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Reading Russia, vol. 2

 | 
Damiano Rebecchini
, 
Raffaella Vassena

Part II. The Long Nineteenth Century

Early Twentieth-Century Schools of Reading Russian Poetry

Roman Timenchik

Texte intégral

  • 1  “To prove now, that the history of literature is not only the history of writers, but also the his (...)
  • 2  In one of his final poems, Innokentii Annenskii warily speculated as to the sympathetic readers he (...)

1I wish to avoid the truism that the history of literature consists of the history of readers as much as the history of writers does; or, in other words, that the history of literature consists of the history of a past dialogue between speakers and listeners. If this is a paradox, then, at least in the Russian tradition, this paradox is already a century old,1 and we should thus proceed directly to the question of how to study the historical reader, that is, the one to whom writers once addressed themselves. For even if they dared to dream of writing for a future audience, ‘a reader in posterity’ (per Evgenii Baratynskii), as their ideal reader, then they imagined these readers in the image and likeness of the best of today’s readers, or at least in the image and likeness of themselves—that is, a double of the author.2

2Readers might be subdivided into various types, starting with their demographic features:

  • Gender:
    In Ivan Bunin’s The Life of Arsen’ev, the main character says to Lika, “You, it seems, read only in order to find something of yourself and me in the text. But then, all women read like that.”3
  • Nationality:
    For example, I have already had the opportunity to write about Russian-Jewish readers who read works with Jewish themes somewhat differently, and sometimes in a manner diametrically opposed (if one can use such an expression) to that of ethnically Russian readers.4
  • Age:
    This is highly significant for a certain set of Russian poets. One critic of the 1960s wrote: “Youthful readers will fall under the spell of Gumilev’s poems, become enthralled by them; in time, these charms will dissipate, even if one or two poems stay with them their whole lives.”5
  • Address:
    For example, in 1918 a resident of Petersburg (Iurii Nikol’skii), having dropped in on Moscow, tells his fellow Petersburger (Elena Malkina), “They’re interested in Bal’mont and Briusov, know nothing of Gumilev, and don’t even deign to read Akhmatova.”6

3In accordance with gender, age, geographical (perhaps), and professional affiliations, a reader variously singles out the ‘best parts’ in a text—and, most interestingly, does so in accordance with which ‘party of readers’ to which they belong.

4The final demographic point, (Literary) Party Membership:

5The study of the historical reader, as in the traditional reconstruction of the writer’s literary process, should begin with the isolation of ‘tendencies’ and ‘schools.’ As Boris Tomashevskii noted,

  • 7  B. V. Tomashevskii, “Pushkin—chitatel’ frantsuzskikh poetov,” in Pushkinskii sbornik pamiati prof. (...)

The reading environment is itself heterogeneous, and a shift in tastes […] proceeds through a path of conflict, victories, and defeats of writerly groupings, of schools among readers (after a fashion) that partially reflect, in their collapse into camps, the battle of different literary schools, and at times even of group formations independent from the parties currently operating on Mount Parnassus.7

6Let us continue and treat this working metaphor literally. How did register with a given school proceed one hundred years ago?

  • 8  M. Moravsky, “Books and Those Who Make Them,” Atlantic Monthly, May 1919, 627.

7Purchasing a poet’s book did not in and of itself signify entrance into a school. Although if we are speaking about the cult of a poet, then the fact of owning and displaying their books (even if they were not read) obtains as one of the ways of registering oneself in a particular school. One Russian poet of the 1910s, having relocated to America, recalled a certain Petersburg reader whose living room was decorated with English-language editions of Edgar Allan Poe, even though the owner did not read English at all.8

  • 9   E. L. Didier, “The Poe Cult,” Bookman: A Magazine of Literature and Life, December 1902, 336-339.

8It was through the example of Edgar Allan Poe that the cult of the modern poet was for the first time recognized and described—specifically in 1902, in the work of Eugene Didier, who described what he called ‘the Poe cult.’ This research cataloged the quantitative markers of idolatry: the number of visits to the poet’s grave, the price his manuscripts fetched at auctions, etc.9

9We repeat: purchasing a book does not represent a vow of fealty to a school. But giving it pride of place on the shelf, selecting its worthy neighbors on that shelf, limiting access to it or, on the other hand, readily lending it out, placing it in a fancy binding, assembling your own collection of a certain author’s books, or giving someone a book and noting the significance of this choice out loud or via an inscription: these already represent an oath of sorts. Finally, entry into a school of readers might be noted by markings in the book, or bookmarks, or inserting a page with a torn-out book review or even written-out quotations from one.

  • 10  A. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. J. Falen (Carbondale, IL, 1990), 177.

10It follows that those who will be studying the history of twentieth-century schools of readers should task themselves with browsing through and sniffing out all the issued publications—in public as well as in private libraries, to the degree that they are accessible—of the poet under consideration in order to locate readers’ marginalia, bookmarks, dog-eared pages, pressed flowers and pine needles, and as Pushkin stated, “the traces / where fingernails had sharply pressed.”10

  • 11   “The book becomes a favored companion on a solitary walk. Reading in the bosom of nature, in a pi (...)
  • 12   In “A Downpour of Light” (“Svetovoi liven’”), Marina Tsvetaeva says of Pasternak’s collection My (...)

11Furthermore, the rules of book veneration presuppose special conditions for reading (time, place), whether it be on a table under a lamp with a green lampshade, or in a garden, or at the shore of a body of water (such a female reader is prescribed by Evgenii Lancere’s frontispiece to Akhmatova’s collection Evening [Vecher]), renewing the genre of the sentimental stroll with a book,11 or at the outer limits of proximity to ‘nature’ in a zoological garden.12 One of Tiutchev’s relatives recalled a stroll with a book:

  • 13   F. I., Tiutchev, Izbrannye stikhotvoreniia, introductory article of V. V. Tiutchev (New York, 195 (...)

In the days of my youth I once encountered our neighbor, who was forever wandering among the fields, leas, and groves, and who would go on to become the poet Nikolai Gumilev. In his hands, as always, was a small volume of Tiutchev. “Kolia, why are you dragging that book around? You already know it by heart!” — “Dear friend,” — he answered, stretching out each word, — “what if I suddenly forget and, God forbid, distort his words; that would be sacrilege.13

  • 14  O. E. Mandel’shtam, “The American Girl” (“Amerikanka”) in Idem, Osip Mandel’shtam’s Stone, trans. (...)

12And, conversely, certain taboos existed (such as Mandel’shtam’s odd American girl of twenty “[reading] Faust on the train.”14

  • 15Literaturnoe nasledstvo, XCII, bk. 3 (Moscow, 1982), 56.

