Mute Onegin. Part two

Paris fashion 1820’s.

I spoke today
with the smartest man in Russia!
The 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.


Onegin, my good man…
Why are you more? Light decided
He smart and very cute.

This bonne bel ami (dear friend) hurts Tanya, two days is not going after the letter. Remember?

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?

Pale as a shadow! Of course! She’s not sleeping. Horrified: Oh, I badly wrote! Ah, that was too direct!

Two days of hell. But this Onegin is on purpose! What hurt him the same day to come? He knew that sleep she can not, will suffer mentally through the phrase criminal letters to be terrified of self-honesty, to question and to perelapachivat stupid grandson: whether carried? Tom Lee put in the hands? what did he look like? what’d you say? and how looked?..

In the drafts of the traces of this interrogation:

The grandson of nanny for the evening was
A neighbor saw him
The letter he gave the most
And what of the neighbor? — top sat —
he turned
And put the letter in his pocket
Tatiana — that’s the whole affair*

*Here and further the citation from the draft manuscripts
punctuation marks do not exist through the fault of Pushkin.

“Who are you my angel do guardian/ Or an insidious tempter?” — Tanya did not know to whom the case has. And we? Reading Tatiana’s letter, reading the Chapter, do the First?

The first Chapter of “Onegin” is a textbook of a young child molester. Eugene, a womanizer, a calculating seducer.

How early could he be a hypocrite,
To conceal the hope, to be jealous,
To dissuade, to make believe,
To seem gloomy, to pine,
Be proud and obedient,
Attentive or indifferent!
How languidly he was silent,
How fervently eloquent,
In heart letters as sloppy!
One breath, one love,
How he was able to forget yourself!
As his gaze was quick and gentle,
Bashful and bold, and sometimes
Shone with an obedient tear!

What Eugene hypocrite is not news to us, stating in the first stanza it is said: for the sake of inheritance flies to the dying uncle to pretend to be a loving nephew. But good tears — it must be able. There is described a beast-type Anatole Kuragin (see L. N. Fat. War and peace).

And about the tutorial, we said not in vain. It is about science. In it, Eugene was a genius (rhyme of Pushkin).

But in what he true was the genius,
He knew he harder than all Sciences,
That was for him smlad
And labour, and pain, and joy,
That took all day
It tokuyou laziness, —
Was a science of passion gentle…

A womanizer goes anywhere: actress, random fellow traveler, masseuses — in accordance with the bawdy saying good at everything that moves, even the wives of friends. Onegin nothing stopped, no moral barriers he didn’t know.

But you, blessed men,
Remain you friends.

Wow! But this means that he continued to “make friends” with those who had cuckolded. Dear friend…

Well, just the girls, without intrigue, without problems:

And you, young beauty,
Which late sometimes
Take the cab daring
On the St. Petersburg bridge

It, excuse, prostitutes, call girls. Decent girls at night in the courtyard wandered.

How could he humble widow
To attract godly eyes
And with her humble and troubled
To start, blushing, conversation…
How could he love with a lady
Of Platonism to argue
And dolls with dummy to play
And suddenly the unexpected epigram
To embarrass her and finally
To disrupt the ceremonial crown.

Convinced? From the pious matron to silly nymphet that was still playing with dolls. He’s a professional, he is on science forced Tanya to languish for two days. And Pushkin…

After all, he deliberately came up with such a bombastic and cloying exquisitely vulgar Cutesy — from courtly novels or Oriental sweets “Thousand and one nights”: “And the Caliph was convinced that she nasverleny pearl and others an unbroken stallion, and went in unto her, and broke the solemn aisle!” And immediately, in the next stanza, in order to bring the reader back to human speech — comparison of maximally simple, literally from heaven to earth:

So frisky minion maid
Anbar guardian whiskered cat
After a mouse sneaking from the stove
Stretch, down, down
Polysugars, rises
Curdle someone’s tail plays
Expand the claws of the cunning paws
And suddenly poor DAC-carp…

The “Grand crown” and “DAC-carp” — that’s a reduction! Then for some reason this verse was thrown. Decided not to compare Onegin with the cat? But to part with this sexy beast is not wanted. And sly paw, holding in its talons a quill pen, dragged the cat on a nearby sheet of paper where was written parallel to “Count Nulin”.

