Alexander Block: The people and the intelligentsia

Alexander Blok

The report of the German Baronova "On demoteizme" (deification of the people in the "Confessions" by Maxim Gorky), read at the first meeting of religious and philosophical society (1908).

For the most important … for me the question of the relationship between intellectuals and the people. These relationships seem to me not only abnormal, not only improper. In them there is something eerie, soul engaged in fear when carefully look close to them; scary when an intellectual begins to feel "social animal", as soon as he is aware that there is some mutual responsibility among the "people's culture" that every member of the cultural society, irrespective of party, literary movements or classes — represents a one of the terms some whole. This is a public sense, transformed into consciousness, and makes intellectual sense their responsibility before the whole he wants or does not want to approach the issues of disease-Russia, and, I think, and indeed the reality shows that the urgency of these issues is the question of " intellectuals "and" people. "

… I'd like to put the question more sharply and more ruthless, the most patient, the most hectic for many of us question. I'm afraid even question it? Do not already being accomplished, as long as we are talking about here, a silent and terrible thing? Not doomed to have any of us irrevocably to death?

But I — intellectual, writer, and my weapon — a word. Fearing the words I utter them. Fearing the "Literature" for fear of "literariness," I look forward, however, verbal responses, we all have a secret hope that is not eternal gulf between words and deeds, that is the word which goes to the cause.

From the time of Catherine … woke up in the Russian intellectuals loving the people, and from that time lack no ointment. Harvested and collected materials for the study of "folklore"; clutter bookcases collections of Russian songs, epics, legends, conspiracies, laments; explore Russian mythology, rituals, weddings and funerals sadness for the people, go to the people who performed the hopes and despair, and finally, perish, go to death by starvation and death for the people's cause. Maybe even finally realized soul folk, but they understood? Does not understand all the love and all — even hostile, even that requires a renunciation of the most expensive for yourself — does not mean it did not understand and did not fall in love?

It is — from the "intelligentsia." Not that she always sat idly by. The will, the heart and the mind put it on the study of people.

On the other hand — the same all faint smile, the same silence 'canny', thanks for that "teaching" and an apology for his "darkness", which blend "until a certain time." Laziness and terrible nightmare, as we always thought, or a slow awakening giant, as we are beginning to appear. Waking up with a smile on his lips. Intellectuals not laugh, even though they know it seems all kinds of laughter, but the guy in front of a grin, nothing similar to that irony, which taught us Heine and Judaism, on Gogol's laughter through tears, laughter by Soloviev — die instantly Just in our laughter, we become scared and uncomfortable.

Is it all the way, as I say, is not thought to not idle imagination created a terrible division? Sometimes you doubt this, but it seems that this is the case, then there really is not only the two concepts, but two realities: the people and the intelligentsia; hundred and fifty million on the one hand, and a few hundred thousand — on the other, people are mutually understand each other is not in the most basic.

Among the hundreds of thousands of fermentation is hasty, incessant change of directions, moods, battle flags. Over the cities is a buzz that does not understand, and experienced ears; such a buzz, which was above the Tartar camp the night before the battle of Kulikovo, according to legend. Creaking carts for countless Nepryadva, is the human cry, and foggy river splashing and screaming anxiously geese and swans.

Among the dozens of millions reign, like, sleep and silence. But over pitched Dmitry Donskoy was quiet, but the governor Bobrok wept, leaning his ear to the earth, he heard the cries inconsolably widow, a mother fights for her son stirrup. Above the Russian camp was blazing distant heat lightning and ominous.

There are between two mills — between people and the intelligentsia — a kind of hell, which converge and conspire both. Such a connection between the traits was not Russian and Tatars, the two mills, is clearly hostile, but how thin this current line — between the mills, secretly hostile! How strange and unusual toe on it! There just "tribal dialects, states," is not here! Converge worker, and sectarian, and a tramp, and a peasant with a writer and public figure, with the officer and revolutionary. But the thin line, still two camps do not see and do not want to know each other, are still those who want peace and collusion, most of the people and the majority of intellectuals are treated as traitors and deserters.

Do not you thin that trait as foggy river Nepryadva? The night before the battle wound it clear, between the two camps, and on the night after the battle, and seven nights in a row, it was flowing, the red from the Russian and Tatar blood.

At the conciliation fine line between the people and the intelligentsia sometimes grow big people and big business. These people and these things could always suggest that hostility from time immemorial, that the issue of convergence is not an abstract question, but the bottom that allow it have some special, we are yet unknown way. People coming out of people and is the depth of the national spirit, become immediately hostile to us; hostile because of something most intimate incomprehensible.

Lomonosov, was known at the time hated and persecuted by the scientific board; national storytellers seem to us amusing curiosity; Slavophilism start having deep support among the people, have always been a fatal obstacle "intellectuals" principles; Samarin was right when he wrote about Aksakov " inaccessible line "that exists between the" Slavophiles "and" Westerners ". Before our eyes, the intelligentsia, which gave Dostoevsky die in poverty, treated with overt and covert hatred of the Mendeleev.

In its own way, she was right; between them and it was the same "feature unavailable" (Pushkin's word) that defines the tragedy of Russia. This tragedy has recently expressed most sharply in the irreconcilability of two principles — Mendeleev and Tolstoy, this contrast is even sharper and much more alarming than the contrast between Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, said Merezhkovskys.

The last significant phenomenon on the line, linking people to the intelligentsia, was the phenomenon of Maxim Gorky. Once again, he confirms that the terrible and incomprehensible intellectuals what he likes and how he likes. He likes the same Russia that love us, but different and incomprehensible love. His characters, which is where his love — strangers to us, it is — the silent people "canny", with a grin that promises the unknown. Bitter in spirit — not an intellectual, "we" love one, but different love, and from decomposing poisons "our" love he has the antidote — a 'healthy blood. "

Abstract Baronova, "literary" par excellence, says that we should not idolize the people, and I think very few people who idolize him, we are not savages, to create a deity of the unknown and terrible. But, if we have not worship people, we can not back down and pull the plug, or: for the works of old pulled back our love and our thoughts.

What to do?

"Do not idolize people need, and just work on it, pull it (first of all, of course, pulling himself) from the nationwide cadaveric swamp" — says Baron.

This is the only part of his sverhliteraturnaya report. Ways and means of action here is no stated. Yes these paths, which are only looking for Russian literature, and can identify the man.

You must love Russia, need to "What's for Russia," he wrote before his death Gogol. "How to love the brethren? How to love people? The soul wants to love one fine, and the poor people are so perfect and so wonderful to have a little! How do you make it? Thank God above all for what you are — Russian. For Russian now opens this way, and this way — is Russia itself. If only he will love Russian Russia — will love and all that they have in Russia. This now leads us to love God himself. Without disease and suffering in so many piled up inside her, and whom we blame ourselves, would not feel any of us to her compassion. And compassion is already the beginning of love "…" our monastery — Russia! Clothe yourselves with the same myself mentally monk robe and himself to kill thee for myself, but not for her, go to her earnestly. She now calls her sons even stronger than ever before. Already a soul in it hurts, and it is a cry of mental illness. — A friend of mine! or you unfeeling heart, or you do not know what the Russian for Russia! "

Clear whether these words intellectuals? Alas, they now seem to him dying delirium, cause all the same hysterical battle cry, which screamed at Gogol Belinsky, the "father of Russian intelligentsia."

In fact, we do not understand the words of compassion as the beginning of love that leads to love God, that Russia — the monastery, which you want to "kill all of himself to himself." Do not understand because we do not know the love that is born out of compassion, because the question of God — it seems that "the most incurious question today," wrote Merezhkovskii, and because, in order to "kill himself" renounce the most expensive and personal, you need to know the name of what to do. Both, and the third is not clear for the "man of the nineteenth century," wrote about Gogol, and even more so for a man of the twentieth century, before which grows only "one gigantic image of boredom, reaching every day immeasurably growth" … "callous and becomes stale life … All the dull, grave everywhere "(Gogol).

Or is neperestupima trait that separates the intelligentsia of Russia? As long as there is such an outpost, intellectuals condemned to wander, move and rotate in a vicious circle, it need not deny yourself, as long as it does not believe that there is a direct denial of such vital requirement. Not only can not renounce, but you can still claim their weaknesses — until the weakness of suicide. I will object that the man whose suicide led to claims of individualism, demonic, aesthetics, or, finally, the most usual requirement of despair and longing — if I myself love the aesthetics, individualism and despair, saying, in short, if I do an intellectual? If within me there is nothing that I would have loved more than his love and his longing individualist, which are as a shadow, and always pursues with such a love?

Intelligent people fleeing positive principles of science, social activities, art — all smaller, and we can see it and hear about it every day. This is natural, there is nothing we can do about it. It takes a different, higher principle. Since it is not, it is replaced with all sorts of riot and rebellion, from the vulgar "rebellion" decadent and ending flea and frank self-destruction — debauchery, drunkenness, suicide of all kinds.

In people, there's nothing like it. The man condemns himself to one of these cases, thus coming out of the elements of folk, becomes an intellectual in spirit. People like the very soul of the matter to disgust disgusting. If the intelligentsia increasingly saturated with "the will to death," the people from time immemorial is a "will to live". It is clear, then, why, and rushes to the unbelieving people, looks for the life force: simple — by the instinct of self-preservation; catches and runs into a smile and silence, to scorn and condescending pity on the "inaccessible hell"; perhaps on something even more terrible and unexpected.

Gogol and many Russian writers liked to think of Russia as the embodiment of peace and dream, but the dream ends, silence replaced the remote and the growing buzz, unlike the mixed urban buzz.

The same Gogol imagined flying Russian troika. "Russia, where are you rushing? Give me an answer. " But the answer is no, "is filled with wondrous ringing bell."

That buzz that grows so fast that every year we hear it clearer and clearer, and there is a "wonderful ringing" bell triple. What if a three, around which the "thunders and the wind ripped the air becomes" — coming right at us? Rushing to the people, we throw ourselves right under the feet breakneck troika, to certain death.

Why visit us more often two emotions: self-forgetfulness and self-forgetfulness delight anguish, despair, indifference? Soon, other feelings have no place. Is it because that darkness prevails around already? Everyone in the darkness does not feel different, but feels himself alone. You can already imagine how it is in terrible dreams and nightmares that darkness comes from the fact that hung over us shaggy chest and ready to drop shaft-heavy hooves.

AA Block
November 1908

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