From the book by NN Insurance: The struggle with the West in our literature. Herzen 1882.


The era in which his views took shape Herzen was the most flourishing era of Westerners in Russian literature. It was the end of the thirties and early forties, while Stankevich, Granovsky, Belinsky, etc. Judging by the internal forces, the depth and consistency with which the minds imbued with a certain mood of thought, then we must admit Herzen's the biggest star in the galaxy of this initial Westerners. In a sense, Herzen was not just Westerners, that is not just a fan and imitator of the West, it was a Western man, which merged with the whole soul of Western life, it is to the end of the life lived by the ideas.

Who wants to study the effect on us of the West, for Herzen can serve as the most lively, sharp pattern. Granovsky engaged in a modest affair of teaching history; Belinsky exerted western views to the works of Russian literature, one Herzen just joined the most lively jets that time of life in Europe, its philosophical and social movement, he became a philosopher and socialist. Without pausing halfway, he just got to the substantive content of the then movement of minds, and, as we know, trying to move this way and Belinsky and Granovsky. Belinsky succumbed, Granovsky remained at the same level of uncertainty Westerniser general direction.

And not only Herzen closest shared mood at the time in Europe, in part, he even has the right to the name of the European, western writer. His book, "From the Other Shore", which appeared first in German, is closely related to what was then the Western literature, and it has made a significant impression. This book is almost completely alien to us, based on the concepts that are then had little progress in our mental life. It could be fully understood only for the Europeans, it was for them to write, and, in our opinion, its location right next to the works of Feuerbach and Proudhon. On a par with these works, the book Herzen belongs to the most characteristic monuments of the then mood minds, expresses the essential features of the then development.

Such was this Westerner. Such a phenomenon is explained by the fact that the West took place at that time one of the most brilliant and exciting eras of its development, and cause us to unusually strong. Thirties and forties are in Europe during such a strong mental stimulation, such a powerful work of thought, which is nothing like after were gone. And in our mental life it was the period of the worship of the West, which then will not be repeated and can not happen again. Old Believers Westerners still living traditions of these times should be remembered that shine, which was then beamed West, long extinct, and that irrevocably past the unconditional reverence that we had for the West in these hard times.

Subsequently Herzen with his characteristic wit and accuracy of our then ridiculed the extremes of mood. In 1867, he wrote about the forties:

"You should have seen reverence, awe, cringing amazement young Russian who came to Paris! .. The day forbidding nobles, insolent, snappers, made his Adoration of the Magi, caring for all the big names — do not care what kind and what gender, from Deziraboda, a dentist, to Mapa, a prophet.

Most insignificant lazzaroni literary Chiaia, every feuilleton vetoshnik, every coffee scribblers inspired them respect, and they hastened to offer him even at ten o'clock in the morning — Roederer or Veuve Clicquot, and were happy when he accepted the invitation.

Poor things, they were miserable in their mania surprise. Home they had nothing to respect, except brute force and its external signs, ranks and orders. Therefore, a young Russian, once crossed the border, stricken with acute idolatry. He fell into ecstasy before all the people and all the things in front of the doormen and the philosophy of Hegel, in front of paintings of the Berlin museum, before Strauss and Strauss-theologian-musician. A bump of reverence was growing more and more to Paris itself. The search for the celebrities were Anaharsis our meal, a man says to Pierre Leroux, or Balzac and Victor Hugo or with Eugene Sue, felt that he was not equal to none. I knew a decent professor who spent the evening at the time of George Sand, that evening, like some geological upheaval, divided his life into two parts, it was the culmination of his life, his memories of his capital, which ended with his whole past life, and from which came true.

Happy times naive faith! ".

Similarly mockingly portrayed Herzen those classes of German philosophy, which took place in Russia, in the circles of young men eager for Western education, it is a question of the year 1839:

"They talked about the logic of Hegel's Phenomenology and incessantly, there is no paragraph that would not have been taken desperate spores few nights. The people who loved each other, differed for weeks without agreeing in determining intercepting spirit, took offense at the views of the absolute personality and its existence in itself. All the insignificance of brochures that went to Berlin and other provincial and county-level cities of German philosophy, where the only mention of Hegel were discharged, were read to tatters, to stain, to the fall of leaves in a few days. Since Francoeur in Paris wept for joy when they heard that in Russia it is taken as a great mathematician, and that all of the young generation, we allow different degrees of equations, using the same letters as the one; cried so would all those forgotten Verdera, Margeyneke, Michelet, Otto, WADC, Schaller, Rosencrantz and himself, Arnold Ruge, who was so amazingly good Heine called gatekeeper of Hegel's philosophy — if they knew what kind of carnage and ratovaniya they filed in Moscow between Maroseyka Moss and how to read them and how to buy them . "

That's what time, under what influences attitudes evolved Herzen. In such a situation Herzen did everything required of a strong, active mind. First, he assimilated the wisdom of Europe, penetrated to the deepest and most secret of its pretensions. Second, he did not stay, like many others in the state of perpetual student, the eternal wannabe and fan: he rose to independence, was on a par with their teachers. Of all the endless crowds of people bowed their heads and blagogovevshih the West, it was a real mature man and said the West their independent judgment. For Granovsky and Belinsky West was strange world, published dazzle them with your brilliance, for one Herzen West was his country, which he judged and which acted quite confident, without servility and timidity.

So, if we are interested in our attitude towards the West, if we wish to achieve a correct and independent points of view on the phenomenon of life in the West, the Herzen can be very instructive for us. His judgments as judgments Russian man completely comfortable with the West, should be for us a much greater weight than the opinions of many people who have never had to live in contact with western life.

The act of outrage. Faith in Russia

Herzen be called desperate Westerner since this string in it just sounded stronger and the main content of his writings. What a fate! This man is passionately fond of Western beginning and he escaped to the West at the moment when the European Progress made his last pitch — the coup of 1848. Thus, Herzen went through and move the brunt of the difficult moments in European history. It was a terrible disappointment — and it was the main idea, the content of his life. All his spiritual process Herzen pictures as follows:

"When the last hope was gone (after December 2, 1851. — NS) When the bow had selflessly and silently take complete the punches as the consequences of the terrible events, instead of despair — in my breast back young faith thirties, and I hope and love turned around.

Start with a shout of joy when crossing the border, I Graduated from my spiritual homecoming.

Faith in Russia — saved me on the edge of moral destruction.

In the darkest hour of the night cold and neprivetnoy standing among the fallen and the crumbling of the world and listening to the horrors that were taken from us — the inner voice spoke louder and louder, that all is not lost for us — and I said again Goethe's poem which is so often repeated boys:

Nein, es sind kerne leere Traeume!

For this faith in it, for it is healing it — I thank my homeland. See you there, if there is — but the feeling of love for her leads me to the grave. "

Here in a few words the whole inner life of Herzen, the whole course of coups, which were his views. Initially, his ideal, hot desire, thought for years that fed his soul, was Europe in those beautiful forms in which it appeared to him from afar. The main event of his life was a disappointment in that ideal, brutal, awesome exposure of all the dark sides of the beloved object. None of the Russian do not like Europe, no one is fooled by it, and with such force did not renounce it, when he saw his deception. In the first book, published them abroad (in German), of a lot of sharp attacks on Europe, he explains the reason for Europeans to these attacks:

"There was a time when the link near the Ural Mountains, I put Europe fantastic colors; I believed then to Europe, and especially France. And took advantage of the first minute of the freedom to fly to Paris. It was before the February revolution. I became better acquainted with the situation and blushed at his own prejudices.

That is the moment at which the independent views of Herzen start when his mind goes from the influence of reading and education, and he tries to explore the truth regardless of any authority, and prejudice. Later, especially after the February Revolution and the events that followed after her, look at Europe Herzen came to despair. Herzen's writings relating to this era, are, as he says, the lyricism of despair and anger emanating from the man's chest, who saw, that he was a part of life on the road of false and does not know whether the time to displace to the one that it will lead to the goal.

