allowed t o 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 s u p p r e s s i o n were i n c a l c u l a b l e . For e i g h t y e a r s Dostoyevsky was unable to f r e e h i m s e l f from them. "The Epoch" began under the worst a u s p i c e s . The a c t i o n of the a u t h o r i t i e s prevented i t from b e i n g adv e r t i s e d i n due time, and i t never succeeded i n r e c o v e r ing the good w i l l of the s u b s c r i b e r s of Vremya. Soon a f t e r i t was s t a r t e d , D o s t o y e v s k y s wife and almost s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , M i c h a e l Dostoyevsky d i e d . Dostoyevsky found h i m s e l f a l o n e , and w i t h the whole f a m i l y of h i s b r o t h e r t o provide f o r . A f t e r f i f t e e n months of h e r o 1  119 i c a l and h e c t i c l a b o r he gave i n , r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t "The Epoch" could not be saved. The review was closed. To meet h i s enormous l i a b i l i t i e s he set down t o work at h i s great n o v e l s . I n 1865-6 he wrote "Crime and Punishment". He s o l d the c o p y r i g h t of a l l h i s works f o r the l u d i c r o u s sum of t h r e e thousand r u b l e s t o the p u b l i s h e r S t e l l o v s k y . The c o n t r a c t s t i p u l a t e d t h a t bsides a l l p r e v i o u s l y published work Dostoyevsky was t o d e l i v e r t o S t e l l o v s k y by November 1866 a f u l l l e n g t h unpublished n o v e l . To meet t h i s o b l i g a t i o n he began w r i t i n g "The Gambler", and, t o be a b l e t o f i n i s h i n time, he engaged a shorthand s e c r e t a r y , Anna G r i gorievna S n i t k i n . Owing t o her e f f i c i e n t h e l p , "The Gambler" was d e l i v e r e d i n time. A few months l a t e r he married h i s s e c r e t a r y (February 1867). When they returned t o Petersburg the Dostoyevskys, though not a t f i r s t f r e e from a l l d i f f i c u l t i e s , began t o have b e t t e r l u c k . The p u b l i c a t i o n at t h e i r own expense, o f "The Possessed" (I837) was a s u c c e s s . I n the same year Dostoyevsky became e d i t o r of P r i n c e V. Meschersky's "The C i t i z e n " . This gave him a s e t t l e d income. The high-water mark of h i s p o p u l a t i r y was reached i n the year preceding h i s death, when "The B r o t h e r s Karamazov" appeared. The c u l m i n a t i o n was h i s famous address on the o c c a s s i o n of the u n v e i l i n g of the Pushkin memorial i n Moscow, d e l i v e r e d 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 f o l l o w i n g 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 H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . New York, A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 173-176, 263-266. "  120 2.  DOSTOIEVSKY—A REALIST FROM HIS EARLIEST WORKS I t i s astounding how many volumes, t h e g r e a t r e a l i s t i c 1846-  author, D o s t o i e v s k y , wrote a l t o g e t h e r . Between t h e years 1880  a t l e a s t t h i r t y - t w o volumes were p u b l i s h e d .  A l l show the  same keen o b s e r v a t i o n s of l i f e , h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y sentiments, his  f o r e v e r probing i n t o the reasons f o r extreme poverty,  r e t a r d a t i o n , and p a r t i c u l a r l y mental different  illness,  kinds o f t e n r e s u l t i n g i n crime.  mental  and degeneracy of  D o s t o i e v s k y laboured  u n c e a s i n g l y t o penetrate the e x t r a o r d i n a r y complexes of the human mind, going so f a r as t o t r y t o uncover crime.  the v e r y r o o t s of  L i k e Gogol, he was i n c l i n e d t o be too c r i t i c a l l y  obser-  v a n t , and u s u a l l y emphasized the n e g a t i v e and strange t r a i t s o f persons, r a t h e r than t h e i r p o s i t i v e and nobler He t r i e d  characteristics.  however t o d e s c r i b e people as he b e l i e v e d them t o  a c t u a l l y be.  D o s t o i e v s k y d i d not emerge from romantic or c l a s s -  i c a l i d e a l s i n w r i t i n g , but wrote r e a l i s t i c a l l y from h i s f i r s t book, "Poor F o l k " , t o the end of h i s l i f e : "Dostoyevsky s r e a l i s m i s an i n h e r i t a n c e from h i s normanised a n c e s t o r s . A l l w r i t e r s of Norman blood a r e d i s t i n g u i s h e d by t h e i r profound r e a l i s m . " 6 8 1  Nekrasov exclaimed on r e a d i n g , "Poor F o l k " , t h a t a new Gogol had arisen.  This f i r s t  s t o r y a l s o brought  encouraging  comment  from  68 Aimee Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. New Haven, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1922, p. 13. (Dostoyevsky's daughter i n t h i s biography of her f a t h e r claims that t h e Dostoyevsky f a m i l y was descended from L i t h u a n i a n s t o c k , which she b e l i e v e s t o have been o r i g i n a l l y Norman.)  121 the famous c r i t i c , Belinski. so grim.  Gogol's works, however, are not  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 descriptions.  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. works are amusing.  Some of his shorter  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 business affairs.  He seemed to always have had to endure a certain  122 amount of poverty a f t e r h i s i n h e r i t a n c e dwindled. e s p e c i a l l y t r u e a f t e r h i s imprisonment  This  i n S i b e r i a , and  was con-  t i n u e d u n t i l almost the end of h i s l i f e , when at long l a s t , he was time.  e s t a b l i s h e d as one of the great  literary lights o f his  123 3.  CONSIDERATION OF DOSTOIEVSKY'S GREATEST WORKS— "THE POSSESSED", "BROTHERS KARAMASOV" AND "CRIME AND PUNISHMENT" "The Possessed", w r i t t e n by D o s t o i e v s k y i n 1 8 7 0 - 7 2 ,  is  a m a s t e r p i e c e , d e s c r i b i n g w i t h great accuracy and poignancy  the events of the p r e - r e v o l u t i o n a r y p e r i o d . c h i e f l y around the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a .  I t s p l o t i s centered  Varvara Petrovna, a widow of  a C z a r i s t g e n e r a l , t y p i f i e s w e l l the doubts and bewilderments of her g e n e r a t i o n , and those of her son's which d i r e c t l y f o l l o w e d . Her  keeping of Stepan T r o f i m o v i t c h , a f l a b b y and i r r e s o l u t e  man,  as a s o r t of pet t o wait upon her, was not uncommon, but t y p i c a l of  a type of R u s s i a n l i f e  Goncharovan p h i l o s o p h y .  a t t h a t time, based  on a somewhat  Stepan takes t o l i v i n g i n h i s d r e s s i n g  gown, does not even c a l l the maid t o dust out h i s l i t t l e  house,  i n d i c a t i n g he had v i r t u a l l y sunk i n t o a kind of "Oblomovism", which i s e v e n t u a l l y h i s undoing, but more t y p i c a l of 18th than 19th  Century customs.  The f a c t that Varvara never r e a l l y forgave  him on two occassions i s a d e l i c i o u s piece of D o s t o i e v s k y ' s own s p e c i a l kind of i n f e c t i o u s humor.  On one o c c a s i o n i t was t h e  f a c t that he allowed a bold "Hurrah" t o escape from h i s l i p s before one of Varvara's' s p e c i a l f r i e n d s — a  baron—when i t was  d e c l a r e d that the end of serfdom was c e r t a i n l y not very f a r o f f ; "When the baron p o s i t i v e l y a s s e r t e d the a b s o l u t e t r u t h of the rumours of the great reform, which were then only j u s t b e g i n n i n g t o be heard, Stepan Trofimov i t c h could not c o n t a i n h i m s e l f , and suddenly shouted "Hurrah!" and even made some g e 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 . H i s e j a c u l a t i o n was not over-loud and q u i t e p o l i t e , h i s d e l i g h t was even perhaps premedit a t e d , and h i s gesture purposely s t u d i e d before the l o o k i n g - g l a s s h a l f an hour b e f o r e t e a . But something must have been amiss w i t h i t , f o r the baron permitted h i m s e l f a f a i n t s m i l e , though he, at once, w i t h e x t r a o r d i n a r y c o u r t e s y , put i n a phrase concerning the u n i v e r s a l and b e f i t t i n g emotion of a l l R u s s i a n h e a r t s i n view of the great event. S h o r t l y afterwards he took h i s leave and at p a r t i n g d i d not f o r g e t to h o l d out two f i n g e r s t o Stepan T r o f i m o v i t c h . On r e t u r n i n g t o the drawing-room Varvara Petrovna was a t f i r s t s i l e n t f o r two or t h r e e minutes, and seemed t o be l o o k i n g f o r something on the t a b l e . Then she turned t o Stepan T r o f i m o v i t c h , and with pale f a c e and f l a s h i n g eyes she h i s s e d i n a whispers "I s h a l l never f o r g i v e you f o r that!"69 The  other o c c a s i o n had been b e f o r e t h i s i n c i d e n t s h o r t l y a f t e r  the death of V a r v a r a s !  thought  husband and  perhaps Stepan was  growing fond of h e r , as  assures us t h a t as the r e s u l t Stepan  on warm May  seemed t o i n d i c a t e t h a t she Dostoievsky  of meetings between Varvara  and  n i g h t s i n the arbour the c o n v e r s a t i o n some-  times reached a h e i g h t of p o e t i c s u b l i m i t y ! "He (Stepan) had o n l y j u s t gone i n , and i n r e s t l e s s h e s i t a t i o n taken a c i g a r and not having y e t l i g h t e d i t , was standing weary and motionless before the open window, gazing at the l i g h t f e a t h e r y white clouds g l i d ing around the b r i g h t moon, when suddenly a f a i n t r u s t l e made him s t a r t and t u r n around. Varvara Petrovna, who he had l e f t only four minutes e a r l i e r , was s t a n d i n g before him a g a i n . Her yellow f a c e was almost b l u e . Her l i p s were pressed t i g h t l y t o g e t h e r and t w i t c h i n g at the c o r n e r s . For t e n f u l l seconds she looked him i n the eyes i n s i l e n c e with a f i r m 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 f o r g i v e you f o r t h i s ! " 7 0  69 F;eodor Dostoyevsky, The Possessed. T r a n s l a t i o n by Constance G a r n e t t ) , New York, The Modern L i b r a r y , 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 intelligentsia 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 practically 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 c o n s i d e r i n g a few  of the prominent  characters  of the book, there i s found, Shatov, a k i n d l y R u s s i a n s o u l seeking  truth.  He does not r e a l i z e how  comrades have grown, and  that h i s l i f e  c o r r u p t some of h i s i s a c t u a l l y i n danger  when among thems "The idea of the R u s s i a n 'Christ t h a t Shatov proclaims i n "The Possessed" i s r e a s s e r t e d i n the Diarys "I b e l i e v e i n R u s s i a . . . I b e l i e v e i n her orthodoxy. One cannot have f a i t h i n the one w i t h out having f a i t h i n the other."71 However S h i g a l o v , r e p r e s e n t s  a s i n s t e r type, one who  unrepentant, d e v i l i s h kind of man.  i s an  H i s e v e n t u a l hounding t o  death, of the weaker c h a r a c t e r , K i r i l o v , i s a b l o o d - t h i r s t y and  h o r r i b l e deed.  S h a t o v s murder. 1  He  i s also eventually responsible for  Dostoievsky  was  realistic  enough h e r e ,  be-  cause many p o l i t i c a l bosses of the e a r l y L e n i n i s t regime were men  with  p r o p e n s i t i e s such as S h i g a l o v ' s , who  f a n a t i c i n p u r s u i t of h i s own tolerance.  The  an i n s a t i a b l e  p a r t i c u l a r kind of p o l i t i c a l i n -  character, Shigalov,  a l l y i n Dostoievsky's  was  i s presented  so  realistic-  book, t h a t the term "Shigalovism"  at l e n g t h a slang e x p r e s s i o n , w i t h a d e f i n i t e meaning. S h i g a l o v became a f r a i d l e s t he be betrayed hence he ran away, and at who  t r i e d desperately  the expense of t a k i n g the l i f e  became At  length  t o the a u t h o r i t i e s ,  to keep i n h i d i n g even  of the unfortunate  Shatov,  became the l a s t v i c t i m of h i s i n t o l e r a n t f a n a t i c i s m .  71 Henry T r o y a t , F i r e b r a n d . The Roy P u b l i s h e r s , 1946, p. 3b"6.  L i f e of D o s t o i e v s k y .  New  York,  127 The s u i c i d e of the most important c h a r a c t e r , S t a v r o gin,  the son of Varvara Petrovna, i s not pleasant t o contem-  p l a t e , but r e a l i s t i c  enough, s i n c e he i s d e s c r i b e d as one  had been c o r r u p t from h i s youth. end i s r e a l i s t i c .  who  C e r t a i n l y i n t h i s sense h i s  Such u n f o r t u n a t e persons more o f t e n than  not experience a m i s e r a b l e f a t e . This unsual n o v e l g i v e s , b e t t e r  than any  historical  document, a p i c t u r e of immediate p r e - r e v o l u t i o n a r y R u s s i a . c h a r a c t e r s are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e p o r t r a y a l s ' of persons whom D o s t o i e v s k y knew.  The c i r c l e d e s c r i b e d 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 f e r v e n t c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h e i r q u i n t e t was o n l y one of hundreds and thousands of s i m i l a r groups s c a t t e r e d a l l over R u s s i a , and t h a t they a l l depended on some immense c e n t r a l but s e c r e t power, which i n i t s t u r n was i n t i m a t e l y connected w i t h the r e v o l u t i o n a r y movement a l l over Europe. But I r e g r e t t o say t h a t even a t t h a t time t h e r e was beginning t o be d i s s e n s i o n among them. Though they had ever s i n c e the s p r i n g been expecting Pyotr Verhovensky, whose coming had been h e r a l d ed f i r s t by Tolkatchenko and then by the a r r i v a l of S h i g a l o v , though they had expected e x t r a o r d i n a r y m i r c a l e s from him, and though t h e y had responded t o h i s 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 t h e q u i n t e n t than they a l l somehow seemed t o f e e l i n s u l t e d ; and I r e a l l y b e l i e v e i t was owing t o the promptitude w i t h which they consented t o j o i n . They had j o i n e d , of c o u r s e , from a not i g n o b l e f e e l i n g of shame, f o r f e a r people might say afterwards that they had not dared t o j o i n ; s t i l l they f e l t Pyotr Verhovensky ought t o have app r e c i a t e d 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 a t l e a s t . But Verhovensky was not a t a l l i n c l i n e d t o s a t i s f y t h e i r l e g i t i m a t e c u r i o s i t y , and t o l d them nothing but what was necessary; he t r e a t e d them i n g e n e r a l w i t h great s t e r n n e s s and even r a t h e r c a s u a l l y . T h i s was p o s i t i v e l y i r r i t a t i n g , and Comrade S h i g a l o v was a l -  Its  128 ready egging the others on t o i n s i s t on h i s "exp l a i n i n g h i m s e l f , " though, of course, not a t V i r g i n s k y ' s , where so many o u t s i d e r s were present."72 The a r i s t o c r a c y was not represented among them, a l t h o u g h women as Varvara Petrovna considered themselves Varvara's  such  and J u l i a M i k h a i l o v n a , would have  paragons of the best s o c i e t y ; even though  s a l o n d i d not meet w i t h much success i n S t . P e t e r s b u r g ,  because she had n e i t h e r t h e needed a s s e t s nor t h e i n t e l l e c t f o r such a.venture.  Anna Pavlovna  of T o l s t o i ' s "War and Peace" had  such f a c i l i t i e s a t her command.  Varvara, after t h i s disappoint-  ment, r e t u r n e d t o her country d w e l l i n g , and spent t h e r e s t o f her days t h e r e f o i s t i n g her ideas on Stepan ( u n t i l he a t l e n g t h gave up the quest and d i e d ) , and the surrounding c o u n t r y s i d e , where f o r some reason the simple country f o l k thought her homage.  they owed  Her h o r r o r on l e a r n i n g o f her son's s u i c i d e i s the  climax of the book.  C e r t a i n l y her N i h i l i s m brought  f o r t i n t h i s overwhelming t r a g e d y . i n her extreme g r i e f .  She appears most  her no compitiable  She and indeed a l l the c h a r a c t e r s of the  book i l l u s t r a t e t h e d r e a d f u l u n c e r t a i n t i e s of e x i s t e n c e , which haunted the l i v e s of a l l persons lution.  i n Russia j u s t b e f o r e the Revo-  The Old Regime was f a s t crumbling, but those who wished  t o m a i n t a i n i t could not f i n d the c o r r e c t s o l u t i o n t o uphold the old t r a d i t i o n s .  The v a r i o u s i n e q u a l i t i e s , although the s e r f s  were t h e o r e t i c a l l y emancipated a f t e r 1861,  still  persisted.  72 Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Possessed. ( T r a n s l a t i o n by Constance Garnett) New York, The Modern L i b r a r y , 1936, pp. 389, 399.  129 Hence there came about many c u l t s above and under ground, t h a t had as f o l l o w e r s many s i n c e r e seekers of t r u t h such as Shatov and K i r i l o v .  However i n l a r g e r numbers t h e r e were b l o o d - t h i r s t y ,  r e c k l e s s c h a r a c t e r s , such as Varvara's son and S h i g a l o v .  "The  Possessed" i s not a work of e x a g g e r a t i o n , r a t h e r an a c c u r a t e and comprehensive statement  of the p r e v a i l i n g i d e a s , under-currents  and i d e a l s of s o c i e t y i n g e n e r a l i n R u s s i a immediately  preceding  the r e v o l u t i o n . "Brothers Karamazov", i s c o n s i d e r e d by most c r i t i c s t o be Dostoievsky's g r e a t e s t m a s t e r p i e c e .  However i t i s not so  r e a l i s t i c a l l y portrayed as "The Possessed".  I n "Brothers K a r a -  mazov" D o s t o i e v s k y tends t o p a i n t a more h o r r i b l e and t r a g i c p i c t u r e than r e a l l y e x i s t e d among the m a j o r i t y 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 . been d e s c r i b e d , as an attempt  I t has  t o sum up a l l of D o s t o i e v s k y ' 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  t h r e e b r o t h e r s — A l y o s h a , Ivan and D m i t r i Karamazov p o r t r a y t h r e e d i s t i n c t and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s . s p i r i t u a l of the t h r e e .  Alyosha i s the most  That h i s s o u l i s saved a t l a s t t h e reader  f e e l s a s s u r e d , and h i s love f o r L i s a remained  pure.  not r e c o n c i l e the good and e v i l t r a i t s i n h i s n a t u r e . the e v i l triumphed. two  extremes.  Ivan could At length,  D m i t r i i s d e p i c t e d as being between these  He wanted v e r y much t o l i v e a good and g l o r i o u s  l i f e , but d i d not have the s t r e n g t h of c h a r a c t e r t o put these ideals into practice.  In the c h a r a c t e r s of t h e t h r e e  130 brothers  Dostoievsky attempts t o d e s c r i b e what he c o n s i d e r s  be three r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  types of men  one  seeking  and  t h i r d l y the moderate, who  s p i r i t u a l t r u t h , secondly the dominant and  because of h i s innate companions, who and  is  the  sensual,  sought the middle of the r o a d , but  weakness a t t a i n e d no b e t t e r l i f e than h i s  were p e r p e t r a t o r s  of wickedness.  The  vileness  the many human f r a i l t i e s of the e l d e r Karamazov are  exaggerated. he  of h i s time; f i r s t l y  to  There are few  probably  human beings s u r e l y so depraved  as  depicted. The most outstanding  most w i d e l y known, i s the Grand I n q u i s i t o r ' s T a l e . "  p a r t of t h i s book, and  the  part  s t o r y which appears on page 292—"The This t a l e i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n  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 t o  of  illustrate  what Dostoievsky thought would have been the r e c e p t i o n meted t o C h r i s t had He  he appeared i n medieval S p a i n .  Dostoievsky f e e l s  would have been immediately cast i n t o p r i s o n and  as u n f a i r a t r i a l as was Rabbis.  waged a g a i n s t Him  C h r i s t ' s amazing t r i a l g i v e n Him  i s w r i t t e n w i t h great  s p i r i t u a l power and  there  by P i l a t e and i n 15th  received the  Century S p a i n  beauty.  The  only  part  t h a t i s d i s c o n c e r t i n g , i s t h a t the reader knows D o s t o i e v s k y t h i n k s C h r i s t could never have s u f f e r e d such an i n d i g n i t y i n the of Orthodoxy at the same period  of h i s t o r y .  He  precincts  f o r g e t s about  Awakum's infamous martyrdom a century l a t e r I It  i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t "The  T a l e " a l s o had  Grand I n q u i s i t o r ' s  a profound e f f e c t upon the mind of the great  Russian  131 p h i l o s o p h e r N i c h o l a s Berdyaey.  He f e l t t h a t t h e r e he glimpsed  more c l e a r l y , than elsewhere, t h e t r u e image of C h r i s t H i s g r e a t n e s s , compassion, and s u f f e r i n g world.  Jesus—  i n an inhuman and e v i l  T h i s p a r t i c u l a r s t o r y i n i t s s p i r i t u a l content seems t o  have been of i n f i n i t e b l e s s i n g t o Berdyaev.  He came t o b e l i e v e  a t l e n g t h t h a t D o s t o i e v s k y was one of the few persons  of h i s  time who sensed the oncoming g i g a n t i c upheaval which took place i n R u s s i a i n 1917.  Both he and D o s t o i e v s k y , before h i s e x i l e ,  were i n sympathy with the R e v o l u t i o n , but Berdyaev, because he l i v e d t o see i t a c t u a l l y happen, was f o r c e d t o f l e e from the e a r l y B o l s h e v i k s r a t h e r than renounce h i s C h r i s t i a n  faith.  R e f e r r i n g t o D o s t o i e v s k y , Berdyaev says: " I t was given t o him t o r e v e a l the s t r u g g l e i n man between the "God-man" and t h e "man-god", between C h r i s t and A n t i c h r i s t , a c o n f l i c t unknown t o preceding ages, when wickedness was seen i n only i t s most e l e mentary and simple forms. To-day t h e s o u l o f man no longer r e s t s upon secure f o u n d a t i o n s , e v e r y t h i n g around him i s unsteady and c o n t r a d i c t o r y , he l i v e s i n an atmosphere of i l l u s i o n and f a l s e h o o d under a c e a s e l e s s t h r e a t of change. E v i l comes forward under an appearance of good, and he i s d e c e i v e d ; t h e f a c e s of C h r i s t and of A n t i c h r i s t , of man become god and God become man, a r e interchangeable."73 "Crime and Punishment" w r i t t e n i n 1865, Dostoievsky's best known works. s e a r c h i n t o the hidden motives  i s one of  I n i t he t r i e s , as ever, t o f o r crime.  The p r i n c i p a l  t e r , R a s k o l n i k o v , commits the v i c i o u s crime of murdering s p i n s t e r s f o r t h e i r bag of money.  