Russia can not understand Russia’s mind, Arshin can not measure everything in common: She has a special place in Russia – one can only believe in Russia.
“Russia can not understand with the mind.” – one of the most famous and most frequently cited works of Fedor Tyutchev. This poem, created in 1866, is, moreover, the shortest, since it consists of only four lines. However, the deep meaning inherent in it makes every new generation turn to these immortal words, so figuratively and aptly describing Russia.
Fedor Tyutchev spent quite a long time abroad, at the state diplomatic service. He was well acquainted with the way of life of many European countries, which he considered exemplary and worthy of imitation. At the same time, the poet found this life too measured and fresh, devoid of “zest” and too predictable. The author pondered a lot about why in a clean and decent Europe, where even the lower social classes live quite dignified,
people do not have in their souls the fire that is peculiar to Russians.
It would seem that the unsettled way of life, dirt, constant need and illness should not only lead to the mass extinction of the inhabitants of Russia, but also to the destruction of the whole country. However, events are developing with the exact opposite: Europe, enjoying a full life, gradually degrades, and Russia, languishing in eternal poverty, not only increases economic turnover, but also gives the world the greatest minds, whose owners are in most cases people from the people.
Indeed, “Russia can not understand Russia’s mind,” since chaos reigns in this country from time immemorial, which, strangely enough, is a national peculiarity of the Slavs. The constant thirst for activity, the desire to live better, push thousands of people to adopt the most paradoxical and unpredictable decisions, which, in the final analysis, turn out to be the only true ones. Noting that Russia “does not measure the common yardstick”, Fedor Tyutchev has in view of the identity of the Russian people, which defies European
logic and causes foreigners a superstitious horror.
This applies not only to customs and traditions, the way of life and the structure of society, in which, at the time of writing this poem, only serfdom was abolished. First and foremost, we are talking about the mysterious Russian soul and the amazing image of the Russians’ thoughts, which do not fit into the global understanding. And it is this quality, in the opinion of Fyodor Tyutchev, that is the most important and valuable, as it serves as a guarantee that the Russian people will not stiffen in their philistine aspirations as Europeans, and inquisitiveness and an innate desire for knowledge will force the nation to develop even in the most complex and oppressive conditions.
“She has a special position – one can only believe in Russia,” Fedor Tyutchev emphasizes, as though summing up his long meditations and attempts to understand the phenomenon of his own country. Indeed, Russia is unpredictable, and this its national trait puts an end to the ambitious plans of many Europeans who have tried to conquer the country from time immemorial, which they could not understand. Moreover, the Russians themselves are unable to answer the question of what awaits them in a year or two, because life is constantly changing, and the feeling of inertia is alien to the Slavic soul. Therefore, all that remains is a belief in a power that has power precisely because it is impossible for the Russians themselves to predict its next step.
It should be noted that Tiutchev’s words in this regard proved prophetic, since all subsequent events that took place in Russia for one and a half centuries were constantly shocking the world public. Therefore, it is not surprising that even German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the middle of the 19th century warned his compatriots against the war with Russia, saying that she would answer with incredible stupidity for every military trick, and at the same time be in the winners.