Russian 1400 Africana Studies 1400
Russian 1400 Africana Studies 1400
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Bmwn Spring 2014 The Black Experience and Russian Culture Russian 1400 Africana Studies 1400 Course packet sales are nonrefundable All sales final Mihailovic Table of Contents Course Packet for Russian 1400 Africana Studies 1400 Spring 2014 The Black Experience and Russian Culture Professor Alexandar Mihailovic N K Teletova A P Gannibal On the Occasion of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Aleksandr Pushkin39s GreatGrandfather In Under the Sky of My Africa Aleksandr Pushkin and Blackness Ed Cathy Theimer Nepomnyashchy Nicole Svobodny and Ludmilla A Trigos Evanston Ill Northwestern University Press 2006 4678 Marina Tsvetaeva excerpt from My Pushkin In Under the Sky of My Africa Aleksandr Pushkin and Blackness 384392 Abram Tertz Andrei Sinyavsky excerpt from Strolls with Pushkin In Under the Sky of My Africa Aleksandr Pushkin and Blackness 3937 Aleksandr Pushkin The Bronze Horseman Eugene Onegin and Other Poems Tr Charles Iohnston New York Knopf 1999 222240 Peter Kolchin In Defense of Servitude American Proslavery and Russian Pro serfdom Arguments 17601860 The American Historical Review 85 October 1980 809827 Selection from Fyodor Dostoevsky s Notes from the Underground Norton Critical Editions Tr and ed Michael R Katz 2nd Edition New York W W Norton and Sons 2000 338 Selection from Ralph Waldo Ellison39s Invisible Man New York Vintage 1995 333 Beth Holgrem The Blue Angel and Blackface Redeeming Entertainment in Alexandrov s Circus Russian Review 66 January 2007 522 Selection from Claude McKay s A Long Way from Home New York Arno Press 1969 206225 Audre Lorde Notes from a Trip to Russia Sister Outsider Essays and Speeches New York Crossing Press Feminist Series 2007 1335 Cornell West Chekhov Coltrane and Democracy The Cornell West Reader New York Basic Books 1999 548563 Di EC 7detotaI A P Cannibal On the Occasion of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Pushlltin s GreatGrandfather A B R A M l E T H 0 VI C H G A N N l B A L died iroin a CF21 nial illness on April E20 1781 in the eiglity ftli year O1Cl1iS life The illness came about as the result of an injury to the head suffered long ago when the young man who was studying engineering in France took part in a campaign and fought at the Spanish fortress of Fuenterrabia That was in I719 The Spanish border Paris La Fere and its ancient fortress Before that the iourney from Russia to France in Peter the Greats suite Five and a halfl years of study the French language and customs and the sciences And even earlier before Russia a life out of an Arabian tale The boy was born in the principality of Logon or Lagoii south of Lake Chad in the city of the same name as the small principality consisting of three cities Both the principality and the city were named for the Logon River a tributary of the lake Today Logon P part of the territory Oil the state ol Cameroon These were places settled by the African tribe Kotoko to which the boy apparently belonged he was the son of a local princeling who had been at tacked by his more powerful neighbors The f39ather of IbragimAbram still protessed the traditional animist religion of his tribe while the neitghboring principalities h ad already converted to Islam This gave them grounds to view Logon as being at a lower stage of development and to abduct their children and sell them into slavery Most often the buyers proved to be the Ottoman Porte o1quotT111 key Abramquots lather as was the custom among Airicaii princes who practiced traditional religion had many wives and it was this and not Islam that was the reason for the abundance of these wives and the sons who aspired to power Evidently the children were taken by liorrce alter a military tlefeat and sold or handed over to the Tiirks by the victors The boy was taken away transported via the waterway to the caravan Mi A P Cannibal land route which ended in the port oil Tripoli and trom there by sea he was delivered to Istanbul or Constantinople as it was then known by Christen dom So began the boys lite in the seraglio of the Sultan Ahmed III sover eign of the Turks Yet another abduction from this second home and once again a journey northgto Muscovy to Moscow itselfquot ll the boy had merely seen the Ottoman sultan Froni afar then here in Russia he became the tsar s servant his godson the ward Abram Petrov He accompanied the sovereign on all his campaigns he was with him in decisive battles and he lateraccompanied Peter I on his second and last Furopean journey p Naturally it has been ctmjectured that the little blackainoor in the white turban on theicanvas in the Inlermitage by Pierre Denis Martin the Younger a copy depicting the Battle of Lesnaia with the Swedes in 1708 is none other than Abram Petrov Martin painted the work between N1 7 and 1723 in Paris and it is possible that in those years Abram Petrov who had taken part in the battle and was then studying in France may have given the artist some hacks ground for the painting The artist probably portrayed the black adolescent in the picture with the features of Abram Petrov the young engineer After France there were still several distant journeys but they were all within the borders of lPeter s reahn including the Baltic fortresses and cities St Peterslnn39g exile to Siberia and the Chinese border thanks to the elTo139ts of Menshikov And again Petersburg and the Baltics and a tour of duty near Vyborg on the Swedish border And in his advanced years life in the capital and on the estates which he had acquired near Petersltmrg In the last of Abranfs surviving letters dated Noveinber M 1780 the venerable old man asks his son to buy him some white Siberian fur because all other fur rots but does not warm 3 The old blackan ioor was si1ii39e1 iiig lroni the cold in his country house Suida under the gray antumn sky of Ingerman land Africa Turkey Russia France and the Spanish campaign Once again Russia and the Baltics Siberia and nally Petersburg South nonth west east Having experienced all four winds and having known both rise and lall like Odysseus made wise by experience Cannibal wanted to leave behind some sort of memoir However as Pushkin intoi ins us having learned otthis from family legend this same life experience proinpted AlM aLlquotJ to burn his notes when a courier from the city was espied on the road to his estate Naturally Pushkin who took pride in the Rzhevskys his Pmrik ances tors and the 600yearoltl nobility OilliltltF name he bore particularly singled out the progenitor ofthe historically romantic origins ol his family Abram Petrovi ch Cannibal The works lPushkin dedicated to this exotic great grand ither are sul ticiently well known We will note two of the distinguishing featiires ol ttl1eSE WOI39lltf ills flquot5t N K T l fJ LJI of which comes as soinething of a surprise namely the surprising exactitude with which Pushlltin reproduces the smallest details froin the historical and bi ographical material at his disposal Pushlin the creator of rich plots con structed by means of artistic invention upon becoming a statesinan begins to regard documents with reverence when the subject turns to matters of by gone days and the actors ofliistory among whom he justifiably nuinbers his greatg1 andfatlier He is proud of the histo1yot391ny Family that is the history of the fatlie1 lz1iilquot which dictates to him the form of another sort of creative worlifl The second distinguishing feati1139e is the scantiness of the materials he had at his disposal And it was not only a case oflacllting materials but also that these materials rotten sacriticed the truth for colorful details Elevating ones family particularly when one s origins are in doubt is atypical trait M all fain ily genealogists Pushlltin encountered a typical specimen of this in the figure of his father s cousin Adam Rotkirldi who in the late 1780s penned the soa called Gerinan biography of Gaimibal A Swede by biith Rotlltirlltli excelled in the carelessness with dates for which the Russian nobility is noted muddling almost all otitliem and leaving Pusliloin with a series o39lunsolvable puzzles and riddles During the composition of the novel about his great grandlather The Bl1ckm1oorofPeterthe Great Pushliin made use of an abridged translation of the so calledGer1nan biography copied out in his own hand He painstallt ingly writes the dates mentioned in Rotlcirllth s text in a column in the margins of his nianiiscript He adds them up and then subtracts and nothing comes out right for example the fact that the lilaclltamoor left behind in Paris to study was not twenty one years as he was in actual fact but twentyseven years old and tliat he apparently returned to Russia only in the fourth decade of his life lln the novel lDushlltin had to sq11ee7e all the events into the first year of his greatsgranitlfatlier s stay in France whereas the episode with Countess D could only have taken place during the tinal years of his stay when Abraln Ibragim in the novel a captain in the French llting s army had brollten tree from poverty for a short period and was not isolated from society by his igno rance oiquot the language We should note however the contamination of the plots here The source of1ln39 1gim s unlikely liaison with a French countess who gave birth to a black baby can be traced to a reallife biograpl1ical episode just as colorlul Car1nibal s tirst wife a darllt haired but tair slltinned Creek presented him with a white baby girl which according to the laws of genetics and Abram s understanding of the matter was an impossibility itquot the daughter was really his The plot is turned inside out by l3i1slillti1i in a variant that tlatters his great g1 111cll7atliei Thus the lacllt of facts and wliats worse their lialsilcication greatly A P Gamiilrial hindered the poet in his work on his novel which was ultimately to he set aside un nislied All the works written about Abram Cannibal during the second half of the nineteenth centuiy and into the twentieth century have been prompted by the needto hll in the gapsgbelatedly ot this disappointing lack of mate rials Gannibal s life Ismteresting of course not only as a sub39ect in Pusl1lltin39s work but also on the lnstorical and genealogical levels The author of this ar ticle was guided by all these concerns when emharldng upon this study olthe remarkable biography of Cannibal which draws upon materials about the poets g1 eatg1 a11id 1tl1 er that we now have at our disposal at the end ol the twentieth century Let s begin with the fact that Cannibal did not know the date month and year of his birth In his youth he toollt the day and month of his Christian baptism for his birthday Abram Avraam was baptized in a Russian Ortliodos cluircli which until recently was thought to be Paraslltevy or Parasltevy Piatnitsv which was why the church was also called Piatnitslltaia Twentyone ye1rs later he would write And His Majesty was my gorlfatlte1 at the sac139el tlount in Lithuania in Vilno in the year 1705 Unt39ortunately there are no docu ments wliatsoever about this since the Vilno archive was removed heyrmtl its borders and has still not been returned However in ll8 o5 after the Paraskevv Church underwent n391ajor repairs Governor 4h N Murav ev ordered that memorial plaque be atl xed to the gate The plaque survives to this day in the same place The source of information was undoubtedly a document that has now been lost but which must have belonged to the Vilno archive and which formed the basis for the following inscription hi this church Emperor Peter the Great in 1705 attended A service otTl1anlltsgivi139ig For the w39ctory over the army dotquot Charles XII And presented a banner Tallten in battle from the Swedes And had baptized here the African Cannibal Grantltather of our renowned poet A S Puslilrin Abram then did not bear the surname ilannihal but hy the time oilquot the appearance oi this inscription the surname of the greatgi antltatlier here mistakenly called graridfatlier was sul Tici ei1tly well lcnown troin worllts about Pushkin However inquotormation about the christening in Vilno in 1705 had not 4 9 N K Tquotlf IUtI yet appeared in studies aliout Pushlltin and could only have lieeii taken lroin the loealarcliiv1e1 Thus we can assert that this iiiseriptitin is liased liotli on piili lished int ormation ahoiit the poets descent lriiiii Gaiiiiihal as well as a Vilno doieiiiiient that has not yet siirfaeetl aliout the christening oi the lilaelcainoor Ahrain hy Peter I in 1705 iii an rtliodoi1 eliureli As scholars have pointed out the Parziskevy Cliiii39eli from 1611 until the nineteenth oeiitury was Uni ate and the haptism olquotAlii a1ii that had taken place is ai39hitr ily ascrilied to this eliurch which staiids in the city center Plowever there was an 01quot1101l1i iiioiiastery in Vilno wli ere the liaptism evidently toollt place as reeoi39ded in the ai tliiveliiit witliout speeilyiiig the plae1e5 In addition the detail in the iiiseriptioii that a seiviee of tll c1L1lltSgl lllg was held lor the vietoiy over the Swedes helps to x the time The enerriy s haiiner that had been seized and was presented to the cliiireh serves as inate rial 1 1l5 of the event Altlioiigli the exact date of the service is not indicated it can he culled troin the aliuost daily i391eord tit Peter 1 life as presented in tli1e liistorieal works of I 1 Golihov and N G Ustrialo1v Peter 1 arrived in Vilno on luly 8 1705 Old Style and depaitetl on either Aiigust 31 or 4 On july 11 victory over the Swedes at Mitavii was won liy Peter s forces under General Bour News of this and the Ct1PlZ1lI l haiiiier were prolialily hroiiglit ha1cllt on the evening of July 12 or the followiiig nioriiiiig The service oiquot tliaiiksgiving and the hoy s liaptisin that follciwed toollt place on the same day as recorded in the doeuinent whose contents were inserilied on the ineiuorial plaqiie lint the place was arliitraiily as1eribed to the Pa139aslltevy Clliiireli The 1exaet date of these events Iulv 13 is eoiitirined indirectly hut tellirigly it was precisely on iily 13 1776 that the elderly Ganiiilial gatli1e1red together the meinliers oi his household l 39l l39ilS and witnesses and drew up his last will and testainent This day inarllted his eiglitieth hirtliday Not lltiiow iiig the date or month of his liirth Gaiinilfial as I noted earlier re1el11oned the date l l1lSlamp1p39lSli 1 as the date of his liirth As far as the year f1llAl1quot t11 S appeai1aiie1e iii the world is eoiieerned we need to turn to the niaiiuseript evidence Gaiiiiihal left on various oneasioiis1 l lE39TEf we olisewe a certain peculiarity the older this VVtquotl11 1l tl11E eighteenth eeiitury lieeonies the more years he adds to his 1ige1 eitliei39 as a result llSl11391 ple carelessness or more likely for the salce Col SEll ll1 ip11quottt1C3 because he al ready possessed eonsiderahl1e ranllt Alidueted froni his parents home in his iiifaiiey he evidently did not llti lW the year of his liiii39th aiid that allowed him to adjust his age to his own advantage or to suit his whim However when he was 0111 1 gE 1 t1l1llt1l a lowei H111ll1E prolialily acted more responsibly Thus when presentiiig to El111 i1 E S1S Catherine I on her name day Novemlier 231 1726 the t W 1V39ll111E S1lll1lS worlzs and copies iiiade fniiii 17 i 1e1iieli origiiials on g39e1oiiietry and loi ti eatioi is1 he notes quot1 had the honor of serving lroiii my iiilaiiey to wit lroin the age olquot seven or eigl1t 7 A P Jaiinilial Passiiw over the tialciilatioiis e 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 quot 7 E1 oiripiitt d on the ev1dene Ol other dti1cii1iieiits1 left by Caiinilial we can state that in earlv 1705 when he entered iuip 39 1 i 1 1 is i t w eria service he reelltonedtliit he 1 3 J 1 1 1 1 11 11 1 7 I H L was Liglit and one hall yeais old and turned 11111111 in the suiiiiner of 1 105 Gaiinilial thus eoiisidered the lite ol his liirtli t 1 I V 1 I 1 1 i 4 K D W July 113 1696 Old Style Having estalilisheil the putative l39ltE of his birth lets non tuiii t t I Q j 1 L W J Hr 3 i r 5 A s 39 39 I origins ol 1 11S1l1l11 s gi1at gi andlath1ei and his arrival in Russia Aiiitiiig the small nunilier of relevant documents First L39UHlL i th C I V L I V 1 L 31 7 ye fer ina1iliiogi apliy already ineiitioiied written by A K Rotlii39lltli 7 l1n i 7 W1m was lroin 1782 the liusliaud of Ahram s daughter Solii Alir an it 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1na Theequot39 1 P 391 413 1 1 1 1 Mlsteilite ill the sttriiid dotuiiierit about Aliiaiii s delivei39v to R113 siawas eoml ete y uiifiiowii to Piisliltin aiid entered Pi quotl391lltquot 1quot 1 39 1 39 centl Q1 E lP 1 tll1E lEtltE l tl atquot l1 39 in TM llmtlllllmllllltel MY 1 1 11 1 1 y it ians atoi ol the aiiiliass1adorial L l139cl1lLquott llE39V Ill 391 391 397 391 3 3 T 1lquot39I V 391 7 1 ostow to tit C iaiittllei39y1s l11ULll Count Fedor AlElSE v ICl1 olovin 11b0Ult 13116 lE 1l1W31 v of three little lilaellt1aiiioors i i oin C11 it 1Hlllplt This let 7 4 39 K 1 g7 7739 39 1 ter has allowed us to clarily the muddle and iiiiieeiinitry ol the leruiaii liioq raphy in iegartl to Ahram s age the time it his arrival in 1liissia and the date of his entry into servi1ee for Peter I I will return to this letter liter Forll13911 391 t a pialtial piirposes with tht ei ttptioii of short indirect reter 1eIic1esie s 1 1 1 A 1 0 1 1 bad d I see two 1iLuiiieiits1 lyLp1ES il1lfi1clll the l1dlf 11dl W have 1alioiit 1411111 uring the year to1lloxviiig his arrival in Russia 1 0 ti llldl1lTlOl s oi igiiis ieiiiiiiitd a niuilcy and seeiiiiiiglv iiisolulile l l 1 I I I quotV J1 1 E quot 1 7 1 7 d W f Ii y t Germ in liiogi lI1ly gives an dL1L1ll1l ol L1Ill11ld lS native land aIi ii1r 39 Pt E 1 b fancy us stoiy is lollowed hy Pushkin and then latei liy a great iuun11 Rer1i1l3iogizipliers scholars and even writers lor esaiiiple Yiiiv Tvniaiiov O p V n 39 u r If V 1 NJ I 1 77 V y g N t r 11 iiiaiiitaiiis that the poets giLa1tg1iiidlatli1ei was ol 1i1i iruely deseeiit He echoes yGaniiih1al liiinself who 1deelai39e1d in 1742 in a petitioii to the Ein Eress E112ahetliz 1 your humhle sulijeet am an Afrieaii liv hirtli born into the Lgl Iloliility theie I was hoiii in the domain 01 my lather in the town Ul Ogon in addition my latlier ifiiled two other towiis Kh k1Tl l1 S39ll1I1g z1pl1El39 D N Ariiieliin and the Soviet political ligii re N P G 0 ll ov have devoted special studies to huntiiig down the native land oil a u 39 3977 V V gt V I V I V V V quot I I 39 g 391 niii ml and his ioieliears hut they did not stieeeetl in estalilisliiiig his lain 1y or the exact place of his birth However in Vladimir Nalioliovs metieuloiis study devoted to this siilijeet Puslildii and Gaiiiiilial we nd a lleetiiig re mark of some Sl1gI1lfl3939111L39E I 11 39 11 A 1 w 7 39 1 tVV Jl1llht a waste it time to Loi1e1ctiii e that Aliraiii was not born in Alivssiiiia It lquot 1 391 339 quot1 J H 39 g 1 u 39 39 quot 7 1 1 that lit liatl hetii Laptiirt l hy slave traders in a totally dillereiit place r l I 1 V quot u 7 bdy the Lagoiia iegiciii ole e1i1atoi391al Africa south ol Lallte Chad inhaliited liv Mussulinaii Ne1gi oes 3 I N K Teietoim Dieudonn Cv1 l1lTl1 l i c111l 011 writes that he was not taniiliar with Nabolltov s ar ticle and that worldng independently he came to the conclusion that the prin cipality Cannibal mentions comprised of Logon and two other towns was in tact the town oiquot Logan in presentday Caineroon Nabolltov39s hypothesis has become a proven fact Moreover it became clear that Abyssiiiia named by Rotlszirldi as his f39atliei39inlaw s native land was talcen by him from Samuel john son39s novel Tlie H istory of Rrisselris P39rince ofAbyssui riia 1759 The novel enjoyed great popularity and in 1785 Friedrich Schillertranslated it into Cer inaii Rotlltiilltli s 1quotl l 1VBltl1gt1t1gE and thus it became the source of the diligent biograpliefs inspired fantasy Nabokov draws direct parallels between events in this novel and Pxotlltii lltli s account of Abram s childliood at his fatlieiquots court But Nabokov did not dare propose that not only the details but Abyssinia itself came to R0tllti1 ll1 froin ohi ison s worllt while Li0g 0I l which enjoyed neither faine nor repute was expunged from Caiiiiibal s biography Two proper nouns mentioned in the story oi Abram s childhood have caused some coiifusion due to their similarity His native town is Logon his sister who supposedly swam after the vessel on which Abrain was being car ried away by the Turllts is named Lagaii However it is impossible to check the source oi Piotlltirllth s account which was either a stoiy told by the old blacllt ainoor or the latteris notes the whereabouts of which were iiiilltiiowii already by lPushl iii39s time In Piotlltiikli s account the boy is not abducted by slave traders froni a iieigliboriiig tribe but rather is tallten hostage by the Turks The ancestral i391giI1S that Rotlltirlltli traces to Hannibal the ancient Cartliaginian comiiiander are out course purely his own invention Abraiifs long and difiicult journey to Constantinople was completed by the sumnier of 1quotl39i3 when the boy would have turned seven He appareiitly was placed along with other young ll39lCl39d111TS in the palace the siiltanfs spacious residence which was divided into two halves where on one side the harem was located with the seraglio on the other side separated by a corri dor with the men s rjuarters There the masters and guests ofthe house pl yed chess ate amused themselves and slept The blaclcaisiioors were housed in the seraglio where they were learning the customs oi the place and beginning to understand the foreign l111gL121gE Istanbul is much fartlier north than Logfoii but is inucli farther south than Moscow One could say that hall of the journey to which fate had des tined Abrain had already been accomplished and that Constantinople was merely a stoppingplace on this enormous and L1l1ll1W1391 sojourn into the fu ture The boy of course did not guess then or later that he was journeying to his iiniiiortalizzatioii tlirough the worllts of his gretltg139it11 ilS1391 The first representatives iroiii iaifaivay Muscovy to appear before the boy were apparently two distiiigiiished gentleiiien The iirst was Petr An A P Gariiiibal Russian ainbassador to Constantinople from 1701 to 1714 He will icilitate the childs abduction to ltiussia but the entire operation will he executed bv an even more cuiiiiiiig t1g I 1t of Peter I who hides behind the inask of a ii iei chant Savva Lulcrich Vladislavicli He is a Bosnian of the Orthodox laitli who ed jfroin his native land the Bt1g11S39ctl1 Republic in order to escape persecu tion by the T1irllts Later in 1711 his native land will bestow upon him the title of count and in Russia he will be l11U2 Viquot1 by the hyplienated surname VladislavichRagiiziiislry For now in the year 1704 he is simply called Sivvi Vladislavich so that later his surname will be 11quotllSi39c1l 31quot for his patronvinic Tl1EC1 11E l 39 if the Mnsliin Turks drove him away troiii Ragusa preseiit day Dubrovnilq on the coast of the Mediteri aiieaii Sea laiidsinhabited by soutlierii Slavs since ancieiit times Savva Lukicli first came to lRussia iii 1702 under the guise of a iiiercliaiit with olive oil red calico and cottonquot Here having made the acquaintance of a translator and pi on39iinei1t ti i1i39e of those days Spatarius and evidently not without his assistance as he was a person with exactly the same fate Savva Lukicli becanie a trusted ageiit of Peter I and already in 1703 was sent to Constantinople with expensive Russian furs which he supposedly was to sell but to all appearaiices the furs were used to bribe important Tiirlltsl5 He had journeyed to assist P A Tolstoi and even substi tuted for him temporarily as actiiig ambassadoi39 in 1704 lieibre lune when Tolstoi traveled home W We should note that on August 322 1703 Sultan l sliistiiia 11 after a mil itary coup was overthrown by his younger brother who now occupietl his place as Ahmed I11 Sliortly afterward a new graii d vizier 1Iasan cai iie to take the place of the old one and he held his post during the period we are inter ested in froni November 16 1703 to September q 1Tl4 He was the new sultan s soiiinlaw and as Nabilltov writes he was a very honest and coni paratively liiiiiiaiie pasha oiquot Creelc origin and cannot be siispectetl of selling the sultaii s pages to a iiiierigiiei39 L However it was precisely during Hasan s reign that Savva Liikicli re EBlV Cl l11 BEf l1lt1Clt111iO0 ly S in the suiiiiiier o f17l4 during the period when E Was acting ambassador or P A Tolstoi in the Turkish capital Then he S nds them to Moscow with a trustwortliy person a certain Vasilev So as to El j 0id capture they travel north tlirough the territories of Bulgaria and Munte Ilia jtlle E 1SliE I 1t1 part ol39WE1leicliiz1 lroiii whence hailed Sjiadai iiis who proba Y Trld prudently iiirnislied Savva with letters of introduction to his i rieiids and relatives nds lPi jj jiaviiig spent about a in Coustaiitiiiople Abrani once agaiii fmm T11 pp onla join 1lewould later say that he had set out llor Prussia y on us own iiutiative We will cite almost in its ei39itirety a veiy iinportant letter written by Spa dreevich Tolstoi V110 llad not yet been granted the title of count the cuiiniiiu N K 391 eletovrr farius in Moscow to Count F A Golovin who may have been with Peter T on the carnpaign that ended with victory over the Swedes at Narva in August The letter dated Novernlrer 15 1704 says that the convoyquot from Savva had arrived two days earlier that is on November 13 Allow me to say in advance that the date of the arrival of Puslrlin s great graridfather in Moscow and the recording of this event is not the work simply of a bureaucrat but of a con temporary writer and thereforer is a remarlcable circurnstairce My dear sir Fedor Alelltseevich Before my journey from Constantinople on une 21 Mr Savvra Pa1gir2irtrstly wrote me that in accordance with the order of Your Gracie he had come by at great risllt and danger to his life from the Turllts two little blackrnrrrris and 1 r hirl for Ambassador Petr Andreevich and that he had sent these blaclaanorors with a man of his over dry land tlrrouglr the Multianianl and Voloslc lands for reasons of safety And ilt p Sir on the 13th of November this rnan of SaWa s arrived safely with these blaclltarnoors and of the three l have selected the two who are better and more clever and who are lorothens and 1 have delivered them to your most excellent house the house of your most excellent lady wife and your most noble children while the thirrl one who is untit I lrave left for Petr Andreevich because those were my in structions from Mr Savva and his man also said that this one is not suitable The younger one was christened Abram after the nephew of the Multian ian ruler but the older one is still a Moslern All of SziWais wares arrived safely in Azov with his yorivrig rrcpl39ieu 9 and as soon as they arrive here that which is recprired by Your Excellency will be talten and delivered2 This letter precisely establishes that three blaclcanioors were transported and delivered to Moscow but that the third one was irrrfit that is sick and weak and that the other two who were brothers were earrnarllted for Golovin However the director of the arribassadorial chancellery undoubtedly ins tended to mallte a gift of these two blaclltamoors to Peter Iarul that is why Savva Lulltich took such pains at such great risk and danger to his life From Spafarius s letter we learn that the yoirrrger of the two brothers Avraam was baptized during the journey This is a completely unexpected piece of irrfo 1391natiori It has not been possible to establish the identity of the first godfather However a few other things can be said in this regard From June 15 1704 until 1707 the ruler of Muntenia and Walachia this was one land which was called by one or the other of its parts was Constantin Bran coveanu who at the beginning of his rule was a secret ally of Peter IF Evi dently Spafarius is speahrrg of Brarrcovearsrirs nephew when he says that The younger one was christened Abram after the nephew of the Multianian rulerquot Walacliia and neighboring Molldavia and Bulgaria on its southern bor 54 T A P Carrnilial der were Orthodox which guaranteed sympathy for Savva s envoy while 1 was traveling tlrrorrgli lands St1l it1gli l by the Turlcs 7 P 16 y Avraarn was a name that had been given to a llil3l ltnUrI more tln once in the early eiglitemplr century In addition we should point out that tlll feast day of Saint Avraarn is celebrated on October 9 Old Style Mlost lie all this first baptism of Abrarn came about in connection with a etnlml l journey probably in I asi They endeavored to have the baptisnr lC39li11Ltil l nt the day of the saint whose name the child bore Thus we canlsurmise tl P tllll39l took place on October 9 20 New Stvle 1704 Ulndouhtedl the chllll Ills derstood almost rro tll1ir1g he may even have sirbsequentlv fol otten tll ll had been baptized since he would not have understood leitlieell th flclll Tm the langiraige But he wouldrernemlrerhis narne Ab Am L H M m ram sraainl Savva tearing tor the safety of the blacltamoors as well as the fate ofim portant papers he was secretly carrying to be delivered to Peter p dis ratcli A 1 these blackarnoors with an agent and then departed for Aziov froirilwlre E he arrived in Mloscow significarrtly later than the land convoy r391lquote11 iiis5s ll ter also tells us that at the same time perhaps as a blind Sivvr slelnl This l lar goods with his nephew by another route from Constaiitinople to A7ov Tllll boy waited for Savva in Azov and they then continued the journev tolretlrerll Rernarkahly documents ahoutlRussia s foreicrn relations rl esellve the date and list the people who arrived with s39c1VVkl tll3i39t were no lrlaclltarnoor travellng dtll him lL1I l11L1ry393l 1705 Savva Ragrizirrslw returned to Mosto w with con dential letters from Ambassador Tolstoi Travelirig with him were the clerk Petr Lukin and his nephew E m Ivanov Hitg1lZi391SlxV 22 T Finally in the same letter Spafarius mentions Abrarrrs older brother A quarter of a century ago this brotlier became known from another accourit is well In the second and last document concerning the g11 1 i7r U1 1lJml113 greatgrrarrdfatllrei in Russia A K Pxotltirldr writes He Peter I hit 11 ion the idea of writing to his ambassador who was then in Constantinople 33 rlelp1cst ing him to secure and send several yourig African lrlaclltmrroors l ilohrcln corns thp p O after bribi1 19 the Qmw fmm Sp1fmm l ttelg ant 39 JS srnar ant capa le lttfItiZ1l39lSl39V V6 c Z 2 L 2 i a it it was he was ha rtocv v e e G PP1 r Pglrly quotllut le W1 Ul lltbr SDVEI 613211 and dispatched to Moscow Ilrrrrginz arzmria ax at r O H E is Hrfonc other bltzck boy of noble birth his countryman who died nrreouwri F 39 i rnej roni S1lldll3 and one Itrrg1rs1rri almost the same ayge all were y0 l I1gc39r thcm nimge rparg gf fjggg H The Sovereign saddened by the loss of the third boy was pleased to receive 1 i r r l 7 7 l t ese two boys who had arrived and took upon lumseli the care of li39ltIii1LT iem is t I d up The Emperor qirrcldy sized up the mclrnations oflns newly ar IVE 39 1 a V W A quot ages ind 1il11dlll l has Gzrirzrbr1l a liverly smart and hot tempered N K 39I39elc393911or loeen baptized this second haptisin was perhaps pe139lo139111etl nierely to cliarige his 11ame Peter had decided to call the boy Peter after himselll The S CU1 11 baptism was perforinecl hut tl1e new name hecame identi ed with the hey only Formally which clears up the story ahout this in the Gerinan hiogiapliy of Ga11nihal Foll1owing Rotlorldi Petr Ah1 a111ovicl 1 Gannilnil and Pushlltin hoth re peat what seems to he an odd story A K P1otlltirllth R was nalried Peter after l1is exalted godfather But the general practice ofcalli1 1g him Avraam continued so that until his death he was called not by his new 11aine hut by the old o11e 0 and he was called Peter only in clerical reco139ds 32 P A Cannibal in his Me1noirs He was given the name Peter lnit he was so young and would cry so when he was called hy that 11a1ne tl1at the Sov ereign ordered that he he called hy l1is t39o1391ner name Avraiu the naane he hore h et39o139e his 1z11tis111 33 A S Pushlltin s account hased on the p1eceli11g sources At the hap tism he was christened Peter hut he cried so loecause he did not want to hear the new name that he was called Ahram to the day he 1iel quot3 1 Thus this was not a haptisin but a 1 e1cl1riste11i11U for which Peter I was present as godf39atl1 e139 Ahran1 s godmother is not mentioned hut P1otlltirlltl1 gives his tatlierin law a Polish cpleeii to play the role o1 g 1Ll111tl1e1 This was Christina ElJe1 hardine the wife o1quotA11gust II But neither August nor his witle were in Vilno at the time so this story 1nust remain on P1otlltirllt11 s conscience or perhaps that of Petr Ahra1novicl391 who also presents this version in his Melnoirs It is difficult to say who took this episode froin whom but Abram l1imsel 1quotis innoce11t In the initial period of his service Ah139a1n s duties included givi11g the tsar slate and challlt when he would wake up during the iiiglit All the hiogra phies o1quotAhra111 note this tact and treat it as a q11irllt olquot Peters But only D N Ba11tyshIa1nensl y has explained this odd beliavior perhaps hasi11gl1i1nsell on Pusl1lin s own account of the 1 11t1tterl5 The boy did not yet lT1 W the lan guage of his new country and did 11ot 111391de139sta1quot1d his godt1tl1er s speech and tlieretore could only ha11dl1in1 the slate on which Peter would write his notes Ahram took part in Peter I s inilitary cainpaigifis by the tsar s side in the battle at les11aia and Poltavaa11di171 the Prut campaign 1711 and in Gangiit 1714 They parted only in June 1717 when the ward was left in Paris to study military scieiice What should Ah139am s duties be called Pushllti11 jiistilciahly would he come angry when they would call his great gra11dtatl1er a valet or laclltey These were duties of a tliffereiit order In a document tlrorn tliose years he is rightly called a sentiy The eve139present hoy counted a1no11gtl1e trusted and i11timate upon hecoiniiig an adult shares both the late and plans of his godtatlier The conclusion ollthe t139i11n1pl1ant Peace of Nystad 1721 and the end A P Gaimihal of the a N 1rttlE1e1 1391tquot 7a11 iyokecl an ardent response in Ah139a1n who V1 ht lllcleli J 1 4 quot1quotquot I I 1 11 13 quotVquot3V 311 d d ta it w 11ne L reta1ledth1st11nL ve yta1s lattl when Niquott 1g re B lC3911IV11S PKX A FZ t C the M I I 1 d H liialittislciipts o11 ifeo1net139y and lont1hcat1n1s to Einpress a 111 1a Z 0 Y Y k f t dc s 1 1 action Y 1La13111g Fame pioclalm the glc1139y oi the wor so our mos ra rant ussian a1 s 39 Perhaps the allegorxical canvas from the eighteenth centu 1y in the Bus sian 1Vluseun3911that de 392 1 i W p 1 t b T I l l picts etti I victoilous ovei the Swedes 1e nesents the second portrayal of his Lgodson A d 1rllt sllt39 I 11 39 1 P b 1 W A My 1 1 P R 1 mnet yout 1 weaiing the 11n139or111 ol aireo 1391z1e11s so lets o p M I A P t Ir 1 Q 111 110 sltie reins of the ho1 se inst to the hgiire gf eerw1o1asr11rn A I s I N Ch 1 X113 W 111 1 ipit ylp 1E 1 his foot on the clicst ol the p1ost1 ates ares 0 e111 as 3 I f c I W W K VL 1 C it y spoken ahout the llkeliliootl ot the dep1ct1o11 oh abmolre youthful Abram on P1erre Denis Martins cziiwag wlmh 1mhwS t e att e near the village o1quotLesr1aia The next stage in the life ot39Ahra1n Petrtw is his residence in France 1111 a period oi some live yeau Pushllti11 did not know how his g1ett g1a11tlf 21tl1er came to he in Paris He writes U1ti11 quot v D E s 0 E 4 1 h k 11 16 G mnlhal was iiisepaiahlc I1 0111 the 5 G1 lgl he slept 111 P15 l s 10p acco1391391pa1111ed 111111 on all his ca1npaig11s and later he was sent to El1 1S39 hi I7l10V l quotv 1 AlI m1 was not se11t ln1t ratl1er he was left there hy the tsar 3 om 1e 1a accompanied on lns European journey A111ngf the papers in etifks arcliiye approxiiiiately ten entries have stirvived that record gifts inade V Fa 1 I in m 3 l 39 7quot V a in tie hlaka111oo1 durlng the muse ot the uour1391ey Here we 1F111d new Clt11 S l7 U0tS SlCUClltil1gS triiige a special l1at lI c11C1J1ll hrocade a11d EI111ly111st hetore their parti11g when l eter set out llor Spa to talzel the waters E ore returning to Russia leaving his godson in Paris on June 8 1717 T Avram theHhlacka13911oor was given the 1femai11der ofhis salary for the present year of 171 15 el1eroo11t s391 for which he siggiietl a 1ecei11tquot3 Aeter 1 left 1 a1 is 111 tht atteinoon of June 9 At rst Ahrani was very Ilpuch 111 want in Paris He was livi11g with Alelltsei l1 11rov who it has come to light Was Stlldying methods For cleanirig cocltlesliells and other thinus lquotro111 tab l J V 39 ottoms of ships that ca11sttl the planks to rot I11 other words he was to some exte11t connected with engi11eering and iiaval matters th tthF1St of all they had to master the Frencli lt11391g11z1ge Illwe hear in mind a 1 quot V39111 v 3 it 11 E eterslmig Collt gas ioutmcly tlelaycd stipends for the students then H 1 39 ll W l 7 V 39 I 39539 Q in t ecome clean Vl1y Alnain 111 late 1 18 w1 ote to A V Malca139w the cah eels In Lt H1 J Np 7 I V ecietary I liawe piattltally 11e1tht1 taIta11 no1 shirt to 111v 11a1ne the masters are teathi1391g us 111 credit I 1 th In the 1726 dedication of his inannscripts to Catl1erine I Ahrain writes 1 dt Peter I entrusted him in Paris to the care oftliree French git11 1lees And igetl ctlnes the1n the Duke of Maine a11d his son the Prince ol Do1nhes that 1 e natiu al son a1n1g1 a1 1dso111 of Louis XIV and the cl1iei7oI39tl1c F1 e11cl1 ar 5 9 N K Ti ll 1390 D139 tillery forces de V1lie1 e Al391ra111 1o11l 11sed the latter with the Duke of l vlai1ie and called him the riatural son of the glorious French king Louis the Great Tlie story aliout tl1e attentions of tl1ese gniiitlees was clearly an exaggemtitjiri on the part of Ahrain after l1e ha 1 retiirned from F1 z1TlCE39 altlioiigli two of the three 11a111es do g111 e in lL L1ll I 171l S eo11ee111ii1g iiiilitary schools that did in deed open tl1eir tloors d11ri11g Al1ran1 s teiiure VVOTI o11t hy poverty and l1allquotstarvi1391g for 11 periotl of one and a hallquot years Ahrain deeitletl to join tl1e li11g s army as a vol1i11tee1 wlien a vaea11ey prese11ted itself that is with the l11egi1111i11g l1tl1E war with Spain This war lasted from a139111a1y 9 1719 to Febi11ai39y 17 1721 When tl1e F1 El lC l1t0l1l1E lo1f1t1quotess of F 11e11te139ral1ia in northern Spain 1719 a slii39i11isli toollt place 111 an uiitle1 gro1i11cl passage and Alirain s11l1e1 e1l ai1 1l1j1139ylL39T the lieatl 111 the last days of tl1e war new ee11te139s o1l39i11str11etionquot were ope11ed for oflieei39 trai11i11g liy leeiee olquot the tei1 year old Louis XV and his regent lP l1ilippe Duke of Orlearis Alirain does not naine the loeatiori of the seliool he ii11111e1liately entered as a eapta111 in the llti1ig s ariiiy lBut i11 his letters l1e i11e11tioi1s that it was 1010 111iles from Paris wliicli iiiclieates it 111ay have heen the fortresrs and Center ot i11st1 11etio11 in La Fete located 11ortl1west ol39Paris A few letters from Al1ra111 and other persons req11esti11g perinissioii to stay on in Fra11ee have S11l39VlVCl Thus Alirarn wiites to Malltarov in the same letter If His Iniperial Majesty Sl1011l1 order me to ieside here 1111 the pres ent year so that I 111igl1t see at least a little practice lieeause in that school of e111gi11ee139i11g they l1ave caused to be huilt an earthen city which this year we will co111111ei1ee to build lay out l 139E 1 lt39l1111 l1 S dig trenches and so tlorth wliieli one should loiow in pi39z1etiee l 3 O11 Mareli 9 1722 V L Dolgor11llty writes in support 11139 this retplestz as Al1ran1 told 1ne that he needs to live here another year in U139Lll T to see a great deal more 1L1i 21c t1requoti l3 Poverty onee agai11 p11rs1ied Alira111 l ieea11se his few rj 1111 ti which he l1atle1xcl1a11ge1l for the paper e1irre11ey liitrodueed by the spee11latorol1i1 Law left liini at the mercy of strangers Thus in a letter to Malai39ov dated lVlarel1 5 1722 he refers to the llti11l1iess olquotCou11t P I l11131111llSl391lIlquotl who had been in Paris VVe are all i11 debt l1ere not because of ext139111 1z1gz111L e hut oi1 aceotiut ol the paper elirreney ill l1t wl1iel1 you 1 lielieve have lieard lroiii Count M11si11 1 usl1llti11 VVliat a lille it has lieen here with the local liioney it Platon 1V39c111V1Cl1 lrad 11ot heen here 1 would have starved to death in his mercy he lid not aha11lo11 ine 1 lunelietl and dined with hini every tlay One inust suppose that witl1 the end of the war with Spain Ahraifn Petrov was no longer paid his ollF1eer s salary so tliat he now had to pay tuition for his studies Only in 1721 did life for the young eaptaiiii lPIL211l inore atti39aetive and then only for a short period lllthe story of his 1l1211 lCI3 is 11ot to he tallte11 as a1tis tie i1ivei1tioi1 then the eve1its it presents ea1391 only he att1il 11te1l to these inontlis Ne shoulcl a few words here aliout the 111ilita1y t1 a1i11i11g in F139a11ee 6 l A P C211111111111 j1u1 111g this periotl tra1391nii1g that was completely unlcnowii in Riissi 1 ln t H 4 T it 0K 1 111V13 which Ahiarn beee111ie so taiiiiliar The tirst Fre11el1 artilleiv seliool I 39 ll Z V1lC1 taught liotli t11n11eli11g and the seie11ee o1quotla11d loiitiicie1tio11s is 111 1 is 1 at 0 1 A 111a11v other things was opened in lDouai i11 1679 111 atldition 1lquot 11 11lr W 1 1 1 39 1 1 h was eon duetel39for 1eg1111e11ts ol I11l1SlltE39U39 EI39S and l1o11il1ardiers wl1o were 39jm11 5 gethel 111 the artrlleiy reginieiit by royal tleeree d 1ted Felr11ary5 1720 T1119 r1egi1iie111t then began to take up positions in F011 r loeatioiis wlquotiere the Lem1 of iI1st1 11etio11 were situatecl the larger of wliieli were C391llel school VT 1 L 1 39 lt S ien1 wereloeatetl111 Douai Metz Strasl1o11rg and L1 Fere T111136 qdm l ll 1 1 1 1 39 1 swere39 the 11arge of that same Duke of Mlaine to whoni i11 Alir391111 s VVU1 lg p 1 quotE 1 vs at ee39 had eiitrtisted his fate I The CL1E S113911D1l 1 v3911 ll39E Ah 1 1 1 0 Ofthe t Elm mjhy H p iani st11lied has pJ 0lE l Lo11t1 ove1 sy 111 one A F w Hts lt11 It510 11111 writteii liy11111111 beiiieiioviia Ga1111il111l Al1ra111 s grad l r 1m lg 115 flit Cltjy llfl scl1ool in Mletz are narned But this is eo11 tradictedl1y several eirc111i1stai1ees ol39wl1i1cl1 we will note tw0 Film int g 13 eisely La F ere that was situatecl 100 miles ll139I P1119 while Mct 139 ti 1 1 c LZ e zwas 111 ier awa Sec1oi1dAlrai11 s te1l1 1 J We lmown E 1 UY If i1 El 1c1C 0l139l111g to the Ge1111 111 biogiapliy was the l V I 1quot V 1 J I l nobod ht T gsd d lllt W1 d1lgllt1I1lillL1l1l1clll1d Feie However bzf Y 115 191151 Ele tiat tl1eyo1111g111a11 111ayl1aveliee11 iii the Metz scliool edotrle E Illl1l11111 liE1tll Tlft11l1l11l CO1ll11E1C l1 lE 1i11fl111ll1t1139yE1L39llC11 in 1719 an ieii ater oui1 1111 ll 1 1 a X it 1 Stmctjon T1 1 se 111 La Feie aftei the optning of the eenter ol 111 1 1e poverty Enid neglect of Busslan stutleuts were so great that they weretraw11toP391ris 11u4quot quot ambassdd P c 1V ierc some ass1st1i1te 1oull he had troni the Fuissiaii r390r y PD p Mmin P lq1111e Dc lDolgo1ul y and the co111111ertial attaelie Count l 39 ll 1 l H 1 i quot 39 1 7 H L111 in lIlL 1 1305 he was piesident of the Co111111e1 e1al College his t Pt nislied his praeticzil studies in La Fe139e Ahraiii e1i1l1arled on Dual 111 11 o1ui111ey to Russia 111 the late 17111 of 1722 He and several other 1 1 J W I V Y s iave 111 the Slllll ol the R11ssia11 a111l1 assa1lor lD11lgo1391illtv who was returnii1 l1o11ie after several years ol39s1e1 viee ET P 11quot N i Inl I 11 711 39 397 I39 1 Most p atter upgii iefeivirig learn 111 Rlielnis on Oetolier 1 1 ariivetl 111 in t1 OWHOH llt11 f1U39c1l at 1123 and whlle presentiiig lii111selt to the soveieigii 13911 0 W1 C P 1 1 l 1 6 V 7 L re Credit ctg 1 1 toli11azl1e11sllty he delivered 11 o111 the 11i1g and R1ege11t the 391 1110 3 W E J Ofpth t c 13 1ltE OC 1l39LI 15 11 22W1 l1 ass1111 111es of lr1v11ltv111 i1lzeal El S 11 i 1 1 1 7 39 5 1 his T dc en ogorullty111tl1 ExCl1t1I1 of l11s 1o1n111a11tls and the 1na1111er ol p t5l 1l l lC lZ T1118 Saline locu111ei1t eo11e1i 11i11g Dolgo13911loy s ai i ival in Moscow Ent1SlTd by N N Ba11tysl1 Kan1e11sllty discloses that on Oetolier 17 the st1i swi 39 39 Re 1 11 pic stmlying 111 Pai is WEIL su111ii1oi1ed Ali1aiii the lilacka11391oo11 ran U e Oih ITIL Korovin and then att1111111l1te1l tlelits were paid 111 lull 4quotquot TIP 1ei e 1s an entry in the llIll l 1ll lUl39JEl1 11lill 27 1723 This i11or H 1 391 1 e P llllnlg Imy Co111icillo1 1 1s1ly Dolgoi 11ly who hatl been 1111n1ste139 111 391r1san 1 1 f pH 1 y 1 c 1y it was ordtred to 11111111 11 om tlieie p1ese11te1l l1111isel1 to His til N K TeletUrr Majesty and later after mass he Dolgorulty was given an audience by Her Majesty the Empress Ekaterina Alelseevna Today there was a very great snowstorm and it was wet quot Abram later reminded Catherine I of this arrival in the following manner I had the honor upon my return to Russia in 1723 to embrace the feet of Your l vlajesty and His Imperial Highness was pleased with his usual mercy towards orphans to appoint me lieutenant in his bonr1bar dier company and by verbal order connnanded me to teach military architecture to the young noncoin mis sioned officers and soldiers in the Life Gnards3947 Peter I met both Dolgonilky and his trusty blackannoor in the village of P reobrazlLie11sllty Rotkirkh did not know about this and he therefore moved the meeting between godfather and godson to Krasnoe Selo another small town outside of St Petersburg Not only did he muddle the place of this meet ing but he also maintained for the purposes of greater effect that the tsar him self and the tsarina set out to meet the young engineer Once again Pushlltin has no choice but to rely on this Family document and he repeats Botlltirllth s il lllOI l1ill39it11 in his novel F or an entire year Peter I put his godson to the test Once again Abrarn served as secretaiy and custodian ofblneprints in the summer of l39723 he took part in the grandiose land works in Kronstadt when they were digging foundation pits for the docks In a love note to a certain Asechka Ivanovna Abram complains that every day he is up to his knees in mud already for a week now there hasn t been a single day that it didnt it1i1 1 quot On February 4 1724 a year after his retur11 troin France Peter I made the welltried Abram a lieutenant in the bombardier company to teachl the engineers from whom it is necessary to select junior otlticers to be conduc trrs i ilquot A conductor here means a transmitter a bearer a transmitter oi lltnowledge froin the center of instructionquot as the Preohrazhensl y Regi ment had become to other officers and other regiments According to the stories of his godson Peter had decided to introduce to Russia the same system of militaiy training as the French one The twenty eightyear old engineer alternated his instruction with trips most often to the Baltics to inspect and work on the restoration of the fortresses which en tailed their reorientation toward the sea against the Swedes Beto139e the Northern Var the fortresses had been intended to provide detense from land routes to the south Abram Petrov appears on the rolls of the P139eloln azhensky Ptegiment as Number 1540 during the course ot39iquoto11i39 years 172428 He is named Petrrvov Arab the blackamoor Abram The column Arrival reads T724 lieu 62 A P Gannihal tenant and in the column Departure the notation reads lT28 major t1 aI1sfe139i39el to Siberia to the garrison in Tobolskquot5quot But before these sad and anxious years in Abram s lite began he may be truly considered a tlelgling in Peter39s nestquot From late 1724 he was busy with the fortress works in Riga where the news of Peters death reached him The Empress Catherine entrusted the ed ucated l3laclltamoor with the instruction of the heir to the throne Petr Ahlt seevich in the exact sciences This is when Abrams twovolume work con sisting ot Ceometrie practiquequot and Fi lllClC 39101 comes into being and is presented to the empress The work includes texts and plans with elements of constructions by Vauban hiniselt Evidently the l1U f l0OlS that Abram had brought back with him from France laid the lolnidation for this Wl39l Both volumes are furnished with the same dedication copied twice Half a year passed and an adolescent Abrams pupil ascended the Russian throne which however would not prove to be beneticial to the teacher Abram found himself dependent on the favorites tirst lVllE1Sl1llltlt39 and then the Dolgoru rs who viewed the learned hlaclltamoor with suspicion and hatred both because he was a fmreigrieiquot by birth and because he pos sessed an education Moreover Abram had lltnown Alelltsasha the young tsar from an intinnate vantage point Abram was hilly aware of his corruption and thievery Abram was exiled to Siberia for his ties with a circle of llenshilltov s en emies Princess Agrafena Vollltonslltaia and her brother Alelltsei Bestuzhev liiis journey was anticipated by a letter written by Menshikov Due to the Fact that he is a toreigner and that it would be dangerous it he were to go abroad it is ordered that he be kept under strict snrveillancePl Abram first traveled to Kazan then to TllSl and Irlntsllt and then to Selenginsk He was also in Tro itslltosavsllt named in honor of Savva Purgurin i who was Hussia s envoy to China during these years Then Abram re turned to Toholslxz and once again set out for Selenginsllt On july 17 l728 the Senate issued a decree on the construction oldquot a tor ti ess on the Chinese border and commissioning Lieutenant Abram Petrov for this task 52 Abram was to wait for the arrival oi the plans lrom St Peters burg From the Senate s summary of Cannibals report one can learn how Savva Lukich tried to deliver him from the intrigues of his enemies He was dispatched at the rerjuest of the ambassador Savva lRagnzii39isky to malve a copy of the place he had selected for the relocation oi Seleiigir1sllt 53 Selen ginslt St1ClE 139iEl from tloods Some of Abram s topographical worllt later became the Slitll ll OlF1Ct1llquotllly legends for exarnple that one of the young engineers tasks was to measure the Great Wall of China lPtotlltirlltl1 and Pnshlltin H owever the persecution continued and even intensitied Thus on De cemlier 22 1729 Abram was searched dismissed From service and allotted a N K Teletoi1 ration of ten rubles a month Later he was I c1t 1Sltfft TiE l to Tomsllt where his or deals resulting from intrigues now on the part of the lDolgorulty tlavorites came to an end It was only now that he received the protocol of the Supreme I rivquoty Council on mallting LieutenantBombardier Avraam Petrov a irrajbor in the Tobolsl garrison 5i The apparent promotion in tact was a transfer from the Iquot1 reol 1a7l1ensllty Life Ciuards where he still was formally on the rolls to the Sibc139iai1 army regiment with a recalculation of ranllt as stipulated by the la1ir3 7 In I729 reconstruction of the Kronstadt fortress commenced and the Ladoga Canal which would open in I731 was being brought to completion all of which created an acute need for engineers In I730 by special decree loreigners were invited to enter the service but meanwhile in September I 7I 3 Count IB Kh Minikh inalting use of the new political situation secured Abram the blaclti1ii ioi39 s transt39er to the Estonian town oiquot Pernov Piirinil In Siberia apparently in an attempt to defend himself from being treated as an exile Abram IP etrov had turned the second part of his name into a patronyinic and added on the tinesounding surname Caiuiibal which he had never used hetore In March I73I he made his way to Pernov where this surnaine acquired legal status On his journey there he spent some time in St Petersburg where on January I7 1731 Petrov was married to the younger daughter of Andrei Dioper a Greek captain in the Russian service This forced marriage was to bring the young couple nothing but sorrow For Evdokia it was a complete dis aster because their divorce proceedings lasted more than twenty years l7I3t2 53 At their conclusion the unfortunate woman was installed in the Uspenslay Starolatlozhslty Convent and later the Vvederisky Convent in Till1 lI391 Here she was registered as a novice that is she did not tallte the veil and here it seems she died By an interesting coincidence Evdokia Lopuld1inawit39e of Peter I languished in the lUspensllty Staroladozhslxy Con vent for six years I7I8t 21 She had been transferred there from Suzdal for violating her ent39orced seclusion and for having a liaison with a man Evidently the court regarded Evdolda Cannibals otfeiise to be of the same order In I7 3t2 Cannibal bought the country house K iiilciila situated I8 miles south oiquot Revel Tallinn and he lived there upon his retirement in 1733 There were probably several reasons for his retirement which lasted about seven years First the scandal in the Pernov garrison resulting from the di vorce when he accused lEvdolltia of adultery and attempting to poison him It is irnpossible today to verify the truth of these accusations Second the cir cinnstance that in the autumn oiquot I731 his wife presented him with a little white baby girl after which the thirst tor revenge perhaps led Abram to un dertake certain extreine measures against his wife Ugly rumors about the l39arnily old the blacltamoor engineer and his rep 61 A 13 Cannibal utation as a cncltold probably tormentecl him and he tried to escape even thing by retiring It is worth noting that his lirst petition to retire dates lroin October 11 1731 that is it was submitted soon aliter the child39s birth The sec ond petition dates from June 7 1732 but it was not until Mav 21 175353 that his petition was granted it Cannibal s life in the country was tilled with tear Pt1SlTllll l believed that this fear was the result of his g1 eat g139ai1dtather s illegal return Ironi Silerj1 However this was not the case The t39ear resulted troin an entirelv tliil7er ent circuinstancez Gannibal had become intimate with the daughter 6139 a retired Swedish army captain Matthias von Scl1tile139g Christina Regina von Scihi3ibei g was the daughter of an irnpoverished lainilv ltler mother born into the distinguished Albedelia family in Riga found herseltlin Riga with her el dest son when the city was talcen by Peters arrny lune I 1717 tllirtistinais father was in Sweden where he had conveyed a group oi Russian prisoners Making use of the cordial invitation of the local nobility to join the Russian aripy Matthias returned to his I Ht1illly39 but then resigned and rnovetl trom Riga to ernov It was evit entlv in Pernov that his eldest daughter Chrf 39 39 r Li J out in I7I7 or 1718 tollowetl later bv her sisters Iiilialiialhiitl Aiiiiilllln 1 L M According to Evtlokia AI1lI i 3l71 1tl S testimony Cannibal became inti mate with Captain von Scliiibeigs daughter in Pernov as early as I732 but this is unliltely There are no grounds to believe that the marriage of Clnistina and Cannibal was prompted solely by a dilticult nancial situation but this factor should he considered as well While Matthias s landholdings are not docurnented the prominent Albedelias Christinas inothers l39ainilv had a number of estates which surely must have helped to ease the life 39llttPik1iit von Schtibergs family It was most likely in Kiirilzula on June 5 1735 that jhristina gave birth to her rstborn Ivan who was sufficiently darl coinplexiimed and who bore the typical facial structure three portraits oi him as an adult have snrvivel to nally calm Ahranis jealous heart and he decided to l t tl2lt 1 f quot35 arn1ihal procured a counterfeit marriage certificate stating that he was a bachelor and he was married in one ot the Revel churches This toollt place in 1736 and from that moment his unlawful cohabitation with Christina became even less lawful since this second ma139riage was subject to severe pnnislnnent by the Christian church given the existence oia wile whom he had not divorced and Whom he had accused iOl tlt1ll39l39y Thus began a period in Cannibals life hill of apprehension With the ex Ception of Count Minikh he had no highly placed patrons In order to Strengthen his position he submitted a petition for an engineers license Which he received signed by Empress Anna and General Field Marshal Minildn dated lFelni139a139y 7 1737 Retired Avraam Petrov annibal llorrnerlv Captain in the Engineers is l3iquotf3li1 pI39139t t l to the rankt i39ii1i1j i 3T Iiaving G5 N MI Telctoort waited for a vacancy in Revel Abram terininated his retirement upon his pro motion This took place during the nominal reign of ivan VI the regency of his mother Anna Leopoldovna and Miiiiklfs near sovereignty On janiiaiy 26 1741 it was recorded that for his lengthy and impec cable service Nlajor Avram Petrov Ganibal sic is awarded the rank of lien tenant colonel in the Revel artillery ga1 risoii 5 Gannibal s tenure of duty there the first year was inarllted by innumerable and lengthy inessages of com plaint he sent to Pertershi1rg about Governor Levendal the chiefcommandant of Revel Major General de Brini and the inajor s subordinate Gofmer Gan nibal was an interloper with a Prussian orientation amidst this group of Swedes and his contentions bear the marks of a troublenialcer and at times appear to be motivated by pettiness On November 25 1741 a coup toollt place in St Petersburg and Peter the Greats daughter Elizahetli became empress Minillth was arrested and exiled to Pelym However his protege Abram not only did not suffer but was promoted from lieutenant colonel to major generai moreover he was ap pointed chief coni139nandant of Revel At the same time he was granted enor mous estates in the Milltliailo vslltoe district ofPslltov with several dozen villages and 569 souls women and children did not figure in this total so that more than a thousand peasants lived there All this was granted on januaiy 12 1742 The documents however were executed only later the promotion by a li cense in December 1743 by which Abram Petrovich formerly lieutenant colonel in the artillery is today janiiary 12 1742 grantecl the ranllt of inajor geiiei392il 5 The ll39c1Hll10lll1igSr were legally assigned by a dociirnent executed only on February 6 1746 which was countersigned by both Eli739abeth herself and Abram 395 old friend Count Aleksei BestiizhevBiiiiniii now chancellor The family legend that was passed down to Pushlltin held that after learning about the change in regime in the capital Abram organized iireworllts in Revel and sent a message of congratulation to the new tsarina with a line from the Gospels namely the words of the robber who had come to believe in Christ Remeinber me when you enter your lltingdom p 0 in addition in Sep tember 17431 Gannibal received the country house Ralltl1ula which exceeded three times over the acreage of his village and its lands after which he promptly sold K39arilltula From the moment Elizabeth came to power Ga1inibal s interests and plans became more and more tied to St Petersburg She had lcnown the loyal blacl ainoor since childhood for he was thirteen years older and had probably entertained her more than once during his period of attendance on Peter I The war with Sweden 174142 which commenced before Eliz39abetli s reign and was concluded during her rule and the conditions of the Abo Peace after the war concliisively settled on August 7 17453 fiinctioned as a supple rnentary subject in Abrain39s intercourse with Petei39sbiii g since Bevel had be 32 3 A P Ciannibal 111 until r 10 and l1P391iZ tJilquotc1lli there was much there toalarm cg ing n jiiiie and July 1 42 he bombaided Petersburg with 7 ports that the merchant Witte was a spy that military proceedings were in progress in Bevel that the Swedes in Coiirland were buying up grain that he on the sea and that from a tower he y ps sai ing in the direction of 13 t i39Sl111 gm He requested that he be made a member of the staff of the provincial office in order to be on the lookout for treaclieiy However the empress denied this re quest apparently regarding his vigilance as imnecessary fuss and a means to remind her of his person yet once agairif 7 7 ReVelliqtilI4i2 gpneral and chief coimnaiider of A A 1 it c tcevna a ready had several children Ap parently his eldest daughter lived with her nominal father docmnents refer to her both as Evdolda and Poliksena 1731 May 11 1754 3as well as his son Ivan daugliters Eiizabeth h 1737 and Anna 1741 88 and the new b 01quotquot1 11 Jnne 21 I1742ll39t1l391 8 1826 While ivan Elizabeth and Anna T us 1 in s grandfather Osip was later born on Decernbe1 20 1744 Allow me to jump ahead of the story somewhat and fill in the other chil drrzili Agrippina who died before 1749 was born in Revel or possibly in 3113311iiiiiiliii ililiiiiiiiir iiii G iliiigili feWis li fgtwtilll 11767 Cii39ldm39 born in 1747 and in 1749 Y1lltO71l V110 died icl 71111 F01 Uh fgllf 11157117 Ems 1762 was born The oun E39S1quotc1111ll39 t O 3911 IS 1f139U1E1SLne SOrnert1me1wi re a 1 fr z 0 1 p I lg T 1 Pas out o o a iamovna was born alter ong interva on iini1ary 24 1159 apparently in Petersbiirg when her mother was about forty one and her father was in his sixtythird year Hetiirriing now to Gannibal s military career we should note that his reminders about himself did not go for naugl1t he was cliargetl with an im portant coinmission he and the field office comprised of several men were to meet in the fall of 1745 with Swedish delegates for the long and exacting work of establishingprecisely wliere the Piiissian Swedlisl39i borderline ran be yond Vyyborg Initially the chief person in this matter was his direct superior General oliarni Liidwig Liiberas J A Scortsman by nationality and a Swede by birth iipliringing and edu clat1onLuleras had become an engineer under Peter in 17119 possibly alter t e Battle oil Poltava and after transferring to the Riissian military he super vised from 1722 on the construction of the port in Paldiski to the west of lievel From 1741 he was the chief of all engineering and fortification matters In Russia precisely the post Gannibal would occupy immediately upon Lu beras s death in August 1752 Now however in 1745 Luberas was detailed to serve as special ambassa N K TlflP l 17I inaiiy about this coiniiiission in the process lt1ip39diIquoti lgli 1llI1 1quotlt1 it l aboiit the Gaiinihal couple Irleiiniiig writes This gentleiiian is l1l1S l39f an Africaii and by birth a Moor he possesses however great abilities in the elds Ul1l11OWl edge that he l39ias chosen rlies39cr Herr ist lg I1IllClTI ein Afrikrziwr iuirl eiin g lil39lI quotlI lr Mohr besm alier Soirsrt eiiic grosse CrC S39Cllitlfl39lClll 2jit in rleiieii j llgUI l WisseiisiligCtcr ii die u sci39iiei39i Fora gi lll H H I1I1l1g adds that the general has a good comm and l F1 iEI1Cl1 He speallts with even greater respect of Christiiia The geiieral s wile moreover is a very dear lady of good heart aiid she now is in her lull hlooin Die F ran Gerieralii39i ist sonsi39i eiiie grit feiiw Drmie eon gui eri GH 1 lquotitl39l 39llIquotIl S39l39T3ll6t atiijetzo iii ciiier gutcii ErweClltiiiig 71 We should note that it was to Irleiiiiing that the whole of Gai39ii iibal s pi39operty was later sold on May 15 1757 when the general appareiitly inoved to his house outside the city In that saiiie year oiquot 1757 Ganiiibal was listed as a ineinber ofthe 00T1 inission ciliziigetl with the inspection oi Iiiissiaii fortresses Two years later as recorded by decree dated Noveinber 1 1760 he was iiiade a full geiieral On October 23 1759 General Eiigiiieei39 Cannibal is promoted to the ranllt of hill general in C39Olquotljl111ClflOiI1 with his appoiiitirieiit to the Ladoga Canal and to the commission on the Kronstadt and Rog ei39villt construction works 73 And so Gaiinibal was iiiade a lull general and was awarded his second and last Order of Alexaiidei Neyslty August 30 1760 which was pi39esei ited by the empress in person This was the pinnacle of his career In aiiiiaiy 1759 the last child of the honorable general was born his tlarigliitei So a tliroiigli whom the Cannibal ilaiiiily would subsequeiitly loriii ties with inany prominent GerinaiiSwedisli lainilies iiicluding the Vraiigels Direct desceiidaiits of this youngest daiighter would inchide the poet L D Zinov eva Aiinibal the art historian N N Vi39aiigel and his brother the White general P N Vi angel Gaiiiiihal was not obliged to iiiallte regular quotc1P1 J dlquotdi1lT S at the Eiigineer Corps and iii the period 175657 apparently carried away by the acquisitioii oiquot properties near Petersbiirg he reported sick for eighteeii months was present 17 days and for the remainder perfornied his duties as coiiiniaiider for 23 days 73 It is possible that he spent some time on his IiIillthailovslltoe estate most lilcely alter the sale of his Petershurg property in May 1757 We do not know when he purchased his first property near the capital that is the coiintiy house Suida and the villages Hoiwever this can he easily calculated by events in the life if the l d1 Il yll1quotUI11 which he made this rst purchase Peter I had made presents oi the lands in TIl FE I Ii17i clI lltI1l liberated froin the Swedes during the coiirse of the Northern v V ii39 to irienibers of his closest circle The first Russian owner llStlIltl 1391l its villages in 1716 was the eldest oiquot the three Ap1 t1lSlI1 brothers Petr Matyeevicli 1659 I7i 8 These lands A I liiiiiiilizil then were inherited by his son Aleksei who died in 1735 The own ti e 1 Cd1 1 his widow Elena Mildiailovilia ii e l1 111E SS Giilitsinizi I7I 7 397ll dlill P be iind two ouiirsonslfiotliof quot 391 A A T la 7 1 Prince Peti yAleklseeyicli rlllw 1lLT syna 17393i I81l but scaiidalous divorce I i as 1 L I I ll dlmlnllml UM I V p 39 T I iocccc iiigs Wt ie soon begun the second