“Why Gerasim recessed Mumu?” Turgenev. Think for yourself

9 Nov 1818 – exactly 200 years ago was born Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev. Significant date always brings with it a host of official actions and policy statements, which lost a living person, and erected a monument. But in the great world has a remarkable feature: their legacy cannot be assigned, it equally belongs to everyone, able to feel and appreciate.

  • The last words of Turgenev
  • Why Gerasim recessed Mumu
  • Table of Gorky, Turgenev chair and fan beloved Unit
  • Nikolai Nekrasov. Two ways

Fathers and sons

Talking about Turgenev at the same time difficult and simple. Just because his compositions are included in the school curriculum, the characters at the hearing largely became a household word, and his life is known in great detail. Difficult – for the same reason. Because it seems that no mystery of his legacy no, everything is on the surface and it is more than obvious. In fifth grade I read “Mumu”, in the tenth – “Fathers and children”. Discussed, made the right conclusions and forgotten. The image of the hero-Gerasimos, endowed with remarkable force, but surprisingly fragile, and even gentle soul – has remained a mystery. And the simplest question – “Why Gerasim recessed Mumu?” – the answer is no as no…

Just like there is no answer on which side the author in his famous novel about fathers and children. Soviet ideologists easily picked up this work as a political novel, a Manifesto on the emergence in Russia of a new social – revolutionary-nihilist recognizes no authority. “We we will build a new world…”. This interpretation was very tenacious.

But if you get away from the school schemes and patterns critics, “Fathers and children” – that from generation to generation with terrifying accuracy repeats the same scenario: all fathers are doomed to engage in serious ideological disputes with their children. “This youth was corrupt to the core. Young people are insidious and negligent and not like the youth of our days. The young generation of today will not be able to preserve our culture and bring it to our distant descendants” – the inscription, discovered in the ruins of Babylon a clay pot about 3,000 years before Christ.

Perhaps the main conclusion that can be drawn from the “Fathers and children”, are surprisingly simple to formulate, but very difficult to execute: friends and comrades, if you don’t learn by banal, old, ordinary human conversation is made to solve the logical problems of misunderstanding between the generations, we will all wallow in the civil war with the prospect of lying in the quiet grave solemnly rising from her mug.

The problem of fathers and children in Russian literature was not new, and certainly not Turgenev voiced it first. Remember, Griboyedov was:

Here’s what you proud!

I would ask, as did the fathers?

Studied, older looking.

But pointed the way to solving this age-old question that is Turgenev. And pointed out gently, without strong pressure on the reader, and incidentally in passing. And his recipe is quite simple: to avoid intergenerational conflict is impossible, it can only be smooth, and that the true means of love, patience and indulgence.

Light Of The West

Ivan Turgenev was born on 28 October (9 November new style), 1818, in Orel, in a fairly rich noble family. Father Turgenev, Sergey Nikolaevich, served at that time in a cavalry regiment. Two years earlier, he married the daughter of a wealthy local landowner, Varvara Petrovna Lutovinova. Turgenev is the only estate in one hundred and thirty souls. She has at least five thousand serfs.

Everyone knew that the handsome guardsman it was a marriage of convenience with the purpose of the amendment failing financial situation. Boris Zaitsev, the author of the work “Turgenev’s Life”, noted: “Varvara Petrovna could not boast of ancestors: her grandfather was a miser, father is a brawler and a brawler, gathering, as a young officer, Valday coachman. Uncle’s gloomy miser. (…) The old Turgenev different than Lutovinova. Very ancient, Tartar root, it is more felicitous. From the fifteenth century Turgenev served in the military and public service. “Distinguished by honesty and fearlessness” – says the legend.

