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Journal Title: Russian romantic criticism: an
anthology
Volume:
Issue:
MonthNear:
Pages: 137-160; toe
Article Author:
Article Title: On Romanticism and the Novel
Imprint:
Call #: PG3012 .R8 1987
Location:
Transaction Date: 11/29/20113:25:07 PM
Electronic Delivery?
Yes
Rebecca Gould (rgld@ui)
663 Phillips Hall, Division of World Languages,
Literatures & Cultures
Iowa City, IA 52242
rebecca-gould@uiowa,edu
Aleksandr Marlinsky: On
Romanticism and the Novel
We live in an age of Romanticism.
1
There are people, there is a smattering of
people, who imagine that Romanticism as regards readers is a fashion, as
regards writers a whimsy, and not at all the necessity of the age, not the
thirst of the native intellect, not the call of the human soul. In their opinion, it
will play itself out and soon be forgotten, like the chloride·of-lime cure for
cholera, it will be cast off like ribbons a la giraffe, like gloves a La Rossini or
d'une altra bestia, that at last it will blow over, pass away. Others prolong
their old beliefs beyond belief to an unconditional rejection of the very
existence of Romanticism. "Everything that is now, was once before,
everything that was once before, will be again-.there is nothing new under the
moonl" Agreed! The moon is a light of night, and at night all cats are gray.
But good lord, gentlemen, look about you a bit! Is there really nothing new
under the sun? Don't you know, my esteemed sirs, that to maintain such
things in our time is but the heroism of stupidity and nothing more? Can
doubt in the truth destroy truth itself, and can it really be that Romanticism,
locked in the nature of man and so distinctly manifested in fact, will cease to
be just because it is read without understanding and written about without
thinking?
We live in an age of Romanticism, I said. That is the first thing. We
live also in an age of history, moreover in an age of history par excellence.
History has always been with us, always been inevitable. But at first it
walked silently as a cat, crept stealthily as a thief. In the past it brawled
around, smashed kingdoms, reduced whole peoples to nothingness, cast heroes
in the dust, raised princely luck from the common muck. But after a heavy
hangover people forgot the bloody carousing of yesteryear, and soon history
became the fairy tale.
2
Now things are different. Now history is not simply in
fact, but in the memory, the mind, the hearts of men. We see it, hear it, feel it
constantly; it has penetrated us with full feeling. It jostles us with its elbows
on the promenade, worms its way between you and your lady at the cotillion.
"Barin! Barin!" the street vendor shouts, "buy an Eriuanka hat." "Would you
care to order a frock coat cut Warsaw-style?" asks the tailor. A horse comes
a-prancing--it's a Wellington. Glance at a signboard--Kutuzov beckons you
138 Russian Romantic Criticism
into an inn, arousing both native pride and appetite at once. Take a pinch of
snuff--the box is engraved with a likeness of Charles X. Stamp a letter--the
seal is the Emperor Franz Joseph. Plunge your fork into a sweet pastry and--
it's name is Napoleon! Spend a ten-copeck piece and you will receive in
exchange the iIl-starredness of the ages--Clytemnestra and Chenier, the
assassination of Henry IV and Waterloo, the Beryozina and St. Helena, the
deluge of Petersburg and the Lisbon earthquake, and ... I know not what alll
Change a bill and you will dine on glory, listen to glory, puff on glory, dry
yourself with glory, tread on glory. Yes sir, history is nowadays being
changed into everything you could wish for, even if you don't in the least wish
it. It's as faithful as a hound dog, it's as thievish as the forty thieves, it's as
brave as a Russian soldier, it's as shameless as a nuptial-cake vendress, it's
as accurate as a Breguet watch, it's as whimsical as a highborn lady. Now it's
a hero, now a buffoon. It's Niebuhr and Vidocq between the lines, it's a whole
people, it's history, our history, created by us, living for us. We married it
willy-nilly and there's no divorce. History is our better half, in the full weight
of that expression.
Here is the key to the dual--Romantic and historic--trend of our modern
literature, It is necessary to state once and for all that by the term Romantic I
mean the eternal striving of the infinite human spirit to express itself in finite
forms. And this is why I consider it the cohort of the human soul. ... 3 And
this is why I think that in spirit and essence there are on1 two literatures--
the literatures before Christianity and since Christianity. I w04ld call the
first a literature of fale, the second a literature of will. In the first feelings
and corporeal images dominate; in the second the soul reigns, and ideas are
dominant.
5
The first is a place of execution where fate is the executioner,
man the sacrifice; the second is a field of battle on which the passions fight
with the will, over which from time to time flashes the shadow of the hand of
Providence.
6
Insignificant circumstances gave to ancient literature the name
Romantic with as much good I'eason as the New World was christened
America, although it was discovered by Columbus. Let's cast these names
aside ... we who have seen so many weighty names weighing down their
frail owners like a tombstone,
7
we who have heard so many commonfolk
names put forth in the exultant songs of the common people! What do we
care that the blindman Homer and the dandy Virgil were set down in
classrooms to the accompaniment of the birch of Aristotle! What do we care
that the Romance troubadors, gadding about the world, scattered everywhere
their tales and refrains! What do we care whether classrooms or Rumania
gave their names to two literatures!? .. , We need a horse, not a horsecloth!8
For us, however, the lamp of history is needed to discern in the gloom
of the Midddle Ages the path through the ruins along which Romanticism
invaded Europe from different sides and finally took root in her, took
possession of her.
9
A strange situation: the East was fated from time
immemorial to send to all ends of the world, with its indigo, cochineal, and
spices, its beliefs and legends, its symbols and its fairy tales; but the North
was destined to clean off their dirty crust, melt them, spiritualize them,
idealize them, The East divined them in a sort of magnetic dream,
disconnected, unaccountable; the North nourished them in the hothouse of
analysis·-for the East is imagination and the North is reason. I invite along
with me neither our little old men in velveteen gout boots nor youths out of
breath from dancing, Only those may accompany me who are enthusiasts for
roaming. And I warn you--neither crutches nor braces are available!
Marlinsky 139
All the .activity of life became concentrated in the West. There alone,
beyond the rums of Roman power, thr?bbed the nomadic peoples, washing one
another from the face of the earth with floods of gore, or hurling each other
back, driving each other wherever their eyes took them. But in the chaotic
gloom and storm of the Middle Ages a new order of civicism and morals was
being prepared. The conqueror-peoples became a camp in the midst of the
vanquished, divided them along with the land, preserving even in time of
peace a military order-of-ranks for the occasion of a campaign. All of Europe
was then accumulated in the castles of the feudal barons among whom had
been crumbled the power of the former caesars.
10
Many of the Gothic and
Slavic peoples were ruled by gatherings (Meeting, Wehrmancy, Sejm), the
greater part by princes (Konig, Prince, Suzerain, Herzo'g, Earle, Comte)
elected to leadership, to command, sometimes during campaigns, sometimes in
time of peace, sometimes for both at once. Until the time of the settling down,
it may be said, war alone was the religion of the Western barbarians, and for
this reason the Christian faith quickly poured forth among them, who were so
indifferent to the past, so greedy for shiny novelties. The Longbard, dressed
up in a Roman toga, even wanted to pray in the Basilica of Rome. For the
victors this faith was a luxury, a distinction, for the vanquished a joy. On the
former it bestowed personal prerogatives for conquest, on the latter a hope of
freedom, or alleviation, in the spirit of evangelical brotherhood.
For all this, the epoch was most dramatic, most poetic. Life did not just
flow, it seethed in that era of piety and love, that era of chivalry and
brigandage. Hunters' horns trumpeted through the woods without cease. In
the distance the abbey murmured with the peal of evening bells. Tournaments
made one of beauty and valor. The swords of knights-errant rang forth at
every crossroad. Baron marched off to war on baron in violation of suzerainty.
In turn, the wanderer boldly knocked on the gate of the feudal master, seated
himself at the lower end of the table, and paid for hospitality by spinning a
tale. The wandering minstrel was indispensable even at funerals. He drank
the cup dry (this prelude was preserved with particular piety) and sang,
strumming a harp, sang romances of battles and the deeds of forebears, of the
marvelous adventures of the Paladines, of spiteful sorcerers, of abducted
maidens, of the temptations of holy monastics who delivered unfortunate
wretches from the devil's claws or the wheel of fate. Above all, they sang of
glory and love, for in those days everyone loved glory and glorified love.
Christianity removed women from behind their lattices and placed a mantle
on them and put them on a level equal with men. Chivalry raised them above
themselves and nature, made idols of them, worshipped them, all but deified
them.
11
Vows, ordeals, and constancies scarcely conceivable to us were at
that time more commonplace than stale bread. This spiritual union of souls,
this unswerving striving toward the object of one's passion, this miraculous
quality--in all of nature to feel as one, see as one--is this not practical
Romanticism, Romanticism in action?
An even deeper stamp was put on gothic literature by the invasions of
the Normans (our Varangians) into .France and the Moors into Spain, and by
the Crusades.
12
Bands of hungry, half-naked, but fearless Scandinavians,
frantic for glory, cast their lot into boats, chose themselves a sea ruler (Ses
Konung), and under his command crossed the uncharted sea, entered the ~ r s t
river they encountered, portaged their craft if it had to be launched mto
another river, and penetrated along the waterways into the center of strong,
140 Russian Romantic Criticism
prosperous kingdoms, destroyed or subjugated provinces, fought without
regard for cost in lives, looted, laid ruin, sparing neither sex nor sanctity. But
having settled down, they were tamed by faith, even though a passion for
conquest and sea nomadry continued long to cast their descendants upon other
peoples.
Let's recall here the conquest of our own homeland and Normandy first,
next the conquest of England, and then raids into Spain, Sicily, Ireland-·
anywhere there was loot to lure and water to float. Soon the Scandinavians
forgot their Odin, their Valkyries, their Valhalla (heaven) promised to the
brave; but the spirit of their sagas, the reason of the North, united with the
wit and liveliness of the French and took root in the Norman character and
then crossed la Manche with William the Conqueror where it burned out in the
flame of battles and rebellions and then sprang again to life in the majesty
and originality of English literature, which became by right and merit an
example to all. From the amalgamation of the carefree, frivolous, thoughtless,
always singing Frenchman with the inhabitant of the gloomy North who,
having been shut up all winter in his hut, was reluctantly forced back into
himself and steeped in his own soul, came the inimitable humor that
distinguishes our own age.
13
The Stoics became great because they despised
suffering and death--but humor does better without such vainglory: it laughs
in intervals of suffering and jests at death, puts its neck in the noose, often
risks its very soul for a witty word. We will return to this when we come to
speak of the elements of Romantic literature.
Necessity drove the Scandinavians from their native land, while
mindless valor, greed for glory, attracted them to dangers and conquest. The
Moors were moved by the inspiration of Mohammed. With the cry "Bismalla!
Bismalla!" ("In the name of God!"), they poured into Spain bearing with them
the East, in all the elegance of its poetry, architecture, and horsemanship; but
regretfully, the enlightenment of the Caliphs turned out be a rocket instead of
a star. It amazed and delighted one and all--and burned out in the implacable
swarms of Spanish ignorance. But if with the fall of Boabdil the universities of
the Pyrenee's wallowed century by century deeper into the bog of absurd
scholasticism, for all that the opulence of expressions, for all that the newness
of style, was miraculously inculcated into European Romanism, and a refined
chivalry, together with seguidillas and romanciers, together with twisted
columns, open-lattice turrets, lancet windows, developed over the entire face
of Europe. Casting a symbolic bouquet on the bosom of hig. beloved, the Moor
expressed himself in the speech of colors, similes, hyperbole. He brought into
fashion pattern designs, spangles, perfumes, inlays, and their kaleidoscopic
diversity of colors was soon reflected in all the poetry of the South and the
West, and the Crusades made this all the more widespread. This was a
rainbow of Hindustan shining in the clouds of Europe. 14
The Crusades were a moving, majestic event. At the call of a poor
anchorite, kings abandoned their crowns, noblemen mortgaged or sold their
estate for arms, rich men donated their lands to the poor or to monasteries,
and entire generations, not even knowing how to read, without even preparing
bread, enraptured by a spirit of piety and indignation, rushed off in all
directions to repulse the heathen from the tomb of the Lord. The old and the
young crowded into the front line of battle shouting "Thus wills God!" And
thrice did Europe hurl itself upon Asia--quickly to melt like a glacier beneath
the burning sun of Palestine. The brave Crusaders all perished, lost
Marlinsky 141
everything, both that which they conquered and that which they left at home.
But the affair of the fate of God did not pass in vain. Oh no! From his
excl'uciating campaigns the veteran Crusader brought back the seeds of
tolerance. The sciences were spread by a tested knowledge of the world.
Literature was enriched by Eastern fairy tales, so fanciful, so intricate. In
these especially, common folk began to play roles for the first time on a level
equal with Viziers and Khans, and noblemen admitted for the first time, by
their attention, that even the people can be entertaining--the people whom
they led about in collars like dogs, and frequently valued less than dogs. For
even the European common folk (and they were still far from worthy of the
name of a people), who had no rights whatsoever, had their own customs,
their own amusements, their own poetry. Comprising a part of a plot of earth
by law, by nature they comprised a part of humanity, and they moved
forward, if only at a crawl. They lived like a thing, but like a living thing they
loved, hated. Little has come down to us of the ancient songs of the European
rabble in their primitive form (with the exception of Britain and our own RUB,
where the people comprised the mass), but we can surmise the common-folk
origin of many ballads in the bizarre verses of the singers who borrowed the
basis, often even the very expressions, from the oral legends of the rabble.
15
For that matter, fairy tales, that picture, that facsimile of the intellect of the
past, of the mode of life of the past, which have survived right up to our very
day on the lips of the common folk, are a bottomless mine for a native
poetry! 16
While great and petty rulers pestered one another, while the holy wars
called them to the ends of the earth, there arose and was strengthened in
Europe an element of civic ism, completely unknown to antiquity, an element
which engulfed all the others--I speak of the merchantry, the
bourgeoisie.! The merchants and artisans, the common inhabitants of the
cities, wishing their own trials and justice, bought the right to them from their
owner with money or services, and sometimes, feeling their own power,
simply revolted, ran off to the protection of some neighboring ruler or bishop,
and fought to the death against those who wished by lawaI' whim to subdue
them anew. They employed cunning, crawled in their powerlessness, and
rebelled again so long as the strength of some king did not utterly destroy
them or force of circumstances put them off to better times. It would happen
that only one part of the city would receive or take the right of community,
separate itself with a wall, and often wage war with its neighbors. It would
happen that the kings themselves would make villages into settlements and
cities into communes in order to settle them after plagues or the ravages of
enemies. Whatever the case, these communes resembled neither Rome or
Sparta, where the city was the government, nor London or Paris, where the
city was the capital of the country, nor even Tyre, Carthagenes, or our own
Novgorod, which ruled over provinces and had their own independent political
existence. These were simply cities, sometimes even with unlimited self-rule
within and often without so much as a common pasture beyond the walls. But
within the walls of all cities in general and free cities in particular, there
seethed a hale, clever popUlation which gave birth to the so-called middle
class. Without so much as an inch of land, this class owned the strength and
produce of nature, hired the labors of men, rented out its own talents. It gave
rise to merchants, artisans, artists, and scholars, donned the cassock of the
priest, the wigs of the advocate or judge, pulled the professor's hat down over
its eyes, changed into the particolored jacket of the wandering jester.
142 Russian Romantic Criticism
But most important, it gave life to writers of all types, poets of all
eminences, authors by need and by order, by mistake and by inspiration. The
remarkable thing about these authors for us is that because they were born in
an epoch of rebellion and strife, in the class of merchants, a class that
understood its own worth but was oppressed and despised by the aristocracy,
which in those times considel:ed everything permissible as regards the lower
layers of society--these authors raised in their own caste and preserved in
their own works a sort of mocking vexation toward magnates and noblemen.
They paid them back a hundred-fold in kind for sneers and pittances with far
more offensive sneers. Unable to cross the Chinese wall of the nobility, which
was guarded by the graves of at least twelve generations (quartieri), these
authors hurled over it the arrows of satire, comedy, or epigrams, prattled to
the rural and urban rabble about the obligations of rulers, and meanwhile the
y;--c. spirit of the times worked better by events than by all these things together_
The invention of gunpowder and book printing got to the ancient nobility. The
first broadside to whistle into the ranks of the knights told them, "The peril is
equal for both you and your vassals." The first printed page was the
proclamation of the victory of the enlightened plebeians over the ignoramous
noblemen. Chain mail crumbled into dust. The perfidies and family secrets of
the highborn became the property of all. The spirit began stirring
everywhere--it broke into the open because the body became much too
confining for it. The New World was discovered; a new volcano shook Europe,
wearied by popery. The wars of the Protestants in the field and in the
cathedral exhibited the spirituality of the Christian religion in all its purity,
and with the translation of the Holy Writ into the languages of the people
they became known to the people for the first time. From that day forth a
prophetic mysticism, an Eastern opulence of description and allegory, and an
exultation of language took possession of all poetry--the world of the Bible
came to life beneath the pen of Milton, beneath the brush of Raphael, and it
was reflected everywhere and in everything. It may be said that from this
time there was no cease to an open struggle between two political bases,
which took on a color at first of religious fanaticism and then of religious
exclusiveness. The Reformationists repudiated Catholicism because it fell into
corporeality and meddled in affairs not its own by seizing what belonged
rightfully to others.
Let's cast away Classicism like the decayed dead man's clothing in
which it tried to dress us. And what could be more just: the oak is a most
beautiful tree, there is no denying it. But an oak stump is a poor protection
from the sun. Just why do you tie children to a rotten stump when they can
find their own shade beneath the lofty birch? The living need something alive.
Whatever the case, the epoch of the Renaissance of the arts and
sciences did not understand such full-weighted truths and, enraptured by the
discovery of the famous works of antiquity, it convinced itself that they were
unconditional models of the elegant, and that the elegant was to be found
nowhere else.
18
This is why it set about imitating the Greeks to exhaustion
and, more fruitless yet, the Romans, who themselves mimicked the Greeks.
Besides, the Latin language was the dialect of the faith, and through the
clerics who served as secretaries it became the language of pragJ,natism; it
was the hard coin of all institutions of learning. The scholar durst' not speak
other than in Latin, let alone not write in it, even though such Vandal-Roman
use of his language would have made Cicero dig himself three feet deeper in
Marlinsky 143
his grave. Thus it was with the scholarly class, or more properly speaking,
with pedants. But gifted minds were still able to break away from the close
union with which they were paired with Aristotle by leaden scholasticism, and
they opened new paths to the realm of the beautiful.
Only France, which had such a vast influence on our own literature
