Life and creation of A.K. Tolstoy

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Alexey Konstantinovich Tolstoj was born on September, 5th (on old style
on August, 24th) 1817 in St.-Petersburg. Its father occured from an
ancient and known sort Thick (the Lion Thick on this line is necessary
Alexey the second cousin). Its mother, a beauty Anna Alekseevna
Perovskaya, studying A.K. Razumovsky’s column, has left in 1816 in
marriage for elderly Konstantin Petrovicha Tolstogo’s column. Marriage
was unhappy; between spouses there was an open break. After a birth of
the son spouses dispatch, mother has taken away it in Malorossiu to the
brother A.A. Perovskomu known in the literature under a name of Antoniya
Pogorelsky. Here, in manors Pogorelcs and the Red Horn, has passed the
childhood Thick. The uncle was engaged in education of the future poet,
it in every possible way encouraged its art propensities and specially
for it has composed a known fairy tale « the Black hen, or Underground
inhabitants ». Per 1826 Thick with mother and the uncle has gone to
Germany; in its memory visiting in Weimar Goethe and that it sat at the
great old man in a lap was especially sharply embodied. The extreme
impression was made on it by Italy, with its works of art. “We have
begun “, it writes to curriculum vitaes, ” from Venice where my uncle
has made significant purchases in old palace Grimani. From Venice we
have gone to Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples, – and in each of these
cities my enthusiasm and love to art so after returning to Russia I have
run in present ” homesickness “, in any despair owing to which I in the
afternoon nothing wished to eat grew in me, and at night sobed, when
dreams carried away me in my lost paradise “.

Then the boy have transported to Petersburg. At means Zhukovskogo it has
been presented to the successor of a throne, the future emperor
Alexander II, and it has appeared among children come to cesarevitch on
Sundays for games (subsequently between them the warmest attitudes were
kept). Perovsky on a regular basis went with the nephew abroad,
acquainting it with local sights, once has presented its Goethe. To the
most death in 1836 the uncle remained the main adviser in literary
experiences of the pupil. It also showed products of young man
Zhukovskomu and to Pushkin with which consisted in friendly attitudes, –
and there are certificates, that they have been approved. All
significant enough condition Perovsky bequeathed to the nephew.

Having received good house preparation, Thick in 1834 acts in number
so-called « archival young men », consisting at Moskovsk the main
archive of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 1835 it has passed the
examinations on a grade at Moskovsk university. Per 1837-1840 was
registered at Russian diplomatic mission in Frankfurt am Main, but it is
very fast after purpose has obtained holiday and time spent partly to
Russia, partly on new foreign travel. Having returned to Petersburg,
with 1840 was registered at II branch of imperial office. In 1843 has
received a court grade of chambers-unkera, in 1851 – the master of

In 1840th Thick conducted a life of the brilliant secular person,
affording risky jokes and the leprosies, descended to it from hands
owing to protection of cesarevitch. However also its serious literary
activity then begins. The first publication – the fantastic story
«Vampire» (1841, under pseudonym Krasnogorsky) has noted been by

With 1854 in “Contemporary” there are verses Kozm Prutkova. This mask of
the stupid and vainglorious bureaucrat has been thought up in the
beginning of 50th Thick and its cousins Alexey, Alexander and Vladimir
Zhemchuzhnikovymi. Then thick has started to publish the lyrics. In the
end of 50th it cooperates in Slavophile to ” Russian conversation »,
then in « the Russian bulletin » and « the Bulletin of the Europe ».

In the winter 1850-1851 Thick has met on ball Sofia Andreevnu Miller,
the wife the colonel. The rough novel, marked by its fast leaving from
the husband was fastened. The husband, however, long did not give
divorce, against this novel also mother Thick sharply objected.
Therefore marriage Thick with Sofia Andreevnoj has been concluded only
in 1863 Practically all its love lyrics addressed to it – including, the
poem devoted to their first meeting « Among noisy ball, is casual …».

In 1855, during the Crimean war, Thick tries to organize a special
voluntary home guard, but it is not possible to it, and it acts in
number of hunters so-called « shooting a shelf of the Imperial surname
». Participations in military actions to it and should not be accepted,
but it hardly does not die of the severe typhus which has carried away
about Odessa a significant part a shelf.

