LANGUAGE STYLIZATION IN LESKOV’S NOTES OF THE UNKNOWN(Zametki Neizvestnogo)

Abstract


The article gives a linguistic and stylistic analysis of N.S. Leskov’s fiction. The author compares some hitherto unpublished manuscripts related to the church life of the 18-19th centuries with the cases and situations described in Zametki neizvestnogo . One of the main ambitions of the author is to reveal the possible correlation between the attributes of N.S. Leskov’s heroes and the Russian cultural traditions of the past. Some original and vivid examples of the speech of specific Russian professions and estates are analyzed as well as linguistic parallels between complicated church language and the writer’s system of stylistic devices are defined. New interlinks between the historic, the linguistic and the literary aspects of the text and, especially, N.S. Leskov’s unusual world as a form of culturally- historically determined consciousness are detected.

A strange feeling took possession of me when I read Leskov for the first time. Before me an astonishing world of the past had opened. Not deathly solemn and crowned with laurels but lively and spontaneous, a bit ironic and gay, sometimes severely revealing and at the same time humane. First of all it was interesting in the author’s apt and vivid language where lived together different semantic elements and archaic groups non-tritely used and subtly matched with a new shade. It was also remarkable Leskov’s ability of true representation of natural Russian reality which had been to some extent forbidden to being shown and skillfully avoided by his contemporaries. And besides, Leskov’s all- forgiving coexperience in everything - nature, people, history. This comes from his interior philosophy and deeply suffering soul. That was the soul fully loyal to the Motherland and follow his vocation to serve it staunchly. That was his mission.During all his life Nikolaj Leskov would take steps, that had never been reacted upon adequately but for which he was a great deal more times blamed and stigmatized. It is a paradox but a fact now that Leskov’s literary works were excluded from the school curriculum after the October Revolution. In higher educational establishments his activities and creative works were studied fragmentarily (and so they are even now). His fiction (nothing to say about historic and critical works on religion, politics and literary criticism) was kept apart. For a long period of time it was barred from the mass reader. Only his anticlerical stories, small domestic sketches and some novels were perceived but often to limits of that time’s morals’ existence. The authentic artistry of Leskov’s mastery and its disguised implication were left beyond the reach of critics’ vision and advocates of socialist realism. In passing this term we notice that Russian realism is a very capacious and complicated notion as compared to what it was stated in Soviet theory of literature with its strictly traced and brought into accord within the framework of development of revolutionary movement limits. There can hardly be any equal explanation of realism,for instance, of the XIX and the XX centuries. We even suppose that the XVIII century in Russia was the age of realistic progressive aesthetic and literary ideas which prepared original masterpieces of Radishchev and Pushkin, Zhukovskij and Karamzin. Russian traditional culture appeared in the role of nonconcocted source of inspiration of literary artists. To the chasm of coming agitculture they opposed the only value - man. The human character (and in this sense - realistic) of Russian classic literature consisted in humane weltanschauung which respected one’s dignity. As a consequence of it the principle of independent, not free, development of a human being. That was an ideology of добро- толюбие (goodness) and wisdom eradicated later.As we think, the fact that Leskov swam against the course of time determined the complexity of apprehension of him and his creative way. The only thing which is of no doubt is that the whole created inner world of his fiction is permeated with an idea or better to say disposition - духовность (spirituality). That was not only a system of constant firm moral valuables, not only a commitment to the concrete concept having enlightening character but also a quality of one’s soul, wistful and searching, tormented and exhausted of contradictions. It is in prevalence of spiritual and intellectual interests over material being. It is the lot of few. Not to fall