such in the eighteeiitli centuiyl She had ptiwerfiil CO1I1 l Ctl1l1 ri III l 391 an attempt to give her less of his graiiiicl itlieir s patriiiioiiy Petr C cllIIlL fl I ll agreelllmlt Wllll Gilllllillill I ga1Lliiig the swift coiiyeifsioiilloll his lIIIIIl quoti lllln39 propeiityyiiitri casp The lII c1ll39E however had not heeii coiicluded when the lil E 1quotlf3 p piiisiaiit passed away His brother lP riiice Fedor Alelcseei 17 33 8 9 caine into iossessioii aw l L ill cliurch records of the loskresei1slltlilllllllli39rllilTllliillelllgdflliii ll lllllTg FlIll in 1758 Fearfiil of his brother s widows claims he was also ill El l39lltlliIl llldll Ve tlilg as ini1ch ofhis property as possible into cash The 1quotiiii clieise39 ind Squot lil 04n39 Edently took place in late 1758 when Lieiiteiiaiit Captain llTEl aided ti 39eiiLtl39 iV a1 3 Si I1E39 l11iS CU1IlIIIilSSlfidl A e i a a 5 14 u ll granlt39zitllliei In any event in tllel p M lllllllllJTl till lm the name Apraksin in those sziine church records ot39tl i If k ll Ml ac near Suida Thus Gaiiiiibal s loiig ahseiice f39roiri duty Ett1Il1llllllSll the 111 l tc1VLll SiCT1E ITl111g his property holdings that coiitiiiiied tquotrirquotrlvb years In t1lLll1lI1011 to the country estate of Suida and the Village of VUSl1 e3e11c Sllty Abram also received the villages of Mehiitsa and Kolii39iiio Two or three years later he also piircliased the eitljriiiiiiig land This land piirchase iiicliidcd E11 39111 1l iihe vlilllages Kl1lZ11 lfSV0 Ptiigiist and lllittl Vop eral A I Golovii39i the lTl Olll 1 lllfP1Ll3l1l3IlIT hIlfllllllllultl WJS1 nllldll llmll Till tirrie Gaiuiihal boiight estates that did not llT cl 1 Tl lull mm lel Ewllllmll Tlm were not tar zisvay Malfle Tlaitsyii 5 til l39lll lllxlwn and llllllllglll lllell IVanoVslltaia Tildiyirio Istiiiy Ileiirelev lllTl llgll llllllCllllllli Slilliltsll In the will 1IIL1lElII 1llilii EI9llTl lZllllI1cljIllI 0 p B011 Srlllull Orlwlml 39 arnorig his four sons The llEiLl1tTl1lBI i rec L ill lhml llm ell thll Uwlmlslllll dOWI y The ell35t Wm wilds 3811 411 mEft11llt1l31li tileli iiiiii1igE ii cash as well as Suida and the Villlailies Miflllii tli I ha Llluflgllllllell llllmll Elma and it larew O s P L T V 1 L e esccpioii o Koliiiiio leti got that ha 1heEn lmiigt 1pmrsl11i xvi Kl139l1l and the ccuiiitry house Pi1ll1U by his itllel pdipqppl y I1 quotl1II t11ii1tESSIlOSlpAft1SlJI i1glIti3il39i1l T I p easiire at his son s sensational divorce lroiii Maria Alci K 3911LII 139nJ Il g1Iquoti1IT1Lll 1Ut113l Vl1IlCl 4 had tillsitjlli the Taitsy pm1 rWThte h uSei1 gpiiliji V esceiitleiiitsyvere gixreii all ol its Constihpucmm Wag he Um ht J fSbn1ll is not iiieiitioiied in the will beam the a11mSS g 39 11ik39IV1ylItll lJit has been rebuilt and t39LLl2 t house in the Earl mll taegnth emn ieet ll AlJilHiV1Cl1 would sell this N K l l quottJ From the late 1750s Gani39iil ial s businesslike nature and eoiiseieiitioiis pei foi iiiaiiee of his duties somewhat gave way to his et39forts on behalf of his estates The ii itiii ii39iiititii i39egirtliiig his absentres the 2755 protocols and 189 orders that went iinsigned by him may not be completely t1 t L1l t1te the gen eral was at odds with his direct siiperior Coiint P I Sl 11iiV391l0V In late I761 Empress Elizabeth died and Shiivalov died in Iaiiiiary ITI52 Field Marshal A N Vil l i39J I cISS1iil IE39l his position IDiiring the reign of Peter III several days lietoi39e Gatlieriiies eoiip Gannibal was retired on ac eoiint oiquot his advanced agequot June 1762 But no reward was oi tl1eoining they were clearly dissatis ed with him Upon his return troin twenty years olquotexile which he had spent in seein sion in the city of Pelym lIinikh was appoiiited to Gannibal s position even though he was eoiisiderahly older than his onetime protege A month later when Catlierine II had already assiimed the throne Gan nibal petitioned that he be granted in recognition of his Iit39ty seveii years of service property tliat bordered his to the soutli Kiirovitsy and others But no reply was ever made to this petition Deeply ri li t 1lE Cll Cannibal parted with the world of St Petersbiirg foi good lived in Snida and pi oiliahly oceasitinally visited his Pskov estates It slioiild be noted that he spoke of his resentment to his intiinatesI and that the legend oi the iiigratitiide shown him by Ptiissials riilers lived on in his fainily This legend was repeated to his gI t1t g139IEtTllS lquotl who eoinbinirig the liiiietree avenues of Suida and Petrovskoe in his iiiiagiiiatioii writes about the foi39gotteii one who had lived in the same hoiise asI tsars and tsaiitsas who coinealed liiinselfiiiider the shade of linden lanes who in his old age would recall his fi1i39off Africa The aged Gannihal39s reininiseenees would be recorded ve or six years later by So ais t39ia39iiee Adam or Ailiilt Iiarpovieli Ptotkirkh who adorned them with eolorhil details of his own The last twenty or so years of Abrain s lite belonged to Siiida as they had once been claiined by Kiirikiila and he began a second time like a wise man C011litT lil iE in peace and ipiiet That is how Rotkirkh phrases it in the German ligI t1pl1 T4 In his paraplirase of these words Pnslikin notes that his great grandtatlier died a pliilosoplier lriotkirkh composed the German biography on Petr Ahi aniovich s es tate where he was the steward At first Petr lived in Khersoii then in Peters biirg and from 1786 on he lived in Petrovskoe in Pskov Apparently Petr s sis ter Sotia and her husband AdolfAdain brought their children in39toI the world while living on this estate Upon becoining a judge in the city of So a today part of the city of Piislikjn alter Petr Abi39ainovieli s sale of Elitsy in 1792 Adasni Karpovieh several months liettire his death was granted extensive properties by Paul I His eldest daiigliter inherited the Ul7lU y39 hoiise of Kai bola and his son Ivan received Novopiatnitskoe on the outskirts of the city of Iainhiirg quot i39quot i to A P Gannihal N 1 1 116 S eiiii 111 lhitiigpipliy apparently was kept in Kaibola VhEE quotll Z1 c1 Sl0 1 39 t J I I I 1 I ryp yaora E iTlI39c1I1Cl quotl1i al aeopyot the German bi ogiap iy tieie and it is this copy the paper of wliieli was 1mt1lquotll1f c1C39l 111 t l in I826 l1391tt II quot 3939 7 H W I LT licglbrpiiglit to Piishkin The itasons for Piishkin siispendinwg orron ie I I J I It i39l7Ili of Peter the Great inay bt attiibiiteil to several eaiises one ol wliicli was the lack rFnC39E l39E historical iiihiriiiatioisi about his gtEittgllllilft1tl1f 139 material that was to be foiind only in Piotkirklis eoniplete textTliel39u1lcoq f Y A s I I W 0 I 161 H H Iyo the man biogiapliy was actpiiiecl by Piislikin no ear 1 ian 16 39eIi39iri ii I 39 H 0f 39 I I I as 1 ng o Ltober I82r that is after he had set 391s1le the pogel that hle was never to take iip agaiii There is no doubt liowever tlmt he 1391quotiti39s lz 39 I cl c 1 1 p09al his own Ialiiitlged tiaiislation of the German liirigiiphx wieii he had liegiiii work on the novel in late Iiily I827 7 39 Theli I x I t 39 ypothesis that the Lopy of the B1lIquotld biogi aphy was in the p session of Petr Abramovieh and came to Puslikiii after the old nian s lE li li I I JO I Y 1 P L U e 5 lP 6 395 P1 313f3b Cl by N G Zenger in the coininentary to the publi cation of the GEI 1T1al391l3ilUg1 Elpl1y and then seconded by inyself is gi39oIiindlesIs 7 Hoyveifr Petr Abrainovich innst have had some variant of the German biog ELIP 1I C39c1l1IS ClM139 al1I 1idgeltranslation was in Piislikiifs possession as eailv is l I824 when I 3 n A I r A g I I P in F 1 T i 1 ie wrote the uniiiiieiitary to tllt first chapter of EIlt3i l One gm 1 ioiit iis gi eatgi39saiicltatlier as well as in the siiniiner of 1827 when he was writing The Blackniiiorir of Peter the C39 quot1git P A GThe sloip Le of this t1lT1lgEd translation can Jilly be the text that was in 1Tlquotl39 I 0 i II ly It Pf i a SPOS id39SS1Di1 Otherwise we iniist snppose that Piishkin at some point ietore H520 visited his relatives who lived near Ianihiii39L read the Jer inan biogiapliy and made an etrat of it fFl1i1391S l and then kept it safe for a period of appimiiiriately five years during his soiitliern exile h T The original of the Geriiiaii hiograpliy traveled to Novopiatnitskoe W ei e it peeaine the property of Vladimir Piotkirkh Adam ltiarpovi eliis a39ii siiiid SOI1Ii J I 0 X p Z 1 1 12116 lat 11l1I1 Iil1lZllI 11tl11i y it was CllbO v31 ed by the Lelong faniilv wiici pY A pNZ I th m1ljlquotlC1L tht NV0p1dtIil39Sl estate fiom Vladimir Hotkirkh In I9i0 eorr I I p W I I I U X P I kiigiipy M3c1IE the propeity ot B T Modaaley sky and was then given to yQ I i l 39 I I 7 I quot W E E I w Ii oiise The copy of the Geiinan biogiapliy ieinained in Piishkiii s possession until his death and later ended up in that same P39LlSIlquot1liM IIonse arnong other doeninents that liIad belonged to the poet pN thp liitWtli1lVvl39lltSjilquotAlI39t1IH Petrovieli Giiiiii RuySSim1 Aflaiczlilc Eh C1hm ts1ioiit K sbona ity and teiiiperanieiit of tlns Sance temPeredIh tE 1391C iL L El iiiiiillttf 1 y lt soiiitef1ili39iess and L 1I1P39l39cl1 AS a Ii suhi Iquotft11e1ifFi 1l1i t L r1 ag yE X1 dH t pitwaspiixedwith stubbornness favmer Mm knew hmv 0 11151 p A 3ipamp Il1 EIl lgtmLifsL as a c iild Gaiinilpal l Campl111 1 I I I in e himseli in the tradition of the eigliteeiitli s1avimz1mi i rmnynami CI 1tLquoti 1IIl U 111513 0 R0ssii9IcikIz pm I1Ic1s39kuvsknm uni11cquotr9itete 110 2 1872 mIi 5 vols Moscow 1836 2243 44 1969 14 N K T I IU39Ul I S39I1CI16S39tDEI istorii i Ii1quot U 11ISt 339I 22 D N B1ntys11Kai1nensIltii SImar Ios39f0primiat39nyIIz liuIe i1 rusIlt0139 23 Timt is Pu1gL1zi1iskii acting z11nhassad0i39 who was then in Cnstzm tiimplvef Ze11ger Bukcim P1mI1Iltin1 51 25 He 1p S this su139na139ne only much later 26 Zenger Hukoiu PusI1Iltin1 51 27 V Kbzlov Kogd1 mdilsi1 prc11ed Push1ltiim Ga1111i13a11 NeI lz39I1 no 28 Pushkin PUITIIOGSU IIquotl11I S UCIil1I11f39i11II 12312 29 11iLI 811 30 P P PE 1ltt11 Sii1VU3I HI letiia St Pete1 s111rg 1862 1158 31 N A IVIlIE tl11V Pet139a pitmnets 1972 192 32 Zenger Rukom Pus39I1Iltin1 52 33 Teietcwa VSp1111131111111 P A Ga1111ii111a 172 34 Pus111ltin Pulime50IrnniesIcmI2mei1i1 12312 35 Ba1itys1i Kai111e1is1di Slmmir l05t0pczniiatnykh IiuI 2239 mssiIlt0i 39ZC39H1I I 212 36 Te1et0va Vospominsmiiu P A Gan11iI i211e1quot P 143 37 For 1T1UI B inf01matinn on the ic11g1apiiy of A P Gannihai see my articles iiGt1l1iIi1Iy pl EC1ilti P11sh1cina in Belye n0cIiii Le11i1ig1 ad 1978 and O mnimom i podiinnom i70h1az1ienii A P G1i11iiha1a in LegencIii 239 mify 0 Pus39IzkinIe St Pete1 sbu139g 1994 38 Push1ltin PInc5 s0I7rmie s39mtI1imrnii 12312 3939 E 1 Ui1 8 Il1tS V SImmIIlt 12ypimI 1 arIIiiunyIltIi Imnmg 0 Petra Ve IiIltum ivlciscuw 1872 268 40 M Vegner Prradki P I ISI1IC39i1 ll M0sLw 1937 146 41 M A Tsiavlovsicii was the rst to put forward La F re as the place wliere Gaiiiiibal st11died 42 A pa Gallillibtli Galiiiibaly nnvye da1111ye Lilia ikh iiUg1 i1 i in PultIzIltin 139 ago 5norerrieiiniki vyp 1397 18 St PEte1 siL11 g 1913 2089 43 A S Gzu 11391iha1 Ga1miha1y 212 44 1i39id 211 45 N D BHJ1tySi1KL1l11E 1lSki1 I800 0 pt 1 Moscow 1894 93414 46 Illr 11lI 1723 St P iIE1 Sb11139g 1855 6 47 Te1et0v1 V0spi11iminii1 P A Gan11i1 d1a quot 143 48 S N S1i111ins1ltii Kn A P V0iiltuns1ltaia i e 39ucs39H391iI nu 12 1904 931 1 ist m39iu p1391S176 5I13I1 Y1IIia 1 RS S I I XV I I I 5to i A P G1i1i1ilu1 Neva no 2 OIm Purws ImiI ltIi 9i39ios39I1enii Roiss39ii pa 3 1139117fi1 Is395tm39cIw3kii A P Gmiiiiliali eg391E1 Pmrlki P1sIzlzirm 33 5 s39tm ia L239I r 1 I D terslmrgy 1883 41l6J 9hvnrIzz PimIizIzuaswgz mlca 1663 cS 83 St p i lE391 1 r PreIIlti Pus39I1I in1 45 39 1 ilIquote1ll lV07115quot13yS391CfIl1iS II7 I I St Petersburgj 1875 2157 ml 31162211 1 mran1 41 XVIII wIC I 125 741 53 gt3 I 39 54 gtdillrltsl u grkhw St Pete139s1iii139g 1901 399532 quotanz 55 A nln 1rEfiQiIlllIll391 ulszrzzrzm 22211 113 3725 A i 39 rave 4 1 F pj U M See for examlqlea N PWenL0 ZJwcl111lIi1I 5 Silieimin EX1 IE 56 Acc1 1iiigt0 A K R0tk111h 391Cquotmmnt11 eu1l rm 5 1983 1Febir11arv 13 See A K Rtitkiy I I 5 van was l l1i111735 mt 0 POdIi11quot1ii39T86870 Pllgllkjmkii I3l lf1L bh1lcl hingm ia A 13 r11unlmldm 57 P1tent OzIIvP39 I h C I mil I H441 0P 24 ed Mm 1939 c uians ze ii 19 ed Id 617 1nm11n 1842 1843 RJ1A 1 139313 P Squot3zI1ts39kii aricciuiu St Peters1mrg 1889 2455 1 1 vi39iz1115f w3 G3 391 1 1 j g LS 39 khr 617 11111131 W 151 1643 RCIA f 1343 up 19 ed 60 Smats39kii I 39 A A 0 A 6139 Ibid H UL ml 5 St P Lte1s1urg 1892 62 The datc3 oflier death A 1 ti 1 A unciati On Xfasirevskii Mulllzf R iil11391liIII at ihe Clmrch IM119 An basie 0f2ir1 arc11iv1l down A K in H 151151 JY15 1 Bmiitrmiii on the 1 lt39 1tSA p a Lc2nir39Ig339rzI April 14 1989161 EC he BELM Och Gannllmla W l quot Iquoti i 6339Aquotkm39U 29 M II Vm m1tm quot H V 39 P k l 1 r R I P Clmnil39il Cn1nibz11v 24qLmVi 58 I 1 311436 5 F ZIDW M II Vnrr 0 M 1 66 Ibidw 42 H mm 0 w Abbi33436E lHpi1amp1S1SIITIIIFIE9 67 Ibid 444 68 A i 13 Gi L1i11y Ga139111ih391i IVI1I39I1amp11iIWSi0E P1llSii IHquot Nm L 6 quot 1988 195 69Ai39A 1 70 A P a M II Vurnii1ts39uM1 Moscow 1871 215Li 71V1 1111 ginlfil II I rurr139s3911 IgLw 875 7322 0 E39iW1l111tltt ate 1 e 11 1 VO1111I1Si11IiiJI011lIE39amplL3911 CEl llamp ilIifI1E 1gamp Oftliirty1 1i139ee Ch 39 r15t1111M1teeVmL P 1 1 i 1 E A P1l39I39dl1iSI ll11i V Nnfvi I0llt1im 1 tWIbAimtyI m 39E E 39 1139 0111 1151 1 50 See 5 Seme in F IAUZAILM s N A101 0 Jmiiie PetnmcheiGzmniha1eiego pB 1 x Aquots39zz rev 2 1 139 I M0skr19v939kg up139veqItpfl MO 19921 quotwmm mmdmm bmlmmlu S A 39 cw M1 q 72 P 1 Bhzlimv O 1 A 2 us UIS39fI1H39W I 1 4 I j slum IlAIHI z XVIII Leis bt l3QtES 1 ii kurgv 18783417l1O 11717 D 0 39 H W 39 93101 APC2111111111 A 3 7 I P I 391 4 I Llliv gil Mulnirazrz izi zzI If m1 3 I937 4 4 N K T4lF lfnl 74 Zeiigei Iiiikuiiii PIlTS39hll39 ni39 56 75 Piishhiri Pnliiiie TS Iiquotl l39 39S39i Ch iJ 1 t l ii t23933 76 Pi39squotiiia S L 139 N O Piishki39iiiiHi it ikh IUc39ieri39 O S PlUliS ih3ilT12i St Pete1 shiii g 1 J93 205 77 It is W0i39th iititiiig today lay the viHii 3e Tut Udrisnl Bhiks which was givei i hy Paid I to the pliyisieiaii g1eiitgi39ea1tgi zii39idllithei 39quotc1tlTt1E1 gi eTz1Tt poet 78 In the Aeiideiiiy edition 0t Piis1illtiii39s eciiiiplete wmilts the iihridged ti aiishitiii is desigiiited as Bii gni ia GiiiiiTihiihi 122434 79 Telettmi K iieiiieTtsh0i h1Ti i0gi39e1iii Gziiiiiihaihif i2T2 thzit two miles tioiii Kdiib hl kiinwii zis Kziihiilnvn new UdS01Wi the eiitziited estiitie of the T El1 Leoiifevieh Blitlt TlHl S39 Smu Piishkiii 011 His A icaii Heritage Piibheatioiis during Hist Lifetime PUSHKI T i 391 i N WA 8 P R O U D it htith sides it his taiiiiihr 3 nealegy At the sziiiie time he was sensitive iihoiit e391rh oftlieiii A bl i I A I u 7 i ti 1 T I Bl1 C Lquot1T eraitiori of his AfI CampliI1 heritage iiiid his ittitiide t039W tI39d it miist I 1 2111 T T T T T h I T T 3eiiiieriuT iii the context of his Piiissiiiii heritage and his quot1t t1l1E tuw iid it Tl 39 1 l I T T TT is C Ti L i PO tVquotquot r I focus on the direct retleetiriii of Piisilltiii s Afiieaii 39ii39ieesti39v in L Klgcllgy twll T T T I iVlquotS P71TilS iet d11r11n1 S Mt11quotquot3 Iquot h39C111 c l1 h those he 1imlSquot 1fCfOi IpTt 1tlI1dpl1hli d1ET1 or wisie tO UliS 1ihtM11d1T C T T h T an Pd I M K I eqiiiie c1171 extensive iiitiiitigizipli ti X39clHt1i1TlE W1t11 TT y d equacy ta TispeetsT if the ifehitioiiship if Piishhiii tn his Ahquotiiii her it3gquot3 h0Wt11 1t 391i1Ce393trV391ff T Tquot i T hi 39 h 2 39 include not Ont his 1 feted him as Dial and writer Thtit would Iiave to T T w ii MJL T T J as We it Woulgl 1 131 t 1 e its writei and iiidii Di society hiit his private hie T TTT iee0iii 0I 39 7 mmpl te the ind t ff Cu U115l1L1t1t1I1 if WU ks he bi3gt1l1 hut did not TbT ii39eee pu T B the tes n f T T eats ii tiattieiitdge 01111S W01 tI i11 Sf1dtyHid M I V Vquot H gt T L i T 1 Tiiiy 0 J1l1tt lTlP1quotcl1 1 S to these pniiits iii siieli tliiiigs as letters l d Africgglraiffgcztllli Il re we shiiil C0i3913f 11t1 21t T on what Piishkiii sziid iihoiit his facts Of i Vb IL pefllbcll it the Tieicldlllg liiihhe of his dTiiTT LtH1 the ei th t h T 1659 P 11C39c1t1mS On his owii 39dquotEEI39 I have thiiiid no Ll V39ltl39s stiidv T cipprocmlied the qiiestinii i mii i this ziiigle fa H c Tl iiiiich study if Piishhiii 5 c1lilC 5a 1quoty U hath sides of his I Ya and receiitlv there has been re39t t j 139 quot T T T T T g 1 iii erest in ms Ai i39iciiii grezit gra1Tdf 1f11el c 1I391 hit 4 Tm T 0 i It T s LhTsiuiidiiits iii BlT1lEsEa1 l Piishkiii wzis pzii39tieiihii39y pmiid tit Abram P T T i T T etrovi 39 39 T POu i Canmb 1 T ch C tiiiiiihcil 15 he Lcll e to he knowii mid one if his soiis Iviiii T 3 Abiiiiii Giii iiiihziiiwas ihtziiiied For Peter tl G 4 T C T T T pie he became th d T ie 1 Clt1 iii oiistTiiitiiiu expeditiom Wm 1 E0 SZ1 V 11C1a lC1iJiVquotl1tE OPEt3I Vh0 i00l dHl11lTc11I391 Great died Q dd iiii iii T seiit him to F Idilte ttii at time Hiwevei Petei the TT Uquot39e1i F399 T J T After tint G 1 6 iii 1i 5 not hing 1139tI Cnlilllilhcll ietiiiii troiii F 1 39ll39E T T aiiiiiri i 390 39 39 2 T TT the throne in 1741 13115 out it ihiviii iiiitd Petei s Lhiiiglitiei Ehzzihetli jtl ltf to to the mhk f e wcis fC39TdL11f T1 to active hity in the dIl Hy and pmiiinted gave o an lgf5Tquot f 1quotl11 Ullldel the systeiii set up by TPTeter the CrI E39clf his i39iiiiilt H 1lSTd T T J5 T p iltllll y t ie 1 itditllfi at l1T1TE quotnhLTI 5 of the heieditiiry R11SSl cllIquotI no Tmnslrited and with notes by Ellen Nidy Appendix C Excerpt from Myi Puslildn by Marina Tsvetaeva It begins like a Chapter from the favorite bedside novel of all our grandinotli ers and inotliers rme EyreTlie secret of the red room In the red room was a secret cabinet But before the secret cabinet there was soiiietliiiig else there was the painting in inotlier s bedrooin The l11Eil 1 Snow the black biaiielies of saplings two black figures supporting a third under his arms to a sleigh and one more someone else walking away baek turned The one being carried away is Puslikin the one walking away is d Aiithes D Antlies challenged Pushliii to a duel that is he lured him into the snow and there 1iTil01gflquotiE39llaCllt lea ess saplings killed him The first thing that i learned about Piishkin is that they killed him Then I learned that Piishkin was a poet and d Anthes was a Frenehiiian D Aiitlies developed a hatred for Puslikiii because he himself eouldift write poetry and ehallenged him to a duel that is hired him into the snow and lltilled him there with a pistol shot in the stomach So it learned for a fact at three years old that poets have stoinaclis and I m remeinberiiig all the poets I ve ever inet I worried no less about this 395 t0iT1lCl l of a poet which is so often not full and in which iisl39illtin was lkilled than about his soul The sz39ster in me took its start from Piisl illtin s duel I ll go even further for me there is soinetliirig sacred in the word stoinaeli even a simple I have a stoma aeliaclie floods me with a wave of shiidderirig sympathy that excludes all pos sibility of humor VVitli that shot they wounded us all in the stomach Goncharova wasn t mentioned at all and I learned about her only as an adult A lifetime later I fervently hail my mother s silence The peititboui39ge iiiP tragedy attained the grandeur of myth And in essence there was no third party in this duel There were two anyone and one That is the eternal pei soiiae of Piislilcirfs lyric poetry the poet and the 11TlOil3 The mob this time in the uniform of a cavalry guard killed the poet And a Goiieliarova lillte 21 Nicholas 1 eaii always be foiirid4 384 Appendix C at 1 1 No no no you r g i 39 i 7 3 Justiinagine said mother eoiripletel s I i e g yuiiailetoi you Fatally wounded in the snow and he didn t refuse his sh lfllflinletllls aim he hit and he even said to l39lIl1T9E lICquot Bimv0l i Said in t K ff 39 E wok ration that it would have been more natural tofherc 1 Cl fine 039i39Slmh 1admj T 39 Ca isiaiiisJ Saymg Fatally Wmlndeda bl d but he forgave his enemvl He tl f 1 fee his pistol and held out his hand Witli this with us ill sl 44 f T I new 1 Own p s 8 i i1E VVamp1SVl011Sir1e tuimng Pushkin to his nat At 39 a Ph i 5 pact What kind H i iye riea of ievenge and passion and did not sus f o esson if not of revenge then of passion slie was giving 0L1r Y T l3ld bflr ily literate me for my whole life i 0t1er s e room was blagllt and white ti 39 the bla ellt and white window the snow ind th Hlm cl Smgle mlolful Spot black and white Liaintiii f Tl D l l E Icmme Ofthoselsapllllgsathe black deed was Colmlmttegdl it 15 116 p viere on the whiteness of snow a by the mobs i s apeipetua yblaek deed the lolling ot a poet Plkquot U P N W 8501 V Wd5 my 15 fP0 t and my first poet was killed e ien 0FT T Pu i T e in Naumov s aintlfig elflljl lllce Pf1ShkmWdS 1 11e l 7 1 t bef my Very 93 fancy Ch dhlg d Elth IIl 1E1l i f lt1I1t1O1tSlylJE3911 lg killed through inyin and N Ch0gethieY Get i 11 E tie world into poet and everyoiie else p0et mneVel OP 2 lt18 1 eendant I Cl39lSE the poet to defeiid the V119 no niattei how they were dressed or what they were called Ther st p o dining rO O1W rII t 156 such paiiitiiigs in our Three Pond Lane house in the Solved m Ofe 131J c1i dIii J li of Christ to the People with the never Cr dibl giealrymd F 111616 11 y small and incoinprehensibly near the in music 1Ogkca SE1 I plicoinlpre iensilily small ll 1St the second above the Spone home Wi lll tie S110Il The Tartars Tai39tars in white robes in a Pm GA iou win ows among white pillars ldlliiig the chief Tartar The Killing of Caesar and in mother s bedrooin The Duel Two lltill39ivdgt p is thrgagg one appeagaiite And all tliiee were terrifying incomprelieiisible M u me g egeii tkied aptism with the never seenbefore blagllt eiirly liaired drlo up 53 111 e people and children filling the river so full that not a an pr ider ipipaiiied was no less terrifying than the other two and they p epare a C ii d extremely well for its fated terrifying epoch Pilki 3 e D i 1 us quotJ1 in was a egro Puslikin had s1de whisllters NB only Negroes and old geplerals have them Pushldn had hair that stuck up and lips that Sl39LlCllt out all blacllt eyes with bluishwhites like a pi1ppy s blaek as opposed to the of vioiisly liglit eoloi ed eyes of his niimerous portraits Since he was a N e gro l laek 5 Cad P11Stl1llt lIhVV5lS P as niiicli a Negro as that Negro iii the Alexander ar e 6 HEX tot e white standiiig bear above the eternally dry fouiitain where Appendix C mother and I used to walk to have a look hadn39t it struck up Fountains never strike and how would they do that the Russian poet is a Negro the poet is a Negro and the poetithey struck down Godl how it came true Wlllall poet past or present z39sn t a Negro and what poet d7iln t they strillte down But before Naumov s The Duel for every memory has its own bcforenieinoly ancestor memory forefather memoiy just like a fire escape you back down not knowing if there will be another step wl1icli there always turns out to besor the sudden night slcy in which you continually discover ever newer and newer highest and farthest stars ebut before Naumovis The Duel there was another Pushlcin a I ushlltin when I still didn t lltnow that Pushlltin was Pushkin lPusl1kin not as a memory but as a state of being Pnshlltin forever and from forever before Nauniovs The Duel was the dawn and growing out of it disappearing into it splitting it with his shoulders as a swimmer does a river a blatllt man higher than all and blacker than all with his head inclined and his hat in his hand The Pushkin monument was not Pushlltin s monument possessive but simply Pushlltin Monumentil one word containing the equally incomprehen sible and separately nonexistent concepts of momnnent and Pushkin That which is eternal in the rain and in the snow oh how I see those shoulders weighted down with snow African shoulders weighted down with and over come by all the Russian snowsl with shoulders going into the dawn or into the blizzard whether I am coming or going running away from or running up to standing with the eternal hat in hand is called Pusl1kin Monument The Pushkin monument was the goal and the end of walks from the Pushlzin monument to the Pushlltin monument The Puslildn monument was also the goal of races who could run to the ushlltin Monument faster Only Asyai s nanny out of simpleness sometimes shortened it And we ll sit for a while by Fushkin which invariably provoked my pedantic correction Not by lPUSl1lIT1 but by Pushkin Monument The Pushkin monument was also my first spatial measure from the Nilltitsllty Gates to the Pushkin monument was one verst that same eternal Pushlltin verst the verst of The Demons the verst of A Winter Road the verst of Pushlltin s whole life and of our childhood priniers striped and sticl ing out incomprehensible and acceptedll The Pushkin monument was everyday life the same kind of persona in a child s life as the piano or the policeman Ignatiev outside the uri11 doyv who stood by the way almost as inunutably only not so high the Pushkin monument was one of two there wasn t a third daily unavoidable walllts to Patriarch Ponds or to I339ushlltinMomiment And I preferred to Pushlltin Monument because I liked opening up and even tearing open my white from grandfather from Carlsbad strangling cardigan on the run running to him 386 Appendix C and reaching him walldng around him and then lifting my head looking at the hlaclltfaced and blaclltsl1anded giant who did not look at me who did not iiZifililii1 ii iiiLriiiii iliili iiilli iEquot i Xlildliilfslfailslll1l1lllli1lllllllll Asya s weightlessness and my own pudginess hetter than them hetter than anyone from a pure sense of honor to run up to and then simply to burst it pleases me that this very lPushlltin monument was the first victory in my race There was also another game my game with the Pushkin inonument namely to put next to his pedestal a little white porcelain figure the si7e of X little nger a child s little nger they used to sell them in china shops who ever grew up at the end of the last century in Moscow knowsathere were gnomes under mushrooms children under umbrellas to put next to the gi gantic pedestal one of those little figures and running my eyes graduallv from the bottom all the way up the whole granite cliff until my head was on the point of falling off to compare the height The l ushlltin monument was also my first encounter with hlaclc and white such blaclltl such whitel and since hlaclc was represented by a giant and white by a comical little gure and since it was albsolutely necessary to choose it was right then that I chose forever the hlacllt and not the white black and not white black thoughts black fate a llacllt life The I ushlltin monument was also my first encounter with numbers how many of these little figures did l need to stand one on top of the other to get a Pushkin monument And the answer was the same as it is now However many you stand F with the proudly modest addition But what if it were a hundred of me tl1e1i rrmylve because after all I m still growing C And at the same time 2 And if a hundred little figures were placed one on top ofthe other would it inallte1ne39 And the answer E not because I m big but because I m alive and they re porcelain So Pushlltin Monument was also my first encounter with matter cast iron porcelain graniteaud my own The Pushlcin monument with me under it and the little figure under me was also my rst visual lesson of hierarchy in front of the little figure I was a giant but in front of Pushkin I wassme That is a little girl But one who would grow up I was to the little figure that which PushlltinMonument was to me But what then to the little figure wasiPusl 1lltinMimoment And after agonizing thoughta sudden dawning but he is so hig for her that she simply doesn t see him She thinllts a lmose O139tl1unrlerl3 And she to himais so small that he alsosiniply doesn t see her He thinllts simply a flea But 1ne he sees Because I am big and pudgy And soon I would grow lip ITIOIIE My rst lesson in numbers my first lesson in scale my first lesson in matter my first lesson in hierarchy my first lesson in thought and the main 3 8 739 Appendix C thing the visual confirmation of all my subsequent experience out of a thou sand little gures even one placed on top of the other you can t rifiake Pushkin Because I liked to walk away from him along the sandy or snowy promenade and to return to him along the sandy or snowy promenade to ward his back with the hand toward his hand behind his back because he al ways stood with his back turned away from him his back is turned and to wn rd him l1is back is turned his back is turned to everyone and everything and we were always walking toward his back since the boulevard itself with all three of its promenades led to his back and the walk was so long that every time we and the boulevard would forget what kind of face he had and every time his face was new although just as black I think with sadness that the last trees before him didn t even know what kind of face he liad I loved the Pushkin monument for its blacknessthe opposite of the whiteness of our household gods Their eyes were completely white but PushkinlIonu1nent s were completely black completely full Pushkin Monument was completely black like a dog even blacker than a dog because even the very blackest of them always has something yellow above the eyes or something white below the neck The Pushkin monument was black like a piano And if they had never told me at all later that Pushkin was a Negro I would have known that Pushkin was a Negro It is also from the Pushkin monument that I got my mad love for black people that s lasted my whole life to this day I feel a fullness in my entire being when by chance in a streetcar or somewhere else I find myself next to a black person My white emptiness side by side with black divinity In every Negro I love Pushkin and recognize Pushkin the black Pushkin mon ument of my preliterate infancy and of all Russia Because I liked it that we were going or coming and he was always standing Under the snow under the flying leaves in the red sky in the blue in the murky milk of winter always standing But our gods were moved sometimes although rarely At Christmas and Easter our gods were brushed off with a cloth That one though was washed by the rain and dried by the wind That one always stood The Pushkin monument was my first vision of inviolability and im mutability To Patriarch Ponds or To PushkinMonument At the Patriarch Ponds there were no patriarchs A wonderful thoughtato place a giant among children A black giant among white children A wonderful thought to doo1n white children to black kinship Those who up under the Pushkin monument will not prefer the Appendix C white race and I so obviously preferthe black The Pushkin monument surpassing events is a monument against racism for the equality ofall races for the primacy of each one as long as it yields a genius The Pushkin monument is a monument to black blood owing into white a monument of the confluence of bloods as there is confluence of rivers a living momiment to the confluence of bloods to the mixing ofnational soulsof the most distant and seemingly most unmixable The Pushkin monument is a living proof of the baseness and deadness of racist theory living proof ofits opposite Pushkin is the fact which overturns the theory Racism before it was born was overturned by Pushkin at the very moment of his birth But noearlier on the day of the wedding cere mony of the son of the Negro of Peter the Great Osip Abramovich Cannibal with Maria Alexeevna Pushkina But no still earlier on a day and hour un known to us when Peter first rested his black bright cheerful and terrifying gaze on the Abyssinian boy Ibragim That gaze was a command to Pushkin to be So children who grew up under the Petersburg F alconet Bronze Horseman 5 also grew up under a monument against racism and for genius It s a wonderful thought to make the greatgrandson oflbragirn black To cast him into iron as nature cast his greatgrandfather into black flesh Black Pushkin is a symbol It s a wonderful thought with the blackness of a sculpture to give Moscow a patch of the Abyssiniar1 sky For the Pushkin rmominient oh viously stands under the sky of my Africa It s a wonderful tl1ought with an inclination of the head a step forward of the leg a removal from the head and a placing of the hat ofa bow behind the back to give to Moscow under the legs of a poet the sea F or Pushkin stands not over a sandy boulevard but over the Black Sea Over the sea of the free element Pushkin of the free element T A dismal thought to place a giant among chains F or Pushkin stands among chains his pedestal encircled fenced by rocks and chains rock chain rock chain rock chain all together a circle A circle of Nikolaevan arms which never embraced the poet and never released him A circle that began with the words You are no longer the former Pushkin you are my Pusl1ld11 5 and opened only with d Antl 1 s s shot I swung on these chains with all of childhood Moscow of the past pres ent future without suspecting on what They were very low swings very hard very iron Empire EmuireEmpirethe Empire of Nicholas 1 But with the chains and the rocks a wonderful monument A 1nonu ment to freedom to captivity to elementto fate and to the ultimate victory of genius to Pushkin who rebelled out of the chains We can say it now when the humanly disgraceful and poetically incompetent erroneous substitution of Zil1ukovsky And for a long time by the people I will be lover For I awakened good feelings with my lyre For by the clmrm of living verse I was uscflll 389 Appendix C with such a non Pushlltinian antil3 ushlltinian introduction of utiility into po ctry a substitution that disgraced Zhulovsllty and Nicholas 1 for almost a century and was their disgrace for all eternity that sullied the lPushlltinian edestal since the ear 1884 the lacin I of the monurnent and was final P Y P s iv replaced with the words of Pus39hkin s Monument 2quot And for a long time I will be loved by the people For l awakened good feelings with my lyre For in my cruel century I glori ed freedmn And called for mercy for the fallen And ifl haven t named the sculptor Opelmshin until now that s only because great glory is anonymous Who in Moscow knew that Pushkin was Opelltusliin s2l But no one has ever forgotten Opekusliin s Pushldn Our imaginary ingratitude is the best gratitude to the sculptor And Fm happy that I succeeded in one of my youthful verses in pro ducing once again his black offsprir1g in the words And there in vast fields Serving the lieauenly tsar The cast iron great grandson of lbragim Sparked the dawn Notes 1 Tsvetaeva is referring to the Russian painter A A Naumov s 184098 painting titled Pushllt in s Duel which depicts the duel in which Pushlltin was fatally wounded 2 The Russian word for stomach 39l1 l tJ0l meant life in Old Church Slavonic and Tsvetaeva here is clearly playing with both meanings of the word 3 This is an important play on words which is untranslatable into English The Russian word for mob or rabble is chem which has the same root as the Russian word for blacllt cheruy Tsvetaeva is setting up the opposition between white and black which is central in her mythopoetic approach to Pushlltin In her discussion of Naumov s painting she emphasizes the contrast between the white snow and the black trees Here the color black represents the evil of the deed directed against the poet Later in the essay Tsvetaeva views the color black favorably it is used to represent Pushkin himself be cause he is of African descent It also symbolizes passion while the color white symbolizes emptiness 3 9 0 Appendix C 4 Natalia Nilmlaevna Goncharova 181263 was Pusl1llti11 s wife A soci ety beauty who was popular in the court of Tsar Nicholas l reigned 182555 it was her rumored liaison with Baron Georges d Antl1es that led to Pushlltinquots duel Tsvetaeva viewed her as rather frivolous and vapid Under Tsar Alexan der 1 PUSl1lltll1l11ClleE39l l exiled to the Crimea and the Caucasus from 1820 to 1824 and to his family estate Millthailovslltoe from 1824 to1826 for writing po litical poetry Tsar Nicholas allowed him to return to St Peitershurg but acted as his censor and kept a close watch on him by insisting he and his wife be in volved in all the social activities of the court 5 See note 3 6 Tsvetaeva is referring to a painting by the Russian painter A A Ivanov 180658 7 Some scholars believe Tsvetaevas use of Tatar or Tartar i imagery a reference to what she considered philistine revolutionaries ie Bolslievihs bureaucrats and tyrants 8 Pushkin had lightcolored hair and light colored eyes Tsvetaeva in chided this footnote in the original text Tsvetaeva makes the point in her footnote that although she considers lusl1lltin to be blaclk he actually had light coloring 9 The Pushkin monument is a fullsize statue of the poet sculpted by A M Opelltushin in 1880 It stands in Pushkin Square at the end of Tvershoi Boulevard in Moscow 10 Asya is the diminutive of the name Anastasia She was Tsvetaeva s younger sister by two years 11 There a fantastic verst Protruded before me W The Demons Pushldn is talllting here about a mile marker Neither light nor black huts P W Wilderness and snow To meet me Only striped versts I found myself alone A Winter Road The preceding is Tsvetaeva s footnote in the original text These are two poems by Pushkin The Demons 1830 A Winter Road 1826 Tsvetaeva cites excerpts from each in her footnote A verst is both a physical milepost and a speci c unit of measurement equivalent to 3500 feet 12 Andriusha is the dilninutive of the name Andrei He was Tsvetaeva s halfbrother by her father s first marriage and was two years older than her 13 Tsvetaeva as a child is playing with the rhyme in Russian of dam 391 Appendix C house with gkroin thunder ll ve retained the literal meaning and sacri ced the rhyine 14 Pushlltin s great grandfather Abram Petrovich Cannibal was suppos edly of Ethiopian descent and was brought to Russia by Peter the Great His son Osip Abramovich Cannibal married Maria Alelltseevna Piislildiia as his second wife 15 The Bronze Horseniaii is a fainous sculpture in St Petersbiirg that depicts Peter the Great on a rearing horse with his hand gesturing to the Neva River The moiiiiment was coniiiiissioned by Catherine 11 in 1766 and created by the French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet The monument served as the inspiration for Piishlltiii s narrative poem The Bronze Hiirscn39iaii 1833 16 A reference to the line from Eugene O 13gl391 l in which Pushkin refers to his African origins 17 Tsvetaeva is referring to Pushkin s poem To the Sea the first line of which is Farewell free eleiiieiit The poem and this first line become an im portant leitmotif in this essay Piishkin wrote it in 1824 when he was leaving Odessa his place of exile on the Blacllt Sea 18 Tsar Nicholas 1 reportedly said this to Pushkin when he summoned the poet bacllt to St Petersburg in 1826 19 The poet V A Zhiilltovsllty 1783 1852 made some changes in Piishlltiri s verse in order to please the tsar 20 The verse is from Puslilltiii s poem Exegi Moiiiiinentiiin Tsvetaeva s date of 1884 is incorrect The monument was erected in 1880 as part of a cel ebration iii which Dostoevsky gave his famous speech on Pushlltin Pushlltin s original text was restored on the inoiiiiment in 1937 the year of Piishlltiii s cen tennial and the same year Tsvetaeva wrote this essay 21 See note 9 3 9 2 Tmnslated by Cathmsirne Theiiner N A 1 I V Slaw I Yastre1nski with noites by p Appendix D Excerpt from Strolls with Pushkin by Abrarn Tertz Andrei Sinyavsky Puslillt139ri P 1 y 1 07 pB no faceiafg t i 15 m t extreme and I Fepiiedt loftiest inaiiifestatioii has d I H p pr very iniportant What happened to all the griinaces the getiness and the chatter to which we ve grown so aCCuStQ1edPW11ele 11 all trace of Puslikin gone leaving behind this figure tliat can t even be calledca personality to such an extent has all personality been trampled out of it along W1 evferyt 1TlgihLlTldI1 If tilus is a state then what we see before iis is some sort of idol if this 1S inoveinent then we are observing a tempest 1 Hood mad 139 7 e 7 vE1y i01pp10dlquotldtl39lE Poet lHello Aleksaiidr Sergeevichlhe wont ef ti I t won even un erstandlthat you are talking to hiin to liiiri to this gy ia sees no one hears nothing holding a stone lyre in his hands The poet striiiiimed his inspired lyre With his vacant hand 1 Allegories and cold conventionalities are necessary to marllt even ifonly tirough ellipsis this sojourn in the spirit of Poetry which is iiiaccessible to language We have reached the highest point we Cquotllquotl ittain in l 391 39 t here all life end d 1quot A A C C 1 L ESUI Eng 1 3 s an on y iiiiited syinbols try to convey the message that it is better to remain silent at these heights 1 I y For Wgl7 1tpF aSO11 was he given to the world and what did he prove by 1115 Ple elice Gogol asllted about Piislikin with his characteristic ineticii QpuS139iess in posing inetapliyysical questions And he answered himself Piishkin was given to the world in order to prove by his presence wliat the poet as such is and nothing inore what the poet is when considered not under the influence of any specific time or circuinstances nor as conditioned by his own personal character but as a man independently of everything so that if some higher anatoinist of the soul wished someday to dissect aiid exa plain to himself what the essence of a poet is then he could satisfy him 3 9 3 Appendix D self by looking at Piishkin Wliat Is Finally the Essence of Biissian Poetry and Wl1e1 Bi11 Lies Its Uniqueness I846 Independently of everythiiig Yes Pushkin showed us the Poet in manifold and exhaustive variations including indlependently of everything of the world oflife ofhimself Reaching this point we stop deafened by the silence that suddenly falls powerless in any way to express and restate in words the pure essence of Art which barely allows a cloak of phenomena to be thrown over it Like a deity it does not need The outpourings of earthly l E1plZ11i39E S2 In the meantime however on the earth the completely normal author lives and languishes wandering about with nothing to do only occasionally going insane or falling into a stupor of a higher order He fidgets and fiisses 39 iid suffers and knows the beautiful and frightening secret of his connection with the Poet and he wants to name it in human language to End an approx imate synonym He recalls various peculiarities of his biography among which his attention is attracted by a bloodline that is for some reason especially dear to his heart the Negro branch3 which was grafted onto the genealogical tree of the Pushkiri family Negro is good Negro is No Negro is the Under the sky of my Africa f Africa is the sky An exile from the heavens More likely a demon Not of this world A priest Like his second celestial homeland only more ac cessible flowing in his veins subterranean hot boiling up like the nether world and bursting out in his face and in his character This is now the absolutely real immediately recognizable Puslikin not the Poet only slightly exaggeiiatied coinbining in himself human and poetic features in that very thick mixture that gives birth to a new quality the indis soliible unity of marvelous exotica of spiritual ardor and attractive ugliness which is more appropriate to the rank of the artist than the standard mask of the singer with a reed pipe Pushkin s irreproachable taste chose a Negro for a coauthor having gured out that the black inonkeylike physiognoiny would suit him better than the angelic face of Lensky that it really was his true face of which he could be proud and which enhanced him in the same way as lame ness did Byron ugliness Socrates more than could all the Raphaels in the world And besides goddainmit there was a huge amount of irony in that face Oh how Pushkin seized upon his Negroid appearance and his African past which he loved perhaps more dearly than he did his aristocratic ances try Because besides the blood kinship here was a spiritual kinship as well A kinship in fantasy There were many noblemen but there was only one Negro In all ofiiiimense pale mankind there was only one poet bright as an ember 73 9 4 Appendix D Othello A oetic ne ia 39 e 6 H else Such one didi ltllfilil1l p p fxlldlike allyune In those I a A l I K I I n m Verne and didn 1lyycldrpn1 ppjplyl didri t Tegild Mayne Reidquot and Jules with hot climates But Pushkin already fl llfitqegaid t1be nlemtic CO1lnmes ill Africa He played at Africa just as a boy of tod39ipwlS39lnd ly039u Mn t llavle and Indians might suddenly realize that he l39li1TlSeff 39 11 flplaldlng fi wlmys nds it funny and for some reason he feels S1 l yfl l1iI11quotl1l1f 11 lam andhe quivers inside froin a bittersweet feeling of liappiiiess he liasclncy ellerytlflllllg with his quite ordinaiy mania on a siiininer carria e ride th crlo lump along on the lMosco w Tashkent line while he is an Indgiiii 1I1flfl 139 1tamp Vtl3939c1i end ofhis da s Like bein 2 I E If s I a A is l le lost in time prelnnnitigi 1I1iglill1B MITSS of fate evidence of 21past life I J T A y A you are a legitimate son all 15119 SmHE aucas s I H I I I y ou re a founpling an abandoned child an uninvited guest a prisoner of the knows 11e1T 11pft31 0 Glp lt llt1 1VIiTl1OW Y u got here and lquotll O llty Stronger you are Older mu m Claoser ty H1 av quotiJl11r own ideas mYoii are forests Awild genius Asteaining blo dgsoalfemcllllilnfl sft Savage tribes and ing into chaos And you look outlfroin under plelf 0 Pgelly Wlth an Open prowla remaming Calm until th h p 39 your row like a Moor on the Comes Um Wm Ci our strikes foi you to take on any city tliiit A I sit ive ei a crowd llflill partand calnll uieyppu lllllblziie ylour teeth Just try me the scrutable face through the parted crowd Ate I lyml W1 bearsy m ml begin to ywhisper The M 00riquot The tsarg M pefpigpt of Ibrahim they all through this motley crowd of servants H 13011 1 e mi madly led Kullsakuv rare beast a peculiar alien creatucre l fVl1l1T de tFlt to t am he was a kmd of mm a world that had nothing in C01 mm d tlr1s39lEl1l39bllly39 been traiisplaiited Whom no one noticed and Cdnsyiydg pd hiwi 1 iim He even l1 y 1 3l 1 ODl Pushkin Wrote plus when Leepe dt 1611 1 1SlgI11 CaIiCE a lilessiiig fame and slander that swirled l1iS 139 1 Teddll gfown med of the SljectMlle On the Common path Since Ou i h up an asetpretly yearned for l2413l liquotl SS Ciety inherited from his A mugfath tibia 1 regai eld his black Utl391ieI39l1 SS3911 so Viewing his Wild pranks Esta Si 11 1 th 151 111111 wit it great e1quot1fl39quoti11S11Si11riglitly Wllereas the White bane Ofhisgm t I lEtlE E1E I1lI39dl force I clgll1gVili1I139 him national family in him av u Z SOC1 i11d 111 g11ve Piishkin legltiiiiacy In the Sources Of art pa naturelggd m r q ktoo him back to the piriiiiordial ancient than take Wlme Dn andyt 1 ied bac pace the expeifts tell 11S1S iriopg games Wedding in 3 Sin 1 I 1nSRlI8 y itt ie poet plunged into 10I1yS139d1 k g e guise Africa and Hellas art and aninial instinct And I the eternally idle scapegrace The ugly descendant of Negroes Nurtiired in savage simplicity 395 Appendix D Not knowing the sufferings of love I through the shameless frenzy of my desires Find favor with young beauties With an involuntary flame in her cheeks A young nymph herself not understanding why From time to time sneaks a glance at the faun And here again his black grandfather Ibrahim came in handy How convenient that he happened to be called Hannibal A whole geyser of visions spouted forth from this name The path that the Negro boy Pushkin took to come to us led there tliere back to prehistoric antiquity to goatslegged gods and maenads Pushing the pudgy boyars to the far end of the table My black grandfather Hannibal became the central hero of his geneal ogy the poet s first and most important ancestor Besides the famous name and black face he bequeathed to Puslilcin one more treasure Hannibal was Tsar Peter s favorite and godson standing at the beginning of the new European Piishkinian Russia The Blackamoor of Peter the Great relates in detail how the tsar arbitrarily married the Moor off into the boyar aristocracy grafting him to a good Russian stalk probably hoping to get a rare plant Pushkin Wliat was iiiiineasurably more important how ever was that thanks to Hannibal the darki cioinplecteid physiognomy of the grandson unexpectedly radiated a striking resemblance to Peter Since being Peter s godson was as good as being Peter s son through his black grandfather the poet managed to become related to tsars and advance into the ranks of proud rstborns the successors of the great skipper The skipper was that famous skipper Who moved our land Who powerfully set a stately Course with the rudder of our native ship And he was Haniiibal s father 1 Having secured such relatives he could boldly say to himself You are a tsar live alone 3 The path from the Negro led to the sovereign Puslikin solved the vital problem of the relationship between the poet and the tsar which tormented him for so long with the equation the poet is a tsar 396 Appendix D Notes This excei t 1 i 1 39 fp ant the following notes were r t 1 1 transliteration from Abram Tertz Andrei SjlequotI1l1Vr lf l Igllmm dmnges 1 trans Catliarine Theiiner N epoiniiyashchy aid Lsfa a Imps mm RwM Ill f1 c1Vfi11T YEllE University Press 1993 118 2239 astreniski New 16poetS tI i39un39mahis i1lS3939JZ391 i6 l i 1 I a i g yreTiese are the o enin 1 poem The Poet and the Crowd 1828 P g mes of the Like 1 Iain 391 In 2 1 J it toes I10tIM These 11 1 i i 1 f n a n versation between the Bookseller and the Pob fS1he24On the Poem A CD A The Negro b39I l39 lCl39 Puslikirfs r I r 1 I eat rs dfetl P r 39 as 3 was Abram Cannibal Ibragim Haniiil al 16g9t39 ldgair in milmo lelm Side he was the son of Ab 1 3 3 T 39 CCUF mg m quot3g E 1 51 if T 39 T in yssiiiiaii prince In 1705lie was stolen from the palace o a Tiiikish sultan where he was liviiig IS 39i hostage and p t d P the Great I 1717 P 1 39 1 p I f 39 1 esen 6 to eter E n I 11 eter sent him to Fiance to study the militaiy arts In 1723 Hannibal returned to Russia where he received the lt f 39 Hem p t if A P p p ian o engineer 7 4 Umigr ti Gk an o coininan1erin chief of foi39tificatioiis 5 Mayng Reisdly1ffiquotlCl This line is from Eiigene Onegiii 1 the United State He 011 ti wrti1 cerINlio lived and worked as a journalist in 39 s 1 u i in ie exicaii Ainericaii VVar of 184648 39 d wrote adventi 1 C 1 39 Cm I p 39 Tire nove 5 about Indians lVl X1CdI1 rebels hunters and young peop e trave ing to exotic countries in search of rare animals flowers and P1am5 Together M111 1 le3 Vem Captain Mayne Reid has been the most onularwriteswn P W 0I 1 y 35 39 gielzfll mHrS20I 11L1sicn children since 15360 when his novels The and The Cl rClquot seen a t ie Semmole The Qiiilmrin The Plant Hmtiters 6 III ipi ens were traiislatediiito Russian rules are rzzerggduin When Russian cliildien play cowboys and Indians the good U Q The 1 t1l1fL11Tpc11l 15OI with American culture the Indians are the Of Sui Biters C11 0 ti no ile savage was popularized in Russia by the works 8 0 pi i a Juries enimoie Cooper and Sinclaii Thoinpson The Little aiirzges as well as Mayne Reid a R 39 39n39 V i Wher Sh iivrieoka A Russian town on the Moscow Tashkent railway line 86 gwsk pem SUmIiieii s with his grandparents when he was a boy mum Ofp 8 Sig it of II9rrzhmi The unfinished liistorical novel The BllCh the Sm 0161 tge Great was Piishkin s first attempt at writing prose It tells OM FY 10w eter inarried his godson lbraliiiii Hannibal to a girl from an gujiap aristocratic family the Rzhevskys J n I39M 1 the etermilly 21 3SCZp 3gIquoti39C 39 These lines are from the poem To Iiir ev 1820 S 1t0 T5zis39 skipper thritfain0iis39 skipper These lines are from the Post i391quot1I1ll to the poem My Cvenealogy 1830 a 0 H lt3 039 1 WM live ilone This line is from the poem To the Poet 1830 3 9 7 THE 111N Z111 110 111S11 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112 111111 11111111 111t111s1quot21g1s 1quot11111139 1111 11111139s 1111 111111 1111111111 A 11111391 111 111110 111111 111111 1 11111111 115 11111111111113 1111511 111 1 111 111111 t11111 1 1 v 1y 11711111111111139t1111t111 11 11111111 1111 1111 1111s111 lt1 111quot1e1f11111139111111 13911gt391111s 1111 11111 W111 111 11quotst13911e 2 11 111111391f 1u111391 111111 U11 1 111 11 g1 111i 1111 11111 111r111r11 city 17113911111111 1 111111 211111 111111111111 11113 11111511311 11531111131 113111111111 11111111 1 1r391lt1v1z1s 311111311111111111531 111111111111 115 1 1gt111aquots 111111111 1m11111 111211111 11110 11111111 111 111111 e1 1111 1111111 1 1s111xlts 1111 VH1 T1111111111 11 11s 1111111111 11211 1 1111 1z1111 2111g1 11y 1213111111 1111 V11111111w p11111 1111 11111111 111111 p11113911111y lt111 11 quot111111 1 111111111 111111511111 11 111111115 211111111 111151 1111112 y111111g 13v 1111j11 1111111 111111111 1V1 1 11i111111 11111411113111211111111111s11111111111111g nfniliymi11ghem lt s 215aiiiitl l lilur my pet has long been lmiiml in SHITIL way with it llll l llquot ilanlihg is nut reqL1irecl tltlL1gl lustre ll1i 11irig in y0ai1 s gflvllt by llllgllt l1EWG lit mi his lil Cl5L 39cll w39 and pcillap tlicir t1 y lllltl l l lai ai1i7iii39s pen hacl slmnc l t H llllttllllg t0tl1eiieitiui1 s lm y but now by all lmtli higli and low its qiiite llTglll1 Our l1l lives in l lull139lI l has einployhient ih R01119 l39lllquott Elll taste st no ehiioyuient utwealtli or li isllltlllls world antl no 1 egj1quott tbr tales llquotlllquotlg tign Sb lix39gei1y c1Illl lmnie and 2llaling liis g1catt mit gjt llllLll t SH 3l fin ltl but lay loiig lltlll R El WEllC his head with 39ari11s 39fltlltIglllE3 tlllSLll lt tl Ellltl acliing W39l1at licl he tllinli altmlt The tart that he was pe11nilusa that pacilszml inmmtains cml w tJi39l inust be silii i11ciihtrgtl to earn him ll l39l1l laillu and czism that with Ellltl IIlllCo nligllt be miintetl to him fmhi tlml abtl that mic 5 3iS licllows cm pcrniailcnt aizltiti1 tliill wittetl lllL in wlitmc staticm lllb rum as Slllltltltll as in a tlrcani that l1t39l w lI quotll two ytars Elllttgt lll l Aml he tlitlliglit also that tlle wezitliei hatl got no gcrltlw that the S39IquotIL amp1lIl was lquot lSll1g Iquot l1igl1 e1quotlifti1391g that stmii the ll l lgE S might be sliifting that niayllic l39l UI1 Paraslia he would be cut Oll two days or tlwee Tliese were lllS tlream Antl a great Satlncss calm twci him that night he 39WlSl1ECl the rainclimps with less raging maclness woultl lEl1l the glass that the wind atxrlslletl leisstd1 earily 5 At last his liallihg eyes fltmetl in sleep But lbok the gloom ofithat t39m1l weatlier rligllt is paling I1JIlCl 1 wealt daylight fills the rm1391 A l1quotGallllll lay it was All night Nex3951 agiziilist tlie galea to Sa ElV3939Ell l had lattlel but lmeii blown to l33W lt l by their Lllg vquotEl l1llE miglit That 11l0ri iingnh the qL121ysilei lolmtains tifspray hel l an atlmiring Cr tmll that preasetl U watch the wuatiery I1l1llltalI1H the lbamlng wavts that mai tLl so lmitl But now l llct39l el by the l1E aLl39WlltlS llmviilg ih l l l1 1 tlir Gulf ille39v 1 turned hack in sullen tl1LlnlG I LllH fury llD v lllg39i al1lllO0 liGLl all the islands llEi li still llat ltei grew the lay still swelling Neva eplttlBtl ragiiigi yelling in lZt t lC lllC ntitlmmta tt1 stteaiti1 tmtih mattl ans 21 lwast the gt4t e a1It pt1TM l m tl1LcityF1 011t its path L l UHt Hm amt ah ammtd xwis suctldttn dcssurt t 1 hcmml t L ME1l H wv1 v Ulltlm ilmnzltanticm t aIm1Hle1pt r1ilsth1 gnt tlwh statimn and 39l ritltml ctmpn1 H11139thtcd xxitl1wx atm lth11 ptl1g L1LtltLHTlH waist HttLg Lamp1I1l ztszrsztlult 391h0vvz139t 4 111z1t1t iuLIH hhct1ticwt39sl L11 stin tl11 tgtL1gl1 M1ulm vicicms 139rtI1tcmts c t1 cm 111g stilztsll thy 2 1WL S stalha 39c1l tL t l1gtlH tl pttmgttlt rotttailts th3hris utquotc211i11s 1 t ti11y39 hna1 li1t m cs that 21 thrifty trah39s welt tmztnlirtg pcmr hnuschcM 39 u Llstl21sIt tl ah ztstlwtjyu quotw1 u1gc thtstm39h1 1121 mzittthetl ztwzty ztlml H tp d llp CmHh1 lw1te139 huhc1 t H tV391111tLh 391 the x39tm mtaT All Stfll t alihu imlws 1 I1lh12t1M39t w1it Fm chm11 tn 39tnquotillt t lC 39139ytlti11gfquots I HHt ltZ lwcutl mitt shulttcr zmtl vhcn tn timl thmtti 39H1z1ttlcuthihc tl1att 1 ig11tt 1Il yt2tt39Jt s11Ux2111Llm stilt 1 tlvtlihg391m39 He Elttw out on the te1h gttr1yt hm 3riLt39 in chmhtt tt1tls 1itl 391quots1t is1wc m11h1umler 21g t21i1tst ttcl39s L hLft11Lquotl1H1 1t L in thought t1 39H39L li with l t Wf HIM L IT1iquot1lHt15 gzncutl at the w1ut l the cmthz had wrm1 quothtt Tho rtty sq11a139e gtt139cr the ihusiun f1EthtLquotS hept lzurmtlning to t fttSi ht1 by ttm39unt stt ctts T116 pahlaure stnotl sad as an Hand in themc21I1 Amt thch t11LTH2mt H39h hut tin gnarl or 7H set H1 tquotu ung111utimn his g0n1mquotz11s OH their dztttgtt39mIw way along thnse streets nt39h0istermts waters to ta21t39 the people in their qt1z1rt ers d1 0w1ti11g Llnhmgett by tmquotm1 s H 39Et39 And then m Pete1quot sqL1a1 e Wham httely 21 mr11t1 n1mtslam 1 su and stately Emil its ltiglt pmwh U11 either sitte vaLtg l1t as in title with paws StlHpnlL1 twj 139mm sentry 1ihe E1 ttt I1IL1Cd pcrchetl up on one as tttm ritle at1391nstbhtetl 11t1cti1tr1lesHt astritlc l1 lTh SE and pale with etppmltehsitm I7ks mr1y HEW llhi tL392t1quotwquot i1ntGI1t39l0t not for t39111ltL f he I lL 39LI hncw just Itnw the grLly amptLquot1 S gm Lrk how at his tH t11e wzt39cs m1 e Mltfltirtg hm tn his titre the 1 aimlmplt ew or Hi R thestor1tm39imlhowling hutliing had m1tu htt ltis hat away lhs ew was xed in ltlarke ltt tlegtpt1 z1ti0m1 39hn1nuhiltm1 1 single spot Mmlhtmhmls timtn the t 1 ttt hE1tLt1 thwm in the L p hS tl1ew2T1wl1au gut H1 H 1t393llquotI1i1glhH HL H I l iItgmUtlI1 tIlg the gztlt lulmx39 upa1ultw1tl1 it ltlI tl 1g wn eUlt1ge Uh Jud uh 3041 for there clnst to tlie S 1Hl7ll C ziliiiost wlwrc the G11ll i a1i in i igl1t on the billow l L l lC lllll l1 l liy paint 21 willow 21 Hiinsy C39tamp1gU tfimw were they El witlnw aml lllSLll E E1I11llL l l lLlgllU3l l z11 21sl1a H1 pe1 lia1is he may l1El ltlmziitit it till l it llc as 3939Eit l Ulll life is as lF7Ltllllill39f3 as Hl1 1 l t at 0111 E j 39t l1S39 1 1to39s l l 39Eltt l0l39 As ifliy s0iCe1 y encliantetl liigli on the ItlE1I llE l lE tl Ell tl pl I139t l he caiiti39t di 39111 ountl Aml all silmtit is tmly wat e1 lLAll11gUllt witli llatli tiii39netl ttlii1ntm tlic1ett liing WE1 L S cil Ncx39Ei in l l1L lI wild 0l1l S tmm his fast Sulllllllt EH11 ontst39i ett liii1ip39 the Giant I llGH on his l101ie llTl S 50 t tl tr PR1 391 W0 lint liy HOW lll Ll Oil l ltt3l HliEltCl ruin Ellltl slieei39 iwtiiipzigiiig lamplt lw39 N0quot i vvas l lttv 1i39ig in its t1 El l1 HlIl JlIquotlHg its own llllL tLlS 39W ill l its linnty as it lll ltlt for f llE ltEl it sltiingj E1V quotc lyt Wiitli lm glllll crew 40 zmy r0ll e1 TlllEl Wlll V1 l l1Lll HIll391 L his my into a quotlll 1gL i lujll liarclt 39lI ILl tlI llSt anal m1tttli and pillige tape lizixnt termi llUWl ziml wail Tlit1i ltEllL l llWH witli lUl Ellltl 3939 amp11 3 lis1i39nl39piii siie1 slt nialtus tlimii l t l y the ifnlilutH tillit that l JD1ll WEll l trail and sis tlli lyl flee tlicy fw TE1tlf l pltimltni Sm Wllll the v 39 llL l S tell awiitleiquot the 1c2ullti1iit Lip Ami faiilitiiig p lltf in liopc 21i1tlyiLzi1 iiii1g tbzir ziml 39 Htlt l l v39g39 11y39l1lll I lCS at full steam Liltiwii tn tlit HtTlEl139tTtl y liilliiig Squotl 0t1l I JiI11yrTt still pmiicl and still L ILtlltlIlg llll w iquotelt still llll ltllgt39 am in SlllTElI3910quot lDllL tl 215 iit39039m39 l l39cllllfS aligliit tlicy still x39e1 el2itlit1 otl lbziiiiiiig seotl1itig anti tilmpl39y the Novel was limzitliiiig llllSlllll lElll1 S llnwii ll 0Il 1 ti9ht lC vgt1iy l39l39 l E1 HlEllquotll weiitiiig tltitlseiit i he l tl w l1ES lll39ttTk1tlIlg the lt I l yIIl2lll 39llU witlimit 21 quotEl l39lI lllSl kl llW T39lE li w39 quitc glmlly ztgwes to taltr him tlicmgli still niatlly tllt llLlH 2Irv lmilihg t E lquoty WquotllEI t39 l l1L ll 1 I1lamplH llllgl1l39llt2lg0lllSlllg llllWu39H liltc an mpei itiicetl lizmtl tlie t m39l l mat with its Cl1l39Cl 1 lHlHg l L W was tiiiitv l C39dily tinquot lt 2ipgtltti7ii1g at any iiinnient hut tlry llllltl at lzist it ig2iinL tl lil39gti1y tL Ell llll riil1cs zilmig the wt lllmnwii ways l W vquotdl lh tlie welllmowi1 H t El llis gzizcc tintls imtlii11gitt aii gi z1p tun t39c1rllIl the sigflitl lietiire him all is ll WIit ll or swept ziwziy Oi tm4eLl amiiml eltittagtlti are asltew smiie t i uiiilileLl to Hlli L3l lf Hl ll tlIi l1C1 Si tiliiililetl l39l liy the 393921 x GSiElll Jl all Ell0Lllt ElH1 a lielLlwl391iia1 titil mint limliessx lie welteretl Bleiiiiltly stmiii l 39gquotllquotIy UNtIlll1plquotCl 1L Illllng tlies tiiiiit lll Il 451 t0i 1nei it past all liemiiig runs to where fate will meet liis eyes ti ite WllUb39 iiiiltiiowii zitlititlietititiii still waits as iimtler f3Ell 0l wa Aml lmw lies lC 39lli lilies clesetimitioii ziiitl liere39 the friilf liere E in his t1 c1Cl4 S livgeiiy lialts the llLlH wliere c39ei I lie g IL Hi liaclt lif3I TEll1TlS Hell iievei lie lUl S he WElll S l1t3lUtlSElg cll 1 lieiquotequotx39 wliere lllEll7i 7ttE1gC Htl and then lieire Was the williiw eiilllfs were stziiitliiig list here Hwtpt ill liar siire But wlmas tlie mttage gniie Nint iiiitlerst2il1 Lliiig he W39t1llGLl miiiitl liill llllIlf e2ii et l1t t lll 3Il tn lii1iisell luiltl laml gi Lillly Ellltl then he tiutgtli his liireliezitl miiglily Hlitl lai1gl39ieL l and laiiigliecl hi tleepest night tlie city treinhletl at its pliglit lmig time tli it claiyls eveiits were lteepiiig tllE il39l1I ylll uiisleepiiig as they i elieai setl tlileiii l2lylif1l1tiS iquotiy fell out lquotll tl pale eloutls tn play mm 21 eerie cilealiii zit tleiwiiiiig ji39estti39tlzir ls liell haul left im trace The purple l39HlllE1 t t otitlie iiiii iiii ig held t 39L 1 L l up the tlire eifeiit All in its ii39e39i iil394 lE I weiit Upon lll39t5 l li iE H no l1igL I lll JVlI If 7 people as e39ei yliy were egtiiiig in eiiltl ll1lll l l ElMi aiitl the Clerk left wliere liell l ieltei etll iii the l39cll l aiitl weiit tn 1lr1 i Tlie clai iiig li0sseH of tquotII1HlCl U iiiiperturlietl explore NM39zi39s39 iiilmzicls iipoii their StgtmE i 2iml plan to lillit theil lieavy losses out on their iieigliliciiir l mii1 lizicltyzii Lls ljmzits 21 re I I1llUquotL tl Tlitit liaii l cil39liaii rls Ceiiiit lln39ustmi gi eait poetic iiiaster liegiiis lZSll1 5 NmEilsi lll E l a 39L ill iii uiitiii gtgttt2ilile lJ2ill21ile But h l i l1 l pniy yoii spare Stilllt pity limr iiiy Ul pmir liyggeiiy wlm hy the szicl litiipiLiiiiigs in the i itjy39 lldtl witiza llI1l lll lgCLl Still the l I39dllU l U8l H lltll Nev W213 Sl1lquoti lilillt39l139 into his ear pi ei rietl tlimiigli ElH l tlimiigli by tiigllttiil 139l10lIg39lllHq he mtiiiieLl iiiispeil iiig39 smiie iiiglitiiiziire held him in ittllrz1ll A weel weiit liy cl llli lltill eiritl llll the time he I1E 39EI Jl39l Lf was seeltiiig lll l1lIlL Tlizit Hllllillil lLi39HL I l5Equot Ll l 10Ul39 its lease expired his ldl1Lll tl 39 lI lii 1pt pt llis pnssessitms l Cvgtgti1y never went to elznin Soon to the wnrltl and its pmlessimis 21 strzmger all lay ltniig he canine and went H1 limt slept ly39 the ui 21te1 scraps lIl1l J WI l l39l I1 tViiitltm39snl39tlieqi1z1ite1 his only lEmtl always the S llllt his clothes 39tnquote out to sltretls lliliei39tis rhiltlren wmiltl stone llllll he iquoteeeiltetl ll l11 time to time the t39nattl1i1iai139s vicinns wliiplelsli tin he no more pertseivetl Wlllquotll way E1H v39lllC39l l39l Wl1Ei39ll1 quotlUI1 l l wliere he neiuer seenietl to lmov where he WEl gcniiig he was sri pliLiiigt cl in tilinult till lllTIquotSEiCtltIL And so his lites nnltappy span he ehetl out neither beast nor man not tliis imr that I not really living imr yet it ghnst lle slept lU nigliit liy tl1eNe v1 Snniiiierwas gixtiitg its lampl L to eiutumn Full olispite ti hatl wintl hlew In incnirnliil ght zigziinst the enihatnltnient weives were splasliing their rests un the snmotlt steps were siiiasliing far all the mirltl like snpplianlt pcmr at some liii tll1eHi tetl lltlg lH tlcmit lCVgtiiy vulsze l lTc1ll 1Ll ph39 were lhlliiigj in mitlniglit gjlmmi the wintl was calling pitemisly 01 it far ntl ll39cll l the tiry il s C IquotlUlL H in the lElI lx39 Ex39gti1jr ruse antl l E llE ClflOtl lntitiglit up past llUI 1 I39S fll lllSPEt l39 lI l he ilIIl in haste walltetl 0l lll II tliere then lTl dlCLl and l0gElI l to stare in silence with an insenisately wild loolt of terror on his tEi ta He was hesitle tliepill21retl stately front ulki n1anisin In their place cauglit as in life with paws suspenteletl tW lions sentry lilte attentletl and there ahm39e the river39s t UlLllquot b39C atop his l OCllI fenCetl tiH clietencletl on his tfl 1 l summit airni extentiletl the Idol 10cle on his bronze lmrse livg ei1y slnicltleretl l l1t1gl1ts were liatchirig in 1rI llliTl1llll tairity lie knew that spot Wll1E lI llcmtls ran rztgiitg tlimugli wliere w ix es hacl iilassetl mraeious sn iteliing El ri0ti 1noh 39l1lil l l G griin the lions am the stpiare and him wlm l1llil T1ltquot 39SiE1IllLl witlimit pity lifted his lrori39e lieaitl in the gltquot lquotlt wlmse will lIlllplElt ElllLquot 39c1SitlI1l hatil t ll S H stIisl1i e tin his city Fezirtiil he lnunltetl in that lialllliglitl Upon his tbrelieatl what Ell iniglit 2lll1L1gl If wliat strengtli ofContfentraticml wheit re wliat passion and wliat tbnte ziirc Hii 1Ii1amp1 i in that prmicii i1IIt 539i iiquotgE1ii39H to whzit L i H ilt39di39lUiIi Oh the t 1iH ttif s 0 itmii i iquotili isms it hot 39 39HI 0 giaiiit ithii Wi1J1liiiItgtllyLl1 il tJHi1 iltiih i clitt ltLgttl iHHHiEl11 li i1 l l t ElI iilp stinziiggiiti miiml tiiL i1 l 0 H plinth t i LL I Eltt1it 3939 L t i1C Li lI39gt iiy in ii LiE1 L wiiiLlt 1 t il dnti tiirm il 21 six392ig7 gfllt mi ilL itltt lquotl39tiiii1E1iiquoti1Cpiillitti A stLtly pii tgtsisiii39L giquotippml his cliest His hi m 39 UH