lively France, whimsical France, the France whose every taste t a k e ~
passionate fire, took monastic vows and immured its intellect alive in the
sepulchural tombs of Classicism. At a time when Italy was already in
possession of Dante, one of the most creative and original geniuses of the
land, when Calderon had peopled the Spanish stage with dramas full of fire
and simplicity, when Camoes had swum on a plank from a wrecked ship
holding his Lllsiads over his head, when England in the rebelliousness of its
wars and interregnum had tempered the spirit of Shakespeare, the great
Shakespeare who was himself poetry, all imagination, all the Aeolian poetry
of the North, the profound imagination of the North ... at that time, I say,
France put fetters on the gift of Corneille and sprinkled Racine half and half
with orgeade and the water of the Tiber.
If only it had depicted the world of antiquity as it actually was, but it
did not know it, much less understand it. The French rouged the old crone of
antiquity as red as red can be, pasted her all over with beauty spots, wound
her up in whalebone baleens, and taught her to dance the minuet and curtsy
to the floor. The poor old girl stumbled at every step on her high heels, got
tangled in the tail of her frock, stuttered over the positioning of her caesuras,
was ridiculous to a pitiful degree, boring as could possibly be. But spectators
and readers were seized with convulsions of rapture over all those Marquis
Orestes, Chevalier Brutuses, Madame Agrippinas--characters quite estimable,
by the way, and quite historical besides--who took turns speaking sermons in
Alexandrine lines and tossed out double handfulls of powder, spangles, and
aphorisms honed to such a fine degree that they were unsuitable even for
epigraphs. Yes, and was it only the ancients the French boiled into one of
their sauces? It got to the point that everyone was a look-alike. The savage
American and the Turkish sultan, the Chinese mandarin and the knights of
the Middle Ages--one and all were sprinkled with a confetti of salutations, and
each looked twin to the others.
Shut your eyes and you will not know who is speaking: Orosmane or
Alzire, the Chinese orphan or the Kammerjunker of Louis XIV. Infant nature,
which had the irremediable misfortune not to be a lady, was driven like a
strumpet from the gates by decree of the French Academy. And common
sense clutched the door handle like a supplicant while the porter-Classicist
preened before him in his livery and told him haughtily, "Tomorrow,
perhaps!" And that tomorrow was so long in coming, and all because the
French found God's world too foul for itself, living speech too common, and
imagined they could beautify nature, ennoble, establish language! And they
became absurd because they displayed their wit too much.
But Romanticism had a representative even in this time of corporeality:
this was the independent eccentric Rousseau. Until him, during him, in
poetry, scholars perceived nothing loftier than the Greeks or Romans--the
ideal of perfection was for them far in the past. For their Utopia they rooted
in the earth instead of the sky. In contrast, the brilliant dreamer Rousseau,
that captivating paradox Rousseau, not only rejected society's every custom
but misconstrued the very nature of man, created his own man, invented his
144 Russian Romantic Criticism
own society. True, like Plato, he lost himself in the clouds, he did not attain
truth, the chief condition of poetry; but he sought it, he was the first, if only in
delirium, to say that the world can be improved other than it is, other than it
was. A Don Quixote of Utopianism, he erred in his applications, but his
beginning was true .... A poet without rhymes, a thinker without pedantry,
he left a link between the materialism of the age and the spirituality of the
ages.
Material Europe gushed into Russia when Peter the Great smashed
down the wall that separated them. But the age of Peter had no time for
literature--its poetry was manifested in deeds, not words. A long period of
inactivity fell upon old Russia when his seething activity expired, but in
moments of leisure the Russian barin loved to hear fairy tales of faraway
lands; he has been distinguished from time immemorial for an out of the
ordinary pliancy of mores, an out of the ordinary acceptance of things foreign.
He drank kumiss with the Khans of the Golden Horde, he wore kontouszyat
the court of the Pretender. For his beard, it is true, he fought hard, as if its
roots were in his heart; but once in uniform he crawled on his belly like any
good German. In the time of Elizabeth French mores replaced the customs of
Buhren. Even here the Russian barin did not lag behind, and consequently,
during the reign of Catherine a mixture of the language of Nizhny Novgorod
with a Gascon language was no longer a marvel.
19
It is from this time that we became accustomed to living in the castoff
clothing and leavings of Paris, without sorting the old from the new, the good
from the bad.
20
From this time on French literature filled Mother Russia with
its debris and its offspring. Along with French culinary came the heroes
cooked up by the French. Bouillion (not Count Bouillion) and Gallantry were
admitted on the same passport with Narcisse and CJelie, ragout and fricasse
dropped in unannounced arm and arm with Poliphont and Neron, all tyrants
of the belly and the endurance in four characters. Zephyrs and Adonises,
Orgons and Celimenes, candied pigeons and rose lamb were imported along
with nightcaps and Rob Roys. The marble menials of Olympus, the remains of
all Italy, brought up the rear. But if only we had merely to endure the
boredom inflicted on us by all those Crispins and V ale res , both the real ones
and those transformed to fit our Russian mores, or by all those villains and
confidants who are as much like one another as all the screws and nuts of the
Sisterbek Factory. If only we had merely been condemned to listen to all the
frenetic French music, feed on sauce mixures, loiter about one of Le Notre's
allees all clipped into the shape of a mushroom, or stand admiring all those
Van Loos. But no! Eighteenth-century France deluged us with songs,
engravings, and books shameful to humanity, pernicious inventions for youth
which cooled the heart to the valors of the past, deprived men of self-esteem.
It was these loathsome incitations that killed in their bloom the finest hopes of
Russia by putting forth as the aim of existence bestial pleasures which inspire
I
disbelief or, what is worse, indifference to everything noble in man,
everything sacred on this earth! ...
And it was not merely fashion that caused the predeJiction of Russians
for French literature, but necessity as well. I can drink lemonade instead of
kvas, just out of fashion, but my thirst is nonetheless real, independent of
imitation or habit. A thirst for reading was aroused in Russians along with
the rudiments of enlightenment. And from what spring could they most
quickly quench it if not from the most handy? Our own literature had either
Marlinsky 145
not yet been created or was hidden in oblivion! England lay for us at that
time at the bottom of the ocean-sea, Germany was still ungerminated (that is,
without literature), antiquity sang Lazarus only in the seminaries, and
Trediakovsky's 'efforts frightened Russians well away from hexameters and
the ancients. Lomonosov, it is true, was praised by one and all--and no one
read him! The public explicated its desperation that it had nothing to read.
The attention with which it revived Kurganov's Epistolary Handbook
heartened scribblers to further deeds, and here 8wdery was renewed for us in
Fyodor Emin, Regnard was renamed Knyazhnin, the tragedy was raised to a
howl by Sumarokov, the epopee sang its own requiem in Kheraskov. And
suddenly out of this sea of sweetish milk rose the fire-spewing Derzhavin, and
he cast to the stars the bronze and flame of the Russian word. This self-made
giant entered into the abysses of poetry to do battle with it, pulled a fiery.
plumed helmet over his eyes, seized a ray of the sun by the seat of its pants,
crushed mountain peaks beneath his heels, hurled towers higher than the
clouds. A philosopher-poet, he was the first to lay the foundation stone of
Russian Romanticism, not only in spirit but also in the boldness of his images,
in the modernity of his forms. Read his "Swallow," his "Ode to God," his "Ode
to Happiness," his "Felicia," "To a Magnate," "The Waterfall"--and you will
pronounce them Romantic poems.
21
His rapture is fused always with a
melancholy dreaminess.
Bu Derzhavin's success was hardly due only to his talent. Everyone
bowed before him because he was a favorite of Catherine, because he was a
Privy Councillor. Everyone imitated him because they thought to pass from
Parnassus to the next rank, receive a ring of a place setting at the lower end
of the magnate's table or even simply permission to loiter about his
antechamber. Everyone read Derzhavin, very few understood him.
22
The
public needed a literature for domestic utility .... And here Fonvizin bronzed
for posterity the characters of his provincial contemporaries. And here
appeared Dmitriev with his light verse, his fleeting stories told in the
vernacular of the best society, and even here and there with a tinge of
narodnost.
23
But he was composed almost in entirety of translations. And
finally there shone forth the formulator of our prose--Karamzin.
Fate gave to Karamzin two assets which are all but incompatible in
others-·to inspire in Russians a Romantic dreaminess and then to make them \
love their native history. In short, to arouse a passion for the most positive '
searching, as if foretokening within himself the dual trend of the age he
preceded. At that time Kotzebue and Genlis had already been introducing into
fashion the false sentimentality which gasps over trifles, sheds tears of
sympathy over the foibles of love-·especially for foibles, since they did not
know fires of passion, the poison of passions. Karamzin brought back from
abroad a full supply of feeling, and his "Poor Liza" and his sentimental
journey in which he so inappropriately imitated Sterne turned everyone's
head. Everyone fell into a swoon, everyone rushed to shed diamond tears on
iilies-of-the-valley in an earthen pot of buttermilk, or to drown themslves in a
pond. Everyone began talking about mother nature--they who saw nature
while speeding by half asleep in their carriagesJ··and the words "sensibility"
and "unhappy love" became shibboleths, passwords into the best sOciety.24
Despite this untimely, saccharine Wertherism borrowed by h e a r s ~ y
from the Germans, the nine teeth century entered not as a rosy dawn, but 111
the glare of the fires of war. Ancient RUB was still dozing, Russian literature
146 Russian Romantic Criticism
had not yet digested Marmontel and Madame Genlis. Only independent,
inimitable Krylov periodically renewed both the Russian mind and the Russian
language in all their narodnost. Only with him were they fresh in their own
blush, bold with their own powers. He was the first to show them to us
without the dust of antiquity, without French foil, without a German garland
of forget-me-nots. His little muzhihs are native Russian muzhihs without dyed
beards, his little beasts' beards are untrimmed. What fortunates we are!
Krylov and the nineteenth century were our godfathers! The first taught us
to speak Russian, the second to think European. At that time Derzhavin had
already moldered away among the ruins of the Lovers of the Russian Word,
Dmitriev had already fallen silent, Karamzin was working exclusivejr on his
History. Only Krylov was a worthy representative of our literature.
2
In the meantime Europe lived through centuries in a few short years.
Ancient Rus extended its sword everywhere between the despotism of
Napoleon and the rights of the peoples he menaced. It fought for them, always
nobly. Merchantman England fired off gold and iron and lampoons at the
giant who had sworn to drive it from the face· of the earth .... 26
Only Germany, flown away from everyday life, steeped in laughable
subtleties, harkened to the music of the spheres and like Archimedes was not
listening when its enemies took its sacred stronghold by storm. England had
. long since had its own vast, original poetry, but it lived alone in the midst of
'1 its fogs and waves, isolated like a hermit who is happyin"the world of
I delightful dreams he keeps to himself in his bosom. That world went on living
without an echo in OUl' world, whilst, the genius of Schiller divined its virginal
charm and assimilated into German literature the Romanticism of
Shakespeare in all the majesty of its simplicity. Before him, behind him,
alongside him literature, history, philosophY, criticism seethed with modern,
bold, fruitful ideas explaining humanity, moving the mind of man no longer
with scanty experiences, as before, but with the keenness of the imagination.
It was just at this time that Goethe shone forth, who gathered in himself with
bright lumination all the rays of Germany's enlightenment, who incarnated,
personified Germany, dreamy, half-earthly Germany, eternally hovering
between potatoes and the stars, Germany, one half of which was in the dust
of feudalism, the other in clouds of abstractions, Germany, simplehearted to
laughter and scholarly to tears, Germany, all-embracing, all-loving, all-
knowing, all, from the mountebankery of Izidian Temple to the schemes of the
Rosicrucians, from the symbolism of Zend-Avesta to the magnetism of the
earth.
27
All that was created by German geniuses for memory, for speculation,
for imagination, was combined in Goethe. All that shines in the world was
\ reflected in his works, all except feelings of patriotism--and by this, more than
by anything else, he realized in himself a Germany which extracted man's
(
' soul and examined it apart from the life of the people, studied the anatomy of
the laws of nature without reference to man. Faust is the focus of Goethe's
genius in exactly the same way he was the focus of enlightenment and spirit
of Germany. But Germany, exhausted by the mental effort of her geniuses in
all branches of the exact and the beautiful, geniuses who by some miracle
suddenly ascended on the horizon of the past half-century like mutual
constellations, fell into somnolence, and turning from the all-encompassing
Marlinsky 147
universe, settled down to specifics, to a frivolous existence, arrayed itself in
alte deutsche Tracht, began playing a rustic song on a whistle, began
philosophizing to an old tune with Hegel, dragged on with Uhland about
something and anj,thing, transfOl"med itself into the babble of a man who has
just fallen asleep.28 .
It was in just this epoch that Zhukovsky found it and, captivated by the
pure dreaminess of Schiller and the legends of the German past, transplanted
Romanticism to the virgin soil of Russian literature. But he transplanted only
one of its flowers, one flower from its boundless nature. Rus was still echoing
with the mournful refrains of Zhukovsky, the foggy images of his poetry were
still glimmering with his unworldly love, his comforting hopes of life beyond
the grave, when Aleksandr Pushkin flashed onto the scene, frisky, saucy
Pushkin, almost the peer of his age and fully at one with his people.
Mastering the language, himself mastered by passions to the depths of his
soul, he was quickly able to say of public attention: "Mine!" At first as
whimsical as Potyomkin, he cast his pearls before everyone he encountered or
crossed paths with; but having paid his tribute to La Fare and Parny,
exchanged greetings with Don Juan, Pushkin cast off the mantle of Byron,
and in his latest works has stood forth proud and independent.
29
But I will not make an elaborate survey of Derzhavin, Zhukovsky, or
Pushkin. Yes, and why should I start paraphrasing what has already been
said so sensibly, so impal"tially, so absorbingly in Telegraph, a journal in
which Russia ought to take pride, which stands alone in defense against old-
believing, stands alone to catch European enlightenment! However, since my II
aim is to note what influence has been exerted on poetry by actuality and how (
the ages have been expressed by poets, I will not place Derzhavin on the same I
level with Zhukovsky and Pushkin, because the first amazed all like a comet,
but vanished in the air without a trace, while the latter two have been prime
movers of our literature and have branded whole herds of imitators with their
spirit. Derzhavin's narodnost slipped away from his nearsighted
contemporaries in just the same way as the purity of Lomonosov's language
flowed by unobserved, and Derzhavin, despite the downpour of his odes, died
without heirs, without even imitators.
Zhukovsky and Pushkin, on the contrary, during their lifetime have
attracted thousands into their path. But they attracted them inadvertently,
unintentionally, off the right cushion, so to speak. The swarm of giftless and
half-gifted skulkers after the singer Minvana became the inert singers of
languor, near-sighted singers of afar. And the baying of their ballads,
terrifying only for their absurdity, their devils reeking of sweet rolls instead of
brimstone, their robbers hired out from Nodier, bored one and all as terribly
as the current polemic over homeopathy and cholera. From the other
direction, Giaourism and Don Juanism, stolen from Pushkin's pocket, changed
into quarter-copeck pieces, reduced to fractions, flew from all hands. No life
came from thick-jowled despair, from suicides by champagne cork, from
villains with opera glasses, in gloves glacesj no life came from hungover
students who sang of the bawdy hetaera of Fonarsky lane. The only thing we
can say is that we stopped playing blindman's bluff with marble statues, and
the fatal word Romanticism was uttered. It rang forth like a pistol shot.
You should have seen the little old fellow Classicism rouse himself from
his slumber in his worm-eaten cathedra. "To pen! To pen!" he wailed, and,
grinding out an ukase, he dragged himself off to do battle against the
148 Russian Romantic Criticism
Romantics. The bloodless battle that followed was most amusing, it must be
confessed. The old men did not comprehend the ancients, the younger
generation chattered away about modern writers they knew only from
hearsay. The ~ o r m e r gasped for breath beneath their rusty armor, the latter
didn't know how to handle their spiritual weapons. It's embal'assing to recall
what the two sides wrote against each other! But the younger generation
read up a bit, while our little old men rested, and the conclusion was
predictable.
Romanticism triumphed, Idealism triumphed--so what's all the fuss
about? But let's not be vain. It was not our strengths, not our knowledge that
made such a triumph possible. Far from it! We were rescued by time, the
only old man without prejudice, the old man who eternally indulges youth and
plays pranks tit for tat with it. We did not accept Romanticism, for it took us
in battle, conquered us like the Tatars, so that no one perceived whence it
came. It wanders among us, this wandering Jew; already it has built its
castles of fantasy, and we argue about whether 01' not it exists, and very
likely we will not believe it has received Russian citizenship and title until we
read about it in The Hamburg Correspondent.
Together with the appearance of the German omnolence and the
English spleen, Holy Rus was graced by still another unexpected but welcome
guest: I speak of the historical novel. The genius of Walter Scott divined the
domestic life and daily thought of chivalric times in just the same way Gibbon
perceived their political existence, Niebuhr exhumed the Rome of the Caesars
from beneath the triple layer of Consulism, Imperialism, and Popism. Yes,
Walter Scott sprinkled them with the invigorating water of his creative
imagination, breathed into them, and said "Live!"--and they came to life with
the bloom of life in their cheeks, with the pulse of the real in their breasts.
These are not just apparitions from the gt'ave with the dust of decay on their
themes, not the ghost of Saul in an ordinary burial uniform·-in a shroud, that
is to say. On the contrary, these are living people, with their petty little
passions, with their suprstitions, with their customs, with their favorite saws.
He flung antiquity open before us, and instead of moving it to us, moved us to
it, made us love, fight, brawl, drink, take fright with his heroes and for his
heroes. Of course, in the ordinary sense of the word, Walter Scott is not a
Romantic by theme., but he is a Romantic by exposition, by forms, by his
Sterne-like spirit of analysis of all the operations of the soul, all the crimes of
the will. He does not ask, like Idealism, why? Instead, he says, {or this reason
and {or that reason. His very point of view toward the past shows that he is a
poet--and that is enough. A poet in our time cannot be otlter than a
Romantic!30
The Continental System, which blocked Europe from England, cl'ashed
down along with Napoleon in a literary sense also. In accordance with the law
of equal levels in hydrostatics, English and German thought poured into
France as soon as the vortex preventing it from seeking its level subsided.
The bow-wave of this triple anguish was terrible because it was political and
religious parties which fought there in the name of Romanticism and
Classicism. Force united with conviction decided the battle there; this is aside
from the business at hand, but can we ever forget that Madame de Staal fil'st
introduced the German Muse into France's parlor, while Walter Scott
beckoned the French to an acquaintance with Shakespeare, gave them a taste
of history with his recountings of history, and inspired Barante to write his
Marlinsky 149
Romantic chronicle? In a word and at last, Walter Scott determined the
propensity of our age to historical details and created the historical novel
which has become a necessity of the entire reading world from the walls of
Moscow to Washington, from the magnate's study to the petty tradesman's
counter.
And you think this was done by men and at once? Montaigne eut dit:
"Que-sais-je?" et Rabclais: "Peut-etre." I will not say one way or another,
because I think otherwise, because I believe in what I have thought out •...