charactwo o l d  He intends w i t h t h i s money  73 N i c o l a s Berdyaev, D o s t o i e v s k y - An I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Donald Attwater) Sheed & Ward I n c . , London, 1934, p.60.  132 to f i n i s h h i s e d u c a t i o n , and t a l k s h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t t h i s motive i s l e g i t i m a t e grounds f o r committing  the  crime.  However, l i k e most c r i m i n a l , he does not c a r r y out the p l a n which h i s subconscious the way  mind presents t o h i s c o n s c i o u s mind i n  of j u s t i f i c a t i o n .  R a s k o l n i k o v , 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, h i s conscience i s so t o r t u r e d , t h a t i n s t e a d of going ahead w i t h h i s e d u c a t i o n w i t h the money thus o b t a i n e d , he  decides  t o give h i m s e l f up t o the a u t h o r i t i e s , and make a c o n f e s s i o n of h i s crime, which r e s u l t s i n him r e c e i v i n g a heavy sentence  to  remote S i b e r i a . He  i s accompanied t h e r e by the woman he made h i s com-  panion, and t h e r e Dostoievsky p o r t r a y s him as f i n d i n g much h a r d s h i p and  p r i v a t i o n , s a l v a t i o n at l a s t .  through  J u s t how  close  D o s t o i e v s k y comes t o a b s o l u t e t r u t h i n t h i s t a l e i s hard t o e s t i m a t e , but the s t r u g g l e 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 c a r e f u l and t h o u g h t f u l  study p e r t a i n i n g t o the c r i m i n a l i n s t i n c t s and the p s y c h o l o g i c a l impulses behind t h e i r d e s i r e s , i s g i v e n attempted planation, interested  rational  k book which should be read by a l l persons who  exare  e i t h e r i n c r i m i n o l o g y or i n p s y c h i a t r y . I t i s u n f o r t u n a t e t h a t the most important  character i n  t h i s story i s given the n a m e — R a s k o l n i k o v — b u t perhaps D o s t o i e v s k y i s having a remonstrance w i t h the o l d R a s k o l n i k i group, who  were  the remnant of Avvakum's f o l l o w e r s known as Old B e l i e v e r s .  This,  no doubt, was  done t o boost  19th  Century Orthodoxy i n contrast;.  133 Although t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s supposed t o f i n d e v e n t u a l f o r g i v e n e s s and e x p i a t i o n f o r h i s crime, h i s name n e v e r t h e l e s s , i n t h e r o l e of a cold-blooded murderer i s c o n t i n u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h i s crime more than w i t h h i s redemption.  T h i s probably was t h e way  Dostoievsky wanted i t , although he may not have admitted a motive even t o h i m s e l f .  such  U n l i k e the author, Leo T o l s t o i , who  could q u i t e r e a d i l y see the g l a r i n g inadequacies o f t h e Orthodoxy of h i s time, Dostoievsky chose t o e x a l t i t a t the expense of a l l other demoninations The  and c u l t s .  group—the  the Church i n t h e 17th  R a s k o l n i k i , which separated i t s e l f  from  Century under the l e a d e r s h i p o f A r c h p r i e s t  Avvakum, from h i s t o r i c a l accounts, u n l i k e Dostoievsky's  charac-  t e r bearing i t s name, was perhaps t h e c l o s e s t of a l l t o s p i r i t u a l truth.  But i t was so savagely put down by both the P a t r i a r c h ,  and Church C o u n c i l , and not upheld by the Czar as i t should have been, w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t i n t h e 19th Century i t s t o r c h was a l l but e x t i n g u i s h e d .  134 4.  DOSTOIEVSKY'S LATER IDEAS ON ORTHODOXY AND SLAVOPHILISM (a) 1. E a r l y Church H i s t o r y I n studying the c h a r a c t e r and w r i t i n g s of D o s t o i e v s k y ,  it  i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note h i s b e l i e f s about the c h u r c h o f h i s  time and some of the other trends of thought c u r r e n t i n the mind of the populace which he knew. In t r a c i n g the h i s t o r y of the Orthodox Church c o n s i d e r a t i o n must be given t o t h e f a c t , t h a t t h i s church was brought t o the South S l a v s through the Greek Orthodox monks, who formulated t h e i r alphabet i n the ;9th C e n t u r y ~ S S . C y r i l and Methodius; and t o the E a s t S l a v s c h i e f l y through t h e C h r i s t i a n P r i n c e s s Olga a f t e r her c o n v e r s i o n i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e i n 957» and continued through her grandson, V l a d i m i r I , who made Greek Orthodoxy the s t a t e 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 E a s t e r n and Southern S l a v s .  Even t h e Tatar i n v a s i o n a f f e c t e d t h e church but  l i t t l e , as the T a t a r s w i t h a l l t h e i r d e v a s t a t i o n and c r u e l t y f o r some i n e x p l i c a b l e reason l e f t the church a l o n e .  One of the sons  of Khan Batu (1237-46) i s s a i d t o have become a C h r i s t i a n ; but c e 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 devoutl y among the Mongols.  Shamanism, Buddhism, and Islam were the  c h i e f r e l i g i o n s among t h i s people.  Some of t h e i r  descendants  a r e now thought t o be found c h i e f l y i n t e r s p e r s e d throughout the Moslems of the Uzbek, T u r k i c and Kasakh S.S. Rs, a l s o among the B a s h k i r s and other S i b e r i a n t r i b e s .  Among the peoples of the  135 Caucasus and Crimea  a r e a l s o b e l i e v e d t o be remnants of the  o l d t a t a r s who have s u r v i v e d . Rule—approximately  A f t e r the e x p u l s i o n of the Tatar  1480—The Greek Orthodox Church a g a i n became  the s t a t e r e l i g i o n of the new Nevski Muscovy Dynasty.  I t s teach-  i n g even became more dominant among the l i v e s of t h e people o f t h i s new regime, s i n c e C o n s t a n t i n o p l e had f a l l e n t o the Turks i n 1453,  and i n 1550  Greek Orthodoxy,  Moscow became o f f i c i a l l y the Mother Church of or R u s s i a n Orthodoxy as i t then became more gen-  e r a l l y t o be known* R e f e r r i n g t o the year 1 4 4 4 — " N i n e years l a t e r C o n s t a n t i n o p l e was stormed by the Turks. The Byzant i n e Empire was overthrown and the C a t h e d r a l of S t . sophia turned i n t o a mosque. The Turks, however, d i d not d e s t r o y t h e Greek church as an i n s t i t u t i o n and permitted a new p a t r i a r c h t o be e l e c t e d . The church union was now repudiated and the Greeks returned t o Orthodoxy. The Russians had no i n t e n t i o n of breaking w i t h t h e i r mother church i n Cons t a n t i n o p l e but a t the same time they now c o n s i d e r ed the church s c h i s m a t i c . They waited v a i n l y f o r s e v e r a l years f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of Orthodoxy i n Byzantium. F i n a l l y B a s i l I I convoked a c o u n c i l o f R u s s i a n bishops t o e l e c t a new m e t r o p o l i t a n . B i s h o p Iona, a wise o l d p r e l a t e , thus became the f i r s t head of an autonomous R u s s i a n church (1448). T h i s a c t was not meant, however, as a d e f i n i t e s e p a r a t i o n from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . I t was considered an emergency measure, and i t was e x p l a i n e d that when Orthodoxy was r e s t o r e d i n Byzantium t h e p a t r i a r c h ' s b l e s s i n g s would a g a i n be sought f o r f u t u r e candidates t o the see o f Moscow. Orthodoxy was r e s t o r e d i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e i n 1453 but under p o l i t i c a l c o n d i t i o n s which made i t p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y d i f f i c u l t f o r the Russians t o subo r d i n a t e t h e i r church t o the p a t r i a r c h once more s i n c e t h a t p a t r i a r c h ' s see was i n the camp of i n f i d e l s . Thus the R u s s i a n church became s e l f - g o v e r n i n g through the course of events and not as a r e s u l t of any d e l i berate o p p o s i t i o n of the p a t r i a r c h . " ' 7 4  74 George Vernadsky, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1954,  & H i s t o r y of R u s s i a . New Haven, Y a l e pp. 82, 83.  136 The f i r s t Romanov C z a r , M i c h a e l I , e l e c t e d by the people i n was the son of a Bishop of t h i s church.  1613,  He and h i s predecessors  then continued t o uphold Orthodoxy as the s t a t e church of Holy Russia i n t h e i r  subsequent r e i g n s , as had the Muscovy and K i e v a n  D y n a s t i e s b e f o r e them.  137 2.  E a r l y Czars Who  Prayed Hours But  In Their Highest  Failed  Purpose  A l l went c o m p a r a t i v e l y w e l l w i t h the Church u n t i l the r e i g n of Czar A l e x i s  (1645-76).  In h i s r e i g n the c o n f l i c t  schism w i t h i n the church, came prominently i n t o b e i n g . 17th  Century schism began as the r e s u l t  P a t r i a r c h a t e t o the man, Novgorod i n 1648,  Nikon, who  or  This  of the a s s i g n i n g of the  had become M e t r o p o l i t a n of  and P a t r i a r c h i n 1652.  Czar A l e x i s , i s pur-  ported t o have been a pious C z a r , one who  spent hours i n p r a y e r ,  but he d i d not seem t o have the r e s o l v e or s p i r i t u a l  understand-  i n g t o manage the stormy a f f a i r s of the Church i n h i s t i m e .  He  merely kept out of a l l the b i c k e r i n g , and  fell  i n time completely  out w i t h , and became e n t i r e l y estranged from P a t r i a r c h Nikon, but d i d not appoint a competent man  as h i s s u c c e s s o r .  of a l l o w i n g the r e - e d i t i n g of the Holy books t o be and  Nikon i s accused inaccurately  c a r e l e s s l y c a r r i e d out, a f t e r the deaths of Maxim the  and Abbot D i o n y s i u s , who  had s t a r t e d t h i s Holy p r o j e c t w i t h r e s o -  l u t e purpose and c a r e f u l p r e p a r a t i o n . to Nikon and h i s methods, was  On the other s i d e , opposed  the A r c h p r i e s t Awakum, who  r i g h t l y d e s c r i b e d by many h i s t o r i a n s as a man powers".  Grec  There seems t o be no doubt whatsoever  has been  of "vast s p i r i t u a l of Avvakum's  s u p e r i o r i t y i n conducting the a f f a i r s  of the Church.  o p i n i o n of a l l competent w r i t e r s , who  have commented on t h i s  t i c u l a r stage of Church H i s t o r y i n R u s s i a .  T h i s i s the  I t would seem a l s o  from accounts, that the r o o t s of the schism went much deeper j u s t the r e - e d i t i n g of the prayer books.  par-  I t would appear  than  from  138 c a r e f u l study, t h a t a w o r l d l y c l i q u e had  gained power w i t h i n  the p r e c i n c t s of the Church a t t h i s time, and was  not a strong enough man to oppose them.  which met  knew t h a t Nikon The Church C o u n c i l  i n Moscow i n 1666, however, decided t o condemn Nikon,  and reduce him t o a monk of lowest o r d e r , but i t a l s o decided t o uphold h i s s o - c a l l e d reforms, which remained i n f o r c e i n the R u s s i a n Orthodox Church.  Such measures seem most c o n t r a d i c t o r y .  They would suggest, t h a t many d i d not l i k e Nikon p e r s o n a l l y , but were i n favour of the l a x type of worship which he advocated; t h a t they d i d riot mind d e p a r t i n g from the purer Orthodoxy advocated by Awakum and h i s f o l l o w e r s .  With the inhuman burning a t  the stake.of Awakum i n 1681, t h i s group accomplished pose w i t h i n the church.  their  pur-  A f t e r h i s Unfortunate martyrdom, h i s  f o l l o w e r s became known as a mere c u l t — t h e R a s k o l n i k i — w h i c h became a s m a l l m i n o r i t y , and endured the years that f o l l o w e d .  great p e r s e c u t i o n d u r i n g  During the years 1681-1700 p a r t i c u l a r l y ,  thousands of Awakum s f o l l o w e r s are s a i d t o have perished through 1  self-immolations "The reform of the r i t u a l was begun i n 1653• A t the d i s t a n c e of n e a r l y t h r e e c e n t u r i e s , the changes made then appear of l i t t l e moment. But t o many o f the R u s s i a n 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 p r a c t i c e s which they had been taught to regard as sacred and i n a l t e r a b l e appeared t o be t h e work of the d e v i l , and they were q u i c k t o i n t e r p r e t the reform as an i n s p i r a t i o n of f o r e i g n e r s who were seeking t o c o r rupt "Holy R u s s i a " . O p p o s i t i o n t o reform grew both among the R u s s i a n c l e r g y and among the l a i t y . I n I667 the P a t r i a r c h recognized i t by anathematizing a l l who expressed adverse o p i n i o n and by having many of the o p p o s i t i o n l e a d e r s burned. S t i l l the changes were not accepted by a l l ; thousands of pious c l e r g y  139 and l a i t y committed s u i c i d e r a t h e r than f a c e t h e necess i t y of l i v i n g under t h e r e i g n of the A n t i - C h r i s t , whom they expected t o appear soon, and thousands more l e f t the reformed Church. Those who l e f t — k n o w n as the s c h i s m a t i c s or as Old B e l i e v e r s — w e r e v i g o r o u s l y persecuted by the government. But they s u r v i v e d t o become a s t r o n g group i n R u s s i a . A f t e r t h e reforms t h e U k r a i n i a n Orthodox Church maintained c l o s e r e l a t i o n s w i t h the R u s s i a n Orthodox Church, but i t d i d not agree t o p l a c e i t s e l f under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Moscow P a t r i a r c h a t e u n t i l  1687."75  I t i s most r e g r e t t a b l e t h a t Czar Feodor  (1676-82) d i d not take  an honourable stand i n b e h a l f o f h i s devout a r c h p r i e s t . he most t r u l y dox Church.  failed  as t h e p r o t e c t o r of the Holy R u s s i a n Ortho-  I n t h e very year Avvakum was martyred, he i s s a i d  to have been g r e a t l y d i s p l e a s e d . was  Here  No doubt he thought Awakum  becoming a tiresome crank, and so allowed h i s enemies t o do  away w i t h him, l e n d i n g him no a s s i s t a n c e i n h i s hour o f g r e a t e s t need!  75 Sidney Harcave, Russia A H i s t o r y . New York, J.B. L i p p i n c o t t Co., 1953, PP. 39,40.  140 3. A Church D i s r u p t e d P u r i n e t h e Reigns Of Peter I And C a t h a r i n e I I I n 1689» t h e Church a g a i n s u f f e r e d a severe blow, w i t h the coming t o the throne of Peter I , who was the son of Czar A l e x i s and h i s second w i f e , N a t a l i e 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 a b l e and s k i l l e d manship and v a l i a n t i n b a t t l e . posed toward Lutheranism, any church a t a l l . 1700,  i n states-  Peter was more f a v o u r a b l y d i s -  i f , i n t r u t h , he were disposed  toward  He t h e r e f o r e a b o l i s h e d t h e P a t r i a r c h a t e i n  on the death of P a t r i a r c h A d r i a n .  He then placed t h e  Church under a Holy Synod, i n c l u d i n g a c o u n c i l of B i s h o p s , o f which he, h i m s e l f , was the head.  A f t e r P e t e r ' s r e i g n the Church  remained under t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n of t h e Emperor, l o s i n g her r i g h t to v o i c e her o p i n i o n on matters  which pertained t o her w e l f a r e .  During t h e r e i g n of t h e German Empress C a t h a r i n e I I (1762-96) R u s s i a n Orthodoxy s u f f e r e d another  set-back.  Catharine  although she remained i n name t h e head of t h e Holy Synod, was h a r d l y a devout r u l e r .  More than any r u l e r before h e r , she en-  couraged a t the R u s s i a n court the study of t h e p h i l o s o p h i e s o f such men as V o l t a i r e , D i d e r o t , and other a t h e i s t i c of t h e i r time.  A f t e r the death  philosophers  of C a t h a r i n e , and c o n t i n u i n g i n t o  the r u l e of her son, the Emperor P a u l (1796-1801) the Church had almost  entirely lost i t s s p i r i t u a l intent.  Both Peter and  C a t h a r i n e t i g h t e n e d r a t h e r than a l l e v i a t e d the h a p l e s s of the s e r f s .  hardships  By the time of the r e i g n s of t h e Czars Alexander I *  141 (1801-25) and h i s b r o t h e r , N i c h o l a s I (1825-55), the Church as a n y t h i n g l i k e a l i g h t f o r the people, p a r t i c u l a r l y  the poor and  u n f o r t u n a t e , as a r e g e n e r a t o r of the s i n n e r , or r e c l a i m e r of the i n f i d e l had p r a c t i c a l l y ceased t o f u n c t i o n .  I t was most  unfor-  t u n a t e , t h a t d u r i n g the r e i g n of P e t e r , the Emperor had been made the o f f i c i a l head of the c h u r c h .  I t h e n c e f o r t h became j u s t  the t o o l of whatever Emperor happened t o be i n power.  Thus the  Church was b e r e f t of e i t h e r s e r v i c e t o mankind or power i n d i v i n ity.  142 4. The Orthodox Church Of the 19th Century With Which D o s t o i e v s k y Could F i n d No Flaw During the r e i g n of Czar N i c h o l a s I I (1894-1917) and a l s o the C z a r s , who had d i r e c t l y preceded no v o i c e of her own.  The v o i c e of the Czar was the v o i c e of the  A f t e r 1700 the Church  Church.  him, the church had  which t o express her i d e a l s . had been a b l e t o sponsor  no longer had a channel  through  I f the p a t r i a r c h s of the  Church  some of the neededreforms of these times,  the l a t e r R e v o l u t i o n , which seems i n e v i t a b l e , might have been attended w i t h l e s s v i o l e n c e . p r a c t i c a l l y a dead body. was  A f t e r 1796 the Church had become  During the r e i g n of the l a s t C z a r , i t  used sometimes as a show p i e c e on s t a t e o c c a s i o n s w i t h g r e a t  pomp and  ceremony; but as a succour f o r the oppressed  i t had  become p r a c t i c a l l y v o i d . However D o s t o i e v s k y thought he had it  indeed found C h r i s t w i t h i n the R u s s i a n Orthodox Church as  e x i s t e d i n h i s time.  nize i t s f a i l i n g s . was  i n h i s l a t t e r days, t h a t  He,  t h e r e f o r e , e n t i r e l y refused to recog-  He even boasted t h a t w i t h i n i t s sacred w a l l s  t o be found a s a l v a t i o n not o n l y f o r R u s s i a n s , but a t l e n g t h  f o r the whole world.  I n h i s more mature w r i t i n g , as j u s t comment-  ed on, he q u i t e s c a t h i n g l y condemned other churches and  sects:  "Dostoievsky thought t h a t h i s C h r i s t i a n freedom had been b e t t e r safeguarded by E a s t e r n Orthodoxy than by the C a t h o l i c i s m of the West. But he was o f t e n unj u s t t o C a t h o l i c i s m and shut h i s eyes t o the f a i l u r e s and d e f e c t s of Orthodoxy* t h e r e was no l i b e r t y i n the Byzantine i m p e r i a l theocracy."76 76 N i c h o l a s Berdyaev, D o s t o i e v s k y - An I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Donald A t t w a t e r ) Sheed & Ward I n c . , London, 1 9 3 4 , p. 7 9 .  143 (p)  S l a v o p h i l i s m — T o D o s t o i e v s k y — T h e Orthodox Church  Triumphant And The Slavs A People Apart From Europe I n the 19th  Century  c e r t a i n f a c t i o n s came i n t o being  known as the S l a v o p h i l e s and Westerners.  I t i s hard t o d i s t i n -  g u i s h i n some i n s t a n c e s j u s t e x a c t l y what was meant by these terms.  G e n e r a l l y speaking, t h e Westerners were supposed t o  favour t h e p o l i t i c a l union of Russia w i t h the West.  They wished  t o see an i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n take place i n R u s s i a s i m i l a r t o t h a t which had taken place i n Western European c o u n t r i e s 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 C a t h a r i n e . was not of much consequence.  To them t h e Orthodox Church  E v e r y t h i n g was t o be concentrated  on the c a t c h i n g up of Russia with t h e West, p o l i t i c a l l y , t r i a l l y and e c o n o m i c a l l y .  indus-  The S l a v o p h i l e s , on t h e other hand,  favoured the r e s t o r i n g of the P a t r i a r c h a t e , and h e l d t o the b e l i e f t h a t 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 v a l u e , i f the souls of the people were s t a r v e d through  l a c k of s p i r i t u a l growth, caused  t h i s time through  i n g no channel e i t h e r f o r e x p r e s s i o n or s u b s i s t e n c e .  hav-  Tolstoi  and Dostoievsky have sometimes been g i v e n as exponents of the ideals.  That  i s , T o l s t o i has been d e s c r i b e d as f a v o u r i n g the  i d e a l s of the Westerners, and D o s t o i e v s k y the S l a v o p h i l e s .  But t h i s statement  T o l s t o i , although he l e f t t h e 19th  as the champion of  i s hardly accurate, f o r  Century  Orthodox Church of  h i s time, c l a i m i n g i t was no longer a p r a c t i c a l v e h i c l e f o r  144 religious  e x p r e s s i o n , n e v e r t h e l e s s d i d not admire Peter I , and  was v e r y outspoken i n h i s b e l i e f s t h a t Russia should be allowed to develop  i n her own way; t h a t i t was not necessary a t a l l  t h a t she adopt other methods, or t r y u n c e a s i n g l y t o " c a t c h up" with Western Europe.  I n t h i s r e s p e c t T o l s t o i was no Westerner  at a l l . I n Dostoievsky's  S l a v o p h i l i s m , the Orthodox Church,  as i t e x i s t e d i n the time of Alexander  I I and I I I and N i c h o l a s  I I d i d not r e c e i v e any censure. I t has been necessary t o note these t r e n d s i n Church H i s t o r y , because they do bear on the w r i t i n g s p a r t i c u l a r l y o f these two great masters of the R u s s i a n tongue, c h i e f l y because through t h e i r w r i t i n g i t was expressed  Toward the c l o s e of the 19th  i n a l l i t s aspects. trend culminated ings.  Century  this  i n t h e i r great and massive c o l l e c t i o n o f w r i t -  R e a l i s m was considered by these authors not j u s t a v e h i c l e  f o r v o i c i n g the t r u t h had  more deeply and b r o a d l y  i n p o e t i c beauty, as Pushkin and Lermontov  f i r s t v o i c e d i t , but was now considered i n a l l i t s aspects  from the standpoint of the human s o u l i n r e l i g i o n , economics and s o c i o l o g y .  politics,  D o s t o i e v s k y makes an a p p e a l f o r h i s  pure Orthodoxy and S l a v o p h i l i s m and a t t a c k s through mediums other trends of thought.  various  T o l s t o i who h e l d a d i f f e r e n t  c o n v i c t i o n saw much f a u l t In the f a s h i o n a b l e Orthodoxy of h i s time.  A f t e r h i s " c o n v e r s i o n " i n 1880  different  vision.  He found h i s C h r i s t  he embraced an e n t i r e l y i n the s o u l s of the men  and women near t o him, i n some i n s t a n c e s i n the s o u l s of the  145 very humble. the 17th  Such i d e a l s had not been v o i c e d i n Russia  Century.  