thv titiitl t E lii391l 1g39 pi39 ssml mm his cjws a mist was 1mx39criiigi Httti thmiigh his i1L ll i39 tlieim rah 2i Hziiiiis his 1 tom wzis St iili11J so he L HI 1C to Hitfltlitii hcthi39t the 39tfl T 393939f I iMg ilIlil TL with tcctli aiml lists lgitilll t39ltiiCittlt as it39sm11Ltl2ii i iit G IHS HHL i hiin quot1 eiiL t39a11 L39 ilk i39liisf iiti ii1ijquot 1itil LquotH39HLquotti hint 39iilt ii1m 39u1 wnrhing hiiihhln wlwii EU Ht Hii39L l LLi with hitter t39iii y thtii tcmh licziiliciiig iiiigiit H39i IE1L i i1quotilllH t 3 h SiI t thiat the lLiquotl il11THitTtZ in HtliLhL H 1 EtL t tii iiiamplZ39ll1 Lf ElIT1 1 L t39i turiwtt his hEl qiiietly midi witlmiit Lquot39Xi L HHit1lYl zmtyl thmiigh the ciiipty HtI1 ll U he rims hut ii1L amplquotHi itiIlii hiin i tlti as qgtltth l iillI1i 1 t ii2l H i39cwi vi 2itiltm pIMiL lquotMlH i1tVH in thstoiizitiuii uluiig thr Hi1llthiL 1 ilg i gtuh39aij39 A as ligiitctl hy the peihi 111timii r2iy one zirm SiCt 3tt i 10tfi tip cm liczitlhiiig miirse P1iiEE I hiin Elih39i the Bi 0iirc Rithrr HiwU39l hini tihittms this Bl ZL Hm st S0 alt night icni tlciiieiiitetl striticr w39iici cVc1 he 1iiigl39ittiim his iiczitil cwi yvvie1 c E1iiiS the BI Dt1Yf Rititfl piirsiiiiig him with ii1llmlhL 1 tHt5 I quotcli Anti fmiii thmi UN it39iitu 39z1s i13I1 lIl Lf at aiiy Tiil1I1L i7IquotiSS that sqiizi139L 21 itHi39 mfwiltl distretss 0211119 gleiiiriiig 2it i 0ss his t39r2itims lhc wmild thmm p1 css lizimi to i lE39clii in t E1t it1g39 liiirry as it tu rcliasrs aiwajy 21 wuriiy t lht his wcirn 721 p oft iicwi misc up troiii the giquotltii1i1tii his tlistraiigiit gauze hut sidlc UH A smah ish rises close tn i1 iiH t iiI L Now and then 21 Si1L l39l1il Hi1iI1gHiLiC whmi litt fruit his z atLltli with nets zmtl pi i39Lts and ctmks his poor iiiwaii UH the siziml or smile n icial tTIIL S ti hind out thr El Siii itlayquots pleasiii C huzitiiig on thc wild islet Nut 21 iidi it g1 iss is HL Lft1TilL lquot i gziiiy thizitiiig the thmtls had wasiiod up as they iiiayetl zi tlitiisy TltElgLf Ail nre wzitm it Hi quotv39quoti up hhc 21 hush all hiHf i last stgt1 iiiigtlwy iiimretl iiFlii 1 iSII1Eliii llE1 UI Z 35 empty W315 l11pped zmvay all rack and ruivn Ncarit 111 H111 wiMttel n1y Inad Iivgmny there tl1eyf mmd His Cold n1su in that HLH HE1l1lGgl MIIIIH tn lt Ll39s guml I1 1 L y they COITlIitL Ll n 0 mlm 1b 3 m liIn 3 past 5 In Defense of Servitude American Proslavery and Russian Proserfdom Arguments 17601860 PETER KOLCHIN CONSERVATIVE IDEOLOGIES INSPIRE little interest today A generation believing in the axiomatic virtues of freedom and equa1ity however they may be defined nds little to celebrate in men who defended social systems predicated on in equality and the restriction of the freedom of a substantial proportion of the population It is not surprising therefore that modem historians while dis secting the lives thoughts and motives of abolitionists have all but ignored the defenders of human bondage Even historians of such bondage whether in the United States South Russia or Latin America have paid relatively little at tention to the proponents of unfree labor and have commonly assumed in pass ing that proslavery and proserfdom arguments consisted largely of selfserving rhetoric unworthy of being taken seriously This article based on research I have been conducting for a general comparison of American slavery and Rus sian serfdom is a revised version of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Asso ciation in December 1978 In making revisions I have bene ted from helpful criticisms by Daniel Field George M Fredrickson and two anonymous referees for the American Historical Review 39 The only comprehensive survey of American proslavery thought remains William Sumner enkins s Pro Slauery Thouglrt in the Old South Chapel Hill NC 1935 For imponant recent exceptions to the general ne glect of the subject see Eugene D Genovese 39I7ze World the Slaveholders Made Two Essays in Interpretation New York 1969 George M Fredrickson The Black Image in the White Mind The Debate on A oAmerican Character and Destirpv 18171914 New York 1971 chaps 2 3 Larry Robert Morrison The Proslavery Argument in the Early Republic 17901830 PhD dissertation University of Virginia 1975 and Lan39y Edward Tise Pro slavery Ideology A Social and Intellectual History of the Defense of Slavery in America 17901840 PhD dissertation University of Nonh Carolina 1975 The following works deal with particular aspects of the de fense of slavery David Donald The Proslavery Argument Reconsidered journal of Soutlzem History hereafter SH 37 1971 318 Drew Gilpin Faust A Sacred Circle The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South 1840 1860 Baltimore 1977 11331 Ralph E Monow The Proslavery Argument Revisited Mississippi Valley Historical Review 48 1961 7994 H Shelton Smith In His Image But Racism in Southern Religion 1780 1910 Durham NC 1972 12964 William Stanton The Leopard Spots Scienti c Attitudes toward Race in Amer ica 181559 Chicago 1960 and Ronald T Takaki A ProSlavery Crusade The Agitation to Reopen the African Slave Trade New York 1971 2 Russian historians have paid even less attention to the defense of serfdom than American historians have devoted to the defense of slavery Most Russian writing on the subject appears in passing in works primarily devoted to the opposition to serfdom Sec V I Semevskii Krest ianskii vopros v Rossii v XVIII i penioi polouine XIX veca 2 vols St Petersburg 1888 M T Beliavskii Krest ianscii uopros v Rossii nalcanune vasstaniia E I Pugacreva formirouanie antilcrepostniclzeskoi mysli Moscow 1965 and V V Mavrodin Klassovaia bor ba i obshchestoennopolb ticlrescaia mysl v Rossii 0 X VIII 0 1725 1773gg Leningrad 1964 For an exception that focuses on the life of an important ideologue see I A Fedosov Iz istorii russkoi obsrcrestvennoi mysli XVIII stoletiia M M Srclrerbatov Moscow 1967 809 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 8 10 Peter Kolchin This assumption and the ensuing neglect are unfortunate for several reasons First they are based on the ahistorical judgment that people living in the past must share our values that no one could really oppose such obviously support able concepts as universal freedom and equality Second the defense of bondage is intrinsically interesting especially in the United States where proslavery spokesmen expounded the most imaginative one scholar has suggested the only conservative philosophy in the nation s history3 But most important an examination of the arguments used to defend unfree labor can provide informa tion about the masters and even about the labor systems they directed Only by taking seriously their ideology can we take seriously their history This article examines two such conservative ideologies The first half of the es say suggests a basic similarity of arguments used to defend unfree labor in Rus sia and the United States and the second points to an important difference in the development of these arguments over time Both the similarity and the dif ference have valuable implications IN 1859 BRITISH TRAVELER Charles Henry Pearson noted a widespread belief among Russian noblemen that the peasants are not fit for freedom Such sen timent puzzled him since as he put it there is no difference of race between the govemors and the govemed Pearson had made an observation that im plicitly raised an important issue Russian serfdom unlike American slavery was a system of bondage that was not based on any racial distinction between master and laborer Surely one might postulate this difference would be re ected in the arguments used to defend the two institutions Certainly racial arguments in defense of slavery were pervasive in the South They were common of course among scienti c racists and ethnologists such as Dr Samuel A Cartwright who concluded that blacks with their smaller brains sloping foreheads and de cient respiratory systems were physiologically so different from whites that they were fit only for slavery But racial arguments were also common among Southerners who defended slavery on other grounds They were present early as in eighteenthcentury planter Landon Carter s cas ual remark in his diary that blacks are devils and to make them otherwise than slaves will be to set devils free and late as in the insistence of James H Ham mond of South Carolina that emancipation was impossible because the doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descen dants 6 Throughout the South whites insisted that blacks were different infe rior and suited for slavery7 3 See Louis Hartz The Liberal Tradition in America An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolu tion New York 1955 pt 4 esp 174 176 4 Pearson Russia ly a Recent Traveller A Series of Letters 1859 reprint ed London 1970 2223 5 See Cartwright Slavery in the Light of Ethnology in E N Elliott ed Cotton Is King and ProSlavery Arguments 1860 reprint ed New York 1970 689727 On scienti c racism see Stanton 77ze Leoparaquots Spots and F redrickson The Black Image in the White Mina chaps 2 3 6 Caner The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall I7521778 ed jack P Greene 2 vols Charlottes ville Va 1965 2 114849 and Hammond Speech on the Justice of Receiving Petitions for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia in Hammond Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon james H Hamnwnd of South Carolina New York 1866 3738 7 On Southem racial consciousness especially see Winthrop D Jordan White over Black American Attitudes This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Semitude 811 What is striking however is that similar arguments were used to defend serf dom even though master and serf were usually of the same national and racial origin8 By the eighteenth century Russian noblemen had come to regard them selves as inherently different from their peasants and the serfs as inherently in capable of freedom9 This sense of distinction between lord and peasant deep ened over the course of the eighteenth century Peter I contributed to it by forcing noblemen to shave their beards and adopt Western European manners but equally important was the natural cultural division between two very differ ent social classes In the hundred years before emancipation nobleman and peasant inhabited such different worlds that the distinction between the two seemed as inherent as racial as the distinction between white and black It is noteworthy then but perhaps not entirely surprising that Russian no blemen invented many of the same kinds of racial arguments to defend serfdom that American slaveowners used to justify their peculiar institution The argu ments were not as elaborately worked out one does not nd tomes exploring the physiological differences between peasant and nobleman although in the eigh teenth century some noble spokesmen claimed that whereas they had white bones peasants had black bones The basic assumptions however were simi lar they were racial in that they were predicated on belief in inherent and im mutable differences rather than in distinctions based on particular social or en vironmental conditions Peasants were just as intrinsically lazy childlike and requiring of direction as were blacks Thus Prince M M Shcherbatov the most persistent exponent of the nobility s interests in the late eighteenth century as serted that without strict supervision peasants would not perform agricultural labor because of their voluptuousness and laziness 2 In 1802 author Nich olas M Karamzin rebutted the environmentalist argument sometimes ad vanced by foreigners that Russian peasants were lazy because of serfdom on the contrary he insisted they are lazy from nature from habit from ignorance of the advantages of diligence 3 just as defenders of American slavery saw free toward the Negro 1550 1812 1968 reprint ed Baltimore 1969 and Fredrickson The Black Image in the White Mind chaps 2 3 3 The lack of racial or national distinction between lord and peasant makes the comparison of Russian serfdom with American slavery especially fruitful and ies in the face of assumptions by some scholars that enslavement of one s own people is virtually impossible What sets the slave apart from all other forms of involuntary labor is that in the strictest sense he is an outsider Moses I Finley has written He is brought into a new society violently and traumatically he is cut off from all traditional human ties of kin and nation and even his own religion Finley The Idea of Slavery Critique of David Brion Davis The Problem of Slaoeq in Western Culture in Laura Foner and Eugene D Genovese eds Slavery in the New World A Reader in Com parative History Englewood Cliffs N 1969 260 This was clearly not the case however with Russian serfs who as numerous historians have pointed out were essentially slaves See for example Jerome Blum Lord and Peasant in Russia From the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century Princeton 1961 46869 9 Some foreign travelers shared this view There is something of the Negro in the nature of a Russian wrote Frenchman Germain de Lagny see his The Knout and the Russians or The Muscovite Empire the Czar and His People trans John Bridgeman London 1854 154 O A RomanovichSlavatinskii Dvorianstva v Rossii at nachala XVIII who do otmeny krepostnago prava St Peters burg 1870 5887 and P K Ale renko Russkaia obshchestvennaia mysl pervoi poloviny XVIII stoletiia o sel skom khoziaistve in Material po istorii zemledeliia SSSR 1 lIoscow 1952 54547 RomanovichSlavatinskii Dvorianstvo v Rossii 71 2 Shcherbatov Razsuzhdenie o nyneshnem v 1778 godu pochti povsemestnom golode v Rossii o sposo bakh onomu pomoch i vpred predupredit podobnoe zhe neshchastie in his Sochineniia kniazia M M Shcherbatova ed I P Khrushchov 1 St Petersburg 1896 63l 32 3 Karamzin Pis mo sel skago zhitelia in his Sochineniia Karamzina ed Aleksandr Smirdin 3 St Peters This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 8 12 Peter Kolclzin blacks as an anomaly and insisted that all Negroes were better off as slaves so too advocates of Russian serfdom pointed to their free or state peasants and maintained that they would be happier as serfs under the protection of pome slrculki noble landowners During his short reign 17961801 Emperor Paul was able to act on his belief in the desirability of distributing all state peasants to pomeshchik by awarding generous grants of state lands and peasants to deserv ing noblemen and he rejoiced in placing peasants under the supervision of po lice masters who would both care for them and guard the peace and security of the state If racial arguments would seem to be particularly suited to the defense of black slavery then surely class arguments would be the preeminent Russian defense of serfdom for few Western societies in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries had so many hereditary legal class distinctions as did im perial Russia And class arguments did abound Russian noble spokesmen ea gerly composed paeans to the virtue honor and service of the nobility which they contrasted with the moneygrubbing ways of the merchants If merchants deserved scom peasants required care and supervision The principal right of a Russian nobleman is to be a pomeshczik wrote Karamzin in an essay extolling his own patriarchal regard for his people his principal duty is to be a good pomeszchik Serfdom enabled noblemen to care for and protect their well meaning but ignorant charges Playwright and poet Ivan Boltin emphasized the burg 1848 573 For the prevalence of such views among seigneurs of other European countries see Jerome Blum 77re End of the Old Order in Rural Europe Princeton 1978 4546 quot See for example the comments of Thornton Stringfellow Slavery is becoming to this people Negroes so manifestly a blessing in our country that fugitives from labor are constantly returning to their masters again after tasting the blessings or rather the awful curse to them of freedom in nonslaveholding States and while I write those who are lawfully free in this State are praying our Legislature for a law that will allow them to become slaves Stringfellow Statistical View of Slavery in Elliott Cotton 13 King 540 On Southem white distaste for free Negroes see Ira Berlin Slaves without Masters 77ze Free Negro in the Antebellum South New York 1974 31680 395 Paul I as quoted in N M Druzhinin Gosudarstoennye krest iane i reforma P D Kiseleaa 1 Moscow 1946 147 For other expressions of this viewpoint see Shcherbatov Razsuzhdenie o nyneshnem v 1778 godu pochti povsemestnom golode v Rossii 64547 Karamzin Pis mo sel skago zhitelia 574 A I Komissarenko Proekt vvedeniia lichnoi krepostnoi zavisimosti ekonomicheskikh krest ian v Rossii v pervye gody posle seku liarizatsii tserkovnykh imushchestv 60e gody XVIII veka Ezhegodnik pa agramoi istorii Vostochnoi Evropy 1970 g 1977 95103 and Obozrenie raspolozheniia umov i razlichnykh chastei gosudarstvennogo upravleniia v 1835 godu in E A Morokhovets ed Kre5t ianswe airielzenie 1827I869 godoo 1 Moscow 1931 18 On atti tudes toward state peasants and on their inadequate supervision see Druzhinin Cosudarstvennye krest iane i re fomza P D Kiseleua 12547 quot3 The foremost noble opponent of merchant pretensions was Prince Shcherbatov who during the 1760s 1770s and 17805 spent much of his public efforts clarifying the distinction between nobleman and merchant See for example his Razmyshlenie 0 dvorianstve in his Soczr39nenira 21968 and Razsmotrenie o voprose mogut li dvoriane zapisyvat sia v kuptsy in his Neizdannye soclzinemia Moscow 1935 13958 On Shcherba tov see Fedosov Ie istorii msskoi obshdrestz2ennor39 mysli Marc Raeff State and Nobility in the Ideology of M M Shcherbatov American Slavic and East European Review 29 1960 36379 and Joan M Afferica The Political and Social Thought of Prince M M Shcherbatov 17331790 PhD dissertation Harvard University 1966 On noble efforts to resist merchant encroachments during the last third of the eighteenth century see Wilson Robert Augustine The Economic Attitudes and Opinions Expressed by the Russian Nobility in the Great Commission of l767 PhD dissertation Columbia University 1969 8189 Beliavskii Krest ianskii vopros v Rossii nalcarmne vosstaniia E I Pugacrew 8788 19596 23943 Paul Dukes Catherine the Great and the Russian Nobility A Study Based on the Materials of the Legislative Commr39ssr39on of 1767 Cambridge 1967 11315 12930 and Robert E Jones The Emancipation of the Russian Nobility 17621785 Princeton 1973 6467 149 51 quot Karamzin Pis mo sel skago zhitelia 579 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 813 affection of the slaves for their masters and noted that these masters main tain their slaves as the duty of humanity demands he contrasted the happiness of the Russian peasant with the misery of the poor in Westem Europe Count D P Buturlin writing in French to his uncle in 1803 succinctly expressed the patemalistic assumptions inherent in the defense of serfdom There is some thing patemal and gentle in the reciprocal relationship between the master and his bom servant whereas this same relationship strikes me as purely mercenary when between the hired servant and his master In the latter case he ex plained it is a free market an exchange of his service for my money and from that point it seems to me that I am nished with everything when I have paid him 9 Often Russians contrasted the order patriarchal relations and security enjoyed by their peasants with the poverty exploitation and insecurity of free Westem Europeans 1 Such arguments also abounded however in the antebellum South Indeed a perusal of proslavery writings provides ample evidence that a patemalistic in sistence on the humanity and harmony of slavery was as pervasive as the racial argument in its defense especially during the last two decades before the Civil War Most historians are aware of the writings of George Fitzhugh but per haps the attention his works have received has obscured similar justi cations de veloped by a host of other Southemers such as James H Hammond William Harper William Gilmore Simms Henry Hughes Thomas R Dew and Thomas R R Cobb The humanity of slavery the reciprocal relationship be tween master and slave and the brutality of the freelabor system were at the core of their defense of the peculiar institution As Baptist minister Thornton Stringfellow put it in an otherwise largely religious justi cation of the treatment of slaves Their condition as a class is now better than that of any other equal number of laborers on earth and is daily improving 22 8 Ivan Boltin Primechaniia na Istoriiu drevniia i nyneshniia Rossii g Leklerka 2 np 1788 24344 For similar arguments see M M Shcherbatov Na chitannyi oktiabria 12 chisla golos gospodina deputata goroda Ser peiska Rodiona Glinkova in his Sochineniia 12829 and Primechanie na 13iu stat iu II glavy proekta pra vam blagorodnykh ibid 19596 E R Dashkova Memoires de la Princesse Dashkaw in Arkhiv kniazia Vo rontsova 40 vols Moscow 187097 21 137 Karamzin Pis mo sel skago zhitelia 57980 and Richard Pipes ed Karamzin s Memoir on Ancient and Modem Russia A Translation and Analysis Cambridge Mass 1969 165 9 D P Buturlin to his uncle S R Vorontsov St Petersburg July 30 1803 in Arkziv kniazia Vorontsoua 32 366 20 See for example F V Rostopchin Vozrazhenie Grafa Rastopchina na knigu sochinennuiu Grafom Stroinovskim 0 usloviakh s krest ianami 1811 Chteniia v Imperatorskom obshehestue istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh pri Moskovskom universitete 30 no 3 pt 5 1859 40 and A S Shishkov Zapiski mneniia i perepiski Admirala A S Shishkova 2 Berlin 1870 12829 On patemalistic defenses of scrfdom under Nicholas I see S P Mel gunov Epokha o tsial noi narodnosti i krepostnoe pravo in A K Dzhivelegov et al eds Velikaia reforma Russkoe obshehestvo i krest ianskii wpros v proshlom i nastoiashehem Iubileinoe izdanie 2 Ioscow 1911 814 239 George Fitzhugh Sociology for the South or The Failure of Free Society Richmond Va 1854 and Cannibals All or Slaves without Masters 1857 ed C Vann Woodward Cambridge Mass 1960 On Fitzhugh see Har vey Wish George Fitzhugh Propagandist of the Old South Baton Rouge 1943 C Vann Woodward George Fitz hugh Sui Generis Introduction to Fitzhugh Cannibals Alli vii xxxix and Genovese 39I71e World the Slaveholders Made pt 2 22 Stringfellow The Bible Argument or Slavery in the Light of Divine Revelation in Elliott Cotton Is King 491 Many of the best patemalistic defenses of slavery were reprinted in the 1850s in two large collec tions The ProSlavery Argument as Maintained by the Most Distinguished Writers of the Southern States Charleston SC 1852 and E N Elliott s much expanded volume Cotton Is King Leading Southem periodicals also fre quently published patemalistic defenses of slavery See for example W Slavery in the Southem States This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 8 14 Peter Kolchin Antebellum Southemers recognized that many of their best arguments in fa vor of slavery were nonracial and the less timid among them fully acknowl edged this fact They noted that throughout history slavery had been a prereq uisite for civilization and pointed to the slave societies of antiquity and the unfree labor systems of medieval Europe as precedents for Southem slavery These Southemers were not stupid men and they realized that most of the slave systems they cited were not based on racial distinctions The logic of their posi tion therefore increasingly led them to broaden the defense of slavery to that of a superior social system regardless of race They extolled slavery for serving the best interests of all elements in society without pitting class against class while fostering all of the tried and true social virtues They did not deny that blacks were ideally suited for slavery but they treated this predisposition as a fortunate accident rather than as the essential reason for slavery had Africans not existed other slaves would have been required in their place As Hammond put it in his famous mudsill speech In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties to perform the drud gery of life That is a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill Its requisites are vigor docility and delity Such a class you must have or you would not have that other class which leads progress civilization and refinement It constitutes the very mudsill of society and of political govemment and you might just as well attempt to build a house in the airquot as to build either the one or the other except on this mud sill quotThe South was fortunate in having found blacks but Northem society also rested upon a mudsill of workers who were essentially slaves During the 1840s and 1850s the boldest and most consistent of the proslavery advocates increasingly downplayed race as a justi cation for slavery and made explicit their belief that slavery was part of a superior social system regardless of any racial differences within society This point of view never dominated the an Southem Literary Messenger 9 1843 73644 and Solon Robinson Negro Slavery at the South DeBow s Re view 7 1849 20625 37989 23 See for example Chancellor Harper Slavery in the Light of Social Ethics in Elliot Cotton Is King 549 52 57475 60406 K H Hammond Slavery in the Light of Political Science ibid 63437 Thomas R R Cobb An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America Philadelphia 1858 xxxvicxxi Mat thew Estes A Defence of Negro Slavery as It Exists in the United States Montgomery Ala 1846 1348 Fitzhugh Cannibals All passim and B D B DeBow The Origin Progress and Prospect of Slavery DeBow s Review 9 1850 919 Occasionally proslavery writers even used Russian serfdom as a precedent Russian serfs noted Cobb are contented with their lot and seek no change They are indolent constitutionally They are mendacious beyond the negro perhaps and feel no shame at detection Like him too they have no provi dence for the future and no anxiety about it Cobb An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery cxviii On the precedent of classical slavery see Edwin A Miles The Old South and the Classical World North Carolina Historical Review 48 1971 25875 2 See for example Hammond Slavery in the Light of Political Science 64346 and Speech on the Ad mission of Kansas March 4 1858 in Hammond Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon james H Hammond 31719 Thomas R Dew Professor Dew on Slavery in The ProSlavery Argument 32526 45761 Cobb An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery xxxvi ccxviiccxviii D R Hundley Social Relations in Our Southern States New York 1860 6470 Edwin C Holland A Re ttation of the Calumnies against the Southem and Western States 1822 reprint ed New York 1969 4561 Henry Hughes Treatise on Sociology 77zeoretical and Practical 1854 reprint ed New York 1968 passim Stringfellow Statistical View of Slavery 53334 539 and Fitz hugh Cannibals All passim On Fitzhugh s development of this argument see Genovese The World the Slave holders Made 165234 25 Hammond Speech on the Admission of Kansas 31819 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 815 tebellum South s defense of slavery because planters needed the political sup port of nonslaveholding whites but it was not limited to Fitzhugh or to a hand ful of atypical eccentrics Pity it is wrote author William Gilmore Simms that the louzy and lounging lazzaroni of Italy cannot be made to labor in the elds under the whip of a severe taskmaster 27 Henry Hughes in his highly abstract defense of warranteeism as he renamed slavery noted that the eth nical quali cation was accidental Warranteeism without the ethnical qual i cation he concluded is that to which every society of one race must prog ress 28 In his diary reeater Edmund Ruf n praised George Fitzhugh s analysis of the slavery of labor to capital and ridiculed the notion that the Africans generally or the negroes particularly are descended from Ham 29 Fitzhugh s lead article in the October 1857 issue of the in uential DeBow s Re view argued forcefully that even among whites free labor was inferior to slave la bor and chided Southemers for failing to carry proslavery arguments to their logical conclusion Domestic slavery must be vindicated in the abstract and in the general he asserted as a normal natural and in general necessitous ele ment of civilized society without regard to race or color Russians then developed an essentially racial argument in defense of serf dom even though no racial distinction divided lord and peasant at the same time Americans elaborated an ideology that stressed the virtues of aristocracy and noblesse oblige in a society with democratic pretensions Clearly the need to defend unfree labor had a logic of its own that propelled Russians and Ameri cans to arrive independently at almost all of the same major arguments and conclusions The religious justi cation for bondage which ourished in the United States but was perfunctory in Russia was a major exception Pomeshchiki told their serfs that their status was ordained by God and regularly relied on priests to instill obedience in their peasant parishioners and defenders of serf dom often made passing references to a Godgiven order But religious argu ments were rarely central to formal writings advocating serfdom339 In addition to racial and patemalistic arguments two practical points re ceived widespread circulation in both countries The rst was the economic ne 26 Drew Faust has seen South Carolina s leading proslavery spokesmen as alienated intellectuals who through their essays on slavery won recognition other intellectual efforts failed to secure A Sacred Circle 1 16 11331 27 Simms The Morals of Slavery in The ProSlavery Argument 265 23 Hughes Treatise on Sociology 207 29 Ruflin The Diary of Edmund Ru iri ed William Kauffman Scarborough 1 Baton Rouge 1972 240 308 3 Fitzhugh Southem Thought DeBow s Review 23 1857 347 3 For a description of Russian religious justifications see Mel gunov Epokha o tsial noi narodnosti 1214 and for examples of the far more numerous and detailed American religious arguments on behalf of slavery see Richard Furman Rev Dr Richard Furman s Exposition of the Views of the Baptists Relative to the Coloured Population of the United States Charleston SC 1822 712 1617 Charles Hodge The Bible Argument on Slavery in Elliott Cotton Is King 84177 Stringfellow The Bible Argument and Albert Taylor Bledsoe Liberty and Slavery or Slavery in the Light of Moral and Practical Philosophy in Elliott Cotton Is King esp 33780 Most of the other defenses of slavery which I have cited above mention at least in passing the religious justi cation One reason for the prevalence of religious justi cations of American slavery is doubtless the prominent role Southem clergymen played in defending the peculiar institution see Smith In His Image 12964 and Morrison The Proslavery Argument 3059 Whereas Protestant ministers in the United States were an independentminded group who often spoke out on social issues the Russian parish clergy was a closed and increasingly isolated caste a weak tangential group lacking in influence and power See Gregory L Freeze The Russian Levites Parish Clergy in the Eighteenth Century Cambridge Mass 1977 222 179217 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 8 16 Peter Kolchin cessity of forced labor Americans and Russians recognized that their systems of bondage arose to meet a general labor shortage under conditions of relative population scarcity both held out the prospect of economic disaster should un free labor be abolished Even more widespread were dire predictions of social collapserefusal to work unrest and rebellion should slaves and serfs be emancipated If Russian polemicists could point to the degenerate condition of state peasants who were without proper seigneurial supervision their American counterparts had a far more compelling argument in the example of emancipa tion in the West Indies The British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica showed how blacks freed from the protective care of slavery would revert to their primitive African ways while Haiti held out the ultimate horror of revolution A similar nightmare stalked the Russian gentry the bloody Pugachev rebellion of 177374 which for generations served as a warning to pomeshchilci of just how precarious their position was Russians and Americans even played the same word games insisting that their particular form of bondage was the mildest or even that it was not really bondage at all In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Russians com monly used the word slavery rabstvo to describe the status of their serfs but defenders of serfdom often pointed out that their form of slavery was different from others Between freedom and freedom and between slavery and slavery there is a difference and this difference is great and varied wrote Boltin a title means nothing There is he continued freedom that is worse than slavery Naturally Russian slavery was a variety better than most freedom Precisely the same kinds of assertions were made in the United States Henry Hughes s refusal to use the word slavery for which he substituted war ranteeism was unusual but many held with Hammond that slavery was but a name that meant little for the working classes everywhere were really slaves The difference between us he lectured Northemers is that our slaves are hired for life and well compensated Yours are hired by the day not cared for and scantily compensated Matthew Estes agreed that the word slavery 32 See for example M M Shcherbatov Zapiska po krest ianskomu voprosu in his Neizdannye sochineniia 89 Major General Afanasii Lavrent evich Komamv Essay in Trudy Vol nago ekonomieheskago obshchestva k pooshchreniiu v Rossii zemledeliia i domostroitel stva 66 1814 12861 G R Derzhavirl Soehineniia Derzhavina s ob iasnitel nymi primechaniiami Ia Grota 6 St Petersburg 1876 77475 Chancellor Harper Harper on Slavery in The ProSlavery Argument 8594 Estes A Defence J Negro Slavery 15562 Francis Y Grund The Americans in Their Moral Social and Political Relations 1837 ed Robert F Berkhofer r 2 vols in 1 New York 1968 33676 passim and p R D P X DeBow The Interest in Slavery of the Southern NonSlaveholder Charleston SC 1860 48 The economic argument was potentially the mildest and most equivocal defense of bondage since such a rationale was entirely compatible with the idea that unfree labor was wrong in theory but necessary under particular circumstances 33 M M Shcherbatov Zamechaniia Shcherbatova na bol shoi nakaz Ekateriny in his Neizdannye sach ineniia 5556 and Primechanie na 13iu stat iu 19697 Mnenie ob osvobozhdenii krest ian 1767 in Russkii arkhiv 1871 28891 Komissarenko Proekt vvedeniia lichnoi krepostnoi zavisimosti ekonomicheskikh krest ian Karamzin Pis mo sel skago zhitelia 56974 F V Rostopchin Zamechanie Grafa F V Ras topchina na knigu gna Stroinovskago 1811 Chteniia v Imperatorscom obshchestve istorii i drevnostei rossiirkikh 33 no 2 pt 5 1860 205 21115 Frederika Teute Schmidt and Barbara Ripel Wilhelm Early Proslavery Peti tions in Virginia William and Mary Quarterly 3d ser 30 1973 13840 Dew Professor Dew on Slavery 43740 Harper Slavery in the Light of Social Ethics 61723 Holland A Re rtation of the Calumnies against the Southern and Western States 6185 and Estes A Defence of Negro Slavery 23252 34 Boltin Primeehaniia 23536 Also see Shcherbatov Zamechaniia Shcherbatova na bol shoi nakaz Ekate riny 55 and Shishkov Zapiski mneniia i perepiski 12024 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Seruitude 817 gave the South a bad name Theoretically slavery has been abolished in most countries he admitted but practically it exists almost every wherebut without the responsibilities interests humanities and sympathies of Southern slavery 35 DESPITE MANY OBVIOUS INCONSISTENCIES there is a common thread running through virtually all of the defenses of servitude in Russia and the United States the assumption that men are naturally unequal This assumption usually appears only implicitly in the arguments on behalf of forced labor but at times it is quite explicit Prince Shcherbatov for example boldly refuted the concept of natural equality Not one person is completely like another he wrote and where this similarity is lacking so too is equality Half a century later Admiral Mordvinov made the same point Only disorganized wild society offers equal ity of rights conditions and powers he explained Such is the condition of all Asiatic peoples 35 Nineteenthcentury Southerners were sometimes even more explicit in combating head on the basic precepts of e 39ersonianism Man is bom to subjection wrote South Carolina s Chancellor Harper it is the very basis of his nature that the strong should control the weak and ignorant Ham mond was equally direct and forceful in refuting the doctrine of natural un alienable rights I repudiate as ridiculously absurd that much lauded but no where accredited dogma of Mr Jefferson that all men are born equal he declared It is a wretched and insecure government which is administered by its most ignorant citizens and those who have the least stake under it 37 Re gardless of the variety of ways used to defend inequality race class lineage wealth ability intellect or moral capacity the essential premise of all who de fended bondage was that all men were not created equal Because the proponents of unfree labor were forced to defend inequality in an era of natural rights they were compelled to challenge many of the dominant intellectual currents of their time to reject the French Enlightenment Jefferso nianism and progress The defense of slavery and serfdom therefore led inevita bly to reactionary views on most other social questions Although some pro slavery advocates in the United States South were able to stay in tune with the times by the simple expedient of excluding blacks from the realm of humanity the logic of defending slavery left most polemicists uncomfortable with talk of any kind of reform 35 Hughes Treatise on Sociology Hammond Speech on the Admission of Kansas 319 and Estes A Defence cf Negro Slam 130 Also see Cobb An Inquiry into the Law tf Negro Slavery cxii cxxxii cxix ccxii and the edi tor s Introduction to Northern and Southern Slavery Southern Literary Messenger 7 1841 341 On Southern discomfort with the term slavery see Kenneth S Greenberg s perceptive Revolutionary Ideology and the Proslavery Argument The Abolition of Slavery in Antebellum South Carolina JSH 42 1976 36584 36 Shcherbatov Razmyshlenie o dvorianstve 222 and Mordvinov Mnenie Admirala Mordvinova po rabstvu krest ian v 1833 godu Chteniia v Imperatorskom obshchestve istorii i drezmostei rossz39iskz39ch 30 no 3 pt 5 1859 56 37 Harper Harper on Slavery 8 and Hammond Slavery in the Light of Political Science 63738 Also see W G Bean Antijeffersonianism in the Antebellum South North Carolina Historical Review 12 1935 10324 38 See Fredrickson The Black Image in the White Illind 6194 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 818 Peter Kolczin In 1857 British traveler Barbara Bodichon summed up in her diary a conver sation she had with several Southerners while on a Mississippi River steamboat There is evidently a feeling she wrote that Abolition and Woman s Rights are supported by the same people and the same arguments and that both are allied to atheism and all these slave owners are very religious people 39 Her observation was perceptive Almost every major antebellum defender of slavery insisted on tying abolitionism to a host of other isms heresies that threat ened social peace and stability George Frederick Holmes was typical in his sug gestion that in the North where Fourierism and Proudhonism Free Love and Total Abstinence and all the other modem forms of philanthropic innovation have found numerous and enthusiastic votaries an exaggerated and distorted idea of the nature and functions of liberty has inspired the multitudinous heresy of Abolitionism quot Rejecting the optimistic spirit of Northern reform Ham mond deplored the democratic course of the nineteenth century with the as cendancy of the MOB THE SANSCULLOTTES Preaching as their watch word that now prostituted sentiment that all men are born free and equal they have rallied to their standard the ignorant uneducated semibarbarous mass which swarms and starves upon the face of Europe Only one bulwark re mained against this leveling surge the slave South Scof ng at abolitionist charges of a slaveowning aristocracy Hammond replied I accept the terms It is a government of the best combining all the advantages of the old world Russian defenders of serfdom denounced the democratic spirit in much the same terms Like their American counterparts they saw themselves defending not simply an institution but a conservative regime one threatened by equality democracy and revolution As early as the 1780s Count S R Vorontsov identi ed the main enemy as this spirit of reform and universal equality preached for fty years by the economists and encyclopedists in France Half a century later Admiral A S Shishkov vigorously protested against the view that the spirit of the times demanded reform of serfdom By the spirit of the times he asserted is often meant a general willfulness and disobedience Contrasting the social harmony of Russia with the turmoil of Westem Europe he asked rhetorically Why changes in laws changes in customs changes in manner of thought And whence these changes From the schools and philosophizing of those countries where these disorders these insurrections this insolence of thought reign su preme The only cure he suggested was strict censorship to guard against the spreading disease of free thought In a fervent attack on the concept of a natural right to freedom Count F V Rostopchin explained that although the term freedom was appealing it is not the natural condition of a person for all members of society were dependent on one another The rst consequence of 39 Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon An American Diary I8576 ed Joseph W Reed Jr London 1972 61 0 George Frederick Holmes Theory of Political Individualism DcBow s Review 22 1857 134 Also see Harper Slavery in the Light of Social Ethics 58085 Hammond Slavery in the Light of Political Sci ence 117 14950 Stringfcllow Statistical View of Slavery 52428 54042 Simms The Morals of Slavery 264 Hundley Social Relations in Our Southern States 1617 and F itzhugh Cannibals All 6 911 85 106 19098 21316 Hammond Speech on the justice of Receiving Petitions 4345 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 819 freedom is willfulness he noted the second is disobedience and the third is revolt against all authority In the first half of the nineteenth century Russians and Southemers liked to contrast the harmony of class relations in their societies with the chaos of the freelabor market in Westem Europe and the North For both the defense of servitude was an integral part of the general defense of a world threatened by change WHILE ESSENTIALLY SIMILAR IN CHARACTER the arguments for slavery and serf dom differed in their development over time This difference became apparent however only after the beginning of the nineteenth century Before 1800 Ameri can and Russian thought on unfree labor followed remarkably similar paths In both countries there was little discussion of bondage before the 17603 chal lenges to slavery and serfdom were few but so too were articulated defenses of institutions taken largely for granted In both countries complacency and si lence gave way to concem and debate during the last third of the eighteenth century Although those who raised the issue of forced labor rarely called for im mediate abolition they did broach the possibility of gradual emancipation in the future and discuss ways of more immediately limiting cruel and arbitrary treatment of the bondsmen They also amused the angry opposition of those who insisted no change was needed This parallel course came to an abrupt end in the nineteenth century Cau tious antislavery sentiment common among spokesmen of the Upper South gradually evaporated and was replaced at first by an awkward hesitant even reluctant defense of slavery As late as 1826 Presbyterian missionary Timothy Flint was surprised to nd that planters defended existing conditions primarily 2 Vorontsov Zapiska Grafa S R Vorontsova o dvorianstve Arkhiv kniazia Vorontsova 16 299300 Shish kov Zapiski mneniia i perepiski 121 129 Shishkov to the Emperor December 12 1836 Chteniia v Imperatorslcom obshchestve istoni i drevnostei rossiiskikh 71 no 3 pt 2 1868 12128 and Rostopchin Zamechanie Grafa F V Rastopchina na knigu gna Stroinovskago 20405 Also see Count D P Buturlin to S R Vorontsov Febru ary 22 April 4 and July 30 1803 in Arkhiv kniazia Vorontsova 22 33436 34345 36466 Although the de fense of serfdom was extremely useful to supporters of the status quo it was not absolutely essential Under Nicholas 1 govemment spokesmen sometimes contrasted conservative Russia and the revolutionary West using the official line of Autocracy Orthodoxy and Nationality without reference to serfdom and most Slavophiles although contemptuous of Westem decadence were at least in theory critical of serfdom See Ed ward C Thaden Conservative Nationalism in NineteenthCentury Russia Seattle 1964 esp 1920 and Nicholas V Riasanovsky Nicholas I ana39 O icial Nationality in Russia I825I855 Berkeley and Los Angeles 1961 esp 12 13443 16768 and Russia and the West in the Teachings of the Slavophiles Cambridge Mass 1952 91119 13640 quot3 Jenkins ProSlavery Thought 3 David Brion Davis The Problem of Slavery in Westem Culture Ithaca NY 1966 12550 and Semevskii Krest ianslcii vopros 1 112 4 On the debate over slavery during the Revolutionary era see David Brion Davis The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution 17701823 Ithaca NY 1975 82326 and The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture 365 445 Jordan White over Black 287304 42981 William W Freehling The Founding Fathers and Slavery AHR 77 1972 8193 Robert McColley Slavery and Je ersonian Virginia Urbana Ill 1964 11440 Duncan MacLeod Slavery Race and the American Revolution Cambridge 1975 1447 john Chester Miller The Wolf by the Ears Thomas je erson and Slavery New York 1977 and Tise Proslavery Ideology 801 10 On the peas ant quwtion in Catherine II s Russia see Semevskii Krest ianslcii vopros 1 14213 Beliavskii Krest ianskii vopros v Rossii nalcanune vosstaniia E I Pugacheva Jones The Emancipation of the Russian Nobility 13542 Augustine Ec onomic Attitudes and Opinions Dukes Catherine the Great and the Russian Nobility 9195 Mavrodin Klassovaia bor ba 16683 and A I Pashkov ed A Histowy of Russian Economic Thought Ninth through Eighteenth Centuries 1955 trans John M Letiche et al Berkeley and Los Angeles 1964 475575 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 820 Peter Kolchin on the grounds of necessity precedent and the dangers of sudden emancipa tion not the virtues of slavery I have never yet heard one he exaggerated who does not admit that slavery is an evil and an injustice and who does not at least affect to deplore the evil 5 Then during the thirty years preceding the Civil War the South produced an extraordinary torrent of proslavery propa gandapropaganda that was for the most part bold unapologetic and insis tent on the positive virtues of slavery Whereas previous proslavery advocates had stressed the practical arguments of expedience economy and race the new polemicists who included many of the South s best minds increasingly based their case on the higher ground of social theory slavery was simply the best way to organize society By the 1850s Southern whites seemed so com mitted to their peculiar institution that a lone dissenter such as Hinton Helper found it expedient to leave the South altogether In Russia however the trend that had begun in the eighteenth century con tinued into the nineteenth Although some noblemen still spoke out in defense of serfdom and unarticulated sentiment in favor of maintaining the status quo remained strong especially in the provinces the balance gradually tipped in fa vor of those dissatis ed with the institution By the 1840s freelabor ideas had spread widely among the educated nobility of Moscow and St Petersburg and public defense of serfdom became increasingly rare Signi cantly virtually all of the defenses of serfdom cited above date from before 1840 Thus Russia never experienced the kind of militant proslavery movement that reigned in the antebellum South If the entire American South seemed to rally around slavery educated Russiansincluding many high level government of cials became increasingly convinced that serfdom was a backward system that must some how be abolished In 1839 the annual report of the Third Department or po litical police suggested that the time had come for the government to begin pre paring for eventual emancipation rather than to wait until it begins from 45 Timothy Flint Recollections of the Last Ten Years 1826 ed C Hartley Grattan New York 1932 329 For similar observations see Morris Birkbeck Notes on a joumey in America om the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois 1817 reprint ed Ann Arbor Mich 1968 16 Harriet Martineau Society in America 1837 ed Sey mour Martin Lipset abridged ed New York 1962 189 and Frances Anne Kemble oumal qf a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 18381839 Chicago 1969 130 46 See Jenkins ProSlavepz Thought 48300 Genovese The World the Slaveholders Made pt 2 Fredrickson The Black Image in the White Mind 4396 Smith In His Image 12964 and Takaki A ProSlavery Crusade passim On the South as a closed society see Clement Eaton The FreedomofThought Struggle in the Old South New York 1964 39 47 Among the great Russian novelists of the nineteenth century Nicholas Gogol was virtually alone in his defense of serfdom and some such as Ivan Turgenev eluded heavy govemment censorship and openly ridi culed the institution For Gogol s defense of serfdom as a Godgiven institution designed for the wellbeing of all see his Russkii pomeshchik originally published in his Vybrannye mesta iz perepiski s druz iami 1847 re printed in N V Gogol Sobranie sochinenii v semi tomakh 6 Moscow 1967 31623 For Turgenev s most damn ing portrait of serfdom see his A Sportsmarfs Notebook trans Charles Hepbum and Natasha Hepbum London 1950 and for Turgenev as an opponent of serfdom and autocracy see Harry Hershkowitz Democratic Ideas in Turgenev s Works New York 1932 In contrast leading antebellum Southem writersone cannot call them great commonly extolled the peculiar institution For treatment of a prominent example see Jon L Wake lyn The Politics of a Literary Man William Gilmore Simms Vestport Conn 1973 Because most Southem writers advocated slavery Hannah Stern Goldman who has stressed the parallels between antibondage themes in American and Russian nineteenthcentury ction was forced to compare Russian novels with those written in the North see her American Slavery and Russian Serfdom A Study in Fictional Parallels PhD dissertation Columbia University 1955 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 821 below from the people The report called for quiet deliberation without noise and without loud words but concluded that everyone is agreed on the need for reform When in 1857 Alexander II made public his decision to go ahead with emancipation noblemen grumbled and dragged their feet but there was no public opposition no threat that serfowners might refuse to accept the re forms THAT A BASIC CONTRAST EXISTS here is clear the obvious question is how to ac count for it Although that question cannot be de nitively answered in a few pages several factors can be discemed that contribute to an explanation They also reveal much not only about American slavery and Russian serfdom but about how social elites behave when their privileges are under attack as well The most obvious is that of race Not only did proslavery spokesmen often couch their arguments in racial terms but Southemwhites were also in general so imbued with the consciousness of race that they found it impossible to con template emancipation of blacks in a white society Travelers to the antebellum South found that many whites who were distinctly unenthusiastic about slavery balked at the notion of tuming blacks loose in the South As one poor white told Frederick Law Olmsted I reckon the majority would be right glad if we could get rid of the niggers But it wouldn t never do to free em and leave em here Nobody couldn t live here then 5 That slavery in the United States was racial instead of merely social clearly served to inhibit the growth of moder ate opposition and to make Southem whites more receptive to the proslavery appeal If Russian defenders of serfdom invented essentially racial arguments to serve their cause and regarded peasants as a different people a qualitative gap still separated both the perceptions of the differences between masters and bonds men in the two countries and the perceptions of the threat inherent in emanci pation Blacks were not merely different they were outsiders in a country where everyone else was an insider or a potential insider Hence free blacks seemed like such an anomaly Blacks were aliens Africans deposited against their will in a foreign land and despite protestations to the contrary most whites always regarded them as such How else could one speak of sending back to Africa people who in most cases were third and fourthgeneration Americans Al though a Southem planter might refer to his slaves as my people the term 8 Iz otcheta III Otdeleniia o vnutrennem sostoianii i o krest ianskom dvizhenii v strane v sviazi s pozha rami in A V Predtechenskii ed Krest ianskoe dvizhenie v Rossii v 18261849 K Sbomik dolcumentov Moscow 1961 34445 I have never been either an ultra liberal or a carbonari but I have always detested personal slavery and I still detest it and deplore its continuation among us and everywhere I see it wrote Prinoe M S Vorontsov whose father had defended serfdom Vorontsov to P D Kiselev Tiflis October 20 1847 in Arkhiv kniazia Vorontsova 38 14950 quot9 Semevskii Krest ianscii vopros 1 236end 2 passim Terence Emmons The Russian Landed Gentry and the Peasant Emancipation of 1861 Cambridge 1968 2935 Daniel Field The End of Nobility and Bureaucraey in Russia 18551861 Cambridge Mass 1976 esp 10240 and Nicholas V Riasanovsky A Parting of the Ways Government and the Educated Public in Russia 18011855 Oxford 1976 26263 5 Olmsted A joumey in the Back County 1860 reprint ed New York 1970 203 Olmsted noted that these views of slavery seem to be universal among people of this class They were represented to me at least a dozen times Also see Fnedrickson The Black Image in the White Mind 5690 passim This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 822 Peter Kolchin the people was always reserved for whites who formed the body politic In a world where all free men were politically equal and white the prospect of freeing black slaves alarmed slaveholders and nonslaveholders alike Russian peasants however were not outcasts but merely the lowest level of a strati ed society White Americans could think of the United States as an all white country but Russia without peasants was inconceivable Not only did they constitute over four fths of the population they were the essence of Rus sia When Russians spoke of the people they meant precisely the peasants For the peasants whether bound or free to constitute the people did not threaten the Russian established order in the way that citizenship for blacks threatened the white South because Russia was a hierarchical society com posed of legally established castes or estates without the slightest pretension to democracy or equal rights Emancipating blacks in the United States entailed the radical step of extending citizenship Emancipating serfs however consti tuted a less extreme measure for an emancipated serf would still be a peasant and no one imagined that emancipation would make a peasant the equal of a noble In short the combination of race and democracy served to reinforce the commitment to slavery There was another way in which the lack of democracy served to undercut the Russian nobility s commitment to serfdom Because Russia had a bureau cratic government organized on essentially military lines of command the gen try was not in a position either to shape or to resist govemment policy During the decades preceding emancipation the top ranks of govemment the tsars and many of their close advisors were committed to a policy of gradual re form Southern whites would have elected new leaders but Russian pomeshchiki had no such choice they simply sulked or ignored the matter while successive govemment committees considered how to handle the peasant question Even when faced with emancipation in the late 1850s reluctant noblemen did not think of refusing instead they contented themselves with minor obstructions and delays while insisting that the nal settlement be as favorable as possible to their economic interests Such was not of course the response of Southem slaveholders when slavery was assaulted Surely one important clue to Southem response lies in the nature 5 Several authors have in varying fashions stressed the connection among race democracy and slavery in the antebellum South See Carl N Degler Neither Black nor White Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States New York 1971 25660 and The Irony of American Negro Slavery in Harry P Owens ed Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery Jackson Miss 1976 312 Edmund S Morgan American Slavery Ameri can Freedom The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia New York 1975 36986 and MacLeod Slavery Race and the Ameri can Revolution 14884 On Southem democracy see William J Cooper jr The South and the Politics of Slavery 18281856 Baton Rouge 1978 up 2342 52 For a similar interpretation see Degler Neither Black nor White 25660 53 Semevskii Krest ianskii vopros 1 236end 2 passim Field The End of Serfdom 10240 172232 265323 35960 P A Zaionchkovskii Otmena krepostnogo prava v Rossii 3d ed Moscow 1968 1123 and W Bruce Lincoln Nicholas 1 Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russia London 1978 18795 Noblemen s attitudes during the preparations for emancipation can be traced in the pages of Zhumal zemlevladel tsev which appeared twice monthly in 1858 and 1859 On the pneneform bureaucracy see S Frederick Starr Decentralization and SelfGov emment in Russia 1830 1870 Princeton 1972 950 and P A Zaionchkovskii Gubemskaia administratsiia nakanune Krymskoi voiny Voprosy istorii 1975 no 9 3351 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 823 of the challenge it was open and it came from without Opponents of slavery were able publicly through meetings petition drives pamphlets newspaper articles and editorials and political speeches to challenge both the legitimacy of slaveowning and the morality of slaveowners The outspoken defense of slavery thus arose largely in reaction to these attacks upon it Equally important was the sectional nature of the opposition Because antebellum slavery was Southern and abolitionism Northern the attack on slavery appeared to be an attack on the South itself The defense of slavery would undoubtedly have been quite different but for the sectional character of the assault on it Russia however was not divided into free and unfree sections Although serfs were more numerous in some areas than in others serfdom was a national insti tution Equally signi cant Russians because of the nature of their govemment never conducted a public debate over the peasant question Proposals for abol ishing or modifying serfdom although widely discussed in the highest circles were always con ned to secret committees whose proceedings were not made public Heavy censorship meant that only the most Aesopian remarks critical of Russian institutions could appear in print and nothing like the American aboli tionists denunciation of slaveholders as sinners was possible As a result serf owners never had or got to defend themselves as American slaveowners did Even had they wanted to they would not have been able to play the same ideo logical role as American proslavery spokesmen there was no Russian public to which to appeal and censorship of arguments defending serfdom was almost as rigid as censorship of polemics against it The absence of a free press and of any tradition of democratic debate on policy thus precluded a full development of proserfdom thought56 Thus the owering of the antebellum defense of bondage in the US South in contrast to its withering in Russia is at least partially explicable in terms of four concrete differences between the two societies four characteristics that were present in the United States and absent in Russia 1 a racial distinction be tween owner and owned 2 a democratic political system 3 freedom of the press and 4 the sectional nature of servitude These four are functionally re lated to a fifth which subsumes the other four under it and is the most impor tant of all This crucial difference involves the independence of the master class and the strength of its civilization Southem planters were stronger were more independent than their Russian counterparts in relation both to their govemment and to their property Because slaveowners lived under a democratic political system whose govemment repre 5 Jenkins ProSlavery Thought 6566 104 Fredrickson The Black Image in the White Mind 3 Morrow The Proslavery Argument Revisited passim Barrington Moore jr Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World Boston 1966 12122 Jesse T Carpenter The South as a Conscious Minority 17891861 New York 1930 2176 173220 and Cooper The South and the Politics of Slavery 5865 55 Former Decembrist Nicholas Turgenev emphasized precisely this contrast between Russian silence and an outspoken American abolitionism see his a Russie et les russes 3 vols Bmssels 1847 2 113 56 Semevskii Krest ianscii oopros 1 2833 393410 41928 2 32540 34961 and Field The End cf Serfdom 3940 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 824 Peter Kolchin sented their interests because blacks were outsiders in a white society and be cause slavery in the antebellum period was a sectional institution Southern slaveowners constituted a local ruling class with a powerful sectional culture As Eugene D Genovese has cogently argued they created a confident civilization based on the conservative virtues of patemalism noblesse oblige order and social cohesion that contrasted sharply with the slave societies of the Caribbean It also contrasted sharply with that of imperial Russia If Southern slaveowners were able to develop their own independent sectional culture one might argue that the central problem of Russian pomeslzchiki was their dependence on both their serfs and their govemment Of course Russian noblemen both as individuals and as a class were powerful men and it may seem paradoxical to speak of them as a dependent group But they lacked al most all of the elements of independence enjoyed by American planters Unlike slaveowners most of whom lived on their farms or plantations or in nearby towns and took an active role in governing both their slaves and their commu nities Russian noblemen maintained a largely absentee mentality This was dic tated in part simply by prevailing demographic conditions which made it much more difficult for prominent Russian pomeshchiki to develop the kind of lo cal ties that were common among American planters Whereas the vast major ity of Southem slaves were held in units of under one hundred slaves almost half of all serfs lived on holdings of over one thousand peasants and four fths of them lived on holdings of over two hundred Wealthy influential noblemen usually owned numerous estates scattered among several provinces each of which they visited only occasionally if at all Even holders of smaller numbers of serfs frequently lived in Moscow St Pe tersburg or a provincial capital leaving the management of their estates to stewards Although noblemen won their freedom from compulsory state service during the second half of the eighteenth century they continued to look upon themselves as a serving class and most noblemen continued to regard govem ment service as the norm retiring to one of their estates only as old men As a result they never developed the kind of corporate spirit or local commitments that were common among Westem European aristocrats or Southem planters Of course a large number of Russian landlords were not absentee owners many of the less exalted noblemen owned only a few serfs and at the bottom of the noble hierarchy was a signi cant group of petty landowners who were reduced to working in the elds alongside their peasants But emphasizing their phys 57 Genovese The World the Slaveholders Made esp chap 2 The Political Economy of Slavery Studies in the Economy C9 Society of the Slave South New York 1965 esp 2831 Roll jordan Roll The World the Slaves Made New York 1974 197 and Slavery The World s Burden in Owens Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery 2740 Also see Moore Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy 122 William K Scarborough Slavery The White Man s Burden in Owens Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery 10335 Rollin G Osterweis Romanticism and Nationalism in the Old South 1949 reprint ed Baton Rouge 1967 Robert E Shalhope Race Class Slavery and the Antebellum Southem Mind jSH 37 1971 55774 and Clement Eaton The Growth of Southern Civ ilization 1790 1860 New York 1961 esp 148 98124 295324 58 A Troinitskii Krepostnoe naselenie v Rossii po I0i narodnoi perepisi St Petersburg 1861 45 65 59 See Blum Lord and Peasant in Russia 349 37576 Emmons The Russian Landed Gentry 45 and Richard Pipes Russia under the Old Regime New York 1974 17578 In 1858 775 percent of all pomeshchiti in Euro This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 825 ical presence risks obscuring their psychological absence Not only were the rich est