European refinement, by harnessing gas and steam, by christening
clouds and oceans, discovered new worlds in both the realm of thought and the
dust of oblivion. The further its gaze pierced into the fog of the future, the
more truly, the more deeply did it penetrate into the past as well .... Vision
expands in all directions--this is a law of nature. The Nibelungenlied, thanks
to tedious labor, was liberated from the dungeons of Saint-Gaul Monastery.
The Scandinavians' Edda was revived; Artus and other Carolingian poems
were found. Hebel discovered the Indian Iliad, and Carey, Chezy, Kosegarten,
Wilson analyzed it. We Russians unearthed our own charming treasure, The
Song of Igor's Campaign. . .. Could the fresh Russian people remain alien to
this trend? Karamzin made us eager for the legends of our antiquity;
archeological ventures gathered all sorts of elements for the novel. The
historical tales of Marlinsky in which, casting off the fetters of the language of
books, he spoke forth in the Jiving vernacular, served as the doors to
the mansion of the full novel. ... reached its peak because Pushkin
teased it with a few chapters of Onegth'/'because the theater offered nothing
but vaudevilles half hammered out from the French that could be called
double-meaninged only out of politeness. And here appeared at last a man
who resolved to spring into the gaping jaws of the crocodile-public--Bulgarin.
And Bulgarin performed the feat as adroitly as he did boldly. The envy
aroused by his Dimitry the Pretender proved that it had merit. But let us be
truthful--he presented us with a European, not a Russian novel. The historical
part of Iuan Vyzhigin is utterly consumptive. To assert that Napoleon
advanced on Russia because he was deceived by Caulaincourt into believing he
would be welcomed with open arms might have been credible in 1812, but not
later; and even then these rumors were believed only in market places.
Nevertheless, if Bulgarin's novels are erroneous in their whole, in their parts \1
b
they
bealr the
d
stam
w
p
of hdumor
h
,. many J
1
,·.,
ecome egen ary. e are 111 e te to 1m lor arousmg m usslans a t lrst
for native historical novels.
31
The challenge has not proved vain. Zagoskin
made his appearance, and he overtook Bulgarin with his first attempt,
although he has far from justified the presumptuous titles of his novels:
Miloslausky, or The Russians in 1612 and Roslauleu, or The Russians in 1812.
And then Mr. Kalashnikov's novels Merchant Zholobou's Daughter and The
J(amchadal Maiden, so rich in their picturesque descriptions of Siberia; and
then Mr. Masalsky's Streltsy and The Black Box, so precious in materials
which clarify a most interesting epoch ,in our history and prove how powerless
is a talent defeated by imitation. Only the writer of The Last Nouik, despite
his erratic style and the dual thread of the story, has been able to make
himself independent and escape reproach for recruiting historical details by
bringing them to life through a hot play of characters.
3
Z- While Pushkin raised
his pyramid in the desert of our poetry (I speak of his Godunou), N. Polevoy,
who with such ardent self-denial has devoted himself to the truth and benefit
150 Russian Romantic Criticism
of Russian enlightenment, who has so boldly and tirelessly come forth against
the most sacred names, against the most holy of our nonsensities in the world
of publishing, and who has taken us beyond nodding acquaintance to the
admiration of Europeans--Polevoy has published three volumes of his History
of the Russian People. This is no longer a fine-feathered story by Karamzin,
but a narration feathered with shining ideas. It is not from the rabble and not
from the parish belfry that he has surveyed the solemn march of the ages,
but from the heights of mountains. His gaze has pierced the heart of peoples,
embraced all the crucible of humanity.
1\ We have seen how every event imparted its own peculiar facet to both
\\ the characters and the literatures of peoples. Can it be that we alone have
, suffered through the ages to no purpose? Can it be that the fateful evolutions
have melted away like spring snows, without leaving a trace on us? Or can it
be that our princes have no entertainment value because they recited "Our
Father" instead of "Pater Noster," because they lived in wooden terems
instead of stone castles? Or have our peasants been more bestial than the
European slaves, more timid, more pallid? I am of a totally contrary opinion.
Rus was alienated from Europe, not from humanity, and in times when
circumstances were similar humanity expressed itself in similar evolutions.
~ - With the exception of the Crusades and the Reformation, what have we not
experienced that Europe did? And above all, the characters of our princes and
our people assure us of being brighter, more independent, more decisive,
because the man of Rus struggled with a nature more cruel, with foes more
terrible than anywhere else. A double-headed Janus, Rus gazed
simultaneously on Asia and Europe; her mode of existence comprised a link
between the settled activity of the West and the nomadic indolence of the
East. This is why there is such a diversity of influences and relationships!
The Varangians in their ships subjugate her. The Pechenegs, the Polovtsians,
the black cowls press along her borders. Rus flings herself like a storm on
Constantinople and captures the Christian faith in Korsun. Free Novgorod
girds itself with the Ural range and fights with the holy orders in Lithland,
threatens the Swedes beyond the Neva, clashes with the Lithuanians, carries
its wares off to the cities of the Hanseatic League. And then the battles of the
interregnums, and then the destructive invasion of the Tatars and the
smothering night of their rule in the gloom of which the
autocracy ripened .... And then the wars with the tumultuous Poles, with the
savage Lithuanians, then Ivan the Dread, the attempt to turn us to
Catholicism, the rebellions of the pretenders, and wise Alexey, and vast Peter!
Yes, this is an ocean-sea of history! an ocean-sea untraveled, unexplored, and
thus all the more entertaining and original.
Marlinsky 151
Commentary: Marlinsky
1. The essay was first published under the name A. Marlin sky in
Moskovskii telegmf, LII (1833), 399-420, 541-55; LIII (1833), 85-107, under
the title liThe Oath on the Tomb of the Lord: A Critique," with the first two
parts subtitled "On Novels and Romanticism" and the last part "On Russian
Novels." The text for this translation is A.A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky,
Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh, II (Moscow, 1958), 559-612. The essay, an
elaborate and ornate summation of almost the entire history of European
civilization, including its remotest origins, has been edited to exclude the
author's history of world literature prior to the the development of Romantic
Europe, to eliminate some excursions into theoretical aspects of this literary-
historical development, to compensate for serious deletions by the censor, and
to dispense with the conclusion, a critique of N.A. Polevoy's historical novel
The Oath on the Tomb of the Lord. Editing is indicated in this Commentary.
2. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky had ample time to study Romanticism and
Romantic Idealist philosophy during his exile to Siberia and the Caucasus
following the failure of the revolt of 14 December 1825. He virtually re-
educated himself in literary theory and criticism, political economy, and
especially philosophy of history. Even before that he loved to display great
erudition and a talent for research and scholarship. This essay, often called a 1,'
manifesto of Russian Romanticism, is thus in many ways an elaboration of
Ii
the critical and philosophical position established under the name Bestuzhev in Ii· 1
the first half of the 1820s plus a synthesis of European ideas into a
systematic theory of the history of all Western civilization--what the author
calls a Romantic amalgamation. This flowery paean to history, filled with
allusions to the year 1812, indicates another important point of his essay, for
it repeats a remarkably unequivocal explanation of the causes of the
Decembrist conspiracy he offered to Nicholas I in a letter following his arrest.
In the fallen Decembrist's often quoted view, the movement had to be traced
to the awakening of national consciousness in the traumatic struggle for
national survival in 1812. "Finally Napoleon invaded Russia," he told the
Tsar, "and then only, for the first time, did the Russian people become aware
of their power, only then there awakened in all our hearts a feeling of
independence, at first political and finally native." The problem of national
consciousness was one of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's major concerns as co-editor
of The Polar Star (1823-25) and the "Glances" at Russian literature which are
partly repeated in this essay by the new Marlinsky,
3. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's essay is a complex synthesis of a large
number of ideas, concepts, theories, and notions, but he wrote with such
flourish that it is difficult to tell where his adaptation of ideas leaves off and
I
his own fancy rhetoric begins. His definition of Romanticism hereM-the key
statement to the entire essaY-Mis indicative of his synthetic approach to
literary history. The definition involves, first of all, the Schlegelian-
Schellingian contrast finite-infinite, and then the 1825 debate between
Pushkin and Ryleyev on form and essence. The author emphasizes both
"form" and "spirit." He also accepts the definition of poetry by J.P.F; Ancillon
which Ryleyev quotes (from The Aesthetic Discourses of Mr. Ancillon) and
rejects in "A Few Thoughts on Poetry": "Poetry is the power to express ideas j\
by means of the word, or the free power to present, with the help of language,
the infinite in finite and defined forms, which in their harmonizing functions
152 Russian Romantic Criticism
\ would speak to the feelings, the imagination, and the judgment." As has been
noted in the Commentary to Venevitinov's essay on the state of enightenment
in Russia, it is sometimes difficult to disentangle Schelling's ideas from his
popularizer Ancillon's, but Bestuzhev.Marlinsky seems to be aware not only or
Ancillon's explications of the finite-infinite contrast, but of Schelling's
teachings on the subject in a translation in The Moscow Herald under the title
"A Basic Outline of Aesthetics" (1829, No.4, 18·80). According to that
source, the origin of the ideal is in the infinite, whereas the real takes its
origins in the finite. The ideal is "the process of thinking [myslenieJ, the pure,
ideal activity of the spirit." The real is "the reflection of the outer, corporeal
world." The infinite is plenitude and variety, the finite is unity or definitude.
(19·20, 33) Schelling was a chief impetus of Russian concern with the
concepts of real and ideal, a concern evident in Kireyevsky's surveYOr
Russian literature in 1829 and especially in Belinsky's essay on the prose
tale.
4. The statement is a synthesis of ideas articulated by August Schlege>l ,
Friedrich Schelling, Ancillon, Pushkin, Ryleyev, and especially Madame d ~
Stael, who in her chapter "On Poetry Classical and Romantic" in De
l'Allemagne summed up the Schlegelian dual division of history by stating:
"This division is equally suitable to the two eras of the world--that which
preceded and that which followed the establishment of Christianity. "
5. Again the statement is a complex synthesis. It is even more difficult
because the concept of corporeal images and corporeality-·one of the least
noticed but perhaps most important concepts among the many contrasting
notions of Romantic Idealist philosophy··is contradictory and complex. The
notion (Russian veshchestuennost') has been encountered in the essays in this
anthology by Orest Somov, Bestuzhev·Marlinsky, and Pushkin. It has been
discussed in the Commentaries to the essays by Polevoy, D.V. Venevitinov,
and LV. Kireyevsky in relation to the different meanings given to the terms
ideal and corporeal by August Schlegel and Friedrich Schelling due to their
different understandings and uses of the terms plastic and picturesque.
Pushkin, it will be recalled, in his uncompleted rebuttal to Bestuzhev-
Marlinsky's "Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the
Beginning of 1825," quoted and remarked on the latter's statement that
"man's craving for the new seeks untapped sources, and geniuses rush boldly
ahead of the crowd in quest of new territory in the moral and corporeal world.
. . ." And in his critique of Polevoy's essay on Eugene Onegin, (see the
Commentary to Polevoy) D.V. Venevitinov ridiculed Polevoy's characterization
of Pushkin's novel in verse and praised instead a poetry in which "the power
of thought, the power of feelings" is superior because there can be discerned in
it "the ideal of the painter and the corporeality of the subject." ("A Critique or
an essay on Eugene Onegin," Son of the Fatherland, C [1825], No.8, 371·83.)
Venevitinov's remark and Bestuzhev·Marlinsky's discussion here have to do
with a similar statement by Ryleyev, in his essay "A Few Thoughts on
Poetry," about the concept of corporeality in relation to subject (Venevitinov)
and the notion of the infinite (Bestuzhev-Marlinsky): "Our own poetry is more
of subject than of corporeality; this is why with us there are more ideas, with
the ancients more pictures, with us more of the general, with them more of
the particular. Modern poetry also has its own subdivisions, predicated on the
conceptions and the spirit of the ages in which its geniuses have made their
appearance. Such are [the great works] in which there come to vivid life the
Marlinsky 153
passions of men, their concealed motives, the eternal struggle of the passions
with a secret striving toward something lofty, something infinite." (Son of the
Fatherla.nd, ClV .. 22, 149:50.) their differences regarding
the dommance of either poiltlcs or philosophy m poetry and criticism, Ryleyev
and Venevitinov seem to agree in most if not all respects on the
between subject and corporeality. Russian dictionaries define the adjectival
forms of the two words (predmetnyi and veshchestvennyi) as synonyms for
" te'J""1 . I"" - -I" tRI h
rna na, p 1YSIca , COl pOl ea, ye y eyev uses t em as antonyms,
Venevitinov separates them by making one the attribute of the other, both
emphasize the importance of subject or content or of thought and feelings in
poetry, Ryleyev identifies the function of literature as representation or
depiction. This latter use of the term, which Venevitinov rejects, shows up in
many of the essays here and elsewhere at the time in the word "pictures," as
in the inclusion of this feature in the lists of features of narodnost by Somov,
Vyazemsky, Ki.ichelbecker, and Polevoy. All of these discussions and
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's synthesis of ideas here can be traced to the similar
phraseology of leading works of Romantic Idealist philosophy. According to
Friedrich and August Schlegel, the ancients and moderns lived in two
essentially different worlds, and thus created from opposite artistic
orientations .. The nature of the creativity of the ancients was corporeal
(korperlich, Korperlichkeit) because the man of antiquity was at one with
nature and therefore appealed in his poetry directly to the physical senses, in
much the same way that sculpture appeals to the sense of touch. Modern
man, on the other hand, has been accustomed to Christian reflection (and
repentance); his art therefore gives rise to ideas, or pictures in the mind, it
appeals to the intellect and the imagination in much the same way as pictorial
art does. In August Schlegel's words (Lecture I, Vorlesungen ilber dramatische
Kunst und Literatllr): " ... the whole of the art and poetry [of the ancient
Greeks] is the expression of a consciousness of the harmony of all their
faculties. They invented the poetry of joy." But "the feelings of the moderns
are, upon the whole, more inward, their fancy more incorporeal, and their
thoughts more contemplative." And again: "The very reverse of all this is true
of the Christian view--everything finite and mortal is lost in the contemplation II
of infinity .... the poetry of the ancients was the poetry of enjoyment,
and ours is that of desire--the former has its foundation in the scene which is \1
at present, while the latter hovers betwixt recollection and hope." From all
this August Schlegel arrived at his key contrast, his main contribution to the I
philosophical system developed by his brother Friedrich: " ... the spirit of I
ancient art is plastic {plastische}, but that of the moderns is picturesque
[pittoresk}." It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this idea to
Russian Romantic criticism, particularly to the development of the concept of
narodnost. It is central to the other contrasts or anthitheses of Romantic
Idealist philosophy: Classical-Romantic, ancient-modern, Christian-pagan,
finite-infinite, corporeal-visual, real-ideal, fate-Providence, joy-desire. August
Schlegel's notion of corporeality and idealism, the plastic and the picturesque,
as well as the relevance of these notions to the system of organic criticism
(outer form derived from inner essence) developed by August Schlegel and
Schelling. The .statement is quite close to Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's phraseology
in his essay here, and also to Madame de StaIn's formulation in her chapter
on Classical and Romantic poetry in De l'Allemagne, notably her belief that
the ancients were "completely the children of nature, and believed themselves
154 Russian Romantic Criticism
controlled by fate as absolutely as nature herself is controlled by necessity _ If
And: "The ancients, so to speak, possessed a corporeal (corporeal, corporealiteJ
soul and its emotions were all strong, decided and consistent." The curious
situation exists that Russian scholars, who presumably know something about
the dialectic, consistently discuss the wOl'd veshchestvennost' as "materialism ...
that is, as a hint of philosophical developments to come. Consultation with the
works of Romantic Idealist philosophers, and for that matter with Neoclassical
theorists, who also used the term, will show that this interpretation of the
notion is not tenable. Still less tenable is the position of those Anglo-American
Slavists who have defined the term as "thing-ness," because the word is
related to the noun veshch', 'thing.' '
6. See Madame de Stael's emphatic distinction between the ancient and
modern spirit: "In one it is fate which reigns., in the other Providence. Fate
counts the sentiments of men as nothing; but Providence judges the actions
according to these sentiments."
7. It is possible that this is a dig at Pushkin or the Pushkin pleiad,
particularly in that this essay emphasizes the role of the merchant class, the
bourgeoisie, in the creation of modern Romanticism.
8. It was a polemical tactic of the time to seem to dispense with the
terms Classical and Romantic. P.A. Vyazemsky used the tactic in his
"Conversation." So also did Ryleyev in his essay on poetry: "In general, it is
possible to divide poetry into ancient and modern. This will be more sound." It
was not the terms the Romantics wished to eliminate; it was the vague
understanding of these and all the other dual divisions of Romantic Idealis t
philosophy.
9. Here omitted is a lengthy, elaborate account of the history of the
ancient period and the origins of European civilization, actually an intricate
schema combining chronology, people (nation or national culture), and genre.
According to this schema, the primitive poetry of all peoples begins not with
the hymn, but is shaped by the climate and is therefore likely to take the form
of not only the hymn, but the prayer, the curse, the incantation, or even the
"vast poems" of the Indians, the Persians, and the Arabs. The primitive stage
of poetry is followed by the period of antiquity, pl'imarily in Greece, and is
represented by the epic or epopee, "that is, by popular legends of the past
dressed in the finery of the fable." The poetry of the ancient Greeks is ruled
by fate, and is therefore sensual, harmonious, "corporeal-beautiful." The
ancient epic was developed from fairy tales, and when a people no longer
believe in fairy tales they turn to the drama--the tragedy that belonged to the
rulers and the comedy that belonged to the people. And finally, "after the
drama arises the novel, and it goes hand in hand with the drama-·the novel
which is nothing other than the long poem and the drama, lyricism and
I
philosophy, and all of poetry in its thousands of facets, an entire life of its own
between two covers." With the novel comes the end of the ancient period and
the start--indeed, the entire history--of the modern, Romantic period. That is,
in Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's view, Romanticism and the novel (roman) are
identical. Although the ultra-Romantic Marlinsky has been called a Russian
Hugo because of their similar styles and manner, and he once said tha.t
"before Hugo I am nothing," much of this section of his essay is a polemic
with Victor Hugo's "Pl'(;lface au Cromwell" which had just appeared in Russian
translation in The Moscow Telegraph under the title "On the Poetry of Ancient
and Modern Peoples" (XLVII [1832], 297-331, 435-71). Hugo opposed to t.he
Marlinsky 155
German Romantic Idealist system of dualistic notions a triple division of
history--a primitive age, an ancient age from Homer to Chdst, and a modern
age from Christ to the present day. This is contrary to August and Friedrich
Schlegel, who could not admit a primitive pedod into their diadic Romantic (_
Idealist system. But both Schlegels were erudite historians of Indian, Persian,
Egyptian, and Arabic civilizations, and. much of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's
treatment of the primitive and ancient periods follows the pattern and even
repeats some of the formulations of Friedrich Schlegel's Geschichte der alten
und neuen Literatur, just published twice in Russian in 1829 and 1832. He
also develops the notion of the ancient corporeal world in words similar to
