ДАТА ПУБЛИКАЦИИ: 16 сентября 2021
ИСТОЧНИК: Science in Russia, №1, 2011, C.61-67 (c)
© Nina BYSTROVA
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The characters of essays included in the book Russian Emigrants. Great Compatriots: Literary-Artistic Album (Moscow, Drofa Publishers, 2010) were forced to abandon their Motherland after the revolutionary events of 1917 and the Civil War of 1918-1922. "Not recognized by Soviet power, they often had to show in a foreign land not only their own competence, but also uniqueness of our culture and science."
Many of undoubtedly remarkable and gifted people, such as writers, actors, artists, scientists and politicians, who found themselves outside their country at that time, dreamed to return and were eager to see "Russia as it was before, and Russian emigration no longer emigration", as the writer Arkady Averchenko noted. But this dream of his and of a majority of people, whom the philosopher, sociologist, economist, historian and politician Pyotr Struve (1870-1944) called Russian Emigrants, as he saw in them, first of all, bearers of the sole cultural and historical source, which he strived to retain by all means.
As he keenly suffered from dissidence and disintegration of political groupings in emigrant society, Struve suggested that they should unite under the flag of liberal conser-vatism, but that idea was not realized. The character of the essay by Mariya Fyodorova "Unity of Antipodes", as also many of our compatriots presented in the discussed book, considered the February Revolution of 1917 a world event, but was extremely hostile to the October Revolution, which followed in the same year. Later on, among the causes of its victory, he singled out a low cultural level of popular majority, isolation of the power from society, lack of psychology of the owner, and delay in implementing of reforms.
It must be pointed out that Struve did much to support the struggle against Bolsheviks who came to power. He participated in the activities of the Special Meeting under the general Anton Denikin, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian South, was in charge of for-
eign relations in the government headed by the general Pyotr Wrangel set up in the Crimea, etc. In 1920 he settled down for good in Paris, but continued to be active in public life by uniting compatriots scattered all over the world and trying to maintain their national self-consciousness.
Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948) (the essay by Yevgeniya Savelyeva "Knight of the Revolution–Revolution of the Spirit"), deported from the country on the "philosophers' ship"*, always found application of his various talents. In Berlin and from 1924 in France he edited books of emigrants, was in charge of the Put (Path) magazine, a leading religious and philosophical publication of Russian emigrants, delivered lectures and wrote a lot.
The character of the essay by Alexander Kiselyov "Ivan Ilyin and his 'Singing Heart'" is another outstanding national thinker, lawyer, public figure, publicist and literary critic, who was also expelled from the country in 1922 together with other representatives of culture and science and whose views conflicted with the new power. In Berlin, Ilyin (1883-1954) launched a vigorous activity. He became one of the organizers of the Russian research institute in 1923 and of the Russian foreign convention in 1926. He was a member of the editorial office of the Vozrozhdeniye (Revival) newspaper published in Paris and issued the Russky Kolokol (Russian Bell) journal in 1927-1930. Let us point out that in our days the posthumous return of this outstanding person to the Motherland became a reality, when he and his wife were buried in the Donskoi Monastery necropolis in Moscow on October 3, 2005.
The essay by Alexander Kiselyov "Thoughts on the Way to Exile" is devoted to Fyodor Stepun (1884-1965), a high-profile person of Russian emigration in Germany, philosopher, writer, historian and sociologist of culture. It was difficult for him to get accustomed to a rugged emigrant life led by a majority of his compatriots, called by him unreal, however he wrote and lectured a lot. He wrote articles on great Russian writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy and others.
In 1924, Ivan Bunin (1870-1953) (the essay "Immortal Jan" by Alyona Bondareva), already a well-known writer by that time, stated in his public address "Mission of the Russian Emigration", that its representatives, by their
* "Philosophers' ship"-a campaign of the RSFSR government for expatriation of unwanted intellectuals in September and November 1922–Ed.
exile, struggle and "ice" campaigns* proved an uncompromising attitude to Bolshevik precepts. He ardently loved his Motherland and never lost hope to see a collapse of the new regime. He seemed disagreeable to many people, however his intimate friends talked about his great responsiveness. For example, he gave out to the poor almost the whole sum, received by him as a Nobel Prize Winner in 1933, though it would have been sufficient for him till his last day. During World War II, he refused to go to the USA, rejoiced at Russian military successes and hid Jews in his house. He wrote a lot to escape hunger and other everyday hardships, in particular, he created his main work, the wonderful novel Arsenyev's Life (1927-1938).
Actually a whole spectrum of political parties and public sentiments was found outside the Soviet Russia. Multitudes of military men, who served in the White Guard armies during the Civil War, concentrated in many European countries, first of all, in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. They were most active in the solution of burning issues of the emigrant life and discussed all the time problems of the current day and the future of their Motherland, chances of return and methods of struggle with Bolshevism, which proved the fact of deep divergences among them.
The personality of general Pyotr Wrangel (1878-1928) was a singular symbol of irreconcilability of these people towards the Soviet power, which was clearly characterized by Ruslan Gagkuev in his essay "The Last Commander-in-Chief. Even in emigration he remained a leader, under whose command many a man hoped for a victorious return home. His position was determined by resolute decision to do his best not to involve the army in political struggle. To preserve the structure of the army and not to have complications in relations with foreign states, he established and headed the Russian Military Union in 1924, which was
* The first Kuban ("Ice") Campaign of 1918–the movement with combat actions of the Volunteer Army (the main White Guard military force in the south of Russia during the Civil War of 1918-1922) from Rostov-on-Don to Yekaterinodar (today Krasnodar) and back to the Don region. The Great Siberian "Ice" Campaign is a retreat of admiral Kolchak's armed forces from Omsk to the Trans-Baikal region in winter of 1920.–Ed.
designed to effect interaction between related military units in different countries and in any time become a base for deployment of the armed forces, opposing Bolsheviks.
Presented by the same author in the essay "Patriot of National Russia", Commander-in-Chief of the Volunteer Army and later of the Armed Forces in the south of Russia Anton Denikin (1872-1947) turned out to be at the very center of confrontation of emigrant political trends in Paris, but not joining any of them. He did not consider himself authorized to determine a future state structure of Russia till convening of the Constituent Assembly and tried to rally people at large under the slogans "Great, United and Indivisible Russia" and "Fight Against Bolshevism till Victory".
Denikin and his family settled down initially in England, then they moved to Brussels, where he began working on "Essays on the Russian Discord". After he had completed the last, fifth, volume of this fundamental work in 1926, he moved to Paris, where he wrote the books Officers (1928) and The Old Amy (1929-1931). Though he was an opponent of the Soviet power, he was badly distressed by failures of the Red Army and rejoiced at its victories during World War II and called Hitler the most vicious enemy of our country. However, after the war, as he was afraid of deportation to the USSR, he moved to the USA, where he died. According to his last will, he and his wife were reburied in the Donskoi Monastery necropolis in Moscow.
Difficulties of adaptation to the life in a foreign country, a feeling of the lost former life and keen emotional perception conditioned a special psychological climate, in which Russian emigrants lived there. For example, the writer Arkady Averchenko (1880-1925) (the essay "Ave is a Laughing Man!" by Alyona Bondareva) often recollected in his works, though somehow sadly and as if "through tears", Russia and the fratricidal Civil War (books Notes of a Simple-Minded Man and I Am in Europe, 1923).
Meanwhile, the alien culture and language did not hinder self-realization and intensive vitality of the art critic,
philosopher, culture analyst, musicologist, pianist and publisher Pyotr Suvchinsky (1892-1985), who was a highly educated scholar with excellent knowledge of Russian literature. As Zoya Bocharova pointed out in her essay "Man Open to 'Everything New as Nobody Else'", he did not dissolve in the French environment, remained "Russian Suvchinsky", but wrote already in French. The splendid character of the essay "Nabokov. Reflected" by Alyona Bondareva, who turned down his native language and his youthful pen-name Sirin, became known all over the world by his books, and only after he had moved to the USA, he published them under his real surname.
Historical research of emigrants represents a special area of knowledge. In a stress situation, in which that stratum of intelligentsia found itself, the thought worked intensively. The works devoted to the past of Russia were, as a rule, small in volume, but remarkable for profound meaning and richness of ideas. In the 1920s, Prague became a scientific center for our compatriots, who lived abroad. They established there the Russian University, where the law and humanities were taught (the People's University for those, who could not attend lectures in daytime), the Russian Scientific Institute with the functions of academy of sciences and also the Russian Foreign Historical Archives. The scientific board of the latter was headed by Alexander Kizevetter (1866-1933) (the essay "Historian, Poet and Politician" by Leonid Lyashenko).
After his deportation from Russia in 1922 aboard the notorious "philosophers' ship", this disciple of the famous historian Vasily Klyuchevsky (honorary member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences from 1908), who had a command of a literary language and art of lecturing, taught in all the above educational institutions of Prague and delivered lectures in Berlin, Belgrade and Baltic countries. Besides, he was one of the founders of the Russian Historical Society and published materials in the Segodnya ( Today) newspaper in Riga, the Rul (Rudder) newspaper in Berlin, and in the Paris historical journal In a Strange Land (all in all 1,003 works!).
The literary heritage of another Russian historian, publicist and political figure Sergei Melgunov (1879-1956) (the essay "Chronicler of the Red Discord" by Ruslan Gagkuev and Marina Gurina), author of studies devoted to the Bolshevik coup, which have not lost their importance even today, is enormous too. He was among the first scientists, who analyzed the events of the revolution of 1917 and the Civil War. He wrote such works as The Red Terror in Russia: 1918-1923, The Tragedy of Admiral Kolchak. From the History of the Civil War in the Volga Region, Ural and Siberia (1930-1931) and others.
Inseparable from the national culture of the Silver Age* and Paris of the times of the first wave of emigration is the personality of poetess Zinaida Gippius (1869-1945), one of the initiators of Russian symbolism and the idea of religious and philosophical meetings**. That is where the concept of Neo-Christianity came into being, which was later
* See: M. Shaposhnikov, "Pushkin! Our Coveted Liberty We Praise After Thee!", Science in Russia, No. 4, 2004.–Ed.
** Religious and philosophical meetings-a cycle of 22 meetings held in a hall of the Russian Geographical Society (St. Petersburg, 1901-1903), where, with the participation of religious and public representatives, problems of relations between the church, intelligentsia and the state were discussed, as well as issues of freedom of conscience, church and marriage, and Christian dogmat.–Ed.
discussed in 1927-1940 at the sessions of the Green Lamp literary society, held in her apartment in Paris.
Naturally, the "decadent Madonna", as well as her hus-band-the writer Dmitry Merezhkovsky (1865-1941), did not accept the October Revolution of 1917. As Alyona Bondareva writes quite rightly in her essay "Anton Krayny and the Devil", they both dreamed to liberate Russia from "the red infection" by all means, even forcibly (however, they never cooperated with Hitlerites). By the way, "the first poet of emigration" Georgy Ivanov (1894-1958) (the essay "Talent of Double Vision" of the same author) also supported an intervention for the sake of saving the Motherland, which many of emigrants could not accept.
The artist Yuri Annenkov (1889-1974) was engrossed in creative work in a new country, which promised unprecedented experiments. As Nikita Ivanov wrote in his essay "Life with Bated Breath", his non-return to Russia in 1924 did not imply any political motive or desperate escape, or demonstration of protest. It was a natural confused act of a Citizen of the world, for whom art was the only Motherland and it was better, more comfortable and free to be engaged in his favorite work in Paris than anywhere else.
The character of the essay " Russian American" of the same author is a talented portrait painter and an outstanding representative of the Silver Age Nikolai Feshin (1881-1955), who turned to be more popular in a foreign land than in his Motherland, which he left in 1923. The cause of his emigration was neither economic ruin, nor pecuniary burdens, but impossibility of free creative work and demonstration of individuality outside the dominant artistic style. Only in the 1990s he was discovered in our country as an American maestro with the great Russian school. The painter died in the USA, but in 1976 his daughter reburied the remains of her father in Kazan according to his will.
In 1965, a big display of pictures by the talented artist Zinaida Serebryakova (1884-1967) was held in the USSR. However, as Alyona Bondareva noted in her essay "Zika. Self-Portrait with a Forelock", the artist did not return, as by the time she received such permission she was too old. But the most recognized painter of Russian emigration Marc Chagall (1887-1985), represented in the essay "Supernatural Painter" by Leonid Kozlov, visited the USSR in 1973. Besides, he was genuinely struck by warm welcome of his admirers at the exhibition "Hello, Motherland!" (by the name of one of his pictures) held in Moscow and Leningrad.
The heavy fate of an expatriate did not pass over Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945) (the essay "Dialog with the Time" by Yelizaveta Yefremova) and many other famous artists of that time. For example, the future generations will always remember the character of the essay by Marina Gurina '"Moving Painting' of Leon Bakst" (1866-1924), who spent the last years of his life in Paris and without whom the world famous Russian Ballet* would be unthinkable.
The creative work of Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939), "our first impressionist", as Leonid Lyashenko noted in his essay of the same name, delighted many of his celebrated contemporaries, in particular, the outstanding theatrical agent Sergei Dyaghilev. By the way, the latter also discerned the great talent of the young ballet dancer Georgy Balanchivadze (George Balanchin) (1904-1983), about whom Viktor Vanslov wrote his essay "Creator of 'the Dance Symphony'". In 1935, the choreographer set up his own company in the USA, which is known all over the world as "New York City Ballet".
In May 1950, the Federation of Russian Classical Ballet was founded in London, which incorporated 15 British special educational institutions and was headed by the
* Russian Ballet was a company established by the theatrical agent and art critic Sergei Dyaghilev in 1911. It functioned till his death in 1929 and enjoyed great success abroad, especially in France and Great Britain.–Ed.
famous Russian ballet dancer Mathilde Kschessinska (1872-1971) (the essay "'Generalissimo' of the Russian Ballet" by Valery Modestov). According to Valeriya Ural-skaya (her essay "The Mysterious Swan"), the loyalty to national school also preserved the brilliant ballet dancer Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), who traveled with concerts all over the world.
Of course, there were people among emigrants, who spoke rather disapprovingly about their Motherland, which they had been forced to leave. On the contrary, others revealed the grandness of Russian culture in a foreign land. For example, the historian, philosopher and publicist Georgy Fedotov well realized: "behind us is not a history of the city of Glupov, but a tragic history of the great country, on the decline, mutilated, but still great...". This thinker, described by Alexander Kiselyov in his essay "Each People Has Its Own Spiritual Vocation", was sure of exceptional and eternal value of ideals of freedom, humanism and high destiny of human life, which rally different generations of the sons of the Motherland through the unity of the spiritual world. He called on the intelligentsia to repudiate its passion for changes of "eternal" truths, neglect of sacred objects and devotion to abstract and unreal ideas, and, therefore, ardently preached moral renewal of Russia.
Our compatriot artist Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) occupies undoubtedly a prominent place among notable figures of world culture. Living in emigration from 1918, this true humanist of the 20th century, scientist, traveler and supporter of high mission of art, retained Russian citizenship till the end of his life and proved practically his love to the Motherland. For example, we know from the essay "Ambassador of Peace and Culture" by Yelizaveta Yefremova, that in the first days of the Great Patriotic War of 1941 -1945, he sent money earned by selling his pictures to the fund of the Red Army, while his picture series " Igor's Campaign" and "Alexander Nevsky" created in those years predicted victory to our country.
The coryphaeus of performing art Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989), whose literary portrait was created by Yelena Cho in her essay "Russian Pianist, Who Won the World", remained always an entirely national musician. He rightfully believed: "Music exists to bring harmony to relations between people".
Laura Zantieva devoted her essays "Sounding Space of Life" and "Scaffolding of Hopes That Came True" to the great musician, conductor and composer Sergei Rakhma-ninov (1873-1943) and one of the most famous opera singers Fyodor Chaliapin (1873-1938). The former, anxious about the life of his children and not believing to those who promised placid future in the Soviet Russia, went abroad in 1917, and the latter left the country in 1922, but remained loyal to the traditions of national vocal art. In 1984, the singer's remains were brought from Paris to Moscow and buried in the Novodevichy cemetery.
The character of the essay "Composer and Conductor Igor Stravinsky" (1882-1971) by Olga Andreeva, whose creative work is closely connected with the traditions of Russian musical culture, managed to visit the native land in 1962 after 48-year parting with it. As Vladimir Glinni-kov wrote in his small essay "Zvorykin's Electron Beam", devoted to the famous inventor of television, during the Great Patriotic War Zvorykin (1888-1982) headed the American Foundation for Military Assistance to Russia and visited the USSR in 1959. But the world-known aircraft designer, to whom the same author dedicated his essay "Air Track of Igor Sikorsky" (1889-1972), did not find application of his talent in his country, emigrated to the West in 1918 and never visited the USSR. However, wherever the fate took him, this outstanding man strived, as the other characters of the discussed book, to consolidate values of the Russian people as a bearer of great culture and science.
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