Mute Onegin

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I spoke today with the smartest man in Russia!

Emperor Nicholas I

Best is such a work,
which longest keeping his secret.
For a long time people are not even aware
in it lies a secret.

Paul Valéry

He confessed in his poems, involuntarily.

From a private letter



Tatiana wrote to Onegin brilliant letter (Pushkin himself admired). Now it is a masterpiece of Russian poetry, the pearl of the world of poetry.

Exciting place! The young lady confessed his love to strangers: “You are my God-sent! I’m all yours, body and soul!” Sent secret, burning with shame, horrified by herself. If they find out — it’s gone. Today, the girl went out into the street completely naked, put his reputation much less danger.

At the time — crazy; and believe Tatiana: Onegin will respond immediately. He understands what a feat it has made. Read and jumping out the next. Or send a note: “at midnight! Come to the barn!”

But the day has elapsed, and no answer.
Another has come: all, no.
Pale as a shade, since morning dressed,
Tatiana waits: when will the answer?*

“In the morning dressed” means wearing for the reception: hair, corset, dress to the floor with shoes. Two days during the parade. Finally on the second day (!), tonight…

…Tatiana before the window stood,
On the glass of frigid breaths,
Lost in thought, my soul,
Lovely finger wrote
On the befogged glass
Cherished monogram About Yes E.

And meanwhile, her soul ached,
And tears were full of languid eyes.
Suddenly the tramp!… her blood froze.
Here’s a closer! jump… and the courtyard
Eugene! “Ah!” and lighter shadows
Tatiana jumps into the other canopy,
From the porch to the yard, and directly into the garden,
Flies, flies; to look back
Dares; instantly ran
Curtain walls, bridges, meadow,
Alley to the lake, woods,
The sirens bushes were broken,
The flower flying to the Creek
And gasping, on the bench

…Classic, the Sun of Russian poetry, a textbook tablet — all very respectable. But let’s read like this report from today’s Newspapers. However, now many are accustomed to staring at the TV than to read a poem. Okay, watching “the First fateful love” episode III.

Girl living in a huge (by today’s standards) estate, has popped up on the back porch,
ran across the yard, scaring the chickens, dogs, geese, a goat and an ugly duckling
raced through the garden, past the startled servants, collecting raspberries
ran into the Park.

“Curtin — a group of bushes or trees, bounded on all sides by walkways, the alleys…” (Academic vocabulary). “Curtains, bridges” — the plural means both of you, the few, a minimum of two pieces.

ran around the meadow (certainly not the front yard),
flying alley to the lake — view any movie “from the life” is 800 meters,
ran around the woods, amazing mushroom, even a very tiny forest of certainly not less than a kilometer in circumference…

Okay? This cross-country. In a dress ankle-length, corset, shoes (not sneakers). Three miles! And “instantly”? The illusion of immediacy Pushkin created by the fact that the whole route put in two lines.

But that’s not all. “The sirens broke bushes, flower beds flying by the stream.” 17‑year-old girl on the run broke the lilac bushes? Even karate (black belt, Dan XII) is hardly a force. She’s not twigs with the flowers broke off. The trunks of lilac — sticks are very durable; Russian peasants did handle for shovels, ax (it would be easier for her, flying through the flower beds, to breaking dahlias).

Is it a mockery?

Were taught in school that Pushkin loves Tatiana. Yes, she’s his favorite character. But not an icon. It is about your favorite Tanya indecent epigram was composed, where it for some needy tore “Nevsky almanac” (mockery at the same time and on the anthology).

Now we have the iconostasis Pushkin, “Eugene Onegin” Tatiana — all Holy, all terribly serious. But wrote not a Professor, and a young rake, a bully. When 24‑year-old Author read to his friends a brand new Chapter, they must die with laughter; the neighing and fought (in the words of Pushkin). Yes, and he bared his teeth, no doubt.

The friends often walked his brooding, dying with laughter over a verse of his novel.

L. S. Pushkin (brother of the poet).

Pushkin, K. F. Ryleev
25 Jan 1825. Mikhaylovskaya
Bestuzhev writes me a lot about Onegin — tell him he’s wrong: he really wants to expel all of the fun of poetry? where it is satire and Comedy?