13And in an inscription to Gumilev, Blok addressed the poet as “one whom I read not only in the daytime, when I don’t understand his lines, but also during the night, when I understand.”15

14We will avail ourselves of this rondeau of an unknown “standard” poet of the 1910s:

Так хорошо в уютном кабинете,
Взяв с полки Блока, Брюсова иль “Сети”
Любимого поэта Кузмина,
Забыть, что ночь ненастна и темна
И жалобно осенний воет ветер.

При электричества спокойном свете
Сидеть в привычном кресле у окна
И от стихов пьянеть, как от вина,
Так хорошо.

  • 16  [How fine when in one’s comfortable study, / To take a volume of Blok, Briusov, or “Nets” / (Kuzmi (...)

Невольно вспомнив о минувшем лете,
Воспеть любовь в рондо иль в триолете
(Лишь вдохновения прильет волна)
И слушать, как струится тишина,
Вам посвящая втайне строчки эти,
Так хорошо.16

15The ritual of reading Akhmatova, for example, is described in one poem from 1921:

На столике томик Ахматовой
Грустит в простом переплете;
Томный вечер – печальный и матовый,
Как опал в позолоте.

Скоро звезд золотые фонарики
В небе кто-то развесит;
Уж за темной позолотой Москва-реки
Поднимается месяц. <…>

  • 17  (On the table, the volume of Akhmatova / Mourns in its simple binding; / The weary evening is sad (...)

Свежий ветер, прохладой охватывая,
Налетел в легкокрылой одежде,
Над любимою книгой Ахматовой
Я грущу о исчезнувшем «прежде».17

  • 18  B. V. Kazanskii, Metod teatra (Analiz sistemy N. Evreinova) (Leningrad, 1925), 104. The Ancient Th (...)

16Whether the historian of literature, in order to reconstruct the dialogue between author and historical reader, should relocate to Moscow, wait for the appearance of the moon above the river, acquire a special green lampshade, or dispatch themselves to a grove in order to stroll with a book of poems... is an open question. There’s an analogy of sorts with the history of the reconstruction of the practical experience of the historical viewer in Evreinov’s Ancient Theater (Starinnyi teatr) at the beginning of the twentieth century; when, in accordance with the affiliation of ancient theater to one or another national theater culture, the floorplan of the auditorium was changed, taking into account the angle and scope of the audience’s gaze, and the question of the ritualized selection from the spectator’s historical (so to speak) menu: popcorn or sunflower seeds?18

17Of course the Modernist poets could hardly have controlled for the ‘scenery’ against which their works were received, much less the dexterity and grace with which they were ‘performed’; still, one cannot turn away from the context of reception. For example, in 1965 a construction worker from Uzbekistan (a so-called ‘man of the people’) wrote:

  • 19   N. D. Bychkov’s letter from Termez on June 7, 1965. Otdel Ruskopisei Rossiiskoi Natsional’noi Bib (...)

My knowledge is limited to the wonderful […] memories of meetings with your admirers [R.T.: the wives of ‘enemies of the people’ in one of Kazakhstan’s prison camps, delivered there via convoy to facilities where he was the foreman; during lunch breaks they read Akhmatova, Briusov, Blok, Gumilev, etc.]: they read, they cry, they laugh, and they reminisce.19

  • 20   From Adamovich’s poem “Oh, if it’s true that in night...” (“O esli pravda, chto v nochi…”). These (...)

18Let us return to the developmental process undergone by participants in a school of reading. Having underlined particular lines in a book, their next step would be citing those lines in diaries, letters, or oral communication—namely, the exchange of citations and the identification of one’s own crowd. Essential here are the acts of making a citation enigmatic, boiling it down to its essential kernel, rendering its main words ‘taboo’—as in Georgii Adamovich’s lines: “Then immort...Shhh! victory. / So how’s he doing? ‘... pledge.’”20

  • 21   See R. D. Timenchik, “Poeziia I. Annenskogo v chitatel’skoi srede 1910-x godov,” in A. Blok i ego (...)

19Thus, we are speaking not only about the social context of literature (literaturnyi byt), but also about the penetration of that context into full-blown literary works. For within this ‘poet-reader’ dichotomy, certain transformations occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. Evgenii Anichkov, one of the most active participants in the literary culture of that time, recalled: “Symbolism calls forth inspiration. The only one who will read poems is the one who is inspired by them. Perhaps, then, just one great danger threatens [the reader of poems], a danger that befell some five hundred Russian youths at the turn of the century—the act of writing poems oneself.”21

20Consequently, training within a school of reading means creating poems that point toward imitation, the tracing of footsteps, involuntary and willful ‘aping.’ These telltale signs include epigraphs, dedications, citations, and rhythmic and syntactic borrowings. And the next step in this self-development is the modeling of one’s life as an imitation of a particular protagonist (similarly to the imitatio Christi), including the imitatio mortis. Thus it is in one 1919 poem by a (then) young poet, Riurik Ivnev:

  • 22   (How desolate everything is! Flashing copper. / The mordant sting of taut bells. / How I would li (...)

Как все пустынно! Пламенная медь.
Тугих колоколов язвительное жало.
Как мне хотелось бы внезапно умереть,
Как Анненский у Царскосельского вокзала!22

21But here it is important to recall by way of our primary aim (as Valerii Briusov noted in his opinion of the above-cited work of Boris Tomashevskii) that sometimes the obstinate disavowal of influence tells us more about that influence than a more straightforward declaration of it.

  • 23  See RGALI, f. 55 (Blok A. A.), RGB. f. 386 (Briusov V. Ia.), OR RNB f. 1073 (Akhmatova A. A.).
  • 24  See B. Pasternak, “Wide World” (“Bozhii mir”), in Idem, In the Interlude: Poems 1945-1959, trans. (...)

22At this time there existed other methods of joining ‘one’s crowd,’ entering into the community of a school of reading—for example, attending literary evenings, staged readings of poems, ‘poem-concerts’ as Igor Severianin began to call them. Yet one more way that schools operated was the community (almost like a social network) of those corresponding with a poet. Whole swaths of as yet unanalyzed letters from readers to Aleksandr Blok and Valerii Briusov remain preserved, as do later letters (from the 1950s and 60s) to Akhmatova.23 Pasternak even has a poem (one sure to arouse the envy of stamp collectors) about receiving letters from readers all over the world under special circumstances (i.e. the worldwide scandal of the novel Doctor Zhivago).24

  • 25  E. F. Kunina, “O vstrechakh s Borisom Pasternakom,” in B. L. Pasternak, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii(...)

23If buying books doesn’t yet signify recruitment into a poet’s army of readers, then the act of rewriting their poems meets that standard. Such forms of samizdat can be unearthed in archives; I had the opportunity to see a complete facsimile of Akhmatova’s collection Evening (1912), which sold out its 300 copies in under a year, and had become a hard-to-track-down rarity. I, for example, possess a notebook with a word-for-word copy (by a female associate of Gumilev’s) of the extensive lyric drama “Gondla,” printed in 1917 in the journal Russkaia mysl’ (Russian Thought). It’s well known that in Moscow between 1918 and 1922, handwritten copies of Pasternak’s My Sister, Life (Sestra moia—zhizn’) were being passed around before they had even been published in book form.25 Unfortunately, such evidence of readers’ diligence typically fails to achieve the status of prioritized archival document; the owners and inheritors of private archives treat them with little foresight. Meanwhile, it happens to be priceless material for the study of reader reception. For example, when a typewritten copy of a text includes a question mark next to a particular name, thus marking it as “unknown,” then we can evaluate the energy of this name’s introduction into the poetic text. But sometimes there are even valuable, direct intertextual markers: “cf.” and “see...”. A slip of the hand, distortions in correspondence (as in the case of citation from memory) presents us with very important material: these often establish a horizon of expectations, expectations which the author leveraged but in reality did not satisfy.

24And one must say yet another thing about the acquisition of books. The theft of a favorite poet’s book from a library may serve as a test for entry into a school. In such an act, one can see the dilemma posed by dedicated service to the cult. One contemporary poet has a poem about how he wanted to make off with Annenskii’s poems, which had remained untouched in his rural library, but then thought that it would be best to leave them on the shelf so that new readers might come across them.

25To continue realizing the metaphor of the ‘school of readers’: one must say that exams really did occur. As the translator Rita Wright recalls:

  • 26  B. Pasternak, Second Nature: Forty-six Poems by Boris Pasternak, trans. A. Navrozov (London, 1990)
  • 27Maiakovskii v vospominaniiakh sovremennikov, edited by V. V. Grigorenko (Moscow, 1963), 270.

[At his dacha, Maiakovskii] would draw on the terrace, standing beside a table, with that perennial cigarette between his teeth, while I sat on the steps or on the bannister and read, on request, from My Sister, Life. Boris Leonidovich [Pasternak] gave me manuscript later that winter, and I knew it by heart, word for word. Once, having listened to “To the Memory of the Demon” (“Pamiati Demona”) (“He came at night / From Tamara, in the blinding blue, / Ruled with his flight / For the dream to burn and conclude. / Never wept. Never wrung, nor entwined / Bare, lashed and scared hands.”),26 Maiakovskii suddenly whirled around and asked: “Do you remember? Really? Well then, tell me ‘Demon’ in your own words!” And I passed the test with flying colors.27

  • 28   A. A. Akhmatova, Pobeda nad sud’boi (Moscow, 2006), vol. 1, 99.
  • 29  (Among the planets, in the glimmering of heavenly bodies / I repeat the name of just one star— / N (...)
  • 30   (Goodbye, my friend, goodbye, / It’s too hard for me to live among people: / Anguish follows my e (...)
  • 31   (I love him because / When I’m beside him, the summer’s warmer. / Not because he gives the light, (...)
  • 32   (Sailors sang to me of the island / Where the Sky-blue tulip grows… / It’s distinguished by its g (...)
  • 33   M. Iudina, Nereal’nost’ zla: Perepiska 1964-1966 g. (Moscow, 2010), 394. The line is from “Posled (...)
  • 34   I. Turgenev, Fathers and Children, trans. M. Katz (New York, 2009), 104.
  • 35  E. Kuznetsov, Iz proshlogo russkoi estrady: Istoricheskie ocherki (Moscow, 1958), 331.

26In this school there must be ‘days off’: the reader must, from time to time, take a break from their favorite poet. Thus, per Akhmatova, Mandel’shtam’s words about Pasternak: “I think about him so much that I’ve grown tired.”28 Finally, readers, just like schoolchildren, can achieve varying degrees of success: there are great students, C students, D students. They can know a poet in their entirety, or only half of them, or a quarter, or an eighth, a single poem, a single stanza, a single line. They can even not read a poem while hearing it in song form; for example, the majority of people knew a poem by Innokentii Annenskii as a gypsy ballad (“Среди миров в мерцании светил / Одной звезды я повторяю имя — / Не потому, что я Ее любил, / А потому, что я томлюсь с другими. / И если мне сомненье тяжело, / Я у Нее одной молю ответа, / Не потому, что от Нее светло, / А потому, что с Ней не надо света”),29 frequently without knowing its author’s name, or often considering Aleksandr Vertinskii, who performed this ballad to his own music, its original author. This text passed through all conceivable stages of folklorization. A vaudeville variant existed in the 1920s: in a single song, the combination of the second stanza of “One Star” (“Odna zvezda”) (such that for the audience it was not a star, but rather some lady with whom they pleaded for an answer) and a goodbye letter penned by Vertinskii in the manner of Esenin: “До свиданья, друг мой, до свиданья, Мне так трудно жить среди людей: Каждый шаг мой стерегут страданья. В этой жизни счастья нет нигде.”30 In our day, a singer in Ukraine sings of her paramour: “Я люблю его за то, / Что рядом с ним теплее лето, / Не потому, что от него светло, / А потому, что рядом с ним не надо света.”31 On the whole, many Soviet-era listeners of Vertinskii’s song (and there were, of course, those who read it—with their ears) also knew the poems of Blok and Akhmatova. And (a telling coincidence!)—the all-but-banned Gumilev. One literary critic, even as late as 1989, thought that she had first learned of Gumilev from a Vertinskii song: “Матросы мне пели про остров, / Где растет Голубой Тюльпан... /Он большим отличается ростом, / Он огромный, и злой великан.”32 This is not Gumilev, but rather a little-known émigré poet. But in the 1940s and 50s, Vertinskii, in spite of the songs listed in the concert program, sang an encore without clarifying the songs or their authors, specifically three unattributed songs of Akhmatova’s after her expulsion from the Writers’ Union in 1946. Thus, for the audience, the exoticism of the seascape theme the song was misattributed to the taboo, unsayable name of Gumilev. Does this literary critic earn the status of pupil in Gumilev’s school? Yes, she does. Because other poets (all the way back to Pushkin), even those unforbidden and canonical, can have texts incorrectly attributed to them. The great pianist M. V. Iudina, for example, who wrote to Mikhail Bakhtin “An ache is passing little by little; it’s not a permanent affliction (A. Akhmatova),” counts as a student in Akhmatova’s school even if the lines are Blok’s.33 A reader often deconstructs the map of literary history while engaged with popular attributions (analogously to folk etymologies), attributions in the service of readers’ expectations; so it is with Bazarov’s formula about Pushkin, to whom Bazarov attributes the phrase “Nature induces the silence of sleep,” and, to the objection that Pushkin never said that, notes, “Well, even if he didn’t [say it], he could’ve and should’ve, as a poet”.34 In nineteenth-century Russian prose, we encounter several instances of confusion between citations from Pushkin and Lermontov, understandable, perhaps, as the allegiance of the authors of that confusion to one of the two eternal camps of readers: Pushkin-lovers and Lermontov addicts. Apropos of Gumilev: in E. Kuznetsov’s book From the past of the Russian stage: Historical sketches (Iz proshlogo russkoi estrady. Istoricheskie ocherki), in 1958, when an account of allusions to the executed poet’s name were laid out, the song “In the blue and distant ocean, somewhere near Tierra del Fuego...” (“V sinem i dalekom okeane, gde-to vozle Ognennoi zemli...”) from Vertinskii’s repertoire was entered as a song with words by Gumilev, when the author in this instance was actually Vertinskii himself.35

27In just this way readers of the Gumilev school were those who took to believing the popular urban legend from the ‘50s that Konstantin Simonov filched the poem “Await me, I’ll return” (“Zhdi menia, i ia vernus’”) which achieved the height of its popularity during the war, from Gumilev’s manuscript, which had just become known to him. Structurally speaking, these too are readers of Gumilev. Just as I became one after reading, in ninth grade, a single Gumilev stanza in an undistinguished literature textbook of the pre-Revolutionary period:

  • 36  (Or revealing a mutiny on ship, / A pistol is ripped from a sash, / And gold scatters from the lac (...)

Или бунт на борту обнаружив
Из пояса рвут пистолет,
Так что сыплется золото с кружев,
С розоватых брабантских манжет.36

28And thousands, if not millions, of schoolchildren and university students were able to become attentive readers of Gumilev just as I did.

  • 37   R. D. Timenchik, Poslednii poet: Anna Akhmatova v 60-e gody (Moscow, 2014), 53-54.
  • 38   D. Sviatopolk-Mirskii, “Bibliografiia,” Versty, 1 (1925), 208.
  • 39  Don-Aminado, Poezd na tret’em puti (Moscow, 1991), 141.

29Readers’ schools, just like fan clubs, can be found in a state of latent conflict. Diaries furnish us with evidence of how adherents to the cult of Pasternak and Akhmatova, during the time of their joint performances in 1946 Moscow, calculated who received more applause; and there can be little doubt that each in the audience clapped just a little bit harder for their own idol.37 As in the confrontation between adolescent cliques, one will see quarrels and insults arise; for example, as the excellent critic and literary historian Dmitrii Sviatopolk-Mirskii observed, Khodasevich is “the favorite poet of everyone who doesn’t love poetry.”38 As Don-Aminado recalled of the aggressiveness of the Modernists’ school of reading in mid-1910s Moscow, “Through the late night to the first weak rays of sunrise, they would yell, make noise, argue, exalt Blok, then dethrone him, defend Briusov, read the poems of Anna Akhmatova, Kuzmin, Gumilev, spoke about Sergei Krechetov’s The Iron Signet Ring (Zheleznyi persten’), mocked Maikov, Mei, Apukhtin, Polonskii.”39

30(A brief digression: I’m speaking only of poets from that period with which I am engaged as a historian; but one can observe corresponding processes in today’s habitat of readers—let’s say, in the attack on the cult of Iosif Brodskii and the advancement of alternative idols, presented as undeservedly silenced and marginalized.)

31Sometimes conflict moved into a genuinely physical arena. In her memoirs, Nadezhda Mandel’shtam relates the following episode in a discussion of the clash between readers’ tastes:

  • 40   N. Ia. Mandel’shtam, Vtoraia kniga (Moscow, 1990), 373. “A duel between two nightingales” is a li (...)

When Mandel’shtam was resurrected from nonexistence at the end of the fifties, readers of Pasternak reconciled themselves to the existence of both authors (not all reconciled, of course, though many did); but anyone who promoted Shengeli and beat the jew-loving Mandel’shtam scholar bloody had revived the glorious traditions of the past. I explained to this Mandel’shtam scholar that the appearance of a significant poet is always accompanied by an embrace of poetry and the appearance of many good poets, and thus it was time to cut out the absurd games. The Mandel’shtam scholar just covered his face with his hands and moaned. How to explain to him, that a poet cannot exist in isolation—and that not for nothing is the ‘duel between two nightingales’ spoken of? ... Already the fights between the partisans of Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva are quieting down.40

  • 41   A citation from Osip Mandel’shtam’s poem “Poem about Russian poetry” (“Stikhi o russkoi poezii”). (...)

32I learned about this episode by chance from this Mandel’shtam scholar himself: A. A. Morozov, the opponent who was then a talented and still undervalued scholar of literature; the incident didn’t end in bloodshed, but Sasha Morozov told me, embarrassed: “He ran after me crying, Give Tiutchev a dragonfly!”41

33The cult of a poet presupposes rituals—calling on them while they are alive, visiting their grave and commemorative locales after their death. We know of the pilgrimage to Pasternak in Peredelkino from the biographies of several then-young poets. Several people also told of their arrival at Akhmatova’s in autumn 1946, after her government-orchestrated public shaming, with flowers in their hands and manuscripts under their arms. (Perhaps the number of people who wrote about visiting her apartment at Sheremetev Palace is greater than the number who actually went; incidentally, she didn’t admit anyone in order to avoid bringing misfortune upon her sympathizers.) E. A. Lyzhina, the final mistress of Konstantin Paustovskii, spoke of the performance of a ritual, with all the trappings of archaic rites: a procession and fortune-telling. Paustovskii was an admirer of Annenskii, who in a poem described a statue of Peace (the work of an Italian sculptor), desecrated via a broken nose, in Tsarskoe Selo:

  • 42   The poem is “Pace (Statuia mira)”; see I. Annenskii, Izbrannye proizvedeniia, 93: “Не знаю почему (...)
  • 43Peterburgskie vstrechi, ed. E. A. Lyzhina, O. K. Kozlov (St. Petersburg, 2000), 24-25.

We walked along the alley of Catherine Park; it was deserted and very quiet—the museum had a day off. Pushkin’s immortal lines came to mind. K.G. knew a great many poems by heart, and read them in a restrained, halting voice. At that time he was reading the poems of Innokentii Annenskii, whose life and works were connected with Tsarskoe Selo. One of his poems was dedicated to the marble statue of “Peace” in Catherine Park… “I don’t know why—goddesses’ statues / Enthrall the heart so sweetly… / O, give me eternity, and I’ll give it in return / For indifference to insults and passing time.”42 The marble statues were covered with wooden casings for the winter, and Konstantin Georgievich and I struggled to figure out which one hid the statue that Annenskii had sung of.43

  • 44   “Unwept, unhonoured, unsung. His funeral was pathetic in its meagre attendance, its scant ceremon (...)

34The emergence of the cult of Annenskii was facilitated by the conditions of his death: abrupt, outside, on the steps of a train station; a corpse that was not immediately identified; a mythologizing rumor that lasted for two decades, all the while exaggerating the duration of this non-identification, all the while exaggerating how long the corpse laid in a special room at the train station. At the funeral, the deceased was rendered honors befitting a beloved local pedagogue, although few spoke about the fact that Russia had lost one of its finest poets, and indeed, few knew him in this capacity: one of his books was published under the pseudonym No One, and the second, better one came out posthumously. So his cult (as is evident, for example, in its incarnation among Russian émigrés) possessed features of revanchism and posthumous restitution for the things left unsaid at the moment of his death. The abovementioned Didier, in his analysis of the Poe cult, noted that the circumstances of the poet’s passing became the nucleus of his cult.44

35The cult of the underappreciated poet twentieth-century Russia had a lofty precedent in the unique case of Tiutchev. Ivan Rozanov, one of the lone founders of the study of readers’ tastes—that is, the subject that I am proposing to study synchronically, and he diachronically—wrote in the article “The Rhythm of the Epochs”:

  • 45Literaturnaia tetrad’ Valentina Krivicha, edited by Z. Gimpelevich (St. Petersburg, 2011), 197.

Every significant writer rips the cobwebs of traditions. If they quietly follow their own unique path, taking no note of their own innovation, others will likewise fail to take note of it for a long time. But if they achieve a belated fame, then it is not as resonant, but it is more stable than others’. That’s how it was for Tiutchev. Such is the fate of Innokentii Annenskii.45

36This generation dragged Tiutchev into its rites and rituals—thus, Sergei Gorodetskii dedicated this eight-line poem to fleecing an unwitting bookseller out of a rare find:

В лавчонке тесной милого глупца
Твоих творений первое изданье
Приобрести — какое ликованье! —
Смятенно чуять веянье творца…

  • 46  (In that dear fool’s hole-in-the-wall, / To acquire—what a triumph!— / The first printing of your (...)

Как дороги истлевшие листы,
Ритмичный трепет каждого абзаца,
И типография Эдварда Праца,
И титула надменные черты! -46

  • 47   G. Ivanov, Sobranie sochinenii v 3 t. (Moscow, 1993), vol. 3, 602.
  • 48   A. L. Ospovat, “Kak slovo nashe otzovetsia….”: O pervom sbornike F. I. Tiutcheva (Moscow, 1980), (...)

37and then brought order to the legacy of the poet and advised all “to rebind Tiutchev after tearing out of his book all political poems—for politics is vulgar banality.”47 But in the 1920s in her own copy (Stikhotvoreniia Fedora Ivanovicha Tiutcheva. Moscow, 1883. ex libris—1922), Akhmatova made markings testifying to her perpetual and wholly intimate relationship to Tiutchev’s poetry. On December 4, 1925, Akhmatova used Tiutchev’s book to “tell the fortune of N. N. P[unin], her future husband—and happened upon the line ‘O, how viciously we love...’ (‘O, kak ubiistvenno my liubim...’); and across from the line ‘The more terrifying the image of the deceased, / The dearer they were to us in life’ from the poem ‘From land to land, from city to city...’ (‘Iz kraiia v krai, iz grada v grad…’) Akhmatova wrote, ‘Isn’t it so?’”48

  • 49   B. Pasternak, “Pamiati Mariny Tsvetaevoi” (“Mne tak zhe trudno do sikh por...”), in Idem, Stikhi (...)

38In regards to the cult of the poet as compensation for an insufficiently honorable demise, the torturous death of the executed Nikolai Gumilev of course goes without saying. In the cult of dead poets—more than likely always—“there is an unspoken reproach,” to use Pasternak’s phrase about Marina Tsvetaeva.49 And those who remain unenrolled in this school of readers will always be suspicious of those participating in its compulsory public rituals. In 1957, a critic from the second wave of emigration (i.e. one with the experiences of a Soviet reader still fresh) wrote:

  • 50  Vl. Rudinskii, Russkoe voskresen’e, October 30, 1957.

As to that enthusiasm for Innokentii Annenskii which gripped the émigré community (or rather, its literary circles) in recent years: it is hard to not see in it the manifestation of a dubious snobbery. A second-rate poet, Annenskii has long ago been forgotten in Russia. His cult abroad has the very same reasons (first and foremost, the desire to appear original) on account of which they extol other little-known and rarely acknowledged writers, disdaining the unquestionable giants. And still, moreover, his corrosive disappointment, his unremitting gloom, impresses a certain part of the émigrés.50

39A different émigré critic and poet Sergei Rafal’skii wrote fifteen years later:

  • 51Novoe russkoe slovo, September 26, 1971.

One could fill all of hell with authors to whom contemporary criticism was once favorably disposed and yet who are in no way accepted by their grateful offspring. Examples of those resigned to such oblivion are […] Igor’ Severianin, or Bal’mont, or even—what heresy!—Innokentii Annenskii.51

  • 52   G. O. Adamovich, “O svobode poeta,” Novoe russkoe slovo, February 17, 1957.

40Georgii Adamovich, whose personal efforts ensured Annenskii’s fifty-year cult amongst the émigré poets, summed up the pretensions of the intractable readership in emigration: “Why do they make a fuss over some Annenskii whom they hadn’t previously heard of?”52 Evidently, Marina Tsvetaeva’s comments emerged as a reaction to the intensified promotion of this cult; Adamovich recalled them many years afterward:

  • 53   G. O. Adamovich, “Sud’ba Innokentiia Annenskogo,” Russkaia mysl’, November 5, 1957. Zinaida Gippi (...)

Yes, there was still pushback from Marina Tsvetaeva’s side, not reserved or evasive like Khodasevich’s, but stormy, indignant, contemptuous, tossed downward from the snow-peaked caps of her own personal, elevating inspiration. “Annenskii? I read him and tossed him aside. Why should I start reading him now?” One day I heard another note of hers about The Cypress Chest (Kiparisovyi larets), at one of the gatherings of the “Nomads,” who had been formed by Slonim; as exemplified by the Gippius case, it’s better to forget about it.53

  • 54   S. Babenysheva, “Vera Vel’tman—Vera Panova,” SSSR: vnutrennie protivorechiia, vol. 4, 1982, 192.

41Since many readers willfully come up with their own versions of the picture of the literary culture in spite of the pronouncements of Parnassus (as Tomashevskii noted), other readers, by a paradoxical (however unsurprising) move, drew Tsvetaeva and Annenskii closer together. For example, Vera Panova wrote to her friend in 1959: “Alas, I found the roots of Tsvetaeva’s unusual quality wholly present in literature from the beginning of the century, especially in the various experiments of Innokentii Annenskii.”54

  • 55   N. Struve, “Vosem’ chasov s Annoi Akhmatovoi,” Zvezda, 6 (1989), 124.
  • 56   Cf. Timenchik, Istoriia kul’ta Gumileva, 81-86, in regards to the discussion about the authorship (...)