and most powerful lords whose lifestyle and conduct in uenced the social aspirations of all noblemen usually far removed from their estates but more importantly even most resident pomeshchiki possessed an absentee mentality Their hearts were still in Moscow or St Petersburg not in the countryside the latter belonged to the peasants As Daniel Field has aptly written the Russian village was a peasant world the pomeshchik was almost an outsider even on his ancestral estate 6 The consequences of this contrast between a resident planter class and a largely absentee class of servitors are numerous one of the most important concerns the nature of relations between masters and bondsmen But the con sequence of interest here involves the defense of bondage Unlike American planters Russian noblemen were simply not in a position to defend forced la bor they lacked the independence to do so They also lacked much of the in centive for many pomeshchiki werequot essentially rentiers deriving an income from but otherwise unconcerned about their estates Whereas emancipation threat ened the entire world of Southern slaveowners it primarily threatened the Rus sian noblemen s livelihoods If a way could be found to safeguard their immedi ate economic interests the noblemen had relatively little to lose from abolition Therefore during the preparations for emancipation in the late 1850s they con centrated not on opposing the new order but on securing the best possible terms for themselves under it And the terms they ultimately secured were generous indeed52 pean Russia owned two hundred or fewer serfs one hundred or fewer male souls and were therefore un able according to the exaggerated standards of the time to live in proper gentry style 436 percent owned forty or fewer serfs the poorest of these had lifestyles that differed little from those of prosperous peasants and 34 percent of all noblemen owned no serfs at all Troinitskii Krepostnoe naselenie 45 60 Field The End of Serfdom 22 On the serving mentality and lack of independence of the Russian nobility see RomanovichSlavatinskii Dvorianstvo v Rossii esp 115208 40210 495500 S A Korf Dvorianstvo i ego soslovnoe upravlenie za stoletie 17621855 godov St Petersburg 1906 esp 21214 287363 39194 44959 635 51 Max Belo Russia in A Goodwin ed The European Nobility in the Eighteenth Century Studies of the Nobi lities of the Major European States in the PreRe mn Era London 1953 17289 Pipes Russia under the Old Regime 98 17279 and Robert David Givens Servitors or Seigneurs The Nobility and the EighteenthCentury Rus sian State PhD dissertation University of Califomia Berkeley 1975 6 The contrast between American planters and Russian pomeshchiki is clearly revealed in the instructions and rules they composed for running their estates In contrast to the American regulations which usually pro vided detailed prescriptions for the care and handling of slaves the Russian instructions focused on agricul tural matters and on the extraction of income from the peasants Compare for example pomeshchik Alekseev Gvozdev s Prikaznye punkty composed ca 181121 in A Cherepnin ed Prikazy starostam Trudy zysochaishe uehrezhdennoi Riazanskoi Uchenoi Arkhivnoi Komissii za 1904 god 19 8293 with the Rules on the Rice Estate of P C Weston SC 1856 in Ulrich B Phillips ed Plantation and Frontier vols 12 of john R Com mons et al eds A Documentary History of American Industnal Society Cleveland 1910 1 11522 For a contempo rary view of the absence of pomeshchik patemalism see Turgenev La Russie et les russes 3 68 Michael Con no however has taken an opposing position in his important study see his Domaines et seigneurs en Russie vers la i a39u X VIII si cle Etude de structures agraires et de mentalit s conomiques Paris 1963 esp 10304 62 See the works cited in notes 49 53 above Also see Zaionchkovskii Otmena krepostnogo prava 12550 and B G Litvak Russkaia derevnia v reforme 1861 goda Chemozemnyi tsentr 18611895 gg Moscow 1972 Emancipa tion in Central European countries where seigneurs generally continued to maintain their class prerogatives served as a very di erent kind of example to the Russian lords from that provided for American planters by the West Indian emancipation On the Russian govemment s interest in Central European agrarian reform measures see Blum The End of the Old Order 368 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 826 Peter Kolchin USEFUL CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN from both the similarity of the Russian and American defense of servitude and the difference in the development of that de fense The logic of defending unfree labor produced similar arguments and similar assumptions about the nature of the good society despite major cul tural and economic differences between Russia and the United States and de spite unique features of American slavery and Russian serfdom that might have in uenced the nature of the defense In short slaveowning classes shared cer tain important assumptions that cut across variations in region culture and economy Nevertheless these variations operated to accentuate the defense of bondage in the United States and to undercut it in Russia Racial political cultural and demographic differences acted to produce two contrasting master classes one that was independent autonomous and socially dominant and another that was dependent timid and socially marginal While the antebellum South was a slaveholders world prereform Russia was a peasant world As a consequence the former was able to sustain a proslavery ideology that was unique in volume subtlety and sophistication while the latter developed arguments that were never as nely wrought and that gradually lost their force and persuasiveness The Russian defenses of serfdom were more obviously selfserving and lacked the boldness imagination sweep and abstraction of their American counter parts Quite simply Russians did not make as compelling a case for their form of bondage If analysis of the contrasting courses of master class ideologies helps us under stand better the impact of speci c social and cultural attributes on systems of forced labor it also raises a more general question how will beneficiaries of a particular social system in this instance slaveowne1s behave when that sys tem is threatened Although a dominant class can be expected to defend its pre rogatives this defense is likely to be more stubbom and persistent in some cir cumstances than in others I would suggest that in general commitment to a social system will be greatest when an entire way of life rather than simply an investment is at stake Note for example how little resistance was offered by planters to compensated emancipation in the British West Indies where planta tions were preeminently speculations for absentee investors Ultimately 63 See Genovese The World the Slaoeholders Made pt 1 esp 37 1 12 and Davis The Problem of Slavery in West em Culture 29121 22361 64 There is reason to believe that the United States not Russia was unusual here For the suggestion that the antebellum South as the most patemalistic of New World slave societies developed the most elaborate and wellrounded defense of slavery see Genovese The World the Slaueholders Made pt 1 esp 10003 For the failure of Jamaican planters to develop the argument that slavery was a positive good see Philip D Curtin Two jamaicas The Role of Ideas in a Tropical Colony 18301860 Cambridge Mass 1955 6269 65 See Lowell Joseph Ragatz The Fall of the Planter Class in the British Caribbean 17631833 A Study in Social and Economic History London 1928 380 45354 Curtin Two jamaicas 1518 55 6269 9295 and George M Frcdrickson After Emancipation A Comparative Study of White Responses to the New Order of Race Relations in the American South Jamaica amp the Cape Colony of South Africa in David G Sansing ed What Was Freedom Price Jackson Miss 1978 7680 86 C Vann Woodward has likewise suggested that the end of slavery in the South can be described as the death of a society though elsewhere it could more reasonably be characterized as the liquidation of an investment Woodward The Price of Freedom in ibid 97 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions In Defense of Servitude 827 Southern slaveowners rose to the defense of their peculiar institution with both words and arms because they had more than an economic interest in the out come Russian pomesze2239cz39 failed to do so because they lacked the means and be cause as they recognized abolition raised a potential threat to their pock etbooks that given the balance of forces they could successfully overcome From their own points of view both planters and pomeszc22392 made the correct decision This content downloaded from 1474486 on Tue 21 Jan 2014 104356 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Notes From Underground I Underground I I am a sick man I am a spiteful man I am a most unpleasant man I think my liver is diseased Then again I don t know a thing about my illness I m not even sure what hurts I m not being treated and never have been though I respect both inedicine and doctors Besides I39m extremely superstitious well at least enough to respect medicine lfin su ciently educated not to be superstitious but I am anyway No gentlemen it s out of spite that I don t wish to be treated Now then tlrat s something you probably won t understand Well I do Of course I won t really be able to explain to you precisely who will be hurt by my spite in this case I know perfectly well that I can t possibly get evenquot with cloctors by refusing their treatment I Inow better than anyone that all this is going to hurt me alone and no one else Even so ifl refuse to be treated it s out of spite My liver hurts Good let it hurt even more I ve been living this way for some tinie alout twenty years I m forty now I used to be in the civil service But no more I was a nasty olficial I was rude and took pleasure in it After all since I didrft accept bribes at least I had to reward myself in some way That s a poor joke but I won t cross it out I wrote it thinlzing that it would be very witty but now having realizerd that I merely wanted to show off disgracefully I39ll make a point of not crossing it out Vihen petitioners used to approacli my desk for information l d gnash my teeth and feel unending pleasure ifl succeeded in causing someone distress I almost always succeeded Ifor the most part they were all timid people naturally since they were ll Both the author of these notes and the Notes the currcnt generation In the excerpt cnhtlcrl tliernselves are fictitious of course Ncvertlrclcss quotlliirlcrgi oiiiilquot this person introduces l it I13 L39llf and people lilCC the author oftlicsc notes not only may Iris views inl as it were wants to explain the but actually must exist in our society cousirlcring rcisoiis why he appeared and why he had to appear the general circumstances under which our society in our rnirlst The following excerpt Apropos of was formed I wanted to bring before the public Wct rrowquotl contains the actual quotnotcsquot of this with more prominence than usual one of the char person about several events in his life Ililostocvskys acters of the recent past He39s a l39 prCfs39li Il tIlW of note 4 Noras FROM llNDERGRtND petitioners But among the dandies there was a certain officer whom I particularly couldn39t bear He simply refused to be liunilile and he claiiged his saber in a loathsoiiie inamier I waged war with him over that saber for about a year and a half At last I prevailed He stopped clangiiig All this however happened a longtime ago during my youth But do you know gentlemen what the main component of my spite really was Why the whole point the most disgusting thing was the fact that I was shamefully aware at every rnoment even at the moment of my greatest bitterness that not only was I not a spiteful man I was not even an embittered one and that I was merely scaring sparrows to no effect and consoling myselfby doing so I was foaming at the inoutli but just bring me some trinket to play with just serve me a nice cup of tea with sugar and I d probably have calmed down My heart might even have been touched although I39d probably have gnaslied my teeth out of shame and then suffered from insoinnia for several months af terward That39s just my usual way I was lying about myself just now when I said that I was a nasty o icial I lied out of spite I was merely having some fun at the expense of both the petitioners and that ofliicer but I could never really become spiteful At all times I was aware of a great many elements in me that were just the opposite of that I felt how they swarmed inside me tliese contradictory elements I lltnew that they had been swarming inside me my whole life and were begging to be let out but I wouldn39t let them out I wouldn t I deliberately wouldn39t let them out They tormented me to the point of shame they drove me to convulsions aiid and nally I got fed up with them oh how fed up Perhaps it seems to you gentlemen that I39m repeiiting about something that I39m asking your forgiveness for something I 39ni sure that s how it seems to you But really I can assure you I dont care if that s how it seems Not only couldn39t I become sjaiteful I couldn39t become anything at all neither spiteful nor good neither a scoundrel nor an honest man neither a hero nor an insect Now I live out my days in my corner taunting myself with the spiteful and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously becoine anything and that only a fool can becoi39ne something Yes sir an intelligent man in the nine teenth century must be is morally obliged to be principally a charac terless creature a man possessing character a man of action is fundamentally a limited creature That s my conviction at the age of forty I39m forty now and after all forty is an entire lifetime why it s estreine old age It39s rude to live past forty it s indecent immoral Who lives more than forty years Answer sincerely honestly I ll tell you who only fools and rascals I39ll tell those old men that right to their faces all those venerable old men all those silver haired and sweet si39nelliiig old men I ll say it to the whole world right to its face I have a right to say it because I myself will live to sixty I39ll make it to seventy Even to eighty iWait Let me catch my breath PAii39i I llNtE39R RUUND 5 I k py s You39re k tleinen that I want to aiinisc Y0 lmu PlUldlllltllltlll Igiiil not at all the cheerful fellow I seem to be Wmng lllmul l Y to be however if vou re irritatecl by all lllls talk lquot quotl or that I Illllllll 5 ff 1ll Ithatit Il are iiritated and if you decide to ask me l will illmll I lllLl lhlE Itheii III tell you Iquotm a collegiate assessor 1 worlgecl lml Wlm mil ll ll lIIEll1llItg to eat but only for that reason and last in mil l0 M I It I if ine left me six thousand rubles in his WIICII a distant re ative or in j W lull d In ediatel and settled down in this corner I used to Wlllil ricllm lmml efore ybut now I ve settled down in it MY 700quot I5 llw In ll1lISlllm l fhe oiitslcirts of town My servant is an old peasant mlllll Sflllill f lm t of stu iclity besides she has a foul smell I m told lmlllalll Eillll ll ml liniatelisbeioiniiig bad for my health and that it s lllill ll llglcmjfllglifie in II eterslJLirg with my meager resources I know lllclllljlllllilllllWUll better than all those wise and experiencetl 21fl i5 T5 il 1 H I I But I shall remain in Petersburg39 I Sll lll 110 IEHVE am atnionis iers I I p 3 A d 1 Petiersbiirg I shall not leave here because 0l1 what dilifereiice otb I I ll r Petersburg or not it rlglally lltlldlkf Wl7l1tsll11 23ni Ei CCnt mm talk about with Hm grpeatgst ow 16117 W I I s I I I plcasiire 1 Answer about liiinself Well then I too will tall about myself II a I I I s rhetlier or not you want Now I would like to tell you gentleinui w 3 1 t H U t hear it why it is that I couldn39t even become an insect B Y0 0 39 7 I 39 39 I a I t nan times But not even solciniily that I wished to become in insec I y b g p p l H t 11 was granted I swear to you gentlemen that eing over y iawi39 I I I 39 e I I d disease Ordinary humIaii CONSCIOUS ls ll Cllseasel 3 gemllllei lull llelleI it for everyday human I iei I I C1lSIClOllSI I Sb would be more tiaii su C p p f m 0 megs dquot that is even half or a quarter of the amount o consuou I nee s I e I t t available to a cultured man in our unfortunate nineteenth ceiiitiiryv I I I 39 1 ssfortune of living in Esljeclally la one wlw lms lll dpalllcuilll Incl Ity iii the whole world 3 lCl T5l3L gv llle most Ilbslldcl ll liltrulle l 3 C ditated I It would have a I I 1 s e I s I me I s l 39ll e5 can be ellllel pmllfdllcllc 1m Ltblllialive the corisIciousIiiess with heeii entirely su icient for ieixaiiipi 6 d H bf clcmm am Endowpped I II 0 I s me 39 a Whlcll 3 30 C3ll d SlUnl mwLl5Peolll tfll 1 how old to make fun of 1 a 1 I P I ll b l that Wquot tllml I m Wntmg S 0 er Iust like that o dcer did a quot I 39 llles mm ll aclmni llml l m Clcmglllg my SCI lould sossibly be Proud to show off in bad taste But gentlemen W 10 C P of his illnesses and want to show them off k I I L r I vt eo le do ta e price in Bill Wllal 3 I lylng Evelyom llloeii ll rlie ellse Let s not argue Q rjo I v their illiiesses and L PEIIIHI35 quot0quot Ila my fl 739idquot I I Z 39I lic ciglitli riiillt iii the fable of Ranks intro 3 lctcrsbiirg was coiitciw as in imposing cit I II ll39UIl WCli Lt S and J I lJlS called for regular struts 1 I ducuj W H mm 5L yiL by later the mat in j sniciiiiis squares i722 I 6 NOTES FROM IINDERGRUUNIJ my objection is absurd Nevertheless I remain rmly convinced that not only is being overly conscious a disease but so is being conscious at all I insist on it But let s leave that alone for a moment Tell me this why was it as if on purpose at the very moment indeed at the precise moment that I was most capable of becoming conscious of the subtleties of everything that was beautiful and sublime as we used to say at one time that I didn39t become conscious and instead did such unseeinly things things that well in short probably everyone does but it seemed as ifthey occurred to me deliberately at the precise moment when I was most conscious that they shouldn t be done at all The more conscious I was Iofwhat was good of everything beautiful and sublimequot the more deeply I sanllt into the morass and the more capable I was of becoming entirely bogged down in it But the main thing is that all this didn39t seem to be occurring acciIdentally rather it was as if it all had to be so It was as if this were my most normal condition not an illness or an affliction at all so that nally I even lost the desire to struggle against it It ended when I almost came to believe perhaps I really did believe that this might really have been my normal condition But at first in the beginning what agoriies I suffered during that struggle I didn t believe that others were experiencing the same thing therefore I kept it a secret about myself all my life I was ashamed perhaps I still am even now I reached the point where I felt some secret abnormal despicable little pleasure in returning home to my little corner on some disgusting Petersburg night acutely aware that once again I d committed some revolting act that day that what had been done could not be undone and I used to gnaw and gnaw at myself inwardly secretly nagging away consuming myself until nally the bitterness turned into some kind of shameful accursed sweetness and at last into genuine earnest pleasure Yes into pleasure real pleasure I absolutely mean that That39s why I rst began to speak out because I want to lrnow for certain whether other people share this same pleasure Let me explain the pleasure resulted precisely from the overly acute consciousness of one s own humiliation from the feeling that one had reached the limit that it was disgusting but couldn t be otherwise you had no other choice you could never become a di IereInt person and that even if there were still time and faith enough for you to change into something else most likely you wouldn t even want to change and if you did you wouldn t have done anything perhaps because there really was nothing for you to change into But the main thing and the final point is that all of this was taliing place according to normal and fundamental laws of overly acute consciousness and of the inertia which results directly from these laws consequently not only couldn39t one change one simply I This plirasc origiiiatcd in Edmund Burlcquots Phil osophical Irrqiiiry into the Origin of Our Idecis of the Sublime and Beautiful l 756 and was repeated in Immanuel Kants ObservalionIs on the F eIe39ing oIthe BIe cIUUI fIUI and the Sublime I 756 It bccarnc a cliche in the writings of Iliissian critics during the l8Us I PART I I U NDILquotRGRUNlJI 7 I I le as a result I ltt all Hence it follows for examp 3 wlllclnl do IIu39Ily HllnE0IllSCIDUSI1 SS that one is alS0lU f l ght quotI bang of this overly acufethis Mae Somve mnsalation to the Spcoundrd But 1 cCOLllIquotlCl39g l as 1 Oh m we gone on father 3 long time but have enough of this daWthingYi1Ow can I explam this Ppleasum But 1 Wm I re ll Y Exp Elm I J I I h dl That39s why I ve tallten up 4 39 I I shall see it through to t e en I 3ildll l 1 IN Pt 39 39 I 39 wtf 1 39nd as sensitive r I d I as mistrus Ll lt1 ll emmple ll Ind temfbily tprjiiiutruthmllve experienced some moments as a hunfchbacllt org ijivalrgppzd 11yquotf3Ce T I migm WED have beg gmt ful quotl 3 il Someone la is I I If I I bl I to derive a i M bll ould have been awe II tor it I in lElItIg1SEF1l jlJ5SIfflIl11Tlt allievpleastire of despair l1IE1lUF3llY lml ptttlllcll sort Q P 13 Sums Dew in despair especially when you re very the most ll1l 11Sef l 1 Z 6165311655 of your own predicament As for a 3 r 39 Us II I IquotlCUtLli39 HIllwIIlI IOI wlfy hlcire the consciousness of being beaten to 8 Pulp s ap in e ace I V 7 mattm how I try it SM inmild overwhlelm you 39It1heE 3iiyiga1riEIi1CiJ0r every ng and Whafs I 39 iI II3S 0Yt I II IIIII I aI MIDI ml mall m I w I the innocent victim I30 It 5P 33k iaccmcllllg to even worse in 1 vy y f re W th rgt Place rm guilty mSmUCh 35 the laws of nalture Jere 9 JO m1 me I39ve always considered myself I39m smarter tian everyon 1 Z I I g 1 b 1 I p t es believe ine W3 5395 r 0 s p p P o asharne o it ie eas T I I I I V6 if I 39 39 I r l7inally Iin to blame 36681153 393 loIoIllt people straight in the eytiI r g d me I 39 t would only have cause In g there were any magnaniniity in HIE II g g A Aft I it t I r I f i tt ruselessness era I siifferiiig as a result of my b mg awelre 0 I 5 U I3 I nmy I Probably wouldn t have been able lOhl113lgtUE l uje lot tIg1t1r111EJCCOId E I I Vg 1 I 533quot V lmlheI to forglv l IS the O endefl llIlIIIII E39II lIIl liilay toplforgive the laws of ance with the gaws pfbnatLi 1ieniifeth r repr any laws of namm W5 nature nor to t gC 39 3 C31I I I a I i t i I ma 1 Evggi ifl wanted to be entire y U N 8 olfensive nonetheless lhina Y d I dnvt I 1 I I lie rIeveiige on the oden er Cm nanimous and had wanted to ta T d 1 P 9Z I I st lilltely I woul IiEV l be ievslig l 0 3 ft gibiI illlle why not it like 0 have decided to do anytllmgr quot quotquot 39 I I say a few words about that separately III I PEY I 1 11 e and how to stan Lets consider Peflple who 39lIWll0quotEllf3E1 EU they C10 it Legs up for theniselves in genera OW p k then for 3 I V d by an impulse to ta e reverig I WPPOSE lhat they III Selle I I 39 39 J tf thatiin Iulse I I r I a 39 l1l lI EllTE being cxc P T P while nothing else remains in t H 39 Bed bu 39 Iquot I1 I 39 l rushes toward his goal lean e1 g I Such an individual siinp y B g 1 l actually 1 J 7 I ll can stop 111111 BY tlle Way W m M with lowered horns 011 3 W l I and men 9 y E 39 duals that is spontaneous pcope I faced with a wall such indivi 1 W a p p H LH I I I I ll doesnt constitute 13 I 2 ii For them a W3 g of aillollh gtIIIiItI clnoIIeil grI39IIIIItlioIe of us who think and consequently do evasion El I I 8 N rrrns FROM UNDERGROUND nothing it s not an excuse to turn aside from the path a pretext in which a person like me usually doesn39t believe but one for which he39s always extremely grateful No they give up in all sincerity For them the wall possesses some kind of soothing morally decisive and definitive meaning perhaps even something mystical But more about the wall later Well then I consider such a spontaneous individual to be a genuine normal person just as tender mother nature wished to see him when she lovingly gave birth to him on earth l39in green with envy at such a man He39s stupid l won39t argue with you about that but perhaps a normal man is supposed to be stiipidahow do we know Perhaps it s even very beautiful And I m all the more convinced of the suspicion so to speallt that if for example one were to take the antithesis of a normal inan that is a man of overly acute eoiiscioiisness who emerged of coiirse not from the bosom of nature but from a laboratory test tube this is almost mysticism gentlemen but I suspect that it39s the case then this test tube man soinetirnes gives up so completely in the face of his antitliesis that he himself with his overly acute consciousiiess honestly considers himself not as a person but a mouse It may be an acutely conscious mouse but a mouse nonetheless while the other one is a person and consequently and so on and so forth But the main thing is that he he himself considers himself to be a mouse nobody asks him to do so and that s the important point Now let s take a loot at this mouse in action Let39s assume for instance that it feels offended it almost always feels offended and that it also wishes to be revenged It may even contain more accumulated malice than Fliommede la nature et de la v rit The mean nasty little desire to pay the offender bacllt with evil may indeed raiilde in it even more despicably than in Fhomme die in nature at de la v rit because I romme die In nature et de la vi rite with his innate stupidity considers his revenge nothing more than jus tice pure and simple but the mouse as a result of its overly acute consciousness rejects the idea of justice Finally we come to the act itself to the very act of revenge In addition to its original nastiness the mouse has already managed to pile up all sorts of other nastiness around itself in the form of hesitations and doubts so many unresolved questions have emerged from that one single question that some kind of fatal blow is concocted unwillingly some lltirid of stinking mess consisting of doubts anxieties and nally spittle showered upon it by the sponta neous men of action who stand by solemnly as judges and arbiters roaring with laughter until their sides split Of course the only thing left to do is dismiss it with a wave of its paw and a smile of assumed contempt which it doesn t even believe in and creep ignominiously back into its mousehole There in its disgusting stinking underground our o ended crushed and ridiculed mouse immediately plunges into 393 Tire man of iiiitiirc and of triithrquot the basic iileai is borrowed from IeaiiJacqiies Roiisseaii39s Confessiorisl78Z B J39 namely that man in ii state of natiire is honest and direct and that he is cor rupted by civilization 13AR39r UNoi RcsoiiNo 9 cold inalicioiis and above all everlasting spitefulness l39or forty years i 39 I39ll recall its insult down to the last most shaineful detail ll flld ll ll 39 quotll 39dd ore shimeful details of its own spitefiilly illlllCi cll illil i ll39Wl 739 fl lf Iiltl itsowii fiiiitasy lt will become ashamed lmmlg alld lrlltatmg Sill Z l inenibef it iefiearse it again and again lllflliill lilllmsijl lmli ll B bi ldib le stories about itself under the pretext fabricating al sorlti lo iiitlzrc 6116 it gvonft fmgsiw 3 thing Perhaps it lllill illlcy mo 90 ii diva liipp g only in little bits and pieces in Wlll CW lmgme ml lll E lnllellsgtffve lIquotlC0i l1tlO not believing in its right lilmill WW8 from l llml U 5 cessiof itsgown ireveilge and lmowing in m lm rel lgefli miT 39jl lft Slicts to i3lf Ltt3V 39t1g f it will suder a hundred illmllCC that fmmj I 4 fin f its ven eince who might not even feel lmlfis mm lllalljllfjijnlcjigi quotll recilgl everytlriirg all over again with l llllllgi 0 lls if Elaill 6 139 llNill1OS heirs and i but it39s precisely in lllilemst Cmllpmrlllfll l iwtffltil f lialfdies iriir and ll jlllfll39 llf3f in that cori mi mlcli ilbullglIliljfLS139ampt Oi the iiiiilligrriiii39id for forty vears because miiillsl bllllal U lithe Ll lVf creatied vet partlv duliioiisJ liopelessiiess Of lls Paulie In tlllcvll lliilll fll 391lfl thit veiioin of unful lled desire turned liivlhsrdmilili 9 if viacillaftion of resolutions adopted once and i X t i t a e y for all and followed a moment later by repentance herein p139 C1S lVl 5 the essence of that strange enjoyment l was tallong iiboiitearllfzaidt 30 subtle sometimes so difficult to analyze that even slightly hiiiite pie or those who simply have strong nerves won t iinderstand anything about it Perhapsquot you ll add with a siiiirllt eveii those wlm n vlgr received a slap in the face won39t understandquot and by 50 d01 Y0 F m W ll v39E39 never received such a slap although it39s really all the saiiiil3 to line what you thinllt about it Perhaps I may even regret the fact tiat hve gjvcn 59 few slaps during my lifetime But that s enough not anot er word about this subject which you find so extremely interesting i ll proceed C3l lY about people with strong nerves who dont iin derstaiid certain refinements of pleasure For example al liiplugli liindgr particular circumstances these gentlemen may bellow lllE u s as 31 Pn as possible and although let s suppose this behavior lziestowis opt rein imsslblllljijip ltflElliiidlJ1llfl yllllliiliiffSbOL1rsie the laws of nature fliibniiflcliisioits of natural science and inathen39iatics K soon asdtliley prove to you for example that it s from a inoiiliey you are il SL H SE there39s no reason to make faces lust 3 C 33Pl t 35 39l ls AS 500 as llhey prove to you that in truth one drop of your own fat is dearer to you t ian c 39 i quotl on the siibjcct was w 39 39 iv it ii and lttdilttdl silaction A boo i A rcfcreiicc to Lliarlis Danviii a theory Ufw llt 1 translated into Riissiriyii in 1354 12 IIquotl t S room UNDIZRRUUND V Well and is it possible is it really possible for a man to respect himself if he even presumes to End enjoyment in the feeling of his own hu niiliation I m not saying this out of any feigned repentance In general l could never bear to say Tin sorry Daddy and I won t do it againquot not because I was incapable of saying it but on the contrary perhaps precisely because I was all too capable and how As if on purpose it would happen that I39d get myself into some sort of mess for which I was not to blame in any way whatsoever That was the most repulsive part of it What39s more I d feel touched deep in my soul I d repent and shed tears deceiving even myself of course though not feigning in the least It seemed that my heart was somehow playing dirty tricks on me Here one couldn t even blame the laws of nature although it was these very laws that continually hurt me during my entire life llt s disgusting to recall all this and it was disgusting even then Of course a moment or so later I would realize in anger that it was all lies lies revolting inade up lies that is all that repentance all that tenderness all those vows to mend my ways but you39ll ask why I mauled and tortured myself in that way The answer is because it was so very boring to sit idly by with my arms folded so I d get into trouble That s the way it was Observe yourselves better gentlemen then you ll understand that it s true I used to think up adventures for myself inventing a life so that at least I could live How many times did it happen well let39s say for example that I took o ense deliberately for no reason at all All the while I knew there was no reason for it I put on airs nonetheless and would take it so far that nally I really did feel offended I ve been drawn into such silly tricks all my life so that nally I lost control over myself Another time even twice I tried hard to fall in love I even suffered gentlemen I can assure you In the depths of my soul I really didift believe that I was suffering there was a stir of mockery but suffer I did and in a genuine normal way at that I was jealous I was beside myself with anger And all as a result of boredom gentlemen sheer boredom I was overcome by inertia You see the direct legitimate immediate result of consciousness is inertia that is the conscious sitting idly by with one39s arms folded I ve referred to this before I repeat I repeat emphatically all spontaneous men and men of action are so active precisely because they39re stupid and limited How can one explain this Here s how as a result of their limitations they mistake immediate and secondary causes for primary ones and thus they39re convinced more quickly and easily than other people that they ve located an indisputable basis for action and this puts them at ease tliat39s the main point Itquot or in order to begin to act one must rst be absolutely at ease with no lingering doubts whatsoever Well how can I for example ever feel at ease Wlierie are the primary causes I can rely upon where39s the foun dation Where shall I hnd it I exercise myself in thinking and con PART I Llunrisnonrriiuin I3 c jl1tL Ill lquot with me every primary cause drags in another an even more jmiiiziry one and so on to in nity This lS39pT C1Sttly thejessence of all i lSCl L1SttCSS and thought And here again it must be the laws ofnature Wj1j s the nal result jWhy the very same thing Remember I was talking about revenge before You probably didn t follow I said a man takes irevenge because he finds justice in it That means he s found a primary cause a foundation namely justice Therefore he s conipletely git case and as a result he takes revenge peacefully and successfully i39tt v39lIICquotCl that he s performing an honest and just deed But I don t see aiiv justice here at all nor do I nd any virtue in it whatever conse tjucntly ifl begin to take revenge it s only out of spite Of course spite could overcoine everything all my doubts and therefore could suc ccssfullv serve instead of a primary cause precisely because it s not a cause at all But what do I do if I don t even feel spite ftlquott2ttlflS where I lrcgaii before After all as a result of those damned laws ofconscious ness my spite is subject to chemical disintegration You loo and the object vanishes the arguments evaporate a guilty party can t be iden tified the offense ceases to be one and beconies a matter of fate some thing like a toothache for which no ones to blame and as a L39ltSijLlE l1CC there remains only the same recourse that is to bash the stall even harder So you throw up your hands because you haven39t founcl a primary cause Iust try to let yourself be carried away blindly bv vour feelings without reflection without a primary cause suppressing ronscioiisiiess even for a moment hate or love anything just in order not to sit idly by with your arms folded The day after tomorrow at the very latest you ll begin to despise yourself for having deceived yourself knowingly The result a soap bubble and inertia Oh gentlemen per liaps I consider myself to be an intelligent man simply because for my whole life I haven39t been able to begin or finish anything All right suppose I am a babbler a harmless annoying babbler like the rest of us But then what is to be donequot if the direct and single vocation of cvery intelligent man consists in babbling that is in deliberately talking in endless circles VI 011 if only I did nothing simply as a result of laziness Lord how lid respect myself then I39d respect myself precisely because at least I39d be capable of being lazy at least lid possess one more or less positive trait of which I could be certain Question who am I Answer a sluggard Why it would have been very pleasant to hear that said about oneself It would mean that I d been positively identified it would mean that there was something to be said about me A sluggardl Why that39s a calling and a vocation a whole career Don39t joke it s true Then by 9 An oblique reference to the controversial novel by Nikolai Clicriiyslicvsky entitled What Is to Be None I 861 Notes from U ndergrriund is Dtistucvslcy39s polemic response to it 14 llO l l S mom UNDERGROUND rights I39d be a member of the very best club and would occupy myself exclusively by being able to respect myself continually I knew a gentle man who prided himself all his life on being a connoisseur of La te He considered it his positive virtue and never doubted himself He died not merely with a clean conscience but with a triumphant one and he was absolutely correct I should have chosen a career for myself too I would have been a sluggard and a glutton not an ordinary one but one who for example sympathized with everything beautiful and sub lime How do you like that I ve dreamt about it for a long time The beautiful and sublimequot have been a real pain in the neck during my forty years but then it39s been my forty years whereas then oh then it would have been otherwise I would ve found myself a suitable activity at once namely drinking to everything beautiful and sublime I would have seized upon every opportunity rst to shed a tear into my glass and then drink to everything beautiful and sublime Then I would have turned everything into the beautiful and sublime I would have sought out the beautiful and sublime in the nastiest most indisputable trash I would have become as tearful as a wet sponge An artist for example has painted a portrait of Ce At once I drink to the artist who painted that protrait of Ge because I love everything beautiful and sublime An author has written the words Just as you pleasequot at once I drink to Just as you pleasequot because I love everything beautiful and sublime l39d demand respect for myself in doing this lid persecute anyone who didn t pay me any respect I d live peacefully and die triumphantly why it39s charming perfectly charming And what a belly I d have grown by then what a triple chin I d have acquired what a red nose l d have developed so that just looking at me any passerby would have said Now that s a real plus That s something really positivequot Say what you like gentlemen it39s extremely pleasant to hear such comments in our negative age VII But these are all golden dreams Oh tell me who was first to ans nounce first to proclaim that man does nasty things simply because he doesn t know his own true interest and that if he were to be enlightened if his eyes were to be opened to his true normal interests he would stop doing nasty things at once and would immediately become good and noble because being so enlightened and understanding his real advantage he would realize that his own advantage really did lie in the good and that it s well known that there s not a single man capable of acting knowingly against his own interest consequently he would so I A variety of red wine from M doc in lirancc 2 Russian artist N N Cc whose painting quotThe Last Supperquot was displayed in Pctcrsburg during the spring of I86 and provoked considerable controversy 3 An attack on the writer M F SaltykovShchcd rin who published a sympathetic review of res painting entitled lust As You Pleasequot PARTI UNDERGRULIND 15 H speak begin to do good out of necessity Oh the child Oh the pure irmocent babe Well in the rst place when was it during all tlicsc nnllennia that man has ever acted only in his own self interest What does one do with the millions of facts bearing witness to the one fact that people knowingly that is possessing full knowledge of their own true interests have relegated them to the background and have rushed down a different path that of risk and chance compelled by no one and nothing but merely as ifthey didn t want to follow the beaten track and so they stubbornly willfully forged another way a difhcult and absurd one searching for it almost in the darkness Vs l1y then this means that stubbornness and willfulness were really more pleasing to them than any kind of advantage Advantage What is advantage Will you take it upon yourself to define with absolute precision what constitutes man39s advantage And what if it turns out that man s advan tage sometimes not only may but even must in certain circurnstances consist precisely in his desiring something harmful to himself instead of something advantageous And if this is so if this can ever occur then the whole theory falls to pieces What do you think can such a thing happen You39re laughing laugh gentlemen but answer me have rnan s advantages ever been calculated with absolute certainty Aren t there some which don t ht can t be made to t into any classification Why as far as l know you gentlemen have derived your list of human ad vantages from averages of statistical data and from scienti ceconomic formulas but your advantages are prosperity wealth freedom peace and so on and so forth so that a man who for example expressly and knowingly acts in opposition to this whole list would be in you opinion and in mine too of course either an obscurantist or a complete mad man wouldn39t he But now here s what39s astonishing why is it that when all these statisticians sages and lovers of humanity enumerate n1an s advantages they invariably leave one out They don t even take it into consideration in the form in which it should be considered although the entire calculation depends upon it There would be no great harm in considering it this advantage and adding it to the list But the whole point is that this particular advantage doesn t t into any classi cation and can t be found on any list I have a friend for instance But gentlemen Why he s your friend too In fact he s everyone s friend When he s preparing to do something this gentleman straight away explains to you eloquently and clearly just how he must act ac cording to the laws ofnature and truth And thafs not all with excitement and passion he ll tell you all about genuine normal human interests with scorn he39ll reproach the shortsighted fools who understand neither their own advantage nor the real meaning of virtue and then exactly a quarter of an hour later without any sudden outside cause but pre 4 This section contains the most direct attack on Cl1ernyslicvsky s theory of rational egoism and his iloctrinc of human advantage 16 Noriss FR0M UN DJt2RGRUUND cisely because of something internal that s stronger than all his interests he does a complete aboutface that is he does something which clearly contradicts what he39s been saying it goes against the laws of reason and his own advantage in a word against everything I warn you that my friend is a collective personage therefore its rather difficult to blame only him That s just it gentlemen in fact isu t there something dearer to every man than his own best advantage or so as not to violate the rules of logic isn39t there one more advantageous advantage exactly the one omitted the one we mentioned before which is more important and more advantageous than all others and on behalf of which a man will if necessary go against all laws that is against reason honor peace and prosperity in a word against all those splendid and useful things merely in order to attain this fundamental most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than everything else Well it s advantage all the sarne you say interrupting me Be so kind as to allow me to explain further besides the point is not my pun but the fact that this advantage is remarkable precisely because it destroys all our classifications and constantly demolishes all systems devised by lovers of humanity for the happiness of mankind In a word it interferes with everything But before I name this advantage l want to compro mise myself personally therefore I boldly declare that all these splendid systems all these theories to explain to mankind its real normal interests so that by necessarily striving to achieve them it would immediately become good and noble are for the time being in my opinion nothing more than logical exercisesl Yes sir logical exercises Why even to maintain a theory of mankind s regeneration through a system of its own advantages why in my opinion that s almost the same as well claiming for instance following lBuckle5 that man has become kinder as a result of civilization consequently he s becoming less bloodthirsty and less inclined to war Why logically it all even seems to follow But man is so partial to systems and abstract conclusions that he39s ready to distort the truth intentionally ready to deny everything that he himself has ever seen and heard merely in order to justify his own logic That s why I take this example because it39s such a glaring one lust look around rivers of blood are being spilt and in the most cheerful way as if it were champagne Take this entire nineteenth century of ours during which even Buckle lived Takte llapoleonb0th the great and the present onequot Take North America that eternal union7 Take finally that ridiculous Schleswig Holstein 5 Wliat is it that civilization makes 3 In his History ofCivilizi1tioii in I irglurid 39 l857 fil Henry 39I39lioinas Buckle argued that the de velopment of civilimtioii Iieeessarily leads to the cessation of war Russia had recently been involved in erce ghting in the Criniea l8 3 fi 6 The Frencli emperors Napoleon I l7t39iSt lti Zl and his nephew Napoleon III l8U 873 both of whom engaged in numerous wars though on vastly different scales 7 The United States was in the middle ofa bloody civil war between the llnion and the Confederacy lllquotltl f5l 8 The Ecrinan ducliies of Selileswig and Hol stein held by Denmark since I773 were reunited with Prussia after a brief war in 1864 it IPART I lrlNDERGR7UND 17 kinder in us Civilization merely promotes a wider variety of sensations in nnm and absolutely nothing else And through the development of this variety man may even reach the point where he takes pleasure 1 spilling blood Why that s even happened to him already Havent you noticed that the most re ned bloodshedders are almost always the most civilized gentlemen to whom all these Attila the Irluns and Stenka llariiis are scarcely t to hold a candle and ifthey re not as conspicuous as Attila and Stenka Razin it39s precisely because they39re too common inl have become too familiar to us At least if man hasn t become more bloodthirsty as a result of civilization surely he39s become bloodthirsty in a nastier more repulsive way than before Previously man saw justice in bloodshed and exterminated whomever he wished with a clear con science whereas now though we consider bloodshed to be abominable we nevertheless engage in this abomination even more than before Which is worse Decide for yourselves They say that Cleopatra forgive an example from Roman history loved to stick gold pins into the breasts of her slave girls and take pleasure in their screams and writhing You ll say that this took place relatively speaking in barbaric times that these are barbaric times too because also comparatively speaking gold pins are used even now that even now although man has learned on occasion to see more clearly than in barbaric times he39s still for from having learned how to act in accordance with the dictates of reason and science Nevertheless you re still absolutely convinced that he will learn how to do so as soon as he gets rid of some bad old habits and as soon as common sense and science have completely reeeducated human nature and have turned it in the proper direction You re convinced that then man will voluntarily stop committing blunders and that he will so to speak never willingly set his own will in opposition to his own normal interests More than that then you say science itself will teach man though in my opinion that s already a luxury that in fact he possesses i39icither a will nor any whim of his own that he never did and that he himself is nothing more than a kind of piano key or an organ stop that moreover there still exist laws of nature so that everything he s done has been not in accordance with his own desire but in and of itself according to the laws of nature Consequently we need only discover these laws of nature and man will no longer have to answer for his own actions and will nd it extremely easy to live All human actions it goes without saying will then be tabulated according to these laws mathe matically like tables of logarithms up to l08000 and will be entered on a schedule or even better certain edifying works will be published like our contemporary encyclopedic dictionaries in which everything l King Hf Hl C H1111 if f 3i WIN CUll1li l39 l lL V astating wars agaiiist the Roinan emperors I Cossack leader l67l who organized a peas ant rebellion in Russia 2 Queen of Egypt l 9 7ltl B C and last ruler in the Ptoleniy dynasty 3 A reference to the last tliscrnlrse of the lirench philosopher Dociiis Diderot in the Coriversdtiori of D39Alenibert and Diderot ll7 ll I8 Nores FROM Unorjacaouno will be accurately calculated and specified so that there ll be no more actions or adventures left on earth At that time it s still you speaking new economic relations will be established all ready made also calculated with mathematical precision so that all possible questions will disappear in a single instant simply because all possible answers will have been provided Then the crystal palace will be built And then Well in a word those will be our halcyon days Of course there s no way to guarantee now this is me talking that it wont be for instance terribly boring then because there won t be anything left to do once everything has been calculated ac cording to tables on the other hand everything will be extremely ra tional Of course what don t people think up out of boredom Why even gold pins get stuck into other people out of boredom but that wouldn39t matter What s really bad this is me talking again is that for all I know people might even be grateful for those gold pins For man is stupid phenomenally stupid That is although he s not really stupid at all he39s really so ungrateful that it s hard to bind another being quite like him Why I for example wouldn39t be surprised in the least if suddenly for no reason at all in the midst of this future universal rationalism some gentleman with an offensive rather a retrograde and derisive expression on his face were to stand up put his hands on his hips and declare to us all How about it gentlemen what if we knock over all this rationalism with one swift kick for the sole purpose ofscnding all these logarithms to hell so that once again we can live according to our own stupid will but that wouldn t matter either what39s so annoying is that he would undoubtedly nd some followers such is the way man is made And all because of the most foolish reason which it seems is hardly worth mentioning namely that man always and everywhere whoever he is has preferred to act as he wished and not at all as reason and advantage have dictated one might even desire something opposed to one s own advantage and sometimes this is now my idea one pos itively must do so Ones very own free unfettered desire one s own whim no matter how wild oiie s own fantasy even though sometimes roused to the point of iiiadiiess al1l this constitutes precisely that pre viously omitted most advantageous advantage which isn t included un der any classi cation and because of which all systems and theories are constantly smashed to smithereens Where did these sages ever get the idea that man needs any normal virtuous desire How did they ever imagine that man needs any kind of rational advantageous desire Man needs only one thiiig liis own indcpeiident desire whatever that in t Ari alllision to the crystal palace described in Vera I avlovna39s fonrtli dream in Cl39icriiysl1cvslrv s What Is to Be Doric as well as to the actual build ing dcsigncd by Sir Joseph I axt on erected for the Great l lKil1llliIUl1 in London in ltigl and de scribed by Ucistoivsky in chapter 5 of Wiiiter Notes on Sunirncr lnipressioiris I863 5 In the original Dostocvslzy refers to tile arrival of the lagii iliirclquot slipposedly a liarbingcr of good fortune a 6 PARTI Unnimcnouno ll 1 Ience might cost and wherever it might lead And as far as desire iipen v e r was the devil only knows VIII lli ha hal But in reality even this desire ifl may say so doesn39t Cmtyifhiilii interrupt me with a laugh Why science has already managed I l sect min so now we know that desire and socalled free choice are iirisv c i I nothing more than g 39 VViit gentlemen I myself wanted to begin like that I must confess that even R got frightened I was just about to declare that the devil only knows what desire depends on and perhaps we should be grateful for that but then I remembered about science and I stopped Short But now you39ve gone and brought it up Well after all what ifsomeday they really do discover the formula for all our desires and whims that is the thing that governs them precise laws that produce them how miactly they39re applied where they lead in each and every case and so on and so forth that is the genuine lT l lIl1 i1 l3ilC3l formula why tlleli all at once man might stop desiring yes indeed he probably would Who would want to desire according to some table And that s not all he would immediately be transformed from a person into an organ stop or something of that sort because what is man without desire without will and without wishes if not a stop in an organ pipe What do you tliink Let s consider the probabilities can this really happen or not I Imn1m you decide our desires are mistaken for the most part because of an erroneous view of our own advantage Conseqiientlyr we sometimes desire pure rubbish because in our own stupidity we consider it the easiest way to achieve some previously assumed advantage Well and when all this has been analyzed calculated on paper that entirely possible since it39s repugnant and senseless to assume in advance that mail will never come to understand the laws of nature then of course all socalled desires will no longer exist lior if someday desires are completely reconciled with reason we ll follow reason instead of desire simply because it would be impossible for eiiample while re taining one s reason to desire rubbish and thus knowingly oppose one 5 reasoii and desire something harmful to oneself And since all desires and reasons can really be tabulated since someday the laws of our socalled free choice are sure to be discovered then all ioking aside it may be possible to establish something like a table so that we could actually desire according to it If for example someday they calculate and demonstrate to me that I made a rude gesturef because coiildnt possibly refrain from it that I had to make precisely that gesture vV ll in that case what sort of free choice would there be especially ifl m 3 H I 39 quot g P h d 0 Literally to give soiiieonc the fig 2 Tllquot ECSNNC I Which K ll UquotllT39 l3quot339 d l3 f quot C we 6 fingers 22 N ores FROM UNDERGROUND of world history even then out of pure ingratitude sheer perversity he ll commit some repulsive act Hell even risk losing his giiigerhread and will intentionally desire the most wicked rubbish the most unec onomical absurdity simply in order to inject his own pernicious fantastic element into all this positive rationality He wants to hold onto those most fantastic dreams his own indecent stupidity solely for the purpose of assuring himself as if it were necessary that men are still men and not piano keys and that even if the laws ofnature play upon them with their own hands they re still threatened by being overplayed until they won t possibly desire anything more than a schedule lBiit that s not all even if man really turned out to be a piano key even if this could be demonstrated to him by natural science and pure matheinatics even then he still won t become reasonable he39ll intentionally do something to the contrary simply out of ingratitude merely to have his own way If he lacks the means he ll cause destruction and chaos he ll devise all kinds of suffering and have his own way He ll leash a curse upon the world and since man alone can do so it39s his privilege and the thing that most clistinguishes him from other animals perhaps only through this curse will he achieve his goal that is become really convinced that he39s a man and not a piano key If you say that one can also calculate all this according to a table this chaos and darkness these curses so that the mere possibility of calculating it all in advance would stop everything and that reason alone would prevail in that case man would go insane deliberately in order not to have reason but to have his own way I believe this l vouch for it because after all the whole of man s work seems to consist only in proving to himself constantly that he s a man and not an organ stop Even if he has to lose his own skin he ll prove it even if he has to become a troglodyte he ll prove it And after that how can one not sin how can one not praise the fact that all this hasn39t yet come to pass and that desire still depends on the devil knows what W YoLi ll shout at me if you still choose to favor me with your shouts that no one39s really depriving me of my will that theylre merely at tempting to arrange things so that my will by its own free choice will coincide with my normal interests with the laws of nature and with arithmetic But geiitleineii what sort of free choice will there be when it comes down to tables and arithmetic when all that s left is two times two makes four Two times two makes four even without my will Is that what you call free choicequot IX Gentlemen l39m joking of course and I myself know that it39s not a very good joke but after all you can39t take everything as a joke Perhaps I39m gnasliing my teeth while I joke I39m tormented by questions gentle PAR39rI UNDERGROUND 23 s s C tl em for me Now for example you want to cure man lt1 i l bWLr it ll d39 t the demands of F his old habits and lmPT0 VC l 5 W 3CF 0f mg 0 ll f6 mcl common sense But how do you know iiotonly whether lfllfllcfi l le but even if it s necessary to remake him in this way Why ll S POW llude that human desire must undoubtedly be improved In ll WU wnfl l0Ullm Wllfhatl such improvement will really be to T 13n 5 39ll1mlljl A nhl to be perfectly frank why are you so olisolutely con Millianla I t not to oppose manls real normal advantage guaranteed by mm liisions of reason and arithmetic is really always to iiian s ad llw jl0l1d comtitiites a law for all humanity After all this is still only lljljlllfjiiiijition of yours Let39s suppose that it s a law of logic but perhaprs just a law of humanity Illerhaps gentlemen you rewoncle1 1I1g If lm lquot Allow me to explain I agree that man is primarily a creative mlfmcl d t cl to strive consciously toward a goal and to engage in mmla f sllm in j that is eirteriially and incessantly building new Hlc art lD fflglnllfr hgelreverlthely lead But sometimes he may want to Hmll hlrtllmse dill because he s compelled to build these roads and lEf1lf dllS lrf lUS i l no matter how stupid the spontaneous man of lJiL llUHi may generally be nevertheless it sometimes occurs to him that the road as it turns out almost always leads somewhere or other and that the main thing isn39t so much where it goes but the fact that it does and that the well behaved child disregarding tlieart of engineering sliouldn39t yield to pernicious idleness which as is well known constitutes the mother of all vices Man loves to create and build roads that j indisputable But why is he also so passionately fond ofdestruction an chaos Now then tell me But I myself waiit to say a few words about this separately Perhaps the reason that he s sofond of destruction and cliaos la ter all it s indisputable that he sorneitirnes really loves it and tliat s a fact is that he himself has an lI1Slll f1CquotlV fear of achievinig his goal and ciompleting the project under constriictiori How do you know if perhaps he loves his building only from afar but not from clos UP pcrliaps he only likes building it but not living in it leaving itafterward fujlf anmiaux domestiquesl such as ants or sheep or so on and so forth Now ants have altogether different tastes They have one lSlIOi 11Sl lilI1g striictiire of 3 similar type forever indestructible the aiithill The Wmrthy ants began with the aiithill and most likely they will end with the aiithill which does great credit to their perseverance El d stcadfastness But man is a frivolous and unseenily creature and perhap like a chess player he loves only the process of achieving his g0z1lg3n Cl not the goal itself And who knows one can39t voucli for It P fl39l3t35 the only goal on earth toward which mankind is striving consists merely in this incessant process of achieving or to put it another way in life itself and not particularly in the goal which of cour l1tlUSt 3lW5tY5 l3 mine ither than two times two makes four that is a formula after all I To diinicstic aiiinials 2 Ntri39i as FRDM ll NIDPLRGRULJND two times two makes four is no longer life gentlemen but the beginning ofdeath At least man has always been somewhat afraid oftliis two times two makes four and I m afraid of it now too Letjs suppose that the only thing man does is search for this two times two makes four he sails across oceans sacri ces his own life in the quest but to seek it out and nd itreally and truly he s very frightened After all he feels that as soon as he nds it there ll be nothing left to search for Workers after nishing work at least receive their wages go off to a tavern and then wind up at a police station n ow that s a full week s occupation But where will man go At any rate a certain awkwardness can be observed each time he approaches the achievement of similar goals He loves the process but he39s not so fond of the achievement and that of course is terribly amusing In short man is made in a comical way obviously there s some sort of catch in all this But two times two makes four is an insufferable thing nevertheless Two times two makes four why in my opinion it39s mere insolence Two times two makes four stands there brazenly with its hands on its hips blocking your path and spitting at you l agree that two times two makes four is a splendid thing but if we re going to lavish praise then two times two makes ve is sometimes also a very charming little thing And why are you so rmly so triumphantly convinced that only the normal and positive in short only wellbeing is advantageous to man Doesn t reason ever make mistakes about advantage After all perhaps man likes something other than well being Perhaps he loves su ering just as much Perhaps su ering is inst as advantageous to him as well being Man sometimes loves sufferiiig terribly to the point of passion and that39s a fact There s no reason to study world history on this point if indeed you re a man and have lived at all just ask yourself As far as my own personal opinion is concerned to love only well being is some how even indecent Whether good or bad its sometimes also very pleasant to demolish something After all I m not standing up for suf fering here nor for welleheing either I m standing up for my own whim and for its being guaranteed to me whenever necessary For in stance suffering is not permitted in vaudevillesf that I know It39s also inconceivable in the crystal palace suffering is doubt and negation What sort of crystal palace would it be if any doubt were allowed Yet l in convinced that man will never renounce real suffering that is destruction and chaos After all su ering is the sole cause of conscious ness Altlriough I stated earlier that in my opinion consciousness is inan39s greatest misfortune still I know that man loves itand would not exchange it for any other sort of satisfaction Consciousness for example is in nitely higher than two times two Ufcourse after two times two there s nothing left not merely nothing to do but nothing to learn Then the Z A drariiatir genre popiilar on the Russian stage toiisistiiig of scciics from coiitciiiporary life acted with a satirical twist often in racy tlialoguc PART I iUNDERLRLIND Z5 A1 inn ossible will be to plug up your ve senses and plunge into Hllli lll lfsllltjll Well even if you reach the same result with conscious UHlMyll 1f is havinglnothing left to do at least you39ll be able to Hog lllifiY ClfLfI39Il1 time to time and that will liven things up a bit Although ill inay be reactiotnary it39s still better than nothing X 1 ll believe in the crystal palace eternally inclestructible that is one U y p i quotl1lCl1 vou can never stick out your tongue furtively nor make a rude 11 I t 39 itsllll39L even with your st hidden away Well perhaps in so afraid it this building precisely because it s made of crystal and its eternally i ilL ilTLlClll339l and because it won t be possible to stick one39s tongue out Ill r C 39 39 c3939L l furtively p d f Don39t you see if it were a chicken coop instead of a palac 31111 ll sliould rain then perhaps I could crawl into it so as not to get clrenc 16 but I would still not mistake a chicken coop for a palace out of griatitude llquotl because it sheltered me from the rain You39re laughing you re even siviiig that in this case there s no di erence between achicken coop and a mansion Yes I reply if the only reason for living is to keep from getting drenched l3ut what if I ve taken it into my head that this is not the only reason for living and that if one is to live at all one might as well live inua iiiaiisioii Such is my wish my desire You ll expunge it from me only wlien ycirpve changed my desires Well then change tlteiinteinplt in with S 0m ltl1lng else give me some other ideal In the meantiilne T sti 11 won39t mistake a chicken coop for a palace But let s say lll3llld1 U75jl 3 palace is a hoax that according to the laws of nature it shout nt lXlSlIf and that I ve invented it only out of my own stupidity as a lresudtol certain antiquated irrational habits of my generation But