So sometimes a crafty cat,
Cutesy minion maid,
After a mouse sneaking from the stove:
Stealth, slow,
Polysegments rises,
Curdle someone’s tail plays
Will opened his claws, cunning clutches
And suddenly the poor thing hap-drape.

Note how solidly the maid with the couch… the Kids at school — in third grade! — teach an erotic poem:

Frost and sun, a wonderful day!
Yet you doze, each adorable —
It is time, beauty, Wake up.

Paris fashion 1820’s.

Teachers are cheating the children, saying that it “painting the winter landscape”, and do believe in it. But it is written as the poet all night indulged with the beauty that can not Wake up, and he was asking her:

Open closed bliss eyes!

Bliss, not a dream! Third-graders I didn’t touch, and the eighth graders asked: what does “closed bliss”? One lady suggested that it was a Negro. Other with doubt in his voice said, “Snow?”. I said nothing, though, and was horrified. One in imagination at the head of the beauty was a Negro, the other — snow (obviously on the frozen corpse). Not making this up. There is a video of the lesson.

Pushkin lie on the couch and calls to his servant… “landscape poems,” there is such a line:

It’s nice to think of the couches!

Madam! (especially if you are a teacher of Russian language and literature) mA’am, what does it mean to “think at“? “It’s nice to think about” — it is clear: on the bottle, about the walk, about Patty, nymphet, about the candy. “It’s nice to think in“in the train, in the sleigh, in the garden, in the garden… Over above the sea, on a cliff, on the hypothesis… On — on the stove, on the bench, on the beach, on the couch…

Nice thinking on the couch! Of course, on! But if Pushkin wrote “the couch” — so she’s someone busy. Well, not a coachman in the same Agathon! The smell will not allow the poet to stop at — that is, near the couches with the driver. So, on the couch reclines something nice.

— Well, children, there is pleasant to Pushkin? That, kids, your homework.

Here you are, Madam, a lesson plan about prepositions; lesson your students will never forget and will think of couches, day beds, Ottomans and just on the bed, lying on her animate thing. What? — Released Dushevina or inanimate, of the verb in the future tense or in the past (because the present is no time to think); near before or near after… — — Tired of the Russian language? Back to the hero.

Update: the womanizer and libertine are not synonymous. Libertine attracted to virgins. Onegin and then missed.

How he was able to seem new,
Joking innocence to amaze,
Scare despair ready
Pleasant flattery to amuse,
To catch the moment of emotion,
The innocent years bias
Mind and a passion to win
An involuntary caress to expect,
Pray and claim,
To overhear the hearts first sound,
Pursue love, and suddenly
To achieve a secret meeting…
And after her alone
To give lessons in the silence!

Lessons? It turns out, is not a word can do slutty. It’s not even a textbook, it is an encyclopedia molester, section “Deflowering”. Here’s what was waiting for Tatiana. That’s really the angel. By the way, don’t, please, wrinkle your nose — no bias we have no. All my childhood, school, and other biography of the hero fit in seven verses, and his amorous antics Pushkin spent three times as much. The hero of the novel (and the Author*) about chastity and truth knew no more than a monkey about the Symphony…

* Everywhere in the work Mute Onegin “the Author” with a capital — Pushkin. All other authors — with a little.

Among these adventures — random odd lines of the First Chapter:

Who lived and thought, that can not
The soul does not despise men;
Who felt that disturbs
Ghost heavy days:
So that no charms
The serpent of memories
Togo remorse gnaws…

With cynicism, contempt for the people, suddenly in remorse? Walked into a brothel and knocked on the monastery; the wrong door; now it would say “brought to the corner”. Nothing, just pulled up on the beaten track.

All readers and readers understood the blatant joke:

O you venerable wife.
You will offer their services.
Please notice my speech:
I want to warn you.
You, mother, stricter
Daughters see the following:
Right keep your binoculars!
Not… not that, God forbid!
I do it because writing
That long ago I don’t sin.

