(1800 – 1844)
Born February 19, 1800, in the village of Vezhle (Tambov province, Kirsanov uyezd), and was the son of Adjutant General Abram Andreevich B. and the maid of honor Alexandra Feodorovna, nee Cherepanovoy. As a child, B. uncle had an Italian Borghese, and the boy got acquainted with the Italian language; he also fully mastered the French adopted in the house of the Baratynskys, and eight years already he wrote letters in French.
In 1808, B. was taken to St. Petersburg and sent to a private German boarding school, where he learned the German language. In 1810, father B. died, and his mother, an educated and intelligent woman, took up his education. From the German boarding house, B. moved to the corpus corpus, but stayed there for long. Approaching some of his comrades, B. participated in serious pranks, of which one, bordering on a crime (theft), led to his expulsion from the corps, with a prohibition to enter any state service, except for the military – the rank and file. This incident strongly affected the young man, who was then 15 years old; he admitted later that at that time “he was ready to take his life a hundred times”.
Undoubtedly, the shame experienced by the poet influenced the development of his pessimistic world outlook. But it would be a mistake to attach too much importance to the accidental event in the spiritual life of B. From his childhood and youth letters it is clear that he spiritually matured very early and from the first years of conscious life he was already inclined to look at the whole world through gloomy glass. An 8-year-old child from a boarding house, he wrote to his mother about his schoolmates: “I was hoping to find friendship, but I found only cold and affective politeness, a friendship of the self-willed: all were my friends when I had an apple or something else.”
For 11 years he wrote: “Is it not better to be a happy ignoramus than an unfortunate sage?” Refusing what is in the sciences of good, do we also get rid of refined vices. “Consoling the mother, after the death of her grandmother, B. in 1814 reasonably remarked: “I understand your sorrow, but think, dear mother, that this is a law of nature.” We will all be born to die, and, a few hours earlier or later, everyone will have to leave that worthless dream-house, what is called earth! “
From the pages of the pages, even before the discovery of a sad story,
he wrote to his mother: “Is there such a refuge in the world, except for the limits of the ocean, where human life would not be subject to thousands of misfortunes, where death would not kidnap a son from a mother, father, sister? a weak trend can destroy that perishable composition that we call our existence. ” Of course, all this reasoning was borrowed by B. from books, as he read willingly and a lot, but it is characteristic that it was precisely such thoughts that attracted the attention of the boy and the young man.
In the same years, young Pushkin, on the lyceum bench, was read by Anacreon and frivolous French poets of the 18th century. After leaving the corpus corpus, B. lived for some years with his mother in the Tambov province, partly with his uncle, his father’s brother, Admiral Bogdan Andreevich B., in the Smolensk province, in the Podvoisky village. From school B. brought some knowledge of mathematics, to which he had great ability and which he did not cease to be interested until the last years of life. While living in the country, B. began to write poetry. Previously, like many other people of that time, he willingly wrote French verses, without giving any importance to it.
From 1817, Russian poems of B. have already reached us, although they are very weak. But already in 1819, B. completely mastered the technique, and his verse began to acquire that “non-ordinary expression,” which he later recognized as the main virtue of his poetry. In the village of Uncle B. found a small youth society, which tried to live cheerfully, and he was carried away in her amusements. “We spend time here pleasantly, everyone is singing, laughing,” he wrote to his mother. But this did not stop him from adding: “We dispute a lot about happiness, but these disputes resemble those of beggars who argue about a philosophical stone,” and again speaks of “darkness, our common father.”
In 1819, B., on the advice of relatives, he joined the Guards Jäger Regiment in St. Petersburg. At this time, B.’s interest in literature was so determined that he began to seek encounters with writers. He showed his poems to Delvig, whom they were interested in, and who introduced him to Zhukovsky, Pletnev, Kiichelbeker and Pushkin. The influence of Delwig must be attributed to the fact that B. became more serious about his poetry and in “service to the Muses” saw a new goal of life for himself. “You have revived my spirit with the hope of a sublime and a new,” he wrote later to Delvig.