In 1856, in day of crowning of Alexander II, Thick has been appointed a
wing-aide-de-camp. Soon, because of unwillingness to remain in military
service, has been put егермейстером (the chief of huntsmen of imperial
hunting). In this rank, not bearing any service, it remained to the
death; only short time was it a member of committee about dissenters.
Career Thick developed successfully; thus it was able to keep internal
independence, to follow own principles. Thick has helped to release from
the reference to Central Asia and from soldier’s duty Tarasa Shevchenko;
has made everything that Turgeneva have released from the reference for
the necrologue of memory of Gogol. Tell, that when Alexander II has
asked once Alexey Konstantinovicha: « That is done in the Russian
literature? », that has answered: « the Russian literature has put on
mourning in occasion of unfair condemnation Cherneshevskogo ».

However career court and the politician was Thick not on a shower.
Overcoming resistance of the people baked about its future (in
particular, the emperor), it in 1859 has achieved indefinite leave, and
in 1861 – full resignation (this everyday collision has found expression
in a poem “John Damaskin”). Now it lives mostly abroad, in the summer on
different resorts, in the winter in Italy and Southern France, but long
happens also in the Russian manors – Pustenke (near Petersburg) and the
Red Horn. Is engaged almost exclusively in literary creativity. Thus it
gave a facilities not enough attention, and was gradually ruined. In
private life Thick represents a rare example of the person which not
only in every possible way evaded from honours gone to it towards, but
still should maintain the burdensomest for it struggle against the
people, with all the heart wished to it of goods and given to it an
opportunity to be put forward and reach visible position. Thick wished
to be “only” the artist. When in the first large product – to a poem
devoted of a sincere life imperial court – poet John Damaskina – Thick
spoke about the hero: ” we Love a caliph John, to it, that day, honour
and caress ” are there were features autobiographical. In a poem John
Damaskin addresses to a caliph with such entreaty: ” simple I have been
born by the singer, with a verb free the God to glorify… About,
release me, a caliph, permit to breathe and sing on will “. Unusually
soft and gentle, it should collect all stock of the energy to refuse
affinity to Sovereign to which when it was ill near Odessa, on some
times in day cabled about a condition of its health. One time Thick has
hesitated for a time was: it seemed to it attractive to be at Sovereign
as it was expressed in the letter to it, ” the Fearless storyteller of
the truth ” – but simply court Thick did not wish to be in any case. In
its correspondence the is surprising-noble and pure soul of the poet was
clearly reflected; but from it it is visible, that its graceful person
has been deprived force and alarm, the world of strong sensations and
flours of doubt was alien to it. It has stamped its all creativity.
Thick has started to write and print very much early. Already in 1841,
under pseudonym Krasnogorsky, there was its book ” Vampire ”
(St.-Petersburg). Thick subsequently did not give to it any value and
did not include in assembly of the compositions; it only in 1900
переиздал To publish the personal friend to its family, Vladimir
Solovev. It is the fantastic story in Hoffmann and Pogorelsky-Perovskogo
style. Belinsky has met it very affably. The long time interval
separates the first, fleeting occurrence Thick in a press from the valid
beginning of its literary career. In 1854 it has acted in “Contemporary”
with a number of poems (” my Handbells “, ” Oh stogi “, etc.), at once
paid on it attention. Its literary communications concern to the
fortieth years. It was well familiar with Gogol, Aksakov, Annenkov,
Nekrasov, Panaevem and especially with Turgenevem which have been
released from comprehended it in 1852 of the reference in village owing
to efforts Thick. Having adjoined for a short while to a circle of
“Contemporary”, Thick has taken part in drawing up of a cycle of the
comic poems which have appeared in “Contemporary” in 1854 – 55 years
under Kuzma Prutkova’s known pseudonym. It is rather difficult to
define, what exactly here belongs Thick, but is doubtless, that its
contribution was not from unimportant: the humorous vein was very strong
in it. It possessed gift rather thin, though also a good-natured sneer;
many of the best and its most known poems are obliged by the success of
irony, in them poured (for example “Arrogance”, ” At orderes a gate “).
Comically-satirical tricks Thick against currents of 60th years (” At
times cheerful May “, ” Then a bogatyr “, etc.) have much affected the
bad attitude to it of a known part of criticism.