Sin, then, Onegin, and Pushkin, on the contrary, warns, because he had not sin. Pushkin 24. “Long” is how much? A month? Week? Half an hour? All of Russia knew about his Affairs.

…Not databyte on the number of citations. Perhaps you never read them or never read it carefully; went to school “Onegin image of a superfluous man” and forget this nonsense. The hell needs an extra person? What is too much? As this is unnecessary, if 200 years read, learn, comment, theatres put…

Readers then why not see what about the extra man is not heard, copied by hand (this is not ctrl+C) knew by heart. The more that it was eye-popping novelty, something unheard of.

The modern reader does not see the frenzied eroticism in “Onegin”, although to blame for this blindness is the eroticism of the society, a dull, ordinary; the ubiquitous boring dirty slush.

After the hot water warm seems cold, and after the ice is warm it seems to boiling water. These school experiences is well known. We feel a deep sense of contrast. After herring it seems as if the soup is salted insufficiently.

The modern reader, scalded television discussion of orgasms, gay weddings and pedophilia, reading Onegin as a freshwater — no salt, no pepper. All there is — that we have lost its taste.

The modern man, who everywhere sees naked women on beaches, in magazines, in movies and in the subway — doesn’t understand how don Giovanni can attract women’s heel (all that he managed to see Donna Anna).

Slightly narrow heel I noticed.

You have the imagination
Per minute you can fill in the rest;
You still, with whatever you start,
With eyebrows, with feet whether.

Anyway, top or bottom (head or heel) to start the mental movement to the right place. Imagination “in a minute Doris else.” What else? You still can, and readers of Pushkin blushed cheeks.

…Why was not published immediately? Because each Chapter of “Onegin” — it was true and a lot of money. Why the first, and subsequent, and even the last Chapter was printed after 2-3 years after writing? His handwritten (by mail) explanation — for any reason — not always sincere. Sometimes a letter to a friend he purposely reports about something in the hope that the letter will be opened, read and reported to the proper people. Explanation Pushkin — often excuses. What’s the real reason (reasons), I can only guess, and maybe they are just personal: the fear — read as mistress, mistresses, parents, husbands mistresses.

Imagine how horrified to read of mother’s “science of tender passion” with what despair seduced vierge read as “alone to give lessons in the silence”. And each read I see that it not the first and not the last… what anger fathers and husbands… with those sort of manners! After reading the first Chapter, dozens of families began to tremble in anticipation of the second. It appeared a year and a half. That’s a hassle!


We have no idea what censorship is.

Pushkin was initially convinced that “Onegin”.

Pushkin To A. A. Bestuzhev
8 Feb 1824. Odessa
About my poem I don’t think — if ever it will be printed, and surely not in Moscow and not in St. Petersburg.
(Supposed to be printed abroad.)

Pushkin, P. A. Vyazemsky
The beginning of April, 1824. Odessa
To print Onegin, I — — — ie or fish to eat, or to sit down. Ladies take this proverb to the contrary. Whatever it was, ready at least in the loop.

Pushkin To A. A. Bestuzhev
29 Jun 1824. Odessa
Onegin is my growing. Yes, the devil it will print.

Pushkin, A. I. Turgenev
14 Jul 1824. Odessa
Don’t know whether they’ll let this poor Onegin in the heavenly Kingdom print.

And what is this? No secret societies, nor atheism, nor of blasphemy, nor of rebellion to resist the authorities. There’s even a satire on society no (lie books of literature).

Pushkin from childhood (Lycée sure) knew how to speak and write satirically. Brutal epigrams, offensive words were repeated by the whole of Russia. Slapping powerful nobles, Ministers, even kings got brutally… In “Onegin” or anything. There are jokes and humor, but satire, no.

Pushkin To A. A. Bestuzhev
March 24, 1825. Mikhaylovskaya
Your letter is very clever, but still, you’re not human, after all, you’re looking at Onegin’s not the point, after all he is my best work. Where I have a satire? about it and not so much in Eugene Onegin. I have cracked the embankment, if I touched satire.

Not only the embankment, and the Winter (the house on the embankment) cracked. Not politics, not satire, but an outright violation of decency, causing cynicism — that’s what it was.