In 1819, thanks to the assistance of Delvig, the poetry of B. appeared for the first time in the press. In the following year, 1820, B. was promoted to non-commissioned officers and transferred to the Neyslotsky Regiment, located in Finland, in the fortification of Kymeni and its environs. A five-year stay in Finland left deep impressions in B. and brightly reflected on his poetry.
Impressions of the “severe edge” he owes a few of his best lyrical poems (“Finland”, “Waterfall”) and the beautiful poem “Eda”. Originally B. led in Finland life is very secluded, “quiet, calm, measured.” His whole society was limited to two or three officers whom he met from the regimental commander, Colonel Lutkovsky, an old friend of the B. family and their neighbor on the estate,
Subsequently, he approached NV Putyata and AI Mukhanov, the adjutants of the Finnish governor-general, AA Zakrevsky. His friendship with Putyata was preserved for the rest of their lives. Putyata described the external appearance of B., as he saw him for the first time: “He was lean, pale, and his features expressed deep discouragement.” In the autumn of 1824, thanks to the petition of Putyata, B. received permission to come to Helsingfors and consist of the corps headquarters of General Zakrevsky. In Helsingfors B. expect life noisy and restless.
To this period of his life is the beginning of his fascination with AF Zakrevskaya (the wife of General AA Zakrevsky), the very one that Pushkin called “an unlawful comet in the circle of the calculated lights,” and to which very few people approached without succumbing charm of her peculiar personality. This love brought B. a lot of painful experiences, reflected in his poems such as “I am ecstatically appreciative,” “The Fairy”, “No, you are deceived,” “Justification,” “We drink love sweet poison,” “I unreasonable, and not marvelous, “” How much you are in a few days. ” However, in B. passion always lived along with a cold judiciousness, and it is no accident that he was equally fond of mathematics and poetry.
In one poem (though borrowed from the Guy), he, for example, gives advice: “Close to the kindly we will tame the desires of ardent impatience,” because “we harm them with happiness and reduce pleasure.” And in a letter to Putyata B. writes directly: “I hasten to her, you will suspect that I am somewhat carried away: several, really, but I hope that the first hours of solitude will restore my sanity.” I will write a few elegies and fall asleep calmly. ” It must be added, however, that B. himself immediately wrote: “What unfortunate fruit of premature experience is the heart, greedy passion, but already incapable of indulging in one constant passion and losing itself in the crowd of boundless desires! This is the position of M. and mine.” From Helsingfors B. had to return to the regiment in Kymen and there, in the spring of 1825, Putyata brought him an order to make him an officer. According to Putyata, this B. “was very pleased and revived.” Shortly thereafter, the Neysholt regiment was assigned to guard duty in St. Petersburg.
In St. Petersburg, B. resumed his literary acquaintances. In the autumn of the same year, B. returned with a regiment to Kymen, traveled briefly to Helsingfors, then retired and moved to Moscow. “The fate of the imposed chains fell from my hands,” he wrote about this. In Moscow, on June 9, 1826, B. married Nastasya Lvovna Engelhard; At that time he entered the service of the Land Office, but soon retired. Even before his marriage from Moscow, B. wrote to Putyata: “In Finland, I experienced all that was alive in my heart.” Its picturesque, though gloomy mountains looked like my former destiny, also gloomy, but at least quite abundant in distinctive colors The fate that I foresee will be similar to the Russian monotonous plains… “
To a large extent B. was right, and his life, after 1826, becomes monotonous. His wife was not beautiful, but she was notable for her bright and delicate taste. Her unruly character caused much suffering to B. himself and influenced the fact that many of his friends had alienated him. In a peaceful family life, everything that was violent, rebellious in him, was gradually smoothed out; he confessed himself: “To the jolly people I locked the door, I was fed up with their wild happiness, and replaced it now with a decent, quiet voluptuousness.” Only from the few verse confessions of B. we learn that not always he could with all the power of his mind to conquer his passions.