The visible place is borrowed with comic passages and in a cycle
tolstovskih processings of epic plots. Never hesitating in the comic
tricks extraneous reasons, this, in opinion of many of the literary
opponents, the “conservative” poet has written some the comic poems
which are till now not included in assembly of its compositions and (not
including foreign editions) got in a press only in the eightieth years.
In a number of these poems two use especial popularity: ” the Sketch of
Russian history from Gostomesla up to Timashev ” (” Russian Olden time
“, 1878, т. 40) and ” Dream Popova” (ib., 1882, No. 12). First of them
represents a comic review almost all main events of history of Russia,
with a constant refrain: ” the Order only is not present “. The poem is
written in intentionally-vulgar tone that does not prevent to be to some
characteristics very neat (for example about Ekaterina II: ” Madame, at
you splendidly the order prospers, – wrote to it politely Volter and
Diderot, – it is only necessary for people which you mother, more likely
to give freedom, more soon freedom to give “. It has objected them: ”
Messieurs, vous me comblez “, also has immediately attached ukraincev to
the ground “). ” A dream of councillor of state Popova ” even more
komichen.-the poems Written by national style with which debuted Thick,
have especially liked the Moscow Slavophile circle; in its body, ”
Russian Conversation “, there were two poems Thick: “Sinner” (1858) and
“John Damaskin” (1859).

With the termination of ” Russian Conversation ” Thick there is active
employee Katkovskogo of ” the Russian Bulletin ” where have been printed
a drama poem “Don-Zhuan” (1862), a historical novel ” Prince Silver ”
(1863) and a number of archaically satirical poems ridiculing
materialism of 60th years. In ” Domestic Notes ” 1866 the first part of
the drama trilogy Thick – ” John Groznogo’s Death ” which in 1867 has
been staged Aliksandrinskogo theatre in St.-Petersburg has been printed
and made the big success in spite of the fact that rivalry of actors
deprived a drama of the good executor of a title role. In following year
this tragedy, in fine translation of Carolina Pavlovoi, too with greater
success, has been put on court theatre personally friends with Thick
great duke Weimar.

With transformation per 1868 of ” the Bulletin of the Europe ” in
common-literary magazine, Thick becomes its active employee. Here,
except for of some bylinas and other poems, other two parts of the
trilogy – “Tsar Feodor Ioannovich” (1868, 5) and “Tsar Boris” (1870, 3),
the poetic autobiographical story “Portrait” (1874, 9) and written in
Dantovskon style the story in verses “Dragon” have been placed. After
death Thick not ended historical drama “Posadnik” and different fine
poems have been printed.

Least the is extreme-popular novel Thick ” Prince Silver ” though it,
undoubtedly, is suitable as reading for youth and for people stands out
art advantages. It has served also as a plot for set of plays of
national repertoir and basten stories. The reason of such popularity –
availability of effects and external entertaining; but the novel meets
the requirements of serious psychological development a little. Persons
are put in it too schematically and monophonically, at the first
occurrence on a stage at once receive known illumination and with it
remain without the further development not only on all extent of the
novel, but even in the separated 20 years an epilogue. An intrigue is
entered it is very artificial, in almost fantastic style; all is made by
magic. The protagonist, on a recognition of the Thickest – the person
absolutely colorless. Other persons, except for Terrible, are worked on
that is conditional-historical cliche which was established since “Jury
Miloslavskogo’s” times for the image of an old russian life. Thick
though studied olden time, but mostly not under primary sources, and
under grants. Influence of national songs, bylinas and лермонтовской ”
Songs about a merchant Kalashnikov ” was most strongly reflected in its
novel. Is better the figure Terrible has gone right to the author. That
boundless indignation which each time when it speaks about Terrible
seizes Thick, has allowed it force to tear with conditional affection
before an old russian life. In comparison with novels Lazhechnikova and
Zagoskin, even less cared real reproduction of olden time, ” Prince
Silver “, represents, however, a step forward. Incomparably it is more
interesting Thick as the poet and the playwright. The external form of
poems Thick not always costs at identical height. Besides archaisms to
which even such judge of its talent as Turgenev, concerned very
unusually but which can be justified for the sake of their originality,
at Thick the incorrect accents, insufficient rhymes, awkward expressions
come across. Its nearest friends specified to it it, and in the
correspondence it not time objects on these quite benevolent reproaches.
In the field of pure lyrics is better, according to a personal sincere
warehouse Thick, it managed easy, graceful grief, anything certain not
caused. In the poems Thick is the poet descriptive on advantage, it is
not enough being engaged in psychology of characters. So, “Sinner”
breaks just there where there is a regeneration recent woman of easy
behaviour. In “dragon”, according to Turgeneva (in the necrologue
Thick), Thick ” reaches almost Dantovskoi figurativeness and force “;
and it is valid, in descriptions it is strictly sustained Dantovsky

Interest psychological from poems Thick is represented only by “John
Damaskin”. To the magnificent singer who has left in a monastery from
shine of a court yard to be given an internal spiritual life, the severe
hegumen, in kinds of full humility of internal arrogance, forbids to be
betraid to poetic creativity. Position is high-tragical, but comes to an
end it with the compromise: to the hegumen vision after which it allows
Damaskinu to continue to compose church chanting is. In total poetic
individuality Thick is brighter has affected in historical ballads and
processings of epic plots. From ballads and legends Thick “Vasily
Shibanov” uses especial popularity; on beauty of effects and strong
language is one of the best products Thick.

About written poems in Old Russian style Thick it is possible to repeat
that it has told in the message to Ivan Aksakov: ” Judging me it is
strict enough, you find in my verses, that in them it is a lot of
solemnity and not enough simplicity “. Heroes of Russian bylinas in the
image Thick remind the French knights. It is difficult enough to
distinguish original thievish Aleshu Popovicha, in that troubadour who,
having charmed tsarevna, goes for a drive with it on a boat and holds to
it such speech: “… Surrender, surrender, the maiden of a shower! I
love you tsarevna, I wish you to extract, free will or bondage, you
should love me. It throws the oar, a psaltery sonorous takes, by
marvellous singing shivering was announced… ” However, a little bit
conditional style of epic processings, in their elegant archaism it is
impossible to deny the big original beauty.

From the middle of 60th its years good health is no time – it unbent
horseshoes and curtailed fingers of spirally plug – has reeled. Having
as though a presentiment of the close death and summing up all literary
activity, in the Thick autumn 1875 has written a poem ” Transparent
clouds quiet movement ” where, by the way, speaks about itself:

To all the end has come, accept it and you the Singer held a banner in
the name of beauty.

This self-determination almost coincides that many “liberal” critics
named its poetry by the typical representative ” spoke about Thick arts
for art “. And, nevertheless, transfer Thick exclusively in the category
of representatives of “pure art” can be accepted only with significant
clauses. In those poems on old russian plots in which all its poetic
individuality has more strongly affected, one is set up far not ” a
banner of beauty “: political ideals Thick are there and then expressed
also, there and then it struggles with ideals, to it not nice.

In the political attitude it is in them the Slavophile in the best sense
of a word. It, the truth (in correspondence), names the most resolute
Westerner, but dialogue with the Moscow Slavophiles nevertheless has
imposed on it a bright press. In Aksakovskom “Day” the poem which has
made a noise in due time ” Sovereign you ours the father ” where in
favourite it to the comic form Thick represents Peter reform as
“kashicu” which “sovereign Peter Alekseevich” cooks from the groats
extracted “overseas” (the ostensibly “weed”) has been printed, and stirs
“stick”; kashica “krutenka” and “solona”, will disentangle it

In old Russia Thick involves, however, not the Moscow period saddened by
cruelty Terrible, and Russia Kiev, vechevay. When the Stream-bogatyr,
having woken up after a five-century dream, sees servility of crowd
before tsar, it ” is surprised to a parable ” such: ” if prince it, or
tsar at last, what sweep they the ground before it a beard? We abused
princes, but not so! And it is full, whether truly I in Russia? From
terrestrial us the God the Lord keep! To us is specified to recognize
only heavenly God strictly! “It” пытает at the counter good fellow:
where here, the uncle, gathers veche? “In” Zmee Tugarine ” Vladimir
proclaims such toast: ” for ancient Russian veche, for free, for fair
slavic people, for a bell I drink Novgrada and if it even in ashes will
fall, let its ring in heart of descendants lives “.