Tatiana is not an athlete.

The child herself, in the crowd of children
Play and jumping is not wanted
And often the whole day one
She sat silently at the window…

It is in the burner did not play…
She loved on the balcony
To warn dawn sunrise…

Looks like it was the first race in her life. Absolutely dereniowa, always sleepy (to warn dawn sunrise — so when it’s dark), all day sitting there; the dreams, the reading, by the window, on the balcony. No wonder she falls on the bench gasping, “burning up”. Disheveled, sweaty, scratched, barely breathing — that the next moment will see Onegin and say, hmmm, learn to control themselves.

In the next moment? For the characters and for us — Yes. But for the first readers of “Onegin” from the moment Eugene found Tanya on the bench (the final Chapter), before he opened his mouth (in the beginning of the Fourth) — passed 4 months.

The audience — every time the most interesting place — waited for the open. The head came at intervals of months, and often years. Looks like a mockery. (Imagine: the premiere of “Seventeen moments of spring”. Mueller was arrested Stirlitz, you are worried, shake, and break for a year and a half.)

First readers are not just waiting for a shock — they didn’t foresee a duel of two lovely friends. For Lena from the call to death was one night, and readers for months suffered in suspense, hoping suddenly make peace?..

Came to Apraksino Pushkin, sat with the ladies and was dull and something unhappy. I say to him: why did you kill Lena? Cooking all day yesterday crying. Barbara was 16, a were not bad. Pushkin, not raising his head, asked her:

— Well, you, Varvara Petrovna, as if finished this duel?

— I would only hurt Lena in the arm or in the shoulder, and then Olga went to him and bandaged the wounds, and would they each other even more would love.

Memory A. Novoseltseva.

The whole day was cry! — that felt like 200 years ago, here’s what I’ve read, this looks like “Above fiction tears will pour,” and we recite mindlessly carefree. Look around you: who is even a tear shed over the corpse of Lena? — you will not find.

We live in a world where all finals are known. Hamlet will die, Pierre will divorce Elaine and marry Natasha, Stavrogin hangs himself, Kashtanka there, Pinocchio wins…

But the first readers-listeners-viewers knew nothing. No genious, nor about the classics, nor the end.

We know the stories. But I no longer understand what is happening, although we think we understand. Sure that we understand.

The immediate understanding of the text of “Eugene Onegin” was lost in the second half of the XIX century.

Commentary to Pushkin’s novel.

It turns out, 150 years ago, the understanding was gone. And now it came back even stronger utratilo Il? …In these notes we intend to prove the truth of the words of Paul Valery (see epigraph).


…Where she ran headlong like a crazy cat? And how could Lotman and Nabokov (the greatest commentators of “Onegin”, the people are extremely witty, ironic) not to notice bullying in this film is ridiculous and utter cross? Perhaps the breadth, depth and significance of their knowledge did not allow levity.

From the point of view of morals the first quarter of the NINETEENTH century, the letter is not a masterpiece of lyrics, and suicide. Yuri Lotman in comments to the “Onegin” explains: if the letter knew that, and Tatiana and her family would be disgraced, married a decent man will not take.

Real household standards of conduct of a noble Russian ladies the beginning of XIX century, writes Lotman, he made such a thing unthinkable: she enters without the knowledge of the mother’s correspondence with an almost unknown person to her, and that she first confesses her love for him, doing her act which is beyond all norms of decency. If Onegin divulged the secret of the receipt of the letter, Tatyana’s reputation would suffer irreparable.

Beyond all norms of decency! — well said. Yes, a Russian noblewoman in the early NINETEENTH century could not do. But so did the heroines of French novels without end, wrote passionate, passionate letters. And Tanya all day one sat with a book near the window — read, read, read.

Her early liked novels;
She replaced all;
She vlyublyalas in deceptions
And Richardson and Rousseau.

It drove out, but in the forest she dragged the book.

Obragas character
Our beloved creators,
Clarice, Julia, Delphine,
Tatiana in the silence of the forest
One with a dangerous book is haunting…

A dangerous book? Yes, novels can be a deadly poison to young hearts. Pushkin, though ironically, but no doubt did this; he very early was poisoned.