those used by August Schlegel in his Vorlesungen iIber dramatische Kunst und
Literatur, as well as elaborations of the notion contained in excerpts from
August Schlegel's 1827 Berlin lectures published in The Moscow Telegraph in
1831 (and followed, usually, by a poem signed by Marlinsky--a device often
used to claim unsigned authorship). Hugo was well known to the Russians in
the 1820s, but it is only at this time that he became, thanks largely to the
Polevoy brothers, a significant critical and literary influence. In addition to the
translation from his preface, The Moscow Telegraph published a translation of
an unidentified essay in French on Hugo titled "On a New School in French
Poetry" (XXXVIII [1831], 149-80), and a translation of a review in Revue
encyciopedique under the Russian title "On the Novels of Victor Hugo" (XLII
[1831], 218-40). Among some of the other sources identifiable in this omitted
section of the essay are Montesquieu, Rousseau, and August von Humboldt.
Humboldt travelled through Siberia studying the climate, and Bestuzhev-
Marlinsky was at just this time affil'ming and challenging some of his findings
in a series of articles in F.V. Bulgarin's newspaper The Northern Bee.
10. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was an authority on the Gothic or feudal
period before he read the Schlegels or other authorities. His first works were
historical tales on themes of Livonian history during the age of chivalry and
several travel essays on the Baltic region. A highly praised essay titled
"Livonia" appeared anonymously in 1829. He does not seem to be aware,
however, of J.C.L. Simonde de Sismondi's repeated warning in De ia litterature
du midi de i'Europe not to confuse the socio-political term feudal with the
artistic term Gothic.
1 i. Many of the opinions and formulations in this treatment of the age
of chivalry are taken from Sismondi's history of the south of Europe.
Sismondi attributed the gallant manners of the knights and singers of chivalry
to the Eastern worship of women. In his chapter "On the Literature of the
Troubadors," for example, he stated: "Gallantry seems to have been the sole
object of their existence. The ladies, who only appeared in society after
marriage, were proud of the celebrity which their lovers conferred on their
charms. They were delighted with becoming the objects of songs of their
troubadors; nor were they offended at the poems composed in their praise, in
which gallantry was often mingled with licentiousness."
12. This amalgamation of history is a synthesis of Romanticism and the I
novel, and of North and South as well. The Russian interest in the great
North-South debate between August Schlegel and Sismondi has already been
remarked in the essays by Somov, Kiichelbecker, Vyazemsky, Ryleyev,
Pushkin, and Venevitinov. The Russian search for historical parallels between
European history and their own cannot be emphasized too strongly. The
pattern here should be compared to Somov's in his essay "On Romantic
156 Russian Romantic Criticism
Poetry": the Normans or Vikings who conquered northern Europe are
identical to the Varangians who founded the Kievan state of Rus in the ninth
century, the Moors who brought Eastern culture to southern Europe are
historically parallel to the Mongols and Tatars who conquered Rus in the
thirteenth century. Ergo, Russia differs in no essential way from European
nations, Russia experienced the same Romantic amalgamation or synthesis of
North and South (East). Sismondi was aware of the Varangian theory of East
Slavic history, and discussed it in his chapter "On the Literature of' the
Trouveres" in De la lit/erature du midi de l'Europe. Where August Schlegel
went so far as to claim that the Romance languages were formed from Latin
and the Germanic languages, Sismondi did not reply in kind by denying a
northern Norman influence on the development of modern Europe. Rather, he
considered the Moorish influence on the troubadors of the South more
important in the development of the age of chivalry and romance than the
influence of the Normans on the northern trouveres. The earlier Bestuzhev
was aware of the North-South debate in the early 1820s, and he discussed the
Varangian theory in his introduction to the first issue of The Polar Star in
1823, "A Glance at Ancient and Modern Literature in Russia": It ••• it is
probable that the Varango-Rossy (the Normans, the Scandinavian envoys)
merged into one with the Slavic race their language and tribes, and from this
mixture there came a language particularly Russian: but when and in what
way it separated itself from its ancestor, no one has been able to determine."
13. August Schlegel's basic argument was that the Romance peoples
were too frivolous to be credibly the founders of the age of chivalry;
Sismondi's retort was that the Germanic peoples were too stodgy to have
originated such an adventurous tradition. This seems to be an attempt to
synthesize the two viewpoints, and the wording indicates close knowledge of
August Schlegel's formula in Lecture I of his Vorlesungen: "The stern nature
of the North drives man back within himself; and what is lost in the free
sportive development of the senses must, in noble dispositions, be
compensated by earnestness of mind."
14. In .his essay "On Poetry Classical and Romantic" Pushkin shows a
keen interest in Sismondi's discussion of the techniques of Arabic poetry, in
his chapter "On the Literature of the Arabs." Bestuzhev-Marlinsky, whose
style became notorious under the name Marlinism, is drawn to Sismondi's
discussion of figurative devices: " ... the lyric composition [of Ar'abic poetry]
rests, in some degree, on their bold metaphors, their extt'avagant allegories,
and their excessive hyperboles ... the greatest characteristic of Oriental taste
is an abuse of the imagination and of the intellect . . . the object of the
Arabians was always to make a brilliant use of the boldest and most gigantic
images. They sought to astonish the l'eader by the abruptness of their
expressions, • , ." Pushkin's style and the ultra-Romantic style called
Marlinism have often been compared as opposite poles of the potential of the
Russian literary language after the Karamzin refOl·ms. Where Pushkin's style
is direct, clear, laconic, Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's is described perfectly by
Sismondi's characterization of Arabic poetry.
15. The Russian concern with colloquial language in literary works and
with the status of the Russian common people--the so-called battle of the
ballad in 1815 and its aftermath--is at hand. So also are the frequent
allusions in this essay to the fairy tale (skazka), The author here struggles to
distinguish between the "rabble" (chern', German der Fabel), the "common
Marlinsky 157
folk" (prostoliudiny, das Volk), and the "people" (narod, das Volkstllm, think
also of narodnost, die VolksWmlichkcit). After the verse tale replaced the
ballad and became the most popular genre of the 1820s, the Russian
Romantics turned their attention to a form and tradition concomitant with the
ballad--the fairy tale. Pushkin's and V.A. Zhukovsky's fairy tales are the
most notable consequence of this general interest; so also, later, are the prose
folk tales that became so popular in the 1830s, especially the Ukrainian folk
tales of Orest Somov and N.V. Gogol (Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka).
One year after the publication of this essay in The Moscow Telegraph, its
editor K.A. Polevoy published an essay "On a New Trend in Russian
Literature" (LVI (1834), 118-36) in which he criticized Pushkin and
Zhukovsky for writing imitations of the Russian fairy tale. In his view,
imitation is itself a false principle; besides, masters of written literature
cannot properly understand the essenCe of common-folk creativity.
Furthermore, Russian writers are so deeply under the influence of European
writers that they lack "self-sufficiency" (samobytnost', by which Polevoy
signifies narodnost), and therefore cannot fully comprehend either the Russian
people or its past. They shOUld therefore confine themselves to belles-lettres
(slovesnost') until they have overcome their dependence on Europe. Polevoy is
throughout polite to Pushkin and Zhukovsky, but he doubtlessly meant that
the two poets could not understand the Russian people because they were
aristocrats. This seems also to be the implication of the references by
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky to names and the fairy tale. Recall, for example, the
already noted cut at Pushkin at the start of his essay: " ... we who have seen
so many weighty names weighing down their frail owners like a tombstone,
we who have heard so many commonfolk names put forth in the exultant
songs of the common people!" That is, the only narodnost that will be accrued
to formal literary renditions of folk works will be in the names.
16. Omitted here are further remarks on the Crusades.
17. After the people come the bourgeoisie; from the people come the
bourgeoisie. The rise of the bourgeoisie was a key theme of N.A. Polevoy's
historical novel The Oath on the Tomb of the Lord, just as the importance of
the merchant class was a key tenet of his History of the Russian People.
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky seconds Polevoy with this flowery praise of the new
class and the new spirit that, in their view, marked the end of the aristocracy
in Europe. Like the opening list of allusions to the year 1812, and in fact
much of the essay, this passage is replete with Aesopic language. The
reference to Novgorod, for example, has to do with the role of the republic of
Novgorod in history; the cult of "democratic Novgorod" is prominent in the
early Bestuzhev's historical prose tales and in Kondraty Ryleyev's historical
verse genre called the duma. It should not be missed that the plebeian style
described here closely matches the author's own style (as it does the
previously marked description of Arabic poetry by Sismondi). Nor should the
relationship to Ryleyev's Aesopic discussion of the ancient republic in his
essay in this anthology be overlooked. The author alludes more cautiously to
revolution here, but he no doubt had at least the French revolution in mind
when he wrote this paean to the bourgeoisie. This is indicated by his
indebtedness to Augustin Thierry's Lettres sur l'histoire de France, which
traces the history of the bourgeois commune in detail.
18. The Romantics generally understood the Neoclassical period not as
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, or the eighteenth-century age of
158 Russian Romantic Criticism
reason, or the Enlightenment, but as a continuation of ~ h e Renaissance. In
lecture I of his Vorlesungen August Schlegel wrote: "It IS well known that,
three centuries and a half ago, the study of ancient literature received a new
life ... the classical authors were brought to light, and rendered universally
accessible by means of the press. . . . But the study of the ancients was
forthwith most fatally perverted. The learned ... claimed for the ancients an
unlimited authority .... Maintaining that nothing could be hoped for the
human mind but from an imitation of antiquity, in the works of the moderns
they only valued what resembled or seemed to bear a resemblance to those of
the ancients. Everything else they rejected as barbarous and unna tura!."
19. The early Bestuzhev's assessments of Russian writers in his first
"Glance" are repeated throughout Marlinsky's treatment of modern Russian
literature beginning here. He characterizes the eighteenth century in terms of
its most prominent rulers: Peter the Westernizer, Anna the Germanizer (the
reference to her favorite minister BUhren), Elizabeth who loved the French
Rococo, Catherine the Great (II) under whose reign French Neoclassicism
became dominant. Reference is additionally to the Tatar Yoke (the Khans of
the Golden Horde) and the Polish interventions in the late sixteenth and early
seventeenth centuries when two pretenders were placed on the throne of
Muscovy (the False Dimitrys).
20. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was among the Romantics of the 1820s most
responsible for the development of the concept of national originality. Indeed,
even though.Vyazemsky coined the word narodnost, Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was
the first to use it in print. In the early 1820s his concern was usually
expressed in terms of language; until this essay, history was of secondary
importance to him. Here he repeats a key opinion of the "Glances" that
prefaced the three annual issues of The Polar Star, namely that the Russian
eighteenth-century submission to French Neoclassicism was ruinous to both
the native literature and the native language. "A Glance at Russian
Literature Ancient and Modern" (1823) contains a denunciation of the
Gallicisms that inundated the Russian language since the reign of Empress
Elizabeth in the mid-eighteenth century. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky began "A
Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1823" (1824) with a praise of
Russian patriotism in 1812, but concluded with dismay that after the war "a
hidden passion for Gallicisms suddenly seized all positions with more force
than before .... " Remember also that in his third and last essay, "A Glance
at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825,"
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky traced what he considered a retardation in the
development of literature to the fact that "we have been raised exclusively on
French literature."
21. The first "Glance" contains an almost identical assessment of the
great Russian poet G.R. Derzhavin; both assessments are indebted to Prince
Vyazemsky's 1817 monograph "On Derzhavin." Pushkin and other Romantics
of the 1820s also gave high praise to Derzhavin's odes, especially "The
Waterfall."
22. Here Bestuzhev-Marlinsky refutes Pushkin's praise of Derzhavin
who knew how to address his empress without demeaning his dignity. Clearly,
in Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's view, any intercourse between poet and court or
magnate is demeaning. His prose works of the 1830s contain numerous linked
allusions to Pushkin, Derzhavin, the poet, the magnate. The reference to
Derzhavin's governmental rank perhaps alludes to his opposition to the
Marlinsky 159
reforms of Alexander I while serving as Minister of Justice, and generally to
his conservative views.
23. In his 1823 intl'oduction to the collected works of 1.I. Dmitriev, "A
Word on the Life and Poems of Ivan Ivanovich Dmitriev," Vyazemsky
asserted that the Sentimentalist poet's fables had more narodnost and were
therefore superior to the fables of Ivan Krylov. This assessment was refuted
by Dmitriev's own nephew, M.A. Dmitriev (Vyazemsky's opponent in the
debate set off by his "Conversation"), F.V. Bulgarin, and (in private letter&)
Pushkin. The early Bestuzhev also refuted Vyazemsky's untenable position in
his second "Glance"; Marlinsky does the same here.
24. The assessment repeats the line established in the 1810s:
Karamzin, Russia's great Sentimentalist, paved the way for Romanticism, but
was not himself a Romantic. Karamzin's prose tale "Poor Liza" (1792) was
based on Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky
ridicules this sad tale of seduction, unrequited love, and suicide in his
phraeology, as well as its flood of successors-·"Poor Masha," "Poor Tatyana,"
"Poor Louisa," Poor Marya," and so on. The reference to "sentimental
journal" is to Karamzin's Letters of a Young Russian Traveler (1791·1801).
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's Journey to Reval (1821) was written partly out of a
desire to show Russians how a non-Sentimental (that is, Romantic) travel
journal should be written.
25. The assessment repeats the author's opinion in his first "Glance,"
as well as his defense of Krylov's claim to narodnost in his second "Glance."
26. A lengthy account of the year 1812 was rembved by the censor
here.
27. Reference is to the Masonic movement in Germany, particularly the
development of mystic Rosicrucianism, which had a profound influence on
Russia via the group led by the philanthropist and educator N.I. Novikov in
the eighteenth century. It should be appreciated that virtually every Russian
Romantic was at one time or another an active Freemason.-the Masonic
influence can be seen most readily in the number of literary societies and their
periodicals that began, and often continued, as Masonic enterprises.
28. The intent seems to be to downplay German philosophy. This brings
Bestuzhev-Marlinsky into line with his fellow editor ·Ryleyev's rejection of
philosophy and the metaphysical orientation of the Lovers of Wisdom. But
note the Schellingian phraseology ("the exact and the beautiful"); similarly
Schellingian phraseology appears previously in this essay ("the realm of the
beautiful") and in a passage not translated (lithe realm of the corporeal-
beautiful"). The initial definition of modern literature as dual ("Romantic and
historical") indicates a comfortable familiarity with Schellingian aesthetics
and organic criticism, most probably with the same essay seen to be
important to the essays by Kiichelbecker, Ryleyev, Polevoy, Venevitinov, and
Kireyevsky in this anthology, "mer das Verhiiltnis del' bildende Kilnste zur
Natur" (1807). The Moscow Telegraph and Thp. Moscow Herald both published
numerous excerpts and complete texts of works by Schelling, the Schlegel
brothers, Madame de Stael, Simon de de Sismondi, J.P.F. Ancillon, G.W.F.
Hegel, and other European thinkers at this time. An important question that
should be asked at this time is, Where is Hegel? He is here at least
mentioned, but this and other essays prior to the late 1830s yield scant
evidence of knowledge of his work. The only indication of possible knowledge
of Hegel here is that the term "amalgamation" and its use by Bestuzhev·
1 no Russian Romantic CriliciHIll
Marlinsky is comparabll· to tilt! dlHh,\'w" ,md tilt' ('rllln' iii
quintessentially The dmit'l:lIcul (II' ,I> ImnU).'
exclusive to Hegel, hUWl'Vt:l'. and tilt' (j1l!,V thin!! Ihat. l:nu iiif' M.ml"" II
rule about und JIt't!;t'I. whf! lall:r (liYHi!:d <HId i!JiIllWI1
between them, iii that natural pllllny.I'ph.v 'Ii 11111 IIHU.tNI'd iii HUIHml
llntil the 18'Ws, prin<:iplllly h:,<' tilt, SLlvor,llIh,ti. 'lII!i Ht,,,,:!,! Iml. t(1
make his great until about the 1i:lllW lIIm'. Illimk\', !"rj.:I·I.,' I" till.- 1"II'd(,<
of N. V, SLunkevich und its InnUlmc:l' em ..
:In. Bestuzhev-MlIrlinsky rullnwli th!' 11m' Iilld dnwn In tIll' !i'\:.!(h,:
Zhukovsky was the SC'I1limentalilit Kanulll,in'f>, !'.\fly HntlHUHn' 1'Il1t'(;I'1,!4!1I'.
Push kin was Zhuko\,sk,,'Iil. Whal,c\'t'I· tlll'll' dlfft·!'t'fl{'!·f" Ut'ti! uzhl"\'·Mm')lIllilk \'
never doubted that PlI!:Iilkin wali HutHm"!ifll'etll IHI\'t., l'ul>hkm ...... ill> n;!·
poet everyone read in the! 1 H20s. UUI wlwl't, thl' 1 H:Hlf, iU'!' !:'Ilm;l'f'lwd tlunt.
was only om! wriwr who could !:my "l\'lmt'!" ur llw HU!I.!ll:ln J.iuhht\ Ilnd lhnl
was Aleksandr Marlinsky.
riO. The point should not bt' mu!!wd ht't'/I11';",- II MlH4fd u,(j
extrav(lgantly. The author actually m!IiI'rlSi !.IHlt tiw ruhmmllH!Il ¢If I Ill,
amalgamation (or e"olution, even I't'vniulnm. lH, Ill' I'mw ndlUlj.: II.! uC
history is the Romnntic histA:lriculfHl\'t'l (If Wiilh.'1' !\.(·1\hltht·\, ..
Marlinsky's historical tales 01' the 11'12011 IUt' lIlul,(ttl till' (Ir tUIHunt:.1l
fiction a In Scott in Russia,
31. It has been nowd in !h,! C(1Il1mmll.m'\' til Kln'\'('\'l>k ""I'. MII'II!'" of
Russian literature that tht! murk II .; Il.lda:i!l t\ll'11 from W
prose in H.usaia, and that F'. V, BulglU'ltl'1I tHIVC! hrrAII V,H·,.fU)l;UI .MH un ttUl'
trend by becoming Russia's first bel!l f(wll !! I', uf!,ml
ridiculed Bulgarin (and cuckolded him tonI. but ttlt,,," ..·d Imd
Bulgarin helped him b(lcome the mmlt pOJlulnr (If UtWl>, The
assessment, is 000 generolls: hum UI WnU(I" Mill lhv 11IlIUwit:al
novel Dimitry the P!'(Itencier is a thil'd·rutiit Ifflllnwm of
drama Boris Godunoll,
32. M.N. Zagoskin's histol'it'al novel 1lIc1:tt dunn;! du·Time uf
Troubles (the Polish interventions!, .. 'tl!.!d turn III prwil' by
almost ten years; his novel of 1812 ill rOT it .. !'! !,lnllljil iHklnu!IIlIf), I.T,
Kalashnikov and K.I>. Masnlsky are only tW(1 or m,uny"RulIlIliHi
Scotts" who began flooding Russia with t1fl"'t'Il! HU!\!>lillI th!.'lrlltlJ. .It
this time. The author of The IASI Novik i!l 1.1. I,ul,lut1:hmkrw, till' tw;tfll
Romantic historical novelist.
RUSSIAN
ROMANTIC
CRITICISM
An Anthology
Edited and Translated by
Lauren Gray Leighton
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STUDY OF WORLD LITERATURE,
NUMBER 18
GREENWOOD PRESS
NEW YORK • WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT • LONDON
Contents
A Note on Apparatus ...................................... .
Russian Romantic Criticism: An Introduction ...................... v
Konstantin Batyushkov: A Discourse on the Influence of Ligh t Verse
on Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1
Vasily Zhukovsky: A Comment on "Lalla Rookh" ................... 9
P.A. Pletnyov: The Prisoner of ChiIlon .......................•.. 13
Orest Somov: On Romantic Poetry ..............•.............. 21
P.A. Vyazemsky: On The Captive of the Callcaslls .........••....... 47
V.K. Kiichelbecker: On the Trend of Our Poetry, Particularly Lyric,
in the Past Decade ........................•. 55
Aleksandr Bestuzhev: A Glance at Russian Literature in the Course
of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825 . . . . • . . . . . . . • .. 69
Four Fragments by Pushkin ......•......•.••................ 85
Nikolay Polevoy: Eugene Onegin, Chapter 1 .....•.•............. 10 1
D. V. Venevitinov: On the State of Enlightenment in Russia . . . . . . . . .. 111
I.V. Kireyevsky: A Survey of Russian Literature in the Year 1829 .... 119
Aleksandr Marlinsky: On Romanticism and the Novel ............ " 137
V.G. Belinsky: On the Russian Prose Tale .................•.... 161
A Note on Journals and Literary Almanacs .............•.....•. 177
Selected Bibliography .............•......................• 183
Index . , . . . . .. t • • • • • • • • • • t • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .. • • • • • • • •• 187