According to the poems of 1835, we see that at that time he experienced some kind of new love, which he calls “the defilement of the soul of his morbid one.” Sometimes he tries to convince himself that he has remained the same, exclaiming: “I pour my glass, pour it, pour it!” Remarkably, at last, the poem “The Glass”, in which B. talks about those “orgies” that he arranged alone with himself, when the wine again awakened in him “the revelation of the underworld.” His outer life passed without visible shocks. He lived in Moscow, at his estate, in the village of Muranov (not far from Talits, near the Troitsko-Sergius Lavra), then in Kazan, he did a lot of farming, sometimes went to Petersburg, where in 1839 he met Lermontov, in society was appreciated as an interesting and sometimes brilliant interlocutor and quietly worked on his poems, finally coming to the conviction that “in the light there is nothing more delicious than poetry.” Spending a lot of time in Moscow, B. met here with a circle of Moscow writers, with IV Kireevsky, Yazykov, Khomyakov, Sobolevsky, Pavlov. B.’s fame as a poet began after the publication, in 1826, of his poems “Eda” and “Pira” (one book, with a curious preface by the author) and, in 1827, the first collection of lyric poems.
In 1828 there appeared the poem “The Ball” (together with “Count Nulin” by Pushkin), in 1831 – The Concubine (The Gypsy), in 1835 – the second edition of small poems (in two parts), with a portrait. Contemporary criticism reacted to B.’s poetry rather superficially, and the literary enemies of Pushkin’s circle (the “Deliberate” magazine and others) rather assiduously attacked his seemingly exaggerated “romanticism.” But the authority of Pushkin himself, who highly valued B.’s talent, was still so high that, despite these critical voices, B. was a general silent acquiescence recognized as one of the best poets of his time and became a welcome contributor to all the best journals and almanacs. But B. wrote little, long working on his poems and often radically altering the already printed. Being a true poet, he was not a writer at all; in order to write anything, other than poetry, he needed an external reason. So, for example, on friendship with a young AN Muraviev, he wrote a beautiful analysis of the collection of his poems “Tavrida”, proving that he could become an interesting critic. Affected by the criticism of his poem “Concubine”, he wrote “anti-criticism”, somewhat dry, but in which there are very remarkable thoughts about poetry and art in general. When, in 1831, IV Kireyevsky, with whom B. came close, undertook the publication of the “European”, B. began to write for him prose, writing, among other things, the story “Ring” and preparing to conduct in it a polemic with journals. When the “European” was banned, B. wrote to Kireevsky: “I, together with you, have lost a strong impulse to work with words.” People, who personally knew B., say according to the fact that his poems are not quite “express that world of the elegant that he wore in the depths of his soul.” “Having poured out his sincere thought in a friendly conversation, alive, diverse, incredibly exciting, filled with happy words and meaningful thoughts… B. often contented with the lively sympathy of his close circle, less caring about perhaps distant readers.”
Thus, in the surviving letters of B. scattered a lot of sharp criticism of contemporary writers, – reviews that he never tried to make the property of the press. Very curious, among other things, B. remarks about the various works of Pushkin, to which, when he wrote with complete frankness, he did not always treat fairly. B., of course, was aware of the greatness of Pushkin, in a letter to him, flatteringly offered him “to erect Russian poetry to that degree between the poetry of all peoples, to which Peter the Great elevated Russia among the powers,” but never missed the opportunity to note what he considered Pushkin is weak and imperfect (see, for example, B.’s reviews of “Eugene Onegin” and Pushkin’s fairy tales in letters to Kireevsky). Later criticism directly accused B. of envy of Pushkin and expressed an assumption, that Salieri Pushkin was written off from B. There is reason to think that in the poem “Autumn” B. had in mind Pushkin, when he spoke of a “stormy hurricane”, to which everything in nature responds by comparing with him a “voice, a vulgar voice, a broadcaster of general dumas, “and, in contrast,” the broadcaster of common thoughts “pointed out that” the verb that the passionate earthly passed over will not find its response. ” The news of Pushkin’s death caught B. in Moscow precisely in those days when he worked on “Autumn”. B. threw a poem, and it remained unfinished. and in contrast to this “broadcaster to the broadcaster” pointed out that “the verb that the passionate earthly passed over will not be found”. The news of Pushkin’s death caught B. in Moscow precisely in those days when he worked on “Autumn”. B. threw a poem, and it remained unfinished. and in contrast to this “broadcaster to the broadcaster” pointed out that “the verb that the passionate earthly passed over will not be found”. The news of Pushkin’s death caught B. in Moscow precisely in those days when he worked on “Autumn”. B. threw a poem, and it remained unfinished.