We ardor of the heart before pain
And says Chateaubriand
Love us nature teaches
And the first dirty novel

(Stanza IX of the First Chapter of left in the manuscript, the publication of Pushkin it was withdrawn, indicated by dots.)

This recognition does not Onegin, and Pushkin. And he does not exclude-on the contrary: “we” means “us all, including me.” Could Tatiana to avoid such a reading? Exactly we can not say, but father did not control her selection of books. It

Read them an empty toy,
And did not care about
What the daughter’s secret that
Dozed till the morning under the pillow.

And when in the backwoods of a forgotten village for one night seemed to Onegin…

…Now how she attention
Reading a sweet novel
With how alive the charm
Drink alluring deception!
Sighs, and pricoa
Someone else’s excitement, someone else’s sadness,
Forgotten whispers by heart
Letter to beloved hero…

Tatiana had read, and fancied himself of some of the Dolphins. Don Quixote, having read, turned into a fairytale knight, the winner of the giants; Tom Sawyer — the liberator of slaves. And note: not only in the imagination! They are in life, life began to behave accordingly, why, and seemed totally crazy to others.

When it is burning, suffering and unable to sleep, sits down at the letter, I have remembered something about decency. With this and begins:

I write to you — what else?
What more can I say?
Now, I know in your will
I punish contempt.

Then she takes absolutely, it throws heaven and hell. “Who are you — my angel if guardian or an insidious tempter?” — I mean, excuse me, devil.

She is very shy. Pushkin writes: dick, fearful. Even in my dreams (where people sometimes go to a very blatant temptations), in the dream, when she only sees the bear, Tatiana “clothes to the edge of the lift to be ashamed of”. And then, in a letter:

In dreams you came to me,
Invisible, I was too nice
Your fine opinion of me tormented,
In the shower your voice heard
As you arrived, I suddenly found out
I almost swooned, began to blaze with passion…

Stunned, burned — think about it: it’s creepy frankly. She literally madly in love, until he lost consciousness. Not remembering itself, she jumps funny with the obligatory “you” inadmissible “you” and back to “you”: “to write to you… in your will… you come… you come in.” Here’s another:

Why you visited us?
But say you unsociable.
It is the will of heaven: I am yours
The fate of my
From now on, I you give
I’m waiting for you!..
But I swear your honor…

“I’m yours!” and you think that Onegin did not understand what is written here? Yes, even to persuade is not necessary.

And Tatiana realizes that he wrote. So tormented by her terrible fear, two fears, even three: what will happen if they find out; what about her, think of Onegin; what if he starts it, say, to unlace… And maybe another two or three terrible intimate fear.

Academic publication is printed in the section “Draft manuscript” a wonderful passage. The lady finished the letter and…

In the excitement of sitting on the bed
Tatiana just being able to breathe
Letters not daring really
Neither count nor sign
Thought: what will people say?
And signed: T. L.

At first glance, the last two lines — no rhyme, no size. But there is a clever trick. Then the reader will immediately guess that T. L. (initials of Tatiana Larina) should be read as the letters of the Russian alphabet:

Thought: what will people say?
And he signed it, Firmly People.

However, her escape all the mental “social” fears have nothing to do, no matter what was written by the scholars. Tatyana, rushed to escape, not thinking about what people would say. It is at this moment do not think.

Pushkin in the exam read the poems before Derzhavin, in front of the idol.

Don’t remember how I finished my reading, I do not remember where he had fled. Derzhavin was delighted, and he requested me, wanted to hug… I have searched but not found…

Pushkin. Table-talk (records of different years)

16-year-old Pushkin ran off himself with no memory. But no condemnation of him is not threatened. On the contrary — was waiting for praise, hugs the great man. In vain to explain the fleeing 17‑year-old Tanya logically from the rules. Her “intense emotional arousal, accompanied by affective narrowing of consciousness” (see textbook of psychiatry).

…Damn it! Don’t want to be distracted by all sorts of rubbish, but — T. Larina save the honor would have to immediately reduce bills.