Journal Title: Russian romantic criticism: an anthology

Call #:

PG3012 .R8 1987

Location: Volume: Issue: MonthNear: Pages: 137-160; toe Article Author: Article Title: On Romanticism and the Novel

Transaction Date: 11/29/20113:25:07 PM

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Electronic Delivery? Yes
Rebecca Gould (rgld@ui) 663 Phillips Hall, Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures Iowa City, IA 52242 rebecca-gould@uiowa,edu

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it has penetrated us with full feeling. In the past it brawled around. the mind. there is a smattering of people." "Would you care to order a frock coat cut Warsaw-style?" asks the tailor. look about you a bit! Is there really nothing new under the sun? Don't you know. reduced whole peoples to nothingness. Now history is not simply in fact. We live also in an age of history. it will be cast off like ribbons a la giraffe. who imagine that Romanticism as regards readers is a fashion. locked in the nature of man and so distinctly manifested in fact. my esteemed sirs. 1 There are people. and not at all the necessity of the age. In their opinion. but in the memory. everything that was once before. History has always been with us. Others prolong their old beliefs beyond belief to an unconditional rejection of the very existence of Romanticism. crept stealthily as a thief. Glance at a signboard--Kutuzov beckons you . A horse comes a-prancing--it's a Wellington. But after a heavy hangover people forgot the bloody carousing of yesteryear. gentlemen. it will play itself out and soon be forgotten. That is the first thing. moreover in an age of history par excellence. "buy an Eriuanka hat. But good lord. that at last it will blow over. It jostles us with its elbows on the promenade. feel it constantly. worms its way between you and your lady at the cotillion. 2 Now things are different. always been inevitable. will cease to be just because it is read without understanding and written about without thinking? We live in an age of Romanticism. will be again-. raised princely luck from the common muck.there is nothing new under the moonl" Agreed! The moon is a light of night. "Everything that is now.Aleksandr Marlinsky: On Romanticism and the Novel We live in an age of Romanticism. the hearts of men. pass away. "Barin! Barin!" the street vendor shouts. and soon history became the fairy tale. that to maintain such things in our time is but the heroism of stupidity and nothing more? Can doubt in the truth destroy truth itself. I said. and can it really be that Romanticism. cast heroes in the dust. smashed kingdoms. not the call of the human soul. as regards writers a whimsy. not the thirst of the native intellect. was once before. and at night all cats are gray. hear it. like gloves a La Rossini or d'une altra bestia. But at first it walked silently as a cat. We see it. like the chloride·of-lime cure for cholera.

Yes sir. its symbols and its fairy tales.. cochineal. however. . it's history. spiritualize them. although it was discovered by Columbus. we who have seen so many weighty names weighing down their frail owners like a tombstone. . History is our better half. now a buffoon... Let's cast these names aside .138 Russian Romantic Criticism into an inn. It's Niebuhr and Vidocq between the lines. Helena. the lamp of history is needed to discern in the gloom of the Midddle Ages the path through the ruins along which Romanticism invaded Europe from different sides and finally took root in her. with its indigo. Take a pinch of snuff--the box is engraved with a likeness of Charles X. but the North was destined to clean off their dirty crust. 7 we who have heard so many commonfolk names put forth in the exultant songs of the common people! What do we care that the blindman Homer and the dandy Virgil were set down in classrooms to the accompaniment of the birch of Aristotle! What do we care that the Romance troubadors. it's as whimsical as a highborn lady. and ideas are dominant. it's as thievish as the forty thieves. over which from time to time flashes the shadow of the hand of Providence. it's as brave as a Russian soldier. It is necessary to state once and for all that by the term Romantic I mean the eternal striving of the infinite human spirit to express itself in finite forms. It's as faithful as a hound dog. 9 A strange situation: the East was fated from time immemorial to send to all ends of the world. dry yourself with glory. disconnected. and . our history. 3 And this is why I think that in spirit and essence there are on1 two literatures-the literatures before Christianity and since Christianity. history is nowadays being changed into everything you could wish for. in the second the soul reigns. In the first feelings and corporeal images dominate. We need a horse. unaccountable. even if you don't in the least wish it. scattered everywhere their tales and refrains! What do we care whether classrooms or Rumania gave their names to two literatures!? . I know not what alll Change a bill and you will dine on glory. The East divined them in a sort of magnetic dream. melt them. it's a whole people. Now it's a hero. listen to glory. the second a literature of will. And I warn you--neither crutches nor braces are available! . I w04ld call the first a literature of fale. not a horsecloth!8 For us. the deluge of Petersburg and the Lisbon earthquake. . and spices. the assassination of Henry IV and Waterloo. We married it willy-nilly and there's no divorce. 5 The first is a place of execution where fate is the executioner. puff on glory. I invite along with me neither our little old men in velveteen gout boots nor youths out of breath from dancing. the North nourished them in the hothouse of analysis·-for the East is imagination and the North is reason. And this is why I consider it the cohort of the human soul.. the second is a field of battle on which the passions fight with the will. in the full weight of that expression. idealize them. its beliefs and legends. the Beryozina and St. it's as accurate as a Breguet watch. living for us. tread on glory. took possession of her. created by us. 6 Insignificant circumstances gave to ancient literature the name Romantic with as much good I'eason as the New World was christened America.. Here is the key to the dual--Romantic and historic--trend of our modern literature. it's as shameless as a nuptial-cake vendress. . Plunge your fork into a sweet pastry and-it's name is Napoleon! Spend a ten-copeck piece and you will receive in exchange the iIl-starredness of the ages--Clytemnestra and Chenier. arousing both native pride and appetite at once. Only those may accompany me who are enthusiasts for roaming. Stamp a letter--the seal is the Emperor Franz Joseph. man the sacrifice. gadding about the world.

dressed up in a Roman toga. this miraculous quality--in all of nature to feel as one. on the latter a hope of freedom.activity of life became concentrated in the West. see as one--is this not practical Romanticism. in the spirit of evangelical brotherhood. of the marvelous adventures of the Paladines. The swords of knights-errant rang forth at every crossroad. But in the chaotic gloom and storm of the Middle Ages a new order of civicism and morals was being prepared. worshipped them. seated himself at the lower end of the table. preserving even in time of peace a military order-of-ranks for the occasion of a campaign. Christianity removed women from behind their lattices and placed a mantle on them and put them on a level equal with men. even wanted to pray in the Basilica of Rome. portaged their craft if it had to be launched mto another river.France and the Moors into Spain. but fearless Scandinavians. 10 Many of the Gothic and Slavic peoples were ruled by gatherings (Meeting. sometimes for both at once. Comte) elected to leadership. Sejm). strumming a harp. divided them along with the land. Herzo'g. The conqueror-peoples became a camp in the midst of the vanquished. In turn. made idols of them. the epoch was most dramatic.Marlinsky 139 All the . and penetrated along the waterways into the center of strong. Until the time of the settling down. and for this reason the Christian faith quickly poured forth among them. war alone was the religion of the Western barbarians. of spiteful sorcerers. Baron marched off to war on baron in violation of suzerainty. Suzerain. sang romances of battles and the deeds of forebears. and paid for hospitality by spinning a tale. the greater part by princes (Konig. This spiritual union of souls. There alone. Tournaments made one of beauty and valor. to command. for the vanquished a joy. In the distance the abbey murmured with the peal of evening bells. Earle. of the temptations of holy monastics who delivered unfortunate wretches from the devil's claws or the wheel of fate. this unswerving striving toward the object of one's passion. most poetic. of abducted maidens. it may be said. all but deified them. they sang of glory and love. 12 Bands of hungry. Life did not just flow. it seethed in that era of piety and love. Wehrmancy. For all this. and under his command crossed the uncharted sea. or alleviation. the wanderer boldly knocked on the gate of the feudal master. frantic for glory. All of Europe was then accumulated in the castles of the feudal barons among whom had been crumbled the power of the former caesars. On the former it bestowed personal prerogatives for conquest. The wandering minstrel was indispensable even at funerals. Prince. beyond the rums of Roman power. ordeals. or hurling each other back. He drank the cup dry (this prelude was preserved with particular piety) and sang. cast their lot into boats. so greedy for shiny novelties. and by the Crusades. and constancies scarcely conceivable to us were at that time more commonplace than stale bread. For the victors this faith was a luxury. Chivalry raised them above themselves and nature. entered the ~rst river they encountered. . Above all. chose themselves a sea ruler (Ses Konung). The Longbard. sometimes in time of peace. driving each other wherever their eyes took them. that era of chivalry and brigandage. a distinction. thr?bbed the nomadic peoples. who were so indifferent to the past. for in those days everyone loved glory and glorified love. Hunters' horns trumpeted through the woods without cease. half-naked. washing one another from the face of the earth with floods of gore. 11 Vows. sometimes during campaigns. Romanticism in action? An even deeper stamp was put on gothic literature by the invasions of the Normans (our Varangians) into .

which became by right and merit an example to all. We will return to this when we come to speak of the elements of Romantic literature.140 Russian Romantic Criticism prosperous kingdoms. hyperbole. and the Crusades made this all the more widespread. was miraculously inculcated into European Romanism. similes. having been shut up all winter in his hut. but regretfully. together with twisted columns. majestic event. attracted them to dangers and conquest. came the inimitable humor that distinguishes our own age. rich men donated their lands to the poor or to monasteries. 13 The Stoics became great because they despised suffering and death--but humor does better without such vainglory: it laughs in intervals of suffering and jests at death. The brave Crusaders all perished. and their kaleidoscopic diversity of colors was soon reflected in all the poetry of the South and the West. laid ruin. Necessity drove the Scandinavians from their native land. thoughtless. architecture. enraptured by a spirit of piety and indignation. frivolous. This was a rainbow of Hindustan shining in the clouds of Europe. while mindless valor. without even preparing bread. next the conquest of England. noblemen mortgaged or sold their estate for arms. lancet windows. It amazed and delighted one and all--and burned out in the implacable swarms of Spanish ignorance. Soon the Scandinavians forgot their Odin. But if with the fall of Boabdil the universities of the Pyrenee's wallowed century by century deeper into the bog of absurd scholasticism. and horsemanship. inlays. Let's recall here the conquest of our own homeland and Normandy first. in all the elegance of its poetry. The Moors were moved by the inspiration of Mohammed. and a refined chivalry. lost . the Moor expressed himself in the speech of colors. open-lattice turrets. but the spirit of their sagas. and then raids into Spain. 14 The Crusades were a moving. the enlightenment of the Caliphs turned out be a rocket instead of a star. Ireland-· anywhere there was loot to lure and water to float. and entire generations. fought without regard for cost in lives. sparing neither sex nor sanctity. puts its neck in the noose. perfumes. for all that the opulence of expressions. greed for glory. even though a passion for conquest and sea nomadry continued long to cast their descendants upon other peoples. From the amalgamation of the carefree. Casting a symbolic bouquet on the bosom of hig. developed over the entire face of Europe. But having settled down. together with seguidillas and romanciers. was reluctantly forced back into himself and steeped in his own soul. spangles. beloved. With the cry "Bismalla! Bismalla!" ("In the name of God!"). Sicily. The old and the young crowded into the front line of battle shouting "Thus wills God!" And thrice did Europe hurl itself upon Asia--quickly to melt like a glacier beneath the burning sun of Palestine. looted. their Valkyries. they were tamed by faith. not even knowing how to read. kings abandoned their crowns. rushed off in all directions to repulse the heathen from the tomb of the Lord. destroyed or subjugated provinces. for all that the newness of style. At the call of a poor anchorite. they poured into Spain bearing with them the East. always singing Frenchman with the inhabitant of the gloomy North who. the reason of the North. He brought into fashion pattern designs. united with the wit and liveliness of the French and took root in the Norman character and then crossed la Manche with William the Conqueror where it burned out in the flame of battles and rebellions and then sprang again to life in the majesty and originality of English literature. often risks its very soul for a witty word. their Valhalla (heaven) promised to the brave.

but like a living thing they loved. Little has come down to us of the ancient songs of the European rabble in their primitive form (with the exception of Britain and our own RUB. this class owned the strength and produce of nature. if only at a crawl. fairy tales. the common inhabitants of the cities. and fought to the death against those who wished by lawaI' whim to subdue them anew. hated. and frequently valued less than dogs. the bourgeoisie. Carthagenes. These were simply cities. which ruled over provinces and had their own independent political existence. Oh no! From his excl'uciating campaigns the veteran Crusader brought back the seeds of tolerance. there seethed a hale. artisans. by nature they comprised a part of humanity. where the city was the capital of the country. and they moved forward. an element which subse~uently engulfed all the others--I speak of the merchantry. and scholars. wishing their own trials and justice. But within the walls of all cities in general and free cities in particular. separate itself with a wall. It gave rise to merchants. from the oral legends of the rabble. and often wage war with its neighbors. changed into the particolored jacket of the wandering jester. Literature was enriched by Eastern fairy tales. clever popUlation which gave birth to the so-called middle class. their own poetry.Marlinsky 141 everything. hired the labors of men. where the people comprised the mass). and sometimes. that picture. But the affair of the fate of God did not pass in vain. For even the European common folk (and they were still far from worthy of the name of a people). The sciences were spread by a tested knowledge of the world. It would happen that the kings themselves would make villages into settlements and cities into communes in order to settle them after plagues or the ravages of enemies. so intricate. so fanciful. and rebelled again so long as the strength of some king did not utterly destroy them or force of circumstances put them off to better times. sometimes even with unlimited self-rule within and often without so much as a common pasture beyond the walls. their own amusements. while the holy wars called them to the ends of the earth. Comprising a part of a plot of earth by law. there arose and was strengthened in Europe an element of civic ism. or our own Novgorod. crawled in their powerlessness. the wigs of the advocate or judge. artists. are a bottomless mine for a native poetry! 16 While great and petty rulers pestered one another. who had no rights whatsoever. nor even Tyre. 15 For that matter. It would happen that only one part of the city would receive or take the right of community. In these especially. . pulled the professor's hat down over its eyes. common folk began to play roles for the first time on a level equal with Viziers and Khans. donned the cassock of the priest. feeling their own power. rented out its own talents. both that which they conquered and that which they left at home. of the mode of life of the past. ran off to the protection of some neighboring ruler or bishop. often even the very expressions. these communes resembled neither Rome or Sparta. that even the people can be entertaining--the people whom they led about in collars like dogs. completely unknown to antiquity. simply revolted. Without so much as an inch of land. but we can surmise the common-folk origin of many ballads in the bizarre verses of the singers who borrowed the basis. by their attention. Whatever the case. had their own customs. where the city was the government.! The merchants and artisans. They employed cunning. and noblemen admitted for the first time. which have survived right up to our very day on the lips of the common folk. nor London or Paris. that facsimile of the intellect of the past. They lived like a thing. bought the right to them from their owner with money or services.

Just why do you tie children to a rotten stump when they can find their own shade beneath the lofty birch? The living need something alive. by mistake and by inspiration. comedy. which was guarded by the graves of at least twelve generations (quartieri). there is no denying it. it gave life to writers of all types. The New World was discovered. which took on a color at first of religious fanaticism and then of religious exclusiveness. But an oak stump is a poor protection from the sun. The scholar durst' not speak other than in Latin. more fruitless yet. these authors hurled over it the arrows of satire. the Latin language was the dialect of the faith. They paid them back a hundred-fold in kind for sneers and pittances with far more offensive sneers. or epigrams. It may be said that from this time there was no cease to an open struggle between two political bases. prattled to the rural and urban rabble about the obligations of rulers. The wars of the Protestants in the field and in the cathedral exhibited the spirituality of the Christian religion in all its purity. 18 This is why it set about imitating the Greeks to exhaustion and. the Romans. Chain mail crumbled into dust. Let's cast away Classicism like the decayed dead man's clothing in which it tried to dress us. it was the hard coin of all institutions of learning. The Reformationists repudiated Catholicism because it fell into corporeality and meddled in affairs not its own by seizing what belonged rightfully to others. and an exultation of language took possession of all poetry--the world of the Bible came to life beneath the pen of Milton. and meanwhile the spirit of the times worked better by events than by all these things together_ The invention of gunpowder and book printing got to the ancient nobility. in the class of merchants. "The peril is equal for both you and your vassals. even though such Vandal-Roman use of his language would have made Cicero dig himself three feet deeper in y. From that day forth a prophetic mysticism." The first printed page was the proclamation of the victory of the enlightened plebeians over the ignoramous noblemen. let alone not write in it. and it was reflected everywhere and in everything. and through the clerics who served as secretaries it became the language of pragJ. an Eastern opulence of description and allegory. and that the elegant was to be found nowhere else. Whatever the case. enraptured by the discovery of the famous works of antiquity. The remarkable thing about these authors for us is that because they were born in an epoch of rebellion and strife. and with the translation of the Holy Writ into the languages of the people they became known to the people for the first time. The perfidies and family secrets of the highborn became the property of all. wearied by popery. the epoch of the Renaissance of the arts and sciences did not understand such full-weighted truths and. beneath the brush of Raphael. Besides. it convinced itself that they were unconditional models of the elegant. which in those times considel:ed everything permissible as regards the lower layers of society--these authors raised in their own caste and preserved in their own works a sort of mocking vexation toward magnates and noblemen. The spirit began stirring everywhere--it broke into the open because the body became much too confining for it.142 Russian Romantic Criticism But most important.--c. . authors by need and by order. Unable to cross the Chinese wall of the nobility. And what could be more just: the oak is a most beautiful tree. The first broadside to whistle into the ranks of the knights told them. a new volcano shook Europe. poets of all eminences. a class that understood its own worth but was oppressed and despised by the aristocracy.natism. who themselves mimicked the Greeks.