…In those days, when the Decembrists came to the Senate, 13-14 December 1825, Pushkin “at two in the morning” he wrote “Count Nulin.” A year later the Emperor Nicholas I during a historic meeting said:

— He’ll be your censor.

It is a great privilege, a great relief for the author. The censor is afraid to miss, not notice sedition. Afraid because the Emperor will be angry and will punish the Minister, the Minister of rage will punish the censor. All the censors at all times the number one rule: better safe than sorry. And the Emperor, at first, afraid of no one, and secondly, I hate to be too picky. (The experience of a journalist: editor usually misses a sharper texts than Vice Exception — cautious Korotich.)

From innocent “Count Nulin” the Emperor struck out two. “Sometimes with the gentleman Shalit” (about the maid Parasha). And about how Nulin “daring hand / wants to Touch the quilts”. Not erogenous zones, not genitals, only blankets. Funny? But then such is the level of acceptable/unacceptable. The level that is now difficult to imagine.

Censorship — customs in the field of the creative spirit. Decide what to leave out, what to withdraw. In “Nulin” crowned customs, fiercely hating every free thinking, revolution, etc., left intact all the baggage of the graph:

With a stock of coats and jackets
Hats, fans, cloaks, corsets,
Pins, studs, lorgnettes,
Colored scarves, stockings à jour
With a terrible book of Gitta,
With a notebook evil cartoons,
A new novel by Walter Scott,
From bon-mots of the Paris court…

“With a terrible book of Gitta” — French politician françois Guizot (Guizot) was persecuted by the French Royal government for their political pamphlets, where he proved the doom of the monarchy.

Review Bondi.

“The doom of the monarchy” — the horror! But Nicholas I, the gendarme of Europe — Gitta have Nulin not seized. It is hard to believe. Domestic spying and pathological suspiciousness of the gendarmerie (100 years later inherited Dzhugashvili) is a chronic domestic ulcer.

A. H. benckendorff, A. A. Volkov, the gendarmerie General in Moscow
30 June 1827. Saint Petersburg
A small poem called Roma has just published in Moscow, in the printing Aug Seeds deserves special attention because of its vignette, which is on the cover. Take the trouble to look closely at it, dear General, and you can easily make sure that would be very important to know probably who owns her choice, the author or the printer, because it is difficult to assume that it was taken by accident. I beg you to tell me your observation, and also the result of your investigations on the subject.

Fantastic. Without the engine, no phone, no Internet, etc. — for 6 days — sent, delivered, received, researched, found, interviewed, and compiled the report:

General A. A. Volkov, A. Benckendorff
On 6 July 1827. Moscow
The choice of vignettes authentically belongs to the author who noted in the book printing samples of fonts submitted by Simon G.; Pushkin found it quite suitable for his poem. However, this vignette was not done in Moscow. G. Simon got it from Paris. It is available in Petersburg, in many publishing houses, and probably from the same source. G. Simon said that it has consumed this vignette, two or three times in the titles of the tragedies.

The evil vignette depicted: a dagger, a piece of chain, the bowl-ramekin and a snake. Think about it: it wasn’t the powerful chief of police? In the Soviet Union 70 years no wonder they’ve been talking about pseudoshadow the tsarist censorship. Although part of suffocation surpassed all Champions. About the Soviet political censorship of something you can understand from the book, Ehrenburg “People, years, life”. Here’s a great quote:

Began the bitter summer of 1942. In the reports there are new names of fronts: Voronezh, don, Stalingrad, Caucasus. Scary to think that Burger from Dusseldorf walking in Pyatigorsk…

The newspaper came the military, talked about the retreat. I remember a Colonel who grimly said: “Such a drape.”

The retreat seemed more dangerous than a year ago: then it was possible to explain the suddenness of the attack. Not about all I knew then, and it’s not about all of that, I knew he could write; all I managed in the summer of 1942 to tell the truth — never would such recognition or three years before or three years later.

Here is an excerpt from the article in “Pravda”: “I Remember a few years ago I went to one institution and banged on the table. The Secretary reassured me: “On this table all get hurt”. I said, “Why don’t you move?” He said, “the Head ordered. Move — suddenly I asked: “Why is it do you know what this means?” Is worth it — peace of mind…” we all Have bruises from this symbolic table, by inertia, of reassurance, of indifference.”