With such ideals which are not responding absolutely not by
“conservatism”, Thick, nevertheless, in the middle of 60th years has
been enlisted in the category of writers frankly-retrogradneh. There was
it because, that, having left ” a banner of beauty “, it has rushed to
struggle of public currents and to touch began rather sensitively
“children” Bazarovskogo of type. They did not like it mainly because ”
they do not suffer a ring guslarnogo, submit it of the goods market, all
of that it to not weigh, it will not be measured , everyone shout they,
it is necessary ruin “. On struggle against it ” doctrine rather dirty ”
Thick called “»Pantelea-Celitela”: ” and on these people, sovereign
Pantelej, a stick you do not regret knotty “. And here, it acts in a
role of the Pantelea -healer and starts to wag with a stick knotty. It
is impossible to tell, that it wagged with her cautiously. It not one
good-natured irony above “materialists”, ” at which chimney sweeps an
essence above Rafaila “, which flowers in gardens wish to replace with
turnip and believe, that nightingales ” more likely will destroy for
uselessness it is necessary “, and groves to turn into places ” where
fat govada would be fed on hot “, etc. Rather widely moving apart
concept about ” the Russian commune ” Thick believes, that its adherents
” wish to dirty everyone for the general pleasure “, that ” another’s
they consider the little, when that it is necessary to them, snatch away
and suffice “; ” crowds all of them fight, only the will open a forum,
and separately everyone swear in verba voshakorukom. In one agree all
only: if at others manor you will take away yes you will divide, will
begin desire “. To cope with them, in effect, it is not difficult: ”
that Russian power was rescueed from their invention, to hang up
Stanislav to all leaders on a neck “. All this has caused in many the
hostile attitude to Thick, and it has soon felt in position of the
writer who has been tired out by criticism. The general character of its
literary activity and after attacks fallen down on it has remained
former, but repulse ” to shout deafening: surrender, singers and
artists! Whether by the way your fictions in our century positive! ” It
began to give in the form of less sharp, simply appealing to the
adherents: ” amicably row, in the name of fine, against current “. As in
itself struggle which the poet considered exclusively with the singer of
“beauty” has entered is characteristic, it is not necessary to
exaggerate its value, however. “Poet-fighter” as it is named by some
critics, Thick was not; much more close to true that it has told about
itself: ” two stanov not the fighter, but only the visitor casual, for
the truth I am glad to lift my kind sword, but dispute with both is
hitherto my lot secret, and any could not involve me in an oath “.

In the field of Russian historical drama Thick one of the first places
belongs; here it concedes only to one Pushkin. Historically-drama of
everyday life “Posadnik”, unfortunately, has remained not ended. The
drama poem “Don-Zhuan” is conceived Thick not only as a drama for which
creation the author should not re-embody own psychology in characters of
characters but also as product lyrics-philosophical; meanwhile quiet,
virtuous and almost “one-woman man” Thick could not like psychology
eternally looking changes of impressions, is mad-passionate Don-Zhuan.
Absence of passion in personal and literary temperament of the author
has led to that the essence has absolutely turned pale Don-zhuanskogo of
type in the image Thick: passions to its “Don-Zhuan” also are not
present. On the foreground between drama products Thick its trilogy
acts, thus. The greatest popularity its first part – ” John Groznogo’s
Death ” long used. It speaks first of all that until recently only it
one and was put on a stage – and scenic statement of tragedies Thick of
which it and itself so cared, having written special manual for it, is
of great importance for an establishment of reputation of its plays. The
stage, for example, where to the dying John, in the performance of the
order just given by it, with gikom and singing rushes crowd of buffoons,
at reading does not make also the tenth share of that impression, as on
a stage. Other reason of recent greater popularity ” John Groznogo’s
Death ” consists that in due time it there was a first attempt to deduce
on a stage of Russian tsar not in usual frameworks up to that legendary
greatness, and in real outlines of the alive human person.