wiat go care if it doesift exist What cli erence does it make if it exists only in iny own desires or to be more precise if it exists as long asjpiy desire exist Perhaps you re laughing again Laugli If N WISIT I 1 F331 3 M your laughter and I still wont say l39m satiated if Im really l1ungryl know all the same that I won t accept a conipromise an in nitely recurring zero just because it exists according to the laws of nature and it really does exist l won t accept as the crown of my desires a large building with tcnemeiits for poor tenants tobe rented for a ll1LlS3Illcl 5 years and just in case with the name of the dentist Wagentienii OE tie sign Destroy my desires eradicate my ideals show me soriietlniig etter am H11 follow yoLi You may say perhaps that its not worth getting iiivolved hut in that case l ll say the same thing in reply We re having ii serious discussion if you don t graiit me your attention l won t grovel 7 for it I still have my underground pp And as long as I m still alive and feel tlesire inay my arm Wlll1 139 391 m 1Jm11 i series contaiiiing an in nite llillmlcl39 of circiilaling or repeating 7ci os Z6 Ilo39i39is mom UNIJERGRUUND away before it contributes even one little brick to that building Never pl mind that I myself have just rejected the crystal palace for the sole reason I that it won t be possible to tease it by sticking out one s tongue at it I j didn t say that because I m so fond of sticking out my tongue Perhaps 7 the only reason I got angry is that among all your buildings there s still not a single one where you don 39t feel compelled to stick out your tongue On the contrary I d let my tongue be cut off out of sheer gratitude if 5 l only things could be so arranged that Id no longer want to stick it out What do I care if things can39t be so arranged and ifI must settle for some tenements Wliy was I made with such desires Can it be that I was made this way only in order to reach the conclusion that my entire way of being is merely a fraud Can this be the whole purpose I don t believe it By the way do you know what I39m convinced that we underground men should be kept in check Although capable ofsittiiig around quietly in the underground for some forty years once he emerges into the light of day and bursts into speech he talks on and on and on XI The nal result gentlemen is that it s better to do nothing Conscious inertia is better And so long live the underground Eveii though I said that I envy the normal man to the point of exasperatiori I still wouldn t want to be him under the circuinstances in which I see him although I still won t keep from envyiiig him No no in any case the underground is more advantageous At least there one can Hey but I m lying once again I39m lying because I know myself as surely as two times two that it isn39t really the underground that s better but something different altogether different something that I long for but I39ll never be able to nd To hell with the underground Wl39iy here s what would be better if I myself were to believe even a fraction of everything I39ve written I swear to you gentlemen that I don t believe one word not one little word of all that I ve scribbled That is I do believe it perhaps but at the very same time I don t know why I feel and suspect that I39m lying like a trooper Tlieii why did you write all thisquot you ask me Wliat if I39d shut you up in the underground for forty years with nothing to do and then came back forty years later to see what had become of you Can a man really be left alone for forty years with nothing to doquot Isn t it disgraceful isn t it humiliatingquot you might say shaking your head in contempt You long for life but you try to solve life s problems by means of a logical tangle Irlow iinportunate how insoleiit your outbursts and how frightened you are at the same time You talk rubbish 4 Tlic llllitill letter dated 26 Mjarcli I864 to his brother piiviiles an lllIlllUll ofwliat this soiiietliiiigquot might be Sec pp quot5H Q4 l quot l l 51 39 l l PARTI UINDERCROUND 27 taiitl afraid of them and make apologies You malllt l if mlls lhf ll b t at the same time you try to iiigratiate yourself lllill fml ffm llol mg fhat VOlLlllquotE glaslll1g your teeth vet at the same Willi ml ll ml dsslule p3o and amuse us You know that your Wil ltCi515 lllllc L vfylliilfyappareiitlylyou re pleased by their literary merit iit p K iris 3H ilslg you really have suffered but you don t eveiihresitpect ylptufoEr1ig l39l I39 lg There39s some truth in you too but I10 C S1lY 9 I kit 5 Hi5t Vaiittyi you bring your truth out into the open into the mar at P r r r r thin but E C mi shame it You really want to say some g lllllfel dllm ly nal word out of fear because you lack H16 I S0lV I0 will UlllLf llliiilufe only cowardly impudence You boast about your llllcl ll llml ournereli vacillate because even though your mind I39quotl1 Cl39ilfslEISSurlhg 3rt has bg n bladkefnepd by depravity and without 3 lg yfhere can be no full genuine consciousness And how ljmf I 0 are how you force yourself upon others you behave lllll f llll39li1fflffCCICCI riianner hies lies liesquot lll llllfL lLJfllfS it was I who just invented all these words for Y0 Tllalv too eoines from the underground For forty years in artiw I ve bec i liggtcnlllg to all your words through a cryack I ve invented glpi ntl H1Sf siiiec that s all that s occurred to me Its no wml I tlT t IV learn ll all by heart and that it s taken on sucha literary form 5 g 1 H But can you really be so gullible as to imagine that Ill print ah 2115 and give it to you to read And here s another problem I have w y quot0 l loccp calling you gentlernen Why do I address you as if you rgay were my readers Confessions such as the one I plan to set f1quotIlld1 l 3 tlttjlllll published and given to other people to read Anyway 131 possess suf cient fortitude nor do I consider it iie cessary to to soy u tloii t you see a certain notion has come into my inincll and I W15 1 l0 realize it at any cost Here s the point U 1 l7very man has within his own reiiiiiiisceiices certain things he doesn lt W3y to anyone except perhaps to his friends Tliere are also sorrij lliat he won t reveal even to his friends only t0l 1m5 3lfP fllap5 3 eveii then in secret Finally there are some which a man afraid to IU ial We to himself every decent man has accumulated a fair numbler of such things In fact it can even be said that the more decent tie iiian the more of these things he s accumulated Anyway only recently I invself decided to recall some of my earlier adv nllJ 5 PIG Owl Ve aliways avoided them even with a certain 811X lYs But havlltg fle ldec not only to recall them but even to write them down now is w en wisli to try an experimeiit is it possible to be absolutely honest evepl witli one s own self and not to fear the whole truth Iiicide lallyv l a mention that Heine maintains that faithful 2lLllDlilDgl pl1lE39S are almost impossible and that a man is sure to lie about himself In Heine st opinion Rl1SS ll1l for example undoubtedly told untruths about hima 5 A refcreiice to the work On Ceniiaiiy I8 33954l by ll l G 3quot l p 39f Hclmlcll lllmlm Z8 ll039l l S FROM U Noicacaoiuiivo self in his confession and even lied intentionally out of vanity I m convinced that Heine is correct I understand perfectly well that some times it s possible out of vanity alone to impute all sorts of crimes to oneself and I can even understand what sort of vanity that might be But Heine was making iudgrnents about a person who confessed to the public I however am writing for myself alone and declare once and for all that ifl write as if were addressing readers that39s only for show because it s easier for me to write that way It39s a form simply a form I shall never have any readers l ve already stated that I don t want to be restricted in any way by editing my notes I won t attempt to introduce any order or system I ll write down whatever comes to mind Well now for example someone might seize upon my words and ask me if you really aren t counting on any readers why do you make such compacts with yourself and on paper no less that is if you re not going to introduce any order or system if you re going to write down whatever comes to mind etc etc Why do you go on explaining Why do you keep apologizingt Well imagine that I reply This by the way contains an entire psychology Perhaps it39s just that I39m a coward Or perhaps it s that I imagine an audience before me on purpose so that I behave more decently when I m writing things down There may be a thousand reasons But here39s something else why is it that I want to write Ifit s not for the public then why can t I simply recall it all in my own mind and not commit it to paper Quite so but somehow it appears more digni ed on paper There39s something more impressive about it I ll beia better judge of myself the style will be improved Besides perhaps l ll actually experience some relief from the process of writing it all down Today for example I m particularly oppressed by one very old memory from my distant past It came to me vividly several days ago and since then it39s stayed with me like an annoying musical motif that doesn t want to leave you alone And yet you must get rid of it I have hundreds of such memories but at times a single one emerges from those hundreds and oppresses me For some reason I believe that ifl write it down I can get rid ofit Why not try Lastly I m bored and I never do anything lWriting things down actually seems like work They say that work makes a man become good and honest Well at least there s a chance It39s snowing today an almost wet yellow dull snow It was snowing yesterday too a few days ago as well I think it was apropos of the wet snow that I recalled this episode and now it doesn t want to leave me alone And so let it be a tale apropos of wet snow 6 Heine attacks the integrity of Roiisscairs Confessions 178289 PAM It quotiPRQPDS or Win Snow 29 II Apropos of Wet Snow7 When from the darlcncss of delusion I saved your fallen soul With ardent words of conviction And full of profound torment Wringing your halld v YOU 3U 5 3Cl The vice that had ensnared you When punishing by recollection Your forgetful conscience You told me the tale p Of all that had happened l gtEIfOI And suddenly covering your face Full of shame and horror You tearfully resolved lridignant shaken Etc etc etc 8 From the poetry of N A Nekrasov I At that time I was only twenty four years old Even then my life was 1 disordered and solitary to the point ofsavagery I didn t associate g lllmelilfyoiie I even avoided talking and I retreated further and further W131 I eve lg P e into my corner At work in the ofhce I even lIft l mat to lottiI1CyDllE I was aware not only that my COll 3gtI S ClJt1Sld erfei 13 C S netin1ES that they always seemed to regard me witi a in 0 Q3 a p I wondered why it was that no one else thinks that pthers regard lpii I NC with loathiiig One of our o riceworkers had a TEIEFU SlVt 3Ei0t lpjiglrthat face which even appeared somewliat villaLnousd fflrrl k at an one Wlfl Such 3 CliSlepul3blE face ll T Ill6 are f30lSl11EllyEI la Another man had a uniform so worn that tiere was a on I d natirig from him Yet neither of these two gentlemen was einbarrasse neither because of his clothes nor his face 11101 in an nmral W33 t t a a a deal him with loathing an N ther one imagined that other people regar ifeelither had so imagined it wouldn t have rrlatt r l at all 35 lmtg 33 rm N T I m p 5 lg 0A their supervisor chose not to view him that way tllts p rifitgzljiatifgs 3951 me now because of my unlimited vanity an ie gre I If it a accordingly made on myself that I frequently regarded myse WI 1 3 8 39l39l icse lines were written in ltt4393 Ii llll lquot Ncrrasuv a writer and pLlllIil139 f I39CJL CL aIltt CltWIll39 u 2 quot Riissiaquote social ills Dosloevs y main aiiiec in vim served that d311P SIWWC dml ml lmw t d litical I Py I ft t t red rrsonal ittrary an po l3l1lS lpC iii the writings of the Naturalist st ioo TL I 7 hi an article eiititled Notes on Russiaii Lmn t39 1849 the critic Pavel Aniicnkov o 30 I No i is i RUM U NDERTRTlIN1 furious dissatisfacti T on ver Ill P T I I k bd T T T3 E 0quot l dflllltg as a result I inteiitioiially ascrifc ngy own view to everyone else For example I despised W own ace coInsIidered it II I l T J A l 1 T lldtous and I even suspected that there was SHII ring repulsive in its expression Therefore etmy mm I ammd t worr I tool pains to behit l I I I 3 I I I I T 39 couldn t be suspected of am i III IIIIIIIIIflIIIIIIIIIIIlIIIlI III IJIIIIIIIJIIII III IIIIIIII I 113 ICE an trier to assumequot ICXPFESSIOII as possible It may not be a haiidsome face II I tl IIIIIII IIlIIItIIEIIIIl et it be noble Te T T I mug MI I T I PIESSJVE and T I I I T T J was agmnymgliy Cmam thidt apovc all extremely intelligent But I I I I m I I II I x wI virtues Worst of all I cor I III IIlIII IIIIIIIIOIIIII I lIIISIIIIIy IIIIPIIL39I39 I 3 tliese 39 T a quotTisir T T II reconciled if it had looked int IIIIIIIIII If IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII CIIIIIIPIIII Id IIIIIIIE IeIIII T WI eigenn act 3 i have M 3 T y T TT sen iavc agreed ta Pllcar repulsive on the 1 Twmlld nd my aw Tr T T T coiidition that at the same time people of J d l39l39l J y intelligent course rate all int f M T last and deg T Td l T e ow o ice worlltcrs from the rgt m the I ifs P 36 quot5 III 0116 of tliein yet at the same time it vvr H were a raid of theiii Some I 39 I I II I I I III as I Ilt1 l I I T I tlieni as SIIIPETJIUI to me At tl IIIIIIEIIIIIIDPIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIII I WIIIIIII IIICII IIIgIIIIIII occur first I would despise tl IIII tlIIIIIIIIII II IIIISIII IIIIIIIITIII IIIIIIIIIIIIII SIIIIIIIEHIIII T iein to me A cultured and decent in IIIIITIIIIIIIIIIICI IegIIIIId IIIIIIIIII In 5 lI I I1ImII UnmT t d dem mds on lmmdfddan Tcaaiiii V lllll without irialdilg T I I 3911 Ill iou iatin iiinslf T T thg pmmu Of Cgnt m T g E at times to pt But wt T T S PL I T T I T Iether hating them or regarding them as perior a most cllvvays 10 erecl my Eyes when mm T I Canduchsd Cxpermm sT T Ing anyone even T TC uldl T T T p T I the lirst to lower my eyes Tl 39 ItIIIIIIIIIIIII ICIIIOIIIKOHIII II gIIIIIIIIII III IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII be T T I I I W 39 5 l I Slawshly WmShTlpP d the C0 in turiati T me to the point of niadness V y T braced the corninon Practice ariIIclIfIIII39IIIIIdIIII EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I IIIIIIIIIIIII SOUL But how mum I SUTQWTH I eare any eccentricity with all my cultured man of our time AllIgIt IIIIIIIS IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIII 35 b ts any in 3 H ck perhaps I Wag HTE GMT iers regernbled one another as sheep thought of himself as a cowarrlIaiiIdIII IIIIIIIIII IIIIIICCIIIIIII IIIIEIIIII IIIIIIIII IIOIIIIIIIJIIIIII because I was so I I I III SIIIIIIIEI an Ought 3quot I3 1quot3C39I5 3li T 39 L cultured But I I I T so I was a coward and a slave IIIDII IIIllIII CIICI I unk 5 I actually W35 Every decent man of our tii IIIIIIII IS IIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIII IIIbI quotIm I IS l quottII This is his normal dtIIIL 395 Ind TI l5t I33 3 COWEHCI and a sliwe T I I I I con iion l m dee l T 0M how he s mad I I Dy IIOIIIIIMIECI of M quot5 395 T C and what heIs mean I T TI it t I TT Present tune as H16 mm of mme aCCi lltquotal And not only at the m I hcirc p general at all times a decent man must be a cowa dIIIIIIcIIIIIIITII IIIIBIP is a law of nature for all d I I II I IIII Il IIIIIIIIIII S T I I Tecent I T I happen to be brave aloLit5oIT1 tl1I1l39iri op earth If one of them should or distractedI l Ill still lose his g IIIIIII5 IIItII WE SITOIIIIIII IIJIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I T I erve as on somet no I else Th I single and eternal W E i M8 the T cy out Oil T I I T and even then only Lintil thcYI III IISIIIIIII IIIIIII IIIIIII IIIIIIIITIIIIS IIIII IIIIIIIIIIII r I come up against a wall It 3 attelitionb v I I I at an ecause they really don tniean anything There was one quot I more circum I I T I stance tormenting me at that time no lTI A1iT II tPRU1 S on Win Snow 31 mic was lilre me and I wasn t like anyone else I m alone I IinuIsccl and they are evIeryoneII and I sanl deep into thought From all this it39s clear that I was still just a boy IIIITE exact opposite would also occur Sometimes I would nd it itpulsive to go to the ofhce it reached the point where I would often return home from work ill Then suddenly for no good reason at all i llasli of slcepticism and indi erence would set in everything came to me in fIlaslies I would laugh at my own intolerance and fastidiousnessI and reproach myself for my romariticism Sometimes I didn t even want to talk to anyone at other times it reaached a point where I not only stai39ted tallcing but I even thought about striking up a friendship with others All my fastidiousness would suddenly disappear for no good rcasoii at all Wlio knows Perliaps I never really had any and it was all ahected borrowed from books I still liavenIt answered this question even up to now And once I really did become friends with others I began to visit their houses play pr f rance drink vodllta tallc about promotions But allow me to digress We Russians generally speaking have never had any of those stupid transcendent German romantics or even worse lirencli romantics on whom nothing produces any elfect whatever the earth might tremble beneath them all of lIrance might perish on the barricades but they remain the same not even changing for decencyIs sale they go on singing their transcenrlent songs so to speak to their dying day because they re such fools We here on Russian soil have no fools ItIs a well know fact that39s precisely what distinguishes us from foreigners Con sequently traiiscenident natures cannot be found among us in their pure form That s the result of our 39 positivequot Ipublicists and critics of that period who hunted for the Kostaiixlioglosl and the Uncle Pyotr Ivan oviches3 foolishly rnistalcing them for our ideal and slandering our own romantics considering them to be the same lltincl of transcendents as one finds in Germany or France On the contrary the characteristics of our romantics are absolutely and directly opposed to the transcendent lInropeaIris not one of those Eiirripeziii standards can apply here IAllow me to use the word romanticquot itIs an oldefashioned little word well respected and deserving familiar to everyone The cliaracteristics of our romantics are to understand everything to see everytliiiig often to see i if mucli more clearly tlzcui our most positive minds not to be Ireconciled with anyone or anything but at the same time not to balk at anything to circumvent everything to yield on every point to treat everyone diplomatically never to lose sight of some useful practical goal an 2 A cliaracter from Ivan oInlieiriIiv39s novel A Ioniiiioii Story llti47 who serves as an cxainple of coninioii sense and practical activity for his 9 A card ganie for tliree players with i tliirtytwo uircl pack rcseiiililiiig wliist I I II cliaractcr front the incomplete second vol ume of Nikolai ogol39I novel Dead Souls llt 5Zl 39lllI1ig iiepliew lllc is a inodcl llaiitlowncr and an clticiciit inaiiager of his estate 32 llO391 ES rriom UNDERGR1lNt apartment at government expense a nice pension a decoratioiit to keep an eye on that goal through all his excesses and his volumes of lyrical verse and at the same time to preserve intact the beautiful and sublirne to the end of their lives and incidentally to preserve themselves as well wrapped up in cotton like precious jewelry if only for example for the sake of that same beautiful and sublimequot Our romantic has a very broad nature and is the biggest rogue of all I can assure you of that even by my own experience Of course all this is true if the romantic is smart But what am I saying A romantic is always smart I merely wanted to observe that although we ve had some romantic fools they really don t count at all simply because while still in their prime they would degenerate completely into Germans and in order to preserve their precious jewels more comfortably they d settle over there either in lidsCIITIEII3 or in the Black Forest For instance I genuinely despised my official position and refrained from throwing it over merely out of necessity because I myself sat there working and received good money for doing it And as a result please note I still refrained from throwing it over Our romantic would sooner lose his mind which by the way very rarely occurs than give it up if he didn t have another job in mind nor is he ever kicked out unless he s hauled off to the insane asylum as the King of Spain 5 and only if he39s gone completely mad Then again it s really only the weaklings and towheads who go mad in our country An enormous number of romantics later rise to signi cant rank What extraordinary versatility And what a ca pacity for the most contradictory sensations I used to be consoled by these thoughts back then and still am even nowadays That39s why there are so many broad naturesquot among us people who never lose their ideals no matter how low they fall even though they never lift a finger for the sake of their ideals even though they re outrageous villains and thieves nevertheless they respect their original ideals to the point of tears and are extremely honest men at heart Yes only among us Russians can the most outrageous seoundrel be absolutely even sublimely honest at heart while at the same time iiever ceasing to be a scoundrel I repeat nearly always do our romantics turn out to be very efficient rascals I use the word rascal affectionately they suddenly manifest such a sense of reality and positive knowledge that their astonished superiors and the general public can only click their tongues at them in aniiazenient Their versatility is really astounding God only knows what it will turn into how it will develop under subsequent conditions and what it holds for us in the future The material is not all that bad I m not saying this 3 A city in prcseiitday East Cerinaiiy regarded quot3 A reference to the hero f1gHIllS short story as the literary center of Fiirtipc during the late quotDiary ufa MaliiiinquotlH3 l Piiprislicliin a low eigliteciitli and early niiieteentli cci itiiries when ranking civil servant sees his aspiratioiis crushed Goetlie Schiller and Herrler all lived there by the enorrrimis ltf 5iltCt39iICV Ilie crids by going 4 A n39ioiintaiii range in soiitliwesterii Cerniany insane and iiinaginirig liiiiiself to be king of covered by lcaiitiful darl pine forests and cut by Spain deep valleys and small lakes PART II Arnopos or WE391 Snow 33 yf some ridiculous patriotism or jingoisrn However rm SUV that mll if i 39 r on think I39m joking But who knows Perhaps it39s quite the llllcfi dgcllllllbfll is vou re convinced that this is what I really think In WlllmrlelI eiiitleifiieii I39ll consider that both of these opiiii0I 1S C0l1SlllUl llllll Cllilfi gt1l a articiiiilar pleasure And do forgive me for this digression ml llmmlja it lclidift sustain any friendships with my colleagues and Ndlmelveired all relations afteriquarreling with fliffm 31nd l339EC3U5 3 Of wlln Uuthful inexperience at the same time I even stopped greeting ljli ll 5 if cut them off entirely That however happened to me ljjl Once On the whole I was always alone rt V r 39lIltl39l39 it home I spent most of my time reading I IFIECI to SIIFIET a L1 WdS coiistaiitly seething within me with external sensations And of all ex I Icl 39 nsations available only reading was possible for N16 Of COUTS l m1 l39 b llelp d 3 great cle2il it agitated delighted and tormented me rsctll I r ffiit ll fiines it was terribly boring I still longed to be aCllV amp1I1Cl Sltdiclmly I f39iIiilltiilIi dark subterraii 391il l li03ll150mC39 de PT3quot39llYt lmE pmcls ly in e M 39 iiasty little passions were sharp and painful as a result of lxlll fiiicstaiit lmorbid irritability I experienced hysterical ts accorn iiive a a equot i I s e Iid l else panied by tears and convulsions Besides reading I a now 1 1 h39 to o that is there was nothing to respect in my surroundings not ing t gtt act me lln addition I was overwhelined by depression I poSSr SS Cl 39Iquoti i v 21 hysterical craving for c ontradict1onS t30 tF3Stt fy 3139Il S15f3 33 But plunged into depravity I haven tg said a tlgislti lttlsi 15631f g3Itl meI no I39m lying I did want to justify inyse ts or my g 39 g I that I include this little observation I dont want to lie Ive given my nolrcmdulged in depravity all alone at night furtively tiniidly sordidly o r 0 S I it thb with a feeling of shame that never left me pven in tnnl Ilgginltilit EJVTIEE3 inoinents and drove me at such times to tiepoin o p ibl then I was carrying around the uiidergroLiiid in my soul I was terri y afraid of being seen met l g1tCl I visited all sorts of disma p aces 0 is passing by some wretched little tavern late at night I saw ne r I a 6 0 a lllrl through a lighted window sonic geiitlciiieik glitiiig t wledll wix d one of them was thrown out the window t soinebo Ch 1 mum that have been disgusted but l1Sl lfl l Tl Igwas ogercoi1116 3 fld mfm SO much I envied the gentleman who d been tosse 0LIl h e lvlleflrd mom Per that I even walked into the tavern and entere it e Illa 39 1 p t th liaps I thought I ll get into a figlit and they ll tirow me on llllllClzlii39f0druiik but what could I do after all tClepiES Sl0l1 C311 CIFIVI3 p P I e w 39ttrquot l at a man to this kind of liystcria But nothing came of it uriicc o tlmt I was incapable of being tossed out the window I left without getting into a fight 39 d E t 6 in my Place A 1 39 I set foot insi e soiiie o T cer pu in I g I 9Il1lSIIlg next to the billiard table inadvertently hloclaing his way cc 39 t g 0 as he wanted to get by he took hold of me by the shoulders am WI 10 34 No39i i s FRUM Uivoieaonoiinia a word of warning or explaiiation moved me from where I was standing to another place and he went past as if he hadift even noticed me I could have forgiven even a beating but I could never forgive his moving inc out of the way and entirely failing to notice me The devil knows what I would have given for a genuine ordinary quarrel a decent one a more literary one so to speak But I d been treated as ifl were a fly The ofhcer was about six feet tall while I m small and scrawny The quarrel however was in my hands all I had to do was protest and of course they wouldve thrown me out the window But I reconsidered and preferred to withdraw resentfully I left the tavern confused and upset and went straight home the next night I continued my petty vice more tiinidly more furtively more gloomily than before as if I had tears in my eyes but I continued nonetheless Don39t conclude however that I retreated from that olhcer as a result ofaiiy cowardice I ve never been a coward at heart although I ve constantly acted like one in deed but wait before you Iaugh I can explain this I can explain anything you may rest assured Oh if only this of cer had been the kind who39d have agreed to ght a duel But no he was precisely one of those types alas long gone who preferred to act with their billiard cues or like Cogols Iiieutenant Pirogov by appealing to the authorities They didn39t fight duels in any case they d have considered ghting a duel with someone like me a lowly civilian to be indecent In general they considered duels to be somehow inconceivable free thinking French while they themselves especially if they happened to be six feet tall offended other people rather frequently In this case I retreated not out of any cowardice but because of my unlimited vanity I wasn t afraid of his height nor did I think I d receive a painful beating and get thrown out the window In fact I39d have had su icieiit physical courage it was moral fortitude I lacked I was afraid that everyone presentfroin the iiisolent billiard marker to the foul smelling pimply little clerks with greasy collars who used to hang about wouIdn t understand and would laugh when I started to protest and speak to them in literary Russian Because to this very day it39s still impossible for us to speak about a point of honor that is not about honor itself but a point of honor point d39lionncur except in literary language One can t even refer to a point of honorquot in everyday lan guage I was fully convinced a sense of reality in spite of all my romaiiticisin that they would all simply split their sides laughing and that the officer instead of giving me a siniple beating that is an inof fensive one would certainly apply Iiis knee to my back and drive me around the billiard table only then perliaps would he have the mercy ti Uiic of two inaiii cliaraeters iii Uiigiills short soiintl tliriisliiiig Ile Iceidcs to lodge an official story quotNcvsky39 rispect 1 II39I33l A slialliiw and sell coiiiplaiiit bill after coiisiiiiiiiig a crcaiiifilled pas satisfied oflicer lie iiiistakes the wife of a lcriiiaii try tliiiiks better of it ai39tisaii for a woiiiaii of easy virtue and receives a PART II APRPS OF Wi39i Snow 35 I a me out the window Naturally this wretclied story of mine In IIIIUIII ll nd with this alone Afterward I used to meet this UIlldnfl I fly 6 the street alndnl observed him very carefully I don39t IIIIICCI Iflqflql fonver reco nired me Probably MOI I If c1iCl1 I IIIEII IIIUW P 16 fer TE fious obslgrvations As for me I stared at him with mmIU5IOIl lmtm dvaand cigmtiniied toldo so for several years My malice Ilmllc ddl Ilabre alme stron er over time At hrst I began to make discreet IIICIIiIi is fillrldut lliini This ifas dif cult for me to do since I had so few 2Iliiaiiiitaiices But once as I was following him at a distance as though tied to him someone called to him on the street thats how I learned his IILIIIIE Another time I followed him back to his own apartment and a tenkopeck piece learned from the doorrrian where and how he lived on what Hoot with whom etcin a word all that could be Icariied from a doorman One morning although Ignever engaged in literary activities it suddenly occurred to me to draft a description of this ti ficer as a kind of expose a caricature in the form of a tale I wrote it with great pleasure I exposed Iiim I y 39I 3I3quotIe 3d hm Erst I altered his name only slightly so that it could I36 63 1 C0g1Ue p 7 but then upon careful reflection I changed it Thenl sent the tale otf to Notes of the I7r1tlierliarid7 But such exposes were no longer in fashion and they didn t publish my tale I was very annoyed by that At M1168 I simply choked on my spite Finally Iresolved tochallenge my ops ponent to a duel I composed a beautiful charming letter tohilm imploring him to apologize to me in case he refused I hinted rat ier strongly at a duel The letter was composed in such a way that if that othcer had possessed even the smallest iinderstandiiig of the beautiful and sublimequot he would have come runniiig thrown his armsgaround me and o ered his friendship That wouldhave been splendid We would have led such a wonderful life Such a life He would have Slll ld d me with his rank I would Iiave ennobled him with my culture and well with my ideas Who knows what inight have come of it Imagine it two years had already passed since Iie d insulted me my cliallenge was the most ridiculous aiiachronisin in spite of all the cleverness of my letter in explaining and disguising that fact But thank CQCI Wt II113 day I thank the Almighty with tears in my EYCSI I CIICIH I5 3 d Illal I ftef39 A shiver runs up and down my spine when I think what might have Iiappened ifl had Then suddenly suddeiily I got my revenge It the simplest manner a stroke of genius A brilliant idea siiddeiily oc curred to me Sonietimes on holidays I used to stroll along Nevsky Prospect at about four o clocllt in the afternoon usually on the sunny side That is I didn t really stroll rather I experienced ii39iiiiinierable tormeiits humilations and bilious attacks But that39s undoubtedly rust what I needed I darted in and out like a sh among the strollers constantly stepping aside before generals cavalry ofhcers hussars and P 7 AA 7 A literary and political journal pulnlisliierl iii Ietcrshurg from I839 to I8 y TJCW V 36 ll39l l S FIROM UNDERGRULINIJ young ladies At those moments I used to experience painful spasms in my heart and a burning sensation in my back merely at the thought of my dismal apparel as well as the wretchedness and vulgarity of my darting little gure This was sheer torture uninterrupted and unbearable hu niiliation at the thought which soon became an incessant and immediate sensation that I was a fly in the eyes of society a disgusting obscene ilyiw smarter than the rest more cultured even nobIer all that goes without saying but a Hy nonetheless who iricessantly steps aside in sulted and injured by everyonequot I39or what reason did I inflict this tormeiit on myself Why did I stroll along Nevsky Prospect I don39t know But something simply drew me there at every opportunity Then I began to experience surges of that pleasure about which I ve already spoken in the rst chapterquot After the incident with the o icer I was drawn there even more strongly I used to encounter him along Nevsky most often and it was there that I could adrriire him He would also go there mostly on holidays He too would give way before generals and individuals of superior rank he too would spin like a top among them But he would simply trample people like me or even those slightly superior he would walk directly toward them as if there were empty space ahead of him and under no circumstance would he ever step aside I revelled in my malice as I observed him and bitterly stepped aside before him every time I was tortured by the fact that even on the street I found it impossible to stand on an equal footing with him Why is it you39re always first to step aside l badgered myself in insane hysteria at times waking up at three in the morning Why always you and not be After all there39s no law about it it isn t written down anywhere Let it be equal as it usually is when people of breeding meet he steps aside halfway and you halfway and you pass by showing each other mutual respect But that was never the case and I continued to step aside while he didn t even notice that I was yielding to him Then a most astounding idea suddenly dawned on me VIIiat ifquot I thought what if I were to meet him and not step aside Deliberately not step aside even if it meant bumping in him how would that bequot This bold idea gradually took such a hold that it alforded me no peace I dreamt about it incessantly horribly and even went to Nevsky more frequently so that I could imagine more clearly how I would do it I was in ecstasy The scheme was becoming more and more possible and even probable to me Of course I wouldn t really collide with himquot l thought already feeling more generous toward him in my joy but I simply won39t turn aside I lI bump into him not very painfully but just so shoulder to shoulder as much as decency allows I ll bump into him the same amount as he bumps into mequot At last I made up my mind completely But the preparations took a very long time First in P In lti l Dostocvsl y had published a riovel with ration of ower class life in Pctcrsiburg the title The Insiiltecl and the Injured an explo 9 That is in part I Undcrgroiinrlquot PART II APRUPUS UF Win Snow 37 order to look as presentable as possible during the execution of my l1L l1 1C I had to worry about my clothes In any case what if for L1ijle it should occasion a public scandal And the public there was Wfygr rizl zi couiitess Princess I and the entire literary world It was essential to be weII dressed that inspires respect and in a certain sense will place us immediately on an equal footing in the eyes ofhigh society T With that goal in mind I requested my salary in advance and Ipurchased i pair of black gloves and a decent hat at Churkin s store Black gloves scr llltl to me more dignified more bon tonz than the lemon colored ones I d considered at hrst That would be too glaring as if the person vt3939lt1ll3ll to be noticed so I didn39t buy the lemon colored ones I d already jrrCliI Cl a fine shirt with white bone cufllinks but my overcoat con stituted a major obstacle In and of itself it was not too bad at all it kept me warm but it was quilted and had a raccoon collar the epitome of bad taste At all costs I had to replace the collar with a beaver one just like on an othcers coat For this purpose I began to frequent the Shop ping Arcade and after several attempts I turned up some cheap German beaver Although these German beavers wear out very quickly and soon begin to look shabby at first when they re brand new they look very fine indeed after all I only needed it for a single occasion I asked the price it was still expensive After considerable reflection I resolved to sell my raccoon collar l decided to request a loan tor the r emainLng aiiiount a rather signi cant sum for rnefronfi Anton Antonych Se tochkin my ollice chief a modest man but a serious and solid one wlio never lent money to anyone but to whom upon entering the civil service I d once been specially recommended by an important person wlio39rl secured the position for me I suffered terribly It seemed mon strous and shameful to ask Anton Antonych for money I didn t sleep for two or three nights in a row in general I wasn t getting much sleep those days and I always had a fever I would have either a vague sinking feeling in my heart or else my heart would suddenly begin to thump thump thump At rst Anton Antonych was surprised then he frowned thought it over and finally gave me the loan after securing from me a note authorizing him to deduct the sum from my salary two weeks later ln this way everything was Finally ready the splendid beaver reigned in place of the mangy raccoon and I gradually began to get down to business It was impossible to set about it all at once in a foolhardy way one had to proceed in this matter very carefully step by step But I confess that after many attempts I was ready to despair we didn39t bump into each other no matter whatl No matter how I prepared no matter how determined I was it seems that we re just about to bump when I look up and once again I39ve stepped aside while he39sgone by without even noticing me I even used to pray as l approaclied hini that God would grant me determination One time I d fully resolved to do RL ncd 2 In good taste 38 I T T T No i rs l RUM UNDFRGROUND it but the result was that I merel a ystumblrddfll39 rr 1 at Hm very last moment only 3 aw mCl SaaiNa efratglrisfeet because nerve He stepped over me very calmly and I boyuruimcl tum I lost Ty a rubber ball That night I lay ill vvillr a fever on UsOTT die MT delirious Then everything suddenly ended in the BE tagairrand was The night before I decidedionce and for all not go tell poslsllll lway r rrrou pernicious scheme and to give it all up without success ghWtl1llnly mind I went to Nevsky Prospect for one last time n l i m W I filial T how I d abandon the whole thing Suddenly three llidey PJ Old To SEE Engln Edy i M I J y I I y I T 5 Way I IUITI III B 3 Inn e up my nrrnd UI1LXp ClffT3Clly I closed my eyes amjTTWe dlulllpefl mldo 3933 l3Il1 tliflgerl forcefully shoulder to shoulderl I didn39t yield i mcr an quot e I T e a T f I wa e V y run on a completely equal footing He didn t even turn around to loollt at me and pretended that l s l d e noticed but he was merely pretending I m convinced lftllcl llll Even very day jun criiivynced Of Him Natmdpy I gm the lit d o this stronger but that wasn t the point The point was tliatllld Ollll hf was goal Ild maintained my dignity I hadn t yielded one O lleiltd h publicly placed myself on an equal social footing with hiri I ll home feeling completely avenged for everything I W Lt tt lLli l l a J I e p as ear I ioiced and sang Italian arias Of course I won t describe whcall T T to me three da It f I I I pm pg A X3 339 Cfyl YOU39eread the first part entitled sUn derground YOU U1 guess for yourself The o icer was later transferred so h else I haven39t ll I e I P law ere und rFUm Iltn o mine Whom is he trampling II M j ll lld rillSSl33llllll ended I felt terribly disgusting Little by little however I grfTisledalllllCTlSe It was too to it aIlthat is itwasn39t thatlgot used to H rather Isolilrellool I g0l llsljd consented to endure it But I had a way out that recorrcilehwfrvvelfylliiiilglly toes to t j t T s Cmm3P i g lIaaltIittifr11lr1E1cltstrrblltpieI in my drearns of mck d away in my me Comer jdmdt Wen mpr neg rlnonths in a row mornents I was not at all lillte the gtflllllillll lll lldy his 3916 TT T llmse 539 lquot3 l l139r1l S 39WI1 a German beaver onto the colllrll Hf Ills fl lnHleTTd I suddenly became a hero If my sixfoot tallsliqftj1 If pl doyercoat O me tlhen I d never have adrnitted him I couldn39t ellenilorfdlellrlfz ljlf nm at trat time It s hart I I I 39 I of then and how I cr1ldquotlf ltlfrlfzlrrllsrlj ilalIi ldldlcllIilfllrytIl1l3CillilllIaCflllslsled Besides even now I can take pride in them at certain tirnesl ItIll drewasi ams 3 That is the In t 39 39 M 39ll39Ldl to his Turner in the underground I Arw ll Aenovos or Win Snow 39 W particularly sweet and vivid after my little debauchery they were lillcd with remorse and tears curses and ecstasy There were moments of siiclr positive intoxication such happiness that I felt not even the test trace of rnocloery within rue really and truly It was all faith ytpr and love That s just it at the time I believed blindly that by some lgirrd ofnriracle some external circumstance everything would suddenly nperi up and expand a vista of appropriate activity would suddenly rppearbene cent beautliful and most of all ready mode what pres ciscly I never knew but most of all it had to be readyrnadel and that I would suddenly step forth into God39s world almost riding on a uhitc horse and wearing a laurel wreath I couldn t conceive of a sec ondary role and that s precisely why in reality I very quietly took on the lowest one Either a hero or dirt tlrere was no middle ground That was my ruin because in the dirt I consoled myself lanowing that at other times I was a hero and that the hero covered himself with dirt that is to say an ordinary man would be ashamed to wallow in filth but a hero is too noble to become defrled coriseriuen39tly he can wallow It39s rernarlltable that these surges of everything beautiful and sublimequot oc cnrretl even during my petty depravity and precisely when I39d sunllt to the lowest depths They occurred in separate spurts as if to remind me of themselves however they failed to banish my depravity by their appearance On the contrary they seemed to add spice to it by means of contrast they came in just the right amount to serve as a tasty sauce This sauce consisted of contradictions suffering and agonizing internal analysis all of these torments and trifles lent a certain piquancy even some meaning to my depravityzin a word they completely fulfilled the function of a tasty sauce Nor was all this even laclcing in a measure of profundity Besides I would never have consented to the simple tasteless spontaneous little debauchery of an ordinary clerk and have endured all that filth How could it have attracted me then and hired me into the street late at night No sir I had a noble loophole for everything But how much love oh luord how much love I experienTce cl at times in those dreams of mine in those escapes into everything beautiful and sublimequot Even though it was fantastic love even though it was never directed at anything human there was still so much love that afterward in reality I no longer felt any impulse to direct it that would have been an unnecessary luxury However everything always ended in a most satisfactory way by a lazy and intoxicatilug transition into art that is into beautiful forms of being readymade largely borrowed from poets and novelists and adapted to serve every possible need llor instance I would triumph over everyone naturally everyone else grovelled in the dust and was voluntarily impelled to aclltnowledge my superiority while I would forgive them all for everything Or else being a famous poet and chamherlain I would fall in love I39d receive an enormous fortune Pw4 cg Iam an invisible man No I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe nor am I one of your Hollywood movie ectoplasnis I am a man of substance of esh and bone ber and liquids and I might even be said to possess a mind I am invisible under stand simply because people refuse to see me Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard distorting glass When they approach me they see only my surroundings them selves or gmerits of their imaginatioineindeeid everything and anything except me Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a biochemical accident to my epidermis That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact A matter of the construction of their inner eyes those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality I am not complaining nor am I protesting either It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves Then Ralph Ellison too yoii re constantly being bumped against by those of poor vision Or again you often doubt if you really exist You won der whether you aren t simply a phantom in other people s minds Say a gure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy It s when you feel like this that out of resentment you begin to bump people back And let me confess you feel that way most of the time You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world that you39re a part of all the sound and anguish and you strike out with your lists you curse and you swear to make them recognize you And alas it s seldom successful One night I accidentally bumped into a man and per haps because of the near darkness he saw me and called me an insulting name I sprang at him seized his coat lapels and demanded that he apologize He was a tall blond man and as my face came close to his he looked insolently out of his blue eyes and cursed me his breath hot in my face as he struggled I pulled his chin down sharp upon the crown of my head butting him as I had seen the West Indians do and I felt his esh tear and the blood gush out and I yelled Apologize Apologize But he continued to curse and struggle and I buttered him again and again until he went down heavily on his knees profusely bleeding I kicked him repeatedly in a frenzy because he still uttered insults though his lips were frothy with blood Oh yes I kicked him And in my outrage I got out my knife and prepared to slit his throat right there beneath the lamplight in the deserted street holding him in the collar with one hand and opening the knife with my teeth when it oc curred to me that the man had not seen me actually that he as far as he knew was in the midst of a walking nightmare And I stopped the blade slicing the air as I pushed him away letting him fall back to the street I stared at him hard as the lights of a car stabbed through the darkness He lay there IHNVISIBLE a s eh halt a man almost killed by a phantom It moanlnfjogygt 8 both disgusted and ashamed I was like a nne1v man myyglfl wavering about on weakened legs Then run e v Q e 1 was amusecl Something in this man s thick head had sprung out and beaten him within an inch of his life I began to laugh at this crazy discovery Would he have awakened at the point of death Would Death himself have freed him for wakeful living But I didrft linger I ran away into the dark laughing 50 hard I feared I might rupture myself The next day I saw his picture in the Daily Newi39 beneath a caption stating that he had been rnugged Poor fool poor blind fool I thought with sincere compassion mugged by an invisible mam Most of the time although Ido not choose as I once did to deny the violence of my days by ignoring it I am not so overtly violent I remember that I am invisible and walk softly so as not to awaken the sleeping ones Sometimes it l3 St HOE to awaken them there are few things in the worldas angerous as sleepwalkers I learned in time though that it is possible E0 carry on a ght against them without their realizing 1l Fog instance I have been carrying on a ght with Nlonopo ate Iright 8 Power for some time now I use their service and pay them nothing at all and they don t know it Clhkh Y SUEIPECI that power is being drained off but th y do Cg Fire All they know is that according to the master meter ac tr ere in their power station a hell of a lot of free current 1S dlS3P I I I a a 7 39 V f pearing somewhere into the jungle of Harlem quotghedloke 0 course is that I don t live in Harlem but in a orger area Several years ago before I discovered the advantages of being invisible I went through the routine process of buying serviglel and Paying their outrageous rates But no more I uFp hM that along with my apartment and my old way Io L6 other way based upon the fallacious assumptlooihaf ls 1 539mfr men was visible NOW 3W3 I Of my lnwslblhtyv I We re MAN Ralph Ellison in a building rented strictly to whites in a section of the base ment that was shut off and forgotten during the nineteenth century which I discovered when I was trying to escape in the night from Ras the Destroyer But that s getting too far ahead of the story almost to the end although the end is in the I beginning and lies far ahead The point now is that I found a bome or a hole in the ground as you will Now don39t jump to the conclusion that because I call my home a holequot it is damp and cold like a grave there are cold holes and warm holes Mine is a warm hole And remember a bear retires to his hole for the winter and lives until spring then he comes strolling out like the Easter chick breaking from its shell I say al that it is incorrect to assume that because I m invisible and live in a hole I am dead I am neither dead nor in a state of suspended animation Call me Jack the of hibernation l this to assure you Bear for I am in a state My hole is warm and full of light Yes full of light I doubt if there is a brighter spot in all New York than this hole of mine and I do not exclude Broadway Or the Empire State Building on a photographer s dream night But that is taking advantage of you Those two spots are among the darkest of our whole civilization pardon me our whole culture an im portant distinction I ve heard which might sound like a hoax or a contradiction but that by contradiction I rnean is how the world moves Not like an arrow but a boomerang Beware of those who speak of the spuzral of history they are preparing a boomerang Keep a steel helmet handy I know I have been boomeranged across my head so much that I now can see the darkness of lightness And I love light Perhaps you ll think it strange that an invisible man should need light desire light love light But maybe it is exactly because I am invisible Light confirms my reality gives birth to myform A beautiful girl INVISIBLE T 7 h I in which she lay in tbs Ono told mi of adr Lkui39ItiIdiini1dtri1eli her face eXP3inid until it center of a large at Coming a fotmless mass while her filled the Vhxdh too U the Chimney And so it is with me eyes ran bilicpi J6 Yot Em invisible but formless as well Without light am glones 1arm is 0 live a death I myself wd ta be unaware o I p p To 1 I I i did not become alive unti after existing some twenlZY Wars 0 i D isibility diSCOVTIl39Tat I ght my battle with Mon0P0l3 d Llghl P The deeper reason I mean It allows me to feel my amp39 lmiliireness I also ght them for taking 50 much of my vita a iv I r I I I If I hole in the irioney beftgre I learned ttlc grgt egctlirgigie Mfnwfliid mg entire basement t ere are exac 39 h t I t bulbs but Ceillngi ev ry mch of it Aminm Wlirateiolifiiflenthe lament with the older more XP nSlV ioiOl alread begun to wire t pe An act of sabotage you know V6 pl g p 1 d y ll A 39 k an I know a man of vision has supp 16 I I r n In v t the with wirbuand sockets Nlothi g Storm or oad must get me W1 II p T T 1 d brighter in the Way of 0 aid for hgii ii d ItrilTifIire7I17rfien 1 nish light The truth is this light and lgli isfl or Just how that will all four walls then I ll start on E 393 3 I 1191 as on as r I don39t know Yet when you have lived invisi ft I big go it 1 I t e to em I have Y0 d V l P 3 quot ngmwiyi m Siiiiee popt on the And maybe I ll invent a gadget to p ace y 1 Warm my 39 I lie in bed and even invent 21 gadget m I re Whlll h f 11 I 1 aw in one of the picture magazlnfis who bed liketee0W S 1 if y r I ffh uh invisibleI made himself a gadget to W 1I Efi l39l39llS Stl1i3k rS 0 Eat makes mg w ono I am in th gcieagdntmericg t ijar ilin Call me since I have a I r n ai I t kl to F0 I Cgrijioept a thinkertinker Yes I ll warm my teory ana pi I a pl fjhlgumldo that Shoes they need it they re usually ful o oes and more p g g p E y 1 1 V43 V63 Now I have one rad10Ph0 C gr3I3h I P an to 3 MAN Ralph Ellison There is a certain acoustical deadness in my hole and when I have music I want to feel its vibration not only with my ear but with my whole body I39d like to hear five recordings of Louis Armstrong playing and singing What Did I Do to Be 50 Black and Bluellaall at the same time Sometimes now I listen to Louis while I have my favorite dessert of vanilla ice cream and sloe gin I pour the red liquid over the white mound watching it glisten and the vapor rising as Louis bends that military instrument into a beam of lyrical sound Perhaps I like Louis Armstrong because he s made poetry out of being invis ible I think it must be because he s unaware that he is invisible And my own grasp of invisibility aids me to understand his music Once when I asked for a cigarette some jokers gave me a reefer which I lighted when I got home and sat listening to my phonograph It was a strange evening Invisibility let me explain gives one a slightly different sense of time you re never quite on the beat Sometimes you re ahead and sometimes be hind Instead of the swift and imperceptible owing of time you are aware of its nodes those points where time stands still or from which it leaps ahead And you slip into the breaks and look around That s what you hear vaguely in Louis music Once I saw a prize ghter boxing a yokel The ghter was swift and amazingly scienti c His body was one violent flow of rapid rhythmic action He hit the yokel a hundred times while the yokel held up his arms in stunned surprise But sud denly the yokel rolling about in the gale of boxing gloves struck one blow and knocked science speed and footwork as cold as a well digger s posterior The smart money hit the can vas The long shot got the nod The yokel had simply stepped inside of his opponents sense of time So under the spell of the reefer I discovered a new analytical Way of listening to music The unheard sounds came through and each melodic line existed of itself stood out clearly from all the rest said its I T I s eak That piece and waited Pitl ntly fo391lt1e0 fl1tli r1I f git I13 Space as night I found TIWSEI T Ear T113 music but descgnd d k iDam well I not only Entelge ti the swi gss of the hot tempo there into its depths And aenea and I mewd it and la kediamund was a slower temlw lzn atom in ya a spiritual as Z of Meh and biwd an aid womaaiibs fztbgtbdl lay as still lower level on schrnerz as ammctlf Girl 1326 Calm gfioory pleading in a voice which I saw a llfhutlfll gggad bejbrp a group of slaveowners who Y X 1 or I 1 more in id tempo and I heard someione shoot 39Briithers and sisters my text this morning is the Blacli 71 53 of Blaclzness quot y g a quot as Th t blackness is And a congregation of voices answered at most hlaclz hroxther most hlaclz In the heginning T At the very start they tried there was blackness Preach it If and the sun The sun Lawd was bloody red 5 Red Now hlaclt is the preacher shouted Bloody i I said hlatlz is T Preach it brother an hlaclz ain t Red Lawd red He said its red Arnen hrother Black will git you Yes it will Yes it will INVISIBLE MAN Ralph Ellison ff an black wont Now it won tr quotIt do It do Lawd an it don39t quotHalleluiah 39 It 39 by PM you glows glory O7 7 Lawd in the WHALETS BELLY I quotPreach it dear brother on make you tempt l Good God a migbyi Old Aunt Nelly Black will make you Black I ll or black will an make you Aint it the truth Lawd And at that oint 39 s i 2 y me Git out cfhep I a Umtw qftmmbom nmibrg wmamgd at And I t I re fay ml 13 you ready 30 6 0mm it treasonquot ore m se e e I mmmn G0 3 fawayr bearing 3996 010 singer of spiritnals lg curse your God boy and dig sto ed and 139 e I I I diff I jues zoned her asked her what was wrong 539C I I y We my 7quot mquot73 507 she said You should have hated him quot I said He gave 7775 59957631 Vt m quot she said and because I loved my sons I learned to love their zther though 1 bamd him I s H T j too have become acquainted with ambivalence Iofaid Thats why I mr here I I I 39 Nothing pmoamw a word that doesn39t explain it Why dg you quotI moan this way quotcause he s dead 5 pg mid Then tell me who is that laughing upStam Them s my sons They glad quotY55 I can understand that too I sg d TO sNVSB LE MAN I laughs too but I moans too He promised to set us free but he never could bring hisself I to do it Sill I loved him Loved him You mean Oh yes but I loved something else even more What more quot Freedom Freedom I said llIaybe freedom lies in hating Naw son it s in loving I loved him and give him the poison and he withered away like a frost bit apple Them hoys woulda tore him to pieces with they homemade knives A mistake was made somewhere quot I said I l confused And I wished to say other things but the laughter upstairs heeame too loud and moan like for me and I tried to break out of it but I eouldrft Inst as I was leaving I zlt an urgent desire to ask her what freedom was and went back She sat with her head in her hands moaning so ly her leatherbrown face was lled with sad ness Old woman what is this freedom you love so well I asked around a eorner of my mind She looked surprised then thoughtful then ba 7ed I done rrgot son It s all mixed up First I think it one thing then I think it s another It gits my head to spinning I guess now it ain t nothing but knowing how to say what I got up in my head But it39s a hardjoh son Too much is done happen to me in too short a time Hit s like I have a fever Ever time I starts to walk my head gits to swirling and I falls down Or Q it ain39t that it the boys they gits to laughing and wants to kill up the white folks They s bitter thatk what they is But what about freedom Leave me Tone boy my head aches I left her feeling dizzy myself I didn t get far Suddenly one of the sons as big fellow six feet tall appeared out of nowhere and struck me with his st quotWhat s the matter man I cried quotl1 Ralph Ellison You made Ma cry But bow I said dodging a blow llsikin ber tbem questions tbatb bow Git outa bere and stay and next time you got questions like tbat ask yourself He beld me in a grip like cold stone bis ngers zsteningi upon my windpipe until I tbougbt I would sujfocate before be nally allowed me to go I stumbled about dazed tbe music beat ing bysterically in my ears It was dark My bead cleared and I wandered down a dark narrow passage tbinking I beard bis jbotsteps burrying bebind me I was sore and into my being bad come a profound craving for tranquillity jbr peace and quiet a state I p felt I could nevetr acbieve For one tbing tbe trumpet was blaring and tbe rbytbm was too bectic A tomtom beating like beart tbuds began drowning out tbe trumpet lling my ears I longed for water and I beard it rusbing tbrougb tbe cold mains my ngers toucbed as Ifelt my way but I couldn It stop to searcb because of tbe iotsteps bebind me Hey Ras p I called quotIs it you Destroyer Rinebart No answer only tbe rbytbmic footsteps bebind me Once I tried crossing tbe road but a speeding macbine struck me scrap ing tbe skin from my leg as it roared past Then somehow I came out of it ascending hastily from this underworld of sound to hear Louis Armstrong innocently asking Wbat did I do To be so black And blue At rst I was afraid this familiar music had dernanded action the kind of which I was incapable and yet had I lin gered there beneath the surface I might have attempted to act Nevertheless I know now that few really listen to this music INVISIBLE 1 R on the chairs edge in a soallting sweat as though each of I I 1 369 bulbs had everyone become a klieg light in an indi niy I ttin liar a third degree with R215 and Ri lhari in exhausting as though I had held my bregth continuously for an hour under the terrifying serenity t at hes from days of intense hunger And yet it was a strangely Lmgf mg e tperience for an invisible man I0 l 1 3JF Sh Siilence of i btLliI Il I had discovered unrecognized COIT1pUlSlOI ISOf my be mg even though I could not answer yes to their prompt inizs I liavent smoked a reefer since howevei T10 l339 C3 5e hi re illegal but because to see around corners is enough that is riot unusual when you are invisible But to hear amu d them is too much it inhibits action And despite Brother Jack Emd all that sad lost period of the Brotherhood I bEl1 V in nothing if not in action Please 3 de nition A hibernation is a covert pireparat1011 for a more overt action Besides the drug destroys ones sense of time completely If that happiened I might forget to dodge some bright morning and some cluck would run me down with an orange and yel low street car or a bilious busl Or I might forget to leave my hole when the moment for action presents itself W T M anWhil I enjoy my life with the compliments of Monopolated Light 8 Power Since you never riecogmze me even when in closest Contact with me and since no doubt you ll hardly believe that I exist it wont matter if you known that I tapped 1 power line leading into the building and ran it into my hole in the ground Before that I lived in the darl ni SS into which I was chased but now I see We illuininated the lilaiclcness of my invisibility and vice versa And so I play the invisible music of my isolation The last statement doesnt seem just right does it But it is you hear this music simply b C3U5 2 B I Could music is heard and seldom seen except by mU5i1C13 5 MAN Ralph Ellistm thus an urge to make music of invisibility But I am an orator a rabble rouserasAm I was and perhaps shall be again Who knows All sickness is not unto death neither is invisibility I can hear you say What a horrible irresponsible bass tard And you re right I leap to agree with you I am one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived Irresponsibility is part of my invisibility any way you face it it is a denial But to whom can I be responsible and why should I be when you refuse to see me And wait until I reveal how truly irrespon sible I am Responsibility rests upon recognition and recog nition is a form of agreement Take the man whom I almost killed Who was responsible for that near murder iI I don t think so and I refuse it I wont buy it You can t give it to me He bumped me be insulted ms Shouldn t be for his own personal safety have recognized my hysteria my danger poi tentialquot He let us say was lost in a dream world But didri t be control that dream vvorld which alas is only too realla and didn t be rule me out of it And if he had yelled for a policeman wouldn t I have been taken for the offending one Yes yes yes Let me agree with you I was the irresponsible one for I should have used my knife to protect the higher interests of society Some day that kind of foolishness will cause us tragic trouble All dreamers and sleepwalkers must pay the price and even the invisible victim is responsible for the fate of all But I shirked that responsibility I became too snarled in the incompatible notions that buzzed within my brain I was a coward But what did I do to be so blue Bear with me this compulsion to put invisibility down in black and white be It goes a long way my life I had been looking for a e e All back some twenty Y alrls I t r d SDIHQQIIC tried to tell me something and everW 61 00 though they were eir answers what it was I acC6Pted t g If OnUadiCoy I was naive tion and even se C I yself often in contradic p I looking for myself and asking everyone except ml was It took me 3 0 g L J 2 d mil 1 could answer i questions which I 3 Y i f T ex pecmuons 0 time and much Painful boomerangmg or my P b I I lse appears to have been Om s a 39e 39 ti ev erone 6 atliieve a tealizatio Y lspcovper Q I h d to d With That I am nobody but myself But rst a 7 u 39 ll that I am an invisible min k of naturg nor of history I was And is 13 Q quotquot3 I 1 ei ny p h qh ving been equal OF UH lug g in the cards other t mg Sh 1m d of my grandparents for having I p e if f I having at one been slaves I am only Hsldafrllfd rfgif n 1 rS g they were told time been ashamed About 13 CY p Y U in W with others of our cou y I g mmon good and in quot3V quotYIhmg of the hand And they believed five years ago I am HOE that they were fre i Ilrm d erything pertaining to the C0 social separate like the ng rs Ralph Ellison l1tIL1dquotIill1lcCuerirligltled in 1 quotthey stsiyed in their place worked hard is the oneg HePwmy at drdmldo Eh Same But my grandfather told I take after I15quot an I3 D hguyi my grandfather and I am h d hb im t was e whoicaused the trouble On 115 car ed he called my father to him and said Son after I m gone I want you to keep up the good ght I never told you but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days a spy in the enemy s country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction Live with your head in the l fnouthi I Will YOU F0 DV I C0i ne em with yeses undermine 63m with grins agree em to death and destruction let em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open the ol ions d They thought a H1311 had gone out of his mind He had been the Iuieekesthof LUSH The younger children were rushed from the l00mI1t s ades drawn and the flame of the lamp turned so OW 391 at If Sputtered on the wick like the ol Learn it to the younguns died id mans breathing 39 he whispered ercely then he Words Caus d S0 mud as t oug he