But from an article in “red star”: “Who will tell you how people think on the cutting edge… They think about the future, about the wonderful life that build winners… War is a great test for the people and for the people. Much the war changed their minds, reconsidered, overrated… different people will work and live. We have acquired in war, initiative, discipline and inner freedom…

Excuse me, there’s even nothing to complain about; dull, sluggish, some rearranged symbolic table, some worn out phrases about the future life “is different.” But Ehrenburg in his book (which, in the 1960s, during the Thaw seemed bold) quoted this phrase with pride. He dared them to write! The newspaper dared to print! And then adds: either before 1941 or after 1944 such audacity to go to print could not. That is only in a moment of terrible military disasters.

Need to confess that our public life is a sad thing. The lack of public opinion; indifference to all that is duty, justice and truth; it is a cynical contempt for human thought and dignity — can indeed lead to despair.

Maybe you like this journalism seemed inappropriate. What does “Onegin” are today’s realities? But the previous paragraph is the words from Pushkin’s letter to Chaadayev 19 October 1836. 180 years ago, soon two hundred.


It all started so brightly that it is better and can not be. South link was a gorgeous adventure. Political! pidnahlyadnyy!* — What biography do to our Cricket. (Cricket — nickname Pushkin in Arzamas.) In the manuscript of the First Chapter of “Onegin” caused incredible enthusiasm.

* Pidnahlyadnyy — amazing Russian word. It combines mutually exclusive prefixes: under and over.

V. A. Zhukovsky — Pushkin
12 Nov 1824. Saint Petersburg
You have no talent, and genius… You were born to be a great poet… I Read Onegin and the Conversation that acts as a Preface: much! On this authority I suggest you first place on the Russian Parnassus.

Not just anybody — Zhukovsky! Such a review is above all a literary prize. It is unlikely that today the famous master, the Chairman of the jury of honorary awards, rewarding the winner, and say to him: are you more talented than me.

Here is another fan who knows a lot about:

P. A. Pletnev, Pushkin
22 Jan 1825. Saint Petersburg
How lovely! Latin Mila to scream. The legs are amazing. Night on Neva mind does not suit me. If you’re in this Chapter, without action almost fly and drag, I can’t imagine what will come after. A conversation with bookseller top of mind, taste and inspiration. I’m not talking about poetry: your logic is killing me. No German Professor can not be kept in pood thesis so much right, put so many thoughts and not prove so clear its proposal. Meanwhile, what is freedom in the course! Will see if it will bite our classics?

Of course, they could not “imagine what will come after.” They’ll read only the First Chapter, I did not know Tatyana’s letter, did not even know of the idea, and even speculate about it could not (and finished “Onegin” has remained a mystery, they not only guessed, but did not see). But the presentiment did not deceive them. Russian literature awaited masterpiece. (Or more correctly: Russian literature waited for the masterpiece.)

…A small private event. My report at the International seminar of translators called “Russian Russian”.

The real problem: not only for foreigners but also for many (alas, many) of the inhabitants of Russia Russian classical literature is full of dark places that need translation.

The participants of the seminar — professional translators from different countries. Three were from Italy, three from Spain, two from France, England, USA, Iran, Czech Republic… They translate the Russian classics in their native languages. Why? — because all have been translated: and Dostoevsky, and Chekhov, and…

It turns out that every few years there is a feeling that can be translated better. And the best part is that the new translations of old Russian works are bought by the publishers — sure it will sell and earn.

It soon became clear that some translators just like our pupils and students do not exactly understand simple lines of Pushkin.

Here sent a letter to Onegin, and

Pale as a shade, since morning dressed,
Tatiana waits: when will the answer?

Dressed in the morning — says the student then got out from under the blanket and got dressed, not naked to go. No, it’s “am dressed,” you mean, dressed for the reception. Remember how Onegin went to the theatre and left without waiting for the end. The stage still leaping cupids and devils,

A really Onegin went out;
Home to dress he goes.