Among them were martyrs: Peter Turgenev was not afraid to tell Dimitri: “you’re not the son of king John, and of Grishka otrepyev, a runaway from a convent, I know you” – for which he was tortured and executed, later died from Udaltsov Stenka Razin Governor Timothy Turgenev, who did not want to take them of Tsaritsyn”. In the eighteenth century, Turgenev is not so heroic: peacefully serve in the army due time, retire and looking to live out my days in the village. Sergei Nikolaevich Turgenev was straight and manly, very handsome and very likes the lasses. He has served quite a few – at the age of twenty-eight retired. Began to live in the estate of Varvara Petrovna, the village of Spassky-Lutovinovo, ten versts from the town of Mtsensk Oryol province. In their Union there was no happiness. Children are often reluctant witnessing scenes of maternal jealousy, which almost always had a good reason.

Varvara Petrovna combined in his character the seemingly opposite traits. On the one hand, she was caring and attentive mother. On the other – a tyrannical mistress, which often got not only serfs, but also to her husband with children. Ivan, while it was her beloved son, battered was subjected to no less than others. But education tried to give the boy first-class. For this purpose, were issued by French and German Tutors, which, however, have too often succeeded each other…

By the way, literature in the family was interested in a little – and that mostly foreign. It is significant that the acquaintance with Russian literature gave the young Ivan, one of the serfs of the valets (who later became the prototype Punina in the stories of “Punin and Baburin”). But languages, French and German, Turgenev knew perfectly. Even prayers in the house spoke French. Perhaps the French it is the first thing I heard the baby Ivan, born. The irony lies in the fact that your last line four days before the death of the author of the fiery speeches about the “great, mighty, truthful and free Russian language” was dictated in French, far from Russia – in the village of Bougival, a Western suburb of Paris.

But before the end of his days Ivan Turgenev with gratitude will remember living in this spacious noble estate, Spasskoe-Lutovinovo will forever be his favorite place on earth.

In the biography of Ivan Turgenev in 1883 – probably the first post-mortem – there is an interesting episode: “In 1822 their parents with the whole family and many of the fortress servants went their own horses in two carriages with the van abroad – in Germany, Switzerland and France. This trip, the former at that time and then the road kind of a feat that nearly cost the life of our Turgenev: in Bern, viewing the famous pit where the city now contains bears, he fell off a railing and almost fell to the animals; fortunately, the father had time to catch a careless child. This proximity to death was not the only case in childhood Turgenev: on the same fourth year of his age, he was so desperately ill, that it was already measured for your coffin”.

In 1827, Turgenev moved to Moscow with the aim to give children a decent education. Ivan enters the house Weidenhammer, later it becomes the Board Director of the Lazarev Institute of I. F. Krause. And since fifteen years, the future writer began to study the Humanities in the best of schools: a year on the verbal faculty of Moscow University, two at the philosophy faculty in St. Petersburg, then, dissatisfied with the accumulated knowledge of two years (with a break) in Berlin. Learned “not to fear, and on conscience”. In the University of Berlin attended lectures on the history of the Roman and Greek literature, the usual household exercise was the grammar of Greek and Latin languages.

Western European way of life and way of thinking has made Turgenev a strong impression. So much so that a young student came to the characteristic conclusion: only the values of universal culture, capable to deduce Russia from centuries of darkness.

Twenty-three years Turgenev – a fundamentally educated man, who knows philosophy, languages, Russian and European culture, fluent in several languages and read ancient classics in the original.

As for the romantic interest of the writer – there were many (probably affected blood “loving” father). But the most striking impression left is, of course, the French Pauline Viardot, though the mother of Ivan Sergeyevich and was adamant against the Union, and to the Turgenev never had to feel the joy and warmth of the family hearth.

Pauline Viardot

“Criminal profession”

Its way into the literature of the young Turgenev – like many of his peers – started with poetry. By 1837 he was the author of about a hundred (!) small poems and several poems.

“About Easter, 1843 in Petersburg there was an event in and of itself are extremely small, and long since absorbed by oblivion. Namely, there was a small poem of some T. L., titled “the shit”. T. L. this was me; this poem I entered in the literary field”.