had not died at all his forget what he had said ilmdmiydi was n d Emphimcaily 0 bem mm on d Omsid an in eed 39tl39llS is the rst time it has a e the family circl e It had a tremendous ff ct P0 T16 however I could never be sure of what he meant Grandfather had been a quiet old man who never made any U 0Ublc yet on his deathbed he had called himsel and a spy I activity d h T f a traitor It EH 6 had spoken of his ineekness as a dangerous h by k T ecamel a constant puzzle which lay unanswered in t E 3 3 Of my mind And whenever things went wen for me I remernbered my grandfather and felt guilty and utter ef hi it J 39 a e It was as thoughl was carrying out his advice in spite of myself And to make it worse everyone I oved me for it I quot praised by the most I 1 was ily white men of the town I was consid INVISIBLE 1 example of desirable conduct just as my granclfaith f of Eng And Wm Puzzled me was that the old man had h 3 it IS t77 1Cb Ty When I was praised for my conduct I 16 miltcithat in some way I was doing something that was it Ha against the wishes of the white folks that if they had hnddrstood they would have desired me to act Just the oppo Iquot that I should have been sulky and m i and that that site T i 31y would have been what they wanted even though they If D016 d and thguglflt they wanted me to act as I did It 6 y T Wade me afraid that some day they would look upon me as a traitor and I would be lost Still I was more afraid to act any imher way because they didn t like that at all The old man s words were like a curse On my graduation day I deliverizd agl oration in which I showed that humility was the secret E in E6 7 the very essence of progress Not that I believed tis h ow could I remembering my grandfather I only l39 l1 VCdI3I It worked It was a great success Everyone praised me an 2 was invited to give the speech at a gathering of the towns leading white citizens It was a triumph for our whole community It was in the main ballroom of the leading hotel Wllyfn I got there I discovered that it was on the occasion of a stun BL and I was told that since I was to be there anyway I might 35 well take part in the battle royal to be fought by SONIC of my schoolmates as part of the entertainment The battle royal came first All of the towrfs big shots were there in their tuxedoes wolfing down the buffet foods drinking beer and whiskey and smoking black cigars It was a large room with a high Cmllng Chairs were arranged in heat rows around three sidesof a portable boxing ring The fourth side was clear revealing 21 gleaming space of polished floor I had some misgivings oV I39 the battle royal by the way Not from a distaste for ghtmg y i i but because I didnt care too much for the other fellows w 0 MAN I8 Ralph Ellison were to take part They were tough guys who seemed to have no grandfathers curse worrying their minds No one could mistake their toughness And besides I suspected that ghting a battle royal might detract from the dignity of my speech In those pre invisible days I visualized myself as a potential Booker T Washington But the other fellows didn t care too much for me either and there were nine of them I felt superior to them in my way and I didn39t like the manner in which we were all crowded together into the servants elevator Nor did they like my being there In fact as the warmly lighted floors ashed past the elevator we had words over the fact that I by taking part in the ght had knocked one of their friends out of a nights work We were led out of the elevator through a rococo hall into an anteroom and told to get into our ghting togs Each of us was issued a pair of boxing gloves and ushered out into the big mirrored hall which we entered looking cautiously about us and whispering lest we might accidentally be heard above the noise of the room It was foggy with cigar smoke And already the whiskey was taking effect I was shocked to see some of the most important men of the town quite tipsy They were all there bankers lawyers judges doctors re chiefs teachers merchants Even one of the more fashionable pastors Something we could not see was going on up front A clarinet was vibrating sensuously and the men were standing up and moving eagerly forward We were a small tight group clustered together our bare upper bodies touching and shining with anticipatory sweat while up front the big shots were becoming increasingly excited over something we still could not see Suddenly I heard the school superintendent who had told me to come yell Bring up the shines gentlemen Bring up the little shines We were rushed up to the front of the ballroom where INVISIBLE d even more strongly of tobacco and Whiskeyquot Then it smells 0 g I E0 lam 1 almggt wet my pants A sea of s a e l in e we were Pug 6 l P6 amused ringed around us and in the st1 30ma 39e e I faces S0m395 h cent blondteisitark naked C 3It facing US Imod fl fnlltagambilast of cold air chill me I There W35 dead Sii nc i h is ere behind me and around me tried to back away butdt eyihvviowemd h ads tr mblmg39 I felt Some of the boys lstool Vn1d fear My teeth Chamjred my Skin a wave of irrationg glut knees knock dl Yet I was Strongly turned to E0056 as pby y of m self Had the Price of look attracted and looked in Spllgeh W lyookgd The hair was yellow log been blindness Iwou d pl th facgheavlly Powdered and like that of a circus l p1 1 gbpstract mask the 165 h u w F0 1g d 35 ghjufgoiobifgnih color of a babooifs butt I felt a an smeare I t desire to spit upon her my eyes brushed slowly ovrEh3it body Her breasts were rm and round as the domeglo ku Indian temples and I stood so close togsee the T6 36 texture and beads of pearly perspiration glistening i e d at around the pink and erected buds of her nipples n wante h one and the same time to run from the room to sink tllroljfl this floor or go to her and cover her from my efyeshangls ttg eyes of the others with my b dyi to feel th 50 Lt lg de caress her and destroy her to love her and murder erto 1 from he and yet to stroke where below the small Aliljflffali flag tattooed upon her belly her thighs formed a capitah l r had a notion that of all in the room she saw only me W I1 impersongil Eyes h began to dance a Slow Smspuous move Antense I ment the smoke of a hundred cigars Cl1I1g1 g it herdllke dill thinnest of veils She seemed like a fair birdsglfl glrdle d mhat calling to me from the angry surface of some gray an 2f the ening sea I was transported Then p became aware thrgam C1aing Playing and the big shots yelling at us Some MAN Ralph 57Ii395on ened us if we looked and others if we did not On my right I saw one boy faint And now a man grabbed a silver pitcher from a table and stepped close as he dashed ice water upon him and stood him up and forced two of us to support him as his head hung and moans issued from his thick bluish lips Another boy began to plead to go home He was the largest of the group wearing dark red ghting trunks much too small to conceal the erection which projected from him as though in answer to the insinuating lowregistered moaning of the clarinet He tried to hide himself with his boxing gloves And all the while the blonde continued dancing smiling faintly at the big shots who watched her with fascination and faintly smiling at our fear I noticed a certain merchant who followed her hungrily his lips loose and drooling He was a large man who wore diamond studs in a shirtfront which swelled with the ample paunch underneath and each time the blonde swayed her undulating hips he ran his hand through the thin hair of his bald head and with his arms upheld his posture clumsy like that of an intoxicated panda wound his belly in a slow and obscene grind This creature was com pletely hypnotized The music had quicltened As the dancer flung herself about with a detached expression on her face the men began reaching out to touch her I could see their beefy ngers sink into the soft flesh Some of the others tried to stop them and she began to move around the floor in graceful cir cles as they gave chase slipping and sliding over the polished oor It was mad Chairs went crashing drinks were split as they ran laughing and howling after her They caught her just as she reached a door raised her from the floor and tossed her as college boys are tossed at a hazing and above her red XtquotCl smiling lips I saw the terror and disgust in her eyes almost like my own terror and that which I saw in some of the other boys As I watched they tossed her twice and her soft breasts seemed to flatten against the air and her legs flung wildly as N NSBLE e of the more sober ones h6 lPed her to Escape m she spun So h oor heading for the anteroom with the 6 39r And I started off I rest of tilt boys Some were still I I were st0PP Cl and ordered to 33933 mo mg mg to leave we g hi Z 0 do but what we were told All ten of us ylherg was rglot iigge to es and anowgd Ourselves ID be blind climbd nu bet td bani OfwhHE doth one of the mm Sepem d folder wit roa I i d y by as we stoo to feel 3 mt sympathetic and tried to c eer usup I with our baclts against the ropes Some of us tried to grin S e that boy over there one of the men said I Wall You I E FOSS at the bell and give it to him right in the belly 0 M ii I i I him rm some I0 set V0 1 l quotquot 9 39 his V Ont ge K M V ii gi1u Each of us was told the same The blindfolds were put an hlet even then I had been going OVEI my 5P l h39 1 my 0 I 39 i 39 e I felt the cloth pressed mind each word was as bright as flame p a lmrd hnl into place and frowned so that it would be oosene W e i I a I we tried Crylng and in hysteria But as W Rziaxedi t f blind terror I was unused But now I felt a sudden I 0 a 39 to darkness It was as though I had suddenlff0 ndImyS39El1c in 3 dark mom lled with poisonous cottonmouths T colu ham the blcary voices yelling insistently for the battle roya to begin Get going in there Let me at that big nigger p T f I strained to pick up the school superintendepltls VO139 as though to squeeze some security out of that slig I y In fam L rLSiuniiat those black sonsabitchesquot someone y ll d t e m i H y No laclltsor1 no another voice Y 3 ed Here Som bod hel 1116 I10 lack i Y I xilrant to get at that giI1g 1quotC0l0 3d nlgg T62 him limb from limb the rst voice Yelled i I d I I stood against the ropes trembling For in those 3Y5 MAN 21 Ralph Ellison was what they called girigercolored and he sounded as though he might crunch me between his teeth like a crisp ginger cookie Quite a struggle was going on Chairs were being kicked about and I could hear voices grunting as with a terri c effort I wanted to see to see more desperately than ever before But the blindfold was tight as a thick skinpuckering scab and when I raised my gloved hands to push the layers of white aside a voice yelled Oh no you don t black bastard Leave that alone Ring the bell before Jackson kills him a coonquot someone boomed in the sudden silence And I heard the bell clang and the sound of the feet scuffing forward A glove smacked against my head I pivoted striking out stiffly as someone went past and felt the jar ripple along the length of my arm to my shoulder Then it seemed as though all nine of the boys had turned upon me at once Blows pounded me from all sides while I struck out as best I could So many blows landed upon me that I wondered if I were not the only blindfolded ghter in the ring or if the man called Jackson hadn39t succeeded in getting me after all Blindfolded I could no longer control my motions I had no dignity I stumbled about like a baby or a drunken man The smoke had become thicker and with each new blow it seemed to seat and further restrict my lungs My saliva became like hot bitter glue A glove connected with my head lling my mouth with warm blood It was everywhere I could not tell if the moisture I felt upon my body was sweat or blood A blow landed hard against the nape of my neck I felt myself going over my head hitting the oor Streaks of blue light filled the black world behind the blindfold I lay prone pretending that I was knocked out but felt myself seized by hands and yanked to my feet Get going black boy Mix it uplquot My arms were like lead my head smarting from blows I managed to feel my way to the ropes and held on trying to catch my INVTISIBLE 39 g and I went over breath A glove landeld ti IS391n1O1ll gClECI393mE 3 kpnik jabb d 1g21l1quotl feeling 39lt1SPl 1EU this Way and that by the legs milling into my guts ujle uued EFECI and discovemd that I Could mmlid iiii aviiashed forms weaving in thf Smokyabm 6 t E i la I i a I 39 he ra id drum atmosphere like drunken dancers weaving to I P like tliEitiVd srpCfnIlogvlgm hySt6ripCa11y It was complete anarchy I o rrou fou ht to tether lilverybody foughg ever IjlpltdDlr1lln gtheI3 mfmd mg ght for long TWO LE6 lveis attacked Blows landed bcl0W Eh gapli otklfi r i nee1S N Hg thegloves open as well as closed ewt an iii I a e I and with my eye partly openedunow there was nog so initit terror I moved carefully avoidingblows althoug not Ttkim many to attract atteintio ghting frown EIOUP to group boys groped about like blind cautious crabs crouching to aria tect their mid sectioris their heads pulled in short against t ghoiilders their arms stretched nervously before tl391E 3391f v villlf thew N5 testing the smokefilled air like the knobbeb ee e of hypersensitive snails In one corner I g mP5 id 3 Cy he lently punching the air and heard him scream 1n P 3 M smashed his hand against a ring post For a second I saw iilrp bmt Over holdinpg his hand then going down aswa blow cauhg t his unprotected head I played one group against thefot e slipping in and throwing a punch then stepping outho I1gS while pushing the others into the melee to take the ow blmdly aimed at me The smoke was agonizing and t ere wet no rounds no bells at three minute intervals to relieve iulvgur exhaustion The room spun round me a swirl of llghtj 0V 5 sweating bodies surrounded by tense white faces I be r0111 both nose and mouth the blood spatt ng PO my C E39amp 39 The men kept yelling Slug him black boy Knoc iis guts out Uppercut him Kill him Kill that his b0Y39 MAN 93 Ralph Ellison 96 my own blood shaping itself into a butter y glistening and soaking into the soiled gray world of the canvas When the voice drawled TEN I was lifted up and dragged to a chair I sat dazed My eye pained and swelled with each throb of my pounding heart and I wondered if now I would be allowed to speak I was wringing wet my mouth still bleeding We were grouped along the wall now The other boys ignored me as they congratulated Tatlock and speculated as to how much they would he paid One boy whimpered over his smashed hand Looking up front I saw attendants in white jackets rolling the portable ring away and placing a small square rug in the vacant space surrounded by chairs Perhaps I thought I will stand on the rug to deliver my speech Then the MC called to us Come on up here boys and get your money We ran forward to where the men laughed and talked in their chairs waiting Everyone seemed friendly now There it is on the rugquot the man said I saw the rug covered with coins of all dimensions and a few crumpled bills But what excited me scattered here and there were the gold pieces Boys it s all yours the man said You get all you grab That s right Samboi a blond man said winking at me con dentially I trembled with excitement forgetting my pain I would get the gold and the bills I thought I would use both hands I would throw my body against the boys nearest me to block them from the gold Get down around the rug now the man commanded and don t anyone touch it until I give the signal This ought to be goodquot I heard INVISIBLE As told we got around the square rug on our knees Slowly the man raised his freckled hand as we followed it upward with our eyes I heard These niggers look like they39re about to pray Then Readyquot the man said Go I lunged for a yellow coin lying on the blue design of the carpet touching it and sending a surprised shriek to join those rising around me I tried frantically to remove my hand but could not let go A hot violent force tore through my body shaking me like a wet rat The rug was electri ed The hair bristled up on my head as I shook myself free My muscles jumped my nerves jangled writhed But I saw that this was not stopping the other boys Laughing in fear and embarrass ment some were holding back and scooping up the coins knocked off by the painful contortions of the others The men roared above us as we struggled Pick it up goddamnit pick it upquot someone called like a bassvoiced parrot Go on get it I crawled rapidly around the oor picking up the coins trying to avoid the coppers and to get greenbacks and the gold Ignoring the shock by laughing as I brushed the coins off quickly I discovered that I could contain the electricity a contradiction hut it works Then the men began to push us onto the rug Laughing embarrassedly we struggled out of their hands and kept after the coins We were all wet and slippery and hard to hold Suddenly I saw a boy lifted into the air glistening with sweat like a circus seal and dropped his wet back landing flush upon the charged rug heard him yell and saw him literally dance upon his back his elbows beating a frenzied tattoo upon the floor his muscles twitching like the esh of a horse stung by many flies When he nally rolled off his face was gray and no one stopped him when he ran from the f loor amid booming laughter MAN 27 Ralph Ellison Get the moneyquot the MC called That39s good hard American cashquot And we snatched and grabbed snatched and grabbed I was careful not to come too close to the rug now and when I felt the hot whiskey breath descend upon me like a cloud of foul air I reached out and grabbed the leg of a chair It was occupied and I held on desperately Leggo nigger Leggol The huge face wavered down to mine he tried to push me free But my body was slippery and he was too drunk It was Mr Colcord who owned a chain of movie houses and entertainment palaces Each time he grabbed me I slipped out of his hands It became a real struggle I feared the rug more than I did the drunk so I held on surprising myself for a moment by trying to topple bim upon the rug It was such an enormous idea that I found myself actually carrying it out I tried not to be obvious yet when I grabbed his leg trying to tumble him out of the chair he raised up roaring with laughter and looking at me with soberness dead in the eye kicked me viciously in the chest The chair leg ew out of my hand and I felt myself going and rolled It was as though I had rolled through a bed of hot coals It seemed a whole century would pass before I would toll free a century in which I was seared through the deepest levels of my body to the fearful breath within me and the breath seared and heated to the point of explosion It39ll all be over in a flash I thought as I rolled clear It ll all be over in a flash But not yet the men on the other side were waiting red faces swollen as though from apoplexy as they bent forward in their chairs Seeing their ngers coming toward me I rolled away as a fumbled football rolls o quot the receiver s ngertips back into the coals That time I luckily sent the rug sliding out of place and heard the coins ringing against the oor and INVISIBLE the boys scuffling to pick them up and the MC calling All right boys that s all Go get dressed and get your money I was limp as a dish rag My back felt as though it had heert beaten with wires When we had dressed the MC came in and gave us each five dollars except Tatlock who got ten for being last in the ring Then he told us to leave I was not to get a chance to deliver my speech I thought I was going out into the dim alley in despair when I was stopped and told to go back I returned to the ballroom where the men were pushing back their chairs and gathering in groups to talk The MC knocked on a table for quiet Gentlemen he said we almost forgot an important part of the program A most serious part gentlemen This boy was brought here to deliver a speech which he made at his graduation yester day Bratoquot ll m told that he is the smartest boy we ve got out there in Greenwood I m told that he knows more big words than a pocketsized dictionary Much applause and laughter So now gentlemen I want you to give him your atten tion here was still laughter as I faced them my mouth dry my eye throbbing I began slowly but evidently my throat was tense because they began shouting Louder Louder We of the younger generation extol the wisdom of that great leader and educator I shouted who rst spoke these aming words of wisdom A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel From the mast of the un fortunate vessel was seen a signal Water water we die of thirst The answer from the friendly vessel came back Cast down your bucket where you are The captain of the dis MAN Ralph Ellison tressed vessel at last heeding the injunction cast down his bucket and it came up full of fresh sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River And like him I say and in his words To those of my race who depend upon bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the impor tance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man who is his nextdoor neighbor I would say Cast down your bucket where you are cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded P I spoke automatically and with such fervor that I did not realize that the men were still talking and laughing until my dry mouth lling up with blood from the cut almost stran gled me I coughed wanting to stop and go to one of the tall brass sand lled spittoons to relieve myself but a few of the men especially the superintendent were listening and I was afraid So I gulped it down blood saliva and all and contin ued What powers of endurance I had during those days What enthusiasm What a belief in the tightness of things I spoke even louder in spite of the pain But still they talked and still they laughed as though deaf with cotton in dirty ears So I spoke with greater emotional emphasis I closed my ears and swallowed blood until I was nauseated The speech seemed a hundred times as long as before but I could not leave out a single word All had to be said each memorized nuance con sidered rendered Nor was that all Whenever I uttered a word of three or more syllables a group of voices would yell for me to repeat it I used the phrase social responsibility and they yelled Whats that word you say boy Social responsibility I said What Social P Louder INVISIBLE responsibility More Respon Repeat sibility The room lled with the uproar of laughter until no doubt distracted by having to gulp down my blood I made a mistake and yelled a phrase I had often seen denounced in newspaper editorials heard debated in private Social What they yelled equality quot The laughter hung smokelike in the sudden stillness I opened my eyes puzzled Sounds of displeasure lled the room The MC rushed forward They shouted hostile phrases at me But I did not understand A small dry rnustached man in the front row blared out quotSay that slowly son What sirquot What you just said Social responsibility sirquot I said You weren t being smart were you boy he said not unkinclly No sir You sure that about equality was a mistake Oh yes sir I said I was swallowing blood Well you had better speak more slowly so we can un derstand We mean to do right by you but you ve got to know your place at all times All right now go on with your speech I was afraid I wanted to leave but I wanted also to speak and I was afraid they d snatch me down Thank you sir I said beginning where I had left off and having them ignore me as before Yet when I nished there was a thunderous applause II MA N 31 Ralph cfllisorz was surprised to see the superintendent come forth with a package wrapped in white tissue paper and gesturing for quiet address the men Gentlemen you see that I did not overpraise this boy He makes a good speech and some day he39ll lead his people in t the proper paths And I don t have to tell you that that is important in these days and times This is a good smart boy and so to encourage him in the right direction in the name of the Board of Education I wish to present him a prize in the form of this lHe paused removing the tissue paper and revealing a gleaming calfskin brief case in the form of this first class article from Shad Whit more39s shop Boyquot he said addressing me take this prize and keep it well Consider it a badge of office Prize it Keep developing as you are and some day it will he lled with irnportant papers that will help shape the destiny of your peoplequot I was so moved that I could hardly express my thanks A rope of bloody saliva forming a shape like an undiscovered continent drooled upon the leather and I wiped it quickly away I felt an importance that I had never dreamed Open it and see whats inside I was told My ngers atremble ll complied smelling the fresh leather and nding an oflicial looking document inside It was a scholarship to the state college for Negroes My eyes lled with tears and I ran awkwardly off the floor I was overjoyed I did not even mind when I discovered that the gold pieces I had scrambled for were hrass pocket tokens advertising a certain make of automobile When I reached home everyone was excited Next day the neighbors came to congratulate me I even felt safe from grandfather whose deathbed curse usually spoiled my tri INVISIBLE umphs I stood beneath his photograph with my brief case in hand and smiled triumphantly into his stolid black peasants face It was a face that fascinated me The eyes seemed to follow everywhere I went That night I dreamed I was at a circus with him and that he refused to laugh at the clowns no matter what they did Then later he told me to open my brief case and read what was inside and I did nding an official envelope stamped with the state seal and inside the envelope I found another and another endlessly and I thought I would fall of weariness Thern s yearsquot he said Now open that one And I did and in it I found an engraved document containing a short message in letters of gold Read it my grandfather said Out loud To Whom It May Concern I intoned Keep This lligger lBoy Running I awoke with the old mans laughter ringing in my ears It was a dream I was to remember and dream again for many years after But at that time I had no insight into its meaning First I had to attend college MAN The Blue Angel and Blackface Redeeming Entertainment in Aleksandrov s Circus BETH HOLMGREN The critical recovery of Stalinist popular culture has been complicated perhaps to a greater extent than popular culture in other national contexts by moral condemnation of the producer s political complicity and abiding social revulsion for the very concept of light entertainment Perhaps the hardest cases for critical expiation are the feel good products of the high Stalinist era such fare as Grigorii Aleksandrov s famous quartet of musical comedy lms Veselye rebiata The Happy Guys 1934 Birk Circus 1936 Volga Volga 1938 and Svetlyi put The Radiant Path 1940 Like the kolkhoz musicals of Ivan Pyr39ev Aleksandrov s onetime coworker these lms dubbed musical comedies to mask their kinship to the bourgeois genre of musical were judged to exemplify the varnishing of reality that Khrushchev damned in his 1956 secret deStalinization speech Indeed the lm scholar Maia Turovskaia asserts that while Aleksandrov s Volga Volga did not arouse as much passionate controversy as Pyr39ev s Cossacks of the Kuban it may qualify as the second most distorted work in Soviet cinema because it was made between 1936 and 1938 Over the last fteen years scholarship on Stalinera lm has become more textually and contextually nuanced moving toward a comprehensive history of how the Soviet genre lm was made through the creative interactions and political negotiations of directors scriptwriters actors composers designers and producerbureaucrats We can even claim a miniboom in the critical rehabilitation of the Soviet musical purveyed My great thanks to Josephine Woll Madeline G Levine and an anonymous reader all of whom helped me better focus and articulate the argument in this essay The mistakes are all mine Richard Taylor But eastward look the land is brighter Towards a topography of utopia in the Stalinist musical in 100 Years of European Cinema Entertainment or Ideology ed Diana Holmes and Alison Smith Manchester 2000 13 repinted in The Landscape of Stalinism The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space ed E A Dobrenko and Eric Naiman Seattle 2003 201l8 2Maia Turovskaia The Strange Case of the Making of Volga Volga in Inside Soviet Film Satire Laughter with a Lash ed Andrew Horton Cambridge England 1993 7576 3Richard Taylor Ideology as Mass Entertainment Boris Shumyatsky and Soviet Cinema in the l930s in Inside the Film Factory New Approaches to Russian and Soviet Cinema ed Richard Taylor and Ian Christie New York 1991 193 The Russian Review 66 January 2007 522 Copyright 2007 The Russian Review This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 6 Beth Holmgren popularly through Dana Ranga s 1997 documentary East Side Story which samples East German Bulgarian Czechoslovak and Soviet musicals in search of music fun and colors in a world of ambiguity and suspicion and developed analytically by such scholars as Richard Stites Richard Taylor Oksana Bulgakowa Katerina Clark and Thomas Lahusen Stites outlines players topics and features in his survey history of Russian popular culture from 19005 Taylor investigates studio operation and style examining the 1930s legacy of Boris Shumiatskii head of the State Directorate of the Cinema and Photographic Industry and de ning a topography of utopia in the Stalinist musical 6 Oksana Bulgakowa catalogues and quanti es the female beauties of Stalinist lm a typology that inevitably spotlights Liubov Orlova and Marina Ladynina the reigning queens of Stalinist musicals directed by their respective husbands Aleksandrov and Pyr39ev7 Both Lahusen and Clark present useful close analyses of Aleksandrov s The Happy Guys and Volga Volga detailing the lms production history and establishing their double frames of reference to Stalinist culture and Western genre movies Yet Clark s and Lahusen s single lm studies also indicate the still problematic status of entertainment in the critical assessment of Aleksandrov Clark remarks the exception of Aleksandrov s lightness and comedy to the rule of heavily ideologized Stalinist lms implying an intriguing parallel between his musicals and the very polished genre lms that dominated the Nazi German lm industry Lahusen readily acknowledges the Hollywood genre lm features that Aleksandrov imported for the making of Happy Guys but he resists demoting Soviet musicals of the 1930s to what he identi es as slick Hollywood product as his subtitle foretells How the Stalinist Film Musical Caught Up with Hollywood and Overtook It Lahusen argues that Aleksandrov s work unlike Hollywood musicals transcends both propaganda and pure entertainment and communicates a genuine type of emotion and intimacy East Side Story Dana Ranga dir 1997 Produced by Anda Film Canal DocStar and Westdeutscher Rund ink 5Richard Stites Russian Popular Culture Entertainment and Society since 1900 Cambridge England 1992 Richard Taylor But eastward look 1126 and idem Ideology as Mass Entertainment 193 216 7Oksana Bulgakova Sovetskie krasavitsy v Stalinskom kino in Sovetskoe bogatstvo Stat39i o kul 39ture literature i kino ed Marina Balina at al St Petersburg 2002 391411 3Katerina Clark Grigorii Aleksandrov s Volga Volga in Language and Revolution Making Modern Political Identities ed Igal Hal n London 2002 21534 Russian version in Sovetskoe bogatstvo 2002 37190 Thomas Lahusen From Laughter Out of Sync to PostSynchronized Comedy or How the Stalinist Film Musical Caught Up with Hollywood and Overtook It in Socialist Cultures East and West A Post Cold War Reassessment ed Dubravka Juraga and M Keith Booker Westport CT 2002 3 l 42 Russian version in Sovetskoe bogatstvo 2002 34257 In contrast Moira Ratchford s ne study of Circus focuses mainly on its Stalinist frame of reference arguing how Aleksandrov loaded the lm with contemporary ideological content its musical declaration of the new Soviet constitution glori cation of Soviet egalitarianism and unmasking of fascism See Ratchford Circus of 1936 Ideology and Entertainment under the Big Top in Inside Soviet Film Satire 1993 8393 9It is worth noting that nonreductive scholarship on Nazi popular lm is a relatively recent phenomenon See Lutz Koepnick The Dark Mirror German Cinema Between Hitler and Hollywood Berkeley 2002 The Dark Mirror wants to contribute to lm studies reconsideration of the national and the popular It builds on recent work in German lm scholarship that has emphasized the extent to which German cinema has been from its very inception as cinema of cultural transfers and transcultural fusions of border crossings and transgressive identi cations Unlike a great deal of postwar scholarship which simply disparaged European genre cinema as bad objects The Dark Mirror is intended to develop a nuanced vocabulary able to assess the narrative energies and stylistic shapes of German popular lmmaking p 2 Lahusen From Laughter 41 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blackface 7 Clearly there linger certain questions about the genesis and originality of A1eksandrov s work Why would this lmmaker venture such uniquely entertaining fare in the Stalinist 1930s How did he negotiate of cial disapproval of Western in uence and domestic prejudice against popular culture in the critical establishment if not the moviegoing public Whether or not we agree with Lahusen about the ef cacy of such concepts as pure entertainment and genuine emotion did Aleksandrov effectively distinguish his popular lms from their successful Western prototypes How did he pull off politically and artistically a sequence of Stalinera musical hits As lm historians have elaborated a curious combination of socioeconomic factors professional experience and a dictator s moviegoing tastes launched Aleksandrov s venture into musical comedy In this article I argue that Aleksandrov successfully defended and sustained his venture onscreen as well His 1936 Circus the second musical in the quartet thematically spotlights the import and adaptation of Western entertainment for Soviet performance and Soviet consumption Circus extends the practice that Happy Guys commenced integrating many genre features plot paradigms featured stars song anddance numbers shot strategies reiterated in Hollywood musicals of its day Yet in contrast to his rst musical Circus not only showcases the political ideas and cultic motifs of the Stalin state what Stites itemizes as antifascism ethnic equality the democratic constitution the cult of aviation the new Moscow construction but also corrects the Western show business it importsquot Speci cally Circus critiques the economic exploitation and social injustice of Westem entertainment and undoes its falsely glamorized or otherwise distorted representations of sexuality and race One of the key missions of Aleksandrov s Circus is to recover cherish and naturalize the authentic suffering human beings that Western lm and particularly Hollywood lms marginalize and mask Its onscreen acts of redemption and sovietization justi ed its own entertainment focus I contend and thereafter smoothed the way for the making of the screwball Volga Volga and the fairy tale Radiant Path My analysis of Circus as the pivot in Aleksandrov s popular lmmaking the movie that in a sense proved his moral and national license to entertain begins by reviewing the director s close encounters with Western lm Grigorii Aleksandrov 190384 rst gained renown as one of Sergei Eisenstein s iron ve zheleznaia piaterka assistants in which capacity he developed as a jack of all lm trades from acting to scriptwriting to directing But his professional education expanded most signi cantly through an extended Western tour with Eisenstein a trip undertaken when Douglas Fairbanks Sr and Joseph Schenck then president of United Artists and Eisenstein s relative traveled to Moscow and promised them an invitation to Hollywood Eisenstein Aleksandrov and cameraman Eduard Tisse headed West in 1929 in hot pursuit of sound lm technology Along the way they stopped in Berlin and became acquainted with the American director Joseph von Stemberg who had been recruited to lm The Blue Angel starring Emil Jannings and an unknown Marlene Dietrich for the German studio UFA The Soviet visitors eagerly helped the quotStites Russian Popular Culture 89 2GrigoriiA1eksandrov Epokha i kino Moscow 1976 115 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 8 Beth Holmgren American guest director with the new intricacies of lm recording In his memoirs Aleksandrov recalls the unexpected pleasure of palling around with J annings a devilishly talented individual He makes no mention of meeting Dietrich whose screen persona was then being molded by Von Stemberg until the trio reaches Hollywood where the rising GerrnanAmerican star dared to befriend the visiting Soviets Aleksandrov s extended stay in Hollywood produced far more mixed impressions On the one hand he waxes wry in his memoirs about Hollywood s showy welcome and oppressive luxury He deplores the lm industry s subordination of creativity to the market the corrosive obsession of the businessmen studio heads with moneymaking and advertising goods and the predictable ascendancy of boastful capricious directors and impossible stars In Hollywood Aleksandrov observes they don t think about making a truly artistic picture and the Russians in consequence make no movies with their sponsoring studio Paramount Alexandrov recalls the dictatorial ultimatum of studio head Jesse Lasky Either you make pictures Paramount is interested in or we go our separate ways On the other hand Hollywood s vast resources and extraordinarily advanced technical base awed Aleksandrov who was mesmerized by the man in the sound booth and by the innovative animated musicals of Walt Disney in which the music track determined shots and plot Although be identified Mickey Mouse as his favorite hero he also conceived a lasting admiration for the work and person of Charlie Chaplin who not only escorted the Russians around town and country but also impressed them with his artistry perfectionism independence and respect for his audience In Aleksandrov s estimation Chaplin created profound art out of stunts that would be tasteless if performed by lesser talents When Aleksandrov came home in 1932 he was not penalized for this Western experience but mobilized to apply it by the highest authority Upon his return Stalin queried him about his trip and complained about art lagging behind the F ive Year Plan declaring as Aleksandrov carefully remembers that the people love a cheerful joyous art an art of gaiety and comedy 9 Since the late 1920s criticism of the aestheticism and formalism of intelligentsia directors such as Eisenstein had been mounting and the lm industry was being hardpressed to produce mass pleasing lms that would attract more moviegoers and greater revenue The shortage of foreign currency and the emphasis on production in the Five Year Plan exacerbated the need for domestic popular lms Shumiatsky vigorously lobbied for lm genres that are infused with optimism with the 3Ibid 11819 Ibid 130 In Fun in a Chinese Laundry An Autobiography New York 1965 Jozef Von Stemberg remarks that George Grosz implied that Dietrich was his Trilby but that Dietrich herself preferred to be known as the Liza Doolittle to my Professor Higgins rather than the Trilby to my Svengali or the Galatea to my Pygmalion pp 223 24 See also S S Prawer The Blue Angel Der Blaue Engel London 2002 14 19 59 6768 Aleksandrov Epokha i kino 123 Ibid 13738 Ibid 126 13031 3Ibid 13134 210 Ibid 159 Taylor Ideology as Mass Entertainment 19598 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blackface 9 mobilizing emotions with cheerfulness joie devivre and laughter in his book Movies for Millions he assigned comedy the vital task of creating a good joyous spectacle for the victorious class 2 Thus the recurring challenge confronting Aleksandrov was how to make an effective and original Soviet musical comedya movie with joyous spectacle a goodquality sound track local relevance and popular appeal His first effort perhaps predictably involved rampant experimentation with imports Early on Aleksandrov recognized what scholars of the American musical have traced that a lm musical derives from combines and then supplants other popular music forms such as vaudeville the music hall play and the revue At Shurniatsky s suggestion and with the help of composer Isaac Dunaevskii and the playwrights Vladimir Mass and Nikolai Erdman Aleksandrov transformed a music hall revue titled Muzykal nyi magazin The Music Shop into a first screenplay for The Happy Guys Lahusen nicely details this lm s dialogue with American cinema its opening cartoon credits of great Hollywood comedians including Chaplin and kaleidoscopic patterns reminiscent of Busby Berkeley choreography its transformative opening number in which the shepherd Kostia played by band leader Leonid Utesov randomly samples objects in the passing landscape to make music and its counterpoint of sound and music in lieu of Hollywood s relatively new system of synchronizing the image track with a prerecorded sound track Aleksandrov s rst musical comedy demonstrated his skill and innovation as a popular lmmaker yet was condemned in the press as unabashedly Western entertainment Soviet critics decried its wholesale transfer of American features from its apolitical message to its bourgeois jazz Although Stalin himself had enjoyed the lm and Aleksandrov likely won the Order of the Red Army in January 1935 in consequence the director admitted that his critics objections to the lm s plotlessness and lack of social content were not groundless 25 Yet the subject of his next musical comedy was also drawn from and rmly ensconced in the world of popular entertainment Browsing the music hall once more for material in 1935 Aleksandrov became interested in Il39ia Il39f and Evgenii Petrov s play Pod kupolom tsirka Under the Big Top and engaged the famed comic novelwriting duo along with Petrov s brother in law Valentin Kataev to develop it into a screenplay Soon after its completion Il39f and Petrov embarked for the United States where they were to crank out their propagandistic travelogue 0dnoetazhnaiaAmerika OneStory America When they discovered the changes that Aleksandrov with the assistance of Isaac Babel had wrought without their permission they demanded that their names be removed from the lm s credits Il39f and Petrov never stated their objections the editor of their 1996 Sobranie sochinenii surmises that the two felt Aleksandrov had violated the style of their satirical comedy 2 Ibid 2089 22Aleksandrov Epokha i kino 189 Thomas Schatz Hollywood Genres Formulas F ilmmaking and the Studio System Philadelphia 1981 186 Jane Feuer The Hollywood Musical 2d ed London 1993 94 Lahusen From Laughter 3537 Examining its themes plot numbers and technical production Lahusen argues that The Happy Guys can be considered as a manifesto of how to make a musical in Soviet conditions Ivan F rolov Grigorii Aleksandrov Moscow 1976 2223 32 39 25Ibid 3233 Aleksandrov Epokha i kino 189 2 Il39ia Il39f and Evgenii Petrov Pod kupolom tsirka in their Sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1996 3491 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 10 Beth Holmgren Notwithstanding Il39f and Petrov s rejection of Aleksandrov s nished product their screenplay furnishes the basic structure of the lm s wellmade plot Set in a Soviet circus Under the Big Top highlights an imported American attraction billed Flight to the Moon managed by the disingenuous German impresario Franz von Kneishits and featuring the girl singer Alina who is shot out of a cannon through a paper moon When the cost conscious circus director enlists one of his leading performers Martynov to create a cheaper yet superior Soviet variant Flight to the Stratosphere Martynov soon falls for Alina treats her to Russianlanguage lessons and discovers her abuse by von Kneishits The jealous German in turn threatens to tell Alina s dread secret to her new Soviet friends that she was married to a black man and has a mulatto son The plot crescendoes to two crises a resolution and a spectacular nale Ma1tynov s Flight fails almost tragically Alina clings to her injured Russian lover Von Kneishits consequently reveals her secret and her son in the arena the circus goers accept the white mother and mixedrace child and Alina and Martynov together successfully and spectacularly fly to the stratosphere It bears noting that Il39f and Petrov s screenplay parallels standard American musicals in several important ways rst and foremost in its positive self justifying focus on entertainment and entertainers Under the Big Top soberly notes the intemational evils of rising fascism and American racism but mainly dwells on the antics and foibles of daily circus operations exploring a benign world where only the choleric circus director struggles with Soviet bureaucracy rejecting a talking dog act on account of its unmobilizing petty bourgeois repertoire fuming at the three writers from the State Union of Musicians Stage and Circus Workers who overcharge him and agonizing over the critical comments submitted by the circus s anonymous organized viewer 28 Focused on the various aspects of putting on a show Under the Big Top overlaps to a striking extent with the Hollywood backstage musical which as lm scholar Jane Feuer notes brings together life offstage and onstage and places the success of the couple c in a metaphorical relationship to the success of the show 2quot Its plot concentrates on what Richard Altman identi es as the musical s crucial romantic pairing of parallel stars of opposite sex and radically divergent values whose opposite life styles and values are eventually merged As in numerous American musicals the primary couple of Alina and Martynov are doubled by a secondary couple exploited for comic relief Il39f and Petrov cast Raechka as the director s daughter a bareback rider who loves to eat and Skameikin as a skirt chasing circusgoer In transforming this screenplay Alexandrov retained its main plotlines and actually ampli ed its depiction of circus acts and backstage business shot the lm according to an already recorded music track in contrast to Happy Guys and according to standard Hollywood practice obviously politicized several of its characters trimmed its mild Richard Altman The American Film Musical Bloomington 1987 49 28Il39f and Petrov Sobranie sochinenii 3439 45455 460 29Feuer Hollywood Musical 80 Altman American Film Musical 50 339Ibid 19 3132 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blackface 11 domestic satire and altered the lm s tonality and star focus The circus director broadly played by the character actor Vladimir Volodin remains choleric and comically reactive but has softened into a kindly father gure the head of the circus s malaia sem39ia or little family as Josephine Woll observes The strapping young actor Sergei Stoliarov whom Stites describes as a Kirov lookalike is cast as Martynov the romantic lead and he enters the film as a demobbed airman iconically linked with the daring physical heroes of high Stalinism the Stakhanovite worker the military pilot the polar explorer Skameikin performed by the adept comic Aleksandr Komissarov still functions as Raechka s skirtchasing misadventurous beau but is politically improved in his new profession as cannon designer In deliberate contrast the villainy of the German von Kneishits is accentuated by his constant sneer dark clothes moustache and greased back hair Richard Taylor argues his equation with Nazism and even suggests that the righthand part in his hair would remind audiences of Hitler THE BLUE ANGEL AND DAMSEL MARION Aleksandrov most transforms Il39f and Petrov s Under the Big Top by overlaying the comedy with melodrama After the lm s credits which theatrically herald a change of attraction by posting a bill of Circus over an old bill of Happy Guys the viewer is presented with the front page of an American newspaper in which a publicity photo of star Marion Dixon the lm version of Alina tops a headline announcing her scandalous behavior This upending of theatrical advertisement the sudden shift from iconic credits to iconic discredit is followed by a shot of the outskirts of an American circus where an angry rockthrowing mob chases Marion now wrapped in a shawl like a refugee and clutching a bundle to her breast As the frame shifts from capitalist publicity still to socialist documentary on raging capitalist injustice Marion s image radically mutates from self possessed star to damsel in distress As she leaps desperately onto a departing train and throws herself into a compartment we learn that the bundle is a baby by its wailing 32Lahusen From Laughter 39 This ampli cation includes resurrecting an old vaudeville routine replete with clown costumes and oldfashioned bicycles an act the manager desperately inserts as filler when the circus s grand nale has been delayed This quotation once again links Circus to the Hollywood musical which according to F euer regularly incorporates earlier or different entertainment forms and thereby aims to evoke nostalgia for bygone entertainment eras while at the same time asserting that entertainment itself is etemal Hollywood Musical 91 92 Josephine Woll Under the Big Top America Goes to the Circus unpublished manuscript quoted with permission from author Stites Russian Popular Culture 89 Woll Under the Big Top Ratchford suggests that the casting of the wooden Stoliarov was intended to be a careful corrective of the casting of Utesov in Happy Guys Circus of 1936 88 Richard Taylor The Illusion of Happiness and the Happiness of Illusion Grigorii Alexandrov s Circus Slavonic and East European Review 74 October 1996 610 Frolov Grigorii Aleksandrov 61 37Marion s melodramatic posturing as she ees the mob recalls the broad emotional gestures of silent screen actresses invoking such early celluloid victims of capitalism as Vera Kholodnaia My thanks to Martin A Miller for suggesting this speci c resemblance For a superb reading of Vera as victim see Helena Goscilo Playing Dead The Operatics of Celebrity Funerals or The Ultimate Silent Part in Imitations of Life Two Centuries of Melodrama in Russia ed Louise McReyno1ds and Joan Neuberger Durham NC 2002 28793 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 12 Beth Holmgren although we do not see its face and we are introduced to her blackmailing impresario in the Germanspeaking man surprised by her entrance and immediately alerted to her secret by the newspaper he is reading At the close of the prologue the lm foreshadows the progress of the heroine s ight from West to East as the globe logo on the train car another capitalist advertisement is transformed into a beach ball that bounces into the Soviet circus ring Images of lightness and playfulness thus enter the lm as positive Sovietlinked properties Aleksandrov s added prologue fundamentally alters the lm s representation of the heroine melodramatizing her image and spotlighting her as the star His blend of musical and melodrama speci es her duality and enables her tour deforce performance as a bedazzling singer and a suffering heroine The lm s Marion was Liubov39 Orlova a talented actress with a pro cient operettasuited soprano and a natural sympathetic charisma on screen who had already made a name for herself as the game serving girl in her husband s Happy Guys Her star casting in Circus echoes a common practice in Hollywood musicals for as lm historian Thomas Schatz observes the musical tends to be bound to the star system more closely than any other genre presumably because of its range of dramatic and performance demands on the star Certainly Circus clinched Orlova s stardom which of all Soviet screen actors most closely approximated studio era Hollywood treatment according to Oksana Bulgakowa At the same time the heroine Orlova plays is problematized by her Western provenance and transgressive sexuality sins that the melodrama s stark ethical conflict is tailormade to absolve In Circus a talented American performer is hounded off the stage because she loves across color lines Such a plot could not happen in a contemporary American musical In prewar Hollywood the musical s heroine primarily faced obstacles to her romantic ful llment or professional advancement although some characters irted with being bad as insouciant golddiggers Several scholars have inferred a different parallel to Marion s character in Lola Lola the singer Marlene Dietrich played in von Stemberg s Blue Angel a classic performance that Aleksandrov obviously knew well The Blue Angel not only established Marlene Dietrich as an international star but also coined Dietrich s enduring screen persona as the worldly knowing bisexually assertive siren Dietrich s vocal talent was negligible but her extraordinary stage presence haughty beauty and manifest sexual power quali ed her as the consummate cabaret diva Dietrich s persona archly displayed in an American series of lavish von Sternberg pictures was surely ensconced by the mid 1930s Karina Dobrotvorskaia argues that Orlova s Marion quotes Dietrich in looks costuming allure and the initials MD a name change that Aleksandrov himself introduced Bulgakowa eshes out this comparison by noting similarities in both stars biographies their aristocratic family background military discipline instilled by paternal 33Schatz Hollywood Genres 191 See also Feuer Hollywood Musical 113 3quotBulgakova Sovetskie krasavitsy 400 4 This concept of the melodrama was of course rst put forward by Peter Brooks in The Melodramatic Imagination Balzac Henry James Melodrama and the Mode of Excess New Haven 1979 For close analysis of the melodrama s redemption of heroines in popular Russian and Polish literature see my The Importance of Being Unhappy or Why She Died in Imitations of Life 7998 Karina Dobrotvorskaia Tsirk G V Aleksandrova Iskusstvo kino 1992 no 1 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blackface 13 example and like capacity to preserve their youth and beauty before an adoring public Another parallel deserves note here but is likely a red herring that is how Circus echoes the paired names of Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Stemberg with the character names Marion Dixon and Franz Von Kneishits I argue that Lola Lola the sophisticated sexually con dent chanteuse of decadent 1929 Berlin serves as a speci c point of repulsion for Marion s development Lola Lola as incarnated by Dietrich must sing in a twobit waterfront bar in outlandish costumes with strategically exposed undergarments but she thoroughly enjoys and controls her sexual allure In the British Film Institute monograph on The Blue Angel S S Prawer observes how Dietrich pitches her performance between enticement and irony and plays Lola Lola as conscious of the power her looks and her performance skills confer on her the power to choose among the many kinds of men that respond to her 43 Symbolic of this power are the large men s hats she wears when singing about her surrender to love Although she marries the stuffy German teacher she has unexpectedly attracted Lola Lola remains the breadwinner in their relationship and a free agent in love Indeed her two performances of her signature love song only convey increasing self con dence and sexual appetite projecting rst coy invitation and then bold proposition as she sits astride her chair Lola Lola also comfortably manages the transitions between dressingroom and stage Much of the lm depicts her before a mirror in the process of preparing for or undressing after a number she typically invites her male admirers to play voyeur to her narcissist as she dons a wig or applies her makeup In The Blue Angel we rst spy Lola Lola in poster version on the street as a lone cleaning woman looks her over and then attempts to imitate her assertive stance In Circus Marion s opposite trajectory describes her demotion from publicity still to reallife victim and her persecution rather than imitation by mostly men in the street We next view Marion as she grimly prepares for her dangerous act backstage at the Soviet circus checking her re ection in a mirror of a traveling case that is anked by a religious statuette and a cruci x Fig 1 She uses her re ection not for selfregard but to steel herself to perform and she crosses herself as if preparing for her execution Marion s sole companion in this transition is no male admirer but a fellow sufferer a somber helpful clown dressed and made up like Chaplin The costume in which Marion performs shrinks Lola Lola s top hat into a toy derby and avoids any exposure of undergarments with a highnecked bodysmoothing leotard Marion shows little esh and none of Lola Lola s attitude When she sings she sits astride no chair but exudes a cheery professional energy executing a 1920sstyle tap dance atop her cannon and swiveling or sitting with knees together or legs decorously crossed Much as the offstage Marion contrasts with Lola Lola s free and easy ways through her pose as victim and atoning sinner so the onstage Marion contrasts Bulgakova Sovetskie krasavitsy 401 Prawer The Blue Angel 49 Given Aleksandrov s high assessment of Chaplin and the assiduousness with which this actor copies the master his presence in the lm is sympathetic and his stunts presumably offered as examples of comic art Nonetheless this version of Chaplin like Marion herself abjectly serves Von Kneishits and so reinforces the lm s theme of Westem talent exploited by a fascist impresario This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 14 Beth Holmgren as a highly regimented performer with stylized marionettish movements a dollsized hat and a carefully pleasing mask Fig 2 FIG 1 Marion brooding before her circus act FIG 2 Marion tapdancing atop her cannon In deLolaizing Marion Circus negotiates a dilemma in representation very similar to contemporary Hollywood s struggle to redeem fallen women in genre lms ranging from melodrama to backstage musicals As Lea Jacobs details in The Wages of Sin Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film 19281942 the de facto censors in 19305 Hollywood rst the Studio Relations Committee and then the Production Code Administration strived to temper the visual and material allure of the woman who cashed in on her sex appeal that is beautiful wardrobe elegantly modern living quarters by punishing her or convincing her of the joys of true love and everyday domesticity in the picture s nal reel Hollywood lms sought to redirect aggressive female sexuality into safe coupledom or death and to strike an appealing balance between the heroine s glamour and goodness Circus assays a different sort of redemption of its fallen woman heroine deeroticizing her sexuality liberating the authentic human being falsely oppressed by capitalist culture yet curiously enough naturalizing rather than renouncing her glamour Marion Dixon rst appears to us as a persecuted terri ed mother and thereafter as a performer painfully ambivalent at the prospect of tarting herself up for the crowd and executing a dangerous stunt The rst performance of her little song and dance demonstrates her talent appeal and professionalism Like any Hollywood musical Circus takes pains to display its popular star s musical panache But Marion s backstage scenes alone with Von Kneishits revert to stock melodrama documenting her suffering and humiliation not as a performer per se but as a woman victimized by a businessman impresario who incamates and enforces a sexist racist capitalist order The heroine s sexual misconduct is only implied through this enactment of punishment and contrition After her rst triumphant flight to the moon a jealous von Kneishits throws her to the oor of her dressing room striking her with the bouquet that Martynov tossed her in the ring and Marion lies stricken and prostrate before a gigantic theater poster of her stage face reiterating the opening scene s opposition between billboard diva and reallife damsel In a later encounter in her Lea Jacobs The Wages of Sin Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film 19281942 Madison 1991 4041 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blaclqquotace 15 sumptuous hotel room von Kneishits pelts her with the ne clothes in which he has kept her while she stands upright and immobile a statue of renunciatory virtue Her de ant expression as well as her words uttered in English declare her conversion The Mary you bought these clothes for is no more As Aleksandrov s many protracted closeups underscore Marion s progress is largely about recovering her true face and normalizing her life rendering her an innocent romantic lead committed worker and loving mother Fig 3 FIG 3 Marion stands up to her keeper von Kneishits Marion s recovery of her unmasked self begins offstage as well where she performs in musical numbers markedly different from her playful irtatious puton circus song When Marion meets with Martynov for Russian lessons in her hotel room the song through which they realize their love is not the romantic duet usually featured in the Hollywood musical but Dunaevskii s famous march Song of the Motherland a patriotic panoramic song explicitly written for and often performed in the lm This march moves both romantic leads to lofty expressions but no consummating kiss Here and later in the lm it is Martynov not Marion who registers sexual heat only by breaking away from his partner and playing the dazed buffoon Once Marion and Martynov have nished singing the march together they stand side by side and gaze at their twinned inspired propaganda poster worthy re ections in the grand piano Marion later projects a different sort of In contrast Circus unmasks von Kneishits as both tonnenter and aud As John Haynes observes the German s physical attributes are exposed as a sham when he is shown donning an in atable muscle suit backstage thus satirizing the Nazi cult of fitness and the body See Haynes The New Soviet Man Gender and Masculinity in Stalinist Soviet Cinema Manchester 2003 80 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to 16 Beth Holmgren unerotic love in her intimate offstage lullaby number sung in her hotel room as she caresses and rocks her little boy The bilingualism of the song titled Spi moi baby attests to Marion s sanguine Soviet acculturation an important byproduct of her love for Martynov whereas the song s genre sentimentally celebrates her motherhood reinforcing the impression of her innate purity and goodness It is important to note however that the authentic Marion thus revealed resisting von Kneishits unveiled and uplifted by a politically correct romance and crooning to her baby loses none of her visual allure material affluence or showbiz professionalism The Fla 4 Marion re bom as a Soviet star real Marion proves to be a natural blonde who only dons a brunette wig for her dreaded circus act The real Marion may renounce the nery von Kneishits has bought her but she wears tasteful fashionable clothes in her daily life and lives comfortably in a posh modem hotel suite complete with a baby grand piano and windows overlooking a neon outlined Red Square Indeed in advertising the appointments and the exterior of the brandnew Hotel Moskva in Circus Aleksandrov practically mirrors a Hollywood set typical for the fallen woman heroine And the real Marion like the indentured Marion is a dedicated trouper a performer for all contexts When Marion observes Raechka rehearsing the new Soviet version of her act she spontaneously offers the novice pointers on posture and expression Once she at last ees her tyrant and retums to the circus she Taylor lllusion of Happiness 614 Jacobs Wages of Sin 5356 6364 Jacobs observes By the early thirties the association between the fallen woman and art modeme was so well established that it was exploited as a part of a lm s advertising campaign ibid 55 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to The Blue Angel and Blaclgface 17 volunteers to reprise her ying role not for dollars as the circus manager suspiciously wonders but for free Ultimately the birth of the happy sovietized Marion is staged in the expanded spectacle that constitutes the lm s near nale Performing gratis under Soviet management Marion appears as a radiantly enthusiastic blonde who first performs a Stalinist feat of derring do ying to the stratosphere in uniform and partnered by Martynov After her giant parachute drifts down and covers the arena Marion reemerges from its baptizing folds as the star soloist atop a chorus of athletically garbed unisexed women participating in a series of ensemble numbers patterned on Busby Berkeley s geometrical choreography The female performer is reallied with a new endorsing collective Her new costume a long translucent dress worn over a chorus like leotard adds a layer of conventionally feminine beauty through which the sportswoman shows and suggests Marion s revirginalization as well as her enduring glamour In effect Circus recovers from the bewigged exploited American a hybrid HollywoodSoviet star transforming Lola Lola into Deanna Durbin or more aptly liberating in the repressed oppressed diva Marion Dixon Liubov39 Orlova an utterly natural and happily integrated performer of the people Fig 4 BLACKFACE AND LITTLE JIMMY Aleksandrov s musical comedy performs its other striking act of redemption in integrating Marion s son His inclusion of a black boy as well as several other black characters was in itself no innovation for the theme of American racism recurred quite predictably in Stalinistera literature and lm Stites even pronounces Circus the culmination of a rash of earlier American theme lms about Indians