In 1842 B., at that time already a “star of a disjointed galaxy”, published a subtle collection of his new poems: “Twilight”, dedicated to Prince P. A. Vyazemsky. This edition gave B. a lot of grief. He was offended in general by the tone of the critics of this book, but especially the article by Belinsky. Belinsky thought that B. in his poems revolted against science, against enlightenment. Of course, there was a misunderstanding. For example, in the poem: “While a man did not torture nature,” B. only developed the idea of his youthful letter: “Is it not better to be a happy ignoramus than an unhappy sage?” In the poem “The Last Poet,” he protested against the materialist trend that began to be determined at the time (late 30s and early 40s) in European society, and the future development of which B. was perspicaciously guessed. He protested against an exceptional desire for “vital and useful”, and not against knowledge in general, whose interests B. were always close and expensive. B. did not object to criticism of Belinsky, but a monument to his mood of that time left a wonderful poem “For the sowing of the forest.” B. says in it that he “flew soul to the new tribes” (ie, to young generations) that he “gave all the feelings of the good to them a voice,” but did not receive an answer from them. Almost directly Belinsky is referring to the words that the one who “deformed the souls of my soul, that could cause me to fight bloody” (that is, he could seek to refute my ideas, B., without substituting for their imaginary hostility to science); but, in B.’s opinion, this opponent preferred to “dig under it a hidden moat” (ie, to fight it unfairly). B. even ends verses with a threat of completely abandoning poetry after that. “I rejected the strings,” he says. But such vows, if given by poets, are never fulfilled by them.
In the autumn of 1843, B. carried out his long-standing desire – undertook a trip abroad. The winter months of 1843-44 he spent in Paris, where he became acquainted with many French writers (A. de Vigny, Merimee, both Thierry, M. Chevalier, Lamartine, S. Nodier and others). To introduce the French to his poetry, B. translated several of his poems into French. In the spring of 1844, B. went through Marseille by sea to Naples. Before leaving Paris, B. felt unwell, and doctors warned him against the influence of the hot climate of southern Italy. Hardly Baratynskie arrived in Naples, as with N. L. Baratynskaya one of those painful seizures (probably nervous), which caused so much anxiety to her husband and everyone around, became one. This had such an effect on B. that he suddenly had headaches that he often suffered,
His body was transported to Petersburg and buried in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, at the Lazarevsky Cemetery. – The features of Pushkin’s poetry were best defined by Pushkin, saying: “He is original in us – for he thinks, he would be original and everywhere, for he thinks in his own way, correctly and independently, while he feels deeply and deeply.” “Poetry of thought” – that is, indeed, the most general definition that can be given to B.’s poetry. He even considered this property a distinctive feature of poetry in general, complaining: “All thought and thought, artist poor words!”
In his early poems B. develops the pessimistic outlook that has developed from his childhood. His basic position is that “in this life,” there can not be found “direct bliss”: “Heavenly gods do not share it with the earthly children of Prometheus.” According to this in life, B. sees two parts: “either hope and excitement (i. e. painful anxiety), or hopelessness and peace” (calm). Therefore, Truth offers him to teach him, passionate, “joyful dispassion.” Therefore, he writes the anthem of death, calls it also “gratifying”, recognizes the numbness of the dead as “blessed” and glorifies, finally, “The Last Death,” which will soothe all being. Developing these ideas, B. gradually came to the conclusion about the equivalence of all manifestations of earthly life. He begins to seem, that not only “and the mirth and sorrow” were given by the gods “the same wing” (dual number = wings), but that good and evil are equal in rights. The latter is expressed by him in the poem “Blessed is the Holy One Who Revealed,” where this “Saint of the Saint” is opposed by “some unrighteous” (i. e., man), exposing before us the bending of human hearts, for “two areas, radiance and darkness, “. These thoughts are expressed in the verses of the second period of B.’s activity and in his remarkable poems. Characteristically, the heroes of Poem B. – almost exclusively people “fallen”; such is the “kind Ed”, who gave herself to the seducer-officer; this is Nina (“Ball”), passing from one lover to another; such is Yeletsky (“Gypsy”), who made himself “an unfortunate code of depraved,
The last period of B.’s activity is characterized by his conversion to religion. In one of the earliest poems, in complete agreement with his world view, he exclaimed: “O man, believe, finally, not for you, neither wisdom, nor omniscience!” But if “omniscience” is not available, is it worth to look for “half-knowledge” N From this question, B. arises skeptical attitude to human truths; it begins to seem to him that the manifestations of the yudon world are already “all known”, that all human wisdom can only reveal what has long been concluded in the “exact sense of the popular saying.” Such a circle of ideas led B. to “justification of Providence”; he teaches that in our lives only the “unharmed”, who the fifth leaned on “living faith”; he writes a prayer in which he pleads with God to give him strength to his “strict paradise”; finally, in one of the last poems written during the move from Marseilles to Naples, remarkably notes: “I decided many questions before the hands of the Marseilles sailors raised the anchor, the hope symbol.” However, we did not have to find out what the “last whirlwind” of thoughts and feelings would have been resolved for B. An unexpected death prevented him from completing the full development of his poetry.
As for the form of poetry B., then, for all the perfection of the finishes, she suffers from artificiality. The language of B. is not simple, he loves strange expressions, he willingly uses Slavicisms and neologisms in an archaic spirit, so that the meaning of other expressions of B. has to guess (“your inner self you will not give earthly sounds forever”, ie, you will not tell the depths in words soul, poet – “part of the feast of intangible authorities”, i. e. in the dream world, etc.). Tone B. almost always raised, sometimes high-flown. The bizarre arrangement of words, which for some reason liked B. (for example, wrote: “Prejudice is a fragment of the ancient truth, the temple fell, but the ruin of its descendant of the tongue did not solve,” ie, the descendant did not solve the language its ruins). Finally, the shortness, the extreme laconicism of speech, to which B. aspired (he speaks, for example, of the heavens of “boundless, grief close”). However, if you get accustomed to these features of B. poetry, if you carefully examine the context of his speech, the accuracy of his expressions, the accuracy of his epithets, the energy of his condensed phrases opens up.
B. has few poems, captivating the music of verse; To appreciate his muse, one must not only feel his poems, but also understand; to his poetry is applicable that Prince P. A. Vyazemsky said of him as a person: “It is necessary to interrogate, so to speak, to drill this latent spring in order to obtain from it a clean and bright stream.” In addition to those publications in which B.’s poems appeared during his lifetime (these editions are indicated above), his works were published in 1869 (Kazan), 1883 (M.) and 1884 (Kazan). The best of the editions – 1869 and 1884, because they contain extremely important variants of the poems B. Some poems that were not included in these publications, reprinted in the publication of the “North”, in 1894 (St. Petersburg); several new poems, based on manuscripts, are given in the edition of 1900 (Kazan). Some more poems and prose articles, which were not reprinted in collections of works, were given by me in the “Russian Archives” of 1900. At present, a new edition of the works of B. is being prepared in the publication of the Academic Library, which must collect everything written by him. About B. see the notes of Pushkin, Pletnev, I. Kireevsky, Prince P. A. Vyazemsky, Galakhov (Otechestvennye Zapiski, 1844), Longinov, (bibliography, Russian Archive, 1864), S. A. Andreevsky (“Philosophical Flows of Russian Poetry”, St. Petersburg, 1896, and “Literary Readings”), N. Kotlyarevsky, V. Bryusov (“Russian Archive”, 1901 – 1903), S. Vengerova (“Critical Biographical Dictionary “, Vol. II), Belinsky (edited by Vengerov, vol. VII, notes of the editor, pp. 626 – 637). Valery Bryusov.