In the same year, was written one of the most famous poems by Turgenev – “In the road (misty Morning)” is set to music and became almost the best Russian romance.

Gradually, the angle of view was shifted to prose. In 1846 out of the story, and since 1847 in the “contemporary” begin to publish the first Chapter of “Notes of a hunter”, which actually marked the beginning of a new genre in Russian literature.

Turgenev used to say that “Notes of the hunter” became the fulfillment of his Annibali vows to fight to the end with the enemy, whom he had hated since childhood. “This enemy had a certain way, wore a well-known name: this enemy was serfdom.” To write such a thing in Russia, in his opinion, it was impossible. “I could not, wrote Turgenev to breathe the same air, stay around, which I hated. I need to have to move away from my enemy then to my gave stronger attack on him.”

Place your removal of Ivan Sergeevich chose Paris. In this city of happiness and love to the great Russian writer had to witness the revolutionary events of 1848. While his eyes were built and destroyed the barricades, he came to a categorical conclusion about the dangers, unacceptability, and most importantly – the meaninglessness of any revolutionary breaks.

That Turgenev returned to Russia, then again left… Life went on as usual, there were new acquaintances, published stories.

Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko in 1909 in the article “Stereotype in the life of Russian writer” wrote:

“When the dying Russian writer, no matter what caliber it was, he, like any defendant at the trial, first of all, probably, offer in that light the question: “whether in hard labor? In exile in Siberia? Under the court? In prison? Was cited administratively?” Or at least: “Not was under police surveillance, overt or covert?”

And few of our brethren can, hand on heart, reply, “In prison has not been under trial, and the result was not, under overt and covert surveillance was not”.

This is already criminal profession.”

This fate could not be avoided and Turgenev. In 1852, Ivan Sergeevich wrote a short obituary on the death of Gogol. Vigilant Petersburg censorship in print it did not. M. N. Musin-Pushkin, the Chairman of the St. Petersburg censorship Committee, said: “such a crime writer to respond so enthusiastically”. Turgenev has not withdrawn the article and sent it to Moscow, V. P. Botkin, which was published in the “Moscow Gazette”.

The uproar, the authorities saw the obituary rebellion, the author was forced to shengwu, i.e., in the jail at police station. “The seat was not a terrible, or even uncomfortable. – said Boris Zaitsev. – It took a single room, was well fed, went to see him the friends he has, as usual, read, wrote “Mumu”. Of course, the atmosphere of the plot, for anybody not sweet. Near the Turgenevskaya decent room punish the guilty yard – their screams tormented him. Annoyed heat. Sometimes he nervously paced back and forth in the chamber, calculating how many miles did…”. After a month of the conclusion of Turgenev was exiled to his native village of Spasskoe.

Only two years later – and thanks to the intervention and the effort of count A. K. Tolstoy – the writer was again granted the right to live in the capitals.

After the death of Emperor Nicholas I series were published the most significant works of Turgenev: “Rudin” (1856), dvoryanskoye Gnezdo (1859), Nakanune (1860) and “ottsy I Deti” (1862).

Not surprisingly, brought up on the ideals of Western Europe, the writer was actively involved in the development of the Peasant reform, was involved in writing collective letters, projects, protests and so on. He also has joined in the publication of Herzen “the Bells”.

In late 1862, the year Turgenev was suddenly attracted to the case, “32 the defendants in relations with the London propagandists”. The writer was ordered to immediately report to the Senate. Ivan Sergeyevich hastily wrote a letter to the Emperor, trying to convince him of their political loyalty. Their beliefs he called “independent, but loyal.” All suspicions were eventually dropped, but with Herzen, caustically ridiculed the letter writer to the Emperor, the relationship went wrong.

“Five dinners”

In 1863 Turgenev lived in Baden-Baden, and later moved to Paris. His presence in Europe was not passive: he established acquaintance with almost all the major writers of England, France and Germany. The main problem he saw, in modern parlance, the “promotion” of Russian literature among the European public.