down before the countless reefs of gossip and threats, falsifications and mockeries - such a reward was prepared for the writer. To forgive Leskov his spiritual truth and clear intentions could not even veiled malefactors. They tried to crush him by hook or by crook. Leskov did not harbour a grudge against them. His life and works are the proofs of that.The very notion духовность in Russian explanatory dictionaries of Soviet period is given with the mark «obsolete» (!) - as though present but not obligatory, optional and incompatible to the modern mentality and mode of life. Actually, it does not look like a slogan (and the same was not typical of Leskov), there are no advertising promises of any kind and false perspectives there. Духовность to some extent is conservative but not hostile to progress. It does not belong to any political party. On the contrary, its credo - to protect the best customs and thoughts of the past from unskillful and ruthless usage and interpretations by adherents of «new» convictions. Not without reason in Latin conservativus meant «standing guard over smb., safe-guarding, protective». Similar guarding often presented as accomplicity of inertness and stagnancy. That is why Leskov was indispensably shown as a secondary importance writer and not without the help of Okhranka (Secret Political Police in tsarist Russia). We dare remark that Leskov was a guard in its primary sense - a guard of alive important values and ideals, - humanity and spontaneity of the Russian character. That is why he resisted every attempt to level its originality, bring down Russian spirit to a lower degree. In this we see an actual necessity now - stand for noble ideals of the ancient times, correlate them to modern social processes and look for ways in the future. In this we see a great vitality of Leskov’s force. The time of amnesty of his has already come. Leskov for us now is one of the modern authors occupying in the present-day life a special location of a Citizen.Here we suggest listening to the words in which his innermost pains are contained. Perhaps, it will help us to be more considerate and careful to him. That is the note made by Leskov in the album of G.P. Danilevsky:“In my literary time there was not a writer slandered more than I; nevertheless not in the least had I ever been sorry about that. Sufferings which had been falling to my lot through allthe malicies and libels I always tried to accept for the good and was very thankful for them: they taught me to put up with them, and God help everybody in that. Nikolaj Leskov (Stebnitsky). 14th May, 1872. SPb.” (1).About persuasiveness of Leskov’s language manner had been said not a little. But the real causes of his style are not brought to light. Meanwhile we suppose that clarification of veritable reasons for the writer’s specific way contains a lot of attractive things. Especially if we pay attention to the sources of the language of Leskov’s literary works.Essays and articles by him not infrequently touched upon questions of church life and as a matter of fact they came out like artistic investigations. It was natural to the author to base them on documentary materials. For instance, «Синодальные персоны. Пе- риод борьбы за преобладание (1820-1840 гг.)» [“Representatives of Synod. The Period of Struggle for Predominance”], «Иродова работа. Русские картины в Остзейском крае» [“Tyrant’s Work. Russian Pictures in East Zeisk Region”], «Церковные интри- ганы. Исторические картины» [“Church Intrigants. Historic Pictures”], «Поповская чехарда и приходская прихоть. Церковно-исторические нравы и картины» [“Priest’s Reshuffle and Parish Whim. Church Historic Morals and Pictures”] and some other works written by Leskov and published in Istoricheskij vestnik Journal in the 1880-ies. Some of the afore-mentioned essays were later included by the author in the larger and prominent narrations and novels, others - were organized into a cycle like Zametki neizvestnogo.Leskov had testified to their authenticity: in the article «Поповская чехарда...» the writer remarked:“I would like to offer readers an interesting story (here and further on emphasized phrases are spaced by us. - O.N.) borrowed by me from the original inquiry made in Moscow department of the Holy Synod about the priest Kirill for whom ‘croaked’ forty two persons from the parish of Spas in Nalivki” (2).And in introduction to The Notes of the Unknown the narrator described the ancient manuscript which he got showing it to readers in detail, besides