since  However the long drawn-out. c o n v e r s i o n of  T o l s t o i must be d i s c u s s e d i n another chapter to that great author and h i s works.  referring  express  146  5. (a) Dostoievsky's Short As w e l l as being  one  Stories  of the most s e r i o u s w r i t e r s  matters p e r t a i n i n g to r e l i g i o n , e t h i c s , and al  make-up of mankind from the standpoint  t h a t the world has humorist.  The  the v e r y  psychologic-  of R u s s i a n r e a l i s m  y e t w i t n e s s e d , D o s t o i e v s k y was  also a  and  he t h e r e f o r e  appreciate  a l s o i n a very "The  urgently  s l i p s i n t o a l i g h t e r v e i n knowing  that t h a t i s the kind of m a t e r i a l the and  great  humourous s i d e of the great w r i t e r i s d e p i c t e d  best i n h i s short s t o r i e s , most of which were w r i t t e n to s e l l ,  on  generally.  p u b l i c i s most apt t o  buy  However some of h i s s h o r t e r works are  s e r i o u s v e i n such as  "Notes from Underground"  and  House of the Dead". "The  Gambler" published  Dostoievsky's w e l l w r i t t e n and  i n 1866  i s among the best  keenly comical t a l e s .  of  In i t he  *  makes the best which he ing  of a l l the d e p l o r a b l e  is describing—one  to outwit  Casino and  try-  the  There i s not a s e r i o u s open-  i n the whole g a t h e r i n g , which i s r e a l i s t i c  very t y p i c a l of the people he i s here i n l i f e was  portraying,  t o win as much as they could  do as l i t t l e as p o s s i b l e .  as a consequence d i d not  at  Even the old grandmother  i n the s t o r y completely gambles away what l i t t l e and  are  each other w i t h the same s k i l l they use a t  minded character  whose s o l e aim  society  i n which a l l the c h a r a c t e r s  r o u l e t t e t a b l e s i n the evening.  enough and  mannerisms of the  she  has  l o s e too much s l e e p over i t :  left,  147  "In the f i r s t p l a c e , to f i n i s h w i t h Granny. The f o l l o w i n g day she l o s t e v e r y t h i n g . I t was what was bound t o happen. When once any one i s s t a r t e d upon t h a t r o a d , 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 e i g h t o ' c l o c k i n the evening; I was not present and only know what happened from what I was t o l d . " 77 Dostoievsky's and may  s h o r t , s t o r y , "The Double" i s not too c o n v i n c i n g ,  be c l a s s e d as one  of the great w r i t e r ' s poorer  stories.  I t has never been acclaimed e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y by the r e a d i n g public. man  who  I t ' s theme i s r e a l i s t i c  enough i n p o r t r a y i n g an  a s s o c i a t e s h i m s e l f w i t h another  t i o n of h i s own  personality.  realm of the m e n t a l l y i l l , i n t e r e s t t o Dostoievsky's  c h a r a c t e r t o the  Such cases are t o be found  which was  insane extinci n the  of c o u r s e , of s p e c i a l  ever-probing m e n t a l i t y .  "Uncle's Dream" i s one w r i t t e n i n the c o u n t l e s s realms  of the most amusing of f i c t i o n .  stories  A reliable  critic  says: "His ( D o s t o i e v s k y ' s ) s t o r y "Uncle's Dream" (1856), which has been m a g n i f i c e n t l y dramatized f o r the Moscow A r t Theatre, i s an almost h i l a r i o u s p i c t u r e of p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y , i n which an ambitious matchmaker t r i e s t o marry o f f her daughter t o a d e c r e p i t and n e a r l y h a l f witted p r i n c e . " 7 ° Some of the passages d e s c r i b i n g the p r i n c e ' s attempts 6f  ate  h i m s e l f , and  for  her h u s b a n d — a man  to rejuven-  the ambitious Marya Alexandrovna s 1  of q u i e t e r and more s e n s i b l e  regard  disposition  77 F.M. D o s t o i e v s k y , The Short Novels of D o s t o i e v s k y , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by Constance G a r n e t t ) New York, D i a l P r e s s , 1951, P» 8 6 . 78 R i c h a r d Hare, R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e from Pushkin t o the Present Day. London, Methuen & Co.Ltd., 1947, p. 136.  148 than h e r s e l f are among the most amusing passages of Dostoievsky's p r o l i f i c pens "By the way, s i n c e we have mentioned him we w i l l say a few words about Afanasy M a t v e y i t c h , Marya Alexandrovna's husband. I n the f i r s t place he was a man of very p r e s e n t a b l e e x t e r i o r , and indeed of v e r y c o r r e c t p r i n c i p l e s , only on c r i t i c a l occasions he somehow l o s t h i s head, and looked l i k e a sheep f a c i n g a new gate."79 And  i n regard to the o l d p r i n c e , who  was  f a s t f a l l i n g aparts  "The l a d i e s e x p e c i a l l y were i n p e r p e t u a l e c s t a s y over t h e i r charming v i s i t o r . A number of c u r i o u s remi n i s c e n c e s of him were preserved. People s a i d among other t h i n g s t h a t the P r i n c e spent more than h a l f of the day over h i s 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 t o 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 h a i r " o f i t f a l s e , and of a magnificent b l a c k c o l o u r , he rouged and powdered every day. I t was s a i d t h a t he had l i t t l e s p r i n g s t o smoothe away the w r i n k l e s on h i s f a c e , and these s p r i n g s were i n some p e c u l i a r way concealed i n h i s hair."°° In  t r y i n g t o accomplish her d e s i g n of o b t a i n i n g t h i s s e n i l e p r i n c e  for  her young and b e a u t i f u l daughter  s o l e l y f o r h i s money, and  with the hope t h a t the p r i n c e would soon d i e , the f o o l i s h Marya Alexandrovna  decides to i n v i t e him t o her country e s t a t e .  hopes i n t h i s way of Mordasov, and  t o keep him from the other feminine informs her bewildered  She  conquerors  husband t h a t h i s whole  duty on the a r r i v a l of t h e i r d i s t i n g u i s h e d v i s i t o r i s j u s t t o  79 F.M. D o s t o i e v s k y . The Short Novels of D o s t o i e v s k y , (translat i o n Constance Garnett) New York, D i a l P r e s s , 1951, p. 227. 80 I b i d . , p.  230.  149 keep h i s mouth completely c l o s e d ! c o n v e n i e n t l y commanded.  "Molchat!"  she might have  Thus t h i s humourous t a l e of f o l l y  ceeds t o the merriment of e i t h e r the reader or the "The F r i e n d of the F a m i l y "  "Rudin"  parasite.  audience.  (1859) i s a l s o a c o m i c a l  s a t i r e c e n t e r i n g around a t y p i c a l " l e e c h " . duMaurier  pro-  Foma i s the  In some r e s p e c t s he resembles  "Turgenev*s  only he i s not even as i n t e l l i g e n t a man as Rudin was  purported t o have been. h i s d u l l and  He simply and  e f f o r t l e s s l y , despite  blunted m e n t a l i t y , dominates a r a t h e r dense house-  hold and makes h i s s t u p i d s l a v e s u t t e r l y r i d i c u l o u s under the r e i g n of h i s p e t t y t y r a n n y . "The E t e r n a l Husband". (1880) i s one of the l a s t s h o r t s t o r i e s t o be w r i t t e n by D o s t o i e v s k y and  t o q u i t e an extent  r e f l e c t e d h i s own l i f e a t the time when i t was w r i t t e n . A t t h i s time he experienced much unhappiness a f t e r h i s  marriage  w i t h the widow Isayaev i n 1857» "He put a l l h i s b i t t e r n e s s as a betrayed husband i n t o the n o v e l "The E t e r n a l Husband", which he wrote later. I t i s c u r i o u s t o notethat he painted the hero of t h i s s t o r y as a contemptible c r e a t u r e , o l d , u g l y , v u l g a r and r i d i c u l o u s . In s p i t e of h i s s u f f e r i n g s and d e s p a i r , Dostoyevsky continued t o send money t o Maria D m i t r i e v n a , placed c o n f i d e n t i a l s e r v a n t s w i t h her at Tver, and l a t e r went h i m s e l f s e v e r a l times t o see i f she had a l l she needed. T h e i r marriage was s h a t t e r e d , but the sense of duty toward her who bore h i s name remained s t r o n g i n D o s t o y e v s k y s L i t h u a n i a n heart."81 1  81 Aimee Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1922, p. 101.  New Haven, Y a l e  150 5. (b)  ;  His Last Tribute to Realism—The on Pushkin  Address  (1880)  Dostoievsky's l a s t t r i b u t e t o r e a l i s m came w i t h h i s c e l e b r a t e d address on the u n v e i l i n g of the Pushkin Memorial i n Moscow i n June of 1880. months^before  This great event took p l a c e j u s t a  the death of D o s t o i e v s k y i n January, 1881.  few  At  t h i s l i t e r a r y f e s t i v a l i n honour of the b e s t - b e l o v e d of R u s s i a n poets both the S l a v o p h i l e s and Westerners  paid t h e i r homage t o  the great R u s s i a n poet of such s i n g u l a r g e n i u s . was 19th  This f e s t i v a l  perhaps the g r e a t e s t event of i t s kind o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g the Century.  occasion.  A l l p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s were r e p r e s e n t e d on t h i s  A l l hates seemed t o be f o r g o t t e n , i n the u n i v e r s a l  a d m i r a t i o n of the great poet.  People who  had been enemies of  long s t a n d i n g are r e p o r t e d t o have become f r i e n d s a f t e r t e n i n g t o Dostoievsky's s t i r r i n g words. the a u t h o r , Ivan Turgenev,  who  lis-  H i s r i v a l and c o l l e a g u e ,  had always acted most f r i g i d l y i n  Dostoievsky's presence pressed h i s hand a f f e c t i o n a t e l y a t the c l o s e of h i s great and p a t r i o t i c a d d r e s s .  The l e a d e r of the  S l a v o p h i l e s , Aksakov, looked upon the speech as one of the g r e a t e s t , i n the cause which he r e p r e s e n t e d , ever t o have been voiced. D o s t o i e v s k y ' s daughter  i n the biography of her f a t h e r  gives the f o l l o w i n g resume of the n a t i o n a l part of her f a t h e r ' s speech and  commentss  151 "The speech, which i s r a t h e r l o n g , c o n t a i n s a very s u b t l e a n a l y s i s of Pushkin's p o e t r y . The reader would do w e l l t o read the complete t e x t . I o n l y give my f a t h e r ' s c o n c e p t i o n of the Russian people and i t s f u t u r e . I t was a new c o n c e p t i o n which had so f i r e d the imaginations of our i n t e l lectuals." 8 2  Her  s h o r t resume reads as f o l l o w s s "You are d i s c o n t e n t e d , you s u f f e r , and you a s c r i b e your unhappiness t o the system under which you l i v e . You t h i n k you w i l l become happy and contented i f you i n t r o d u c e European i n s t i t u t i o n s i n t o R u s s i a . You are mistaken. Your s u f f e r i n g s are due t o another cause. Thanks t o your cosmopolitan e d u c a t i o n , you a r e e s tranged from your people, you no longer understand them; you form a l i t t l e c l a n , u t t e r l y f o r e i g n and a n t i p a t h e t i c t o the r e s t of the c o u n t r y , i n the midst of a vast empire. You d e s p i s e your people f o r t h e i r ignorance, and you f o r g e t t h a t i t i s they who have paid f o r your European e d u c a t i o n , they who support by the sweat of t h e i r brows your u n i v e r s i t i e s and h i g h e r s c h o o l s . Instead of d e s p i s i n g them t r y t o study the sacred ideas of your people. Humble y o u r s e l v e s , before them, work shoulder t o shoulder w i t h them a t t h e i r great t a s k ; f o r t h i s i l l i t e r a t e people from whom your t u r n i n d i s g u s t bears w i t h i n i t the C h r i s t i a n word which i t w i l l p r o c l a i m t o the world when i t i s bathed i n b l o o d . Not by s e r v i l e r e p e t i t i o n of the U t o p i a s of the Europeans, which lead them t o t h e i r own dest r u c t i o n , w i l l you serve humanity, but by p r e p a r i n g together w i t h your people the new Orthodox i d e a . " "These words went t o the h e a r t s of my c o m p a t r i o t s , who were t i r e d of d e s p i s i n g t h e i r c o u n t r y . They were glad to t h i n k t h a t R u s s i a was no mere copy, no s e r v i l e c a r i c a t u r e of Europe, but t h a t she i n her t u r n might have a message f o r the world."83  With these i n s p i r i n g words the c a r e e r of Feodor M i k h a i l o v i c h D o s t o i e v s k y d i s t i n g u i s h e d p a r t i c u l a r l y by h i s g r e a t  82 l i m e e Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1922, p. 248. 83  I b i d . , pp. 248,  249.  New  realistic  Haven, Y a l e  152 w r i t i n g came t o a c l o s e .  The z e a l he put i n t o t h e speech may  have hastened  So earnest was he about h i s message  to  h i s death.  h i s people, t h a t persons  who witnessed  the g a t h e r i n g say  that sweat r a n down h i s f a c e and t e a r s shone i n h i s eyes.  As  w e l l as being a great w r i t e r , D o s t o i e v s k y was a l s o a great Russian did  p a t r i o t , and i f the making of t h e triumphant  shorten h i s l i f e ,  t h a t way.  speech  he probably was pleased t h a t i t happened  He would have given h i s l i f e  g l a d l y a t any moment i n  the cause of h i s S l a v o n i c b r e t h r e n whom he loved so w e 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 R u s s i a n R e a l i s m T o l s t o i ' s Works of the Pre-Conversion P e r i o d  (1852-1880)  T o l s t o i ' s Works o f the Post-Conversion P e r i o d  (1880-1910)  T o l s t o i ' s Parables—Monuments t o S e r i o u s Theol 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 f o r themselves, but by the l o v e which dwells i n a l l mankind." — L e o Nickolaevich Tolstoi " P u r i t y , h u m i l i t y , and l o v e — t h e s e were T o l s t o i ' s trinity. I n times l i k e t h e s e , when r e v i s i o n and r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n are going on i n every d i r e c t i o n , and o l d b a r r i e r s are being swept away, i t may be t h a t our l o v e f o r t h i s noble R u s s i a n may h e l p t o b r i n g about a b e t t e r understanding o f , and a c l o s e r brotherhood w i t h , t h a t great people t o whom he belonged, and f o r whom he s t a n d s . We are beginning t o r e a l i z e t h a t a l l n a t i o n s , l i k e a l l i n d i v i d u a l s , have t h e i r good q u a l i t i e s , and t h a t i t i s a much more p r o f i t a b l e t h i n g t o admire these than t o be so c o n s t a n t l y on the look-out f o r t h e i r weaknesses." — A u t h o r Unknown Count Leo N i k o l a e v i c h T o l s t o i , t h a t great R u s s i a n humanitarian and t h i n k e r , so l a t e l y dead, was born I n 1828 on the maternal e s t a t e a t Yasnaya Polyana i n Tula P r o v i n c e , R u s s i a . He r e c e i v e d t h e u s u a l e d u c a t i o n o f an a r i s t o c r a t o f h i s day. A f t e r l e a v i n g Kazan U n i v e r s i t y , where he s t u d i e d O r i e n t a l languages and law, without t a k i n g a degree he entered the army, and fought i n the Crimean War (1854-55). A f t e r a few w i n t e r s spent i n P e t e r s b u r g and Moscow, and a journey to Europe he married i n l 8 b l Sonya Andreyevna B e h r s . The r e s t of h i s l i f e was spent almost u n i n t e r r u p t e d l y as a p a t r i a r c h a l country gentleman on h i s i n h e r i t e d e s t a t e , where he busied h i m s e l f with h i s w r i t i n g s and i n b e t t e r i n g the c o n d i t i o n s o f h i s s e r f s . T o l s t o i speaks o f h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n s of a happy childhood i n h i s work "Childhood" (1852). He was the f o u r t h son of a f a m i l y o f f i v e c h i l d r e n , and he remembers l i f e f i r s t w i t h h i s younger s i s t e r , M a r i a , and h i s beloved Auntie Tatyana, who was a great i n s p i r a t i o n to him d u r i n g h i s tender y e a r s , h i s mother having passed away when he was l i t t l e more than an i n f a n t . I n t h e sequels of "Childhood"—"Boyhood" and "youth", T o l s t o i  155 was a l r e a d y proving h i m s e l f a mature w r i t e r with a vigorous genius f o r p o r t r a y i n g h i s c h a r a c t e r s pers o n a l i t i e s "through a p i c t u r e of t h e i r a c t i o n s and p h y s i c a l mannerisms". About t h i s time t h e developments i n h i s own c h a r a c t e r were becoming more manif e s t , and t h e r e was a l r e a d y seen q u i t e a c o n f l i c t between t h e t r a i t s of t h e z e s t f u l , gay nobleman, and the deeper s p i r i t u a l aspect of h i s s o u l which came to l i g h t i n h i s l a t e r w r i t i n g s . 1  In h i s w r i t i n g s of " S e v a s t o p o l " (1856) T o l s t o i r e l a t e s h i s own experiences i n t h a t famous s i e g e i n the Crimean War, where he fought throughout the ent i r e campaign. These b a t t l e preludes a r e broadened i n t o a much wider theme i n h i s great n o v e l , "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 w r i t t e n . I n " A l b e r t " (185D one f e e 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 h i s i n s p i r e d bow. "A pure f i r m note rang out i n the room and complete silence f e l l . Not a s i n g l e f a l s e or exaggerated sound d i s t u r b e d the harmonious a b s o r p t i o n of the audi e n c e ; every note was c l e a r - c u t , s i g n i f i c a n t " . The l i s t e n e r s are c a r r i e d away t o n o s t a l i g i c s c e n e s — a f o r g o t t e n memory o f some happy moment, and i n s a t i a b l e l o n g i n g f o r power, a sense of ..dumb r e s i g n a t i o n , or of sadness." L a t e r when t h e s p i r i t was f u l l y developed i n the s o u l of T o l s t o i he w r i t e s i n the parable " E l i a s " , a f t e r t h e o l d servant has given an account of the c o n v e r s a t i o n of h i s o l d wife and h i m s e l f , "Do not laugh, good s i r s . This i s no j e s t , but human life. Once I and my wife were gross of h e a r t and wept because we had l o s t our r i c h e s , but now God has r e v e a l e d unto us the t r u t h , and we r e v e a l i t unto you a g a i n not f o r our d i v e r s i o n , but f o r your good." The great-master w r i t e r has turned from the remini s c i n g n o s t a l g i a of the sobbing v i o l i n t o the great chords of the human s o u l , played i n a d i v i n e harmony. T o l s t o i ' s great e p i c n o v e l , "War and Peace" (186269), considered by most c r i t i c s h i s greatest^ d e s c r i b e s the h e r o i c f i g h t of t h e Russians a g a i n s t Napoleon i n 1812. The f e e l i n g i s not so b i t t e r a t A u s t e r l i t z where the Russians and the A u s t r i a n s fought the F r e n c h . But when Napoleon a c t u a l l y v i o l a t e s R u s s i a n s o i l , the Russians see t h e i r g l o r i o u s Moscow burn r a t h e r than l i s ten t o the d i c t a t e s of the repugnant l i t t l e C o r s i c a n . From the standpoint of h i s t o r y down t o t h e i n t r i c a t e f a m i l y l i v e s of t h e R o s t o v s , t h e book g i v e s a w o n d e r f u l l y  156 comprehensive study of a people a t war, and at the same time the very inner temperment of t h a t people itself. The fundamental Russian l o n g i n g f o r t r u t h i s expressed throughout. This i s s t r i k i n g l y r e v e a l ed i n the great inner s t r u g g l e s of P i e r r e B e z u k h o v — the h e r o — h i s r e p u l s i o n f o r much of the c o r r u p t s o c i - ' ety around him, h i s inner c o n f l i c t over h i s u n f a i t h f u l w i f e , h i s attempts t o f i n d h i s s o u l i n Free M a s o n r y — and h i s e v e n t u a l marriage t o 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 r a t h e r than leave Moscow when Napoleon e n t e r s — a n d f i n d s i n a f e l l o w p r i s o n e r the e x t r a o r d i n a r y s o u l of the peasant, K a r a t a e v . I t i s indeed a glowing account of a v i t a l freedom-loving people, w i t h a l l t h e i r s o u l - s e a r c h i n g loves and h a t e s , caught i n a g i g a n t i c t h r u s t a g a i n s t t h e i r beloved c o u n t r y , by a b a r b a r i c conqueror. Every reader f e e l s r e l i e v e d when Napoleon's troops withdraw, and j o i n i n a vigorous "hurrah" f o r these brave, homeloving and staunch people. The g e n t l e P r i n c e s s Mary V o l k o n s k i i s thought t o be a p o r t r a i t of T o l s t o i ' s own mother, and the v i v a c i o u s Natasha t h a t of h i s s i s t e r - i n - l a w , Tatyana Behrs Kuzminskaya; N i c h o l a s Rostov, h i s f a t h e r , and P i e r r e , t o some extent the author h i m s e l f , r e v e a l i n g many of h i s 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 h i s n o v e l , " R e s u r r e c t i o n " (1899), and i n h i s many b e a u t i f u l p a r a b l e s . The hero of the l a t t e r , Nekhlyudov, indeed f i n d s the t r u e meaning of t h a t 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 h e l p i n g one f o r whose d o w n f a l l he f e e l s he i s t o blame. He changes h i s way of l i f e , and l e a r n s i n h i s t r e k t o S i b e r i a t h a t , many of the p r i s o n e r s and strange o u t c a s t s whom he meets are merely u n f o r t u nates and, of course, i n the case of p o l i t i c a l p r i s o n e r s , most of them had been u n j u s t l y sentenced. .An e n t i r e l y new l i f e opens f o r Nekhlyudov—he never r e t u r n s t o the old corrupt double-standard t h a t he had p r e v i o u s l y accepted. This was the t r u e meaning of R e s u r r e c t i o n t o T o l s t o i — n o t the symbolic p r o c e s s i o n s — b u t the new i d e a l of l i f e through C h r i s t grew t o mean e v e r y t h i n g t o him. This u r g i n g f o r 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 P a r a b l e s . In "The Two Old Men", T o l s t o i again b r i n g s out p r a c t i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y as the only s a l v a t i o n f o r the s o u l . The reader f e e l s convinced t h a t E l i j a h , the p i l g r i m , who redeemed the land of the s t a r v i n g peasants has found h i s b l e s s i n g although he d i d not a c t u a l l y get to Jerusalem. Efim— the other o l d 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 i s , 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 character 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, i t is one continuous hymn to the unfortunate. Purity, humility, and love—these were Tolstoi's trinity. In times like these, when revision and reconsideration 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 A t The E a r l y T o l s t o i )  Count Leo N i c k o l a e v i c h T o l s t o i , has  been d e s c r i b e d  as the g r e a t e s t w r i t e r produced by R u s s i a n r e a l i s m .  