42In the example of the cults of Annenskii and Gumilev, as well as Tsvetaeva in the 1950s, and Akhmatova, we see that the hero of a cult is a sacred victim. This victimization is thus hyperbolized. Akhmatova herself wrote the article “The Final Tragedy of Annenskii” based on the correspondence between Annenskii and his editor (written over the two weeks leading up to his death) that she’d gotten hold of. In her interpretation, the poet’s demise was hastened by the editor’s refusal to print his poems in the very next printing of the journal. A swan song is needed for a poet’s myth. And Akhmatova read the lines from the poem “My Sorrow” (“Moia toska”) about the poet’s muse—“how they bound her little children, broke their arms and blinded them”—as the story of the unpublished poems that called forth the fatal blow in his heart.55 And because a poetic will and testament is likewise required for the reader’s myth about Gumilev, so the fake poem “In the evening hour, at the hour of sunset” (“V chas vechernii, v chas zakata”) (which can be compared to Andre Chenier’s “Comme un dernier rayon”) began circulating in 1960s samizdat; allegedly, Gumilev had written it while in jail.56

  • 57   A. Fadeev, “O literaturnoi kritike,” Literaturnaia gazeta, September 24, 1949.

43The logic of the myth leads to exaggeration, and already in one literary-historical article from a young colleague at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we read that Annenskii was, on the whole, banned in our country until the 1970s. This is absolutely not the case, although we cannot forget the anger of Aleksandr Fadeev, the head of the Union of Soviet Writer, apropos of the publication of the ‘reactionaries’ in the Biblioteka poeta series: “Even Innokentii Annenskii, even Andrei Belyi!”57 But in general, today’s critics inevitably exaggerate the degree of tabooization suffered by the murdered Gumilev, the repressed Mandel’shtam, and the emigrated Khodasevich in the Stalinist press. An offstage struggle was being waged around each of these names, a struggle which makes up the most substantial part of the history of Soviet literature.

44The boundaries of a school of readers do not coincide with civil, party, or ideological differentiations. A characteristic instance: Vitalii Korotich’s story about 1988, when he printed a small edition of Gumilev’s poems as a supplement to the journal Ogonek (Spark):

  • 58   V. Korotich, Dvadtsat’ let spustia (Moscow, 2008).

God didn’t see me, the censor didn’t swallow me up. But when they suddenly invited me to the office of the all-powerful Egor Ligachev, second-in-command of the Communist Party, the most orthodox of the orthodox, I decided that my optimism might have been misplaced. I entered his office on tiptoes, straining my ears, and Egor Kuz’mich inquired where I got the idea to publish an executed poet, and why I had been able to pull it off. Having spoken, he went up to the office door and moved a nearly indiscernible shelf above it: “For many years I’ve made copies of Gumilev’s poems, put them were only I could get at them, and bound these volumes for myself.” In a Morocco leather cover with a gold imprint, a strange, samizdat-ified two-volume Gumilev was resting in the lap of the second secretary of the Communist Party. I didn’t expect that, that’s for sure. “Why didn’t you order [them] to publish him in a mass edition?” I naively asked. “It’s hard...” Ligachev enigmatically said and prepared to bid me farewell.58

45Everyone who opines about any poet demonstrates their adherence to a ‘school’; we must define that adherence. That is, before we speak about the composition and content of reception (which is universally practiced), we absolutely must assemble a dossier on the receiver, trace the personal routes of their engagements and rejections, attractions and repulsions. Perhaps other readers of poetry of the 1910s were schoolteachers in the 1920s and thus passed on their youthful passions to subsequent generations.

46I am returning to the symmetry and isomorphism of the history of writers and the history of readers, from which it proceeds that studies of the second are not lesser, but rather more laborious than the study of the traditional history of literature.

47Leonid Chertkov was one of my oldest colleagues and instructors with regard to the study of the history of early twentieth-century literature; he once said: “But as a matter of fact, one must curtail this study; I’m sick of commenting on who drank tea with whom.” But the very analysis of the ‘collective text’ of readers’ reception begins with the clarification of who ‘invested’ in this text, where and with whom they received their literary education, who recommended and gave them books, who influenced the formation of their personalized code of reading; in other words, who drank tea with whom.

Notes

1  “To prove now, that the history of literature is not only the history of writers, but also the history of readers […] means to belabor the obvious.” A. I. Beletskii, “Ob odnoi iz ocherednykh zadach istoriko-literaturnoi nauki” (1922), in Idem, Izbrannye trudy po teorii literatury (Moscow, 1964), 26.

2  In one of his final poems, Innokentii Annenskii warily speculated as to the sympathetic readers he would have in the future: “Пусть только бы в круженьи бытия / Не вышло так, что этот дух влюбленный, / Мой брат и маг не оказался я / В ничтожестве слегка лишь подновленный.” (If only, in the whirlwind of existence, / It won’t turn out that this enamored spirit, / My brother, my mage—turns out be me, / Restored, yet simply passed into nothingness.) I. F. Annenskii, “To Another” (“Drugomu”), in Idem, Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Leningrad, 1988), 114.

3  I. A. Bunin, Izbrannye sochineniia (Moscow, 2003), 291.

4  I.e. Identifying [oneself] with Jewish characters who are frequently marginalized and sometimes negatively framed. See R. D. Timenchik, “Zabytaia stat’ia L’va Vygotskogo,” Dvadtsat’ dva, 96 (1995), 209-217; R. D. Timenchik, Angely. Liudi. Veshchi: v oreole stikhov i druzei (Moscow, Jerusalem, 2016), 775. Cf I. Kleiman: “The Russian-Jewish reader, having offered a new key to the reading of Russian literature, resembles the Russian-Jewish school of writing (‘Are there Jewish stories in Russian literature? A depiction of Jewish life within it? Who among the Jewish readers, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, has not asked themselves such a question!’)” cited in R. D. Timenchik, “Russkaia literatura XX v.,” in Kratkaia evreiskaia entsiklopediia v 11 t. (Jerusalem, 1996), vol. 7, 506.

5  Iu. Bol’shukhin, “V vysokom vorotnichke.” Novoe russkoe slovo, August 11, 1963.

6  R. D. Timenchik, Istoriia kul’ta Gumileva (Moscow, 2018), VI, 22.

7  B. V. Tomashevskii, “Pushkin—chitatel’ frantsuzskikh poetov,” in Pushkinskii sbornik pamiati prof. S. A. Vengerova (Moscow-Petersburg, 1922), 211-212.