declaring its authenticity. Then the author rather substantially characterizedit. After that he added:«Засим я предлагаю в подлиннике заметки неизвестного летописца в том порядке и под теми же самыми частными заглавиями, под какими они записаны в полуунич- тоженной рукописи» [1. Т. IV. P. 257] (“Hereafter I suggest in the original notes of the unknown analyst in that order and with those and the same separate titles under which they were written in the half-destroyed manuscript”).This peculiarity is very curious not only as a detail but a fact. In another article «Бла- гословенный брак. Характерный пропуск в исторической литературе раскола» [“Blessed Marriage. A Distinctive Omission in Historical Literature of Schism”] the writer also referred to the rare manuscript book entitled «О бракосочетании» [“On Matrimony”], put the complete text of it and gave its minutest description (3).One more important piece given by Leskov: beginning the narration the author pointed out to a familiar second-hand bookseller from the Sukharev tower whom the narrator bought a manuscript from [4. Т. IV. P. 257]. It is known that at Sukharev Square since the middle of the XIX century the famous book and art market was situated. That was acentre of antiquities in Moscow (later on at the time of Stalin the tower was ruined). We dare say that Leskov-bibliographer knew that place and often bought books there.Thus, fact and true-to-life fiction are supposed to merge. The writer specially but very delicately added to those two realities one more: a hint“to nonartificial representation of affairs which interested in a certain time, obviously, a very respective, original and seriously organized public circle” («безыскусственное изображе- ние событий, интересовавших в свое время какой-то, по-видимому весьма достопоч- тенный, оригинальный и серьезно настроенный общественный кружок») [4. Т. IV. P. 257] (4).A mixed group of people formed it: the secretary (from «Искусный ответчик»), assessor’s wife with her small son Ignaty («Излишняя материнская нежность»), “the spiritual student” («Чужеземные обычаи только с разумением применять можно»), etc. But the main characters of the cycle are a bishop, priests, a consistory man, a principal of the church seminary and others.Leskov’s acquaintances occasionally tried to press upon the writer seeing his sharp critical view on the problems of church life. They wanted to soothe his anti-church appearances» Colonel Pashkov wrote to Leskov on the 22nd of September, 1884:“It is an unbearable pity for me that You, whose heart responded formerly to everything true and good, now sneer at... what was taught by apostles...” [1. P. 88].With the similar letters Slavophile I.S. Aksakov also applied to Leskov. But he had his own notions on this point: Leskov fought for the moral purity of cult custodians not changing his intentions even before onslaught of companions and censors’ prohibition. (Cycle of short stories Notes of the Unknown was published first in Gazeta A. Gattsukain 1884, № 2, 5, 9-14. Publishing them was stopped by censorship. Only in 1917-1918 in The Niva the last three stories were put). As Leskov thought, people who are ordained should be inspired, i.e. inwardly ennobled and filled with elevated feeling, aspiration. These are people of Belief. Under klobuk (headgear of Orthodox monk) and black robe with a smooth radiant cross Leskov saw not only a God’s minister but first of all - man. Observing a deep abyss between words and deeds of God’s preachers hardly combined with established rules of morals the writer could not keep silent. We notice here to the point that anti-church works by Leskov did not seem to us departure from the God, Belief and religiousness. It was not a rejection from God’s commandment but true sketches of priests’ existence, their domestic life and interrelations. We can compare here some statements of Prof. V.O. Kluchevsky who remarked ironically:“Does the priesthood believe in the God? They do not understand that question because they officiate the God», or «In the West the Church is without the God, in Russia the God is out of Church” [2. P. 384] (5).We have also got the information that scrupulous and protracted work in the archives helped Leskov to realize profound sense of the olden times mentality. That also considerably supplemented knowledge derived from life. We mean that Notes of the Unknown contains much documentary information. Even some traits of the characters of this cycle were taken from inquest deeds of the Synod. That is