As is often the case with representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, even abroad Turgenev felt responsible for the fate of the Motherland, and all his thoughts and worries focused on how the Russian state. In these reflections was born the novel “Smoke”, which provoked quite a heated debate among the Russian public. As recognized by the author himself, the work was scolded all: “red and white, above and below, and side — particularly the side”.

At the same time it is quite natural that in a period of Ivan Sergeevich became the most popular and most widely read (and probably best selling) Russian author in Europe, where a community of critics have even raised it among the first writers of the whole century. In 1878 at the Paris international literary Congress, he was elected Vice-President and sat next to Hugo and chaired by. Both spoke at the opening. Boris Zaitsev says: “Hugo rattled, Turgenev modestly gave a speech about Russian literature – had a very great success. Silver head, tails, white tie, pince-nez, soft and high voice, lack of affectation, the overall feeling is that it is a major writer – all to the audience “reached” – the Russian literature has never occupied such a place – it offered Turgenev”. Moreover, the year Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate – and this despite the fact that Turgenev to any novelist, in principle, was not given this honor.

Since 1874 Parisian restaurants Risha and Pelle has hosted five unusual singles Flaubert, Edmond Goncourt, Daudet, Zola, and Turgenev. Gatherings of writers became known as the “five dinners”, and although the idea belonged to Flaubert, Russian writer was the first violin. Once a month Assembly for a delicious table raised different topics – from the structure of the French language to political trends. It is a pity that these meetings are not shorthand…

“Fire at sea”

His last years were the apogee of Turgenev’s fame both in Russia and in the West, where the most famous critics of the time gave him credit as one of the most prominent writers of the nineteenth century. The incredible excitement of his visit to Russia in 1878 – 1881. However, in 1882, came the first news of a severe exacerbation of his gout, which had declared itself in the past. Showed the first signs of a death to the writer of the disease. Between attacks of pain he continued to work, issuing a few months before his death the first part of “prose Poems” – a series of short lyrical compositions, imbued with a kind of farewell to the art, Homeland and life itself. Opened cycle poem “the Village”, and was completed – “Russian language” – a solemn hymn, in which Turgenev put his faith in the great mission of the Russian people:

“In the days of doubt, in the days of painful reflection on the fate of my homeland, you alone are my support, o great, mighty, truthful and free Russian language!.. Not for you, how not to fall into despair at the sight of all that occurs in the home. But it is impossible to believe that such a language was not given to great people!”

Parting was a visit to Spasskoye-Lutovinovo in the summer of 1881. Winter the writer spent in Paris, and in the summer it was transported to Bougival.

By the beginning of 1883 to endure the pain he could only under the morphine. A neuroma in the lower part of the abdomen was removed, but that didn’t lessen the pain in the thoracic region of the spine. March and April Turgenev lived in a state of periodic obfuscation that was partly caused by the intake of narcotic anesthesia. Ivan Sergeyevich clearly understood the inevitability of approaching death and dealing with her illness, which had deprived him of the opportunity not only to live a full life, but even to walk or just stand.

In the summer of 1883 in Bougival dying dictated Turgenev to Pauline Viardot his last work – “Fire at sea”. The story, written personal earliest memories, has everything we love in Turgenev: and truthfulness, and accuracy, and sad-indulgent humor.

“I remember I grabbed the hand of the sailor, and promised him ten thousand rubles on behalf of the mother, if he could save me. The sailor, who, naturally, could not take my words for serious, freed from me; I insisted, knowing that in what I say, no common sense.”

In the final story, after the rescue on the shore:

“Sailor, to whom I for my salvation promised an exorbitant amount on behalf of the mother, was to demand from me the fulfillment of my promise. But since I was not quite sure if it’s him indeed, and moreover, exactly as he did nothing to save me, I offered him a Thaler, which he accepted with gratitude”…

Shortly before his death, Turgenev said that he would like to be buried in Svyatogorsky monastery, at the foot of Pushkin, whom he always called his teacher. But does not feel worthy of such an honor, and therefore will bury his body in St. Petersburg, at the Volkov cemetery, next to his friend Belinsky.