He was  undoubtedly the g r e a t e s t author o f t h i s new s c h o o l of thought, and  i s r a t e d as one of the most spontaneous and  petent w r i t e r s the world  has  ever  amazing q u a n t i t y of m a t e r i a l and divided and  Russian  i n t o two  known.  w r i t t e n an  i n great d e t a i l .  distinct parts—the  the po st-conversion  He has  preconversion  (1880-1910) p e r i o d .  com-  His l i f e  is  (1852-1880)  B e f o r e h i s con-  v e r s i o n , Leo N i c k o l a e v i c h e n t e r t a i n e d s i m i l a r views t o most o f the landed be read and  gentry  of h i s time, but a l l through h i s l i f e , as may  i n the i n t e r e s t i n g b i o g r a p h i e s  mystical individuality.  of him,  He deplored  he had  an unusual  the many i n j u s t i c e s i n  the s o c i e t y i n which he l i v e d , and v e r y e a r l y i n h i s l i f e , when he was only i n h i s l a t e t w e n t i e s , he expressed of serfom. his  his disapproval  E v e n t u a l l y t h i s caused him much u n p o p u l a r i t y among  own c l a s s , and  l e d him t o f r e e h i s s e r f s .  emancipation of 1861, he had  Even before  the  e s t a b l i s h e d schools f o r the c h i l d r e n  on h i s l a n d s , which o f t e n , i n h i s y o u t h , he h i m s e l f taught. was  a new venture.  This  Most of the l a n d l o r d s of the time had no  n o t i o n at a l l f o r such  humanities.  A f t e r h i s c o n v e r s i o n i n 1880 he renounced the v a n i t y of t h i s world The  and  t r i e d t o p r a c t i s e and  t e a c h h i s new-found  c o n c l u s i o n s he came t o at t h i s time appear i n h i s  faith.  post-conver-  159 s i o n works.  The reader need not always agree w i t h T o l s t o i  on  every p o i n t , but he most a s s u r e d l y i s one of the g r e a t e s t humani t a r i a n s of h i s age.  He g e n u i n e l y wished t o b e t t e r the c o n d i -  t i o n of a l l those around him.  Although he undergoes c o n s i d e r a b l e  changes of thought throughout h i s l i f e , .., s i n c e r i t y .  those who  Tolstoi's  From h i s e a r l i e s t works t o the most mature h i s q u a l i t y  - a s s e r t s i t s e l f , and never f a i l s of  one never doubts  t o g r i p and absorb the a t t e n t i o n  have found t h i s unusual author's i d e a l s a guide and  a h e l p a l o n g the pathway of  life.  160 3.  TOLSTOI S PRE-CONVERSION WORKS 1  T o l s t o i ' s f i r s t w r i t i n g s t o g a i n favour w i t h the r e a d ing p u b l i c were h i s books, "Childhood" and  "Youth" (1855-57).  (1852), "Boyhood" (1854)  The experiences r e l a t e d i n these books  were taken from reminisences about h i s own youth, which he seemed t o remember i n e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y minute d e t a i l .  They are r e t o l d  d i r e c t l y and by means of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s i n a very  entertaining  manner, which i s not o n l y r e a d a b l e , but d i s p l a y s the budding genius of a master w r i t e r . T o l s t o i ' s experiences i n t h e Crimean War (1854-56), a r e v i v i d l y portrayed i n t h r e e books, " S e v a s t o p o l " (1854-56), a Moscow Acquaintance (1856).  "Meeting  a t t h e F r o n t " (1856) and "The Two Hussars"  Most o f t h e notes f o r these books were j o t t e d down d u r i n g  h i s s o l d i e r i n g days. well written.  The s i e g e of S e v a s t o p o l i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  In t h i s campaign, T o l s t o i e x h i b i t e d 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 R u s s i a n sentiment i n  defending t h i s s t r a t e g i c post of the R u s s i a n lands a g a i n s t t h e Turks, who were aided by regiments soldiers.  of B r i t i s h and l a t e r  French  I n c i d e n t l y i t i s g r a t i f y i n g t o note t h a t a f t e r the  Peace T r e a t y of P a r i s , concluded  a t the end of the war, the F o r t  of S e v a s t o p o l was returned t o the R u s s i a n s .  I n " S e v a s t o p o l " the  reader i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r u c k w i t h the d a r i n g e x p l o i t s of the young Russian o f f i c e r s , f i g h t i n g i n defense R u s s i a n p o s s e s s i o n of the Crimean P e n i n s u l a . insurmountable  of the F o r t , and the There were  seemingly  odds a g a i n s t t h e , Turkey and her a l l i e s making a  161 determined  stand f o r the coveted s t r o n g h o l d .  the R u s s i a n C a v a l r y , of which T o l s t o i was scribed  in realistic  and  c o l o u r f u l prose.  Cossacks", a l s o w r i t t e n i n 1852 earned  The b r a v e r y of  a member i s w e l l H i s e a r l y work,  brought him immediate and  de* "The well-  p r a i s e 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 i m a g i n a t i o n , and the scene r i s e s r e a l i s t i c a l l y  awakens the  b e f o r e the eyess  " I t was a l s o the sea-son f o r the h a r v e s t work. The e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n of the v i l l a g e was busy In the water-melon f i e l d s and the v i n e y a r d s . The gardens, t h i c k with rank v e g e t a t i o n , alone o f f e r e d a c o o l , . pleasant shade. Everywhere r i p e bunches of b l a c k grapes hung down among broad, serai-transparent l e a v e s . Along the road which l e d t o the gardens c r e a k i n g c a r t s , heaped t o the v e r y top w i t h b l a c k grapes, were s l o w l y dragged, and bunches of grapes, mashed by the wheels, l a y about i n the dust of the highway. In some c o u r t - y a r d s the peasants had even begun t o press the grapes, and the s m e l l of new wine f i l l e d the a i r . The f l a t r o o f s of the cottages were q u i t e covered w i t h the l a r g e c l u s t e r s , which were d r y i n g i n the sun. Jackdaws and crows c o l l e c t e d on these r o o f s , Recking among the grapes and f l e w cawing from place t o p l a c e . The f r u i t of the year's labour was being c o l l e c t e d ; and t h i s year the v i n t a g e was u n u s u a l l y abundant and good. In the shady green gardens, amid the sea of v i n e s , on every s i d e one heard l a u g h t e r and merry v o i c e s , and amid the leaves one obtained glimpses of the l i g h t - c o l o u r e d garments of the women."°? T o l s t o i e a r l y developed a m a s t e r f u l s t y l e In w r i t i n g , and has  produced  more i n bulk than any other R u s s i a n a u t h o r .  Once he s t a r t e d w r i t i n g h i s pen became very p r o l i f i c From h i s e a r l i e s t years he observed  and considered  85 Count Lyof N. T o l s t o i , The Cossacks V i z e t e l l y &Co., 1887, p. 12o"7  and  indeed.  injustices.  Other S t o r i e s . London  162 The h o r r i b l e him.  s p e c t a c l e of serfdom always touched  and  haunted  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 attempts  a g a i n s t the  t o Europeanize R u s s i a by P e t e r I , and h i s somewhat i n -  d i f f e r e n c e t o mechanical  p r o g r e s s , p l a c e him w i t h the S l a v o p h i l e s .  He  the European reforms  and  particularly disliked thought  starting  t h a t R u s s i a would have been b e t t e r t o develop i n her  own o r i g i n a l way.  T o l s t o i was  a reformer.  Although t h i s  showed i n h i s w r i t i n g but f a i n t l y a t - f i r s t , i t was I t grew immeasurably, as h i s novels and This t r a i t was  proseworks  1879-82.  quality  always t h e r e . developed.  v e r y much i n evidence even before the  which he nominated "My the years  with P e t e r ,  experience,  C o n f e s s i o n " or"Conversion" w r i t t e n d u r i n g  Some c r i t i c s contend  t h a t T o l s t o i was  a moral-  i s t from the b e g i n n i n g ; t h a t even i n c a s u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n with, h i s f r i e n d s he could not r e f r a i n from m o r a l i z i n g . those who  I t i s argued  by  do not l i k e h i s philosophy, t h a t t h i s kind of m o r a l i z a -  t i o n marred h i s w r i t i n g s , and t h a t because of t h i s tendency l a t e r w r i t i n g s became i n t o l e r a b l e . h i s deep i n s i g h t  i n t o the good and  However, those who evil traits  his  appreciate  i n the c h a r a c t e r s  of the people whom he knew, and h i s unusual grasp of  Christianity  e l u c i d a t e d i n some of h i s l a t e r w r i t i n g s , c o n s i d e r him because of t h i s m o r a l i z i n g p r o p e n s i t y indeed one, of contemporary t i m e s .  i f not the g r e a t e s t w r i t e r  He made very p r a c t i c a l suggestions f o r  the a l l e v i a t i o n of human misery, which s e t him apart from the average  day-dreaming  novelist.  163 A f t e r the l i b e r a t i o n of the s e r f s i n 1861 Alexander  I I , and  by Czar  some years b e f o r e , t h e p i t i a b l e e x i s t e n c e of  t h i s c l a s s , t h a t had been ground under f o o t s i n c e 1689  by  poverty, e x p l o i t a t i o n , and  the  ignorance roused  determination to help a l l e v i a t e t h e i r  i n Tolstoi  sufferings.  novels he r a i s e s a v o i c e on b e h a l f of a l l , who through  poverty or n e g l e c t i n c h i l d h o o d .  may  sheer  In h i s l a t e r have s u f f e r e d  T o l s t o i always sym-  pathized w i t h those whom he considered the v i c t i m s of moral injustices.  The unfortunate e x i s t e n c e of the peasants  t o h i s sympathy from h i s e a r l i e s t youth.  H i s novels  w i t h pleas on b e h a l f of these unfortunate persons.  overflow His  in-law r e l a t e s i n her memoirs, " T o l s t o i , As I Knew Him", no down-and-out p i l g r i m , feeble-minded  appealed  sisterthat  person, or beggar was  ever  turned away unheeded from h i s doors " S t r a n g e l y enough, Leo N i k o l a e v i c h h o n e s t l y loved these "God's f o l k " s the feeble-minded, the h a l f i n sane, the wanderers, r e l i g i o u s p i l g r i m s and even the a l c o h o l i c s . N a t u r a l l y , we, h i s 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 i n t e r e s t and h o s p i t a l i t y he showed toward these people he i n h e r i t e d from h i s mother. ( P r i n c e s s Marya i n "War and Peace" i s modeled on h i s mother.) The custom of o f f e r i n g h o s p i t a l i t y t o p i l g r i m s was e s t a b l i s h e d long ago by h i s aunts and grandmothers. Many beggars, p i l g r i m s and wanderers came t o Yasnaya Polyana while on p i l g r i m a g e t o K i e v , New Jerusalem, and the T r i n i t y Monastery of S t . S e r g i u s . They were fed and given alms."® 6  86 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, T o l s t o y As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by B o r i s Igor and others) New York, M a c M i l l a n Co., 1948, pp. 174,  175.  164 "War  and Peace" published i n I869 i s c o n s i d e r e d by-  many c r i t i c s t o be the g r e a t e s t n o v e l ever w r i t t e n i n any l a n g uage.  I t appeals much more t o t h e 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 have now passed by.  19th Century c o n d i t i o n s t h a t  This h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l i s based on the great  c o n f l i c t which took p l a c e i n R u s s i a i n 1812—the i n t r u s i o n o f Napoleon and h i s 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 H i s t o r y , a p a r t from the a p p e a l o f i t s plot.  The c h a r a c t e r s , as t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n a l l T o l s t o i ' s n o v e l s ,  are drawn from persons whom he knew i n t i m a t e l y . reason f o r t h e i r r e a l i s m .  This i s the c h i e f  The s p r i t e l y h e r o i n e , Natasha Rostov,  i s s a i d t o be a study of T o l s t o i ' s v i v a c i o u s and charming  sister-  i n - l a w , Tatyana Behrs Kuzminskaya, o f whom he was extremely  fond.  She v e r i f i e s t h i s i n her i n t e r e s t i n g and d e l i g h t f u l l y n a r r a t e d memoirs, r e c e n t l y t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h .  There she d e s c r i b e s  with c l a r i t y and t r u t h f u l n e s s many of T o l s t o i ' s e a r l y comments, to her and t o members of her f a m i l y , a g a i n s t the e v i l s of serfdom, which were not r e c e i v e d with approbation by h i s l i s t e n e r s ! " I t was the end of J u l y and harvest time. The weather was s p l e n d i d , and the f i e l d s were humming with a c t i v i t y . "How l o v e l y i t i s i n the f i e l d s now," I s a i d , w i t h the peasant women a l l i n d i f f e r e n t c o l o u r s . " "Yes, i t i s good t o see, "Leo N i k o l a y e v i c h - a g r e e d . "Those people out t h e r e i n the f i e l d s are doing v i t a l work, while we, the g e n t l e f o l k , do n o t h i n g . " "What do you mean we do nothing? Mama and Papa do a great d e a l , " I s a i d i n a h u r t v o i c e . "And we c h i l d r e n are having our s c h o o l h o l i d a y s now."  165 "Yes, of course," Leo N i k o l a y e v i c h r e p l i e d h a s t i l y , "Now you're vexed w i t h me. Never mind, I shan't say another word." ' 0  The  p o r t r a y a l s of h i s t o r i c a l personages  such as  Napoleon, General Kutuzov, General B a g r a t i o n and B a r c l a y de are given with commendable r e a l i s m (although these  Tolly  historical  f i g u r e s were roundly c r i t i c i z e d by G e n e r a l S a l t y k o v , who  at the  same time p r a i s e d T o l s t o i ' s g e n e r a l c r i t i c i s m of the s o c i e t y of his  t i m e s ) , as are the p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r s i n c l u d i n g , P i e r r e ,  the hero, who  i s thought  sentiments about  life.  t o express much of T o l s t o i ' s mature T o l s t o i ' s novels are remarkable  striking characterizations.  H i s c h a r a c t e r s l i f e and  i n their  breathe,  t h e r e are no waxen models among them. T o l s t o i ' s impressions of h i s parents although they died young and when he was described i n h i s f i r s t  but a s m a l l c h i l d , have been s t r i k i n g l y  books, "Childhood", "Boyhood" and  These n a r r a t i v e s about h i s e a r l y l i f e were the f i r s t t h a t brought him r e c o g n i t i o n .  "Youth".  stories  The c r i t i c s were amazed a t t h e i r  r e a l i s t i c charm, and the ease with which they were n a r r a t e d . was  He  a master of t h i s kind of prose from the beginning of h i s  l i t e r a r y c a r e e r , because he had l e i s u r e i n which t o develop h i s great t a l e n t .  Some i n s i s t t h a t 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 p r e f e r D o s t o i e v s k y or Maxim Gorky,  they c l a i m r e a l l y experienced the r i g o r s of l i f e .  who  They m a i n t a i n  87 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, T o l s t o y As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by B o r i s Igor and o t h e r s ) New York, M a c M i l l a n Co., 1948, p. 89.  166 t h a t T o l s t o i belonged  t o the c l a s s which the r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s 1917.  i n Russia snuffed out with a s i n g l e blow i n Oct.-Nov.,  However, i n regard to these c r i t i c i s m s , i t should be remembered t h a t T o l s t o i h i m s e l f was  no o r d i n a r y landowner.  an e f f e c t i v e p l a n i n regard t o h i s he considered j u s t . c l a s s of persons  Because he was  He  carried  out  peasants' maintenence which a very unusual man  t o which he belonged,  T o l s t o i may  r a t e d as indeed a great r e a l i s t as w e l l as a great  be  f o r the justly  man.  167 4.  TOLSTOI'S POST-CONVERSION WORKS  T o l s t o i ' s u n u s u a l l y o r i g i n a l ideas about land  tenure  are s t a t e d i n h i s book, " R e s u r r e c t i o n " published in,1899, a f t e r the experience he spoke of as "my c o n v e r s i o n " .  I t i s interesting  t o note t h a t T o l s t o i ' s immediate f a m i l y d i d not share h i s conv i c t i o n s r e g a r d i n g r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the s e r f s , nor d i d they accept and  i n g e n e r a l h i s thoughts as they became more t r a n s p a r e n t A f t e r 1880  spiritual.  of any k i n d .  T o l s t o i grew t i r e d  He wished t o give h i m s e l f u n r e s e r v e d l y t o C h r i s t -  i a n l i v i n g and t e a c h i n g .  From h i s r e l i g i o u s c o n c l u s i o n s a t t h i s  time, the c u l t o f T o l s t o i s m emerged. end  of worldly v a n i t y  U n f o r t u n a t e l y toward t h e  of h i s l i f e , T o l s t o i no longer b e l i e v e d i n the D i v i n i t y o f  Christ.  This strange u n b e l i e f which s e i z e d upon him i s v e r y  c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o the s p i r i t the Holy S p i r i t parables.  o f h i s great m y s t i c a l w r i t i n g s , where  of C h r i s t shines so r e a l i s t i c a l l y  These are without  i n his great  q u e s t i o n the best fabulous  p e r t a i n i n g t o the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h t o be found  i n the  fiction  Russian  language.  Tolstoi's spiritual interpretation i s d i f f i c u l t to  understand  t o some e x t e n t , because of h i s break w i t h  Russian  Orthodoxy, which he condemned q u i t e r e s o l u t e l y a f t e r the ience o f h i s c o n v e r s i o n . t h a t Orthodoxy taught the s p i r i t oppression. way  exper-  He, a t l e n g t h , came t o the c o n c l u s i o n  a " D i v i n i t y dogma", but d i d nothing i n  of C h r i s t i a n c h a r i t y t o r e l i e v e human misery and He thought t h a t many o f the p r i e s t s d i d more i n the  of robbing the peasants,  than i n h e l p i n g them e i t h e r m a t e r i a l l y  168 or s p i r i t u a l l y . about him,  and  He then turned  from the f a s h i o n a b l e p r e l a t e s  b e l i e v e d he found the t r u e C h r i s t f o r the  time i n h i s own  s o u l , and  Most of the God-fearing  reflected  men  among the o l d peasantry.  i n the souls of  first  others.  he admired a t t h i s p e r i o d , he found  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 i n s t a n c e s the peasants because l i v e d more simply, glimpsed i e r s of the day, than not, l e f t  C h r i s t more c l e a r l y than the  t h a t he had  • church, to his  court-  whose l i v e s of empty s u p e r f i c i a l i t y more o f t e n  them shorn  of any  s p i r i t u a l experience  Thus T o l s t o i reasoned, t h a t Orthodoxy indeed was and  they  whatsoever.  dead i n  spirit,  found the great heart of C h r i s t , o u t s i d e of the  i n the l i v e s of simple and  kindly f o l k .  He  determined  pursue t h i s new-found T r u t h as l o n g as he l i v e d .  Even b e f o r e  c o n v e r s i o n , he, t o some e x t e n t , e x h i b i t e d t h i s s i d e of h i s  c h a r a c t e r , and without  t r i e d t o educate h i s c h i l d r e n i n s i m p l i c i t y ,  and  ostentation. Although the magnitude of the B o l s h e v i k  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  do not hang so h e a v i l y i n h i s w r i t i n g s as i n those Chekhov«  of r e v o l u t i o n of Anton  They burst with f u l l vehemence i n the works of Maxim  G o r k i , who  was  to some extent a B o l s h e v i k h i m s e l f .  One  f a c t o r s which c l o s e d T o l s t o i ' s eyes t o i t somewhat, was h i m s e l f was  a member of the n o b i l i t y .  c l e a r comprehension of h i s own comprehension was in  1880.  of the that  he  That he d i d have such a  c l a s s i s amazing i n i t s e l f .  much more s t r i k i n g l y t r u e a f t e r h i s  This  conversion  169  5.  TOLSTOI'S PARABLES—MONUMENTS  TO SERIOUS  THEOLOGICAL STUDY A f t e r T o l s t o i ' s c o n v e r s i o n t o a new way of t h i n k i n g and  of l i f e  i n 1 8 8 0 , he wrote many works p e r t a i n i n g t o these  new-found i d e a l s .  Among them notable a r e , "My C o n f e s s i o n "  82),  (1884),  "My R e l i g i o n "  "The Death of Ivan I l i c h "  "Thoughts on God" ( 1 8 8 5 - 1 9 0 0 ) , "What S h a l l We Do There?"  "The F r u i t s of Enlightenment"  "What i s A r t " ( 1 8 9 7 ) ,  (1885-86),  "The Power of Darkness"  (1889),  (1886),  "The K r e u t z e r Sonata"  "The Kingdom of God i s W i t h i n You" ( 1 8 9 3 ) , (1894),  (1884-86),  "On the Meaning o f L i f e "  (1886),  (1879-  (1889),  " R e l i g i o n and M o r a l i t y "  " P a t r i o t i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y "  (1894),  and many b e a u t i f u l parables on the t e a c h i n g of t h e C h r i s t i a n f a i t h which have been published together as "Parables and T a l e s " w i t h h i s short s t o r y "Master and Man" ( 1 8 9 5 ) .  I n a l l of these  works the new T o l s t o i comes t o 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 i n t e r e s t e d i n h i s 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  faith.  Among the most notable of t h e Parables a r e , "The Two Old Men" ( 1 8 9 7 ) ,  "That Whereby Men L i v e " (1881) and "Where Love  i s There i s God A l s o " ( 1 8 8 5 ) .  "The Two Old Men" i s not o n l y un-  u s u a l l y b e a u t i f u l i n i t s e x p l a n a t i o n of simple homely v i r t u e s , but i t i s extremely a p p e a l i n g i n i t s m y s t i c i s m — t h e  mystic part  of T o l s t o i ' s c h a r a c t e r i s r e v e a l e d i n t h i s t a l e , which was e v i dent  even when he was j u s t a young man, and noted by those c l o s e  to hims  170 "When he was young, Leo N i k o l a y e v i c h was always tormented by h i s p e r s o n a l appearance. He was conv i n c e d that he was r e p u l s i v e l y u g l y . I have heard him say t h i s more than once. N a t u r a l l y , he d i d not r e a l i z e t h a t h i s charm l a y i n the s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h which was ever v i s i b l e i n h i s s e a r c h i n g , t h o u g h t f u l gaze. He could not see or a p p r e c i a t e t h i s e x p r e s s i o n i n h i s own eyes, but i n i t l a y a l l the charm of h i s face." . 8 8  Such people as the two  o l d p i l g r i m s d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s work d i d  l i v e i n T o l s t o i ' s time and monuments t o the nobler  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  s i d e of R u s s i a n  Orthodoxy, which had  s u r v i v e d d e s p i t e the havoc played w i t h i n the church by monarchs and  p r e l a t e s d u r i n g the c e n t u r i e s .  various  It i s believed  that s e v e r a l m i l l i o n of the type of C h r i s t i a n peasant d e s c r i b e d by T o l s t o i i n h i s parables were t r a n s p o r t e d t o S i b e r i a , under the e a r l y B o l s h e v i k regime, where most of them are s a i d to have perished from s t a r v a t i o n ! I n the p a r a b l e , "The determine t o go together  Two  few m i l e s .  two  old friends  on a p i l g r i m a g e t o a n c i e n t  They s t a r t out w i t h h i g h hopes and w e l l the f i r s t  Old Men",  i n s p i r a t i o n s , and  Jerusalem. a l l goes  However when they reach the  country  of the Tuftedmen ( B a s h k i r s ) E l i j a h stops t o beg a d r i n k of water at a hut.  His o l d f r i e n d E f i m , s t r o l l s on.  E l i j a h f i n d s to h i s  amazement that the people i n the hut where he begs a r e on point of s t a r v a t i o n .  He  then proceeds t o redeem t h e i r land  set them on t h e i r f e e t a g a i n ; he can do no otherwise name.  He then has  the and  i n Christ's  no money t o proceed on h i s journey,  so r e t u r n s  88 Tatyana A. Kuzminskaya, T o l s t o y As I Knew Him, ( t r a n s l a t i o n by B o r i s Igor and others) New York, MacMillan Co., 1948, p. 110.  171 to h i s o l d wife b e f o r e the winter has s e t i n . E f i m , however, continues h i s journey and a r r i v e s i n Jerusalem s a f e l y a f t e r h i s tramp overland from Odessa.  He i s sure sometahere h i s o l d f r i e n d  w i l l c a t c h up w i t h him. He does not f i n d E l i j a h , but t h r e e times he sees him i n t h e church w i t h t h e p i l g r i m s a t t h e head of t h e congregation—here w i t h superb  the m y s t i c a l p a r t of T o l s t o i ' s w r i t i n g  s i g n i f i c a n c e and i n n e r meaning.  When he a t l e n g t h  r e t u r n s toward h i s 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 to death.  Then he understands  disappearance.  shines  starving  p a r t l y the great mystery of E l i j a h ' s  On h i s r e t u r n home he presents h i s o l d f r i e n d  a b o t t l e of h o l y 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 f r i e n d has come t o see you." E l i j a h looked round, h i s f a c e broke out i n t o s m i l e s , and he r a n t o meet h i s comrade, g e n t l y brushing some bees from h i s beard as he d i d s o . "Good day t o you, good day t o you, my dear o l d f r i e n d ! " he c r i e d . "Then d i d you get t h e r e s a f e l y ? " "Yes of a s u r e t y . My f e e t c a r r i e d me s a f e l y , and I have brought you home some Jordan water. Y e t I know not i f my t a s k has been accepted of God, o r — " " S u r e l y , s u r e l y i t h a s . G l o r y be t o Him and t o Our Lord Jesus C h r i s t ! " E f i m was s i l e n t a moment; then c o n t i n u e d : "Yes, my f e e t c a r r i e d me t h i t h e r ; but whether I was t h e r e a l s o 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 o l d c o m r a d e — God's a f f a i r . " W e l l , on my way back," added E f i m , "I stopped a t t h e hut where you parted from me." E l i j a h seemed f r i g h t e n e d , and hastened t o i n t e r rupt him. "That a l s o i s God's a f f a i r , my f r i e n d — G o d ' s a f f a i r , " he s a i d . "But come i n t o the hut, and I w i l l get you some h o n e y " — a n d he h u r r i e d t o change the conv e r s a t i o n by t a l k i n g of household matters.  with  172 E f i m s i g h e d , and f o r e b o r e t o t e l l E l i j a h o f 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 d i d he understand: t h a t i n t h i s world God has commanded everyone, u n t i l death, t o work o f f h i s debt of duty by means of love and good works."89 The the c o n v e r s i o n  p a r a b l e , "Where Love i s There i s God A l s o " r e l a t e s of one, M a r t i n A v d e i t c h , a shoemaker, and t h e  great b l e s s i n g s t h a t came t o h i s s o u l when he found t h a t the t r u e s t C h r i s t i a n experience others.  i s t o be a t t a i n e d i n the h e l p i n g o f  He extends C h r i s t i a n k i n d l i n e s s t o t h r e e groups o f  persons i n one d a y — a  poor o l d s o l d i e r , a woman and her baby,  who a r e s u f f e r i n g from c o l d and hunger, an e l d e r l y woman s e l l i n g apples  i n the s t r e e t and a young boy who t r i e s t o rob the o l d  peddler.  On p i c k i n g up h i s Testament i n t h e evening  he r e a l i z e s t h a t j u s t as he t r u l y helped  and r e a d i n g ,  the souls and bodies of  these needy persons d i d C h r i s t 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 t a b l e , and took h i s Testament from the s h e l f . He had intended opening t h e book a t the place which he had marked l a s t n i g h t w i t h a s t r i p of l e a t h e r , b u t i t opened i t s e l f a t another i n s t e a d . .The i n s t a n t i t d i d so, h i s v i s i o n of t h e l a s t n i g h t came back t o h i s 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 o f a dark c o r ner what appeared t o be f i g u r e s — f i g u r e s of persons standing t h e r e , y e t could not d i s t i n g u i s h them clearly. Then the v o i c e whispered i n h i s e a r : " M a r t i n , M a r t i n , dost- thou notl know Me?" "Who a r t Thou?»said A v d e i t c h "Even I I " whispered the v o i c e a g a i n . "Lo, i t i s I I " and t h e r e stepped from the dark corner S t e p a n i t c h . He s m i l e d , and then, l i k e t h e f a d i n g o f a l i t t l e c l o u d , was gone. 89 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and Tales, Everyman's L i b r a r y , e d . Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1911, pp. 170, 171.  173 " I t i s I I " whispered t h e v o i c e a g a i n — a n d t h e r e stepped f o r t h the o l d woman and t h e boy w i t h t h e apple. They smiled and were gone. Joy f i l l e d the s o u l of M a r t i n A v d e i t c h as he crossed h i m s e l f , put on h i s s p e c t a c l e s , and s e t hims e l f t o read the Testament at the place where i t had opened. A t the t o p 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 d r i n k : I was a s t r a n g e r , and ye took Me i n . " 'And f u r t h e r down t h e page he read: "Inasmuch as ye have done i t unto one of the l e a s t of these my b r e t h r e n ye have done i t unto Me." Then A v d e i t c h understood t h a t t h e v i s i o n had come t r u e , and t h a t h i s Saviour had i n very t r u t h v i s i t e d him t h a t day, and t h a t he had r e c e i v e d Him."90 I n the t h i r d  parable  of p a r t i c u l a r note, "That Whereby  Men L i v e " , T o l s t o i gives the account of the experience of a supern a t u r a l being  on e a r t h , and h i s c o n c l u s i o n before  returning to  Heaven, t h a t men here on e a r t h t r u l y L i v e only i n h e l p i n g one another i n b r o t h e r l y a c t s of k i n d l i n e s s , as the Master  required  of h i s d i s c i p l e s and f o l l o w e r s many hundreds of years ago: "And  the Angel s a i d :  "Yes, I l e a r n t t h a t every man l i v e s not by t a k i n g thought f o r h i m s e l f , but by Love. " I t was not g i v e n t o the c h i l d i n g woman t o know what was n e e d f u l f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n of h e r . c h i l d r e n ' s l i v e s . I t was not g i v e n t o the r i c h man t o know what was n e e d f u l f o r h i s body. Nor i s i t given unto any man t o know whether, b e f o r e the sun s h a l l have s e t , i t may be boots f o r h i s l i v i n g body or b o s o v i k i f o r h i s corpse t h a t he s h a l l r e q u i r e . "When I was a man, my l i f e was preserved t o me, not by t a k i n g thought f o r myself, but by t h e l o v e which dwelt i n a passer-by and h i s w i f e , so t h a t they could f e e l f o r me p i t y and a f f e c t i o n . A g a i n , t h e two orphans were preserved a l i v e , not by any thought which was t a k e n f o r them but by t h e love which dwelt i n t h e h e a r t of a  90 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and T a l e s . Everyman's L i b r a r y , ed..Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent. & Sons L t d . , New York, E . P. Dutton •& Co., 1911, pp. 142, 143.  174 strange woman, so t h a t she could f e e l f o r them p i t y and a f f e c t i o n . F o r , indeed, a l l men l i v e , not by the thought which they may take f o r themselves, but by the love which dwells i n a l l mankind. " I had known before that God gave l i f e t o men, and t h a t He. would have them l i v e ; but now I understood another t h i n g . I understood t h a t God would not have men l i v e apart from one a n o t h e r — w h e r e f o r e He had not r e v e a l e d to them what was n e e d f u l f o r each one: but t h a t He would have them l i v e i n u n i t y — w h e r e f o r e He had r e v e a l e d t o them only what was n e e d f u l both f o r themselves and f o r t h e i r f e l l o w s t o g e t h e r . "Yes, a t l a s t I understood that men only appear t o l i v e by t a k i n g thought f o r themselves, but t h a t i n r e a l i t y they l i v e by Love alone."91 C e r t a i n l y T o l s t o i , as the above i l l u s t r a t i o n s became a f t e r h i s c o n v e r s i o n ,  confirm  one of t h e g r e a t e s t w r i t e r s on  C h r i s t i a n themes p e r t a i n i n g t o p r a c t i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y t h a t the world has ever known.  One need not accept  a l l h i s views, and  i n h i s l a t t e r days j u s t before h i s death >his v i s i o n may have become t o some extent dimmed.  But he indeed  reached out s u c c e s s -  f u l l y t o the souls of men and women i n h i s wonderfully and  clear perception  being  of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h .  He progressed  perhaps the g r e a t e s t w r i t e r of t h e r e a l i s t i c  understanding i n the f i e l d  from  .historical  novel t h a t the world has ever seen, t o one of unusual and  inspired  profundity  of r e a l i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e p e r t a i n i n g  t o the human s o u l , as i t reaches out i n i t s quest of the D i v i n e . T h i s d i d not s p o i l h i s c r e a t i v e genius as some avow, i t r a t h e r climaxed a g l o r i o u s c a r e e r , which was i n s p i r e d as few have been by the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h .  91 Count Leo T o l s t o i , Master and Man and Other Parables and T a l e s . Everyman's L i b r a r y , ed. E r n e s t Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1911, pp. 106, 110, 111.  175  CHAPTER V I I REALISM AS ILLUSTRATED  IN THE S I T I N G OF  ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV (1860-1904)  1.  B r i e f Sketch of t h e L i f e of Chekhov  2.  The N o s t a l g i c  3«  Chekhov's D i s t r e s s a t the P a s s i n g of the I n t e l l i g e n t s i a of H i s Time  4.  Chekhov's Great R e a l i s t i c Plays and Short  5.  Chekhov's Amazing Grasp of R e a l i s m t o t h e End o f His L i f e  Mood Which i s P e c u l i a r t o Chekhov  Stories  176 1.  BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF CHEKHOV  "On J u l y evenings and n i g h t s a l r e a d y t h e r e c r i e s n e i t h e r a q u a i l nor a c o r n c r a k e , nor does a n i g h t i n g a l e s i n g i n the f o r e s t g l a d , nor i s t h e r e t o be found the perfume of f l o w e r s , but on the steppe e v e r y t h i n g i s s t i l l b e a u t i f u l and r a d i a n t . S c a r c e l y has the sun d i s appeared and the e a r t h become covered w i t h shadows, than the cares of day are f o r g o t t e n , e v e r y t h i n g i s f o r g i v e n , and the steppe breathes a wide s i g h . The s o u l experiences a l o n g i n g f o r the b e a u t i f u l , severe n a t i v e l a n d , and wishes t o f l y over the steppe w i t h the n i g h t b i r d . " — A n t o n P a v o l i v i c h Chekhov "Anton P a v o l i c h Chekhov was born i n Taganrog, on the sea of Azov. The f a m i l y c o n s i s t e d of s e v e r a l sons and a daughter. They were a l l given a l i b e r a l education. Anton, who was the youngest but one, was sent to the gymnasium (secondary s c h o o l ) of Taganrog. In 1879 he f i n i s h e d h i s time at the gymnasium and went to Moscow to j o i n h i s f a m i l y . He was m a t r i c u l a t e d as a student of the F a c u l t y of M e d i c i n e . A f t e r the normal course of f i v e y e a r s , he took h i s degree i n 1884. From h i s a r r i v a l i n Moscow t o h i s death he never parted from h i s parents and s i s t e r , and h i s l i t e r a r y income soon became important, he e a r l y became the mainstay of his family. Checkhov began working i n the comic papers the year he came t o Moscow, and before, he l e f t the u n i v e r s i t y he had become one of t h e i r most welcome c o n t r i b u t o r s . So on t a k i n g h i s degree, he d i d not s e t t l e down t o p r a c t i c e as a d o c t o r , but f e l l back on h i s l i t e r a r y work f o r s u b s i s t e n c e . In 1886 some of h i s comic s t o r i e s were c o l l e c t e d i n book form. The book had an immediate success w i t h the p u b l i c and was soon f o l l o w e d by another volume of comic s t o r i e s . The shrewd and c l e v e r S u v o r i n a t once saw the great poss i b i l i t i e s of Chekhov and i n v i t e d him t o c o n t r i b u t e to h i s paper, where he even s t a r t e d a s p e c i a l weekly l i t e r a r y supplement f o r Chekhov. They became c l o s e f r i e n d s , and i n Chekhov's correspondence h i s l e t t e r s to S u v o r i n form undoubtedly the most i n t e r e s t i n g p a r t . Chekhov had now gained a f i r m f o o t i n g i n " b i g l i t e r a t u r e " and was f r e e from the t y r a n n y of the comic papers. At the same time Chekhov wrote h i s 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 characteristic of t h i s p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n t h a t Chekhov continued working a t these pieces a f t e r t h e i r f i r s t p u b l i c a t i o n ; "The Steppe" and "Ivanov" t h a t a r e now reproduced i n h i s "Works" a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t from what f i r s t appeared i n I887. Henceforth Chekhov's l i f e was r a t h e r une v e n t f u l , and what events t h e r e were, a r e c l o s e l y connected with h i s w r i t i n g s . An i s o l a t e d episode was h i s journey t o S a k h a l i n , t h e R u s s i a n Botany Bay. He went t h e r e i n 1890, t r a v e l i n g through S i b e r i a (before t h e T r a n s - S i b e r i a n ) and r e t u r n i n g by sea v i a C e y l o n . He made a v e r y thorough i n v e s t i g a t i o n of c o n v i c t l i f e and published t h e r e s u l t of i t i n a separate book ( S a k h a l i n I s l a n d , 1891). I t i s remarkable f o r 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. I t i s supposed t o have i n f l u e n c e d c e r t a i n reforms i n p r i s o n l i f e i n t r o d u c e d i n 1892. T h i s journey was Chekhov's g r e a t e s t p r a c t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o thehumanitarianism t h a t was so near h i s h e a r t . In p r i v a t e l i f e he was a l s o v e r y kindhearted and generous. He gave away much of h i s money. H i s n a t i v e town of Taganrog was t h e r e c i p i e n t of a l i b r a r y and a museum from him. In 1891 Chekhov was r i c h enough t o buy a piece o f land a t Melikhovo, some f i f t y m i l e s south of Moscow. There he s e t t l e d down w i t h h i s p a r e n t s , s i s t e r , and younger b r o t h e r , and l i v e d f o r s i x y e a r s . He took p a r t i n l o c a l l i f e and spent much money on l o c a l improvements. I n 1892-93? d u r i n g t h e c h o l e r a epidemic, he worked as head of a s a n i t a r y d i s t r i c t . He remained a t Melikhovo t i l l 1897, when t h e s t a t e o f h i s h e a l t h f o r c e d him t o move. T h i s was not the o n l y change i n h i s l i f e . A l l h i s surroundings changed, owing t o h i s new c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the Moscow A r t Theatre and h i s more decided p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n toward the l e f t . During these l a s t years he saw much o f T o l s t o y . I n the popular o p i n i o n of t h a t time, Chekhov, Gorky, and T o l s t o y formed a s o r t of sacred t r i n i t y s y m b o l i z i n g a l l t h a t was best i n i n d e pendent Russia as opposed t o t h e dark f o r c e s o f Tsarism. A f t e r "Ivanov", Chekhov had w r i t t e n s e v e r a l l i g h t oneact comedies that had a c o n s i d e r a b l e success w i t h the p u b l i c but added l i t t l e t o h i s i n t r i n s i c achievement. In 1895 he turned once more t o s e r i o u s drama and wrote "The S e a g u l l " . I t was produced a t t h e S t a t e Theatre o f Petersburg i n 1896. I t was b a d l y understood by the a c t o r s and badly a c t e d . The f i r s t n i g h t was a smashing failure. The p l a y was h i s s e d down, and the a u t h o r , confounded by h i s d e f e a t , l e f t t h e t h e a t r e a f t e r the second act and escaped t o Melikhovo, vowing never a g a i n t o r  178 w r i t e a p l a y . Meanwhile K. S. S t a n i s l a v s k y ( A l e k s e y e v ) , a wealthy merchant of Moscow, and the d r a m a t i s t V l a d i m i r 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 R u s s i a n s t a g e . They succeeded i n g e t t i n g "The S e a g u l l " f o r one of t h e i r f i r s t p r o d u c t i o n s . The c a s t worked a t i t w i t h energy and understanding, and when the p l a y was acted by them i n 1898, i t proved a triumphant s u c c e s s . Chekhov turned with new energy towards dramatic w r i t i n g , and wrote h i s most famous p l a y s w i t h a d i r e c t view t o Stanislavsky's casts. "Uncle Vanya" (which had been planned as e a r l y 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 g r e a t e r triumph than the preceding one. There was complete harmony among p l a y w r i g h t , a c t o r s , and p u b l i c . Chekhov's fame was a t i t s h e i g h t . However, he d i d not become so r i c h as t o be compared with K i p l i n g , or D'annunzio, or even with Gorky. For l i k e h i s f a v o r i t e heroes, he was eminently unpract i c a l ; i n 1899 he s o l d a l l the works he had h i t h e r t o w r i t t e n t o the p u b l i s h e r Marx f o r 75,000 r o u b l e s . I t turned out a f t e r the t r a n s a c t i o n t h a t Marx was not aware of the extent of h i s w r i t i n g s — h e had reckoned on f o u r volumes of s h o r t s t o r i e s , and he had u n c o n s c i o u s l y bought nine I I n 1901 Chekhov married an a c t r e s s of the A r t Theatre, Olga L . Knipper; so h i s l i f e became f u r t h e r changed. He was c o n s t a n t l y besieged by importunate adm i r e r s , with whom he was v e r y p a t i e n t and k i n d . I n June 1904 h i s i l l n e s s had so advanced t h a t he was sent by the d o c t o r s t o Badenweiler, a s m a l l h e a l t h r e s o r t i n the B l a c k F o r e s t , where he d i e d . H i s body was brought to Moscow and b u r i e d by the s i d e of h i s f a t h e r , who had preceded him i n I899."" 2  92 D.S. M i r s k i , A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . A l f r e d A. Knopf, New York, 1949, pp. 353-355.  179  2.  THE NOSTALGIC MOOD WHICH IS PECULIAR TO CHEKHOV The works of Anton Chekhov were w r i t t e n in. an atmosphere  s a t u r a t e d with heavy hanging r e v o l u t i o n a r y c l o u d s .  Things were  g e t t i n g worse, and Chekhov knew otfly too w e l l what t h e outcome must be.  However, he kept v e e r i n g away from i t .  the i n e v i t a b l e consequences  Some of them had  become Micawber-like i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e . l a s t , "that something Chekhov was  v a i n hopes.  He knew  of which most of the o l d R u s s i a n l a n d -  owners could not become convinced.  happen.  final  actually  They were sure t o the  would t u r n up", which, of c o u r s e , d i d not too c l e v e r and r e a l i s t i c t o indulge i n such  He knew that t h i n g s would not change f o r the b e t t e r  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 h i m s e l f was  a member.  Chekhov was  educated  i n the f i e l d  of medicine, however  he plunged more wholeheartedly i n t o w r i t i n g , and i s s a i d t o have supported i n one way first  or another h i s e n t i r e f a m i l y from almost the  p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s s t o r i e s i n 1880.  r i g o r s of a severe d i s c i p l i n e , and was B u t a t t h e same time he was posed toward  a l l mankind.  Thus he knew a l l the  e n t i r e l y f r e e from  a g e n t l e s o u l , and one v e r y k i n d l y  Chekhov saw  dis-  He d i d not enjoy, as d i d T o l s t o i , the  r e p u t a t i o n of being a l i t e r a r y g i a n t , but he was realist.  illusions.  events r e a l i s t i c a l l y .  a v e r y great  In a l l h i s plays and  s t o r i e s which have been dramatized, p a r t i c u l a r l y the great ones, h i s n o s t a l g i a f o r a regime t h a t he knew was overpowers the audience.  f a s t crumbling almost  In most of h i s l e n g t h y works-the atmo-  180 sphere i s permeated with f o r e b o d i n g r e v o l u t i o n a r y c l o u d s . a i r hangs heavy i n them as a s u l t r y evening i n June. knew what was  coming.  He f e l t  The  Chekhov  i n e f f e c t i v e i n p r e v e n t i n g i t , so  wrote h i s s t o r i e s as a l a s t evening song of p r a i s e t o a dying regime.  T h i s does not mean t h a t he was  lutionary ideals.  He was  unsympathetic  with revo-  d e f i n i t e l y sympathetic, hut he f e a r e d  and r i g h t l y so, the oncoming s l a u g h t e r of a l l c l a s s e s but the p r o l e t a r i a t , and he deplored the f a c t t h a t such people, as h i s c h a r a c t e r , Lopakhin, i n "The Cherry Orchard", were g a i n i n g the upper hand.  He loved the 19th Century R u s s i a n i n t e l l i g e n t s i a .  T h e i r mental a l e r t n e s s was and Mme.  dear t o him.  Ranevskys portrayed i n h i s p l a y s .  than the n o b i l i t y , because he thought gent and  He  interesting.  Chekhov was  loved the Uncle Vanyas He valued them more  them u s u a l l y more  intelli-  not bound t o R u s s i a n Orthodoxy,  the n o b i l i t y , the merchant c l a s s , or the peasants. r a t h e r t o an e n l i g h t e n e d i n t e l l i g e n t s i a .  He  belonged  181 3.  CHEKHOV S DISTRESS AT THE 1  PASSING OF  THE  INTELLIGENTSIA OF HIS TIME Chekhov's i n t e l l i g e n t s i a was faults.  Mme.  Ranevsky's treatment  by no means f r e e  from  of her old s e r v a n t , i n the  p l a y , "The Cherry Orchard", i s an example of some of t h e i r grant i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s .  Chekhov was  not b l i n d  fla-  t o the f a i l i n g s of  t h i s group, otherwise he would not have given t o the t h e a t r e such a c h a r a c t e r as Mem. c h a r a c t e r he was  Ranevsky.  trying  Perhaps i n p o r t r a y i n g such a  t o exhort the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a t o improve  t h e i r b e h a v i o r , but t h i s h a r d l y seems t r u e . genius, had not found l i f e p a r t i c u l a r l y  easy.  Chekhov, a l i t e r a r y Most of h i s v i t a l -  i t y had been spent i n a b a t t l e f o r e x i s t e n c e and his  i n supporting  f a m i l y as h i s generous s o u l chose t o see them.  He does not  t r y t o reform people, t h e r e i s none of the m o r a l i s t i n him was  in Tolstoi.  that  Chekhov portrayed the c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s plays  j u s t as he knew, admired would change, perhaps  or d i s d a i n e d them.  ever.  He d i d not t h i n k t h e y  In some i n s t a n c e s we f e e l he would  not have them change.  He grappled t o h i s s o u l the people w i t h  whom he l i v e d , and was  fond of them t o the p o i n t of l i k i n g t h e i r  defects. traits,  He f e l t had they recovered a l t o g e t h e r from u n l o v e l y they would no longer have been human b e i n g s , but gods.  He would not have considered t h i s r e a l i s t i c . have enough p h y s i c a l r e s e r v e l e f t  Chekhov d i d not  to become a p a t r i o t i c l e a d e r .  But he understood w e l l h i s people, t h e i r needs, and the needs of his  country.  Much of h i s w r i t i n g i s t i n g e d w i t h f e e l i n g s of  182 regret.  He waits f o r the v e r y l a s t c u r t a i n c a l l on the Old  Regime,  k c e r t a i n part of i t was so dear t o him.  have p a r t l y s u r v i v e d !  Could i t  He l i n g e r s l o n g i n g l y i n the o l d Cherry  Orchard, the garden of Peter N i c o l a y e v i c h S o r i n , and the house of Uncle Vanya.  One f e e l s he wished t h a t the c h a r a c t e r s i n  h i s p l a y s could l i v e f o r e v e r .  Despite t h e i r  l i g h t n e s s and f a i l -  ings he l i v e d them deeply and t e n d e r l y t o the l a s t . Chekhov d i d not witness the R e v o l u t i o n of 1917* grateful for this. tive soul.  Like, Tolstoi,  The reader i s  I t would have been t o o much f o r h i s s e n s i -  I f he had l i v e d he might e a s i l y have met t h e same  f a t e as Uncle Vanya or K o n s t a n t i n T r y e p l y e v , as he was indeed the c r e a t o r of these c h a r a c t e r s .  The impending d i s a s t e r may have  u n c o n s c i o u s l y a f f e c t e d Chekhov's s e n s i t i v e n a t u r e . of h i s c l a s s d i d do away with themselves  Many  persons  v o l u n t a r i l y a f t e r 1917<>  The onslaught was t o o much f o r them t o meet.  I n many i n s t a n c e s  the B o l s h e v i k s , would not have l i q u i d a t e d them, i f they had manifested thought  great t a l e n t .  However many were done away w i t h , i f  t o be wholly unsympathetic  toward t h e new regime.  they v o l u n t a r i l y took t h e i r own l i v e s .  Hence  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 d e s c r i b e s i n h i s great p l a y s , a r e the v e r y ones, who might e v e n t u a l l y have met a d a s t a r d l y end. Even t h e author  T o l s t o i , would have endured the shock  of the B o l s h e v i k r e v o l u t i o n b e t t e r than Chekhov.  He had a h a r d i -  er c o n s t i t u t i o n , and had he been banished, or sentenced t o e x e c u t i o n , u n t i l t h e 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 w r i t t e n them out of i t . Not so Chekhov.  He would have known the i n e v i t a b l e f a t e that  Nor would he have been as r e s e n t f u l . t e n t the burden of the l a n d l o r d . ued,  i n h i s great  plays.  He had t a s t e d t o some ex-  However he would have c o n t i n -  as he always had, i n c o n s o l a b l e  characterized  waited.  about such persons as a r e The p l i g h t of the n o b i l i t y  d i d not appeal t o him with much r e g r e t ; i t was r a t h e r the f a t e of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a which he d e p l o r e d .  184 4.  CHEKHOV'S GREAT REALISTIC PLAYS AND  SHORT STORIES  "The Cherry Orchard", which Chekhov f i n i s h e d in  1903j j u s t a year before h i s d e a t h , i s considered h i s best  play.  C e r t a i n l y i t i s the most widely known and  t h e a t r e audiences. of  writing  T h i s p l a y c e n t e r s around  a f a m i l y of the f a i l i n g i n t e l l i g e n t s i a .  l i k e d by R u s s i a n  the h a p l e s s The  plight  heroine—Mme.  Ranevsky, w e l l known and beloved of R u s s i a n t h e a t r e audiences, (a  p a r t which Chekhov's famous a c t r e s s w i f e , Olga K n i p p e r ,  was  renowned i n ) j u s t cannot b e l i e v e t h a t her b e a u t i f u l old orchard and home i s about t o be s o l d f o r debt. f o o l i s h l y squanders  her money.  t o - e a r t h s i d e of l i f e .  R i g h t t o the l a s t  She never understands  she  the down-  As a r e s u l t , her dear old home i s s o l d ,  because she cannot r a i s e the needed funds t o pay o f f the long overhanging mortgage.  Mme.  study.  squandered,  .Always she had  what dangerously.  Ranevsky i s an i n t e r e s t i n g c h a r a c t e r comfortably and some-  .After the death of her husband, she had become  i n v o l v e d w i t h a worthless man Paris.  lived  and had  gone t o l i v e w i t h him i n  F i n a l l y he d e s e r t s her, and she makes a f u t i l e attempt  take her own drowned.  life.  L a t e r her l i t t l e  boy, G r i s h k a , was  to  accidently  She could not become r e c o n c i l e d t o t h i s t r a g e d y .  then decided t o r e t u r n t o R u s s i a and her Cherry Orchard.  She She  r e c o u n t s , when r e m i n i s c i n g t o her brother Gayev: "And suddenly I f e l t a l o n g i n g f o r R u s s i a , f o r my n a t i v e land."93  93 .A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov. P l a y s and S t o r i e s , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. K o t e l i a n s k y ) Everyman's L i b r a r y , New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., J.M. Dent & Son L t d . , London, 1942, No. 941, p. 24.  185 Her  r e t u r n there i s most t o u c h i n g .  morning of a s p r i n g day. Fondly  She a r r i v e s i n the e a r l y  The c h e r r y t r e e s a r e i n f u l l  bloom.  she looks out of the o l d room i n which she had been so  t e n d e r l y cared f o r as a c h i l d .  However, her unfortunate  past  weighs h e a v i l y on her mind, and she does not seem capable o f much change.  Yermolay Lopakhin, a t i g h t f i s t e d  urges her t o have the orchard to  man,  demolished and t o l e a s e t h e land  c o n t r a c t o r s f o r t h e b u i l d i n g of bungalows.  maintains  business  This p l a n he  might save her land f o r h e r . She would have done  b e t t e r t o have c a r r i e d  out h i s p l a n , f o r i n the end he buys the  property h i m s e l f , and c a r r i e s out the p l a n , even t o the c u t t i n g down of the l a s t b e a u t i f u l c h e r r y t r e e . mother or aunt, who a r e s t i l l to  save her home.  She i s sure t h a t her  l i v i n g , may send her enough money  But her hopes a r e not r e a l i z e d , the mortgage  i t s e l f being more than the money they do e v e n t u a l l y send t o h e r . Chekhov l i k e Gogol and T o l s t o i , v o i c e s h i s l o v e f o r h i s n a t i v e Russian  land through h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  The c h a r a c t e r  Trofimov,  who a t one time had been employed by Mme. Ranevsky as a t u t o r f o r her  l i t t l e son, exclaims  when a d d r e s s i n g  her daughter, Anya:  "The whole of Russia i s our o r c h a r d . The land i s great and b e a u t i f u l , there a r e many wonderful places i n i t . Now, t h i n k Anyas your g r a n d f a t h e r , your g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r , and a l l your a n c e s t o r s were s e r f owners, p r o p r i e t o r s of l i v i n g s o u l s . Don't you see that from every c h e r r y i n the o r c h a r d , from every l e a f , from every t r u n k , human beings a r e l o o k i n g a t you; can't you hear t h e i r v o i c e s ? . . . . Oh, i t i s d r e a d f u l , your orchard i s t e r r i b l e , and when on an evening or at n i g h t I walk i n i t , the o l d bark on the t r e e s glows dimly and the c h e r r y t r e e s seem t o see i n t h e i r s l e e p what happened a hundred, two  186 hundred years ago, and sombre v i s i o n s v i s i t them* Why say more? We have lagged behind, we are a t l e a s t 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 p a s t , we do. nothing but t h e o r i z e , complain of n o s t a l g i a , or d r i n k vodka. Indeed, i t i s so obvious! i n order t o s t a r t t o l i v e i n the present, we must f i r s t o f a l l redeem our p a s t , have done with i t , and i t s redemption can be achieved only through tremedous, i n c e s s a n t l a b o u r . Do r e a l i z e i t , . Anya."94 Chekhov through h i s c h a r a c t e r r e m i n i s c e s over s p e c t a c l e of serfdom hundred years  i n Russia over a p e r i o d of approximately two  (1689-1861), and m a s t e r f u l l y gives h i s musings on  the times a t hand.  Anya, Mme. Ranevsky's daughter, must mend her  ways, he says, and not succumb t o the t r i v i a l i t i e s , her mother's l i f e . generation.  the  which s p o i l e d  She must l e a r n t o l i v e i n harmony with her  Chekhov keenly sensed the oncoming change. The  reader f e e l s sure t h a t Anya d i d not, and could not change her way of  life.  mate.  J u s t what became of her type i n Russia i s hard t o e s t i -  Such persons s u r e l y are not t o be found t h e r e now.  At  l e n g t h , a f t e r much v e r b a l c o n t r i v i n g , lime. Ranevsky's orchard i s s o l d t o the h i g h e s t b i d d e r . d i s l i k e d Lopakhin.  The buyer i s none other than the  As the p l a y c l o s e s Chekhov e x p l a i n s dramatic-  ally: "They go out, the stage i s empty. The doors are heard a l l being l o c k e d , and then the c a r r i a g e s d r i v i n g away. I t grows q u i e t . In the s t i l l n e s s i s a u d i b l e the d u l l thud of an axe on a t r e e , a f o r l o r n and melancholy  94 A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov. P l a y s and S t o r i e s , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. K o t e l i a n s k y ) Everyman's L i b r a r y (No. 941) Hew York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , 1942, pp.29,30.  187 sound. Footsteps a r e heard. Through the door on the r i g h t appears F e e r s . He i s dressed as u s u a l i n a j a c k e t and w h i t e . w a i s t c o a t , w i t h s l i p p e r s on h i s f e e t . He i s 111."95 F e e r s , t h e eighty-seven year o l d s e r v a n t , who had been born the f a m i l y ' s s e r v i c e even before t h e emancipation  into  i n 1861 then  speaks i "He goes to the door, t r y i n g the h a n d l e — I t i s l o c k e d . He e x c l a i m s — T h e y have gone. . . ( S i t t i n g down on t h e s o f a . ) They have f o r g o t t e n me. . .No matter. . . I ' l l s i t down here f o r a w h i l e . . . . and I am sure Leonid A n d r e y e v i t c h (Gayev) has not put on h i s f u r c o a t , he's gone o f f i n h i s c o a t . (With anxious s i g h ) I ought t o have seen t o i t . Young people never stop t o t h i n k . (He mutters somethingwhich cannot be understood) L i f e has gone by as though I hadn't l i v e d . . . . ( l y i n g down) You have no more s t r e n g t h l e f t ; t h e r e ' s nothing l e f t , n o t h i n g — O h , you nyedotyopa'. . . . (He l i e s w i t h 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 t h e r e i s heard o n l y , f a r awav^in t h e o r c h a r d , the thud of axes s t r i k i n g on trees."?° Thus the c u r t a i n r i n g s down on t h e poor o l d s e r v a n t — f o r g o t t e n — and  l e f t alone t o d i e !  As the c a r r i a g e s draw away, Mme. Ranevsky  and her f a m i l y hear the thud and the audience  of the axes s t r i k i n g  on t h e t r e e s ,  i s reminded o f t h e tragedy t h a t awaited the  b e a u t i f u l orchard.  How q u i e t l y and y e t how r e a l i s t i c a l l y Chekhov  condemned i n g r a t i t u d e .  How keenly he f e l t t h e charm of Mme.  Ranevsky and her home—the l a u g h t e r and the t e a r s .  He was indeed  a very great r e a l i s t , and a p e r f e c t example of the R u s s i a n  intel-  95 A.P. Chekhov, Chekhov, Plays and S t o r i e s , ( t r a n s l a t i o n by S.S. K o t e l i a n s k y ) Everyman's L i b r a r y (No. 941) New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., London, J . M. Dent & Sons L t d . , 1942, p.52 96 I b i d .  188 l i g e n t s i a as i t e x i s t e d a t the c l o s e of the 19th Century. Chekhov's well-known p l a y , "The S e a g u l l " echoes many of the s t r a i n s heard i n "The Cherry Orchard".  Irene .Arkadin, the  a c t r e s s i s not so shallow or so I m p r a c t i c a l as Mme. she, or her son, Nina Zaryechny  (who  T r e e g o r i n , the n o v e l i s t , S o r i n (Mme.  Ranevsky, but  a s p i r e s t o the s t a g e ) , B o r i s Arkadin's b r o t h e r ) , h i s  s t e w a r d — I l y a Shamrayev, h i s daughter, Masha, and Semyon Myedvyedenko, are a l l persons of s i m i l a r emotions the c h a r a c t e r s i n "The Cherry Orchard". f e e l s so s t r o n g l y the suspense and i s Chekhov's mood. creature.  Mme.  and a s p i r a t i o n s , ss were In t h i s p l a y one a g a i n  u n c e r t a i n t y of the t i m e s .  This  Arkadin's son i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y m i s e r a b l e  He f e e l s t h a t no one r e a l l y l i k e s him f o r h i m s e l f , but  merely because he i s the son of Mme.  Arkadin.  Instead of honour-  i n g h i s mother's achievements, he has become t h o r o u g h l y s p o i l e d . He  i s charming  and v e r y good-looking.  Masha i s i n l o v e w i t h  However he i s i n t e r e s t e d i n .the would-be-actress, Nina. 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 s e a g u l l on Zaryechny's  him.  He  e s t a t e , where  0  the s e t t i n g of t h i s p l a y takes p l a c e , the c h a r a c t e r s being guests t h e r e d u r i n g s e v e r a l days. h i n t as to h i s own  T h i s gross act of K o n s t a n t i n gives a  f a t e f u l end, as d e s p i t e h i s l o v e f o r Nina  e v e n t u a l l y shoots h i m s e l f .  The audience may  might have been b e t t e r o m i t t e d .  he  f e e l t h i s tragedy  But q u i t e o f t e n Chekhov's heroes  can f i n d nothing b e t t e r t o do than shoot themselves!  I s the author's  subconscious mind somehow s a t i a t e d here i n p o r t r a y i n g such a c t i o n s , by knowing t h a t such c h a r a c t e r s a f t e r they are s h o t , are at l e a s t  189 f i n a l l y safe from the executions which came l a t e r w i t h the r e v o lution?  One  cannot  know.  and v e r y i n t u i t i v e n a t u r e . own  life.  He  He d i d possess a somewhat p r o p h e t i c Chekhov c e r t a i n l y d i d not take h i s  loved i t d e a r l y , p a s s i n g on h i s keen and  observations to h i s fellow beings. of  He  amusing  i s s a i d t o have been fonder  w r i t i n g than anything e l s e i n the world, and  usually  slipped  away t o h i s w r i t i n g desk i n the midst of s o c i a l gatherings g i v e n i n h i s home.  He,has a unique  s t y l e of humour.  I t has been a b l y  d e s c r i b e d by some c r i t i c s as " l a u g h t e r through t e a r s " .  Many of the  s i t u a t i o n s i n h i s plays and s t o r i e s are u n u s u a l l y humourous, but always i n the background t h e r e i s n o s t a l g i a ; the weeping of  Mme.  Ranevsky, the d e s p a i r of K o n s t a n t i n T r y e p l y e v , and the t r a g i c e x i t of Uncle T a n y a — s u c h s t r a i n s as these echo throughout h i s works.  With a l l the l a u g h t e r , one cannot escape the t e a r s , he  seems t o e t e r n a l l y keep reminding h i s readers and In  his l i t t l e  p l a y w i t h i n a play enacted  audiences. i n "The S e a g u l l " ,  which i s supposed t o be w r i t t e n by the author, T r e e g o r i n , and enacted i n the p l a y by Nina f o r the few guests assembled home of Z a r y e c h n y — t h e  author expresses some of the o p i n i o n s he  e n v i s i o n s i n the world t o come a f t e r many thousand lapsed and at  a t the  of years have  "the sad c y c l e " has been a c c o m p l i s h e d — e v e r y t h i n g  l a s t become p e t r i f i e d !  The  has  speaker t r i e s t o u n r a v e l the  m y s t e r i e s of e t e r n i t y — a n d f e e l s that a f t e r a l l human l i f e  has  ceased from t h i s e a r t h t h e r e w i l l s t i l l be, what i s d e s c r i b e d as e t e r n a l matter expressed  i n rock and  petrified  substance.  She  v o i c e s the author's b e l i e f t h a t a common u n i v e r s a l s o u l must l i v e  '  190 on and  on i n some mysterious shape.  These surmisings do not  make a great d e a l of sense, hut the audience g e n e r a l l y i s and  d i v e r t e d with t h e i r a b s t r a c t  eternal S p i r i t ,  but  ideas.  No mention i s made o f an  r a t h e r "the d e v i l " , who i s d e s c r i b e d  f a t h e r of e t e r n a l matter", i s the c h a r a c t e r of the  guests,  f i n d s most  Yifhen Dr. Dorn, a r a t h e r unlovable has  Konstantin  reader p o n d e r s — d o e s the having shot h i m s e l f ?  been so much p l e a s a n t e r  but  practical  play end  The end,  f o r the audience.  only  p o s s i b l e from the realistically  But  Chekhov, here revolutionary  S t a r k tragedy r e s u l t e d f o r many i n the years j u s t  ing  h i s death.  for  persons of K o n s t a n t i n ' s type, who had  follow-  F a t a l shots rang out many times i n d e e d , e s p e c i a l l y  Chekhov's plays the realistic  in  i t seems, could have  a g a i n , re-echoes r e a l i s t i c a l l y h i s n o s t a l g i c and moods.  con-  shot h i m s e l f — h i s  wish i s t o remove h i s mother as q u i c k l y as The  "the  t h a t , Dr. Dorn, one  guests resume t h e i r t r i v i a l  character, r e a l i z e s that Konstantin  scene.  as,  realistic.  A f t e r the p l a y , the versations.  pleased  element of tragedy i s r e g r e t t a b l e , but  i n the l i g h t  d i r e c t l y followed.  His  of the era i n which he l i v e d , and  through the medium of h i s s e n s i t i v e  remains  t h a t which  s e n s i t i v e s o u l , u n f e t t e r e d , caught  sombre warnings of the f u t u r e , and  A f t e r "The  become n ' e r - d o - w e l l s . I n  the  breathed them unknowingly pen.  Cherry Orchard" (1903), and  "The  Seagull"  (1900), Chekhov's bestknown p l a y i s "Uncle Vanya" (1895) which was  first  w r i t t e n as "The  f o u r a c t s , but  Wood Demon".  This play i s a comedy i n  the ending i s h a r d l y c o m i c a l , and  there  i s much  191 food f o r s e r i o u s thought  throughout  i t s discourse.  Here a g a i n  the c h a r a c t e r s a r e s i m i l a r t o those i n both "Cherry Orchard" and "Seagull".  They are the same s e n s i t i v e persons  o f the R u s s i a n  i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , most of them c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y wearied  and bewildered by the u n p r e d i c t a b l e and everchanging  times i n which they  lived.  Chekhov's many s t o r i e s r u n i n t o t h e hundreds, and have been e d i t e d i n nine volumes. to E n g l i s h ares  Among the best known t r a n s l a t e d i n -  (I896), "The  "The B l a c k Monk" (1894), "My L i f e "  House with the Mezzanine" (1896), "Typhus" (1887),  "Gooseberries"  (1898), "In E x i l e " (1892), "The Lady w i t h the Toy Dog" (I898), "Goussiev"  (1890), "A Moscow Hamlet" (1888), " S c h u l z " (1896-97),  " L i f e i s Wonderful"  (1885) and " A F a i r y T a l e " (1890).  Perhaps  Chekhov's g r e a t e s t n o v e l o f the l a s t p e r i o d of h i s l i f e known as "The Steppe".  I t c h i e f l y concerns h i s v i s i t  i s that  t o the  Ukraine i n 1888, and i s a l s o known as "The S t o r y o f a Journey". S t r i c t l y speaking i t belongs  t o the group o f d e s c r i p t i v e n a r r a -  t i o n s , r a t h e r than t h e n o v e l s . plot. to  I t i s Chekhov's marvelous impressions d u r i n g h i s v i s i t  the U k r a i n e .  felt  T h i s work a c t u a l l y c o n t a i n s no  He w o n d e r f u l l y d e s c r i b e s the s u b t l e beauty he  i n the R u s s i a n steppe-land p a r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g the summer  evenings. realistic  These d e s c r i p t i o n s a r e r a r e i n the realm o f a l l literature.  They a r e n a r r a t e d with such v i v i d n e s s and  t h e i r moods become so h a u n t i n g l y r e a l i s t i c , t h a t one f e e l s a c t u a l l y t r a n s p o r t e d both i n body and s o u l t o the scenes  describeds  192 "More and-more f r e q u e n t l y i n t h e midst of t h e monotonous c r a c k l e , d i s t r u b l n g t h e motionless a i r , someones a s t o n i s h i n g "Ah! ah!" ( i s heard,) and one can hear t h e c r y o f a r a v i n g b i r d , which has not yet f a l l e n a s l e e p * Broad shadows come and go on the p l a i n s , l i k e clouds on t h e sky, and i n t h e incomp r e h e n s i b l e d i s t a n c e , i f you look a t i t f o r a long time,., t h e r e a r i s e and p i l e up foggy and f a n t a s t i c images. You go on an hour o r two. There t u r n s up on your way a s i l e n t , a n c i e n t grave, or stone woman, n o i s e l e s s l y t h e r e f l i e s over t h e e a r t h the n i g h t b i r d . And then i n t h e c r a c k l e of i n s e c t s , i n t h e s u s p i c i o u s f i g u r e s and graves, i n t h e l i g h t blue s k y , i n t h e l i g h t o f t h e moon, and t h e f l i g h t of t h e n i g h t b i r d , i n e v e r y t h i n g you see and hear, seems t o appear t h e triumph o f beauty, youth, and f l o w e r i n g o f s t r e n g t h and a passionate t h i r s t o f l i f e . " 9 7 Chekhov caught t h e s p i r i t tion—that  o f the Russian  o f t h e mood o f h i s genera-  intelligentsia  l u t i o n , as few a r t i s t s have portrayed  a mood i n any language.  An a p p r e c i a t i o n of t h i s f a c t i s witnessed f a c t t h a t i n t h e present and t h e d r a m a t i z a t i o n  and  p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the  day S o v i e t Union "The Cherry  Orchard"  o f other Chekhov's plays and s t o r i e s a r e  s t i l l among t h e most popular Moscow A r t Theatre.  j u s t b e f o r e t h e revo-  i n t h e r e p e r t o i r e o f t h e great  Regimes of one kind or another may come  go, but t h e music o f t h e s o u l and t h e n o s t a l g i c longings  glimpsed  i n the r e a l i s t i c plays and s t o r i e s of Anton Chekhov  must remain unchanged, as l o n g as men and women a r e s e n s i t i v e t o t h e beauty and pathos of l i f e around them.  97 Chekhov, Anton, "The Steppe" o r "The S t o r y of A Journey", t r . by author, R u s s i a n Prose.XIX Century W r i t e r s , ed. S. Konovalov, and S. F e e l e y , Oxford, B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1946, p. 47.  5.  CHEKHOV'S AMAZING GRASP OF REALISM TO  THE  LAST OF HIS CAREER. Anton Chekhov undoubtedly remained realistic He was  a great w r i t e r of  plays and s t o r i e s u n t i l h i s untimely death i n  1904.  ever fond of and s e a r c h i n g out the- t r u t h about human  beings and n a t u r e .  I t was  a great tragedy t h a t h i s death came  so soon a f t e r h i s happy marriage t o Olga K n i p p e r , an a c t r e s s of the Moscow A r t Theatres "Chekhov's wedding t o Olga Knipper took p l a c e on F r i d a y , May 25th, 1901, i n a s m a l l Moscow church i n the presence of o n l y f o u r w i t n e s s e s , two of them Olga Knipper's uncle and b r o t h e r . None of Chekhov's f a m i l y was p r e s e n t . H i s brother Ivan had been t o see him a few hours b e f o r e the wedding, but. he d i d not t e l l him a n y t h i n g about i t . And he made sure t h a t none of h i s numerous f r i e n d s turned up a t h i s wedding by a r r a n g i n g w i t h Vishnevsky to i n v i t e them a l l t o a s p e c i a l luncheon. While they were a l l w a i t i n g and wondering what the idea of the luncheon was, Chekhov and Olga Knipper got m a r r i e d , and, a f t e r paying a v i s i t t o Olga's mother, took a t r a i n to Nizhny-Novgorod, where they went t o see Gorky, who was under house a r r e s t a t the time. From Nizhny-Novgorod they went by boat t o Ufa and from t h e r e by coach t o the sanatorium at Axenovo, where they spent t h e i r honeymoon. 'In Axenovo', Olga Knipper w r i t e s , 'Chekhov l i k e d the c o u n t r y s i d e , the l o n g shadows on the steppe a f t e r s i x o ' c l o c k , the s n o r t i n g of the horses i n the droves, the f l o r a , the r i v e r Dema t o 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 e v e r y t h i n g t h e r e was r a t h e r p r i m i t i v e and uncomfortable. At f i r s t Chekhov l i k e d the 'kumys', but soon he got t i r e d of i t and a f t e r s i x weeks we r e t u r n e d t o Y a l t a ' . Chekhov loved t o s i t on the steps of t h e i r Axenovo bungalow and watch the sunset, the d i s t a n t h i l l s and the wide s t e p p e .  194 They returned t o Y a l t a a t the beginning o f J u l y . Soon Olga Knipper l e f t f o r Moscow, where the r e h e r s a l s a t the Moscow Art Theatre were due t o b e g i n on August 20th- and Chekhov j o i n e d her t h e r e on Septem-  ber  16th."?  8  Chekhov was anxious t h a t h i s wife's marriage  should not i n any  way  impede her c a r e e r , and he o f t e n went t o the t h e a t r e w i t h her  for  rehearsals.  while watching  He i s s a i d t o have been e x p e c i a l l y f a s c i n a t e d  the a c t o r s and a c t r e s s e s put on t h e i r makeup!  H i s wife was always e x h o r t i n g him t o w r i t e , and not t o l e t h i s talent  l i e dormant.  He f i n i s h e d  "The Bishop" i n F e b r u a r y ,  and wrote h i s l a s t s t o r y , "The Bethrothed"  i n October  1902,  o f the  same y e a r . In June, 1904 he was ordered t o Badenweiler B l a c k F o r e s t as a l a s t r e s o r t t o g a i n h i s h e a l t h . seemed t o improve but the end came suddenly July  i n the  At f i r s t he  on the n i g h t o f  15th. "His l a s t words were: 'I'm d y i n g ' ; then i n a very low v o i c e t o the doctor i n German 'Ich s t e r b e . H i s pulse was g e t t i n g weaker. He sat doubled up on h i s bed, propped up by p i l l o w s . Suddenly, without u t t e r i n g a sound, he f e l l sideways. He was dead. His f a c e looked v e r y young, contented and almost happy. The doctor went away. .A f r e s h breeze blew i n t o t h e room, b r i n g i n g with i t t h e s m e l l of newly mown hay. The sun was r i s i n g s l o w l y from behind the woods. Outs i d e , the b i r d s began t o 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 o f a huge b l a c k moth, which was w h i r l i n g round and round the e l e c t r i c l i g h t , and by the s o f t sobbing of Olga Knipper as she leaned w i t h her head a g a i n s t Chekhov's body."100 1  98 David Magarshack, Chekhov: A L i f e . New York, Grove P r e s s , R e p r i n t e d as an Evergreen Book, 1955, p. 360. 100  I b i d . , p. 388.  195 Thus the c u r t a i n rang down q u i e t l y and s l o w l y on Chekhov's  life  as i t does on the stage a f t e r one of h i s i n s p i r i n g  From  plays.  then on he must be remembered i n the " l a u g h t e r and t e a r s " he has brought h i s c o u n t l e s s r e a d e r s .  He would r a t h e r they remembered  him i n h i s happy roamings of an enchanged evening over the b e a u t i ful  steppe-land—humming  and b u r s t i n g with l i f e .  no mourning or muffled f u n e r a l drums. r e a l i s t i c a l l y about i t t o the l a s t .  He would have  He loved l i f e and wrote  196  CHAPTER V I I I RE A. LI SM AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WRITING OF MAXIM GORKI  (1868-1936)  1.  B r i e f Sketch  2.  A C h i l d of the R e v o l u t i o n  3.  Gorki's Innate Longing f o r a F a i t h i n h i s EarlyDays, and the Amazing Genius of h i s E a r l y R e a l i s t i c Short S t o r i e s  4.  Gorki's L a t e r W o r k s — C o n c e n t r a t e d on a Theme D i f f i c u l t t o G r a s p — H i s F a i t h Grown i n t o "The Quest of God"  5*.  Gorki's Part i n the Russian Revolution  o f the L i f e o f G o r k i  Theatre A f t e r the  197 1.  BRIEF SKETCH OF THE  LIFE OF GORKI  "Opening the book a t random, I read the words: "A land unappointed t h a t s h a l l produce a n o u r i s h e r of humanity, a being t h a t s h a l l put f o r t h the bounty of h i s hand to feed every c r e a t u r e . " "A, nourisher of humanity". B e f o r e my,eyes t h a t " n o u r i s h e r " l a y outspread, a n o u r i s h e r o v e r l a i d w i t h d r y and f r a g r a n t herbage. As I gazed, i n the haze of a v i s i o n , upon that n o u r i s h e r ' s dark and e n i g m a t i c a l f a c e , I saw a l s o the thousands of men who have seamed t h i s e a r t h w i t h furrows, t o the end t h a t dead t h i n g s should become t h i n g s of l i f e . " "Nay,  and never would t h i s man  rise  again?"  —Maxim  Gorki  "Maxim Gorky (pseudonym of A. M. Pshkov, 18681936) had a t r u l y wonderful c a r e e r . He was not yet t h i r t y when he became the most popular w r i t e r and the most d i s c u s s e d man i n R u s s i a . A f t e r a p e r i o d of d a z z l i n g c e l e b r i t y , d u r i n g which he was c u r r e n t l y placed by the s i d e . o f T o l s t o y and unquestionably above Chekhov, h i s fame s u f f e r e d an e c l i p s e , and he was almost f o r g o t t e n by the R u s s i a n educated c l a s s e s . Gorky has t o l d us the s t o r y of h i s "Childhood" and drawn u n f o r g e t t a b l e p o r t r a i t s of h i s c l o s e and harsh grandfather and of h i s charming, b e a u t y - l o v i n g , and kind grandmother. H i s grandfather sent him out i n t o the world t o earn h i s bread, and f o r more than ten years he made the acquaintance of every c o n c e i v a b l e kind of drudgery. At f i f t e e n Gorky t r i e d t o get i n t o a s c h o o l a t Kazan, "but a s " , he s a y s , " I t was not the f a s h i o n t o g i v e e d u c a t i o n f o r n o t h i n g , " he did not succeed i n the attempt. In Kazan he came i n t o contact w i t h students who sowed i n him the seeds of h i s f u t u r e r e v o l u t i o n i s m , and he became f a m i l i a r w i t h the l i f e of those "ex-people" who were t o become h i s s t e p p i n g stone to c e l e b r i t y . Leaving Kazan, he moved from place t o place over the whole of s o u t h e a s t ern and southern R u s s i a , t a k i n g odd j o b s , working h a r d , and o f t e n remaining without work. He soon l e f t h i s work and a g a i n went wandering over R u s s i a . During these wanderings he began t o w r i t e . In the f o l l o w i n g years he continued w r i t i n g f o r the p r o v i n c i a l press and was soon a b l e t o r e l y on h i s l i t e r a r y work f o r a l i v e l i h o o d . But i t was not t i l l 1895 t h a t he d e f i n i t e l y entered i n t o the " b i g - l i t e r a t u r e " , when Korolenko  198 had one of h i s s t o r i e s "Chelkash" p r i n t e d i n the i n f l u e n t i a l monthly "Russkoye bogatstvo". Though he continued working f o r the p r o v i n c i a l p r e s s , he was now a welcome guest i n the Petersburg magazines. In I898 h i s s t o r i e s came out i n book form (two volumes). T h e i r success was tremendous and, f o r a R u s s i a n 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 w r i t e r of h i s c o u n t r y . From t h i s date to the F i r s t R e v o l u t i o n , Gorky was, next to T o l s t o y , the f i g u r e i n R u s s i a that aroused the greatest p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . Interviews and p o r t r a i t s of him flooded the p r e s s , and everyone thought i t h i s duty t o have a l o o k a t h i s person. I n t e r n a t i o n a l fame was not slow t o f o l l o w . In P e t e r s b u r g , Gorky came i n c o n t a c t w i t h the M a r x i s t s and became h i m s e l f a M a r x i s t and a S o c i a l Democrat. I t was a l s o f o r a poem by Gorky t h a t the review was suppressed. This poem was the "Song of the P e t r e l " ! the R u s s i a n name f o r " P e t r e l " means storm messenger, and the "Song" was a v e r y t r a n s p a r e n t a l l e g o r y of the coming R e v o l u t i o n a r y storm. I t was easy t o become a martyr i n Russia about 1900, and Gorky was very soon a r r e s t e d and banished t o Nizhny. In 1902 he was e l e c t e d an honorary member of the I m p e r i a l academy of S c i e n c e . This was an unprecedented act i n regard to a w r i t e r 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 R e v o l u t i o n . In January 1905 he was a r r e s t e d f o r t a k i n g part i n the F i r s t R e v o l u t i o n . In January 1905 he was a r r e s t e d f o r t a k i n g part i n a p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the "9th of January", and h i s a r r e s t became the cause f o r world-wide demonstrations i n h i s f a v o r . In 1906 he l e f t Russia f o r the U n i t e d S t a t e s . His journey through F i n l a n d and Scandinavia was a t r i u m p h a l p r o c e s s i o n . H i s a r r i v a l i n New York was e q u a l l y triumphant. On h i s r e t u r n t o Europe he s e t t l e d i n C a p r i , where he remained t i l l s h o r t l y b e f o r e the f i r s t World War, and where he became immensely popular with the n a t i v e s . H i s I t a l i a n p o p u l a r i t y was i n c r e a s e d by the a c t i v e part he took i n the r e l i e f work a f t e r the t e r r i b l e "Messian" c a t a s t r o p h e . 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 h i s support to h i s o l d  199 f r i e n d s the B o l s h e v i k s . But t h i s support was q u i t e u n c o n d i t i o n a l , and though the balance of Gorky's i n f l u e n c e was i n favour of L e n i n and h i s p o l i c y , he d i d not t h i s time i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f w i t h the p a r t y , but r a t h e r t r i e d t o assume the r o l e of a non-party umpire and champion of peace and c u l t u r e . The debt of R u s s i a n c u l t u r e to him i s v e r y g r e a t . E v e r y t h i n g that was done between 1917 and 1921 to save the w r i t e r s and other higher i n t e l l e c t u a l s from s t a r v a t i o n was due to Gorky. This was c h i e f l y a r r i v e d at by a whole system of c e n t r a l i z e d l i t e r a r y e s t a b l i s h ments where poets and n o v e l i s t s were set t o work at translations. ' In 1921 Gorky l e f t R u s s i a and s e t t l e d i n Germany. In 1924 he moved to S o r r e n t o , i n I t a l y , r e t u r n i n g to the Soviet Union i n 1928 f o r the c e l e b r a t i o n of h i s s i x t i e t h birthday. The f o l l o w i n g year he returned f o r good as the unquestioned dean of Soviet l e t t e r s , l a b o r i n g i n d e f a t i g a b l y f o r 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 w r i t e r s . He a l s o became an ardent a p o l o g i s t f o r the S t a l i n i s t regime, and h i s death i n 1936 was according to the a l l e g a t i o n s of Prosecutor Y y s h i n s k y two years l a t e r , the r e s u l t of a T r o t s k y i t e p l o t . " 1 0 1  101 D.S. M i r s k i , k H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, pp. 376, 380.  New  York  200  2. In  A CHILD OF THE REVOLUTION  the works of Maxim Gorki the R u s s i a n r e v o l u t i o n  r e a l l y comes t o l i f e .  He was  i n every sense a t r u e c h i l d  of  the R e v o l u t i o n .  During h i s e a r l i e r years he was  subjected to  a b j e c t poverty.  He experienced the s o u l - s e a r c h i n g e x i g e n c i e s  that o f t e n develop Marxian t e n d e n c i e s ; although Gorki was a r e a l B o l s h e v i k of the c r u e l t y p e .  never  His l i t e r a r y works are  w r i t t e n with great s k i l l from h i s e a r l i e s t e f f o r t s t o h i s more mature and voluminous t e x t s .  The reasons which brought  about  the R e v o l u t i o n are keenly and r e a l i s t i c a l l y portrayed i n Gorki's w r i t i n g s , and yet they never become e n t i r e l y b r u t a l .  Gorki  witnessed such d r e a d f u l examples of b r u t a l i t y a l l through h i s life  from i n f a n c y and was  experiences.  somewhat subdued as a r e s u l t of these  He b e l i e v e d r i g h t l y i n the cause behind the Revo-  l u t i o n and he knew the p r i v a t i o n s which kept the regime of Czar Nicholas II i n t a c t . his  Often he was  s t o r i e s give accounts  the v i c t i m of d i r e poverty and  of s t a r v a t i o n , b l e a k s u f f e r i n g  the inhuman c o n d i t i o n s under which many persons compelled  and  of h i s time were  t o eke out t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . Gorki l i v e d t o witness the R e v o l u t i o n .  author commented on i n t h i s s e r i e s who great upheaval t h a t took place i n 1917t r a n s i t i o n i n the  He was  the  first  a c t u a l l y experienced the Here i n the most g i g a n t i c  h i s t o r y of the Russian people the reader f i n d s  Gorki b e l i e v i n g i n the s p i r i t  of i t a l l , but not i n many of the  methods of c o l d s t e e l t h a t made up part of the sum and t o t a l of  201 Bolshevism. to  Gorki t r i e d v a l i a n t l y towards t h e end of h i s l i f e  l e a d t h e R e v o l u t i o n a r i e s I n the great t r a d i t i o n s o f R u s s i a n  l i t e r a t u r e , but a t l e n g t h some a n t a g o n i s t i c c l i q u e i s thought to  have s n u f f e d out h i s l i f e  menial to  i n 1936.  jobs he gained a l i t t l e  A f t e r working i n many  business t r a i n i n g , and was a b l e  work as s e c r e t a r y i n a lawyer's  office.  Here h i s l i t e r a r y  t a l e n t was noted, and soon a f t e r he began t o p u b l i s h h i s f i r s t short s t o r i e s , which s t i l l remain among h i s o u t s t a n d i n g butions t o R u s s i a n r e a l i s t i c  literature.  contri-  Some o f h i s longer  novels w i l l never be read e x t e n s i v e l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h i s country.  Characters such as K l i m Samgin would h a r d l y make a  r e a l i s t i c appeal t o readers I n contemporary North American civilization.  Such w r i t i n g made a l t o g e t h e r a quest  standpoint of s p i r i t u a l l i f e , Russian  from the  p o l i t i c s , and economics i n t h e  s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e of t h a t t i m e , which were so removed  from Western i d e a l s and background, t h a t they seem t e d i o u s and o f t e n meaningless t o our r e a d e r s . and h i s play,."Mother",  However Gorki's s h o r t s t o r i e s  which d e s c r i b e s a p a t h e t i c f a c e t o f t h e  r e v o l u t i o n very r e a l i s t i c a l l y , i s l i k e l y always t o be read and a p p r e c i a t e d by s e n s i t i v e and s e a r c h i n g readers of any tongue. G o r k i ' s most famous s h o r t s t o r i e s a r e w r i t t e n around little  i n c i d e n t s i n which he h i m s e l f took p a r t , or was t h e  observer  of i n h i s e a r l y youth.  They have a f r e s h n e s s and charm  t h a t i s t y p i c a l of r e a l i s t i c R u s s i a n w r i t i n g . days Gorki seems t o have experienced  I n h i s younger  an i n n a t e s p i r i t u a l l o n g i n g ,  202 which he could not q u i t e understand.  T h i s q u a l i t y may  i n h e r i t e d from h i s maternal grandmother, who p e r s o n — m a r v e l o u s l y courageous—one rending meagre c o n d i t i o n s . her daughter and l i t t l e  who  was  have been  an unusual  made the best of h e a r t -  U n t i l her death she kept encouraging  grandson, who  had been so s a d l y bereaved  by the l o s s of t h e i r beloved husband and  father.  203 3.  GORKI'S INNATE LONGING FOR  EARLY DAYS, AND  THE  A FAITH IN  HIS  AMAZING GENIUS OF HIS EARLY  REALISTIC SHORT STORIES Gorki's i n n a t e l o n g i n g f o r an understanding u a l t r u t h i s expressed Man".  i n h i s remarkable  This s t o r y i s an account  of  spirit-  short s t o r y , "The Dead  of h i s youthful.wanderings,  tramp over the R u s s i a n c o u n t r y s i d e .  He  as a  stops t o beg a morsel of  bread at a hut, only t o f i n d t h a t the old man  there has d i e d , and  the poor o l d woman and those w i t h her ask i f he w i l l be kind enough to read a prayer over the corpse of the deceased  before  burial.  He complies with the r e q u e s t , a l t h o u g h he f i n d s the book handed to him i s not the u s u a l prayer book, but i n s t e a d a grammar of the Church-Slavonic d i a l e c t I  J u s t as he i s about t o pronounce  some kind of a b e n e d i c t i o n on the one about t o be l a i d t o r e s t , the h a l f - i n t o x i c a t e d more p r o f e s s i o n a l l y .  p r i e s t a r r i v e s and He  proceeds  with the s e r v i c e  l e a r n s from the o l d woman t h a t t h i s  p r i e s t has f o r years been the v i c t i m of drunkenness, due t o g r i e f caused  by s t o r i e s c i r c u l a t e d about h i s w i f e .  "And, the next moment, a b u l k so l a r g e and shapel e s s t h a t i t might w e l l have been the darkness of the n i g h t embodied stumbled a g a i n s t the outer s i d e of the door, grunted, h i c c u p e d , and, l u r c h i n g head foremost i n t o the hut, grew w e l l nigh t o the c e i l i n g . Then i t waved a g i g a n t i c hand, crossed i t s e l f i n the d i r e c t i o n of the c a n d l e , and bending forward u n t i l i t s forehead almost touched the f e e t of the c o r p s e , q u e r i e d under i t s breath:  204 "How now V a s i l ? " T h e r e a f t e r the f i g u r e vented a sob, w h i l s t a s t r o n g s m e l l of vodka arose i n t h e room, and from the doorway the o l d woman s a i d i n an appealing v o i c e ! "Pray give him the book, Father Demid". "Ko indeed! Why should I ? I i n t e n d t o do t h e reading m y s e l f . " 1 0 2  The  p i c t u r e of the besotted  All  is s t i l l  p r i e s t r i s e s before one's i m a g i n a t i o n .  i n the q u i e t l i t t l e c o t t a g e , y e t along with t h e  ragged, eager young adventurer, and  the deserted  Spirit  the o l d drunken p r i e s t , the corpse,  o l d woman, one f e e l s t h a t perhaps the e t e r n a l  of God might be there t o o .  This s t o r y c r e a t e s an unusu-  a l l y q u i e t , m e d i t a t i v e , and t h o u g h t f u l mood. the genius tations. of  of the Russian  This i s part of  w r i t e r s and t h e i r r e a l i s t i c i n t e r p r e -  I n t h i s l i g h t the w r i t i n g s of Gorki deserve  the t i t l e  r e a l i s m i n every sense. ,At l e n g t h i n t h e s t o r y , he leaves  the dreary scene with the mumblings of the o l d p r i e s t echoing  i n his ears.  still  He does not take a s m a l l c o i n o f f e r e d him  by the g r i e f - s t r i k e n o l d woman, but proceeds on h i s way with o n l y a c r u s t of bread  which she has given t o him.  as the sun comes over the h i l l s ,  He i s o f f a g a i n  and Gorki ends t h i s t a l e  with  the unusual l i n e s ! "0 Thou of i n t a n g i b l e greatness Reveal now that greatness t o me! Enwrap me w i t h i n the great vestment Of l i g h t which encompasseth Thee! That, with Thy u p r i s i n g , my substance May come a l l - p r e v a i l i n g t o b e i 3 , , 1 0  102 Maxim G o r k i . Through R u s s i a ; A Book of S t o r i e s , t r . D . J . Hogarth, Everyman's L i b r a r y , No. 741, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1945, p. 270. 103 I b i d . . p. 276.  205 Other  short s t o r i e s c o n t a i n i n g the same simple r e a l i s t i c  contained  i n "The Dead Man",  which have been t r a n s l a t e d  charm into  E n g l i s h i n c l u d e s - "The Icebreaker","Gubin", " N i l u s h k a " , "On a R i v e r 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 w r i t i n g s of the l a t e r p e r i o d are more d i f f i c u l t ' f o r the Western reader t o grasp as has a l r e a d y been mentioned. Through them he weaves h i s sentiments h i s m y s t i c a l philosophy.  on the R e v o l u t i o n and  also  The novels of note which belong to the  p e r i o d 1899-1910 are "Foma Gordeyev", "Three of Them", "Okurov C i t y " , "A C o n f e s s i o n " and  "Matvey Kozhemyakin"s  "Of the l a t e r n o v e l s , "Okurov C i t y " and "A Conf e s s i o n " are b e t t e r than the o t h e r s , f i r s t of a l l because they are s h o r t e r . "A C o n f e s s i o n " i s , as f a r as about the middle, a good s t o r y of the adventures of the tramp a f t e r t r u t h , w i t h a r a p i d development of n a r r a t i v e on which t h e r e l i e s a pale and d i s t a n t (very d i s t a n t but unmistakable) r e f l e x of Leskov's n a r r a t i v e m a s t e r p i e c e , "The Enchanted Wanderer".1C4 Works of the p e r i o d a f t e r 1910  i n c l u d e t h r e e volumes of a u t o b i o -  g r a p h i c a l s e r i e s , "Childhood"  (1913), and a volume of " R e c o l l e c t -  i o n s " commenting on h i s reminiscences  of such well-known personages  as T o l s t o i , Korolenko, Chekhov, Andreyev and a D i a r y " was  published i n  others.  "Notes from  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  is a realist—a  great r e a l i s t  f i n a l l y f r e e d from a l l the s c a l e s of romance, tendency,  or dogma".  G o r k i b e l i e v e d t o the l a s t of h i s l i f e t h a t the v i r t u e s which must u l t i m a t e l y save humanity were "enlightenment,  beauty and .  104 D.S. M i r s k i , A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . New A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, p. 383.  York  207 sympathy".  I n "Notes from a D i a r y " the p a t r i o t i c Gorki  through with superb s t r e n g t h and  shines  everlasting faith i n his  country*  " O r i g i n a l i t y i s the keynote. Some of the c h a r a c t e r s are those of v e r y eminent men: two fragments are devoted t o Alexander B l o c . Memorable p o r t r a i t s are drawn of the well-known Old B e l i e v e r m i l l i o n a i r e Bugrov, who h i m s e l f used t o 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 m y s t i c a l c o r r e s pondent of V l a d i m i r S o l o v e i v . With the e x c e p t i o n of " R e c o l l e c t i o n s of T o l s t o y " , t h i s l a s t book i s perhaps the best Gorky ever wrote."10? I n the l a t t e r novels  of Gorki h i s c h a r a c t e r s are e i t h e r i n p u r s u i t  of the r e l i g i o n which became known as " b o g o s t r o i t e l s t v o " (the making of God), as c o n t r a s t e d with " B o g o i s k a t e l s t v o " (the of God).  Gorki thought i n h i s l a t t e r days t h a t the people must  r e c o n s t r u c t t h e i r own  t r u e concept  to a n c i e n t m i r a c l e s and  of God  a g a i n through a r e t u r n  the o l d f a i t h which was  rooted and  i n the devoutness of the Russian C h r i s t i a n s of the 17th and which was  subsequently  man God"  centuries.  b e t t e r by the Russians  hidden deeply i n h i s s o u l , and and  Century,  This kind of f a i t h i s  of E a s t e r n t r a d i t i o n where every  from the tramp t o the p r i v i l e g e d had  understand  grounded  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 understood  quest  some great "quest  which he was  striving  of to  unravel.  I n the West we have a t t a i n e d a b e t t e r e x p r e s s i o n of i n d i v i d u a l freedom and and  e n t e r p r i s e through our Western C h r i s t i a n i t y  p o l i t i c a l system, but we  are s t i l l behind the E a s t i n the  realm of i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i o n of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and  105 D.S. M i r s k i , .A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . New A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1949, P- 3®&.  phil-  York,  208 osophies.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y many of us here, although a b l e t o  express  o u r s e l v e s f r e e l y , have no inner s p i r i t u a l l i f e .  peoples  of t h e E a s t a r e more m e d i t a t i v e .  The  Thus Gorki d e s c r i b e s  through many hundreds of pages i n h i s longer n o v e l s , the s p i r i t ual  s t r u g g l e s and inner quests  beliefs. reader  of man i n t h e shaping  of h i s  A f t e r having read these books, the average Western  i s often l e f t  i n somewhat o f a quandary, as t o t h e exact  meaning of many of t h e terms used i n d e s c r i b i n g E a s t e r n of m y s t i c a l t h i n k i n g .  trends  209 5.  GORKI'S GREAT PART IN THE RUSSIAN THEATER AFTER THE REVOLUTION All  people who  have s t u d i e d the l i f e  know t h a t he returned t o Russia  i n 1929,  years  threw h i m s e l f  on the I s l e of C a p r i .  He  of Maxim Gorki  a f t e r l i v i n g f o r some wholeheartedly  i n t o the recovery of h i s country i n the f i e l d  of the a r t s .  the b i o g r a p h i c a l note s t a t e s at the beginning  of these  As  remarks—  he spent a l l of h i s time and energy i n t r y i n g t o encourage and s u s t a i n the a r t i s t s d u r i n g those d r e a d f u l years twenties and  t h i r t i e s i n post-Revolutionary  of the  late  Russia.  Perhaps h i s g r e a t e s t s i n g l e c o n t r i b u t i o n to the a r t s apart from h i s books was  the part he played i n the r e c o n s t r u c -  t i o n of the Moscow A r t Theatre became one  i n Moscow founded i n 1898.  of the c h i e f c o n t r i b u t o r s and  a c t o r s of the new  supporters  r e p e r t o i r e a f t e r the r e v o l u t i o n .  of the Fortunately  the B o l s h e v i k s even d u r i n g t h e i r worst purges of the l a t e t i e s under S t a l i n ' s i r o n hand s t i l l of  genius the great a r t i s t s  es, b a l l e t dancers and  He  thir-  encouraged i n t h e i r works  of the time.  Great a c t o r s , a c t r e s s -  others were paid adequate s a l a r i e s  given good l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s under which t o develop t h e i r  and talents.  Gorki c o n t r i b u t e d plays t o the R u s s i a n t h e a t r e which i n c l u d e — "Suburbans", "The and of  C h i l d r e n of the Sun",  "Vassa Zheleznova"  and  B a r b a r i a n s " , "Enemies",  a l s o acted h i m s e l f i n many productions  the famous R u s s i a n t h e a t r e .  Lower Depths" and  "The  H i s b e s t - l o v e d plays are  "Mother", which were and  "The  s t i l l are f r e q u e n t l y  210 applauded  by'.large a u d i e n c e s .  The s e t t i n g  of the l a t t e r i s  s a i d t o have been portrayed with such r e a l i s m i n the B o l s h o i Theatre t h a t members of the audience have l e f t the spell-bound and  speechless.  Theatre  Along w i t h 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 a r t s of t h i s n a t i v e l a n d , which he continued t o l o v e with a deep regard d e s p i t e the d i t i o n s , which u l t i m a t e l y brought h i s untimely death.  con-  Like  Pushkin he b e l i e v e d t h a t such c o n d i t i o n s would u l t i m a t e l y give place t o those of peace and  p r o s p e r i t y i n the experience of  the peoples of the v a s t R u s s i a n lands„  211 CONCLUSION The have expressed  great 19th Century R u s s i a n r e a l i s t i c life  just  a  s  i t appeared  t o them„  writers  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 t o these authors f o r g i v i n g the candid d e s c r i p t i o n s of R u s s i a n l i v i n g and time i n which they were w r i t t e n . portrayed i n the 19th  i d e a l s of the  The amazing trend i n w r i t i n g  Century, known as r e a l i s m , i s one which  deserves l a s t i n g p r a i s e from a l l s e r i o u s students of added t o t h e i r l i t e r a r y genius was i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of r e a l i t y .  literature,  t h e i r h e r o i c and t r a n s p a r e n t  Each of the masters  considered i n  the preceding pages c o n t r i b u t e d immeasurably t o the new and each i n h i s own  individual  trend,  way.  In Pushkin's works the t r e n d was  portrayed through h i s  immortal v e r s e , — h i s reminiscences of the Old K i e v a n Kingdom, of Poltava and  i n h i s e x h o r t a t i o n s t o f a i t h and  liberty.  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 h e r o i c adventure,  both  grim and gay.  In s i m i l a r v e i n Gogol wrote of adventures  beauteous Ukraine and wheels.  i n the  of a l l R u s s i a speeding w i l d l y on t r o i k a  R e a l i s m i s somewhat subdued i n the w r i t i n g s 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 h i s  plea f o r the unfortunate s e r f and exhorts the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n t o be t o l e r a n t w i t h the new. the p e r p l e x i n g and r e a l i s t i c  D o s t o i e v s k i presents t o the reader problems p e r t a i n i n g t o 19th  Century  212 R u s s i a n Orthodoxy, S l a v o p h i l i s m and mind.  the reasoning  T o l s t o i , considered the g r e a t e s t w r i t e r of the  group, brought h i s readers c l o s e r t o the s p i r i t truth. and  of the human  We  realistic  of C h r i s t i a n  are ever g r a t e f u l t o Chekhov f o r h i s r e a l i s t i c  plays  short s t o r i e s — h e a v y w i t h n o s t a l g i c longings f o r a passing  regime.  The w r i t i n g s of Maxim G o r k i — p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s e a r l y  s h o r t s t o r i e s , make an i n d e l i b l e i m p r e s s i o n on the reader a realistic unfailing  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of l i f e .  Always w i t h G o r k i was  search towards "enlightenment,  beauty and  seeking the  sympathy"  even under the most p a t h e t i c and d i f f i c u l t c o n d i t i o n s .  i d e a l was  Through the w r i t i n g of a l l these authors the  realistic  adhered t o , g i v i n g t h e i r works a v i t a l i t y and  realness  unknown before i n the world  of w r i t i n g .  T h e i r t o r c h , although  i n some measure dimmed, has not been e x t i n g u i s h e d . w r i t e r s of to-morrow c a r r y i t proudly, and even greater r a d i a n c e .  May  Russian  f a n i t s flame i n t o  an  213  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin  Books by: The Poems, Prose and Plays of Pushkin, e d i t e d by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, ( t r s . by Babette Deutsch, Thomas B. Shaw, Max Eastman, O l i v e r E l t o n , A l f r e d Hayes, T. Keane and N a t a l i e Duddington), New York, Random House I n c . , 1936. R u s s i a n Poets and Poems, t r . Mme.  N. J a r i n t z o v , Oxford,  1917*  E x t r a c t s from 'Boris Godunuff' and 'Evgeny Onyegin', t r . w i t h b i o g r a p h i c a l and c r i t i c a l essay by I s a b e l F. Hapgood, Warner's L i b r a r y of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 1190411924. Marie:a s t o r y of R u s s i a n l o v e , t r . Marie d e Z i e l i n s k a , Chicago, McClurg, 1888. (Published 1846 u n d e r . t i t l e : The Captain's Daughter). Tales  of the l a t e Ivan P e t r o v i c h B e l k i n . ed* B.O. Unbegaun, Oxford, B. B l a c k w e l l , 1947. (General e d i t o r s : S . Konovalov)  Books about: Pushkin. A Biography. H e n r i T r o y a t , t r . Randolf T, Weaver, York, Pantheon, 1950.  New  Warner's L i b r a r y of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , Comment-on Pushkin by I s a b e l 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 R u s s i a n poet. A. S. Pushkin. Moscow, The U.S.S.R. S o c i e t y f o r c u l t u r a l r e l a t i o n s with f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s , 1939. Pushkin, P r i n c e D. S. M i r s k i , London, C-. Routledge and Sons L t d . , New York, E . P. Dutton & Co., 1926.  214  M i c h a e l Y u r i e v i c h Lermontov  Boobs by: A Hero o f Our Time. Moscow, F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i s h i n g House, 195T.  A Hero o f Our Own Times, t r . Eden and Cedar P a u l f o r t h e Lermont o f f C e n t e n a r y , London (1914)? George a l i e n f: Unwin L t d . , 1940. G e r o i Nashego Vremeni. New Y o r k , 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 , E y r e and S p o t t i s w o o d e L t d . ( P u b l i s h e d by t h e S c h o o l o f S l a v o n i c S t u d i e s i n t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f London, K i n g ' s C o l l e g e ) . P u s h k i n , Lermontov, Tyutchev:Poems, Stephan S c h i m a n s k i , t r . V l a d i m i r , London., L i n d s a y Drummond, 1947. Books a b o u t : 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 E s s a y . V. B u r e n i n , S. P e t e r s b u r g , A. S. S y v o r e n a , 1888. Lermontov, M i l h a i l U r ' e v i c h . (Polnoe s o b r a n i e s o c h i n e n i i ) o f M. Y. L e r m o n t o v — C a o b o , 1921.  N i k o l a i V a s i l i e v i c h Gogol  Books by: Dead S o u l s , t r . The Modern L i b r a r y , New Y o r k , Random House, 1936. Dead S o u l s , t r . George Reavey, London, Hamish H a m i l t o n , 1948. (The N o v e l L i b r a r y ) Taras B u l b a and Other T a l e s , 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 Y o r k , E. P. D u t t o n & Co. I n c . , 1952.  215  Taras Bulba;a t a l e of the Cossacks, t r . I s a b e l F. Hapgood w i t h an i n t r o d . , New York, Knopf, 1929. Migorod, c o n t a i n i n g Old-World Landowners, Taras B u l b a . V i y , Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan N i k i f o r o v i t c h t r . Constance G a r n e t t , London, Chatto & Windus, 192b. T  1926.  Evenings On a Farm Near Dikanka, t r . A. A. Knopf.New York,  The Government I n s p e c t o r , and Other P l a y s , t r . Constance G a r n e t t , London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. The Mantle, and Other S t o r i e s , t r . Claud F i e l d and w i t h an i n t r o d . on Gogol by Prosper Merimee, London, T. Werner L a u r i e L t d . ,  1916.  S t . John's Eve and Other S t o r i e s from"Evenings a t the Farm", and " S t . Petersburg S t o r i e s " , t r . I s a b e l F. Hapgood, Thomas Y. C r o w e l l & Co., New York, 1886. Books about; N i k o l a i Gogol, V a l d i m i r Nabokov, N o r f o l k , Conn., (New Books), 1944.  Directions  Ivan S e r g e y e v i c h Turgenev  Books by; F a t h e r s and Sons, t r . Constance Garnett, The Modern L i b r a r y , York, Random House, w i t h an i n t r o d . by Thomas S e l t z e r , Rudin, ed. with intr.od. Galina S t i l m a n , New Press, 1955.  York, Columbia  New 1952.  U.  V i r g i n S o i l , t r . Constance G a r n e t t , New York, London, The M a c M i l l a n Co., 1917On the Eve;a t a l e , t r . C. E . Turner, London, Hodder & Stoughton,  TB7T.  The Novels and S t o r i e s of Ivan T u r g e n i e f f (Sportsman's Sketches and other important works), t r . I s a b e l F. Hapgood, with an i n t r o d . Henry James, New York, C. S c r i b n e r ' s Sons, 1903-04.  216 Books about: Turgenev:A L i f e , David Magarshack, London, Faber and Faber, 1954. Turgenev«, the man, h i s a r t , and h i s age, Avrahm London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1926.  Yarmolinsky,  Warner's L i b r a r y of World's Best L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 15057-15130 (on Turgenev).  Feodor M i k h a i l o v i c h D o s t o i e v s k i  Books by: The Possessed, t r . Constance Garnett w i t h a forword by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, The Modern L i b r a r y , New York, Random House,  1936.  The B r o t h e r s Karamasov, t r . Constance Garnett, Modern L i b r a r y , New York, Random House, 1950. Crime and Punishment:A Novel i n S i x P a r t s and an E p i l o g u e , t r . J e s s i e Coulson, New York, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ,  1953.  The Short Novels of D o s t o i e v s k y , t r . Constance Garnett, New'.'.York, D i a l P r e s s , 1951. The  I n s u l t e d and In.iured, a n o v e l i n f o u r p a r t s and an e p i l o g u e , t r . Constance Garnett, New York, The MacMillan Co., .1915.  The D i a r y of a W r i t e r , t r . and an. B o r i s B r a s o l , New York, C h a r l e s S c r i b n e r , 1949. Notes from Underground, ed. C h a r l e s Neider (Short s t o r i e s of the masters, ed* w i t h an i n t r o d . C. N e i d e r ) , New York, R i n e h a r t & Co., 1948, White N i g h t s , and other s t o r i e s , t r . Constance Garnett, New Y o r k , . xne m a c M l l a n C 6 . , ± 9 1 8 . —  217 Books about: Dostoyevsky. S t a n i s l a w Mackiewicz, London, O r M s , 1947. F i r e b r a n d : t h e L i f e of Dostoyevsky. H e n r i T r o y a t , New York, Roy P u b l i s h e r s , 1946. D o s t o y e v s k y — A n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . N i k o l a i ' A . B e r d i a e v , t r . Donald Attwater, London, Sheed & Vferd I n c . , 1934. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A Study. Aimee Dostoyevsky, New Haven, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1922. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: i n s i g h t , f a i t h and prophecy, t r . R i c h a r d and C l a r a Winston, New York, S c r i b n e r , 1950. Dostoyevsky and h i s i n f l u e n c e on the philosophy of N i k o l a i B e r d i a e v . David Arthur P r i c e , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953.  Leo N i k o l a e v i c h  Tolstoi  Books by: Master and Man and other P a r a b l e s and T a l e s . Everyman's L i b r a r y , ed. Ernest Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York, E . P. Dutton & Co.,.1911. War  and Peace, t r . L o u i s e and Aylmer Maude, New York, Simon and S c h u s t e r , 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 P r i s o n e r of the Caucasus, R e c o l l e c t i o n s of S e v a s t o p o l , Three D e a t h s ) , 1887., Anna K a r e n i n . t r . w i t h i n t r o d . R. Edmonds, London, Penguin Books, 1954. C h i l d h o o d . Boyhood and Youth. Count Leo T o l s t o y , London, J . M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York, E . P. Dutton & Co., 1912. Nine S t o r i e s , 1855-63. t r . L o u i s e & Alymer Maude, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , London. The l e t t e r s of T o l s t o y and h i s c o u s i n Countess Alexandra T o l s t o y (1857-1903), t r . Leo I s l a v i n , London, Methuen & Co., 1929.  218 Books abouts T o l s t o y As I Knew Him, t r . B o r i s Igor and o t h e r s , Tatyana A, Kuzminzkaya, New York, The M a c M i l l a n Co., 1948. Leo T o l s t o y . The Grand Mujik, G. H. P e r r i s , I898.  Anton P a v l o v i c h Chekhov  Books bys Chekhov, Plays & S t o r i e s , t r . S. S. K o t e l i a n s k y , Everyman's L i b r a r y , New York, E . P. Dutton & Co. I n c . , London, J . M<> Dent & Sons. L t d . , 1942. The Beggar, and other s t o r i e s s e l e c t e d by J . I . Rodaie I e l u s , Geo. W. R i c k e y , Emmaus, Pa., ( S t o r y C l a s s i c s ) , 1949. The B e t , and other s t o r i e s , t r . S. K o t e l i a n s k y & J . M. Murray, New New York, John W. Luce & Co., 19l5<> The B l a c k Monk, and other s t o r i e s , t r . Constance York, The MacMillan Co., 1919»  G a r n e t t , New  The Seagull« as produced by K o n s t a n t i n Sergeyevich S t a n i s l a v s k i i , p r o d u c t i o n score f o r Moscow A r t Theatre by K. 8. S t a n i s l a v s k y , e d i t e d with an i n t r o d . by S. D. Balukhaty, t r . David Magarshack, New York, Theatre A r t s Books, 1952. The Cherry Orchard and other p l a y s , t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 1946^ (The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, The Seagull,The Bear, t h e P r o p o s a l ) . The L e t t e r s of Anton P a v l o v i t c h Chekhov t o Olga Leonardovna K n i p p e r , t r . Constance Garnett, London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. Nine Humorous T a l e s , t r . I s s a c Goldberg & Henry T. S c h n i t t k i n d , 2nd. ed. (rev.) Boston, The S t r a t f o r d Co., 1918. The Wood Demonsa comedy I n f o u r a c t s , t r . S.S. K o t e t i a n s k y , London, Chatto & Windus, 1926. My L i f e i n The R u s s i a n Theatre, t r . John Cowmos, London, Geoffrey B l e s , 1937.  219 Books about; Chekhov; a l i f e . David Magarshack, New York, Grove P r e s s , R e p r i n t e d as an Evergreen Book, 1955« Chekhov, a b i o g r a p h i c a l and c r i t i c a l study . George A l l e n & Unwin L t d . , London, 19?0«  Maxim G o r k i  Books by; Through R u s s i a ; A Book of S t o r i e s , t r . D. J . Hogarth, Everyman's L i b r a r y , No. 741, London, J..M. Dent & Sons L t d . , New York • E.P. Dutton & Co., I n c . , 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 t h a t Once were Men, t r . J . M. S h i r a z i and others w i t h i n t r o d . G. K. C h e s t e r t o n , Modern L i b r a r y , New York, Random House, 1952. C u l t u r e and the People. I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s , New York,  1939.  Decadence., t r . V e r o n i c a Dewey, New York, R. M.McBride & Co.,  1927.  Foma Gordyeeff, t r . I s a b e l F. Hapgood, New York, S c r i b n e r ' s ,  1901.  Fragments from My D i a r y . Maxim G o r k i , London, P. A l l a n & Co.,1924. Mother; w i t h 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 P u b l i c a t i o n s ,  1946.  S e l e c t e d Works. Moscow, F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i c a t i o n s House,  1948.  220 GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY  195$.  V i s s a r i o n B e l i n s k i . H. E. Bowman, Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . D. S. M i r s k i , New A. Knopf, 1949.  York, A l f r e d  R u s s i a n F o l k l o r e . Academician Y. M. Sokolov, ( t r . C a t h a r i n e Ruth S m i t h ) , New York, The M a c M i l l a n Co., 1950. A H i s t o r y of R u s s i a . George Vernadsky, New Press, 1954. R u s s i a A H i s t o r y . Sidney Harcave, New  Haven, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y  York, J.B. L i p p i n c o t t  Co.,  Short S t o r i e s by R u s s i a n Authors, t r . R. S. Townsend, Everyman's L i D r a r y , No. 75b, ed. E r n e s t Rhys, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , NewYork, E . P. Dutton & Co., 1943. R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e from Pushkin to the Present Day. R i c h a r d ~ Methuen & Co. L t d . , London, 1947  Hare,  Pushkin and R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e . Janko Lavrin,London, Hodder & Stroughton.r ( f o r the E n g l i s h U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ) , 1947« The Novels of Ivan Turgenev. t r . Constance G a r n e t t , New York, The M a c M i l l a n Co., London, W i l l i a m Heinemann, 1920. Poems i n Prose, In R u s s i a n and E n g l i s h , ed. from the o r i g i n a l w i t h i n t r o d . by Andre' Mazon, t r s . Constance Garnett and Roger Aus, Oxford, B l a c k w e l l , 1951.  ms.  The Novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, t r . Constance G a r n e t t , New York, The M a c M i l l a n Co., 1918. The Novels and Other Works of Lyof N. T o l s t o i , C h a r l e s Sons, New York, 1910-11.  Scribner's  On L i f e , and e s s a y s , and r e l i g i o n ( T o l s t o i ) , t r . w i t h an i n t r o d . by Aylmer Maude, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , (The World's C l a s s i c s , 426), 1950. F i f t y One-Act P l a y s . Anton Chekhov, t r . Andreyev, A r n s t e i n , Asch and o t h e r s , V. G a l l a n c z L t d . , London, 1934. The Best Known Works of Anton Chekhov, one v o l . ed., Blue Ribbon Bopks, New York, 1929.  221  L e t t e r s 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, s e l e c t e d and e d i t e d by L o u i s S. F r i e d l a n d , Minton, New York, B l a c k & Co., 1924. ?  Warner's L i b r a r y of the World's Best L i t e r a t u r e . R u s s i a n Prose. XIX Century W r i t e r s ; Oxford, B a s i l Hlackwell, 1946|  ed. S. Konovalov and p.47.  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