why what is presented in his narration should be interpreted more than a fruit of Leskov’s fantasy. It is the result of persistentresearch and observation of real prototypes of his fiction. Here we have the right to say about Leskov-scientist and explorer of the Russian antiquities and investigator of the olden times’ spirit, its connoisseur. Our suppositions are confirmed by looking through the funds of the former Record Office of the Synod. A substantial part of them now is concentrated in the Russian State Record Office of Ancient Acts in Moscow. We were fortunate enough to read some manuscripts kept in Fund № 1183 “Moscow Synodal Office” and work at them.In one of them entitled “The Case of a Shock Which Happened to Hieromonk of Novospassky Monastery Arseny at the Time of Divine Service in Peter-and-Paul’s Parish Church” was put a report of the following content:“...to the serving hieromonk Arseny happened a shock, however, he had finished liturgy; and on its termination he had lost his tongue, the left arm and leg were paralyzed; soon after that vomiting with eruption of Holy donations in altar had followed, the ejected remained in a washbasin; after the exposure he had been taken to the church ward...” (6).At the end of this personal file resolution was placed: prohibition of divine service in churches of Moscow eparchy. Later we shall see how Leskov used these sad and ironic facts in his domestic sketches.From the other document under the heading “About a Distribution of a Book for Making Notes of Evil Deeds to the Permanent Inhabitant of Abolished George’s Monastery” it is clear that a certain Grigory Nikolajev continuing fulfilling his duties lazily and carelessly without a proper diligence, and Zakhar Efimov abandoned himself to hard drinking and even violence. According to that, - the applicant writes then, - your most humble servant asks the Office of Holy Synod to give us a book for putting down in it every case of their bad behaviour (7).Here is one more act, interesting and important for revealing sources of Leskov’s prose. It testifies, in our opinion, to a curious accident, or as the writer might have said, to an extraordinary occurrence of a very unpleasant quality. Namely, it has such a script:“About Expulsion of Novice Vasily Shiriajev from Voskresensky Monastery for Bad Behaviour». It is said in it that «the lay brother Vasily Shiriajev all the Easter week was seen in a drunken state...” (8).All cited above do not look like an artistic speech? Could it be so that those picturesque fragments connected with some affairs and details were related to Leskov’s Notes of the Unknown? At least we catch a likeness between them and the narration. So, in his conduct and action“the regent of bishop’s choir” who was much of Adonis («красик») (dendy in Leskov’s view. - O.N.) “so much muddled up getting into a scrape of love stories, that... [he] passed from the choir or winked at important females going to the exit...” («так в переплете любов- ных историй от приезжавших ко всенощной дам запутался, что… [он] с хор утекал или с направлявшимися к выходу женскими особами глазами перемигивался…») [4. Т. IV. P. 287],and Grigory Nikolajev who “carelessly without a proper diligence fulfilling his duties”. Who would know what is meant by such an impersonal definition? Only Leskov’s creativeimagination could think and feel so far that this cloaca maxima would engrave on the affected and burnt pages of invaluable manuscripts.An old hierodeacon who during the Lent was crazy about billiard, drank so truly that became tipsy of drunk wine-glasses [4. Т. IV. Pp. 284-285] reminds of the very cuctosmorum who “all the Easter week was seen in a drunken state”.Lastly, the farther Ioann from the story «Как нехорошо осуждать слабости» [“It Is Wrong to Blame Foibles”] being intoxicated permitted himself an “indecent thing”:“having uttered an exclamation fell asleep, and not fast waken up” («сделав возглас, за- снул и нескоро пробудился») [4. Т. IV. P. 259],and hieromonk Arseny to whom during the divine service “a shock” had happened. In the both examples a veiled ironic implication is presented.We draw attention to some possible parallels. Basing on them we tried to compare Leskov’s style and approach to description of every day events with assumed sources of his narrative cycle. Analyzing all these we can suppose that the style of business documents of national history, especially of investigatory evidences connected with the church life, is in a certain correlation with the text of