Paris fashion 1820’s.

He was sitting naked in the pit? No, in the theater — one garment, to the ball — another. It’s pretty simple.

“Onegin” brilliant discoveries, from which went crazy not only Zhukovsky, Vyazemsky, Pletnev, hussars Davydov, etc. But we hurried skip reading these miracles, not noticing. Here, dear readers, you slipped in the Chapter “Tanya,” one of these miracles. See:

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…

In dazzling hope, bliss dark name…

Dazzling is the flash, sparkle like lightning. Bliss and the dark night, the bottom of the secret; maybe black. So to push epithets, to show what she wants…

Modest dreamy ecstatic and passionate (I almost swooned, began to blaze with passion) bliss dark calling. Knowing that will die, drink the magic poison of desires! Well this is absolutely fabulous selfless despair (“the little Mermaid” Andersen will write in 10 years)…

There is in “Eugene Onegin” is a truly magical, but nothing seems to have been seen.

Usually the author (if he is not Leo Tolstoy) is trying to avoid repeating the same words. And not only in the phrase, but even in the next paragraphs. Sometimes the repetition is quite difficult to get rid of. “Which… which… which” just seem to text.

Whoever does the genius have to repeat a rhyme? (Except, of course, fabulous canonical threefold repetition, “the Wind on the sea walks / And drives the ship”.)

…Onegin received the letter, found the girl on the bench in the garden and says:

But I’m not made for bliss;
He is alien to my soul;
Your vain perfection:
Them at all I am unworthy.

What is “your excellence,” when it comes to 17‑year-old girl? This so called “girlish charms”.

Pushkin — in the moment when composing this rebuff Onegin writes a letter to Anna Kern, who “a wonderful moment, the genius of pure beauty”.

Pushkin — A. P. Kern
13-14 Aug 1825. Mikhaylovskaya
Do pretty women have to be the character? it all starts with the eyes, teeth, hands and feet…

It is still very politely: “teeth.” And would rude to write “smell”. And it is very modest: “legs”. And I could frankly write “forms”.

After three years (Roman calendar) Onegin fell in love with the married Tatyana and wrote her a letter:

To listen you long to understand
Soul, all your perfection,
Before you in the throes to become stunned
To fade and die away… it is bliss!

Again rhyme “bliss/perfection.” How so? ‘ve already used.

But was “opulenceand“become “perfectionson“is singular.

Perfection (in the singular) is the soul. The perfection of the soul. Onegin is said to “understand the soul”. And the soul only the soul and understand. Tool always corresponds to an object in the telescope look at the stars, through the keyhole — a neighbor, a hormones into shape. Spirits nose. Soul — soul. Perfectionand (charms) it is not interested in.

Perfectionsa lot. Perfectionon — one. The difference is roughly the same as idols (idols), and God.

The gods (plural) imperfect, vulnerable, even a person can get hurt. Homer in the Iliad the hero Diomedes, wounded two: the goddess of love Aphrodite God of war Ares.

Perfectionsand is corruptible; cheeks and Percy drabot, hair and teeth are thinning.

Perfectionsof immortal is the soul. The body decayed Michelangelo and the Sistine chapel comes to five million a year.

Pushkin may have hoped that any attentive reader will notice, understand and grin. But, alas, even Dostoevsky is the greatest connoisseur of the soul — historical in his famous “Pushkin speech” of June 8, 1880 (published in the “writer’s Diary”) wrote: “Onegin does not recognize (that is, “not understood”) Tatiana, when I met her for the first time, in the middle of nowhere, in a modest way with an innocent girl, so timid before him for the first time. And couldn’t he ask her: does he know the human soul? It is an abstract man, a restless dreamer in all of his life. He didn’t recognize her and then in St. Petersburg, in the image of the noble ladies, when, in his own words, in a letter to Tatiana, “learned by soul of all its perfection“”. Not noticed.

And neither Lotman nor Nabokov, in any translation, even the best, this brilliant focus, where the change in the number of revoked body and there is soul, nowhere, never, not a word…

Translators gasped.

To be continued.

Read the first part here.

Illustration courtesy of the Moscow collector Alexei Vengerov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *