The Marquis de Custine how excited contemplative Russia

This title will be, no doubt, seen by many readers as the deliberate artifice of thought, for kyustinovskaya book "Russia in 1839" is considered one of the most "negative" or even at the most "despised" writing about our country.

But, first, I used the title the word "contemplative" and not, say, "interpreter" — that is, we will focus on the immediate impressions of Custine, not about his reasoning. And secondly, personal, private "negativity" of the French traveler in respect of Russia is greatly exaggerated, in particular, the works of many Russian writers provide more — and even much more — harsh judgments about their own country, rather than become a symbol of the "anti-Russian" kyustinovskaya book (which, however, are not so many people in modern Russia read in its entirety, but more on that below).

It is highly significant that at the beginning of this book is given to the presentation talks with Russian aristocrat met by Custine on the boat on the way to St. Petersburg and strongly rebuke and makes fun of his country. It was a very well-known at that time, the diplomat and writer Prince PB Kozlowski (1783-1840), there is also evidence that Custine put in his mouth, and certain statements he had heard earlier in Germany — in an interview with a prominent public figure and publicist AI Turgenev, also very, very critical sudivshim their homeland. And the presentation of Custine views of Russian people in a number of respects "superior" of his own conviction Russia …

It is, however, immediately stipulate that many of the statements Kozlowski and Turgenev were a no objective characteristics of being Russian, and dictated a certain (critical radical) ideological orientation "interpretation". For example, an attempt to demonstrate, so to speak, the initial jerk of his country, the source of Custine said that in ancient times "was sent to the Slavs, Scandinavians, at that time, who enjoyed a very wild life, their leaders, who were to rule in Veliky Novgorod and Kiev under the name of the Vikings … Vikings taken for some demigods, have attached to the Russian nomadic civilization "stood by" the first Russian princes "- that is, in particular, created a state for these" very wild "Russian.

Meanwhile, in the historical fact of the interaction of the Germans, Scandinavians and Slavs Russian actually expressed not jerk the latter, as a general pattern that is appropriate to formulate, using mnogosmyslennyh and profound concepts developed in the spiritual work of Bakhtin: the history of the world in its true essence there is no amount of self-sufficient monologues nations, but engaged in spiritual as well as in practical dialogue between peoples. And when the inevitable "dialogic" to interpret the history of the people as something they downplay the French people appear explicitly in the "worst" light than the Russian. For this original Celtic people, then known as the Gauls, has lost its "natural" language under the powerful influence of the Romans conquered it and was no longer a Celtic, but romance, and then his state and even its "new" name was given to him again to win it (not "designed" — as the Germans, Vikings to Rus) Franks, Germans!

In short, Custine, enthusiastic "tossed" him Russian Negativisty purely partisan ideologeme of Varangians, to think about the fact that such an approach is applied to the stories are not Russian, and his own people, will provide a much more unfortunate result. (After all, this approach turns out that even the language of the ancestors of Custine received from another foreign people — in the form of so-called "Vulgar Latin" …)

You can be quite convincingly show that the majority of Russian kyustinovskih exposures based on the same kind of ideologemes, not the concrete historical understanding of the real state of affairs. But today there is no need for a detailed analysis undertaken by the French traveler "criticism" of Russia, because five years ago, it was an excellent study published Xenia Myalo "Going to the barbarians, or eternal journey Marquis de Custine" (see the magazine "Russia. XXI», 1994 | 3-5, and "Moscow", 1996, | 12), in which for the first time with the fullest conviction disclosed are the "methodology" of this famous work.

Let me refer to one expressive part of the study Xenia Myalo. This is yet another of the many editions of Custine, published in 1989, translated into English with an introduction by historian J. Boorstin, which, inter alia, stated: "This book is a brilliant example of the ancient genre is as ancient as Herodotus' . Boorstin, Myalo aptly states, "it seems, has no idea to what extent exactly defines thus the essence of the book … de Custine … For it is by Herodotus were first painted an impressive picture of barbarous Scythian spaces … It Herodotus … got plastic embodiment, left a kind of eternal the benchmark set in Europe in the face of "Asia" as threatening by it (Europe) grounds … ".

And KG Myalo shows that an underlying cause Custine painted a negative image of Russia is created almost two and a half millennia earlier Herodotus — that is pure myth-creating — an image that now and then overshadows the real country, so, for example, in strict accordance with the Custine Herodotus claims that de Kronstadt about "sea free of ice barely three months …"

Add on my own, that a number of "sketches" Custine residents of Russia — again, according to Herodotus — as if to show a willingness to cannibalism, "… is a man in a sweat and blood … The narrow mouth opening, bared white, but sharp and sparse teeth: it was the Panthers fall … »(I, 321) *

* Hereafter cited. on the publication: Astolf de Custine. Russia in 1839. In 2 vols, 1996.

It would seem to us individually characterized, but in a different location, drawing the general appearance of the people, as he determines "from the depths of Russia," Custine said that they have "a dazzling white teeth … the exigencies of his tiger-like fangs» (I, 150) .

However, as already mentioned, the scale and at the same time, a careful analysis of kyustinovskoy — dating back to Herodotus — "myths" about the Russian reader will find in the work of CG Myalo. It is especially important that Xenia G. rightly sees the book Custine not so much as an anti-Russian, but as a Russophobe in strict, literal meaning of the word — that is a book dictated by "phobia," fear of Russia, which de eager to conquer the rest of the world, and — the most important — in fact, it is able to do, as many times and often with extreme anxiety broadcasts Frenchman …

And it Russophobian, not anti-Russian basis kyustinovskoy book due to its unprecedented popularity in the West. In 1951, during the acute period of the "Cold War", a shortened translation was published in the United States with a foreword by then-CIA Director Bedell Smith, who said that "the book can be called the best work ever written about the Soviet Union" (which is about Soviet Union! — said, quoting these words, K. Myalo).

When truly attentive perception of the book Custine any reader can verify that the reasoning of the Russian "despotism", "slavery", "barbarism", etc., have as their main purpose is not rebuke and reproach of the country (although it is usually perceived and these arguments — but precisely because of the lack of care) in these and similar "quality" Custine Russia sees — and not just straight and clear about this — one of the foundations of its unique power. For example, speaking of the "victims" of the Russian autocracy (and, moreover, it must be said, much exaggerating their number), he concludes (and that in his eyes the top side of the case): "If greatness of purpose to measure the number of victims, then this nation is undoubtedly , we can not predict world domination »(I, 375).

But the "negative" qualities Russia — this is from the point of view of Custine, though, as I said, only one of the foundations of its power, just as important in this regard, and it is quite "positive" qualities. In the preface to his book Kjustin states: "… much of the Russian fascinated me," and even wrote about the Russian people, "… no one else I was not shocked by the greatness of a nation and its political significance. Thoughts on the high destiny of the nation, which appeared last on the old theater of the world, do not leave me »(I, 19).

If it were not for the shock greatness of the nation, would not have arisen as an acute russophobia … It actually Kjustin treated with complete disregard to the people that he did not consider a true "European". So, he clearly wrote: "The Finns living next door to the Russian capital … to this day remain … A nation full of savages … this faceless, face flat, misshapen features. These ugly and dirty people are different, as I have explained, considerable physical strength, they look, however, the frail, undersized and poor »(I, 111).

This text is actually completely "antifinsky." Custine did not know, yeah, probably, and would not know what to write these European-racist phrases deserving of deep respect among the people, who, for example, has created one of the most magnificent epic creations of the world — "Kalevala" (four years before kyustinovskogo travel Elias Lenrot issued its written treatment). But Kjustin speaks about the good work of all who live east of the mainland European nations — except the only one Russian, he constantly anyway admires …

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Xenia Myalo, of course, draws attention to the "positive" side of kyustinovskih statements about Russian, mentioning, for example, that "Custine says undoubted talents Russian (even calling them" the color of the human race "), the powerful, to feel them the potential of the country" and etc. But, she said, any, including quite "positive", the quality of Russia "are seen (Kyustinom. — VK) is not in itself, but as a manifestation of the same original, wicked and hostile , the essence of Russia, and even some of its metaphysical nebytiynosti. "

It is this — and, I stress, the only — time in the study Xenia Grigorevny I feel it necessary to clarify.

First, soapy about "nebytiynosti" Russia — compared with Europe and even with proper Asia — is inherent in one way or another to the true Russian self-awareness (it is enough to recall Tyutchev: "In Russia one can only believe" — by the way, italics here the poet himself, but his often wrongly ignored when quoting).

Second, many of the positive qualities of Russia, which Custine says he does not perceive as "evil." Another thing — the "enemy." Russo-phobia, fear of Russia, penetrating book Frenchman is determined, again, by no means only negative qualities described to them the country, but not least — or even more — much admired his qualities.

When Custine in the quoted sentence just says "no more than I was not shocked by the greatness of their (russkih. — VK) nation," he tells the truth (unless, of course, keep in mind just prior to his foreign authors who have visited Russia ).

Unfortunately, almost all modern readers of his books know her for two very significantly reduced and some brief "retells" edition, prepared in 1910 and 1930 are not "Russophile". Both of these "surrogate" was reprinted in 1990, a total circulation of 700,000 (!) Copies, and was published in 1996 complete translation of "Russia in 1839" issued in the amount of only 5100 copies … And, as rightly stated in the Appendix to This authentic edition of the article, "the authors of" digests ", choosing from Custine's most scathing, the most" anti-Russian "passages in the book made him a pamphlet» (I, 383).

However, kyustinovskoe work, bearing in mind the vast majority of its pages, is a still nothing more than a pamphlet, but sometimes it suddenly turns into a eulogy. (This is, as already discussed, does not contradict kyustinovskoy russophobia, for a potential "conqueror of the world" really dangerous if he has genuine significance and even more so — as has often been said Custine — "greatness").

By the way, some — albeit few — the elements of the book, which expressed admiration and even a "shock" in Russia, are contained in those "Digest", which is mentioned, but for the detection of these elements in a biased selected parts of the text book kyustinovskoy need is particularly sensitive . More than a third of a century ago literary E. Ermilova and after her poet Anatoly Peredreev noticed a few truly the highest, "estimates" of Russia, surviving even in the installation of "most scathing" kyustinovskoy quotes from the book published in Moscow in 1910.

For example, on page 32 of this edition is already so long ago quoted Custine that the main territory of Russia in the form of the "last degree of the plane and nudity," but then he said: "From one end to another of its plains, from coast to coast its seas Russia listens to the voice of God that nothing is drowned. " That is, in common with the French russophobe established twelve years later Tyutchev "These poor villages …"!

This is the place of the book is particularly important because Kjustin always claims the supreme and fundamental importance of religion in human existence. However, in their "ideological" discussion, he snubbed Russian Orthodoxy as a bad "fruit schism" and even as "paganism", but this is obviously not able to prevent the impression of "openness" Russian God, willy-nilly, to express, in the cited phrase …

And from the "Russia in 1839" in its entirety is not difficult to select multiple pieces that will make up a small-scale (compared with the book as a whole), but it is very significant in its meaning text showing kyustinovskoe admiration and, indeed, enthusiastic shock caused by the contemplation of Russia and the Russian people. Once again, these admiration and shock is not only not reduced to zero, but rather as a doubled kyustinovskuyu russophobia — that is the fear of the immense power of Russia.

He says, for example: "The Russian people are immensely clever: because this human race … to be pushed to the very Pole … The one who would be able to penetrate deeper into the crafts of Providence may come to the conclusion that the war against the elements is a severe test, which the Lord wished to subject this nation, the chosen one, so that one day elevate it above many other »(I, 237).

Xenia Myalo reveals a modern — or at least recent — kyustinovskih meaning of "fear", referring to the publication of his book in English in 1989 (in 1990, by the way, came out and her new French edition), which are preceded by the following "explanation" . Custine, they say, 'divined behind the millennium and century ahead of its time … Kjustin can heal our political myopia … Its inspirational and eloquent story reminds us that, under the veil of the USSR (in 1989, this phenomenon still existed. — VK) is still hiding Russia — the successor empire of the czars. " And another note on the same edition of 1989: "Over and under the news of the Soviet Union and the rest of ecstasy publicity Eternal Russia … extends the largest nation on earth, spread out over two continents." Custine wrote more than half a century ago: "We need to come to Russia to personally see the result of this horrific compound of the European mind, and science with the spirit of Asia …» (I, 221)

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That text, which can be composed of admiring and shocked expressions on Custine Russia (this would be a "digest" — opposed to those issued huge circulations), would, in fact, all sides and facets of her life — from the development of the Russian people of boundless space before he established the art of peasants living "in the depths of Russia," to St. Petersburg aristocrats.

However, as Custine did not know Russian language, and translations into French were then extremely few and imperfect, it does not have a clue about one of the major works of Russia — its literature, its judgments about Pushkin and Lermontov does not represent any significant interest. But here's his impression of the Russian church music:

"The severity of the Eastern rite favors art, church singing in Russian sounds very simple, but truly divine *.

* Ironically, Custine suddenly "forgot" about his total rejection of this — Orthodox — Rite …

It seemed to me that I can hear the beating hearts away sixty million — live orchestra, softly echoing the official song of the clergy … I can not compare this song … only with Miserere, executable in the Holy Week in the Sistine Chapel in Rome … Art lovers should come to St. Petersburg only for the sake of Russian church music … the most complex melodies performed here with deep feeling, the wonderful craftsmanship and exquisite coherence »(I, 172).

These fragments from the book Custine, embodying the admiration of his Russia could, as already mentioned, to make a small book, which — if it is to publish without the author's name — would be considered knowingly "antikyustinovskoy" for many Russian people believe that a well-known Marquis found in their country, nothing worthy of admiration.

Meantime, Custine in one place of his book as it reveals the "secret" of his russophobia talking about St. Petersburg: "… not without delight to behold (just to contemplate, not biased to interpret. — VK), the city that emerged out of the sea on order of human and living in a constant struggle with the ice and water … even those who do not admire him, his fears — and not far from the fear to respect »(I, 121).

Cited above outrageously unfair review of Custine about the Finns, which did not inspire him, and therefore no fear — no respect. This, alas, is a characteristic property of the European perception of everything deemed "non-European", and these things need to clearly understand the Western mentality property …

And, of course, need to be aware of the fact that everyone knows kyustinovskaya book — one of the "accusatory" and at the same time one of the most enthusiastic foreign works of Russian — and to understand the pattern of the "contradictions". By the way, Custine was well aware of this duality of his book, and cried out to the readers: "Do not have to incriminate me in contradictions, I noticed them before you, but I do not want to avoid them, because they are embedded in the things themselves, say it once and for all» (I , 234).

It should be added that "contradictions" laid down not only the "in things", but also in the law-governed merger excitement, fear, and a curse, which is characteristic of a well-known (but not yet mastered completely by us until now) kyustinovskomu composing of Russia …

VV Kozhinov

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