his narration. That interaction is particularly shown in using the words of characteristic and determined meanings and formative models like «буйство» (tumult), «разоблачение» (unmasking), «извет» (false denunciation),«справщик» (corrector), «дознание» (inquiry), «обыскная книга» (a church book for registration of matrimonies), «обыск» (a note on marriage in a church book), «конси- сторский приказный» (consistorial bailiff). All these words had been used actively in Old Russian legal system and in manuscripts in their primary meanings with different semantic and stylistic shades. For instance, the lexeme «извhтъ» had nine ways of interpretation: 1) pretext; excuse; 2) cause; 3) fraud, illegal actions; 4) accusation; slander,calumny; 5) proof, confirmation, evidence; 6) denunciation; 7) report, dispatch; 8) advice;justification; apology, forgiveness [11. Pp. 116-118]. Leskov accumulated them into a specific cover with a new meaning invented by him - “doubt”. On the one hand, it was a peculiar trait of his hero, the secretary of consistory, who attaining to himself an order understood that“after departure of foreign predicant (here preacher. - O.N.) many of simple folks who before in their lapsed life had never read the Gospel, got that book… Though, - the narrator proceeded, - under each of them were printed particulars as to place and date of publication the secretary conceived an anxious doubt that those books made at the printing-house in London, and Russian imprint was marked in by fraud, proper for detriment to incomes (?! - O.N.) of orthodoxial department in Russia” («по отъезде иностранного предиканта у мно- гих простого звания людей, кои в прежде прошедшей жизни никогда Евангелия не читали, появилися в руках книжки Нового Завета… и хотя под кажою из оных было подпечатано обозначение выхода их из духовной типографии, но секретарь возымел беспокойное сомнение, что те книги произведены в типографии в Лондоне, а выход российский им обозначен обманно, собственно для подрыва доходов (?! - O.N.) пра- вославного ведомства в России») [4. Т. IV. Pp. 303-304].On the other hand, the writer ridiculed the pathological inclination of some protectors of orthodoxy to subject themselves to temptation of absurd and feigned search of enemies of national religion. Leskov’s presenting irony expressed in a veiled form took anotherturn when the narrator described a parody to the inquiry trial. It was held according to the secretary’s «извет». Being an expert in the Gospel he asked the chief «справщик» (corrector)“from the gubernia printing-house, as to his origin German… to give him an explanatory conclusion” («призвал к себе из губернской типографии главного справщика, проис- хождением немца,… и предложил: не можете ли дать на сей предмет сведущего разъ- яснительного заключения») [4. Т. IV. P. 304].As far as he thought without any doubt,«английское общество сколько бы ни стремилось всеми силами к тому обману, чтобы подделаться к законному русскому изданию, с установленного благословения изданному, никак того достичь не в состоянии.А почему?Потому, что там с такими грубыми несовершенствами верстки и тиснения и на столь дурной бумаге уже более двухсот лет не печатают» [4. Т. IV. P. 304].(“whenever an English society was aspired by all the forces to that trickery for falsification of the legitimate Russian edition published with establishing benediction, was in no way to achieve that.And why? (asked the secretary. - O.N.)Because there with such a rough imperfection of page-proof and stamping and on too bad paper they have not printed anything over two hundred years”).A fine and subtle hint of the title of this short story «Стесненная ограниченность англицкого искусства» [“Constraint Scantiness of the English Art”] gave Leskov the possibility to show absurdity of official Church and pseudo-patriotism of Russian hysterics. It was his manner to invent affected titles, overloaded and intricate to some extent. But through them we can feel psychological attitude of Leskov to the determined tradition. He created his own system which distinguishes the notions “book language” and “local patois”, “lively” and “literary speech”. As a rule, titles of his works are complicated and full of metaphors. This helped him to keep the original text far off censorship covering the content behind the similar neutral, hard to judge phrases. In this episode the Old Russian word «извħтъ» could have been also interpreted in a new sense because of polysemanticism of its root: «извħтъ - вħсть - вħкъ - извħчный», i.e. a