Only France. wound her up in whalebone baleens. But Romanticism had a representative even in this time of corporeality: this was the independent eccentric Rousseau. the Chinese mandarin and the knights of the Middle Ages--one and all were sprinkled with a confetti of salutations. and each looked twin to the others. But spectators and readers were seized with convulsions of rapture over all those Marquis Orestes. one of the most creative and original geniuses of the land. and they opened new paths to the realm of the beautiful. But gifted minds were still able to break away from the close union with which they were paired with Aristotle by leaden scholasticism. by the way. got tangled in the tail of her frock. the France whose every taste take~ passionate fire. the Chinese orphan or the Kammerjunker of Louis XIV. in poetry. not only rejected society's every custom but misconstrued the very nature of man. In contrast. and was it only the ancients the French boiled into one of their sauces? It got to the point that everyone was a look-alike. during him. Until him. For their Utopia they rooted in the earth instead of the sky. perhaps!" And that tomorrow was so long in coming. I say. scholars perceived nothing loftier than the Greeks or Romans--the ideal of perfection was for them far in the past. and taught her to dance the minuet and curtsy to the floor. when Calderon had peopled the Spanish stage with dramas full of fire and simplicity. with pedants. was driven like a strumpet from the gates by decree of the French Academy. living speech too common. which had the irremediable misfortune not to be a lady. And common sense clutched the door handle like a supplicant while the porter-Classicist preened before him in his livery and told him haughtily. at that time. when Camoes had swum on a plank from a wrecked ship holding his Lllsiads over his head. The savage American and the Turkish sultan. and imagined they could beautify nature.. "Tomorrow. France put fetters on the gift of Corneille and sprinkled Racine half and half with orgeade and the water of the Tiber. stuttered over the positioning of her caesuras. At a time when Italy was already in possession of Dante. boring as could possibly be. but it did not know it. was ridiculous to a pitiful degree. and quite historical besides--who took turns speaking sermons in Alexandrine lines and tossed out double handfulls of powder.Marlinsky 143 his grave. or more properly speaking.. the profound imagination of the North . The poor old girl stumbled at every step on her high heels. when England in the rebelliousness of its wars and interregnum had tempered the spirit of Shakespeare. Infant nature. the brilliant dreamer Rousseau. The French rouged the old crone of antiquity as red as red can be. whimsical France. spangles. Shut your eyes and you will not know who is speaking: Orosmane or Alzire. establish language! And they became absurd because they displayed their wit too much. Thus it was with the scholarly class. all the Aeolian poetry of the North. invented his . If only it had depicted the world of antiquity as it actually was. which had such a vast influence on our own literature lively France. the great Shakespeare who was himself poetry. and all because the French found God's world too foul for itself. Yes. Chevalier Brutuses. and aphorisms honed to such a fine degree that they were unsuitable even for epigraphs. all imagination. that captivating paradox Rousseau. pasted her all over with beauty spots. much less understand it. Madame Agrippinas--characters quite estimable. ennoble. created his own man. took monastic vows and immured its intellect alive in the sepulchural tombs of Classicism.

but his beginning was true . loiter about one of Le Notre's allees all clipped into the shape of a mushroom. A poet without rhymes. And from what spring could they most quickly quench it if not from the most handy? Our own literature had either I . pernicious inventions for youth which cooled the heart to the valors of the past. Zephyrs and Adonises.. True. the chief condition of poetry.. The marble menials of Olympus. he did not attain truth. And it was not merely fashion that caused the predeJiction of Russians for French literature. he has been distinguished from time immemorial for an out of the ordinary pliancy of mores. or by all those villains and confidants who are as much like one another as all the screws and nuts of the Sisterbek Factory. A thirst for reading was aroused in Russians along with the rudiments of enlightenment. He drank kumiss with the Khans of the Golden Horde. I can drink lemonade instead of kvas. the good from the bad. But the age of Peter had no time for literature--its poetry was manifested in deeds. an out of the ordinary acceptance of things foreign. he was the first. everything sacred on this earth! . deprived men of self-esteem.. and books shameful to humanity. engravings. but my thirst is nonetheless real. indifference to everything noble in man. Along with French culinary came the heroes cooked up by the French. independent of imitation or habit. he wore kontouszyat the court of the Pretender. In the time of Elizabeth French mores replaced the customs of Buhren. and consequently. he erred in his applications. during the reign of Catherine a mixture of the language of Nizhny Novgorod with a Gascon language was no longer a marvel. both the real ones and those transformed to fit our Russian mores. A Don Quixote of Utopianism. 19 It is from this time that we became accustomed to living in the castoff clothing and leavings of Paris. Even here the Russian barin did not lag behind. all tyrants of the belly and the endurance in four characters. the remains of all Italy. other than it was.144 Russian Romantic Criticism own society. as if its roots were in his heart. candied pigeons and rose lamb were imported along with nightcaps and Rob Roys. It was these loathsome incitations that killed in their bloom the finest hopes of Russia by putting forth as the aim of existence bestial pleasures which inspire disbelief or.. brought up the rear. feed on sauce mixures. but in moments of leisure the Russian barin loved to hear fairy tales of faraway lands. or stand admiring all those Van Loos. But if only we had merely to endure the boredom inflicted on us by all those Crispins and Vale res . he fought hard. If only we had merely been condemned to listen to all the frenetic French music. without sorting the old from the new. not words. but he sought it. but once in uniform he crawled on his belly like any good German. a thinker without pedantry. he left a link between the materialism of the age and the spirituality of the ages. A long period of inactivity fell upon old Russia when his seething activity expired. Material Europe gushed into Russia when Peter the Great smashed down the wall that separated them. to say that the world can be improved other than it is. but necessity as well. But no! Eighteenth-century France deluged us with songs. he lost himself in the clouds.. ragout and fricasse dropped in unannounced arm and arm with Poliphont and Neron. Bouillion (not Count Bouillion) and Gallantry were admitted on the same passport with Narcisse and CJelie. 20 From this time on French literature filled Mother Russia with its debris and its offspring. it is true. what is worse. Orgons and Celimenes. For his beard. if only in delirium. just out of fashion. like Plato.

he was the first to lay the foundation stone of Russian Romanticism. everyone rushed to shed diamond tears on iilies-of-the-valley in an earthen pot of buttermilk. antiquity sang Lazarus only in the seminaries. without literature). because he was a Privy Councillor. the poison of passions. to arouse a passion for the most positive ' searching. The attention with which it revived Kurganov's Epistolary Handbook heartened scribblers to further deeds. And suddenly out of this sea of sweetish milk rose the fire-spewing Derzhavin.. seized a ray of the sun by the seat of its pants. the tragedy was raised to a howl by Sumarokov. and here 8wdery was renewed for us in Fyodor Emin.. Russian literature . it is true. Ancient RUB was still dozing. receive a ring of a place setting at the lower end of the magnate's table or even simply permission to loiter about his antechamber.Marlinsky 145 not yet been created or was hidden in oblivion! England lay for us at that time at the bottom of the ocean-sea. very few understood him." "The Waterfall"--and you will pronounce them Romantic poems. 21 His rapture is fused always with a melancholy dreaminess. and even here and there with a tinge of narodnost. And here Fonvizin bronzed for posterity the characters of his provincial contemporaries. the epopee sang its own requiem in Kheraskov. passwords into the best sOciety. not only in spirit but also in the boldness of his images. Germany was still ungerminated (that is." his "Ode to Happiness. Everyone imitated him because they thought to pass from Parnassus to the next rank.. and he cast to the stars the bronze and flame of the Russian word. his fleeting stories told in the vernacular of the best society. Bu Derzhavin's success was hardly due only to his talent. Everyone began talking about mother nature--they who saw nature while speeding by half asleep in their carriagesJ··and the words "sensibility" and "unhappy love" became shibboleths. since they did not know fires of passion. At that time Kotzebue and Genlis had already been introducing into fashion the false sentimentality which gasps over trifles. in the modernity of his forms. Everyone fell into a swoon. saccharine Wertherism borrowed by hears~y from the Germans. Regnard was renamed Knyazhnin." his "Ode to God. crushed mountain peaks beneath his heels. Lomonosov. 22 The public needed a literature for domestic utility . Read his "Swallow. Fate gave to Karamzin two assets which are all but incompatible in others-·to inspire in Russians a Romantic dreaminess and then to make them \ love their native history. This self-made giant entered into the abysses of poetry to do battle with it. Everyone bowed before him because he was a favorite of Catherine.24 Despite this untimely. plumed helmet over his eyes." "To a Magnate. or to drown themslves in a pond. hurled towers higher than the clouds. the nine teeth century entered not as a rosy dawn. and his "Poor Liza" and his sentimental journey in which he so inappropriately imitated Sterne turned everyone's head. Everyone read Derzhavin. and Trediakovsky's 'efforts frightened Russians well away from hexameters and the ancients. And here appeared Dmitriev with his light verse. And finally there shone forth the formulator of our prose--Karamzin." his "Felicia. sheds tears of sympathy over the foibles of love-·especially for foibles. 23 But he was composed almost in entirety of translations. A philosopher-poet. In short. as if foretokening within himself the dual trend of the age he preceded. was praised by one and all--and no one read him! The public explicated its desperation that it had nothing to read. Karamzin brought back from abroad a full supply of feeling. pulled a fiery. but 111 the glare of the fires of war.

but with the keenness of the imagination. flown away from everyday life. That world went on living without an echo in OUl' world. whilst. studied the anatomy of ( the laws of nature without reference to man. all-loving. but it lived alone in the midst of '1 its fogs and waves. Before him. he realized in himself a Germany which extracted man's ' soul and examined it apart from the life of the people. moving the mind of man no longer with scanty experiences. without a German garland of forget-me-nots. as before. more than by anything else. Only with him were they fresh in their own blush. for speculation. the second to think European. At that time Derzhavin had already moldered away among the ruins of the Lovers of the Russian Word. his little beasts' beards are untrimmed. Germany. history. Ancient Rus extended its sword everywhere between the despotism of Napoleon and the rights of the peoples he menaced. It was just at this time that Goethe shone forth. was combined in Goethe. Germany. steeped in laughable subtleties.146 Russian Romantic Criticism had not yet digested Marmontel and Madame Genlis. fruitful ideas explaining humanity. behind him. personified Germany. His little muzhihs are native Russian muzhihs without dyed beards. Karamzin was working exclusivejr on his History. England had . dreamy. eternally hovering between potatoes and the stars. fell into somnolence. 26 Only Germany. for imagination. isolated like a hermit who is happyin"the world of I delightful dreams he keeps to himself in his bosom. Dmitriev had already fallen silent. 27 All that was created by German geniuses for memory. Merchantman England fired off gold and iron and lampoons at the giant who had sworn to drive it from the face· of the earth .. who gathered in himself with bright lumination all the rays of Germany's enlightenment. Only independent. the other in clouds of abstractions.. all except feelings of patriotism--and by this. who incarnated. bold. He was the first to show them to us without the dust of antiquity. always nobly. half-earthly Germany. It fought for them. one half of which was in the dust of feudalism. all-embracing. and turning from the all-encompassing . What fortunates we are! Krylov and the nineteenth century were our godfathers! The first taught us to speak Russian. bold with their own powers. criticism seethed with modern. all. harkened to the music of the spheres and like Archimedes was not listening when its enemies took its sacred stronghold by storm. philosophY. Only Krylov was a worthy representative of our literature. All that shines in the world was \ reflected in his works. But Germany. from the mountebankery of Izidian Temple to the schemes of the Rosicrucians. Faust is the focus of Goethe's genius in exactly the same way he was the focus of enlightenment and spirit of Germany. 2 In the meantime Europe lived through centuries in a few short years. the genius of Schiller divined its virginal charm and assimilated into German literature the Romanticism of Shakespeare in all the majesty of its simplicity. geniuses who by some miracle suddenly ascended on the horizon of the past half-century like mutual constellations. without French foil. from the symbolism of Zend-Avesta to the magnetism of the earth. simplehearted to laughter and scholarly to tears. Germany. long since had its own vast. allknowing. inimitable Krylov periodically renewed both the Russian mind and the Russian language in all their narodnost.. alongside him literature. exhausted by the mental effort of her geniuses in all branches of the exact and the beautiful. original poetry.

and. and why should I start paraphrasing what has already been said so sensibly. I will not place Derzhavin on the same I level with Zhukovsky and Pushkin. frisky. arrayed itself in alte deutsche Tracht. a journal in which Russia ought to take pride. which stands alone in defense against oldbelieving. Yes. or Pushkin. without even imitators. near-sighted singers of afar. himself mastered by passions to the depths of his soul. but having paid his tribute to La Fare and Parny.28 . when Aleksandr Pushkin flashed onto the scene. and Derzhavin.Marlinsky 147 universe. despite the downpour of his odes. and in his latest works has stood forth proud and independent. Rus was still echoing with the mournful refrains of Zhukovsky. began playing a rustic song on a whistle. bored one and all as terribly as the current polemic over homeopathy and cholera. so to speak. one flower from its boundless nature. their devils reeking of sweet rolls instead of brimstone. their robbers hired out from Nodier. From the other direction. Giaourism and Don Juanism. almost the peer of his age and fully at one with his people. 29 But I will not make an elaborate survey of Derzhavin. Zhukovsky and Pushkin. It was in just this epoch that Zhukovsky found it and. exchanged greetings with Don Juan. No life came from thick-jowled despair. died without heirs. dragged on with Uhland about something and anj. in gloves glacesj no life came from hungover students who sang of the bawdy hetaera of Fonarsky lane. from villains with opera glasses. grinding out an ukase. settled down to specifics. he dragged himself off to do battle against the II . during their lifetime have attracted thousands into their path. "To pen! To pen!" he wailed. because the first amazed all like a comet. And the baying of their ballads. he cast his pearls before everyone he encountered or crossed paths with. But he transplanted only one of its flowers. The swarm of giftless and half-gifted skulkers after the singer Minvana became the inert singers of languor. terrifying only for their absurdity.thing. changed into quarter-copeck pieces. But they attracted them inadvertently. You should have seen the little old fellow Classicism rouse himself from his slumber in his worm-eaten cathedra. since my aim is to note what influence has been exerted on poetry by actuality and how ( the ages have been expressed by poets. on the contrary. Pushkin cast off the mantle of Byron. from suicides by champagne cork. and the fatal word Romanticism was uttered. stands alone to catch European enlightenment! However. Zhukovsky. the foggy images of his poetry were still glimmering with his unworldly love. so impal"tially. while the latter two have been prime movers of our literature and have branded whole herds of imitators with their spirit. to a frivolous existence. It rang forth like a pistol shot. flew from all hands. saucy Pushkin. he was quickly able to say of public attention: "Mine!" At first as whimsical as Potyomkin. Mastering the language. off the right cushion. but vanished in the air without a trace. stolen from Pushkin's pocket. reduced to fractions. The only thing we can say is that we stopped playing blindman's bluff with marble statues. transplanted Romanticism to the virgin soil of Russian literature. Derzhavin's narodnost slipped away from his nearsighted contemporaries in just the same way as the purity of Lomonosov's language flowed by unobserved. his comforting hopes of life beyond the grave. transfOl"med itself into the babble of a man who has just fallen asleep. so absorbingly in Telegraph. began philosophizing to an old tune with Hegel. unintentionally. captivated by the pure dreaminess of Schiller and the legends of the German past.

made us love. take fright with his heroes and for his heroes. Together with the appearance of the German omnolence and the English spleen. the latter didn't know how to handle their spiritual weapons. The old men did not comprehend the ancients. cl'ashed down along with Napoleon in a literary sense also. breathed into them. The bow-wave of this triple anguish was terrible because it was political and religious parties which fought there in the name of Romanticism and Classicism. The genius of Walter Scott divined the domestic life and daily thought of chivalric times in just the same way Gibbon perceived their political existence. for it took us in battle. conquered us like the Tatars. by forms. These are not just apparitions from the gt'ave with the dust of decay on their themes. why? Instead. with their favorite saws. {or this reason and {or that reason. Yes.. It was not our strengths. and we argue about whether 01' not it exists. Romanticism triumphed. but he is a Romantic by exposition. with their petty little passions. and inspired Barante to write his . in the ordinary sense of the word. Far from it! We were rescued by time. It's embal'assing to recall what the two sides wrote against each other! But the younger generation read up a bit. moved us to it. Idealism triumphed--so what's all the fuss about? But let's not be vain. this is aside from the business at hand. drink. not our knowledge that made such a triumph possible. His very point of view toward the past shows that he is a poet--and that is enough. while Walter Scott beckoned the French to an acquaintance with Shakespeare. On the contrary. In accordance with the law of equal levels in hydrostatics. Walter Scott sprinkled them with the invigorating water of his creative imagination.148 Russian Romantic Criticism Romantics. Force united with conviction decided the battle there. and instead of moving it to us. all the crimes of the will. so that no one perceived whence it came. with their suprstitions. The bloodless battle that followed was most amusing. and the conclusion was predictable. He does not ask. the younger generation chattered away about modern writers they knew only from hearsay. these are living people. it must be confessed. Walter Scott is not a Romantic by theme. with the pulse of the real in their breasts. fight. and said "Live!"--and they came to life with the bloom of life in their cheeks. A poet in our time cannot be otlter than a Romantic!30 The Continental System. not the ghost of Saul in an ordinary burial uniform·-in a shroud. like Idealism. and very likely we will not believe it has received Russian citizenship and title until we read about it in The Hamburg Correspondent. Holy Rus was graced by still another unexpected but welcome guest: I speak of the historical novel. but can we ever forget that Madame de Staal fil'st introduced the German Muse into France's parlor. gave them a taste of history with his recountings of history. Imperialism. while our little old men rested. Of course. that is to say. by his Sterne-like spirit of analysis of all the operations of the soul. this wandering Jew. he says. It wanders among us. and Popism. the old man who eternally indulges youth and plays pranks tit for tat with it. He flung antiquity open before us. with their customs. We did not accept Romanticism. which blocked Europe from England. brawl. Niebuhr exhumed the Rome of the Caesars from beneath the triple layer of Consulism. The ~ormer gasped for breath beneath their rusty armor. English and German thought poured into France as soon as the vortex preventing it from seeking its level subsided. already it has built its castles of fantasy. the only old man without prejudice.

or The Russians in 1612 and Roslauleu. in their parts they bealr the stam p of tal~ndtedb hdumor . Hebel discovered the Indian Iliad. The Nibelungenlied. and even then these rumors were believed only in market places." I will not say one way or another. we are 111 e te to h1m lor arousmg m usslans a t lrst for native historical novels.. Could the fresh Russian people remain alien to this trend? Karamzin made us eager for the legends of our antiquity.in our history and prove how powerless is a talent defeated by imitation. thanks to tedious labor. so rich in their picturesque descriptions of Siberia. and then Mr. was liberated from the dungeons of Saint-Gaul Monastery..·. or The Russians in 1812. so precious in materials which clarify a most interesting epoch . Chezy. Kalashnikov's novels Merchant Zholobou's Daughter and The J(amchadal Maiden. not a Russian novel.Marlinsky 149 Romantic chronicle? In a word and at last. and he overtook Bulgarin with his first attempt. And you think this was done by men and at once? Montaigne eut dit: "Que-sais-je?" et Rabclais: "Peut-etre. despite his erratic style and the dual thread of the story. European refinement. The historical tales of Marlinsky in which. Vision expands in all directions--this is a law of nature. because I think otherwise. Kosegarten.While Pushkin raised his pyramid in the desert of our poetry (I speak of his Godunou). 31 The challenge has not proved vain. Only the writer of The Last Nouik. the more deeply did it penetrate into the past as well . and Carey.. But let us be truthful--he presented us with a European. The envy aroused by his Dimitry the Pretender proved that it had merit. . . Walter Scott determined the propensity of our age to historical details and created the historical novel which has become a necessity of the entire reading world from the walls of Moscow to Washington. by christening clouds and oceans. archeological ventures gathered all sorts of elements for the novel... 1 . To assert that Napoleon advanced on Russia because he was deceived by Caulaincourt into believing he would be welcomed with open arms might have been credible in 1812. Masalsky's Streltsy and The Black Box. Polevoy. The Scandinavians' Edda was revived.. N. And Bulgarin performed the feat as adroitly as he did boldly. And then Mr. . he spoke forth in the Jiving Rus!:Jja~ vernacular. although he has far from justified the presumptuous titles of his novels: Miloslausky. Nevertheless. served as the doors to the mansion of the full novel. The further its gaze pierced into the fog of the future. Wilson analyzed it. because I believe in what I have thought out•. And here appeared at last a man who resolved to spring into the gaping jaws of the crocodile-public--Bulgarin. an~ many ~f t~eirRcha:acters hh~ve J b ecome egen dary. casting off the fetters of the language of books. by harnessing gas and steam. who with such ardent self-denial has devoted himself to the truth and benefit \1 .. The Song of Igor's Campaign.. the more truly. Curi~si~y reached its peak because Pushkin teased it with a few chapters of Onegth'/'because the theater offered nothing but vaudevilles half hammered out from the French that could be called double-meaninged only out of politeness. if Bulgarin's novels are erroneous in their whole. has been able to make himself independent and escape reproach for recruiting historical details by bringing them to life through a hot play of characters.. from the magnate's study to the petty tradesman's counter. Artus and other Carolingian poems were found. The historical part of Iuan Vyzhigin is utterly consumptive.. Zagoskin made his appearance. discovered new worlds in both the realm of thought and the dust of oblivion. 3 Z. We Russians unearthed our own charming treasure. but not later.