8  M. Moravsky, “Books and Those Who Make Them,” Atlantic Monthly, May 1919, 627.

9   E. L. Didier, “The Poe Cult,” Bookman: A Magazine of Literature and Life, December 1902, 336-339.

10  A. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. J. Falen (Carbondale, IL, 1990), 177.

11   “The book becomes a favored companion on a solitary walk. Reading in the bosom of nature, in a picturesque place acquires a particular charm in the eyes of a ‘sentimental’ person.” N. D. Kochetkova, Literatura russkogo sentimentalizma (Esteticheskie i khudozhestvennye iskaniia) (St. Petersburg, 1994), 160.

12   In “A Downpour of Light” (“Svetovoi liven’”), Marina Tsvetaeva says of Pasternak’s collection My Sister, Life: “I carry it with me round all the spaces of Berlin: the classic Linden, the magical Underground (no accidents, while it’s in my hands!), I’ve been taking it to the Zoo (to get acquainted),” in M. Tsvetaeva, Art in the Light of Conscience: Eight Essays on Poetry, trans. A. Livingstone (Cambridge, MA, 1992), 21.

13   F. I., Tiutchev, Izbrannye stikhotvoreniia, introductory article of V. V. Tiutchev (New York, 1952), viii.

14  O. E. Mandel’shtam, “The American Girl” (“Amerikanka”) in Idem, Osip Mandel’shtam’s Stone, trans. R. Tracey (Princeton, 1981), 149.

15Literaturnoe nasledstvo, XCII, bk. 3 (Moscow, 1982), 56.

16  [How fine when in one’s comfortable study, / To take a volume of Blok, Briusov, or “Nets” / (Kuzmin, the best of them); / To forget the weather’s foul, the night’s dark, / And the autumn wind howling plaintively. / Beneath electricity’s calm light, / To sit in one’s usual armchair by the window / And get drunk on poems as if on wine… / How fine. / All of a sudden remembering the bygone summer, / To sing of love in a rondeau or triolet / (The instant that a wave of inspiration strikes), / And to hearken to the flow of silence, / Secretly dedicating these lines to you… / How fine.] Georgii Sumarokov, “Rondeau,” Pervyi sbornik gruppy molodykh poetov (Moscow, 1914), 21.

17  (On the table, the volume of Akhmatova / Mourns in its simple binding; / The weary evening is sad and matte, / Like a gilded opal. / Soon an unseen hand will hang / The stars’ golden lanterns in the heavens; / Beyond the dark gilt of the Moscow river, / The moon is already rising. […] / The brisk wind, with chilly grip, / Has flown down in its light-winged garb, / And above the beloved book of Akhmatova, / I mourn the vanished ‘before.’) An unpublished poem by Igor’ Shishov, Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Literatury i Iskusstva (RGALI), f. 2493, op. 1, ed. khr. 4, l. 7-7ob.

18  B. V. Kazanskii, Metod teatra (Analiz sistemy N. Evreinova) (Leningrad, 1925), 104. The Ancient Theater was a complex endeavor initiated by the director Nikolai Evreinov in 1907. It sought to replicate, with varying degrees of fidelity, the conditions that characterized more historically distant theatrical productions. These conditions included period-specific set designs, costumes, and even the atmosphere—established via the integration of spectator-actors in period-accurate dress into the general audience. For more on the Ancient Theater, see S. Golub, Evreinov: The Theatre of Paradox and Transformation (Ann Arbor, 1984).

19   N. D. Bychkov’s letter from Termez on June 7, 1965. Otdel Ruskopisei Rossiiskoi Natsional’noi Biblioteki (OR RNB), F. 1073, n. 1392.

20   From Adamovich’s poem “Oh, if it’s true that in night...” (“O esli pravda, chto v nochi…”). These lines present themselves as being inspired by excised phrases á la Pushkin’s line “But if...” from the poem “The Rain-Quenched Day” (“Nenastnyi den’ potukh...”); they are completed by the “half-recalled citation” from Feast in a Time of Plague (Pir vo vremia chumy) (“For all that threatens to destroy / Conceals a strange and savage joy— / Perhaps for mortal man a glow / That promises eternal life.”) A. Pushkin, The Complete Works of Alexander Pushkin, trans. James Falen (Norfolk, 1999), VI, 280; cf. “What do Pushkin’s lines have in store for me? / I crack open these dear pages. / Again, again, ‘The rain-quenched day is done,’ / Cut short by that piercing ‘But if...’! / Does not my entire soul, my entire world / Now tremble at these two words?” (S. Parnok, Stikhotvoreniia [Petrograd, 1916], 69.) On the device of the ‘forgotten citation,’ see R. D. Timenchik “Printsipy tsitirovaniia u Akhmatovoi v sopostavlenii s Blokom,” Tvorchestvo A. A. Bloka i russkaia kul’tura XX veka: Tezisy I vsesoiuznoi konferentsii (Tartu, 1975), 124-127.

21   See R. D. Timenchik, “Poeziia I. Annenskogo v chitatel’skoi srede 1910-x godov,” in A. Blok i ego okruzhenie: Blokovskii sbornik VI (Tartu, 1985), 101.

22   (How desolate everything is! Flashing copper. / The mordant sting of taut bells. / How I would like to suddenly die, / Like Annenskii at the Tsarskoe selo station!) R. Ivnev, “Kak vse pustynno. Plamennaia med’...” in Solntse vo grobe (Moscow, 1921), 18.

23  See RGALI, f. 55 (Blok A. A.), RGB. f. 386 (Briusov V. Ia.), OR RNB f. 1073 (Akhmatova A. A.).

24  See B. Pasternak, “Wide World” (“Bozhii mir”), in Idem, In the Interlude: Poems 1945-1959, trans. H. Kamen (London, 1962), 115.

25  E. F. Kunina, “O vstrechakh s Borisom Pasternakom,” in B. L. Pasternak, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Moscow, 2005), vol. 11, 110.

26  B. Pasternak, Second Nature: Forty-six Poems by Boris Pasternak, trans. A. Navrozov (London, 1990).

27Maiakovskii v vospominaniiakh sovremennikov, edited by V. V. Grigorenko (Moscow, 1963), 270.

28   A. A. Akhmatova, Pobeda nad sud’boi (Moscow, 2006), vol. 1, 99.

29  (Among the planets, in the glimmering of heavenly bodies / I repeat the name of just one star— / Not because I loved Her, / But because I pine away with others. / And if my doubt burdens me, / Then I pray only to Her for an answer, / Not because She gives the light, / But because with Her I don’t need light). I. Annenskii, “Sredi mirov...,” in Idem, Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Leningrad, 1988), 122.