primordial, old (difficult) problem. And to our view, the writer was supposing to make a step to solve it by means of humour and irony, defending русскость (russianary) and fighting against its mistificators.With all his sarcasm to the God’s servants we are inclined to think that Leskov’s soul was entirely torn by contradictions of reality. His characters, to some extent, are only reflections of spiritual conflicts and social injustice. But his prose does not make an impression of burden and moral irreparance, lack of belief in the future. On the contrary, the writer was nourished on quite a different food. Once he wrote to S.N. Shubinsky:“You should not at all be in time with ‘the monde’, but keep yourself somewhat to the best than that what it now approves of and encourages...” [10. P. 223].Leskov deeply sensed the coming tragedy of nihilism. It was not only a trend in environment of разночинец (9). It was the beginning of tyranny under which everyone would be left to the mercy of fate. That was an absolute negation and crossing out humanand social standards, principles, values formed before. In this situation he was looking for light ideals, and he found them in the Russian province. Leskov with great attention listened to its spirit and movement. There he saw natural people and felt at ease. Leskov learned them through their customs and habits, through their language. Explaining a specific manner of pronunciation and behaviour of native folks the writer asserted to the opponents’ opinion of artificiality of his language:“That very popular, vulgar and ornate language by which many pages of my works are written, invented not by me but eaves-dropped from мужик, from a half-intellectual, from краснобай (phrase-monger. - O.N.), from юродивый («God’s fool», - O.N.) and святоши (hypocrites. - O.N.)” [10. P. 221].When travelling about remote places of Russia Leskov met uncommon characters having exceptional fates and strong temper. Such is Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin = Оча- рованный странник is depicted in a tale of the same name:«типический, простодушный, добрый русский богатырь, напоминающий дедушку Илью Муромца» [4. T. III. Pp. 4-5] (“typical, open-hearted, kind Russian богатырь’ (Hercules. - O.N.) reminding of the grandpa Ilya Muromets”).In his fate the whole of Russia is imprinted. Archpriest Savely Tuberozov («Соборя- не») whose life is hagiography of Russian Belief gracelessly sunk into oblivion. In them Leskov saw a mighty potential of spiritual force able to resist the general chaos of nihilism (10). The writer had been visiting a lot of monasteries where he could also listen to unusual stories and read ancient messages of surprising and heartfelt soul. In one’s innocence it is hardly ever found more natural and worked out in detail which had been used by Leskov. Here we fill a necessity to acquaint readers with a certain similar manuscript deserving Leskov’s pen in the original in full:Честнѣйшiй отецъ казначей Епифанiй!Извѣстно вамъ, что уже у насъ на Крестно(м) островѣ открылся питѣйный домъ, то во о(т)вращенiе противны(х) слѣдствiй, по хр[и]стiанской любви прошɤ, а по долж- ности моей и приказываю, сохраните пожалɤйте какъ себя, так и дрɤги(х) братiй в порядочно(м) воздержанiи, в незазорно(м) поведенiи, i в добродѣте(л)номъ состоянiи, что бɤдетъ Б[о]гупрiятно, о(т) ближни(х) заслужите себѣ почтенiе, а мнѣ во утѣшенiе и спокойствiе дɤха, ва(м) cie порɤчено, и порɤчаю наблюда(т) сей порядокъ благосостоянiя о чемъ на васъ надѣюсь и не сɤмнюсь. Знаете, в противно(м) случае какая мнѣ о(т)рада, я принɤжден, но бɤдɤ соо(т)вѣтствова(т) моей должности. Извѣстны вы, что Б[о]жiею милостiю, и монарши(м) благоволенiемъ дoвoлнω пожалованы, со временемъ почɤвствɤете сами свою ползɤ. Cie мое приказанiе, или паче усердiе, обя- вите и про(т)чей братiи. В про(т)чемъ желая вамъ всѣхъ благъ, пребываюВашъ доброжелателный Архимандритъ Макарiй. Маiя 28 1780 года. Онѣга (11).That manner of speaking and style was very close to Leskov, and he pointed out this detail of his prose:“My priests speak ecclesiastically, nihilists - in a nihilistic way, мужики - manlike, parvenus of them and скоморохи (buffoons. - O.N.) - with freaks, etc.” [10. P. 221].We deliberately put this document without any additions just for everyone to feel those times’ tradition and try to compare it to the text of Leskov’s Notes of the Unknown. That,perhaps, would make us look into the new interpretations and comprehension of the contents. It seemed to be immoderated with