Jews and Blacks who nd a safe nonracist haven in the USSR 9 Yet given the lm s thematic focus on and import of features from Westem movies the appearance of Marion s mulatto son gures as a bold corrective to speci cally Hollywood practice As Aleksandrov s prologue simplistically but correctly spells out the very existence of Marion s child causes her expulsion from an American society and American culture that tolerates no mixing of the races A white woman and her black child could not be featured in an American moving picture in studioera Hollywood and perhaps most particularly in a musical In Disintegrating the Musical Black Performance and American Musical Film Arthur Knight observes Ho1lywood s emphatic but strictly censored linkage of African Americans with music and musical performances 5 African Americans appeared onscreen in the few predominantly blackcast musicals produced between 1929 and 1959 in discrete musical numbers that could be cut when a lm was distributed in the southern United States and of course as servants to the musical stars Far more often however American musicals indulged in an embarrassing racist proxy of black style through blackface performance Long after blackface minstrelsy had waned in American popular culture Stites Russian Popular Culture 89 5 Arthur Knight Disintegrating the Musical Black Performance and American Musical Film Durham NC 2002 1 539Ibid 30 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 18 Beth Holmgren blackface persisted as an odd nostalgic staple in vaudeville and then lm musicals of the 1920s 30s and even 40s White blackface performances almost always included scenes of white performers blacking up or deblacking borrowing blackness as an entertaining mask but assuring the audience of the players underlying whiteness Hollywood s prohibition of authentic black representation its apprehension of what Michael Rogin identi es as the American hysteria over miscegenation serves as yet another key point of repulsion for Aleksandrov s lm Il39f and Petrov had devised the provocative premise of a white woman with a black son already in Under the Big Top but Aleksandrov is responsible for its more touching contra Hollywood development in Circus In his memoirs he recalls his assistants hunt for the right child actor to play Marion s boy they rst scoured gypsy encampments and then actually contemplated lming a child in blackface Ultimately they discovered little Jimmy Patterson the oneand a halfyearold son of American immigrant Lloyd Patterson and Ukrainian artist Vera Aralova Lloyd Patterson had come to the Soviet Union in the early 193 Os with twenty one other young black men and women to participate in a Russian lm project designed to address the race problem in the United States 57 He opted to remain after the project failed painting the interiors of the Metropole Hotel and creating sets for the Meyerhold Theatre design work inaccessible to him as a black man in the United States despite his degree in interior decorating The soontobe child star Jimmy Patterson was living proof of how one reallife artist ed America to nd greater tolerance and professional opportunity in the USSR In I139f and Petrov s Under the Big Top Alina s son is revealed only near the end of the play but Aleksandrov ventures more extensive and indulgent exposure in Circus As I noted above we are apprised of the fact but not the race of Marion s child in the prologue He initially remains wrapped or offscreen as the secret kept by the Western impresario and his consequently subject star Von Kneishits threatens to tell all in order to curb a rebellious Marion and Marion herself fearfully drowns out the boy s crying with music when Martynov visits her room When Jimmy appears at last wandering into Marion s drawing room in a nightshirt and a Red Army soldier s cap von Kneishits reacts with virulently racist comments about his hair and skin Fig 5 The child s blackness like the woman s sexuality is condemned only by this token fascistcapitalist Von Kneishits s ugly words are then rebutted and wiped by the moving image of an adorable vulnerable and now sobbing little boy whom Marion at last owns by sweeping him into her arms and hushing his cries In the ensuing Lullaby the camera alternates between shots of the 52Michael Rogin Blackface White Noise Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot Los Angeles 1996 29 Knight Disintegrating the Musical 50 Rogin Blackface White Noise 25 Aleksandrov Epokha i kino 202 Karen Kossie Chemyshev Reclaiming Dzh Patterson A Child Star in Grigori Alexandrov s Circus Sound Historian 18 2004 65 57Ibid 62 Allison Blakeley Russia and the Negro Blacks in Russian History and Thought Washington DC 1986 155 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions The Blue Angel and Blaclgface 19 singing mother with child and closeups of Jimmy in both cases hallowing their unmasked faces and tender physical intimacy Fig 6 FIG 5 Von Kneishits insults and F IG 6 Marion cradles her son and frightens little Jimmy Here and in the lm s penultimate scene Aleksandrov showcases the appealing Jimmy sometimes at the cost of continuity and positively dwells on scenes of loving blackwhite interactions scenes unimaginable on an American screen where hysteria over miscegenation dictated representation Jimmy s blackness is shown to be no mask as Skameikin discovers when he tries to clean his face Nor is Jimmy to be segregated as he would be in American lm from the entertainment world and society at large He does not sing and dance to justify his presence before white folks but functions instead as the cherished subject for whom others of all races are naturally moved to perform The authentic black boy and his relationship to his white mother are exposed at length to the circus community in a second Lullaby sequence that Aleksandrov added to the Il f and Petrov screenplay With this scene the lm compounds the musical s prescribed integration of couple into community with actual racial integration Jimmy s spontaneous appearance in the circus ring after Marion s Busby Berkeley stylized dance constitutes the real climax of the lm in effect trumping a Hollywood style stage extravaganza with yet another homegrown musical number that projects inclusion compassion and real selves linking family feeling with patriotic pride and revealing how the diverse big Soviet family mirrors and supports its little circus subset The Lullaby number is prompted by Von Kneishits once again articulating capitalist intolerance Tracking Marion to the circus ring a furious von Kneishits declares her race crime rasovoe prestuplenie and holds up the evidence of her black child to both circus troupe and circus audience for vili cation Throughout the lm Aleksandrov has included the audience in depicting the circus spotlighting the over ow of the acts into the bleachers and the crowd s behavior and engagement Hollywood musicals regularly This carefully orchestrated scene of racial equality also includes a stock character from contemporary American lms an African American nanny in starched cap and apron This episodic gure likely quotes the black maids typically attending glamorous fallen women in Hollywood lm but her symbolism like that of the Chaplin look alike is not consistently or clearly developed 39 quot Schatz Hollywood Genres 28 See also Martin Sutton Pattems of Meaning in the Musical in Genre The Musical A Reader ed Rick Altman London 1981 193 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 20 Beth Holmgren used this shot strategy as Feuer notes to shape the responses of a movie audience to the film 39 The audience that von Kneishits nally seeks to outrage and Aleksandrov uses as role model is explicitly multiethnic a microcosm of Soviet nationalities This crowd in pointed contrast to the American mob of the prologue laughs away his ugly rhetoric and literally embraces Jimmy removing him bodily from von Kneishits as soldierpatrons move forward to block the German from pursuit FIG 7 The Soviet audience lullabies little Jimmy As the audience passes Jimmy up the stands from one eager protector to another it spontaneously launches into a multilingual lullaby embellishing on Marion s tender bilingual song Ordinary audience members steal the show as performers Their Lullaby presents an intriguing Soviet version of the Hollywood musical s passedalong song in which a sequence of singers pass along verses a format commonly used in the musical to link entertainment to community quot 2 A Russian a Ukrainian a Georgian a Central Asian a Jew played by Solomon Mikhoels and even another black man openly paired with a white woman all sing Jimmy to sleep starring brie y as eager surrogate parents and transforming the bleachers into a gallery of cozy family tableaux Fig 7 The fatherly circus director performs the last verse alone however perhaps signaling his official status Feuer Hollywood Musicals 26 2lbid 1617 Michael Dunne remarks a similar use of the passedalong song in the 1934 Depressionera musical Stand Up and Cheer In this number a wide variety of representative Americans dressed in realistic costumes participate in a fantastic performance lnclusiveness of gender geography race and occupation is a large part of the message of this presentational sequence See Dunne American Film Musical Themes and Forms Jefferson City NC 2004 26 This content downloaded from 1474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to The Blue Angel and Blackface 21 as he carries the boy back from the people into the public arena and there declares him welcome The loving harmony generated by this passedalong lullaby prompts integrations both typical and atypical for the Hollywood musical Raechka and Skameikin s comical pledge to wed and the formal inclusion of Marion and little Jimmy the fallen woman and the black child into the circus fold Jimmy is embraced by his mother who herself is gathered up in Martynov s arms and the three stand approved at center stage as a newly constituted family tableau When a profoundly grateful Marion is moved to reprise Song of the Motherland the camera then wipes from scenes of happy families in the making to national political spectacle with Marion her boy and her extended circus family joining a May Day style parade that marches across Red Square and is then superimposed on a multiethnic panoply of marchers This outdoor sequence effectively bookends the lm implying the seamless connection between the world of the circus and all Soviet society and broadcasting through the marching row of smiling principals a Sovietbased resolution of tolerance integration and politically committed spectacle to the American prologue s violence banishment and tawdry show What the composite product of Circus tells and demonstrates then is the happier accommodation and fuller realization of Western talent and entertainment in Soviet culture and society Like its predecessor The Happy Guys this more explicitly sovietized musical accents the value of entertainment and borrows liberally from the plot elements and production strategies of Hollywood musicals from the pairing of disparate lovers and their social integration to the emphasis on and design of its musical numbers Although Circus overtly celebrates the achievements of the young Soviet Union featuring exterior shots of the new Hotel Moskva and happy parades on Red Square it also remains under the spell of a sumptuous Hollywood visual aesthetic as exampled by its welldressed effervescent blonde star her classy hotel suite framing a modern Moscow skyline and the near nale of its grand Busby Berkeley production number But Circus critiques and redeems as it imports In lieu of punishing the fallen woman or abandoning her like Lola Lola to a cynical status quo Circus represents and rescues her as a victim exposing the tyranny and villainy of her supposed judge and endorsing her through song and spectacle as comrade mother and an at last truly inspired Soviet performer In lieu of ostracizing or otherwise masking her black son Circus foregrounds and approves the authentic child integrating rather than distancing him through new sorts of musical numbers that quite effectively stage matemal or familial love The lm s function of unmasking and expelling the fascist villain re ecting contemporary Stalinist practices is complemented by its recovery and embrace of victims wrongly masked by capitalism In contrast to most Hollywood musicals which as Richard Dyer rst theorized offer utopian solutions to domestic social inadequacies that is visions of abundance versus actual scarcity a projection of community versus class and racial discord On the 1m s unmasking of the Soviet enemy see Woll Under the Big Top and Ratchford Circus of 1936 Ratchford argues that the fascist German is not as formidable as he seems and is merely bloated up with lies and deception This episode clearly re ects the political pathos of the time when the razoblachenie or unmasking of fascist villains became a daily headline in the news and a key element to Stalinist mass political ritual p 88 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 22 Beth Holmgrerz Circus shrewdly locates such problems overseas offering strictly Sovietbased solutions to the Western social inadequacies that Western entertainment abets or represses Unmanning the dirty politics of Western entertainment screening and cherishing its victims of misrepresentation Circus projects the Soviet big top to be the greatest most inclusive show on earth At the same time Circus proves to its domestic consumers just how morally redemptive and nationally af rming Soviet entertainment can be thereby ensuring that the show will go on in Aleksandrov s coming attractions Richard Dyer Entertainment and Utopia rst printed in Movie 24 Spring 1977 and reprinted in The Cultural Studies Reader ed Simon During London 1993 271 83 This content downloaded from l474486 on Sat 18 Jan 2014 144009 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions XIX A Great Celebration F all the big Bolshevik leaders I had desired most to have a personal word from Lenin I had been amazed in 1920 when I received in London a message from Iohri Reed informing me that Lenin had brought the Negro ques tion before the Communist Congress and inviting me to visit Moscow I had not gone to Moscow then because I did not consider myself qualified to do what John Reed had asked which was to represent the American Negro group But now that I was there I was anitious to get Lenin s opinion out of his own mouth But Lenin apparently had become very ill again after his couple of speeches at the Communist and Soviet Con gresses in the late fall of 1922 At one of the sessions of the Communist Congress I was seated directly behind Krupskaya Lenins wife and I was introduced to her by Clara Zetkiri the first woman member of the Reichstag who was very friendly and affectionate to me I seized the chance to ask Krupskaya if it were possible to have an interview with Lenin She said she would see But nothing came of that Some time after I visited the office of Pravda with a Com munist sympathizer He was acquainted with Ienin s sister who held a position on the staff and he introduced me to her Itold her that I would like to have 1 word ftgm Lenin himself and she said frankly that it was impossible for Lenin was very sick I Krupskaya was an extremely plain woman really ugly 206 A GREAT CELEBRATION 207 Max Eastman was so appalled when he saw her that he said Ienin would probably get well if he had a pretty girl So I said Like the Shunamite virgin who warmed up King David of Israel in his old age eh But we did not think that Lenin was that type of warrior I tried to reach some of the other leaders whom I had not yet met One day as I was passing through the grounds of the Kremlin with Andreyev one of the young officials of the Foreign O ice he pointed out to me a strikingly big man wearing high black boots That he said was Stalin who was chairman of the Committee on National Minorities It was the first time I heard the name of Stalin and the infor mation was extremely important I asked Andreyev if I could meet Stalin Andreyev said that that was di icult for Stalin was one of the big Bolsheviks and it was not easy to meet him But he promised to approach Karakhan about it Per haps Andreyev was tardy or unsuccessful in his d nrzarc26 at any rate I heard no more of it and my request vanished from my thoughts when I came in contact with the magnetic personality of Trotsky Trotsky although apparently so formidable a character was with Bukharin the most approachable of the big Bolsheviks I was told that any message sent to Trotsky would be certain to receive his personal attention So I sent in a request to meet the Corninissar of War In a couple of days I got an answer making an appointment and saying that an aide would call to convey me to the Commissary of War Exactly at the appointed hour the following day as I descended the stairs of the hotel an official automobile drove up with a military aide and I was escorted to the war depart ment I passed through a guard of Red sentries and was ushered immediately into Trotsky39s oflice Trotsky was wear 208 A LONG war FROM HOME ing a commander s uniform and he appeared very handsome genial and gracious sitting at his desk He said he was learn ing English and would try to talk to me in that language Trotsky asked me some straight and sharp questions about American Negroes their group organizations their political position their schooling their religion their grievances and social aspirations and nally what kind of sentiment existed between American and African Negroes I replied with the best knovvledge and information at my command Then Trotsky expressed his own opinion about Negroes which was more intelligent than that of any of the other Russian leaders He did not like Steklov the editor of Izzestia imagine Negroes as a great army for cannon fodder And unlike Radek he was not quick to make deductions about the causes of white prejudice against black Indeed he made no conclusions at all and happily expressed no mawkish sentimentality about blackandwhite brotherhood What he said was very practical and might sound reformist in the ears of radical American Negroes Trotsky said in e ect that the Negro people constituted a backward group socially politically and economically in modern civilization I remember distinctly that he used the word backward And he stressed the point that Negroes should be educated should receive not merely academic edu cation but a broad spreadingout education in all phases of modern industrial life to lift themselves up as a group to a level of equality with the whites I remember again that he used the word lift or uplift And he urged that Negroes should be educated about the labor movement Finally he said he would like to set a practical example in his own department and proposed the training of a group of Negroes as o icers in the Red army A GREAT CELEBRATION 209 Before I left Trotsky asked me to make a summary of my ideas in writing for him This I did and hewrote outs commentary on it and published both either in Iavestza or in Pravda Unfortunately I lost the original article and its Eng lish translation among other effects somewhere in France But the gist of it all is given above Also Trotsky gave me a permit to visit some of the train ing schools of the Soviet forces I had not the slightest idea that that meant a passport to a series of inspections and elaborate receptions I thought I was going to make perhaps a couple of quiet and unobtrusive visits to the ITi1l1tE1fy39 schools What transpired was amazing but also embarrassing for except for the martial music I have never been vastly thrilled by military demonstrations i For about a month I was feted by the military forces I was introduced to military and naval of cers and experts Iwas shown the mechanism of little guns and big gunSiI did 3 little target practice I passed through reviews receptions and banquets a glamorous parade of militant Red from Moscow to Petrograd p It started in Moscow First I was taken on a visit tolthti crack Kremlin military schools then to an ordinary soldiers barracks where the men were resting or on fatigue duty and also to an extraordinary one where everything and everybody was shipshape as if for an inspection by the highest authori ties Next I visited the tactics school the infantry school the cavalry school the artillery school It was almost three weeks before I got through my Moscow military itinerary There were intervals of days between the various visits of course And there was a continuous big feeding until I thought my helly would burst I ate in the soldiers mess I ate in the officers mess I ate with the military professors I asked for 210 A LONG WAY FROM HOME lgasha and was grandly served with o icers and Communist controllers an elaborate and most appetizing dish comparable to czrroz Vczlencirzncz or Moroccan Courcom While I was eat ing it I remembered a long sentimental poem by Rose Pastor Stokes which we had published in T125 Liberator in which she sang of her desire to share the Russian peasant s bowl of ltczrla Yet as I remember her first picturesque gesture in Moscow was the buying of a marvelous mink coat and cap and she was the smartest woman in the Congress Thus I learned something new about kc1s39i1 z39 that it wasn t only the peasant s staple food but a national food eaten by all kinds of people and one which like rice may be served in many different and appetizing ways The experience of my military induction ended in a mighty students celebration of the anniversary of the Red army The vast audience amed to the occasion as if it were charged through and lit up by one great electric current Many notables appeared before the illuminated demoristration And at last I was called to the stage I made a brief martial speech and was applauded for more But I hadn t the Russian genius for improvising great appropriate phrases Someone de2 manded a poem and I gave If We Must Die I gave it in the same spirit in which I wrote it I think I was not acting trying to repeat the sublime thrill of a supreme experience I was transformed into a rare instrument and electri ed by the great current running through the world and the poem popped out of me like a ball of light and blazed Now thought I the amazing military sensation is ended It was an enjoyable excitement but it was also a pleasurable relief to be over and done with it But this audacious adven turer had reckoned without the Red fleet From Petrograd came an invitation from the Red fleet which apparently A GREAT CELEBRATION 2II meant to rival the Red army in its reception And so I en trained for Petrograd accompanied by a military cadet That was my third going to Petrograd And each time the city appeared better revealing more of its grandeur For unlike Moscow Petrograd does not start immediately with color and mazy movement and life compact with a suggestion of Oriental lavishness rioting and ringing upon the senses like the music of golden bells Petrograd is poised and proud with a hard striking strength like the monument of Peter the Great and a spaciousness like the Neva In its somber might it appeared brooding and a little frowning of aspect at first Many streets were desert stretches and massive buildings still bore the gaping wounds of the revolution But when one became a little more ac quainted with the city the great halfempty spaces became impressive with a lonely dignity and beauty And the Petro grad people were splendid too in that setting outlined more clearly than the Moscow folk They were like clumps of trees growing together for protection at intervals in a vast plain We arrived in Petrograd on the eve of the celebration of the twenty fth anniversary of the Russian Communist Party That night I went to the Marinsky Theater to see Prirzrci I gar for the rst time and the thumping performance of the ballet stirred me like strokes of lightning with great claps of thunder It was so much more wildly extravagant than the Eugen Onegin one I saw in Moscow In New York I had attended two performances of the Pavlova ballet I think in 1916 and now I compared them with this Petro grad magni cence The Pavlova ballet was like birds flying with clipped wings but the Petrograd Prirzce Igor was like free birds in full flight Although I did admire immensely 212 A LONG WAY FROM HOME the dainty precious Pavlova herself her company appeared so restrained I never could work up any enthusiasm for the modernistic contempt of the Russian ballet The technical excellencies alone thrum on the emotional strings of anyone who has a feeling for geometric patterns Isadora lDuncan and I argued and disagreed on this suba ject for a whole evening at her studio in Nice She said the Russian Revolution should have abolished the ballet and established the freeelimbeddance I said I preferred to see both schools of dancing have the same freedom for expres sion Isadora was even more severe on Negro dancing and its imitations and derivations She had no real appreciation of primitive folk dancing either from an esthetic or ethnic point of view For her every movement of the dance should soar upward She spoke beautifully about that uplifted up ward movement although it was all wrong But when she danced for me it was all right I had never seen her in her great glory and couldn t imagine that she could still be wonderful when she was so fat and abby But what she did that night was stupendous I was the only audience besides the pianist And she danced from Chopin Tchaikovsky Wagner and Beethoven Her face was a series of diderent masks And her self was the embodiment of Greek tragedy am tre endowed with divinity The day following the performance of Prz39ncc I gar I paid my respects to the commander of the Baltic fleet He was a kindly man and presented me with his photograph He took me around to the naval preparatory school the naval gym nasium and the naval academy The young cadets demanded that I say something So I told them briefly that I felt singu larly honored and happy that my first contact with any eet should be with the first Red fleet of the world And that A GREAT CELEBRATION 213 although it was a strange life of which I was entirely ignorant I thought that if I had to be a ghter I would rather enlist in the navy than in the army The applause I received was astounding since what I said was so brief and simple But quite unwittingly I had stirred the traditional rivalry between army and navy which may be a little different but no whit less even though they may be Red But my military escort from Moscow the only soldier among that ne body of proud and eager young sailors was not enthusiastic about my quip I suppose I should have been a little more tactful about the army since it had first celebrated me as a guest That night started the celebration of the twenty fth anni versary of the Russian Communist Party The opening meet ing was held in the Marinsky Theater Zinoviev presided The place was packed As soon as I appeared in the entrance a group of young cadets bore down on me and hoisting me upon their shoulders carried me down the length of the aisle and onto the platform while great waves of cheers rolled down from the jammed balconies and up from the pit Zinoviev made a great show greeting me demonstratively on the stage The Russians are master showmen From then on the days of my o icial visit to Petrograd were a progress of processions and speeches and applause and reviews and banquets The next day marked my visit to the naval base at Kronstadt Early in the morning an aviator s fur lined leather coat and cap and glovesa t to protect one against the bitterest Siberian bliz2ard were brought to my hotel I breakfasted and togged myself out Soon afterward a young Red commander called for me in an automobile and we drove to the Petrograd air field Besides the naval and air ol cials and photographers there was quite a crowd gathered 214 A LONG WAY FROM HOME to see me take off I posed for the photographers with some of the o icers and sailors with the pilot and also with Me Manus of the British Communist Party who had come to Petrograd for the anniversary Then I climbed up into the airplane The man who had once save Lenin s life so I was informed xed me in place and the plane sped over the vast eld of snow and up into the air A snowstorm was raging but I was perfectly pro tected and felt no fear Only I could not see anything The pilot missed his bearings and got a little lost in the storm and we had to come down far from our landing place The pilot and I got out of the plane and started to walk toward the naval base The blizzard blew hard and we could see nothing But it was a ne exhilarating tramp and warm in my great boots and fur clothes I enjoyed the sensation of thinking I was doing a little Arctic stunt At last an automobile came rolling over the hard snow and took us to our landing place They had been scouting for us knowing that something must have happened when we did not arrive At the landing place I found that a crack squad of sailors fine handsome fellows had been waiting for us for hours in the blizzard They were not rigged out like myself and the pilot against the bad weather and were cold For the life of me I couldn t understand why a squad of men should have been detailed to await my arrival at the air base when I was no kind of official And I had been told that my visit was an informal thing Right there I remem bered my Xp l l nCE in the Pennsylvania railroad service how often in the cold steel car out on the track our crew waited for hours in biting zero weather until the late train arrived and steamed us out And sometimes we were frost bitten 39 I it A GREAT CELIEBRATION 215 My interpreter said that the sailors were expecting a speech So I said that although I anticipated with joy my visit among them in Kronstadt I felt sorry that it had been necessary for them to wait for me all those hours in the cold All the official routine ceremonials were extremely tiresome to me Even though they were the expression of the workers and peasants united authority and were therefore simpli ed they were nevertheless tedious I can work up no enthusiasm for o icial ritual however necessary whether it be red or pink or black or white In Russia I was alertly aware that it was something different from anything that ever was that o icially it was the highest privilege I could have in the world to be shown the inside working of the greatest social experi ment in the history of civilization I was red and uplifted by the thundering mass movement of the people their bois terous surging forward with their heads held high their arms outstretched in an eager quest for more light more air more space more glory more nourishment and comfort for the millions of the masses But the bureaucratic control left me unmoved Yet I was conscious that it was the axis of the mighty moving energy of the people that without it their movement would be futile So I was actually in Kronstadt the first fortress fired by the signal of the revolution The features of the fort were covered up with snow but the splendid men holding it showed me the inside of battleships and submarines the load ing of big guns and I saw also the educational classes Com munist meetings recreation halls with motion pictures and feats of gymnastics and dancing the new revolutionary spirit animating men and officers alike the simple digni ed dis cipline of rank and precedence organization and work After a strenuous day that night II slept soundly on a 216 A LONG war FROM HOME flagship The next day I rnotored back to Petrograd In the afternoon I went to tea with Korney Chukovsky and his sympathetic wife Chukovsky was a popular liberal journalist and author of the old regime and was now an equally popular fellow traveler with the new He was a radical liberal in his political opinions but consistently nonpolitical in his writings Under the old regime he was a contributor to the Moscow newspaper Rmrlgy Slovo which had a circulation of over a million He had recently nished a book for children called Crocodile which became a bestseller Chukovsky was a member of a Russian intellectual mission to the Allied capi tals in 1916 I think He exhibited a large souvenir book of interesting autographs of famous personages Asquith Lloyd George Balfour Churchill Poincare Millerand Anatole France Kipling H G Wells and many more I added mine Chukovsky showed me also a couple of letters from Lenin to Gorky which he prized highly and some newspaper cut tings of a critical duel between him and Trotsky over the evaluation of the work of the poet Alexander Blok who wrote the tragic poem The Twelve This poem evoked in me something of the spiritual agony of The Hound of Heaven Chukovsky gave me the gist of the controversy be tween him and Trotsky Chukovsky had done a ne literary critique of Blok Trotsky had overemphasized an inoffensive literary reference to the revolution to score a political point I thought that Chukovsky was right and Trotsky was wrong Chukovsky went with me to the House of the Intellectuals and introduced me to some of the writers and artists I re member the names of Metchnikov son of the scientist and disciple of Pasteur and the Princess X who was rich before the revolution but expropriated now and living with artists A GREAT CELEBRATION 217 whom she had befriended during the salad days of the hour geoisie The next day was ne and clear as crystal And to make up for what I had missed when we flew to Kronstadt the aviator came and took me up for an hour s ride over Petro grad and suburbs I ended that trip to Petrograd with affec tionate farewells from the naval schools One of them elected me an honorary officer There too I talked with a very inter esting oflicer He was a graduate of an exclusive Czarist academy young exceeding handsome with very sensitive features We spoke with dif culty in a kind of lingua franca or perilnegre to be more precise He informed me that he had an American wife and invited me to dinner with them I said it might be an embarrassing matter to his wife that he should first ask her He said she knew all about me and had suggested the invitation I wondered about this American wife of the Russian officer I had been warned to beware of Englishspeaking bourgeois persons who might try to pump things out of me But as I possessed no secrets of any kind and as I desired to experi ence all the sensations of the new order struggling to extricate itself from the old I never turned aside from anything or anybody that might possibly add something to the fulness of my exciting adventure I had already met some extraordinary people of the old regime Besides the Russians I had encountered a most won derful Englishwoman who reminded me of a character out of G Wellsl s Food of The Grads This woman had been an English governess in Russia under the old regime and had married a second or thirdclass Russian official She had a nice apartment in Petrograd Her beautiful daughter was a clerk in one of the Soviet departments and sometimes the 2r8 A LONG way FROM HOME mother herself was requisitioned as an interpreter In her sitting room there was a photograph of the late Czar and Czarina with the Czarina smudged out It was a bold thing to have the photograph of the Czar in your sitting room in 1922 But she was an Englishwoman lirst even though she had been married to a Russian and was now a Soviet citizen She said to me I preserve the photograph of the Czar be cause he is the cousin of King George He was a good man but his wife was a bad German woman Also she had the picture of King George alongside that of Lenin on another wall They are the two big men in the world she said to me and I make my curtsy to them every morning the ruler of England my native land and the ruler of Russia my adopted country She was very proud and pleased with my notorious sell because I was born a British subject and had lived in London She didn t even mind when I said that I did not like the Eng lish people as a whole but admired some individuals Indeed she liked it because that also was her feeling I spent a long evening in her house and ate very English roast beef and plum pudding Perhaps too much For later it was necessary for me to go to the w c There I was amazed to see placed prominently upon the wall a handprinted card bearing the motto Cleanliness is next to Godliness When I returned to the sitting room I complimented her on her nice old Eng lish calligraphy but said that I wondered why she had put up the notice in English when most of her visitors must be Russians who did not know the English language She said When the Russians don t understand they will ask because they are a curious people I have to have these English hints around to remind them that we are a superior people Eliminating my military aide from Moscow and my o icerI A GREAT CELEBRATION 219 interpreter of the Baltic eet I went alone to the o ic er s apartment His American wife turned out to be a Latin American She was unmistakably an octoroon She was pretty and if she had been taller would have been a great beauty Nevertheless she had had a pretty time under the old regime and had been celebrated as an exotic flower in smart and ex pensive bohemian circles When the revolution overwhelmed the Capital this exotic creature of the smart set married the young officer who had worshipped her in the hectic pre revolutionary period and who had decided when the revolu tion came to serve under the Bolsheviks She spoke nice English Also she had prepared a good din ner with that Russian pink cold soup that isn t so good to look at but most excellent to taste caviar ham some sort of boiled meat and Caucasian wine She talked a lot about herself and her husband and their son His son really by a first marriage He was a lad going to high school and they were worried about him They said that the boy would never have a chance under the Bolshevik regime And the o icer said that he himself was having only half a chance that he was absolutely loyal to the Communists because he was con vinced that they were in Russia to stay and that nothing now could take the power away from them But the Com munists did not trust him because he had been a former Czarist o icexr They were training the proletarian youths to become officers and as soon as the proletarian cadets were trained the old officers would be superseded I asked him if he were certain that the Czarist oflicers who had come over wholeheartedly to the revolution would really be kicked out of their positions when the young proletarian o icers were trained to take their place He said that that was positively true for it was a Communist policy which had been stated 220 A LONG WAY FROM publicly I said that I was going to nd out without quoting him He said that I might However I did not mention the subject right away to any one in Petrograd After ten eeting days with the glorious Red fleet seeing and hearing all and believing that all was a dream I returned to Moscow for the third time Only when I came back to Petrograd a month later and for the last time to get a boat for Germany did I speak about the Dl l ICEI S case to my friend the Red o icert member of the Com munist Party and of the Petrograd Soviet A young man he was small quiet ordinarylooking and so unobtrustive that you wouldn t imagine his importance in the Red navy and in the higher Communist councils unless you could appreciate the power of his clear cold blue and allseeing eyes I was inter ested in what the o icer had said because a highschool teacher in Moscow had said the same thing to me as had also a lady of the old regime who was acting as interpreter when I visited one of the Petrograd courts during a trial I wanted to ascertain whether the members of the defeated bourgeoisie who were working for the Soviets could not be guaranteed the security of their jobs if they were loyal to the Soviets For it seemed to me that if they felt their posi tions were insecure and that there was no future for their children under the new regime they naturally would sabotage the Soviets The Red o icer con rmed the statement of the former Czarist of cer that the bourgeois omcers would be superseded as soon as the proletarian cadets could be trained to take their place I said I thought such a procedure unfair and that it would make the bourgeois workers enemies of the Soviet system instead of friends and force them into sabotage The Red commander said that the Communist con trollers were alert to detect any tendency toward sabotage Z I S J 1 En El L I l 3939I39 A GREAT CELEBRATION 231 on the part of bourgeois employees of the Soviets and he accused me of bourgeois sentimentality I said that if he had said intellectual sentirnentality he might have been perhaps right but that I couldn t have the sentiments of a class I was not born into or educated with I did not think that there was any such thing as intellectual equality I told him and that radicals had a sentimental way of confusing social with intellectual equality I said further that I did not believe that talent could spring up easily out of a people like grass under one s feet The officer asked who had been talking to me about the matter I said that nobody in particular but different per sons in Moscow and Petrograd had spoken of it Which was strictly true There was a sequel A year later I was in Paris one afternoon waiting to cross from the Place de 1 Op ra to the Cafe de la Paix when I was suddenly touched on the shoulder I turned and found myself face to face with the officer We went to the cafe for a drink The o icer had arrived in France with other officers to recover some Czarist ships which the French government held sornewhere down on the North African coast We reminisced about the splendid Red days we had enjoyed together in Petroygrad and Moscow We talked about our friends of the foreign o ice and the Comintern I had already met some of them in Berlin and Paris And he said Do you remember that officer you had dinner with in Petrograd Yes I said I remember but I wasn t aware that you knew about my having dinner with him l Well he is sitting in prison now l What for I asked quotSabotagequot 222 A LONG WAY FROIVI HOME When I returned from Petrograd to Moscow I told Sen Katayama that I wanted to go home It was the beginning of April Sen Katayama said that as an unomcial dele gate I would be given my return fare He was very pleased with my success and the part he had played in making it possible He said I welcome all the Japanese and Chinese who come here Some are not Communists but I see that they are treated right for I want to make thern all Communistsquot He said it had been decided that I should not go back by way of Poland since some of the delegates had had trouble in passing through A Japanese had been put in prison and lost all his papers It was considered better for me to go as I had come by boat I bade my friends goodbye and returned to Petrograd But the harbor was icealocked and I had to wait six weeks before a boat could sail I was put up in the house of the former Grand Duke Alexander who was a patron of arts I had the Duke s own bedroom and study and his valet to wait on me The valet was a nice old fellow but he was like a ghost wandering through the palace He lived entirely in the past and spoke of the sumptuous days in Berlin and Paris with the Grand Duke He spoke fluently in French and English He was shocked at the state of my wardrobe The only thing in it that he thought fitting for a Grand Duke s closet was a ne pair of boots which had been given to me by Eugen Boissevain I did not like the palace rooms especially the study It re minded me of a cathedral altar All the walls were rococo carved and painted in inharmonious brick red But the cadet who had made himself my orderly thought the rooms very grand The cadet wanted to do everything so I dispensed with the valet s services but tipped him every week A GREAT CELEBRATION 223 I got to know Petrograd thoroughly during those weeks I was shown all the works among them the great Putilov iron and steel plant and the rubber factory I liked the visits but Ithought it must have been rather bothersome to the man agers of factories who were always pestered by having to take visitors over the plants I went down into the dungeonyof the prison of Sts Peter and Paul to see the cell in which Prince Kropotkin had been con ned I visited the Depart ment of Nationalitties and Rayeva the secretary explalned the status of the minority peoples under the Soviets Also I visited the Department of Wioman s Work at the molny Institute where Nicolayeva the secretary told me all about the new regulations concerning marriage and divorce and jzoint individual property and how the factory workers were cared for during the period of pregnancy and childbirth She sent me to a meeting of enthusiastic women workers who passed a resolution asking that a group of colored working girls visit Russia May Day b Petrograd was a mighty celebration of workers and soldiers and sailors Never before or since have I seen such a dernonstration Half empty Petrograd was filled with the shouting of millions who peopled the streets marching and singing and holding high their red banners of hope For hours I stood with Zinoviev and other Petrotgrad leaders in the reviewing stand in the Uritsky Square And the demon stration so tremendously swept me along that after attending the I eople s Theater that night I could not sleep I sat down at the table of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexander looking out on the Neva with the gorgeous silver of the beautiful white night of Petrograd shining upon its face and wrote until dawn I was happy Petrograd had pulled a poem out of H13 P A LONG WAY FIRDM HOME The poem was published in the Petrograd Prazxda and res printed all over Russia It was the last thing I wrote in Russia I was overwhelmed with praise The praise of the Com munists was expected I was their guest But I was grati ed most by the praise of the Petrograd literati For they were a proud lot cold or passive to the revolution The Russian trans lator of Walt Whitman said that I had composed a classic But they had it in translation I think it should be exhibited here in the original PETROGRAD MAY DAY 1923 The N eva moves majestically on The san rays playing on her breast at seven From her blue bosom all winter s snoweslabs gone Now ripples earl where yesterday lay riaen Great silver oblong chiselled hy the hand Of Spring that bellies through Earth39s happy womb To glad and ower the long long pregnant land Where yesternight a veil of winter gloom Shrotideid the city s splendid ace today All life rejoices for the First of May The N ershy glows ablaze with regal Red Symbolic of the triumph and the rule 0 the new Power now lifting high its head Above the place where once a sceptered fool Was mounted by the planderers of men To awe the zxictims while they schemed and robbed The marchers shoat again again I again if The stones where once the hearts of marytrs sobbed Their blood are sweet unto their feet today In celebration of the First of May A GREAT CELEBRA39I39ION 225 Cities are symbols of man39s upward rftlflly Man drawing near to man in close commune And mighty cities mighty lessons teach Of man s decay or progress late or soon And many an iron towered Babylon T Beneath the quiet golden breath of Time Has vanished like the snow under the sun Leaain g no single mark in stone or rhyme To ame the lifted heart of man today As Petrograd apron the First of May Oh many a thoughtful romanee seeling bay Slow ngering the leaves of ancient glory Is stirred to rapture by the tales of Troy And each invigorate aein tin glin g story 0 Egypt and of Athens and of Rome g Where slaves long toilecl for i quot l iV and king to reap Brit in the years the wondrous years to Come The heart of youth in every land will leap For Russia that first made national the day The embattled workers day Th Fit 55 0l M Ierasalem is fading from men s mind And sacred cities holding men in thrall 39 Are crumbling in the new thought 0i ma hiz da The pagan day the holy day for all Oh Petrograd oh proud triumphant City The gateway to the strange awahenin g Elast Where war1v39z39or worlers wrestled without pity Against the power of magnate monarch przest World Port of Stmssle hold from day to dirt The flaming standards of the First of May 12 SISTER Oursioea Notes Uses of the Erotic The Erotic as Power p 55 Eye to Eye Black Women Hatred and Anger p I51 The Master s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master39s Housequot p 112 Man Child A Black Lesbian Feminists Response p 73 Ibid p 74 Age Race Class and Sex Women Rede ning Difference p 119 lbid p 114 From an interview in The Feminist Renaissance An Interview Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich p 100 and An Open Letter to Mary Daly p 68 10 Poetry Is Not a Luxury p 38 11 An Interview p 109 12 Ibid pp 108109 13 The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action p 43 14 The Cancer Joumals Spinsters Ink 1980 p 25 15 Eye to Eye p 147 Notes from a Trip to Russia SINCE 1 VE RETURNED from Russia a few weeks ago I ve been dreaming a lot At first I dreamt about Moscow every night Sometimes my lover and I had returned there sometimes I would be in warmer familiar places I had visited sometimes in different unfamiliar cities cold white strange In one dream I was making love to a woman behind a stack of clothing in Gumm s Department Store in Moscow She was ill and we went upstairs where I said to a matron We have to get her to the hospital The matron said All right you take her over there and tell them that she needs a kidney scan and a brain scan And I said No they39re not going to do that for me And she looked at me very strangely and she said Of course they will And I realized I was in Russia and medicine and doc tor bills and all the rest of that are free My dreams don t come every night anymore but it seems as if they ve gotten deeper and deeper so that I awake not really knowing any of the content of them but only knowing that I ve just dreamt about Russia again For a while in my dreams Russia became a mythic representation of that socialism which does not yet exist anywhere I have been The possibilities of liv These are edited journal entries from a twovweek trip to Russia that I made in 1976 as the invited American observer to the African Asian Writers Conference sponsored by the Union of Soviet Writers 14 SISTER Oursrpsa ing in Russia seem very different in some respects yet the people feel so Western European so American really outside of Tashkent And the afternoons in Moscow are so dark and gloomy The flight to Moscow was nine hours long and from my obser vations on the plane Russians are generally as unfriendly to each other as Americans are and just about as unhelpful There was a marvelously craggyfaced old blueeyecl woman in her seventies wearing a babushka with a huge coat roll On the plane everyone had one kind of huge coat roll or another except me When I stepped out into the Moscow weather I realized why But this woman was sitting in the seat right in front of me She was traveling alone and was too short to wield her roll easi ly She tried once and she tried twice and finally I got up and helped her The plane was packed I39d never seen a plane quite so crowded before The old woman turned around and looked at me It was obvious she did not speak English because I had muttered something to her with no reply There was in her eyes a look of absolutely no rancor I thought with a quick shock how a certain tension in glances between American Black and white people is taken for granted There was no thank you either but there was a kind of simple human response to who I was And then as she turned to sit back down under her very dowdy cardigan I saw on her undersweater at least three militaryetype medals complete with chevrons Hero of the Republic medals I learned later Earned for hard work This is something that I noticed all over the very old people in Russia have a stamp upon them that I hope I can learn and never lose a matter of fact resilience and sense of their place upon the earth that is very sturdy and reassuring I landed on September l0th about 330 PM Moscow time and stepped out into a very raw familiar greyness There was a winter smell to the air almost nostalgic The trees were T11IPT0i Russm 15 Thanksgivingturned and the sky had that turkey laden grey pumpkin color I saw three large square faced women arm in arm marching across the air eld laughing and joking as they came They were evidently workers just going off shift they had grey coveralls and jackets with engineer caps and carried lunch buckets They stopped beside a truck that had paused and started beating against the closed window drawing the at tention of the other woman inside with some half hellohalf joke at the driver who was obviously their buddy because they all pointed fingers at each other laughing uproariously together there on the Moscow airstrip in the grim light swinging their lunch pails and cutting up My Intourist guide s name was Helen a very pleasant and at tractive large boned young woman in her thirties She was born in the East near Japan and her father who d been a military man was dead She lived with her mother now and she said that she and her mother had to learn to do a lot of things for themselves since there are so few men around these days and service is so hard to get In Russia you carry your own bags in airports and hotels This at first struck me as oppressive because of course carry ing a laden bag up seven flights of stairs when the elevator isn t working is not fun But the longer I stayed there the fairer it seemed because in this country it appears that everything is seen in terms of food That is the labor of one s hands is measured by how much food you can produce and then you take that and compare its importance to the worth of the other work that you do Some men and women spend their whole lives for instance learning and doing the infinitely slow and pa tient handwork of retouching Persian Blue tiles down in Samarkand to restore the ancient mausoleums It is considered very precious work But antiquities have a particular value whereas carrying someone else s bag does not have a very high priority because it is not very productive either of beauty or worth If you can39t manage it then that s another story I find it a very interesting concept It s about thirty miles from the airport to the city of Moscow and the road and the trees and the drivers could have been peo 16 Starts Oursioen ple from Northern Westchester in late winter except I couldn t read any of the signs We would pass from time to time in credibly beautiful old uncared for RussianOrthodoxvstyle houses with gorgeous painted wooden colors and outlined or nate windows Some of them were almost falling down But there was a large ornate richness about the landscape and ar chitecture on the outskirts of Moscow even in its gtey winter that seemed to tell me immediately that I was not at home I stayed at the Hotel Younnost which is one of the interna tional hotels in Moscow The room was a square studio affair with Hollywood bed couches and a huge picture window look ing towards the National Stadium over a railroad bridge with a very imposing view of the University buildings against the skyline But everything was so reminiscent of New York in winter that even as I sat at 930 PM after dinner writing look ing through the blinds there was the sound of a train and light on the skyline and every now and then the tail lights of an auto curving around between the railroad bridge and the hotel And it felt like a hundred nights that I remembered along Riverside Drive except that just on the edge of the picture was the golden onion shaped dome of a Russian Orthodox church Before dinner I took a short walk It was already growing dark but down the street from the hotel was the Stadium stop on the Metro which is a subway I walked down there and into the Metro station and I stood in front of the escalators for awhile just watching the faces of the people coming and going It felt like instant 14th Street of my childhood before Blacks and Latins colored New York except everyone was much more orderly and the whole place seemed much less crowded The thing that was really strangest of all for the ten minutes that I stood there was that there were no Black people And the token collector and the station manager were women The station was very large and very beautiful and very clean shockingly strike ingly enjoyably clean The whole station looked like a theater lobby ee bright brass and mosaics and shining chandeliers Even when they were rushing and in Moscow there s always a kind of rush people lack the desperation of New York One thing that characterized all of these people was a pleasantness in their True TD RUSSIA 17 faces a willingness to smile at least at me a stranger It was a strange contrast to the grimness of the weather There are some Black people around the hotel and I inquired of Helen about the Patrice Lumumba University This is a university located in Moscow for students from African COL1I1r tries There were many Africans in and around the hotel when I got back from the Metro station and I think many of them were here for the Conference Interestingly enough most of them speak Russian and I don t When I went downstairs to dinner I almost quailed in front of the linguistic task because I could not even find out where I was supposed to sit or whether I should wait to be seated Whenever the alphabet is unfamiliar there are absolutely no cues to a foreign language A young Black man swaggered across my eyesight with that particular swagger of fine young Black men wanting to be noticed and I said Do you speak English Yes he said and started walking very rapidly away from me So I walked back to him and when I tried to ask him whether I should sit down or wait to be seated I realized the poor boy did not understand a word that I said At that point I pulled out my two trusty phrase books and proceed ed to order myself a very delicious dinner of white wine boiled fish soup that was lemon piquant olive rich and fresh mackerel delicate grilled sturgeon with pickled sauce bread and even a glass of tea All of this was made possible by great tenacity and daring on my part and the smiling forebearance of a very helpful waiter who brought out one of the cooks from the kitchen to help with the task of deciphering my desires II It s very cold in Moscow The day I arrived it snowed in the morning and it snowed again today and this is September l6th My guide Helen put her finger on it very accurately She said that life in Moscow is a constant fight against the cold weather and that living is only a triumph against death by freezing Maybe because of the cold or maybe because of the shortage of 18 SISTER OUTSIDER food in the war years but everyone eats an enormous amount here Tonight because of a slight error on the part of the waitress IIelen had two dinners and thought very little about eating them both And no one is terribly fat but I think that has a good deal to do with the weather We had wine at dinner tonight and wine seems to be used a lot to loosen up one s tongue It almost seems a prescription At every dinner meal there are always three glasses one for water one for wine and one for vodka which flows like water and with apparently as little effect upon Russians A group from the conference with our Intourist guides went sightseeing today It s hard to believe that today s Sunday because the whole city seems so full of weekday life so intent on its own purposes that it makes the week seem extended by an extra day We saw the Novagrodsky Convent Museum and the brilliant saucy golden onion steeples that shock me back from the feeling this is Manhattan We went to see the University and of course many plaques for many heroes but I never saw one that moved me as much as the tough old lady coming in on Aeroflot And the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre It was rainy and grey and overcast 2 a New York December day and very impos ing in the way the Grand Concourse at 161st Street in the Bronx can be imposing in the middle of December or Colume bus Circle The golden onion steeples on some older buildings are beautiful and they glisten all the time even in this weather which makes them look like joyful promises on the landscape or fairy palaces and the lovely colors of greens whites yellows and oranges decorating and outlining windows make a wonder fully colorful accent in the greyness I hope that I get a chance to see the Pushkin Museum I was interviewed by a sweetly astute motherly woman who was one of the members of the Union of Soviet Writers She was doing a study of Negro policy as she said and of course she was very interested in women in the States We talked for a good two hours and one of the things I told her was about the old woman on the plane with the medals and I asked her if she had any idea what they were She said the woman was probably an older farm worker who had been awarded and named a TRIP TO RUSSIA 19 Hero of the Republic Those were mostly given to people who worked very hard she said It was interesting because earlier at lunch I had seen a side of Helen my interpreter that surprised me She was quite out of sorts with one of the waitresses who did not wait on her quickly enough and it does take a long time to get waited on Helen made a remark that the workers rule the country and her manner and response to that seemed to be one of disgust or at least rather put off I think Helen felt that she was being discriminated against or that she was at a disadlvanA tage because she was an intellectual a translator as well as an interpreter Which struck me as an odd kind of snobbishness because Helen worked at least as hard if not harder than any waitress running after me and living my life as well as hers Because always she stuck to me like white on rice We were at the University and our guide was talking to us in English about the buildings which had been built during Stalin s time Material had been brought down from the Ukraine to sink into the earth to build such buildings because Moscow unlike New York is not built upon bedrock This strikes me as strange that this city of oversize imposing stone buildings should not be grounded on bedrock It s like it re mains standing on human will While we were standing in front of the reflecting pool having this discussion a little tOw headed boy sidled up to me with a completely international air all of ten years old stood in front of me and with a i irtive sideways gesture ipped his hand open In the center of his little palm was a button pin of a red star with a soldier in the middle of it I was completely taken aback because I did not know what the kid wanted and I asked Helen who brushed the child off and shooed him away so quickly I didn39t have a chance to stop her Then she told me that he wanted to trade for American but tons That little kid had stood off to the side and watched all of these strange Black people and he had managed to peg me as an American because of course Americans are the only ones who go around wearing lots and lots of buttons and he had wanted to trade his red star button I was touched by the child and also because I couldn t help but think that it was Sunday and he was probably hitting all the tourist spots I m sure his parents did 20 SISTER Oursmsa not know where he was and I really wondered what his mother would do if she knew The woman from the Writers Union who was doing her book on Negro policy was I d say a little older than I was probably in her early fifties and her husband had been killed in the war She had no children She offered these facts about herself as soon as we sat down talking openly about her life as everybody seemingly does here I say seemingly because it only goes so far And she like my guide and most women here both young and old seem to mourn the lack of men At the same time they ap pear to have shaken off many of the traditional rolevplaying devices visvavvis men Almost everyone I39ve met has lost some one in what they call the quotGreat Patriotic War which is our Second World War I was interviewed by Oleg this evening one of the officials of the Union of Soviet Writers the people who had invited me to Russia and who were footing the bill lln my interview with him I learned the hotel that were staying in was originally a youth hostel and Oleg apologized because it was not as civilized so he said as other Moscow hotels I came across this term civilized before and I wondered whether it was a term used around Americans or whether it meant up to American standards In creasingly I get a feeling that American standards are sort of an unspoken norm and that whether one resists them or whether one adopts them they are there to be reckoned with This is rather disappointing But coming back to the hotel I notice that the fixtures here area a little shabby but they do work and the studio beds are a bit adolescent in size but they are comfort able For a youth hostel it39s better than I would ever hope for Of course I can t help but wonder why the AfricanAsian Con ference people should be housed in a youth hostel particularly an uncivilizedquot one but I don t imagine that I ll ever get an answer to that All hotel rooms cost the same in the Soviet Union Utilities from my conversation with Helen while we were riding the Metro down to send a cable utilities are very in expensive The gas to cook with costs sixteen kopecs a month which is less than one ruble about 300 and the most electricie ty IIelen says that she uses when she s translating all day long TRIP TO RUSSIA 21 in winter costs three rubles a month That is very expensive she says The two room apartment which she and her mother share costs eight rubles a month Qleg does not speak English or does not converse in English Like many other people I was to meet during my stay in Russia he understands