Yes, dear readers, Tatiana 17 years, and ignore the freaks (or more polite to say, idiots) that, seducing other Imbeciles, have spent decades and tons of paper, proving that she’s 13, and even 9. They just confuse Tanya’s nanny, who was given in marriage at age 13.

“…Tell me, nurse,
About your past:
Were you in love then?”
And, there, Tanya! In the summer
We have not heard of love;
And that would be driven from light
My deceased mother in law. —
“How did you get married, nanny?”
— So, apparently, God ordered. My Vanya
Younger than I was, my light,
And I was thirteen years old.

She was 13, her. — the sitter and not Tance. Tanya asked about the “old year”. The old woman understood and answered clearly: “in the summer”, it was his answer to get into the rhyme and size. But if Pushkin foresaw, to what extent will popupalt some descendants, he would have composed better, like:

And, there, Tanya! In previous years
We have not heard of love;
And that would be strangled with the move
My deceased mother in law.

Second damn place, disturbing perverts:

All the same, to hear objections,
Destroy predrassvetniy,
Which was not there
The girl in thirteen years!
Who will not get tired of the threats
Prayers, vows, imaginary fear,
Notes on six sheets,
Lies, gossip, ring, tears,
The surveillances of aunts, of mothers,
And the friendship of serious men!

Here, they say, a second proof that tan — 13. But, first, here at all about Tatiana, but about the life of Eugene Onegin (see below). “The friendship of serious men” — whose? Tanya and Ollie? They are not married.

Second, “the girl in thirteen years” is just an expression. We say, “Even infants clear that the ruble will fall”, and yet the breast is not so clear.

If Tanya is 13 years old, then Olga just two days. Remember Lensky before the duel:

He thinks: “I will her Saviour.
Will not tolerate that corrupter
Fire and sighs and praises
Young heart tempted;
That despicable worm, poisonous
Sharpening lilei stem;
To dokumendi flower
Faded still half-open”.

The worm, of course, Onegin, and dokumendi flower — a day and a half Olga, right?

But enough of that. Here’s the letter:

Pushkin And P. A. Vyazemsky.
29 Nov 1824, St. Michael.

…Wonder how the letter-Thani came to you. To answer your criticism: there are not Unsociable misanthrope, i.e. hating people, and running away from people. Onegin unsociable for village neighbors; Tanya believes the reason is that, in wilderness, in village all he was bored, and that Shine one can draw it… if however a sense not quite accurate, much more truth in the letter; letter to women, to the same 17‑year-old, besides in love!

The question is settled; she was 17.

This young love is a virgin when running, not governed by logic. In her mind imagination. There are miracles, there Leshy wanders, the angel flies; Onegin to her everywhere seemed, in the dream visited. And when he found her on the bench, it seemed to her a Ghost:

Shining eyes, Eugene
Stands as an ominous shadow

Yes, a menacing shadow, eye sparkle, is it a Ghost, a hell of a thing, crawling from the tomb; think of hamlet’s father, the shadow of Banquo, Macbeth zakolebalsya, and our author the coffins to be closed do not have time — Prince Dimitri of graves will come out:

So that’s why thirteen years in a row I
All snylosja killed the child!
Shall the shadow will break with me purple?

the Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich:

The shadow of the terrible adopted me,
Dimitri from the grave called!

ISSS rrrobbo! (gnashing his teeth, growl, as an actor). Onegin with the loving Taani from the novels. As a simple wench Dulcinea had an imaginary title and advantages of and the imaginary Onegin — rrrooo. But in reality — just a good fellow, “as you and I, as a light.”


…Dear readers! As you know, by Chapter of TANYA should follow the head of the JACK. It was. But in the process here and then began to invade commentators and scholars (among which there absolutely miserable). Will have to deal with them immediately so as not to drag them into the open sea the following story, where the waiting event is mysterious and incredible. But in addition to scholars (among which you’ll see even bn.Yeltsin) we will be led astray and even Directors, composers, co-authors Pushkin (Yes!), readers, actors, artists… just try to break through to a great and high through a crowd of squill and Hariri! So…

So, the two great commentators — Lotman and Nabokov — did not notice the hilarious cross. From Lotman about it even a word, and Nabokov — precise registry:

