Get A Window On Russia PDF

By Edmund Wilson

ISBN-10: 0374290946

ISBN-13: 9780374290948

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contents:
Russian Language 3
Pushkin 15
Tyutchev 28
Gogol: The Demon within the Overgrown backyard 38
Seeing Chekhov undeniable 52
Turgenev and the Life-Giving Drop 68
Sukhovo-Kobylin: "Who Killed the French Woman?" 148
Notes on Tolstoy 161
Notes on Pushkin 185
A Little Museum of Russian Language 197
The unusual Case of Pushkin and Nabokov 209
Svetlana and Her Sisters 238
Solzhenitsyn 270

The glory of the past due Edmund Wilson, as Frank Kermode remarked, has continuously been "his skill to spot, no matter if he couldn't thoroughly describe, the master-spirit of an age." different critics are extra analytic or extra systematic, yet none relatively fit Wilson's snatch of tradition and heritage, of hobbies and males. In A Window on Russia, which Wilson modestly calls "a handful of disconnected items, written at a number of instances whilst I occurred to have an interest within the a number of authors," we come across that infrequent excitement of getting into a residing global the place the lifeless hand of academia by no means casts its shadow. actual, the essays are asymmetric, the sooner surveys of Gogol and Chekhov, for example, are moderate affairs, with no the variety and poignancy of Wilson's reports of Turgenev and Tolstoy and Pushkin. real, he's no phrasemaker. He tells us that "Gorky rightly stated that Tolstoy and God have been like bears in a single den," and there's not anything in his personal comments on Tolstoy that equals the pithiness of Gorky's comment. but how memorably Wilson builds up a personality, an period; how attention-grabbing are his fussy information and leisurely summaries; how simply he makes his issues: the bureaucrats who flourish less than the Soviets as they did lower than the Tsars, the peasants that suffer from one regime to a different, the depression authors who universally melancholy of Russia but can't endure to be parted from her. incorporated within the present miscellany is the well-known controversy among Nabokov and Wilson over Evgeni Onegin, which first seemed within the long island evaluate, and quite best chapters on Svetlana and Solzhenitsyn which seemed within the New Yorker.

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Example text

But Tyutchev, who was a reactionary in politics under Nicholas I and Alexander II and even held a post in the Censorship, is rather on the masochistic side, the side that submits to being crushed. 'o;ion for self-immolation. December, 1944 36 A WINDOW ON RUSSIA The Soviet bookstore in New York is now and has always been a rather weird place. I have always felt when I visited it that I was under suspicion of being a spy. On one occasion, in the middle thirties, when I had just come back from the Soviet Union, I went there to get a copy of F.

The Russian poets of the end of the century claimed him as a precursor of their school, and were impatient with Turgenev for TYUTCHEV 31 having ironed out, in editing Tyutchev's poems-rather as Rimsky-Korsakov conventionalized the score of Boris Godunov-the metrical innovations of the poet. In this role of rediscovered "ancestor" of an advanced phase of poetry that did not derive from him, Tyutchev occupies a position not unlike that of Hopkins. The sensibility of Tyutchev lives between light and shadow among the feelings and impressions and reflections of a region so vibrating and rarefied that it makes most English romantic poetry seem relatively sensual and downright.

One of the best of his poems is Italian Villa, which is certainly all Russian and all Tyutchev in this coincidence of physical with moral awareness. The poet and a woman companion arrive at an Italian villa which has for a long time been uninhabited. You have a charming and lulling description of the old house asleep in the sun, with only the babble of the fountain and the twittering of a swallow rippling the settled silence. But the visitors enter; and in the tranquil darkness where a cypress looks in at the window, they suddenly feel that a change has occurred: the fountain seems to stop; a convulsive shudder runs through the branches of the cypress; there is a queer indistinct whisper like something muttered through sleep.

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A Window On Russia by Edmund Wilson


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