. clashes with the Lithuanians. ~. carries its wares off to the cities of the Hanseatic League. and then the destructive invasion of the Tatars and the smothering night of their rule in the gloom of which the autocracy ripened . And then the battles of the interregnums. without leaving a trace on us? Or can it be that our princes have no entertainment value because they recited "Our Father" instead of "Pater Noster. against the most holy of our nonsensities in the world of publishing. but a narration feathered with shining ideas. Rus was alienated from Europe. This is no longer a fine-feathered story by Karamzin. more decisive. more independent. the characters of our princes and our people assure us of being brighter. then Ivan the Dread. threatens the Swedes beyond the Neva. and who has taken us beyond nodding acquaintance to the admiration of Europeans--Polevoy has published three volumes of his History of the Russian People. and in times when circumstances were similar humanity expressed itself in similar evolutions. unexplored. the rebellions of the pretenders. This is why there is such a diversity of influences and relationships! The Varangians in their ships subjugate her.150 Russian Romantic Criticism of Russian enlightenment.With the exception of the Crusades and the Reformation. and thus all the more entertaining and original. . And then the wars with the tumultuous Poles..." because they lived in wooden terems instead of stone castles? Or have our peasants been more bestial than the European slaves. Can it be that we alone have . more timid. and vast Peter! Yes. not from humanity. who has so boldly and tirelessly come forth against the most sacred names. 1\ We have seen how every event imparted its own peculiar facet to both \\ the characters and the literatures of peoples. A double-headed Janus. the attempt to turn us to Catholicism. Free Novgorod girds itself with the Ural range and fights with the holy orders in Lithland. with foes more terrible than anywhere else. It is not from the rabble and not from the parish belfry that he has surveyed the solemn march of the ages. because the man of Rus struggled with a nature more cruel. embraced all the crucible of humanity. but from the heights of mountains. Rus gazed simultaneously on Asia and Europe. and wise Alexey. the black cowls press along her borders. what have we not experienced that Europe did? And above all. more pallid? I am of a totally contrary opinion. her mode of existence comprised a link between the settled activity of the West and the nomadic indolence of the East. Rus flings herself like a storm on Constantinople and captures the Christian faith in Korsun. suffered through the ages to no purpose? Can it be that the fateful evolutions have melted away like spring snows. this is an ocean-sea of history! an ocean-sea untraveled. His gaze has pierced the heart of peoples. with the savage Lithuanians. The Pechenegs. the Polovtsians.

2.' manifesto of Russian Romanticism. Editing is indicated in this Commentary. 3. and to dispense with the conclusion. did the Russian people become aware of their power. which in their harmonizing functions Ii· . the infinite in finite and defined forms. The essay." he told the Tsar. an elaborate and ornate summation of almost the entire history of European civilization. "Finally Napoleon invaded Russia. to eliminate some excursions into theoretical aspects of this literaryhistorical development. has been edited to exclude the author's history of world literature prior to the the development of Romantic Europe. or the free power to present. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's essay is a complex synthesis of a large number of ideas. He virtually reeducated himself in literary theory and criticism." with the first two parts subtitled "On Novels and Romanticism" and the last part "On Russian Novels. often called a 1. In the fallen Decembrist's often quoted view. concepts. Polevoy's historical novel The Oath on the Tomb of the Lord. LIII (1833). and then the 1825 debate between Pushkin and Ryleyev on form and essence. The definition involves. including its remotest origins. a critique of N. Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh. 85-107. only then there awakened in all our hearts a feeling of independence. 1958)." He also accepts the definition of poetry by J. 399-420.A. Ancillon which Ryleyev quotes (from The Aesthetic Discourses of Mr. and especially philosophy of history. "and then only. and notions. to compensate for serious deletions by the censor.P. Even before that he loved to display great erudition and a talent for research and scholarship. II (Moscow. is thus in many ways an elaboration of the critical and philosophical position established under the name Bestuzhev in Ii 1 the first half of the 1820s plus a synthesis of European ideas into a I systematic theory of the history of all Western civilization--what the author calls a Romantic amalgamation. This flowery paean to history.Marlinsky Commentary: Marlinsky 151 1. but he wrote with such flourish that it is difficult to tell where his adaptation of ideas leaves off and his own fancy rhetoric begins.A. theories. first of all. Marlin sky in Moskovskii telegmf. Ancillon) and rejects in "A Few Thoughts on Poetry": "Poetry is the power to express ideas j\ by means of the word.F. at first political and finally native. 541-55. the movement had to be traced to the awakening of national consciousness in the traumatic struggle for national survival in 1812. The author emphasizes both "form" and "spirit. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky had ample time to study Romanticism and Romantic Idealist philosophy during his exile to Siberia and the Caucasus following the failure of the revolt of 14 December 1825. The essay was first published under the name A. under the title liThe Oath on the Tomb of the Lord: A Critique. LII (1833). indicates another important point of his essay." The problem of national consciousness was one of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's major concerns as co-editor of The Polar Star (1823-25) and the "Glances" at Russian literature which are partly repeated in this essay by the new Marlinsky. the SchlegelianSchellingian contrast finite-infinite. political economy. 559-612. filled with allusions to the year 1812. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. for the first time. This essay. for it repeats a remarkably unequivocal explanation of the causes of the Decembrist conspiracy he offered to Nicholas I in a letter following his arrest. His definition of Romanticism hereM-the key statement to the entire essaY-Mis indicative of his synthetic approach to literary history." The text for this translation is A. with the help of language.

the pure." quoted and remarked on the latter's statement that "man's craving for the new seeks untapped sources. No." As has been noted in the Commentary to Venevitinov's essay on the state of enightenment in Russia. Bestuzhev·Marlinsky. Such are [the great works] in which there come to vivid life the .V.4. . predicated on the conceptions and the spirit of the ages in which its geniuses have made their appearance. It has been discussed in the Commentaries to the essays by Polevoy." ("A Critique or an essay on Eugene Onegin. 33) Schelling was a chief impetus of Russian concern with the concepts of real and ideal. 371·83. D. but Bestuzhev." The real is "the reflection of the outer. it will be recalled." The infinite is plenitude and variety. 4. (see the Commentary to Polevoy) D. The ideal is "the process of thinking [myslenieJ. and geniuses rush boldly ahead of the crowd in quest of new territory in the moral and corporeal world. (19·20. this is why with us there are more ideas. It is even more difficult because the concept of corporeal images and corporeality-·one of the least noticed but perhaps most important concepts among the many contrasting notions of Romantic Idealist philosophy··is contradictory and complex. Ryleyev. and Pushkin. Kireyevsky in relation to the different meanings given to the terms ideal and corporeal by August Schlegel and Friedrich Schelling due to their different understandings and uses of the terms plastic and picturesque. 18·80). and especially Madame d~ Stael. it is sometimes difficult to disentangle Schelling's ideas from his popularizer Ancillon's. whereas the real takes its origins in the finite. with the ancients more pictures. . in his essay "A Few Thoughts on Poetry.152 Russian Romantic Criticism \ would speak to the feelings. The notion (Russian veshchestuennost') has been encountered in the essays in this anthology by Orest Somov." about the concept of corporeality in relation to subject (Venevitinov) and the notion of the infinite (Bestuzhev-Marlinsky): "Our own poetry is more of subject than of corporeality. ideal activity of the spirit. According to that source.) Venevitinov's remark and Bestuzhev·Marlinsky's discussion here have to do with a similar statement by Ryleyev. Pushkin. The statement is a synthesis of ideas articulated by August Schlege>l .V. with them more of the particular. the power of feelings" is superior because there can be discerned in it "the ideal of the painter and the corporeality of the subject. No. Friedrich Schelling. Ancillon. and the judgment. corporeal world. the finite is unity or definitude. C [1825]. the imagination." Son of the Fatherland. Modern poetry also has its own subdivisions. who in her chapter "On Poetry Classical and Romantic" in De l'Allemagne summed up the Schlegelian dual division of history by stating: "This division is equally suitable to the two eras of the world--that which preceded and that which followed the establishment of Christianity.Marlinsky seems to be aware not only or Ancillon's explications of the finite-infinite contrast. Venevitinov. . and LV.8. with us more of the general. a concern evident in Kireyevsky's surveYOr Russian literature in 1829 and especially in Belinsky's essay on the prose tale. " 5. but of Schelling's teachings on the subject in a translation in The Moscow Herald under the title "A Basic Outline of Aesthetics" (1829. in his uncompleted rebuttal to BestuzhevMarlinsky's "Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825." And in his critique of Polevoy's essay on Eugene Onegin. Pushkin. Venevitinov ridiculed Polevoy's characterization of Pushkin's novel in verse and praised instead a poetry in which "the power of thought. the origin of the ideal is in the infinite. Again the statement is a complex synthesis.

In August Schlegel's words (Lecture I. and their thoughts more contemplative. . or pictures in the mind. Ryleyev identifies the function of literature as representation or depiction. finite-infinite.. the plastic and the picturesque." (Son of the Fatherla. and thus created from opposite artistic orientations . and ours is that of desire--the former has its foundation in the scene which is at present. but that of the moderns is picturesque [pittoresk}..nd. and Polevoy. . more inward. particularly to the development of the concept of narodnost." as in the inclusion of this feature in the lists of features of narodnost by Somov.Marlinsky 153 passions of men." It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this idea to Russian Romantic criticism. All of these discussions and Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's synthesis of ideas here can be traced to the similar phraseology of leading works of Romantic Idealist philosophy. his art therefore gives rise to ideas. p ea. their concealed motives. his main contribution to the philosophical system developed by his brother Friedrich: ". upon the whole. and also to Madame de StaIn's formulation in her chapter on Classical and Romantic poetry in De l'Allemagne. According to Friedrich and August Schlegel. the eternal struggle of the passions with a secret striving toward something lofty." From all this August Schlegel arrived at his key contrast. and believed themselves II \1 I I . y Venevitinov separates them by making one the attribute of the other. . ClV [l~25). something infinite. This latter use of the term. it appeals to the intellect and the imagination in much the same way as pictorial art does. notably her belief that the ancients were "completely the children of nature. joy-desire.. real-ideal. which Venevitinov rejects. 149:50. the whole of the art and poetry [of the ancient Greeks] is the expression of a consciousness of the harmony of all their faculties. na. Vyazemsky. on the other hand. their fancy more incorporeal. shows up in many of the essays here and elsewhere at the time in the word "pictures. .statement is quite close to Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's phraseology in his essay here. N~ ." And again: "The very reverse of all this is true of the Christian view--everything finite and mortal is lost in the contemplation of infinity . Vorlesungen ilber dramatische Kunst und Literatllr): " . the ancients and moderns lived in two essentially different worlds. both emphasize the importance of subject or content or of thought and feelings in poetry. the poetry of the ancients was the poetry of enjoyment. Russian dictionaries define the adjectival forms of the two words (predmetnyi and veshchestvennyi) as synonyms for " rna te'J""11YSIcaI"" COl-pOl-I" ye tRI eyev uses t h em as antonyms. Henc~. .ichelbecker. the spirit of ancient art is plastic {plastische}. Korperlichkeit) because the man of antiquity was at one with nature and therefore appealed in his poetry directly to the physical senses. while the latter hovers betwixt recollection and hope.. 22. in much the same way that sculpture appeals to the sense of touch. The nature of the creativity of the ancients was corporeal (korperlich. as well as the relevance of these notions to the system of organic criticism (outer form derived from inner essence) developed by August Schlegel and Schelling. has been accustomed to Christian reflection (and repentance). Ki. fate-Providence. August Schlegel's notion of corporeality and idealism." But "the feelings of the moderns are. corporeal-visual. The .) De~pite their differences regarding the dommance of either poiltlcs or philosophy m poetry and criticism. Modern man. Ryleyev and Venevitinov seem to agree in most if not all respects on the relation~hip between subject and corporeality. . ancient-modern. They invented the poetry of joy.. Christian-pagan. It is central to the other contrasts or anthitheses of Romantic Idealist philosophy: Classical-Romantic.

harmonious.154 Russian Romantic Criticism controlled by fate as absolutely as nature herself is controlled by necessity _I f And: "The ancients. Hugo opposed to t. possessed a corporeal (corporeal." It was not the terms the Romantics wished to eliminate. and he once said tha. the entire history--of the modern. and genre. "corporeal-beautiful. According to this schema. pl'imarily in Greece.t "before Hugo I am nothing. Fate counts the sentiments of men as nothing. lyricism and philosophy. and the Arabs. the Persians. See Madame de Stael's emphatic distinction between the ancient and modern spirit: "In one it is fate which reigns. 435-71). Romanticism and the novel (roman) are identical. that is." The poetry of the ancient Greeks is ruled by fate. P. as a hint of philosophical developments to come." 7. people (nation or national culture). decided and consistent. corporealiteJ soul and its emotions were all strong. it was the vague understanding of these and all the other dual divisions of Romantic Idealis t philosophy. and when a people no longer believe in fairy tales they turn to the drama--the tragedy that belonged to the rulers and the comedy that belonged to the people.. 8. The primitive stage of poetry is followed by the period of antiquity. and all of poetry in its thousands of facets.." because the word is related to the noun veshch'. Consultation with the works of Romantic Idealist philosophers." much of this section of his essay is a polemic with Victor Hugo's "Pl'(. the bourgeoisie. will show that this interpretation of the notion is not tenable." With the novel comes the end of the ancient period and the start--indeed. particularly in that this essay emphasizes the role of the merchant class." The curious situation exists that Russian scholars. elaborate account of the history of the ancient period and the origins of European civilization. Here omitted is a lengthy. the incantation. That is. 9. Vyazemsky used the tactic in his "Conversation.' ' 6. consistently discuss the wOl'd veshchestvennost' as "materialism . in the creation of modern Romanticism. Although the ultra-Romantic Marlinsky has been called a Russian Hugo because of their similar styles and manner. but Providence judges the actions according to these sentiments. who also used the term. 297-331. in the other Providence." So also did Ryleyev in his essay on poetry: "In general. This will be more sound. but is shaped by the climate and is therefore likely to take the form of not only the hymn.he I ." The ancient epic was developed from fairy tales. "after the drama arises the novel. 'thing.. but the prayer. by popular legends of the past dressed in the finery of the fable. And finally. or even the "vast poems" of the Indians. it is possible to divide poetry into ancient and modern.lface au Cromwell" which had just appeared in Russian translation in The Moscow Telegraph under the title "On the Poetry of Ancient and Modern Peoples" (XLVII [1832]. and is therefore sensual. Romantic period. and it goes hand in hand with the drama-·the novel which is nothing other than the long poem and the drama. in Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's view. the primitive poetry of all peoples begins not with the hymn. the curse. Still less tenable is the position of those Anglo-American Slavists who have defined the term as "thing-ness. "that is.A. It was a polemical tactic of the time to seem to dispense with the terms Classical and Romantic. an entire life of its own between two covers. It is possible that this is a dig at Pushkin or the Pushkin pleiad. and is represented by the epic or epopee. actually an intricate schema combining chronology. who presumably know something about the dialectic. so to speak. and for that matter with Neoclassical theorists.

and Venevitinov.L. he stated: "Gallantry seems to have been the sole object of their existence. Many of the opinions and formulations in this treatment of the age of chivalry are taken from Sismondi's history of the south of Europe. 149-80). This is contrary to August and Friedrich Schlegel. This amalgamation of history is a synthesis of Romanticism and the novel. of J. Kiichelbecker. a significant critical and literary influence." 12. and a modern age from Christ to the present day. They were delighted with becoming the objects of songs of their troubadors. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was an authority on the Gothic or feudal period before he read the Schlegels or other authorities. 10. Hugo was well known to the Russians in the 1820s. Pushkin. Among some of the other sources identifiable in this omitted section of the essay are Montesquieu.Marlinsky 155 German Romantic Idealist system of dualistic notions a triple division of history--a primitive age. and. Humboldt travelled through Siberia studying the climate. The Russian interest in the great North-South debate between August Schlegel and Sismondi has already been remarked in the essays by Somov. and Arabic civilizations. The pattern here should be compared to Somov's in his essay "On Romantic I . Bulgarin's newspaper The Northern Bee. His first works were historical tales on themes of Livonian history during the age of chivalry and several travel essays on the Baltic region. In addition to the translation from his preface. in which gallantry was often mingled with licentiousness. were proud of the celebrity which their lovers conferred on their charms. Persian. 218-40).V. Vyazemsky. much of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's treatment of the primitive and ancient periods follows the pattern and even repeats some of the formulations of Friedrich Schlegel's Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur. and of North and South as well. thanks largely to the Polevoy brothers. and a translation of a review in Revue encyciopedique under the Russian title "On the Novels of Victor Hugo" (XLII [1831]. A highly praised essay titled "Livonia" appeared anonymously in 1829. but it is only at this time that he became.C. and BestuzhevMarlinsky was at just this time affil'ming and challenging some of his findings in a series of articles in F. Simonde de Sismondi's repeated warning in De ia litterature du midi de i'Europe not to confuse the socio-political term feudal with the artistic term Gothic. as well as elaborations of the notion contained in excerpts from August Schlegel's 1827 Berlin lectures published in The Moscow Telegraph in 1831 (and followed. The Moscow Telegraph published a translation of an unidentified essay in French on Hugo titled "On a New School in French Poetry" (XXXVIII [1831]. Egyptian. Rousseau. who only appeared in society after marriage. Ryleyev. just published twice in Russian in 1829 and 1832. The Russian search for historical parallels between European history and their own cannot be emphasized too strongly. Sismondi attributed the gallant manners of the knights and singers of chivalry to the Eastern worship of women. by a poem signed by Marlinsky--a device often used to claim unsigned authorship). He does not seem to be aware. who could not admit a primitive pedod into their diadic Romantic (_ Idealist system. But both Schlegels were erudite historians of Indian. an ancient age from Homer to Chdst. In his chapter "On the Literature of the Troubadors. He also develops the notion of the ancient corporeal world in words similar to those used by August Schlegel in his Vorlesungen iIber dramatische Kunst und Literatur. 1 i. and August von Humboldt. nor were they offended at the poems composed in their praise. however. The ladies." for example. usually.