variety of microstyles and syntactic constructions belonging to the church tradition, distributing in appointed succession and consistency to their own places having an important meaning to Leskov. In the broad sense the writer borrowed and continued the best customs of classical Russian style so highly estimated in former times. Particular relations and inner world are given by Leskov in a special language where «phrasal noise of words», as he thought, was inadmissible. Here the writer followed traditions of literary language elaborated by M.V. Lomonosov and N.M. Karamzin, A.F. Veltman and Russian romantics, but saved his rare quality - harmony of thoughts, a vivid and clear style.REFERENCESI would like to thank Prof. Dr. V.Yu. Troitsky for his helpful comments and express special thanks to Dr. T.V. Androsova whose minutest assistance and moral support always followed me when I was working at it. I would also like to thank Mr. D.A. Dogadin for his technical recommendations and deeds of gift when I was writing this article.GPB. F. 236. № 174. P. 56.Cited from: [6. P. 37]. [Here and after all the translations from the original text into English are given by us. - O.N.].Istorichesky vestnik. 1883. V. XI. № 2. P. 265. Though A.N. Leskov did not find a real manuscript with original “Notes” (see: Zvezda. 1935. № 7. Р. 226), we consider that linguistic and source study will give us some possible parallels.Istorichesky vestnik. 1885. V. XX. № 6. Р. 506-509.Ibid. P. 257. Later on Leskov said that that he would like to write «Записки расстриги» [“Notes of the Unfrocked”], and hero of this literary work would be a young, heartfelt and modest gentleman who became a priest on the purpose of doing what is possible (we keep here the authors spacing out of the words. - O.N.) ad majorem Dei gloriam, and saw that there there is nothing to do for the God’s glory. But this could hardly be published in our Fatherland, - inferred the writer. (See the epilogue by A.N. Leskov to one of the first publications of some stories from “Notes of the Unknown” in the journal Zvezda, 1935, № 7. Р. 226).When writing this narration Leskov’s personal position was rather difficult. Besides the fact of stopping publication of “Notes”, there is one more detail. In that period E.M. Theoktistov (whom the writer called “a pig from Theatre Square”) was the Head of the Central Department of State Seal. Also Minister D.A. Tolstoj who “disliked the people with their own stands”, as Leskov said, was not disposed to the writer’s favour.(6) RGADA. F. 1183. L. I, part 37. № 129. P. 1.(7) Ibid. № 134. P. I.(8) Ibid. № 176. Р. 6.Разночинец - intellectual not belonging to the gentry in 19th century Russia.Нигилизм in its origin is borrowed from Latin nihil - “nothing”. N.O. Lossky gives a substantial analysis of the problem of Russian nihilism and its functions in literature. He thought that the word “nihilism” not in an old theological but in publicistic sense was used for the first time byN.I. Nadezhdin in 1829. At that period it meant new tendencies in literature and philosophy.N.O. Lossky considered nihilism “the seamy side of good qualities of the Russian folk”. See: [7. Pp. 338-350].RGADA. F. 1195. L. 4. № 445. Р. 84 r.s. This manuscript is written in the traditional type of Russian handwriting of the 18th century - скоропись (tachygraphy). It is to some extent developed as compared to the beginning of the century, and approaches to the modern manner of writing. It characterizes variety of letter scripts, abundance of signs carried above the line and unelaborated system of punctuation. Numbers meaning the date of the creation document in the second part of the 1700-ies, as a rule, are not substituted for letters. See also publication of theses texts byO.V. Nikitin in: [8; 9; 10; 11].In «( )» we put letters written in the original above the line; in «< >» - the letters omitted but implied by the author, «[ ]» are used for the letters carried out under the titlo. Orthography and punctuation are given without any corrections according to the author’s style. Abbreviations F. - Fund GPB - Государственная публичная библиотека им.М. Е. Салтыкова-Щедрина (St. Petersburg). [The State Public Library] (now: Российская национальная библиотека). L. - List (=опись) RGADA - Российский государственный архив древних актов [Russian State Archives of Ancient Acts, Moscow] R. s. - Reverse side

O V Nikitin

Moscow State Regional University

Radio str., 10A, Moscow, Russia, 105005

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