30   (Goodbye, my friend, goodbye, / It’s too hard for me to live among people: / Anguish follows my every step. / In this life, no happiness can be found). M. Kravchinskii, Pesni i razvlecheniia epokhi NEPa (Nizhnyi Novgorod, 2015), disc no. 30.

31   (I love him because / When I’m beside him, the summer’s warmer. / Not because he gives the light, / But because beside him, I don’t need light.)

32   (Sailors sang to me of the island / Where the Sky-blue tulip grows… / It’s distinguished by its great size, / It’s enormous, an evil giant) N. Kuznetsova, “Vas zdes’ ne stoialo,” in Forum [Munich], 20 (1989), 197.

33   M. Iudina, Nereal’nost’ zla: Perepiska 1964-1966 g. (Moscow, 2010), 394. The line is from “Poslednee naputstvie”; see A. Blok, Sobranie sochinenii (Moscow, 1960), vol. 3, 272.

34   I. Turgenev, Fathers and Children, trans. M. Katz (New York, 2009), 104.

35  E. Kuznetsov, Iz proshlogo russkoi estrady: Istoricheskie ocherki (Moscow, 1958), 331.

36  (Or revealing a mutiny on ship, / A pistol is ripped from a sash, / And gold scatters from the lace, / From the rose-colored bobbin lace sleeves.) N. Gumilev, “Kapitany,” in Idem, Stikhi, pis’ma, o russkoi poezii (Moscow, 1989), 123.

37   R. D. Timenchik, Poslednii poet: Anna Akhmatova v 60-e gody (Moscow, 2014), 53-54.

38   D. Sviatopolk-Mirskii, “Bibliografiia,” Versty, 1 (1925), 208.

39  Don-Aminado, Poezd na tret’em puti (Moscow, 1991), 141.

40   N. Ia. Mandel’shtam, Vtoraia kniga (Moscow, 1990), 373. “A duel between two nightingales” is a line from Boris Pasternak’s “A Definition of Poetry” (“Opredelenie poezii”); see B. Pasternak, Stikhi i poemy 1912-1932 (Ann Arbor, 1961), 22.

41   A citation from Osip Mandel’shtam’s poem “Poem about Russian poetry” (“Stikhi o russkoi poezii”). In English, the poem is typically known by its first line, “Give Tiutchev a dragonfly”; see O. Mandel’shtam, Sobranie sochinenii v trekh tomakh (Washington, 1967), I, 182. Aleksandr Anatol’evich Morozov (1932-2008) was one of the best readers of Mandel’shtam.

42   The poem is “Pace (Statuia mira)”; see I. Annenskii, Izbrannye proizvedeniia, 93: “Не знаю почему — богини изваянье /Над сердцем сладкое имеет обаянье…/О, дайте вечность мне, и вечность я отдам/ За равнодушие к обидам и годам”.

43Peterburgskie vstrechi, ed. E. A. Lyzhina, O. K. Kozlov (St. Petersburg, 2000), 24-25.

44   “Unwept, unhonoured, unsung. His funeral was pathetic in its meagre attendance, its scant ceremony and absence of mourning. Only eight persons were present at the funeral of one of the immortals of earth.” Didier, “The Poe Cult,” 336.

45Literaturnaia tetrad’ Valentina Krivicha, edited by Z. Gimpelevich (St. Petersburg, 2011), 197.

46  (In that dear fool’s hole-in-the-wall, / To acquire—what a triumph!— / The first printing of your creations, / To feel, nervously, the master’s own breath… / How dear are these faded pages, / The rhythmic trembling of every indentation, / And Edward Pratz’s press, / And the haughty features of the title page!). S. Gorodetskii, Tsvetuschii posokh: Verenitsa vos’mistishii (St. Petersburg, 1914), 89.

47   G. Ivanov, Sobranie sochinenii v 3 t. (Moscow, 1993), vol. 3, 602.

48   A. L. Ospovat, “Kak slovo nashe otzovetsia….”: O pervom sbornike F. I. Tiutcheva (Moscow, 1980), 98.

49   B. Pasternak, “Pamiati Mariny Tsvetaevoi” (“Mne tak zhe trudno do sikh por...”), in Idem, Stikhi 1936-1959. Stikhi dlia detei. Stikhi 1912-1957, ne sobrannye v knigi avtora. Stat’i i vystupleniia (Ann Arbor, 1961), 39.

50  Vl. Rudinskii, Russkoe voskresen’e, October 30, 1957.

51Novoe russkoe slovo, September 26, 1971.

52   G. O. Adamovich, “O svobode poeta,” Novoe russkoe slovo, February 17, 1957.

53   G. O. Adamovich, “Sud’ba Innokentiia Annenskogo,” Russkaia mysl’, November 5, 1957. Zinaida Gippius’s marks in her copy of Annenskii, it seemed, were not introduced into circulation.

54   S. Babenysheva, “Vera Vel’tman—Vera Panova,” SSSR: vnutrennie protivorechiia, vol. 4, 1982, 192.

55   N. Struve, “Vosem’ chasov s Annoi Akhmatovoi,” Zvezda, 6 (1989), 124.

56   Cf. Timenchik, Istoriia kul’ta Gumileva, 81-86, in regards to the discussion about the authorship of this poem and about the projection of Chenier onto the myth of Gumilev.

57   A. Fadeev, “O literaturnoi kritike,” Literaturnaia gazeta, September 24, 1949.

58   V. Korotich, Dvadtsat’ let spustia (Moscow, 2008).

Auteur

Roman Timenchik is Prof. Emeritus at The Hebrew University (Jerusalem). He is the author of “‘Pechalnuiu povest’ sokhranit’. Ob avtore i chitateliakh ‘Mednogo vsadnika’” (with Aleksander Ospovat, Moscow, 1985, 2nd ed., revised 1987.), Akhmatova i muzyka (with Boris Katz, Moscow, 1989), Poslednii Poet: Anna Akhmatova v 1960-e gody, in 2 vols. (Moscow-Jerusalem, 2014), Chto vdrug. Stat’i o russkoi literature proshlogo veka, (Moscow, Jerusalem, 2008), Angely. Liudi. Veshchi. V oreole stikhov i druzei (Moscow, Jerusalem, 2015), Podzemnye klassiki. Innokentii Annenskii. Nikolai Gumilev (Moscow, Jerusalem, 2016), Istoria kul’ta Gumileva, (Moscow-Jerusalem, 2017). Member of the editorial board of the encyclopedic dictionary Russkie pisateli. 1800-1917 in 7 volumes (1989-2020), member of the advisory boards in “Russkaia Literatura” (St. Petersburg), “Literaturnyi Fakt” (Moscow), “Literaturnoe Nasledstvo” (Moscow), “Novaia Biblioteka Poeta” (St. Petersburg).

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