The last days before his death, the writer only occasionally conscious. September 3 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev died quite a bit before they reach their 65th birthday.

The body of the writer moved from Bougival to Paris, from there to the capital of Russia, where he held the funeral.

“The reception of the coffin in St. Petersburg, and following it on Volkovo cemetery presented the unusual spectacle in its beauty, the majestic nature and sheer, voluntary and unanimous compliance with the order. Continuous chain 176-year-deputations from the literature, from Newspapers and magazines, scientists, and educational and training institutions of the Zemstvos, Siberians, poles, and Bulgarians occupied the space of a few miles, attracting sympathetic and often estrogenne attention of a huge audience, zabrodivshie pavements, is carried by the deputations graceful, magnificent wreaths and banners with significant inscriptions” (A. F. Koni, “the Funeral of Turgenev”)

*** *** ***

Best for his depiction of Ivan Sergeevich considered the work of a hand of Alexey A. Kharlamov, which is now kept in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In the portrait a calm and confident person. Silver hair tidy, absolutely gray beard precisely trimmed. Comfortable, a little baggy, the coat does not hinder movement. Underneath is a model of snow-white chemise.

The writer straight and stares in front of him. It emits a calm and confident goodwill, producing the impression of a very honest and responsible person employed important. This could look like a doctor, just graduated from the reception, or a scientist, for a minute to break away from addressing the serious issue.

When thinking about the fate of Turgenev, inevitably you catch yourself thinking that something essential in it, everything happens around it, and the most important is not what happens. Perhaps it is “important” – the same Meeting, which alone can enlighten the life true meaning and bestow real happiness.

In his famous article “don Quixote and hamlet” Turgenev wrote: “…good deeds will not blow smoke, they are more durable than the most radiant beauty”. He intuitively understood that “everything, both good and bad – is given to man not by his merits, but due to some not yet known, but logical laws which I even point not taken, though sometimes I think I vaguely feel them.”

But then hunch he seems to move could not. “Woe Turgenev (…) was, – wrote Boris Zaitsev, that he had no sense of a Personal God (…) As an artist, he felt “the shining” in the world, lived the beauty in the world, but for understanding, so to speak, “excuses” it was not reason in his “realism.”

*** *** ***

People with access to a specific audience, able to influence the minds, there is a very strong and often irresistible temptation is to begin to learn, to become a preacher. The temptation is to believe and make others believe that you “know how” and lead “lost herd”. Very, very many writers before this temptation could not resist. Turgenev – a happy exception. On the pages of his works, he never has morals. Being a man well-mannered and sensitive, he never even allows himself to write about is straightforward and obvious things. He tells the reader at a respectful distance and with great respect, encouraging to think, to seek out hidden meanings and make non-obvious insights.

Literature Turgenev mostly calm and comforting. In “moments of sorrow” it is possible to reconnect and be filled with her make-up sense. Other great writers are great its other advantages. While Turgenev comforting as a good, caring doctor in a fatherly way, humanly.

Ivan Sergeevich, vainly sought all my life of earthly comfort – which is not and can not be – for the elderly Bazarovich, trudging to the grave of her son, is still able to find solace otherwise. They are “closer to the fence, fall down, and kneel, and long and bitter cry… and pray again and I can’t leave this place… Do their prayers, their tears are fruitless? Is love, sacred, devoted love is not all-powerful? Oh no! No matter what passionate, sinful, rebellious heart has disappeared in the grave, the flowers growing on it serenely look at us with their innocent eyes; not one eternal tranquility, they say, of that great peace of “indifferent” nature; they speak also of eternal reconciliation and life everlasting”.

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