As this interest of novelty vanished, interest to ” John Groznogo’s
Death ” which now is put seldom decreased also and in general has
conceded superiority “Feodor Ioannovichu”. Not passing advantage of
tragedy, besides very picturesque details and strong language, extreme
harmony in development of action is: there is no superfluous word, all
is directed to one purpose expressed already in the title of the play.
John’s death rushes above the play since the first moment; its any
trifle prepares, adjusting an idea of the reader and the spectator in
one direction. At the same time each stage depicts before us John from
any new party; we learn it and as the state person, both as the husband,
and as the father, from different directions its character which basis
is made with extreme nervousness, fast change of impressions, transition
from rise to a depression. It is necessary to notice, however, that in
the strengthened aspiration to concentration Thick has mixed actions two
points of view: extremely-superstitious and realistic. If the author
wished to make unit of a drama execution of a prediction volhvov, that
tsar will by all means die in Kirillin day there was no need to attach
paramount significance Boris’s to diligence to cause in John disastrous
excitement for it which as Boris knew from the doctor, will be fatal to
tsar besides any predictions volhvov. In the third part of the trilogy –
“Tsar Boris” – the author as though has absolutely forgotten about that
Boris who has deduced in first two parts of the trilogy, about Boris
indirect to murderer John and almost direct – tsarevitch Dimitriya, the
artful, artful, severe governor of Russia in reign Fedora, put above all
the personal interests. Now, except for few moments, Boris – an ideal of
tsar and the family man. Thick not in a condition was to get off charm
of the image created by Pushkin, and has run into the psychological
contradiction with itself, and still has considerably strengthened
Godunov’s Pushkin rehabilitation. Tolstovsky Boris is directly
sentimental. Boris’s children are excessively sentimental also: groom
Xenia, the Danish king’s son, reminds the young man of an epoch Werther,
than the adventurer who has arrived to Russia for a favourable marriage
more likely. A wreath of the trilogy is its median play – “Feodor
Ioannovich”. It have a little noticed at occurrence, read a little, made
comments a little. But here, in the end of 1890th years, prohibition has
been removed to stage the play. It have put all over again in
pridvorno-aristocratic mugs, then on a stage of the Petersburg Small
theatre; later the play has bypassed all province. The success was
unknown in annals of Russian theatre. Many attributed to its surprising
game of actor Orleneva who has created a role of Feodor Ioannovicha –
but also in a province everywhere there were ” the Orleneve “. Business,
means, not in the actor, and in that is remarkable a rewarding material
which is given by tragedy. As to execution “Don-Zhuana” has prevented
contrast between psychology of the author and passionate temperament of
the hero so far as likeness of sincere moods has brought extreme heat in
Feodor Ioannovicha’s image. The desire to refuse shine to leave in
itself so was familiar Thick, infinitely-tender feeling Feodor to Irina
so close is reminded with love Thick to the wife. With full creative
originality Thick has understood in own way absolutely differently
Feodor shined by history – has understood, that it is completely not
feeble-minded person deprived to a spiritual life, that in it there were
deposits of the noble initiative, able to give dazzling flashes. Not
only in the Russian literature, but also in the world few stages equal,
on tremendous impression, that place of tragedy when Feodor asks Boris:
” tsar I or not tsar? ” Besides originality, force and brightness, this
stage up to such degree is free from conditions of a place and time, up
to such degree is taken from hiding places of human soul that can become
property of any literature. Tolstovsky Feodor Ioannovich – one of the
world types, created from not passing elements of human psychology. Last
product Thick became a drama from drevnenovgorodskoi histories
«Posadnik» Work above it has begun at once upon termination of the
trilogy, but to finish its author was not in time. In the age of 58
years Thick has died on October, 10th (on old style on September, 28th)
1875 in the manor the Red Horn from overdose of morphine which used for
simplification of sufferings from an asthma and a neuralgia with heavy
headaches. Has been buried near rural church. Later itself Sofia
Andreevna in the same place bequeathed to bury. The poetry Thick has
found a due recognition only after its death when it was estimated by

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