Describing how Tatiana jumped from the table, rushes into the passage, and then to the Park, Pushkin gives the reader an idea of the place of action. Tatiana jumped in the side of the canopy, and then from the porch into the yard and garden. He ran around the beds, i.e. beds in the form of discs, crescents and rectangles, bridges thrown over ravines, and meadow (“meadow kochany” crossed out in manuscript Belova), flew into the Park on the Avenue leading through the woods to the lake, but before reach the lake, turned from the path, rushing through the indispensable in every Russian rural estate flower gardens, which constituted the object of his pride, — the lilac bushes (or, as Pushkin, “the bushes of the sirens”: an unusual word usage, but have in mind, on^, Syringa vulgaris, imported from Asia via Turkey and Austria in the sixteenth century, emancipirana relative value in the household olives).

Nabokov dock. His knowledge of science; but, my God, what a bore. “Describing, Pushkin gives the reader an idea of the place of action”. Boredom and, excuse me, nonsense. Pushkin’s contemporaries don’t need to have an idea. They know what looks lordly estate. And what action this place? Neither in the yard nor in the garden or in the alley or on lodochke or in the woods with no action will not happen. Only on the bench. And what is the side canopy? There is a front porch and rear. Side no (go to Mikhailovskoye, Trigorskoye though). Not giving Nabokov the tediousness, ask: what is the table he popped up Tatiana? Pushkin it tea did not drink, at a table not villages, and

before the window stood,
Cold breathing on the glass

And why in the comment to “Onegin” climbed emancipirana a relative of the olive tree? (Emancipation — the liberation from dependence, from oppression, from prejudice. Academic dictionary.) From any of these prejudices freed niece olives? Here, in addition to the demonstration of absurd erudition, emancipirana from all meaning? All classified commentator, but there’s a huge distance. Just like the proverb: the trees never saw the forest.

Alas, it’s not all about him. Here’s how Nabokov explained why Tanya ran:

Tatiana was struck not by itself the arrival of Onegin, and the fact that he did not answer her letter until this visit. In epistolary novels, raised her sense, the answer was given in writing, not verbal. Not knowing the rules of reality destroys the preset order of romantic literature.

Well, brother Nabokov ispolat! So that is what shocked her unconscious — the destruction of pre order romantic literature! Decrepit Professor of Slavic languages and literatures from like she really could die. But Tanya? Turns out she was two days “in the morning dressed” for the sake of the postman, who will not forget — a serf boy, the grandson of the old nanny… you will Agree, this cupola not without reason called “the wise man…”

…The author of these lines in my life came across a book about Pushkin. Wise Veresayev, striking Abramovich (Pushkin. Last year), profound and wise Lotman… came Across boring, and sometimes frankly delusional; across, alas, dirty and, even worse, an incredible fool… That before the great nabakowski comment, I must admit — several times taken: since the beginning, then at random (where open) — able to manage a hundred pages and quit, too pereizbytochen; and it is not for us, he commented, and for English-speaking students who are unaware of the boots, brew, and Zhukovsky, the Decembrists.

How do we here, do not read the quoted Nabokov? It’s very simple. Discovering amazing places in “Onegin”, every time I tried to understand: who else noticed this and what is this written? All the literature about “Onegin” it is impossible to pull — thousands of books; that climbed in the comments Lotman and Nabokov are the most important, universally recognized. The technique is simple: you struck some kind of line or stanza — open the review and see what about this place wrote the genius, and fully read when this is not necessary.

Here is an example. Tatyana has fallen, but the letter is not yet written, walks, dreams. The third Chapter, verse XVI:

The longing of love chases Tatiana,
In the garden it is to be sad,
And suddenly motionless eyes tend
And the laziness of her next step.
Pripodnesla the chest, cheeks
Instant covered with flames,
The breath froze in his lips,
And in hearing the noise, and glitter in the eyes…
Come the night; the moon passes
Watch distant vault of heaven,
And Nightingale in the shadows of the trees
Tunes sounding hot.

What about it will say the commentators? Why is the portrait suddenly moved into the landscape? Even moved and jumped.

The Lotman — not a word. Nabokov out of the whole stanza explains half line — half of the fifth and eighth:

Pripodnesla chest. I’m not sure that it is possible to give a paraphrase: “the Chest she was worried.” And in hearing the noise, and glitter in the eyes… i.e. frozen, like the pictures, glitter eyes — a rather typical phenomenon for light madness of adolescence.

That’s all. Why Nabokov then imagined a frozen photo — you don’t know.

You would have to calm down, but suddenly stumble in reputable journals on the work of the honorable scholar, and there are miracles. Here is how this verse dismantle V. Levin in the article “Eugene Onegin” and the Russian literary language”:

It should be noted that in his “reflections” and the stylization in “Onegin” Pushkin rarely resorted to completely cut off the words, figure, expressions (really?! no poet would often resort to a completely alien words.— A. M.), but the selection and combination of painted specifically linguistic facts, their concentration, rhythmic organization of the text, the choice of means of imagery, the theme, the emotional content of the text, the mindset of a hero, his view of reality and creates the stylistic effect, referred to the feeling of dependence of language and style of the passage of the object from the character. So, the words eyes, cheeks, lips — it is quite “Pushkin” words, facts, his poetic speech, but their combination in the description of Tatiana in verse of the SIXTEENTH Chapter of the third (“And suddenly motionless eyes tend”, “Pripodnesla the chest, cheeks/ Instant covered with flames, the Breath froze in his lips, /And in hearing the noise, and glitter in the eyes”) gives this specific picture coming from the image of the heroine stylistic tone.

AU, okay? No? Re-read. Specific coming from image stylistic. I was right there the venerable scholar? Suddenly, this stylistic coming to the specific? Or better yet, walking past the image.

Return for a moment to passionately loving Tanya:

Pripodnesla the chest, cheeks
Instant covered with flames,
The breath froze in his lips,
And in hearing the noise, and glitter in the eyes…

I did not understand that it suddenly happened? It’s clinical picture. Is it really necessary to bring a Greek term, signifying the culmination of voluptuous excitement. Look in the encyclopedia: breathing quickens, interrupted, face (cheeks) instantly blushes, high blood pressure (the first sign of noise in the ears). Still in doubt: is written about it? Here is previous, XV stanza:

Die, darling; but before
You in a blinding hope
Bliss dark name,
You the bliss of life know
You drink the magic poison of desires,
Are you haunted by dreams:
Everywhere you imagine
Shelters happy visits;
Everywhere, everywhere before you
Your fatal tempter.

Dark bliss, the bliss of life, the poison of desires, imaginary “love encounter”, the girl was dreaming… Where honest? Let Lotman (if seen) could have said nothing out of delicacy, but sladostrastno and voyeur Nabokov silent wouldn’t that means you didn’t see it. “Frozen glitter eyes”?! Yes, there is a flame, “the last Shine of the fire among the dark of the night” (Thick. Anna Karenina).

But let the image of romantic Taani will not lose anything in your eyes. She is humble, silent, fearful. Pushkin is not humble, not quiet, not fearful.

Pushkin, P. A. Vyazemsky
December 1823. Odessa
I would like to leave the Russian language some biblical bawdy.

“Ruslan and Lyudmila” now — children’s reading, however, I. I. Dmitriev (the venerable poet, Pushkin older than 40 years) responded sharply: “I don’t see any thoughts or feelings: see one sensibility.” And “Onegin” at the time incredibly erotic, transcendent.

…Experience Taani genius interrupted brutally. Put the dots, showing that the process is not quite over, and instantly hid her from prying eyes:

And in hearing the noise, and glitter in the eyes…
Come the night; the moon

Look: in the middle stanza a wild mix of present and past tense (going, going, pripodnesla froze) suddenly changed future (will come). In the movie it is called ZTM — dimming; scene (say, erotic) flies into the darkness, following the plan — romantic landscape; and without excessively candid shots understand that there, in the dark, happened.

It is unlikely that the chastity inspired Pushkin to interrupt naturalistic description. Rather, censorship considerations. But to censorship we will see later, but for now — the long-awaited hero, to the stage!

To be continued.

* Quotes from “Eugene Onegin” given by publication of the Academy of Sciences in 1937.

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