English although he does not let on Oleg said through Helen that he wants me to know it was very important for us to meet other writers and that the point of the Con ference was for us to get together I thanked him for the twenty five rubles I had been given as soon as I arrived here in Moscow which I have been told was a gift from the Union of Soviet Writers for pocket money I spoke of the oppressed people all over the world meeting to touch and to share I spoke of South Africa and their struggle Oleg said something very curious Yes South Africa is really very bad It is like a sore upon the body that will not heal This sounded to me both removed and proprietary Unclear Willy my South African poet friend lives in Tanzania now and he may be here which I am very excited about III We traveled south to Uzbekistan for the Conference a five hour journey that became seven because of delays We arrived in Tashkent after dark following a long exhausting plane ride As I have said Russian planes are incredibly packed every single inch being taken up in seats They absolutely utilize their air space Even coming from New York to Moscow it was like air mass transit Certainly from Moscow to Tashkent this was true since there were I50 delegates to the African Asian Writers Conference myself one observer interpreters and press per sonnel All together a traveling group of about 250 people which is a large group to move around a country at least four or five times the size of the United States and in a standard not wide bodiecl plane As we descended the plane in Tashkent it was deliciously hot and smelled like Accra Ghana At least it seemed to me that it 22 SISTER OUTSIDER did from the short ride from the airport to the hotel The road to the city had lots of wood and white marble all around broad avenues and bright street lights The whole town of Tashkent had been rebuilt after the 1966 earthquake We arrived tired and hot to a welcome that would make your heart grow still then sing Can you imagine 250 of us weary cramped hungry disori ented overtalked underfed it is after dark We step out of the plane and there before us are over a hundred people and TV cameras and lights and two or three hundred little children dressed in costumes with bunches of flowers that they thrust upon each of us as we walked down the ramp from the plane Surprise Well you know it was a surprise Pure and simple and I was pretty damn well surprised I was surprised at the gesture hokey or not at the mass participation in it Most of all I was surprised at my response to it I felt genuinely welcomed So off to the hotel we went and I had the distinct feeling here for the first time in Russia that I was meeting warmblooded people in the sense of contact unavoided desires and emotions possible the sense that there was something hauntingly per sonally familiar not in the way the town looks because it looked like nothing I d ever seen before night and the minarets but the tempo of life felt hotter quicker than in Moscow and in place of Moscow s determined pleasantness the people displayed a kind of warmth that was very engaging They are an Asian people in Tashkent Uzbeki They look like the descen dants of Ghengis Khan some of whom I m sure they are They are Asian and they are Russian They think and speak and con sider thernselves Russian for all intents and purposes so far as i can see and I really wonder how they manage that On the other hand the longer I stayed the more ll realized some of the personal tensions between North Russian and Uzbek are na tional and some racial There are only four sisters in this whole conference In the plane coming to Tashkent I sat with the three other African women and we exchanged chitchat for 512 hours about our respective children about our exold men all very very heterocetera True TO RUSSIA 23 IV Tashkent is divided into two parts There s the old part that sur vived the huge earthquake of 1966 and there s the newer part which is on the outskirts of old Tashkent It39s very new and very modern rebuilt in a very short time after the earthquake that practically totaled the area It was rebuilt by labor from all over the Soviet Union People came from the Ukraine from Byelo Russia from all over and they rebuilt the city And there are many different styles of architecture in the new part of town because every group who came built their own type of building It39s almost a memorial to what can be done when a large group of people work together It was one of the things that impressed me greatly during my stay in Tashkent The old part which is really the center of Tashkent looks very very much like a town in Ghana or Dahomey say Kumasi or Cotonou In the daylight it looks so much like some parts of West Africa that I could scarcely believe it In fact if Moscow is New York in another space in anotzher color because both New York and Moscow have a little over eight million population and should apparent ly have many of the same problems but Moscow seems to have handled them very differently if Moscow is New York Tashkent is Accra It is African in so many ways the stalls the mix of the old and the new the corrugated tin roofs on top of adobe houses The corn smell in the plaza although the plazas were more modern than in West Africa Even some flowers and trees Calla lilies But the red laterite smell of the earth was different The people here in Tashkent which is quite close to the Ira nian border are very diverse and I am impressed by their ap parent unity by the ways in which the Russian and the Asian people seem to be able to function in a multinational at mosphere that requires of them that they get along whether or not they are each other s favorite people And it s not that there are no individuals who are nationalists or racists but that the taking of a state position against nationalism against racism is what makes it possible for a society like this to function And of course the next step in that process must be the personal ele Z4 SISTER OUTSIDER ment I don t see anyone attempting or even suggesting this phase however and that is troublesome for without this step socialism remains at the mercy of an incomplete vision imposed from the outside We have internal desires but outside controls But at least there is a climate here that seems to encourage those questions I asked Helen about the Jews and she was rather evasive I think saying only that there were Jews in govern ment The basic position seems to be one of a presumption of equality even though there is sometimes a large gap between the expectation and the reality We visited a film studio and saw several children s cartoons which handled their themes beautifully deeply with great humor and most notably without the kind of violence that we have come to associate with cartoons They were truly delightful After two very busy days of meetings in Tashkent we started out at about 730 one morning by bus for Samarkand the fabulous city of Tamerlane the Great After a short snooze on the bus I began to feel a little more human to look about me and the countryside We re heading southeast from Tashkent and Tashkent was southeast of Moscow The countryside is very beautiful It feels strange and familiar at the same time This is cotton country Miles and miles of it and trainloads of students were coming south from Moscow on a two week vaca tion to party and pick cotton There was a holiday atmosphere all around We passed through small villages where I could see little markets with women sitting cross ankled on the bare earth selling a few cabbages or a small tray of fruit And walls behind which you could see adobe houses Even the walls themselves reminded me very much of West Africa made of a clay mud that cracks in the same old familiar patterns that we saw over and over again in Kumasi and south of Accra Only here the clay is not red but a light beige and that is to remind me that this is the USSR and not Ghana or Dahomey Of course the faces are white There are other differences that creep through also The towns and the villages are really in very good repair and there is a powerful railroad running parallel to our road Long efficient looking trains and tanker cars and tenecar TRIP To Russm 25 passenger trains pass by us going through switch houses with blue and white ceramic tiles and painted roofs all managed by women Everything looks massive bigger in Russia The roads are wider the trains longer the buildings bigger The ceilings are higher Everything seems to be on a larger scale We stopped for a harvest festival lunch at a collective farm complete with the prerequisite but very engaging cultural presentation while vodka flowed Then we all danced and sang together with the busloads of students who had come to help pick cotton Later on along the roads there were literally hills of cotton being loaded onto trains Each town that we pass through has a cafe where the villagers can come and spend an evening or chat or talk or watch TV or listen to propaganda who knows but where they can meet And all over in between very old looking villages there are also new four story buildings in progress factories new apartment houses Trains full of building slabs and other kinds of materials coal and rock and tractors pass by even one with row after row after row of small automobiles There are three dif ferent Russian automobiles This is the cheapest and most popular hundreds and hundreds of cars stacked all the same lemon color Obviously that month the factory was producing yellow Iwatched all of this industry pass and it came through to me on that bus ride down to Samarkand that this land was not in dustrial so much as it was industrious There was a flavor of peo ple working hard and doing things and it was very attractive On top of that I learned that this area between Tashkent and Samarkand was once known as the Hungry Desert because although it was fertile no rain ever fell and it was covered with a coat of salt Through technology devisecl to lift the salt and a great deal of human hands and engineering this whole area has been made to bloorri and it really does bloom It is being farmed mostly with cotton People live here and there are massive irriga tion ditches and pipes that maintain trees where there are towns and collective farms All through Uzbekistan the feeling of a desert having been reclaimed and bearing huge fruit is very con stant Later on as we headed on south after the great feast we 26 SISTER Qursinsa W stopped at an oasis and I picked some desert owers that were growing I small little scrub flowers that were growing in the sand And just for so I tasted one of them and as honeysuckle is sweet so is this ower salt It was as if the earth itself was still pro ducing salt or still pouring salt into its products There39s very beautiful marble throughout Uzbekistan The stairs of the hotels and sometimes the streets have a beautiful pink and green marble That was in Tashkent which means Stone City But on this ride from Tashkent to Samarkand I saw no stones or rocks of any kind near the road I don t know why except that it is a reclaimed desert The roads felt very good and they were very broad because of course there was always heavy machinery and trucking traveling back and forth We had another glowing welcome in Gulstan which means the IIungjry Desert This is now the village of roses We visited a collective farm went into a house saw the kindergarten The woman s house into which we went was very impressive as I said to someone later at lunch who asked me what I thought I said She lives better than I do and in some ways she did The collective farm in Gulstan called the Leningrad Collective is one of the wealthiest collectives in the area I will never know the name of the very kind young woman who opened her home to me but I also will not forget her She offered me the hospitali ty of her house and even though we did not speak the same language I felt that she was a woman like myself wishing that all of our children could live in peace upon their own earth somehow make fruitful the power of their own hands Through Helen she spoke about her three children one of whom was only a nursing infant and I spoke of my two I spoke in English and she spoke in Russian but I felt very strongly that our hearts spoke the same tongue I was reminded of her a few days later in Samarkand when Fikre an Ethiopian student at Patrice Lumuinba University and I went shopping in the market I remember the Moslern woman who came up to me in the marketplace and she brought her little boy up to me asking Fikre if I had a little boy also She said that she had never seen a Black woman before that she had seen Black men but she had never seen a Black woman TRIP TO RUSSIA 27 and that she so much liked the away I looked that she just wanted to bring her little boy and find out if I had a little boy too Then we blessed each other and spoke good words and then she passed on There was the accotnplished and very eloquent young Asian 39 l woman an anthropology student she said who acted as our museum guide in Samarkand and shared her great store of historical knowledge with us The night that we arrived in Samarkand and again the next day in looking through the museums I felt that there were many things we werenot seeing For instance we passed a case where there are a number of coins which l recognized as ancient Chinese coins because Id used them for casting the I Ching I asked our guide if these were from China She acted as if I d said a dirty word And she said No these were from right here in Samarkand Now obviously they had been traded and that was the whole point but of course I couldn t read the Russian explanation under it and she evidently took great offense at my use of the word China In all of the women I ve met here I feel an air of security and awareness of their own powers as women as producers and as human beings that is very affirming But I also feel a stony rigidity a resistance to questioning that frightens me saddens me because it feels destructive of progress as process We arrived in Samarkand about 930 PM quite wearied by a very full day We got into the main square Just in t1IT1e39t0 cgtch the last light show at Tamerlanes tomb The less39said a isutl that the better But the following day IIelen Fikre an played hooky from one mausoleuin land ran 307053 the istreet and went to a market It is very reassuring and good as always People in markets find a way of getting down to the essentials of l have you want you have I want I The tile tombs and the rnidrasas ancient schools of Samarkand are truly beautiful intricate and still Incredibly painstaking work is being done to restore them I could feel stillness in my bones walking through these places knowing that so much history had been buried there I found two feathers in the Tomb of fBebe Tirnor s favorite wife and I felt almost as if I had come there to find them The Tomb of Bebe 28 SISTER Ourstoea g has beautiful minarets but the Tomb itself was never used The mosque was never used There is a story that Bebe was Tamerlane s favorite wife and he loved her with all of his heart However he had many many journeys to go upon and he left her so often that he broke her heart and she died When he returned and found she was dead he was very upset because he had loved her so much and he vowed that he would build the biggest mausoleum in the world the most ornate mosque for her and that is what he did But then just before it was completed it collapsed They say it was due to an error of the architect but it was never used One up for the lady shades The tile tombs and the midrasas are engrossing but it s the market that caught my heart We went later in that afternoon to another meeting of solidarity for the oppressed people of Somewhere The only thing that I was quite sure of was that it was not for the oppressed Black people of America which point of course I had questioned a number of days before and was still awaiting a reply So we stood in the hot sun at the porcelain factory and it almost baked my brains and l thought about a lot of things The peoples of the Soviet Union in many respects impress me as people who can not yet afford to be honest When they can be they will either lolossorn into a marvel or sink into decay What gets me about the United States is that it pretends to be honest and therefore has so little room to move toward hope I think that in America there are certain kinds of problems and in Russia there are certain kinds of problems but basically when you find people who start from a position where human beings are at the core as opposed to a position where profit is at the core the solutions can be very dif ferent I wonder how similar human problems will be solved But I am not always convinced that human beings are at the core here either although there is more lip service done to that idea than in the US I had a meeting the following day with a Madam Izbalkhan who was the head of the Uzbekistan Society of Friendship This meeting came about as a result of my request for clarification of my status here at the Conference When all was said and done why was there no meeting for oppressed peoples of Black J TRIP TO RUSSIA 29 America Enough said Madam lzbalkhan talked two hours and she essentially said well here s what our revolution has done for us And I felt she was implying that any time you want to get yours going you know be our guest just don t expect us to be involved But she talked most movingly of the history of the women of Uzbekistan a history which deserves more writing about than I can give it here The ways in which the women of this area from 1924 on fought to come out from behind complete veiling from Moslem cloister to the twentieth century How they gave their lives to go bareefaced to be able to read Many of them fought and many of them died very terrible deaths in this battle killed by their own fathers and brothers It is a story of genuine fetnale heroism and persistence I thought of the South African women in 1956 who demonstrated and died rather than carry passbooks For the Uzbeki women revolution meant being able to show their faces and go to school and they died for it A bronze statue stands in a square of Sarnarkand monument to the fallen women and their bravery Madam went on to discuss the women of modern Uzbekistan and how there was now full equality between the sexes How many women now headed col lective farms how many women Ministers She said there were a great many ways in which women governed there was no dif ference between men and women now in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics I was touched by these statistics of course but I also felt that there was a little more to it than met the eye It sounded too easy too pat Madam spoke of the daycare centers of kindergartens where children could be cared for on collective farms The kindergartens are free in large cities like Moscow and Tashkent But in Samarkand there s a nominal fee of about two rubles a month which is very little she said I asked her one question whether men are encouraged to work in the kindergartens to give the children a gentle male figure at an early age Madam lzbalkhan hesitated for a moment No she said We like to believe that when the children come to the kindergarten they acquire a second mother Madam lzbalkhan was a very strong and beautiful and forth right woman excellently in charge of her facts with a great deal 30 Sisnsa Oursrnsa of presence and I returned from my meeting with her almost overwhelmed and overagraped The grapes in Uzbekistan are incredible quotfruit They seem to have a life of their own They re called the bridesmaids little finger and that s about the size of them They re very long and green and they re absolutely the most delicious I came away with revolutionary women in my head But I feel very much now still that we Black Americans exist alone in the mouth of the dragon As I ve always suspected outside of rhetoric and proclamations of solidarity there is no help except ourselves When I asked directly about the USSR s attitude toward American racism Madam said reproachfully that of course the USSR cannot interfere in the internal affairs of any other nation I wish now I had asked her about Russian Jews In Samarkand Helen and I went looking for a fruit market She inquired directions from a man who had passed by with either his little girl or his granddaughter but I tend to think his little girl because so many of the adults here in Uzbekistan look much older than they are It must be a quality of the dry air Anyway Helen stopped to inquire directions to the market and this gave him an opening as frequently happens in Russia to discuss anything He wanted to know from Helen whether I was from Africa and when he heard I was from America then he really wanted to discuss American Black people There seems to be quite an interest in Black Americans among the peoples of Russia but it s an interest that is played down somewhat Fikre my Ethiopian companion who studied at the university was of ten questioned about me in Russian I had developed enough of an ear for the language to be able to notice that Fikre frequent ly did not say I was from America Most people in Tashkent and Samarkand who I met thought I was African or from Cuba and everyone is also very interested in Cuba This fascination with all things American is something that keeps coming up over and over again This man wanted to know from me whether American Black people were allowed to go to school I said yes and Helen said yes to him and then he wanted to know if we were allowed to teach and I said yes I was a professor at the University of the TRIP TO RUSSIA 31 City of New York And he was surprised at that He said that he had seen a television program one time about the Black peo ple of America That we had no jobs So Helen started to answer him and he stopped her Then she angrily said he wanted me to speak because he wanted to look at my face so he could see how I answered I told Helen to tell him that the ques tion was not that we could never go to college but that fre quently even when Black people went to college we had no jobs when we came out That it was more difficult for Black people to find work and make any kind of living and that the percentage of unemployment among American Black people was far higher than that of American white people He pondered that a little while and then he asked do Black people have to pay for their doctors too Because that s what TV programs had said I smiled a little at this and told him it s not only Black people who have to pay for doctors and medical care all people in America have to Ah he said And suppose you don t have the money to pay Well I said if you don t have the money to pay sometimes you died And there was no mistaking my gesture even though he had to wait for the translator to translate it We left him looking absolutely nonplussed standing in the middle of the square with his mouth open and his hand under his chin staring after me as in utter amazement that human beings could die from lack of medical care It39s things like that that keep me dreaming about Russia long after I ve returned There s much that I think that Russian people now take for granted 1 think they take for granted free hospitalization and medical care They take for granted free universities and free schooling as well as the presumption of universal bread even with a rose or two although no meat We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not One night after midnight Fikre and I were walking through a park in Tashkent and we were approached by a Russian man with whom Fikre had a short sharp conversation after which the man bowed and walked away Fikre would not tell me what they d said but I had the strong feeling he had tried to pick one of us up either Fikre or me Tashkent is in some respects a 32 SISTER Oursmsa Russian playground I asked Fikre what the Soviet position was on homosexuality and Fikre answered that there was no public position because it wasn t a public matter Of course I know better than that but I have very few inroads into finding out the truth and Helen is much too proper to discuss anything sexual V The last few days after we returned to Moscow I got to meet one woman I had noticed all through the Conference She was an Eskimo woman Her name was Toni and she s Chukwo They are from the part of Russia closest to Alaska the part that wasn t sold by the Russians across the Bering Straits Toni did not speak English and I didn t speak Russian but I felt as if we were making love that last night through our interpreters I still don t know if she knew what was going on or not but I suspect that she did I had been extremely moved by her presentation earlier in the day We sat down to dinner about ten of us and Toni started speaking to me through our interpreters She said that she had been searching for my eyes in the crowd all through her speech because she felt as if she were talking to my heart And that when she sang the little song that she did she sang it for a beginning that she hoped for all of our people And this lady cast let me tell you a very powerful spell There are only four teen thousand Chukwo people left In her speech at one point she said It is a very sad thing when a whole people ceases to ex ist And then she sang a little song which she said her people sing whenever something new happens Her dark round eyes and seal heavy hair flashed and swung in time to her music It sent a chill down my spine at the time because although there are 21 million Black Americans I feel like we re an endangered species too and how sad for our cultures to die I felt as if we alone of all the people at the Conference shared that knowledge and that threat Toni and I At dinner Toni kept telling me how beautiful I was and how it was not only my True TO RUSSIA 33 beauty that she would carry with her always but my words and that we should share our joys as well as our sorrows and some day our children would be able to speak freely with each other She made toast after toast to women and to their strength All of this was through our interpreters I was trying to decide what to make of all this when Toni got up moved over and sat down beside me She touched my knee and kissed me and so we sat all through dinner We held hands and we kissed but any time we spoke to each other it was done through our interpreters blond Russian girls who smirked as they translated our words I suppose Toni and I connected somewhere in the middle of the Aleutians She kissed my picture on my book before she got up thanked us for dinner and went off with the male Latvian delegate from Riga VI Now it is back to Moscow again which is still cold and rainy Moscow across rainy rooftops looks about as dreary as New York does except the skyline is broken up by huge building cranes There is an incredible amount of building it appears going on all the time in Moscow There is in New York also but it s not so obvious on the skyline The buildings are not built in solid blocks the way they are in New York You39ll have perhaps two large apartment houses to a block set at different angles with a lot of greenery and perhaps some parks in between In other words it appears that quite a bit of thought has been given to urban planning and how people like or need to move about where they are Both New York and Moscow have a population of about eight million and in Moscow it is possilble and pleasant to walk out after dark without fear Crime on the streets seems not at all a problem in Moscow The official reason why and the actual reason why may be very different but it is a fact I was struck by the sight of many people even children walking through the parks after sundown Earlier when I had first come to Moscow from the airport I had noticed quite heavy steady traffic but there did not appear 34 SISTER OUTSIDER i to be a traffic jam or great delay although this was the time when most people were coming home from work It seemed quite an achievement in a city of eight million people and I thought Moscow must be handling her problems of urban transportation in a new and creative way Of course when I saw the Metro I realized why Not only are the stations spotlessly clean but the trains are quick and comfortable and I39d never really thought that it could he an actual joy to ride on the sub ways VII It will take a while and a lot of dreams to metabolize all I ve seen and felt in these hectic two weeks I haven t even discussed the close bonding I felt with some of the African writers and how difficult it was to get to know others I have no reason to believe Russia is a free society I have no reason to believe Russia is a classless society Russia does not even appear to be a strictly egalitarian society But bread does cost a few kopecs a loaf and everybody I saw seemed to have enough of it Of course I did not see Siberia nor a prison camp nor a mental hospital But that fact in a world where most people certainly most Black people are on a breadconcern level seems to me to be quite a lot If you conquer the bread problem that gives you at least a chance to look around at the others So for all of the double messages I received and there were many because of the places in which I stayed because of a kind of both deference and unpleasantness that I received as an American and because no matter how much is said and done America still appears to have some kind of magic over many countries no matter what the shortcomings were there is en thusiasm about the people that I met in Russia particularly the people I met in Uzbekhistan And I recognize some of the con tradictions and problems that they have I am deeply suspicious of the double messages that kept coming and of the fact that when they are finished with you and by they I mean the government when they are finished with you they drop you Tarp TO RUSSIA 35 and you can fall very far So what39s new I also am intrigued by the idea that there are writers who are paid to be writers and that they survive and they wield considerable power am also very well aware that if what they write is not acceptable then it never gets read or it never gets printed So whats new But you do have a country there that has the largest reading population in the world that prints books of poetry in editions of 250000 copies and those copies sell out in three months Everywhere you go even among those miles of cotton being harvested in the Uzbekhi sun people are retading 31 1Cl F10 Wat ter what you may say about censorship they are still reading and they re reading an awful lot Some books are pirated from the West because Russia does not observe International Copyright In Samarkhand Ernest Gaines The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was the latest best seller Now how many Russian novels in translation have you read this past year 48 THE CORNEL WEST READER stereotypes while embracing what have been some of the Very rich in sights and contributions of the black folk intellectually politically and culturally 39 39 hooks The role of poetry in traditional black community 15 a prime exam ple of that So many of us came to performance art to public speaking from both the black church and black high schools under segregation WE39st Right Right hooks We also forget that in the nineteenth century there was a tremendous emphasis on the oratory And for a lot of black people that C3I 1 i Cl Owl and informed twentieth century construction of black culture I was raised in a working class blaclt family where when the lights Went out and the candles were lit my folks would say get up and entertain us Re cite a poem West I want to argue that music and rhetorical practices especially black preaching practices have been the two major traditions owing to the eye clusion of black people in other spheres even though many of us venture in those elds hooks You often say that US mass culture is disproportionately in uencctl by black culture I think the critical question to ask is whether or not that in uence is oppositional Does black culture radicalize white American culture Asian American culture the culture of other ethnic groups West lt is oppositional but there are different levels of oppositionality Therels what we call thin opposition and then there s thick opposi tion Thin opposition is a critique of American society that does not talk about the need for a redistribution ofwealth resources and power TluCllt opposition is an attempt to call into question the prevailing maldistribtr tion of wealth in this society Thin opposition is important but it is not suf cient And black cultural influence has played a role in that thin Up positionjust affirming the humanity of black people in America 15 still in many instances a subversive act Yet thicllt 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COLTRANE AND DEMOCRACY David Lionel Smith Thank you for agreeing to do this interview Let s begin with the idea of the public intellectual In some ways this is almost a misnomer That is it makes a distinction between intellectuals who op erate within View of the public and other intellectuals I wonder how good a distinction you think that is There s certainly a history to the concept One thinks of the New York lntellectuals and the leftliberal humanist agenda and commitments they espoused But I wonder since you are always on the list of public intellectuals how good a rubric you think tl39l1S 1s and whether it makes distinctions that you consider valid Cazimel West First let me say that it s always a pleasure to see and talk with you David and thank you for inviting me to engage in this conversa tion The term public intellectuals can be misleading because if we take seriously what it means to be an intellectual and it goes back in many ways to the Russian intellectuals of the 18305 to Vassarion Belin sky dealing with the discrepancy between the social value and the social function of intellectual gures who had been trained but felt that they had no place and therefore felt that they had a critical role in society Or we might go back to the lDreyfus case in France with Zola bringing his own critique to bear on the Vicious anti Semitism To be an intellectual really means to speak a truth that allows suffering to speak That is it creates a vision of the world that puts into the limelight the social misery that is usually hidden or concealed by the dominant viewpoints of a so ciety lntellectual in that sense simply means those who are willing to reflect critically upon themselves as well as upon the larger society and to ascertain whether there is some possibility of amelioration and better ment On a deeper level when we talk about intellectuals in the humanities there is an even greater challenge because I take quite seriously para graph twelve of Vicols The New SL liE m where he says that hunianities is derived from lzzmiarriitas That comes from the Latin mmazrzdo meaning burying Thus to be in the humanities means to begin with the mass bodies buried that we have to come to terms with We impose some in tentional order on the world that connects the living to the dead the 5 2 THE CORNEL WEST READER quick to the gone Therefore there s a historical diniension and an im portant role for traditions that try to consider the relation of those pres ent to those past That s an even deeper level of understanding the role of the intellectual than we find in Belinsky or Zola It is the latter Vico to whom I feel closer When you take the idea of the intellectual and add the adjective public it becomes misleading because it gives the un pression that the intellectual is someone who has a blueprint or is only functioning in a public sphere and is not concerned with the deeper is sues of death dread and despair and how those relate to issues of free dom and equality Hence I it tends to misconstrue what one s fun damental calling is in the humanities It is very different in natural sciences where the issues of mass bodies is secondary because you are fundamentally concerned with analyzing natural phenomena in light of past experience or trying to gain some control over nature That s a very different kind of operation I admire it but it s not the kind of I do Smith When term is used by journalists or by activist intellectuals it is often intended to distinguish between conventional academics who oper ate strictly within the academy and those who move beyond the walls of the academy Must one operate beyond the academy to have public 0 pact as an intellectual West It s both dangerous and misleading to make this distinction To oper ate beyond the academy caii mean simply to be highly publicized or pop ular that one attains notoriety and that can be vacuous and hollow yet one may still be viewed as a public intellectual Similarly there are those within the academy whose work has tremendous impact out in the broader world though they personally remain z the academy Such people in conventional terms may not be recognized as public intellec tuals regardless of the impact of their work I think of my friend and teacherjohn Rawls for instance whose A Tl 07jl ifjuilice has profound in uence It is work of great value In my view the exemplary intellec tuals who move both p and outside the academy would include peo ple like Edward Said and Garry W ls These are people who have great in uence in both worlds because of the integrity of their work It is a matter of quality and substantive impact on the public issues of our day These gures transcend the glib de nitions of public intellectual Smith We are living in a culture that is increasingly a soundbite culture de ned by short attention spans and inability to comprehend complex arguments The way the media are managed leaves little space for hav ing careful arguments or nuanced discourse In such a culture how much impact can an intellectual have Chekhov Coltmne and Democracy Witt That s a ve ood uesti to try to chaimrdl v39lSClO1 l boitlil mgillliediiiazil dlrfccf I EC1lEllefIquotlltJ11tSht0day is sual culture By wisdom I mean eloquent insights that disiqui t use televi tle us and challenge us to think This a difficult challenge but it icuI1SLi ble It requires one to speak in a language that is clear arid pal abllgoss 1 nuanced and difli cult enough that it requires people to rethinkpthe caliei gories and rnodes in which they understand the world It is a critical 01 entation but it also requires wisdom Eloquence in a GlCCTOHla11Ul Qimt ian sense is still a way of unsettling people and forcing them differently This can be done even in a televisual culture d o certainly what i aspire to do i it is SmithIth ktht recognizl l thes Eyone whp has read your work or seen you lecture will 1 my emes as undaiiierital to what you ve tried to accom p ish I wonder if you see a signi cant cadre of people who have that sens fall f p8 j S 102 C mg or humanistic work in the terms that you are describing or is it only a few lonely voices L West N I think th e I 0 I I at more and more persons aspire to this calling The problem is that in our marketdriven culture there are so many pitfalls y 36 lemons it ls 30 33 I0 squats I11 1quot pubhcity and visibility with Slll l tfantlllfe puablhc 1mPaCl3 Vi lbility and celebrity status can be confused wi I S 39 I Q mte ectu accomplishment and these are delusions that all who as pire must be wary to avoid lt s very tough but it can and must be done Bal1iI11I1 tde pflit Such as Reinhold Niebuhr Hannah Arsendthlanies W 0 39 39 g p 39 is so easy 1 El 2 T ew y managed to pull it off but in our own time it Smith A Yh e super cial because so much of the culture is superficial K537 I 39 5 What as uinanist intellectual observing public discourse at the moment your assessment of the quality of discussions about politics and public hfe For example in the recent discussions of President Clinton s t iblmi lt I S1011 CS 1 ye been shocked by the absence of cogent critical voices capa S e ofmhelillaigig to understand the issues rather than just revel in the we 7 i M l 39 nsation etails How would you assess what you see happening now in the media ed 1 TEEIHY d m01393llZ1I 1g and depressing to see such lowquality public conglrersation p oneihand we have a lot of selfrighteousness re ected 1I1ktmlt1 moralistic criticisms of the president On the other hand we have El 1 of smug complacency as if nothing is at stake as if people can do anything and not be accountable for their actions I make a strong dis 1I11 lCt3J11 between the moralistic condemnation of individual acts and the THDT quot339 T39ag that Clcplores child poverty the high incidence of AIDS increasing inequality the various kinds of backlash against immigrants 5 4 THE CORNEL WEST READER and brown and black people These for me are kinds of issues that jus tify a legitimate moral outrage vvitmn the democratic process that may spill over into political actions That is nowhere near the center of the current public conversation but we instead get moralism and smug com placency These are the terms in which people are p about the ac tivities in the White House and the Congress and they are such trun cated impoverished ways of thinking Maybe the downturn in the global markets will induce people to recognize that there are basic institutional and structural arrangements in place that need to be changed It may take a major crisis recession or depression on a global scale to make peo ple focus on the fundamental problems America has an unfortunate his tory of always waiting until our backs are against the wall to be begin facing our deeper problems Smith It is depressing to note how deeply entrenched these forces are that distort and deflect the legitimate moral passions and make impossible the adequate discussion of serious issues I wonder how you confront this re ality without becoming depressed I know that you are a deeply religious man and have often spoken of religious faith as an important sustaining force in the face of despair As a humanist do you nd other resources of hope aside from religion TVest Despair and hope are inseparable One can never understand what hope is really about unless one wrestles with despair The same is true with faith There has to be some serious doubt otherwise faith becomes merely a dogmatic formula orthodoxy a way of C evading the complexity of life rather than a way of engaging honestly with life Therefore for me as Christian and humanist I am reminded of Harold Goddard s splendid book on Shakespeare which says that the greatest poetry tends to portray the human condition as a citadel of nobility threatened by an immense bar barism or a ickering candle in an infinite night He doesn t say that in a self righteous way He just means that the possibility of sustaining hope is always difficult If you are fundamentally committed to human dignity 0 is true from Sophocles and Aeschylus to Chekhov Toni Morrison and john Coltrane you know that you are cutting radically against the histor ical grain Any fundamental commitment to decency dignity and demoo racy means that you are cutting even more fundamentally against the grain You have to be aware of this You have to be willing to look at the worst to push for the best This is the old Thomas Hardy insight stated in his Teinebrae I always resonated deeply with that It means wrestling with despair and doubt but never allowing them to have the last word Smith You mentioned Chekhov One thing many people don t know about you is how deep a passion you liave for Russian literature in general and Czeizfzov Coltmne and Democracy for Chekhov in particular What is it about Russian writers that you nd so congenial to your own thinking and your own condition West For one thing the emergence of modern Russian civilization was predicated upon the quest for a national identity that remained fractured llt was fractured because of the Russian imperial demands that made it difficult for the Russian national identity to be expresseid The Russian writers I mentione d Belinsky but you also see it in Pushkin Gogol Dostoyevsky Tolstoy Chekhov Turgenev all the way up to Solzhenit syn and Bitov have understood that to come to terms with Russian identity and Russian soul they had to explore the fundamental issues of what it means to be human to wrestle with the problem of evil to live an intense life in the face of death to grapple with democratic possibili ties and with social justice To be an intellectual for them means to link the public and the existential issues Those writers constituted the public sphere the essential conversation from the inuformal circles that go back to l3elinsky all the way up to Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn Pn under con ditions of censorship exploitation and oppression They understand that something serious is at stake in intellectual work They are meditating on death in its various forms social death visa vis the serfs soul murder visavis the squashing of a potential that could never be realized owing to social constraints premature physical death and so on I have been deeply attracted by these writers because these are for me real soul mates Chekhov most of all Chekhov for me is the great writer of compassion He understands the essence of the best of Russian ortho doxy absolute condemnation of no one forgiveness for all compassion to all For me as a Christian those principles cut very deep Chekhov was an agnostic but he embodies in his writings the great short stories those four powerful plays and especially Three Sisters which for me is the greatest of twentiethcentury plays though it was first performed inlan uary 1901 the first month of the century Drama has been downhill ever since though Wzz ng r Godot is a fascinating footnote The waiting of the three sisters and the waiting of Didi and Gogo have some elective affinities as critics have rightly noted This at least is how it appears for me as a person and thinker rooted in the blues sensibility the tragicomic sensibility that you get from the great New World artists blues musi cians Smith We have talked about a course you have planned to teach on Chekhov and John Coltrane Can you tell our readers about the course and when you plan to teach it l7Vest I m building toward it I ve been teaching a course on the tragic the comic and the political just to lay the foundation I want to get a real han THE CORNEL WEST READER dle on the tragic the comic and the political We read Sophocles Antigone and Iante s Ii mo Shakespearels Hamlet Ibsen Shaw Chgkhov O Neill Tennessee Lorraine IIansberry LeRoiones and Gd ers as a way of building toward Chekhov I teach Chekhov a week in that course as a way of preparing myself for a course in which we will read Chekhov for seven or eight weeks At the same time I m reading assid uously in the history of modern music in general and black music in par ticular so that I can begin to situate Coltrane Maybe in two or three years I will be ready to teach a course featuring these two great artistic geniuses and spiritual gures By spiritual I mean that they understand the connection between intellectual seeking and life risking loving You get this in the work of both They are thus both not just great artists they are spiritual gures of great cultures who represent deep tendencies of those cultures Their work signi es something profound in the cul tures Their work goes beyond technical virtuosity or their art and cuts very deep into the heart mind and soul of any person who interacts with their work For the twenty first century this will be crucial The worst scenario is the total triumph of market forces which leads to the gang sterization of everyday life with revitalized tribal mentalities and no ef fective countervailing forces against global capitalism What Coltrane and Chekhov represent is the how indispensable nonmarket values of love care concern service to others intimacy and gentleness are to all of us who move from womb to tomb pursuing any sense of meaning be yond money G and pro t taking That s a crucial message as we move into the next century Can we avoid increasing forms of barbarism or will the next century be as dark as the last Smith Would you envision including other musicians in this course ll think of Charles Mingus whose music represents more of the comic side He is very inclusive certainly Compassion and religious feeling are present in his music but the comic is more pronounced just as in Coltrane s music the transcendent religious dimension is more prD nounced Would such work be part of the course West Coltrane in so many ways is like the Hebrew Bible which centers 011 based lovingkinclness at its best and the New Testament which deals with a love that is so rich and deep but it doesn t really deal with an in congruity that sits at the center of the human predicament which is the raw stuff of the comic Thus even the greatness of Coltrane would haV to be examined in terms of what s missing For me the sense of the comit is crucial and there s no doubt that Mingus brings that Actuallya Chekhov is the great poet of the comic of incongruity but it is very high comedy He talks about failure and inadequacy of intelligence in the Ciekmo Colz rmze and Democracy most sophisticated and intelligent way To accent heroic action that is 31 ways selfcritical and that therefore accents intellectual humility is tragic at its best I understand tragic to refer to the freedom that humans have C0 Cxplore the possibility of even greater freedom but against con straints usually constraints of which they are unaware The comic is a way of acknowledging those limitations and the incongruity between those high aspirations and where one actually ends up With Coltrane and Chekhov the tragic and the comic are in fascinating tension and hence they actually need one another With Mingus within the black musical tradition you already have a wrestling with the most sophjsti cated forms of the comic and of course I want to stress that the comic is in no way reducible to the humorous or even the satirical It cuts much T deeper though it often embraces that Smith As a teacher when you present these concepts to young people do they strike a resonant chord or not Do they understand and see the s portance of these paradoxes or are they simply put off by them WestI think that they at rst nd this very alien This kind of language cuts radlcally against the categories that they bring Often the categories are rooted in the televisual culture or in what they expect academic life 0 hr Both are so predictable Both are so at that you have to awaken in young people the sense of awe curiosity and wonder the kind of Faust ian restlessness and seeking The language you use must become a part of that seeking So we as teachers must ask ourselves how do we tease out that sense of awe accent the wrestling with the mystery of being Once you do that and they are bitten by the bug of intellectual curiosity It takes off in a number of different directions That s the rst challenge especially for those of us in the humanities Smith This points to another paradox in your work On one hand your are a pragmatist or at least your epistemology is pragmatic On the other hand you are a kind of idealist Those two tendencies aren t usually linked and a great deal of your work has been concerned with sorting through the linkages between these two contradictory tendencies Would you cornment on the response by critics to that aspect of your work Do you feel that this aspect of your work has been accurately understood and has your O changed any regarding the possibility of linking idealism to a pragmatic epistemology West I appreciate that question because it involves so many fundamental is sues The rst and foremost factor in my appreciation for the pragrnatist tradition from Emerson through Peirce James and Dewey up through my friend brother and mentor Richard Rorty is its recognition that human existence is fundamentally historicallv cnrirliitinned The radical 557 5 8 THE CORNEL WEST READER contingency the dynamism the variability these to me are indispensable ways of understanding who we are On the other hand I am also taken by the heroic actions radically against the odds against the limits which express courage vision the freedom to change ourselves and change the world Pragmatism at its best tries to keep track of both The Marxist tra dition means much to me because it tells some fascinating stories about our historical conditionedess the crucial role of how the dynamics of power at the workplace curtails potential the crucial role that banking and corporate elites play given their wealth and power in making it dif cult for working people actually to ful ll their potentiality That s just one story among others The same is true for narratives of white su premacy male supremacy homophobia For me these are not categories of PCness They represent our historical conditions The question is how can we attenuate and break out of these forms of conditionedness There s a dialectical interplay between the structural institutional and personal constraints in which we find ourselves and our agency We are never totally suffocated by these There s always some way of extending our courage and vision manifesting our freedom in ways in which we can at least create some space to operate and expand the scope of possi bility Pragmatism at its best is able to do P My problem with pragmatism given my Chekhovian Christian sensi bility is that it has no sense of the tragic no sense of the comic and therefore it is too narrow existentially It is impoverished existentially The one pragmatist who understood this tragic dimension is Josiah Royce I ve been working on Royce for a while and have taught some courses on Royce and Schopenhauer I plan to write more on Royce He didn t really have a sense of the comic but his understanding of the tragic was quite profound He remained a pragmatist but with an ideal ist impulse Personally I m less interested in being situated within the philosophical tradition and much more interested in making sense of the world pulling from whatever intellectual tradition I can I think that Montaigne makes more sense 9 of them even though I don t feel he has the truth He comes much closer than others because he under stands both our historical conditionedness on the one hand and 1116 heroic agency we human beings have on the other But he has a much darker W ltanrchauung than any of the pragrnatists including Josiah Royce who has a profound sense of the tragic as a pragmatist but alS0 as a Christian Chekhov Coltm7ze and Democracy tffjhilaroyfahy Thus this has been a central inquiry for you It has m1 parts but also clear continuity just to continue with this line of thinkiliiy some of your recent work has been concerned with issues that are trad t1OI1ally associated with the Right rather than the Left such as famil is sues For instance you recently coauthored The War Agatha Parwztg Viith Sylvia Ann Hewlett Some critics on the Left claim that you are beacon mg more and more conservative Is this a fair response to your work West No I d draw a very sharp distinction between conservative and preservative For me the conservative has traditionally been much more concerned with order hierarchy and privilege whereas the preservative 1dbItI 1IIf Clin1MtlIt1l p1igVgertaii1 kinds of values that can be bilities the possibilities ofpfreedom I fizilfe tf1aicliiiiiiiniieiamp nsl1fi1oatiilypi1il S Ln 0r much from the x b hp 3 i I or even T l3l1ot I ve learned m ut t e tradition that they are trying to 0n5erV 13 Very much different from the tradition that I am trying 0 p1 ge1V th0IS1O3n1t CJC 1C r1hCgIlicves tlciiat it is important to preserve taking a risk to ghtfor demmmtic nge or 11na139y1 ggzople that its worth I am talking about those nonmarkei uallclpesh I be my Agmmt Pmmm These values were ve I I h V as t at need to be preserved ry time at work in the lives of my parents and grandparents and many others of their generations They weren t per depth of low and Car irfgn t T t ere IS no doubt that they had a selves that needs to be g H Serwcc to Soniethmg greater than him preserved Conservatives have no monopoly on Such values On the contrary they promote unregulated markets that 1Id11 tlt1values The book is in part about managerial greed and I arnok that make 1t difficult for parenting that ultimate nonmarket activity of nurturing and caring for young people and render it more and more marginal We ve got to preserve nonmarket values and yet that can be done without falling into any of the narrow conserv ative traps that end up promoting new forms of order new forms of hi erarchy new forms of privilege So I can understand many of my pro gressive friends and leftist comrades thinking that I have moved onto a terrain that conservatives have previously monopolized yet I think that that IS where progressives belong We must get people to see that con 5 Smith In terms of your own work the inquiry that you are describing bl gins in your doctoral dissertation The Ethical Dimenriom cyquotlIczrxzltt Thong ll and it continues through your book on pragmatism The American Event servatives have no monopoly at all on values that are worth preserving Smith Where do you see your work going You mentioned the work on Chekhov and Coltrane the cross cultural inuuirv into traditions of the 560 THE CORNEL WEST RtAoER oppressed the frog s eye perspective to invoke Nietzsche and Ben 39amin What other roiects do ou have p the near term and the loner J P J Y 3 term IMast I ve got a book coming out next year called Heart fAmerz7crm Darkness and it s a book on the doings and suflerings of people of African descent It is a very different take on Afro An1erican culture its emergence and its development over time It is much more centered around issues of dif ferent forms of death and ways in which this generates an intense sense of life and its relation to democracy The issues of varieties of death and the possibilities of democracy loom large in the text I am also working on intellectual autobiography going back to Sacramento where I grew up my struggles the Black Panther Party I was never a mem ber but I worked so closely with them all the way up to where I am now I ve got a book that I ve been working on about David Hume which I think will be a very novel approach on the nest philosophical mind in the English language Smith What aspects of Hume are you working on IV39st Well it has much to do with Hume as the first exernplary modern s ropean man of letters I ve got some background on Erasmus and others but Hume who emerges at a time when he was born a colonial subject in Scotland before the Union Act of N07 dealing with the metropole in London unable to get excited about the academy and dropping out early He was so precocious writing the Treatise iC0ncemz39ng Human Mzzfure in his twenties and then having a nervous breakdown when it was not re ceived well He was never able to teach in a university so he became a diplomat and a tutor but he wrote the most sophisticated works philo sophically and culturally of the day He was of course a white suprema cist who would play an important role in reinforcing some of the worst racist tendencies of Europeans but on the other hand there is the radi cal historicist in some ways naturalist not a solely but a thoroughgoing skeptic which goes beyond skepticism He lays bare the trajectories that would follow him beginning with Kant who could not read yn well in English to Hegel and Nietzsche I am actually ending with Schopen hauer the only great philosopher of the nineteenth century who read English uently He actually translated IIume s work and wrote a long introduction to it Schopenhauer thought that besides Kant and Plato Hume was the most important philosopher he had ever read He never published any of this which is fascinating So even before you get to Nietzsche that fascinating disciple of Schopenhauer you really have to come to terms with Hume IVhy is it that we don t understand the cen trality of Hume in this broader sense and not just as an academic at l l t Ctilf39ll0 U Coltrane and Democracy Ighilosopher He has been so domesticated Livingstone and others are glfjfzlilmng to address th1s scholars who have read Hume s Histozy QfE71 In addition I have been writing a book on Royce which I mentioned before I want to write a book on how central Josiah Royce ought to be It s very interesting that the first graduate course in philosophy in Amer ica was taught by Royce It was a graduate seminar on Schopenhauer at Johns Hopkins University Royce knew that this was a historic moment and he probably couldn t do a more unAmerican thing than u tgach all course on the great German pessimist philosopher What is it abgut Royce that makes him so profoundly American yet he believed that Schopenhauer was the greatest philosopher since Plato as he said in his 1892 book 7716 D tfPzz39l0topzy Sm1thl pAC a lot of readers will be astonished to discover your interest in the great skeptical philosopher David Hume and the great pessimist W philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer W651 They re crucial I don t that anyone should stop there but they are brooks of re that we must pass through if we hope to come up with anything that is substantive in terms of a discourse on faith or hope or possibility or democracy Smith This brings to mind another question about your work concerning your eclecticism Some critics have suggested that your eclecticism re flects a kind of shallowtness Sometimes this is combined with comments on your charismatic speaking style asserting that you are simply a skill il speaker who has borrowed bits of knowledge here and there but not really thought them through carefully or mastered any discipline This strikes me as an obtuse and grossly unfair response to your work but let me ask you how do you respond to Pp criticism West Cine is that if what people are looking for is some kind of systematic architectonic project I can understand their criucism My sensibilities are so Kierkegaardian so Pascalian so antisystem and antiarchitectonic that my work can look as if it is just a smattering of various sources For me gures like Emerson Arnold the early Du Bois are inspirations They are all thoroughly eclectic they are antisystem they write wisdom literature There is a sense in which I do aspire to wisdom I Sopho cles is right That s the best we can do I Isaiah Berlin is the nest European man of letters of our time George Steiner is a close second He has always been for me a tremendous source of inspiration Like Emerson and Arnold people said the same thing about I do not claim to be in the same class as Berlin Emerson or Arnold and really don t care about that I don t view intellectuals as race horses I m just 562 THE CORNEL WEST READER trying to make sense of the world and love folks before I die But there s no doubt that many of my inspirations are thoroughly eclectic Berlin is totally essayistic and I take very seriously the form that he chose to ex press his wonderful intelligence Smith That response seems to me very consistent with your lZI39E1gII121iC streak that way of thinking about the value of a work and the nature of a legacy I wonder if you were to speculate on yourself looking from the outside at the body of your work how would you like it to appear and what would you like your legacy to be II st It s hard to say I don quott YB of legacies so much because it depends on the way the world is going If the twenty first century turns out to be as barbaric as the twentieth then my voice could just be one voice in a wilderness wedded to the discourses of democracy that just turned out to be marginal and impotent If things turn out a bit better than that then I would want to be part of the same intellectual chorus as IVhitman Du Bois Dewey Fundamental commitments to democracy of course but mine is a Christian voice with a Chekhovian tragicomic twist repre senting the African Americans attempt to come to terms with the dark side of modernity It s very hard to say what the legacy will be History is unpredictable so I am not worried about legacies I will say this how ever I hope that whatever legacy I leave it will not be con ned to the realm of ideas and texts If I am anything I am a thinker who is con cerned with life in its most concrete forms To be able to affect persons at a variety of levels of their lives not simply academic intellectuals who will read texts and teach them but to be able to reach out to touch peo ple s lives and affect them to feel that there is a certain energy a certain concern a certain love a certain care that will be thoroughly anony mous thoroughly invisible in the history of ideas but could live through the discussions in barbershops in churches in mosques in nightclubs when people just remember someone who tried to do something with love and style that to me would be just as important as to have a text taught at Harvard for the next hundred years I have a very different idea of what consitutes a legacy than some of my fellow academics Smith In the course of this interview we have gone a very broad discussio of the public intellectual to a very personal assessment of your OW11 work Is there anything that you would like to add VVest39 One is that in good Emersonian fashion I ve only just begun After next year when these two texts are published that will mark the end 01 a particular era in my work Wlien I take off with the Coltrane and Chekhov I think that I will begin a whole new wave of work and texts and Ihope insights In that sense I am very excited The foundation I135 Clei 100 Calz mne and Democracy been set now that will allow me a springboard a launching pad That one of the things that I love about Harvard It s so rich intellect 31 S I can see the next ten twenty thirty years taking me to so maii Elfhat Em dir ctious and I hope higher levels of work than what I veld lf jrl 7 H c One the past So I feel that I m just starting and that s very exciting In Smith That prospect certainly is exciting you SOURCE Interview by David Lionel Smith Boston October 12 M98
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