in his chapter "On the Literature of the Arabs. and their excessive hyperboles . Sismondi was aware of the Varangian theory of East Slavic history. They sought to astonish the l'eader by the abruptness of their expressions. Where August Schlegel went so far as to claim that the Romance languages were formed from Latin and the Germanic languages. "A Glance at Ancient and Modern Literature in Russia": It • • • it is probable that the Varango-Rossy (the Normans. Russia differs in no essential way from European nations. and the wording indicates close knowledge of August Schlegel's formula in Lecture I of his Vorlesungen: "The stern nature of the North drives man back within himself.. the Scandinavian envoys) merged into one with the Slavic race their language and tribes. in noble dispositions. on their bold metaphors. The Russian concern with colloquial language in literary works and with the status of the Russian common people--the so-called battle of the ballad in 1815 and its aftermath--is at hand. the Moors who brought Eastern culture to southern Europe are historically parallel to the Mongols and Tatars who conquered Rus in the thirteenth century. laconic.his essay "On Poetry Classical and Romantic" Pushkin shows a keen interest in Sismondi's discussion of the techniques of Arabic poetry. August Schlegel's basic argument was that the Romance peoples were too frivolous to be credibly the founders of the age of chivalry. and he discussed the Varangian theory in his introduction to the first issue of The Polar Star in 1823.. . and from this mixture there came a language particularly Russian: but when and in what way it separated itself from its ancestor. be compensated by earnestness of mind. So also are the frequent allusions in this essay to the fairy tale (skazka). Rather. • .156 Russian Romantic Criticism Poetry": the Normans or Vikings who conquered northern Europe are identical to the Varangians who founded the Kievan state of Rus in the ninth century. is drawn to Sismondi's discussion of figurative devices: " . Sismondi's retort was that the Germanic peoples were too stodgy to have originated such an adventurous tradition. clear. the lyric composition [of Ar'abic poetry] rests. The earlier Bestuzhev was aware of the North-South debate in the early 1820s. the object of the Arabians was always to make a brilliant use of the boldest and most gigantic images. In . in some degree. 15. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's is described perfectly by Sismondi's characterization of Arabic poetry. whose style became notorious under the name Marlinism. the "common . German der Fabel).. their extt'avagant allegories. . the greatest characteristic of Oriental taste is an abuse of the imagination and of the intellect ." Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. The author here struggles to distinguish between the "rabble" (chern'. Where Pushkin's style is direct. Sismondi did not reply in kind by denying a northern Norman influence on the development of modern Europe." 13." Pushkin's style and the ultra-Romantic style called Marlinism have often been compared as opposite poles of the potential of the Russian literary language after the Karamzin refOl·ms. and discussed it in his chapter "On the Literature of' the Trouveres" in De la lit/erature du midi de l'Europe. he considered the Moorish influence on the troubadors of the South more important in the development of the age of chivalry and romance than the influence of the Normans on the northern trouveres. . This seems to be an attempt to synthesize the two viewpoints. Russia experienced the same Romantic amalgamation or synthesis of North and South (East). and what is lost in the free sportive development of the senses must." 14. Ergo. no one has been able to determine..

the only narodnost that will be accrued to formal literary renditions of folk works will be in the names. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky seconds Polevoy with this flowery praise of the new class and the new spirit that. Polevoy published an essay "On a New Trend in Russian Literature" (LVI (1834). marked the end of the aristocracy in Europe. They shOUld therefore confine themselves to belles-lettres (slovesnost') until they have overcome their dependence on Europe. Polevoy's historical novel The Oath on the Tomb of the Lord. besides. and in fact much of the essay. After the verse tale replaced the ballad and became the most popular genre of the 1820s. 16. It should not be missed that the plebeian style described here closely matches the author's own style (as it does the previously marked description of Arabic poetry by Sismondi). das Volk). imitation is itself a false principle. 118-36) in which he criticized Pushkin and Zhukovsky for writing imitations of the Russian fairy tale. Zhukovsky's fairy tales are the most notable consequence of this general interest. just as the importance of the merchant class was a key tenet of his History of the Russian People. In his view.A. Nor should the relationship to Ryleyev's Aesopic discussion of the ancient republic in his essay in this anthology be overlooked. its editor K. for example. and the "people" (narod. so also. the already noted cut at Pushkin at the start of his essay: " . especially the Ukrainian folk tales of Orest Somov and N. Like the opening list of allusions to the year 1812. This seems also to be the implication of the references by Bestuzhev-Marlinsky to names and the fairy tale. Furthermore. this passage is replete with Aesopic language. masters of written literature cannot properly understand the essenCe of common-folk creativity. by which Polevoy signifies narodnost). das Volkstllm.A. The Romantics generally understood the Neoclassical period not as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. from the people come the bourgeoisie. think also of narodnost. Gogol (Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka). 17. Polevoy is throughout polite to Pushkin and Zhukovsky. but he no doubt had at least the French revolution in mind when he wrote this paean to the bourgeoisie. Russian writers are so deeply under the influence of European writers that they lack "self-sufficiency" (samobytnost'.. later. the Russian Romantics turned their attention to a form and tradition concomitant with the ballad--the fairy tale. The author alludes more cautiously to revolution here. has to do with the role of the republic of Novgorod in history. in their view. Pushkin's and V. but he doubtlessly meant that the two poets could not understand the Russian people because they were aristocrats. The rise of the bourgeoisie was a key theme of N. die VolksWmlichkcit).V.A. Recall. for example. 18. are the prose folk tales that became so popular in the 1830s.. we who have seen so many weighty names weighing down their frail owners like a tombstone. One year after the publication of this essay in The Moscow Telegraph. and therefore cannot fully comprehend either the Russian people or its past. we who have heard so many commonfolk names put forth in the exultant songs of the common people!" That is. The reference to Novgorod.Marlinsky 157 folk" (prostoliudiny. Omitted here are further remarks on the Crusades. the cult of "democratic Novgorod" is prominent in the early Bestuzhev's historical prose tales and in Kondraty Ryleyev's historical verse genre called the duma. After the people come the bourgeoisie. This is indicated by his indebtedness to Augustin Thierry's Lettres sur l'histoire de France. which traces the history of the bourgeois commune in detail. or the eighteenth-century age of .

any intercourse between poet and court or magnate is demeaning. In lecture I of his Vorlesungen August Schlegel wrote: "It IS well known that. the magnate.R. Derzhavin. but as a continuation of ~he Renaissance. three centuries and a half ago. until this essay. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was the first to use it in print. Maintaining that nothing could be hoped for the human mind but from an imitation of antiquity. namely that the Russian eighteenth-century submission to French Neoclassicism was ruinous to both the native literature and the native language. Here he repeats a key opinion of the "Glances" that prefaced the three annual issues of The Polar Star. "A Glance at Russian Literature Ancient and Modern" (1823) contains a denunciation of the Gallicisms that inundated the Russian language since the reign of Empress Elizabeth in the mid-eighteenth century.. the study of ancient literature received a new life ." 22.. 20. claimed for the ancients an unlimited authority . but concluded with dismay that after the war "a hidden passion for Gallicisms suddenly seized all positions with more force than before . Bestuzhev-Marlinsky began "A Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1823" (1824) with a praise of Russian patriotism in 1812. in the works of the moderns they only valued what resembled or seemed to bear a resemblance to those of the ancients." Bestuzhev-Marlinsky traced what he considered a retardation in the development of literature to the fact that "we have been raised exclusively on French literature. Anna the Germanizer (the reference to her favorite minister BUhren)." 21.. Here Bestuzhev-Marlinsky refutes Pushkin's praise of Derzhavin who knew how to address his empress without demeaning his dignity. history was of secondary importance to him. both assessments are indebted to Prince Vyazemsky's 1817 monograph "On Derzhavin. even though.. and rendered universally accessible by means of the press. especially "The Waterfall. " Remember also that in his third and last essay. Reference is additionally to the Tatar Yoke (the Khans of the Golden Horde) and the Polish interventions in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries when two pretenders were placed on the throne of Muscovy (the False Dimitrys).158 Russian Romantic Criticism reason. His prose works of the 1830s contain numerous linked allusions to Pushkin. . Bestuzhev-Marlinsky was among the Romantics of the 1820s most responsible for the development of the concept of national originality. He characterizes the eighteenth century in terms of its most prominent rulers: Peter the Westernizer.. or the Enlightenment. Clearly. The learned . .. In the early 1820s his concern was usually expressed in terms of language. . Everything else they rejected as barbarous and unna tura!. Elizabeth who loved the French Rococo. the poet. But the study of the ancients was forthwith most fatally perverted. . Derzhavin. Catherine the Great (II) under whose reign French Neoclassicism became dominant. in Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's view." 19. The reference to Derzhavin's governmental rank perhaps alludes to his opposition to the . the classical authors were brought to light.Vyazemsky coined the word narodnost." Pushkin and other Romantics of the 1820s also gave high praise to Derzhavin's odes. . Indeed. "A Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825. .. The first "Glance" contains an almost identical assessment of the great Russian poet G. The early Bestuzhev's assessments of Russian writers in his first "Glance" are repeated throughout Marlinsky's treatment of modern Russian literature beginning here.

which had a profound influence on Russia via the group led by the philanthropist and educator N. J. The reference to "sentimental journal" is to Karamzin's Letters of a Young Russian Traveler (1791·1801). Polevoy.Marlinsky 159 reforms of Alexander I while serving as Minister of Justice. 24. Hegel. An important question that should be asked at this time is. The Moscow Telegraph and Thp. Marlinsky does the same here. Dmitriev (Vyazemsky's opponent in the debate set off by his "Conversation"). similarly Schellingian phraseology appears previously in this essay ("the realm of the beautiful") and in a passage not translated (lithe realm of the corporealbeautiful").F. A lengthy account of the year 1812 was rembved by the censor here. The assessment repeats the line established in the 1810s: Karamzin. "mer das Verhiiltnis del' bildende Kilnste zur Natur" (1807). but was not himself a Romantic. The assessment repeats the author's opinion in his first "Glance. and other European thinkers at this time. Ryleyev. 23." as well as his defense of Krylov's claim to narodnost in his second "Glance.-the Masonic influence can be seen most readily in the number of literary societies and their periodicals that began." Vyazemsky asserted that the Sentimentalist poet's fables had more narodnost and were therefore superior to the fables of Ivan Krylov.I.P. Simon de de Sismondi. Ancillon. The only indication of possible knowledge of Hegel here is that the term "amalgamation" and its use by Bestuzhev· . and (in private letter&) Pushkin. F. Romantic) travel journal should be written." Poor Marya. and generally to his conservative views. The intent seems to be to downplay German philosophy. M. 28. In his 1823 intl'oduction to the collected works of 1. It should be appreciated that virtually every Russian Romantic was at one time or another an active Freemason. "A Word on the Life and Poems of Ivan Ivanovich Dmitriev. Madame de Stael.V.A. The early Bestuzhev also refuted Vyazemsky's untenable position in his second "Glance". Reference is to the Masonic movement in Germany." and so on. 25. most probably with the same essay seen to be important to the essays by Kiichelbecker. unrequited love. But note the Schellingian phraseology ("the exact and the beautiful").F." "Poor Tatyana.W. as Masonic enterprises." 26. and Kireyevsky in this anthology. Russia's great Sentimentalist. but this and other essays prior to the late 1830s yield scant evidence of knowledge of his work. Moscow Herald both published numerous excerpts and complete texts of works by Schelling." "Poor Louisa. particularly the development of mystic Rosicrucianism. Where is Hegel? He is here at least mentioned. Venevitinov. Novikov in the eighteenth century. G. This assessment was refuted by Dmitriev's own nephew.I. and often continued. as well as its flood of successors-·"Poor Masha. 27. Dmitriev. paved the way for Romanticism. the Schlegel brothers. The initial definition of modern literature as dual ("Romantic and historical") indicates a comfortable familiarity with Schellingian aesthetics and organic criticism. Bulgarin. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's Journey to Reval (1821) was written partly out of a desire to show Russians how a non-Sentimental (that is. Karamzin's prose tale "Poor Liza" (1792) was based on Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers. This brings Bestuzhev-Marlinsky into line with his fellow editor ·Ryleyev's rejection of philosophy and the metaphysical orientation of the Lovers of Wisdom. and suicide in his phraeology. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky ridicules this sad tale of seduction.

I. !'.1"II'd(.II I~.'Iil.UI .in'f>.. :In.!ll:ln J. amalgamation (or e"olution. W prose in H..!d t!lt~ turn III prwil' by almost ten years. 'lII!i Ht. l'ul>hkm . ht'~lm t(1 make his great impm~t until about the 1i:lllW lIIm'.lll(~r Scotts" who began flooding Russia with hillt~lrit.lnllljil iHklnu!IIlIf). V. iU'!' !:'Ilm.uny"RulIlIliHi W.:'~l\iI~· iii quintessentially synth~·lic. Imd Bulgarin helped him b(lcome the mmlt pOJlulnr Wl'lt~lr (If thl~ UtWl>..!4!1I'.: II.tNI'd iii HUIHml llntil the 18'Ws.'lrlltlJ. Ill' I'mw Il'{'~ml!il ndlUlj. The point should not bt' mu!!wd !ljmpl~" ht't'/I11'. It has been nowd in !h..M.l'f'lwd tlunt. Iml.usaia.<' tilt. Masnlsky are only tW(1 or m.'tl!.ml ridiculed Bulgarin (and cuckolded him tonI. whf! lall:r (liYHi!:d Hu~"mfl !h(lll~1hl <HId i!JiIllWI1 between them.fU)l. 32.md tilt' ('rllln' .I'ph.:ullfl!lk~' uf!.v 'Ii 11111 IIHU." I'(~m!um. Kalashnikov and K. and that F'.. The assessment. Ut1I1hl~h~'v.:!. Bestuzhev-MlIrlinsky rullnwli th!' 11m' Iilld dnwn In tIll' !i'\:.\'w" . BulglU'ltl'1I tHIVC! hrrAII V.ti. Il.(ttl till' t~IHhmw (Ir tUIHunt:. .!· a . I. thl' 1H:Hlf.(j extrav(lgantly.N. his novel of 1812 ill n(lt. ~lctuaH)' prt't~~.< of N. hUWl'Vt:l'.tfll Romantic historical novelist.t'I.1no Russian Romantic CriliciHIll Marlinsky is comparabll· to tilt! Ih~J:dillll dlHh.llblt~ rOT it.! C(1Il1mmll.! du~'.·ln .V thin!! Ihat. UUI wlwl't.. Whal. The author actually m!IiI'rlSi !.1. The author of The IASI Novik i!l 1.llIh.lda:i!l t\ll'11 from "'i:'I!. ill> md\~·t·d poet everyone read in the! 1H20s. M.:I·I.m'\' til Kln'\'('\'l>k ""I'.IHlt tiw ruhmmllH!Il ¢If IIll. even I't'vniulnm.\fly HntlHUHn' 1'Il1t'(.1l fiction In Scott in Russia. V. is 000 generolls: hum V. n.I'1.! uC history is the Romnntic histA:lriculfHl\'t'l (If ~H Wiilh. riO.. MlH4fd u.' I" till.".It this time.. Zagoskin's histol'it'al novel Mi1o~iQl"l!k).·d :liilt~l>. lH. 1lIc1:tt dunn.sk. . !\.I> ImnU). Illimk\'.ul.. and tilt' (j1l!.~. prin<:iplllly h:.... l*'ffrhilf!~' till' tw..r~hlRifl UI blldl~' WnU(I" Mill lhv 11IlIUwit:al novel Dimitry the P!'(Itencier is a thil'd·rutiit Ifflllnwm of PUllh~ml'!' Hmmtnl~C drama Boris Godunoll.iuhht\ Ilnd lhnl was Aleksandr Marlinsky.: Zhukovsky was the SC'I1limentalilit Kanulll.ml"" II ~t'lwnll rule about St~hdling und JIt't!.. !"rj.(. SLunkevich und its InnUlmc:l' em Ilt'lml\k~. 31... Push kin was Zhuko\.T.MH un ttUl' trend by becoming Russia's first bel!l f(wll !! I'. SLlvor.! du·Time uf Troubles (the Polish interventions!.'1' S!~nH.I>.!(h. iii that !::ichl~lIinS!'!i natural pllllny. was only om! wriwr who could !:my "l\'lmt'!" ur llw HU!I. Marlinsky's historical tales 01' the 11'12011 IUt' lIlul..lut1:hmkrw.' exclusive to Hegel.!'! !. The dmit'l:lIcul (II' f\.~'1I!11I'11I: "'~·!'I.c\'t'I· tlll'll' dlfft·!'t'fl{'!·f" Ut'ti! uzhl"\'·Mm')lIllilk \' never doubted that PlI!:Iilkin wali HutHm"!ifll'etll IHI\'t.'11 t1fl"'t'Il! ~!II HU!\!>lillI th!..(·1\hltht·\. MII'II!'" of Russian literature that tht! ye~lr lS2~1 murk II ..H·. but ttlt. l:nu iiif' M.

NUMBER 18 GREENWOOD PRESS NEW YORK • WESTPORT. CONNECTICUT • LONDON .RUSSIAN ROMANTIC CRITICISM An Anthology Edited and Translated by Lauren Gray Leighton CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STUDY OF WORLD LITERATURE.

......... .... ........ ....... ....A. Kiichelbecker: On the Trend of Our Poetry..... ...... . 55 Aleksandr Bestuzhev: A Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825 ... ... 47 V.. . .... . ... • .•... .. .. in the Past Decade .... 177 Selected Bibliography .... .... .. • ..... . 13 Orest Somov: On Romantic Poetry ... . V...•. 119 Aleksandr Marlinsky: On Romanticism and the Novel . .•... t • • • • • • • • • • t • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ..... ....... 85 Nikolay Polevoy: Eugene Onegin..•.....K. ... ...•.......... .... • • • • • • • •• 187 ..••..... .............. ..... . ........ ....G...•.. .•.. ....... Belinsky: On the Russian Prose Tale ... 111 I. Venevitinov: On the State of Enlightenment in Russia ...••... .. .... " 137 V... Kireyevsky: A Survey of Russian Literature in the Year 1829 .... ...... ......•... 161 A Note on Journals and Literary Almanacs ... . ..A. .•. ....... . 21 P..... Pletnyov: The Prisoner of ChiIlon .. . Vyazemsky: On The Captive of the Callcaslls .•........................... 10 1 D..... ... v Konstantin Batyushkov: A Discourse on the Influence of Ligh t Verse on Language .... 1 Vasily Zhukovsky: A Comment on "Lalla Rookh" ......... 9 P.. .. .. .... Russian Romantic Criticism: An Introduction .... .... Chapter 1 ....... ........• 183 Index ... .. .. ..... Particularly Lyric.........•. . . • ...........Contents A Note on Apparatus .V. 69 Four Fragments by Pushkin .... .........

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