The importance of this turning their thoughts very well aware of Herzen, the pain he felt when it was far more than even the pain, which he had previously denied the initial beliefs and adopted the advanced European opinion. Now, had, as he says, to make a new "theoretical gap", to renounce that literary and scientific and political environment, which he regarded as the color of the European Enlightenment, and to which he joined with hot jealousy. For a man like Herzen, this was a step that determined the meaning of all life. "Our act — He says — it is precisely this gap, and we stopped on him, he cost us a lot of work and effort. In essence, — he adds — act of our indignation is our act, we spent it at the best forces, It was heard on our best word".

It was written in 1851, but in 1855, publishing a book in Russian "From the Other Shore" and dedicating it to his son, Herzen said: "I dedicate this book to you because I did not write anything better and probably will not write anything better, because I love this book, as a monument to the struggle, in which I have sacrificed much, but not the courage of knowledge. " It is impossible not to recognize that this review is completely fair, and that life Herzen was a more important event than this struggle, and his writings have none, equaling the book "From the Other Shore."

It is extremely interesting that Herzen tried to put himself in communication with the last Russian literature and relatively gloomy view on Europe saw its predecessor in Karamzin. Observe all that much as we may imitate Europe and obey no matter how much its moral authority, rarely happens to her case and the fate of acting upon us with the same force as our own. About Herzen can say that France was his second homeland, until the end of his life he followed her life with passionate love, with passionate indignation. There was a moment just as passionate attention and Karamzin. When broken out all the horrors of terror of the first French Revolution, Karamzin, who had a dream of happiness and brotherhood of man, was shaken to the core. August 17, 1793, he wrote to the II Dmitriev.

"I live, my good friend, in a village with lovely people, with books, with nature, but it is often very, very restless in my heart. Would you believe it, that the terrible accident of Europe concerned all my soul? I ran into the thick gloom of forests, but the thought of destroyed cities and the destruction of people thronging all my heart. Call me Don Quixote, but this glorious knight could not love his Dulcinea as passionately as I love mankind. "

The fruit of this sentiment was famous work, "Correspondence Melodora and Philalethes", which appeared in the "Aglaia" Desperation in 1794, expressed in a letter Melodora, so deep, so sincere, and above corresponds to the case so that Herzen saw in it a premonition and prophecy of his opinions about the fall of Europe. "The strange fate of Russian — he says on Karamzin and about himself — to see more neighbors to see darker and more boldly express their opinion — Russian, these" dumb, "as Michelet."

Thus, the essential content of the literary activity of Herzen we should consider a disappointment in Europe. In a break with its concepts in the release of its authority consisted of what he called his conduct, he thought, his destiny and purpose.

Faith in Russia was a natural consequence of this gap. She was the excitability of hostility and unfairness of foreigners in Russia, was solace and comfort in the middle of Herzen spectacle dying in Europe and had the root and source of the young faith thirties, about which briefly mentions Herzen.

In his first foreign book, mentioning that he blushed with shame, seeing how little Europe is worthy of his devotion, Herzen continues:

"Now I rage against injustice uzkoserdyh publicists who can see only under the despotism of 59 degrees north latitude. Where and why are two different measurements? Ridicules and shame as you wish Petersburg absolutism and our obedience to the patient, but also shame and state despotism everywhere, in all its forms, whether it is in the form of the President of the Republic, the interim government or the National Assembly. "

Incomprehension and hostility foreigners were constantly sting, Herzen is excited to defend Russia. In the same book he outlined his essay a few Slavophile views on the Russian people. He points to the superiority of Catholicism over Orthodoxy, the absence of feudalism and the preservation of rural communities, etc. Overall he expresses his thoughts this way:

"I think that there is something in Russian life, higher and stronger communities of the state power, it is something hard to catch the words, and even more difficult to point the finger. I'm talking about the internal, not entirely conscious force that is so wonderfully preserved Russian people under the yoke of the Mongol hordes and the German bureaucracy under Eastern Tartar whip and under Western kapralskimi sticks, about the inner strength that has kept beautiful and features an open mind and live under the Russian peasant humiliating yoke of serfdom, which is formed by a royal decree said, after a hundred years of colossal phenomenon of Pushkin, about that, finally, strength, and faith in yourself, which is alive in our breasts. This force has kept inviolable Russian people, their unshakable faith in himself, has kept out of any form and against all forms, and for what? … Time will tell. "

"All the serious people were convinced that enough to go on a tow for Europe, in Russia there is something different and special, you need to understand and study in history and in the present state of affairs."

"Russia is the latest nation, full of youthful aspirations to live in a time when other people are looking for peace, it is in excess of their wild forces at a time when others are feeling tired and old-fashioned." "Many of the people have gone pursuits history, who lived across the fullness of life, but they did not have such huge ambitions for the future, as the Russian."

It is clear that this belief in Russia bears the imprint of Slavophilism. According to his literary education Herzen was perfectly familiar with the Slavophile doctrine. He belonged in the forties to those circles, the birthplace of this doctrine, where the first serious quarrel between Russian and western direction. At first, he was one of the most vocal opponents of Slavophilism, but then more and more of his opinion was split. A long time later, the full swing of his political activities, Herzen defined his relationship to the Slavophiles:

"Kireevskys, hamsters and Aksakov (Constantine) did the trick.

Since they started fracture of Russian thought. And when we say it, it seems we can not be suspected of partiality.

They and we have sunk to the early years, a strong, instinctive, physiological, passionate feeling, which they took for recollection, but we are for the prophecy — sense of endless, spanning the entire existence of love for the Russian people to the Russian way of life, to the Russian mentality",

But there was a great difference in the direction of this feeling in desperate Westerners and Slavophiles ancestors. Herzen explains it as follows:

"They have all the love, all the tenderness of a mother moved to the oppressed. We brought up outside the house, this relationship weakened. We were in the hands of the French governess, later found out that it is not our mother, and a downtrodden peasant, and we guessed the similarity in features, but because of her songs were more akin to vaudeville to us, and we loved her very much, but we knew that her happiness ahead that under her heart beating fetus — this is our youngest brother, to whom we cede precedence without lentils.

This was our family razladitsa fifteen years ago. Much water has flowed under the bridge since then; time, the history, the experience brought us closer together, Not that they have dragged to itself or we have them, but because that they are, and we are closer to the true beliefs now".

Thus, faith in Russia, awakened in a moment of despair, became Herzen all alive and definite. Each year, up to his death he became more and more becoming a kind of the beginning of our life.

But all the same, especially at first, that ardent patriotism had a special color. In no matter what we believe, we always clothe the object of our faith in the features that most of all love, which is more than just a wish. Loving passionately Russia, Herzen gave her best features, the best aspirations, which were known only to him. He saw in her career to fulfill their most cherished thoughts, that is, on the one hand, the free-thinking of feyerbahizma, which he held until the end, and, on the other hand, the rejection of the socialist existing forms of life, which in his mind merged with the feyerbahizmom.

It was a deep, though entirely unintentional mistake, it was an application to the Russian idea completely alien to her, a total stranger. And every time Herzen avoids this way, he runs into the strangest and children's misconceptions, he said, as if suddenly, leaving the way clear and juts out into the region of darkness and fantasy.

Despite this, the idea of Russian Herzen, if taken as a whole, represents a sample of deep insight and deserve serious consideration. Hit his views depend, first, on a passionate and attention, which sometimes does not remain fruitless, from live Russian instincts that spoke loudly to Herzen. For example, he understood hostility to us in Europe, the situation in Russia it is a special, alien world, he clearly saw and predicted our friendship with America, he fully shared and perfectly express the various feelings with which we relate to the French, Germans, British, etc.

But in addition to Russian hearts, we think, helped to Herzen and his mind, his theoretical views. Feyerbahizm and socialism to the strict, deep form in which they held Herzen, are wrong, but still very high point of view. NY Danilevsky rightly notes that this was the last attempt of the European world passionate abandon national limitations and enter the realm of universal. The attempt failed, but the courage and the height of her impossible not to recognize. In any case, it was a point of view with which the case is opened more clearly than with many other points, usually defined rude, blind prejudice. As the saying goes — extremes meet, Herzen in his free-thinking has gone so far that, at last, his views are closer to the beliefs of the people of simple and modest than the beliefs vysokoumnyh and proud sages.

Nikolai Strakhov (1828 — 1896). Russian philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

See also: Herzen's syndrome

Like this post? Please share to your friends: