Literary Journals in Imperial Russia (Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature)

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Literary Journals in Imperial Russia (Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature)

Given the restriction on political action and even political discussion in Russia, Russian literary or "thick" journals

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Given the restriction on political action and even political discussion in Russia, Russian literary or "thick" journals have served as the principal means by which Russia has discovered, defined and shaped itself. Every issue of importance for literate Russians - social, economic, literary — made its appearance in one way or another on the pages of these journals, and virtually every major Russian novel of the nineteenth century was first published there in serial form. Literary Journals in Imperial Russia, a collection of essays by leading scholars, is the first volume to examine the extraordinary history of these journals in imperial Russia. The major social forces and issues that shaped literary journals during the period are analyzed, detailed accounts are provided of individual journals and journalists, and descriptions are offered of the factors that contributed to their success.




Recent titles in this series include Nietzsche and Soviet culture

edited by BERNICE



Russian literature and empire Conquest of the Caucasusfrom Pushkin to Tolstoy SUSAN LAYTON

Jews in Russian literature after the October Revolution Writers and artists between hope and apostasy EFRAIM SIC HER

Contemporary Russian satire: a genre study KAREN L. RYAN-HAYES

Gender and Russian literature: new perspectives

edited by ROSALIND


The last Soviet avant-garde: OBERIU -fact, fiction, metafiction GRAHAM ROBERTS

Russian Modernism: the transfiguration of the everyday STEPHEN C. HUTCHINGS

A complete list of books in this series is given at the end of the volume.


DEBORAH A. MARTINSEN Columbia University

Studies of the Harriman Institute


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Information on this title: © Cambridge University Press 1997 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 1997 A catalogue recordfor this publication is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data Literary journals in imperial Russia / edited by Deborah A. Martinsen. p. cm. - (Studies of the Harriman Institute) (Cambridge studies in Russian literature) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0 521 57292 4 (hardback) 1. Russian periodicals - History - 19th century. 2. Journalism and literature - Russia. 3. Russian literature - 19th century - History and criticism. I. Martinsen, Deborah A. II. Series. III. Series: Cambridge studies in Russian literature. PN5277.L6L58 1997 891.709'003 - dc21 97-7613 CIP ISBN 978-0-521-57292-7 hardback Transferred to digital printing 2009 Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Information regarding prices, travel timetables and other factual information given in this work are correct at the time of first printing but Cambridge University Press does not guarantee the accuracy of such information thereafter. STUDIES OF THE HARRIMAN INSTITUTE Columbia University The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, sponsors the Studies of the Harriman Institute in the belief that their publication contributes to scholarly research and public understanding. In this way, the Institute, while not necessarily endorsing their conclusions, is pleased to make available the results of some of the research conducted under its auspices. A list of the Studies appears at the back of the book.

For thefaculty of the Columbia and Barnard Slavic Departments


Notes on contributors Acknowledgements 1.

page xi xiii

Introduction. Robert A. Maguire




The creation ofjournals and the profession of letters in the eighteenth century. Gary Marker





Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century. William Mills Todd III


N. A. Polevoi's Moscow Telegraph and the journal wars of 1825-1834. Chester M. Rzadkiewicz




Survey of Russian journals, 1840-1880. Robert L. Belknap


Belinsky the journalist and Russian literature. Victor Terras IX

91 117


Contents 7. 8.

The Messenger of Europe. Alexis Pogorelskin


Dostoevsky's Diary of a Writer, journal of the 1870s.


Deborah A. Martinsen


9. Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-1917. 171 Joan Delaney Grossman 10.

The literary content of The World ofArt. William E. Harkins


Northern Herald: from traditional thick journal to forerunner of the avant-garde. Stanley J. Rabinowitz


Chekhov and the journals of his time. Andrew R. Durkin

List of titles of journals and almanacs Select bibliography Index


207 228

246 250 258

Notes on contributors

A. MAGUIRE is Bakhmeteff Professor of Russian Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of Red


Virgin Soil: Soviet Literature in the ig2os (1968, 1986), Gogol from the Twentieth Century (1974, 1976), and Exploring Gogol (1995),

and has translated extensively from the Russian and the Polish. GARY MARKER

is Professor of History at the State University of

New York. H e is author of Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual Life in Russia, ijoo-1800; Reinterpreting Russian

History (with Daniel Kaiser); and several other works on early modern Russia. in is Kurt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Professor of Russian Literature at Harvard University. He has published The


Familiar Letter as a Literary Genre in the Age of Pushkin (Princeton, 1976), Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin (Harvard, 1986)

and a series of articles on the serialization of fiction in Russian journals of the later nineteenth century. currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, won four major teacher awards at West Georgia College from 1984 to 1993. He is writing a monograph about the role of N. A. Polevoi's Moscow Telegraph in the rise of Russian journalism during the 1820s and early 1830s.


received his BA from Princeton University and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. He





teaches literature at Columbia University and is the author of two books on The Brothers Karamazov.

is Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature at Brown University. His latest book


is A History of Russian Literature (1991).

is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History, University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus. She is at work on a biography of Lev Borisovich Kamenev.


a Columbia University PhD, is Lecturer in Modern European Literature at Princeton University. She has just completed her study of vrariyo,


Dostoevsky's Fabulators: The Sociopoetics of Verbal Excess, and is

now working on a study of images and obsessions in Russian literature and culture. Professor of the Graduate School, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California at Berkeley, is author of Edgar Allen Poe in Russia:


A Study in Legend and Literary Influence (Wiirzburg, 1973) and Valery Bryusov and the Riddle ofRussian Decadence.

is Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Columbia University. He is author of numerous books and articles on Russian, Old Russian, and Czech literature.


j . RABINOWITZ is Professor of Russian and Director of the Center for Russian Culture at Amherst College. A specialist on Russian symbolism, especially the work of Fyodor Sologub, he has co-authored (with F. Griffiths) Novel


Epics: Gogol, Dostoevsky and National Narrative (1990). Recently he

has been working on Akim Volynsky and Liubov Gurevich. graduated from Boston College and received his MA and PhD from Columbia University. He is Associate Professor of Russian Literature at Indiana University,




Bloomington. He is author of Sergei Aksakov and Russian Pastoral

and articles on various aspects of Russian and Slavic literatures.


Many and deep thanks go to all of the collectives who made this volume possible: contributors, editors, and Cambridge University Press. Fittingly enough, this volume arose from the collective agony of graduate students preparing for the Columbia Slavic Department's comprehensive exams for the PhD — for it is the particular genius of that faculty that they have given as much weight to knowledge of Russia's "thick journals" as to knowledge of individual authors, periods, and genres. Yet there is no book or bibliography that can guide graduate students, or anyone else, in their pursuit of that knowledge. In 1984, following the Columbia path set by Robert Maguire with Red Virgin Soil, Cathy Nepomnyashchy, then the most organized of Columbia's graduate students, now a Barnard-Columbia faculty member, gathered the editorial collective of the Columbia graduate student journal, Ulbandus, and proposed a special issue of the journal devoted to Russian literary journals. That collective - Cathy Nepomnyashchy, Carol Ueland, Richard Borden and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt - then contacted many of the contributors to this volume. When I returned from an IREX year in Moscow, they asked me to take over the project, fill in the blanks, and organize the editorial staff. Over the next few years, as graduate students, the following people helped edit articles for this volume: Hilde Hoogenboom, Mary Laurita, Maude Meisel, Thomas Newlin, William Spiegelberger, Eric Walla, Adrian Wanner, Nancy Workman and myself. In 1989, this volume, which had outgrown its journal origins, went in search of a publisher. During this seemingly endless Xlll



period, our contributors forebore, with humor and generosity, this manuscript's many misadventures. In 1995, ten years after the first articles were written, Cambridge University Press ended our travails. In 1996, Emily Johnson undertook the updating and organization of the bibliography compiled over a decade earlier by Evgeny Beshenkovsky, provided a list of titles and their translations, and compiled an index. In the page proof stage, Douglas Greenfield took over the index, caught all my oversights, and kept us on schedule. My thanks go to all who have made this volume possible. To Cathy Nepomnyashchy, who conceived the project and has guided it behind the scenes. To the original editorial collective, who helped shape the volume. To the contributors, who donated articles, commented on the bibliography, made suggestions for the cover, and remained with the project for almost a decade. To Evgeny Beshenkovsky, for his work on the bibliography. To the graduate students, who read and helped edit the articles. To Aleksandr Kalugin, for his inspired cover image. To Emily Johnson and Douglas Greenfield, for their hard work and fine decisions. To the Harriman Institute for its series imprimatur. To Ron Meyer for his moral and administrative support. To Malcolm Jones, who encouraged me to submit the manuscript to Cambridge University Press. To Kate Brett, who accepted the volume, and to Linda Bree, who took over the project and guided it to its completion. And to the faculty of the Columbia and Barnard Slavic Departments - especially to Robert Maguire, Robert Belknap, and William Harkins - for their inspiration, contributions, advice, and support.


Introduction Robert A. Maguire

Of all the literary forms that the Russians borrowed from Western Europe in the eighteenth century, none has proven more durable than the journal. What is a "journal?" The phenomenon it names has taken various forms in the last two hundred and fifty years, with such designators as "diary," C£revue," "magazine," "newspaper," and "almanac." Generically it is hard to place. A minimally satisfactory definition might run something like this: a periodical publication that lies somewhere between the newspaper, with its multiple authorship and focus on current events, and the book, which is usually a one-time event and the work of a single hand. This much the Russian journal, in its various hypostases, has in common with its counterparts in other countries. But the ordinary literate Russian, on hearing the word zhurnal, no longer perceives it as foreign: it has been thoroughly assimilated. Most often it is associated with one kind of journal, the so-called "thick" or "fat" (tolstyi), which has dominated the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This journal is cast on a grand scale, with a range of departments that speak to a variety of intellectual, cultural, and literary interests, and with a more or less discernible ideology. Its vital center, however, has always been belles-lettres, especially prose fiction and literary criticism. Indeed, it was largely in and through the thick journal that Russian literature found its public and worked its magic. Russia being what it is, this magic inescapably assumed extra-textual dimensions in the eyes of readers and critics. Indeed, it has long been a truism that literature, and therefore journals, has served



as the principal means by which Russia has discovered, defined and shaped itself. That work still continues. An obsession with the word has been ingrained in the national mind for centuries, long before the rise of journals. I suspect that for Russians, the word has retained vestiges of its religious, ceremonial, and magical origins longer than in other major European cultures, even after passing into written form. One sign is the deep-rooted conviction that the world around us cannot be truly apprehended, and in a real sense does not even exist, until it is translated into words. This means that verbal plenitude and variety are cherished. The first important modern exponent of this idea was Nikolai Karamzin (1766-1826). He insisted that "people judge the superiority of a nation by the successes of its authors"; noted that Russian literature was thin in quantity and quality; and urged that all possible recognition be granted even the slightest signs of talent, "for a faint ray sometimes precedes a bright light, and a cedar emerges from the earth on the same level as lowly grass." He considered it foolish and harmful to spend time attacking "stupid" books, because insecure new talent might be frightened off. Even bad books, he thought, could be useful: they enable us to see the qualities of the good ones more clearly, and, particularly in the case of novels, are "rich in all kinds of information" that helps raise the level of general knowledge. A century later, Dmitry Merezhkovsky advanced a similar argument, although in a very different tonality. In an article gloomily entitled "On the Reasons for the Decay of Russian Literature," he conceded that Russia had produced an impressive crop of "poetic" geniuses - Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and others - but he noted that all had worked in isolation, without forming either schools or even solid artistic friendships. What Russia needed was "literature," that is, "a force moving entire generations, entire peoples along a certain cultural path, a succession of poetic phenomena that are transmitted from age to age and unified by a great historical principle." In particular, France stood as a model of a literary life of the quotidian kind that could ensure the persistence of a high level of verbal culture even when no geniuses were present.1



Such arguments have tended to surface at times of cultural and political insecurity. The eighteenth century was one, as Russia receptively looked westward for models, while nervously wondering whether it could define a plausible and vital identity. The late nineteenth century was another, with its rapid social change, political turmoil, and artistic experimentation. Still another was the early 1920s. The Bolsheviks had won the Civil War, but Russia was exhausted and impoverished materially and culturally. Most of the old writers had died or fled abroad; if new ones existed, they largely escaped notice. People took the almost total absence of literature as symptomatic of the state of the country. The government quickly moved to encourage its revival, not only because literature had served, for at least two centuries, as a barometer of the health of the body politic, but because long habit decreed that reality could not be essentially grasped in any other way. Another consequence of the Russian attitude toward the word is a view of literature that is broader and looser than ours. For us, "literature" usually betokens belles-lettres. It can mean that for Russians too, particularly when it is rendered by the word literatura, a late eighteenth-century borrowing from the French. But they have a much older native word for it, slovesnost'. This derives from slovo, which carries approximately the same range of meanings as the English "word" or the Greek logos. The dictionaries give "literature" as an equivalent; but this is adequate only if we conceive of it in a very wide sense, and include not only belles-lettres but, as the ancient Greeks and Romans were wont to do, virtually any organized verbal utterance. Many of Russia's important writers have striven to be masters of slovesnost', not just of literatura. Karamzin, for one, was a poet, journalist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, and memoirist, and capped his career with a multi-volume history of Russia. In good eighteenth-century fashion, he observed genre-boundaries. The writers who followed him were not so careful. Literary criticism offers an instructive instance, especially after becoming the full-time occupation of professionals around the third decade of the nineteenth century.



Many of Vissarion Belinsky's long survey articles, for example, were structured like prose fictions of the kind that featured an obtrusive narrator telling us how we should read. Their subject-matter often amounted to elaborate summaries of the story-lines and characters of works under review, sometimes so elaborate that they fuzzed the boundaries between the author's original creation and the critic's re-creation. With the so-called "radical" critics of the 1860s, fuzzing became erasing. Literary characters were treated like real people, whose lives could be refashioned as the critic chose, quite apart from the fictional world in which they took their being. Thus Nikolai Dobroliubov, in a long article on Goncharov's Oblomov, argues that the author derived his main character from "an image that had accidentally flashed past him" in the real world, whereupon he elevated it to "a type" and gave it "a generic and permanent significance." Dobroliubov then uses this novel to discover such types in the society of his and earlier times, and subjects them to a lengthy sociological analysis, which he verifies by returning to the evidence provided by the novel. That is why he constantly shuttles back and forth between society's "Oblomovs" and Goncharov's "Oblomov," and why, ultimately, the individual, whether literary or social, does not matter except as an embodiment of what he calls "Oblomovitis." But Dobroliubov at least tries to stick to the data of Goncharov's text. That usually cannot be said of his far more radical contemporary, Dmitry Pisarev. In a long article on Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, for example, he concentrates almost entirely on the character Bazarov, and finds that his death constitutes the "whole interest, the whole meaning of the novel," thereby ignoring the epilogue, where Turgenev celebrates the continuity of life within the family, and, in scarcely mentioning Bazarov, prompts us to question whether his death or even his life has had any real meaning. Soviet Marxist critics would learn much from practices of this kind.2 This inclusive view of literature found an appropriate form in the thick journal. Verbalized reality in all its aspects could be represented in a variety of themes, styles, and genres, which complemented each other, at least ideally, between the two



covers of each issue. But variety was expected to be coherent. Russians have always been guided by an organic view of the world, in which each part, however insignificant-looking in itself, cooperates with all the others to serve the whole. Merezhkovsky worried - to adapt an organic vocabulary to his argument - about great oaks that lacked a nourishing, sustaining topsoil. Once the oaks fell, what was left? Looking back some thirty years later, D. S. Mirsky dubbed this same period "the end of a great age," and defined it as follows: "all this great achievement" - meaning the creation of the major Russian novels - "was by men of an older generation, and they had no successors. Not one of the younger men who had entered the literary career since 1856 was felt worthy to stand beside them, and as one by one the old men disappeared, there was no one to take their place. The turning point came soon after 1880: Dostoevsky died in 1881, Turgenev in 1883, Tolstoy announced his withdrawal from literature. The great age was over."3 The oaks had fallen; now nothing remained but topsoil, nothing that would relieve a rich yet essentially flat landscape. What Merezhkovsky and Mirsky wanted, in their unconscious obeisance to the underlying organic model, was a combination of great and small, in personalities, talents, and literary forms. Much the same apprehensions found expression in the mid 1920s. Literature had revived, but many observers thought it looked paltry and unfocused, compared with the enormous achievements of the past. Alexander Voronsky, a Bolshevik critic and theorist of the first rank, put the matter as follows: "There have been a great many themes, but there has been no one theme. There have been a great many heroes, but there has been no one hero. People have written about a great many astonishing, amusing and sad events, but there has been nothing about one event. Just as in a cinema, thousands of types of human faces have flashed before us, but there has been no one type."* No doubt similar observations will one day be made about Russian society of the so-called post-glasnost' era, with its economic, political and cultural chaos, and its apparent lack of firm, undergirding principles and directions. During these periods of perceived cultural crisis, thick jour-



nals had either not yet come into being, as in the eighteenth century, or had yielded in significance to smaller, specialized periodicals, as in the late nineteenth century, much of the 1920s, and today. It should have come as no surprise to any Russian that one of the first things the new Bolshevik government did in 1921 was to establish a thick journal, Red Virgin Soil (Krasnaia nov), on the hopeful assumption that if budding writers existed, they would find a familiar-looking home. The policy yielded spectacular results, as the 1920s became another great age of Russian literature, though all too brief. Once again, it was a literature centered in journals, particularly the "thicks," of which Red Virgin Soil was only the first. The thick journal, then, is the fullest embodiment of the Russian urge to set journals at the very center of their culture. When we look at this form generically, however, it poses certain problems. Ideally, it is meant to be read from cover to cover. In fact, few readers do that: most concentrate on the fiction, poetry, and criticism, and leave the rest. Does that mean that the thick journal does not really constitute a genre? All readers "know" what to expect of a thick journal before they open to the first page, yet they can read it piecemeal, as they cannot read novels, poems, or critical articles. Perhaps it is the very lack of generic cohesiveness that defines the genre in this case. As for the reasons why certain journal genres have appeared at certain times, many possibilities suggest themselves. One is obviously demographic, as the spread of literacy creates a larger audience, with more time and more inclination for a variety of reading matter. The marketplace has its say too. As Pushkin, himself a keen journalist, observed: "Of all the forms of literature, periodical publications bring in the most profit, and the more varied their contents, the wider their circulation . . . But purely literary journals have, instead of 3,000 subscribers, barely 400, and consequently their voice would be utterly ineffective on behalf of the author."5 Competition from other forms of published utterance also plays a role: some of the traditional functions of the thick journals, for example, were siphoned off, as the nineteenth century progressed, by newspapers and by books.



Also not to be discounted is the possibility of an organic process. Several students of Russian prose fiction, most of them Formalists, identify the beginning of such a process in short, simple forms like the anecdote and the factual report (eighteenth century), see it undergo expansion and accumulation into the full-blown short story (early nineteenth century), then into the short-story cycle, the novella and the novel (midnineteenth century), and finally, some twenty years later, into the novel-chronicle and novel-cycle, after which it falls of its own weight and disintegrates into its earliest forms. The process then begins all over again, and continues through the better part of the twentieth century. This theory works very well for Russian literature. It also works for Russian journals, and for Russian literary criticism. Can it be mere coincidence that the rise of the novel and of large-scale critical essays coincided with the rise of the thick journal, and that all these forms declined simultaneously too? The interesting problem then becomes to study the ways in which these various verbal genres interact and shape each other. We need not and should not concentrate exclusively or even mainly on the large genres, although that seems to be what Russians like to do, given their commitment to organic models of the world. But both youth and old age have their charms and compensations. Novels may well represent the "Golden Age" of Russian literature, but we can also enjoy a rich treasure of short stories and critical essays as well, not to speak of one of the most impressive bodies of poetry in world literature. Similarly, the "thicks" in one sense represent the high-point of journalistic activity; but many of the smaller and more specialized journals offer riches too, as a mere glance at the achievement of the Symbolists will suggest. The essays that follow address the entire range of journalistic activity in Russia, large and small, and open up a fascinating side of Russian literature that is still relatively unknown to foreigners.


1 For Karamzin, see "Nakhodit' v samykh obyknovennykh veshchakh piiticheskuiu storonu" (1797); "Rech', proiznesennaia na torzhestvennom sobranii imperatorskoi Rossiiskoi akademii" (1818); "O knizhnoi torgovle i liubvi ko chteniiu v Rossii" (1802): in Izbrannye sochineniia, 11 (Moscow-Leningrad, 1964), 144, 235, 143, 179. For Merezhkovsky, see "O prichinakh upadka i o novykh techeniiakh sovremennoi russkoi literatury," Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, xvn (Moscow, 1914), 178. 2 Dobroliubov, "What Is Oblomovitis?" (Ghto takoe oblomovshchina?, 1859), as in Belinsky, Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov. Selected

Criticism, ed. and intro. Ralph E. Matlaw (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), 133-75. For an abridged translation of Pisarev's "Bazarov" (1862), see the Norton Critical edition of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, ed. Ralph E. Matlaw (New York: W. W. Norton, 1966), 195-218. 3 D. S. Mirsky, A History of Russian Literature, ed. and abridged Francis J. Whitfield (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949), 291. 4 "Na perevale," Krasnaia nov, no. 6 (1923), 315. 5 A. S. Pushkin, draft of letter to Count A. Kh. Benkendorf, 19 July 10 August 1830, as in Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, xiv (1941), 280-82.


Eighteenth century


The creation of journals and the profession of letters in the eighteenth century Gary Marker

Most studies on the history of Russian journals concentrate, appropriately enough, on their intellectual and literary side: on ideas of the editors and authors, running debates among various publications, critiques of governmental policy, and the place of specific journals and journalists in educated society. At times, however, this focus on ideas and personalities is left floating in something of a sociological void insofar as it neglects the relation of a given journal - or of journalism overall - to the world outside these literary circles. This chapter addresses these issues: it is concerned with the institutional character of eighteenth-century Russia, and with the place of journalism as a specific medium in the development of lay educated society in the eighteenth century. Journals, as printed publications coming out more or less regularly over a specific span of time, made their first appearance in Russia during the reign of Peter the Great. To be sure, the seventeenth century had produced a worthy ancestor to modern journalism in the informational periodical News and Notices (Vesti-kuranty)} But News and Notices came out exclusively

in manuscript, not in printed form; it therefore lacked the potential for the immediate and widespread circulation associated with printed periodicals. Moreover, it appeared episodically and unpredictably, and therefore, by definition, does not fit our understanding of a periodical. The first true periodical publication, therefore, was the Petrine informational journal The News (Vedomosti), of which hundreds of issues were published between 1703 and 1727. In early 1727 it was replaced by The St. Petersburg News (St. Peterburgskie vedomosti) 11



an official newspaper that came out in both a Germanlanguage and a Russian-language edition — at first once a week, and later twice a week, through the rest of the eighteenth century and beyond.2 From the initial appearance of The News until the end of the eighteenth century, Russian typographies produced about 120 Russian-language journals, all but nine of which began their lives during the reign of Catherine the Great. 3 The Catherinian era, thus, can justly be considered to have been the first major period of Russian journalism. Notwithstanding this relative outpouring of new publications during Catherine's reign, few journals were very popular, and none, as far as can be determined, made a profit for more than an issue or two. Indeed, a few simple numerical disaggregations show unmistakably that journals were typically short-lived and poorly disseminated. The vast majority of Catherinian journals came out monthly or quarterly. But despite their relatively infrequent appearances, most of the journals had a very short lifespan. Over 60 percent of eighteenth-century journals (75 out of 120) ceased publication in a year or less, and most of the rest (24) folded in less than three years. Only the few journals that emanated directly from the government, had considerable government backing, or found another form of special patronage managed to stay in print for more than three years. As we shall discuss below, the commercial private publishers, who came to play such an important role in Russian publishing in the last two decades of Catherine's reign, usually steered clear of journals. Publishing was expensive, markets were small to middling, and the literati producing the journals did not willingly submit to a publishing schedule or to a marketconscious approach to their works. Because of the high cost of buying a printing press and of maintaining even a minimal staff of printers, the large institutional and private commercial publishers focused on captive markets or on proven big sellers. Textbooks, romances, and adventure stories (such as the ever popular Adventures of the English Milord George, which went

through numerous editions in the last two decades of the

The creation of journals and the profession of letters eighteenth century and dozens more in the nineteenth) were far more attractive than were journals. 4 To make matters worse, journals by definition would publish entirely new material with each new issue, eliminating the benefits that derived from the economies of scale possible when a given title could be reprinted without resetting the type. Consequently, in order to cover initial printing costs, the price of a subscription had to be set quite high — usually from ten to thirty rubles per year. Books tended to cost between thirty kopecks and a ruble in Catherine's day, and even these prices were deemed too high for most people to afford. In short, the high costs of journal subscriptions put them out of reach for most literate people, quite a dilemma for a medium in pursuit of an audience. (One is reminded here of the tribulations faced by university presses today.) Thus, without knowing anything else about the social and institutional history of eighteenth-century Russian journals, one can reasonably surmise that their proliferation had very little to do with the pursuit of profit. In this way Russian journalism stood somewhat at odds with much of the rest of eighteenthcentury Europe, where markets and commercial gain were important elements in determining not only the success but also the character of a given magazine.5 If profits were for all practical purposes out of the question, how can we explain the emergence and rather rapid development of Russian journalism during the second half of the eighteenth century? What were the elements that led to the founding of a journal, and what were the motivations involved? In the absence of reliable sources of income, was it possible to create a profession or a career of journalism during the eighteenth century? Finally, if individual journals failed far more often than they succeeded, what was their collective significance as a cultural artifact and as instruments of communication? Most intellectual and literary historians would consider the function of eighteenth-century periodicals as self-evident: journals afforded writers, editors, and translators a convenient




medium through which to express their ideas and tastes most directly to their audiences. From an intellectual perspective, this proposition certainly makes a great deal of sense, as the journals were dominated both editorially and financially by the humanistically trained students and graduates of Russia's elite secondary schools (Moscow University and Academy of Sciences gymnasia and the various Corps of Cadets). These young men played a major role in the overall construction of a vibrant lay intellectual life during the second half of the century. Intent on carrying their civilizing mission to all reaches of Russian society, they found journals to be one of the easier ways to gain a public voice. The blossoming of Russian journals was thus, in a certain sense, indistinguishable from the overall coming of age of Russia's educated society. The fact that these young servitor-intellectuals (or literati) remained close to their secondary schools afforded them easy access to the newly opened typographies of these schools (in particular, those of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow University, and the Infantry Cadet Corps), all of which by 1760 had been thrown open to private interests in order to generate income. Provided that would-be authors and editors could pay their own way - and provided, of course, that their work passed through the in-house censor (or "corrector") that every scholastic press employed - the literati could essentially do whatever they wanted.6 A look at the histories of these typographies shows that the literati accepted the offer of relatively unhindered publishing with alacrity, producing thousands of new and newly translated works over the course of Catherine's reign. Few of these venturers could claim economic success, even though institutional typographies, whose machinery, staffs, and circulation networks were already in place, were a relatively safe haven for literary enterprises in the otherwise financially unforgiving world of the small Russian market. Journals, however, afforded individuals a measure of financial protection against catastrophic losses, protection lacking in book publishing, where the negative consequences of an unfavorable cost/benefit ratio would be borne by a single author

The creation of journals and the profession of letters or patron, and not distributed over a group of contributors or sponsors. In the atmosphere that prevailed in Russian publishing from the 1750s through the late 1780s, journals thus had the dual attractiveness of affording extensive artistic and editorial freedom while minimizing the economic risks of getting into print. Such circumstances may have been conducive to getting a lot of publications started in a relatively short period of time, but did they offer an effective basis for public communication? To put it another way, did their intellectual function take on a concomitant communicative or social one? Virtually all specialists, despite differing views of the politics and philosophy of the Russian Enlightenment, have recognized that Russia's eighteenth-century writers felt strongly that their mission was to civilize society and raise the moral and intellectual level of the Russian people. To quote Nicholas Riasanovsky: Russian government and society shared the herculean task of learning from the West and of implanting the new knowledge in their own country. The obstacles were enormous, and the best efforts of innovators must have often seemed no more than a ripple on the surface of deep waters. Yet educated Russians . . . found profound encouragement and support in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. After all, they were performing the fundamental work of creating a new, rational world on the debris of the old.7

In actively campaigning for civilization (an activity that more often than not meant writing and publishing), writers were simultaneously aware of their own evangelizing universalism and of the isolation in which it was carried out, the "ripple on the surface of deep waters." The pursuit of a public voice through the press, then, was not merely an exercise in making their own lives more interesting, but also part of an ideological mission. In order for publicistic activities to achieve their greatest historic significance, the literati recognized that they would have to reach beyond the relatively small educated public. From the 1730s onward, Russia's journalists were acutely aware of the power of print to act as a moral and civilizing




force, and of their own consequent obligation to use that power wisely. In the 1730s, for example, Gerhard Friedrich Mueller of the Academy of Sciences oversaw the publication of a supplement to the St. Petersburg News. Entitled the Monthly Historical, Genealogical, and Geographical Notes, it contained a wide variety of

"general interest" articles, the conscious efforts of members of the first generation of academicians to reach a lay Russian audience on mutually acceptable territory and introduce them to the world of knowledge.8 A generation later, M. M. Kheraskov, acting as the overseer of Moscow University Press, commented that the producers of Moscow's first literary magazines from the late 1750s and early 1760s had an obligation "to defend virtue, to prosecute vice, and to entertain society"9 Such sentiments became commonplace in the Catherinian periodicals, and they were no doubt deeply felt. Among other things, they spawned endless introductions and postscripts to the reader about the purpose of a given publication and the spirit in which it ought to be read, as well as speculations concerning the size, social contours, and moral character of their audiences. Novikov, in particular, frequently printed brief commentaries on the size and moral character of his readership, some of which have been accepted as gospel by his subsequent admirers.10 Readership clearly was an important consideration in the thinking of the journalists themselves, and one can examine audiences to determine whether the literati were succeeding on their own terms. An analysis of audiences also yields insights into the specific circles within which the special mix of light entertainment and serious dialogue about civic virtue actually circulated. Because of the paucity of sales figures, however, the size of the audience for any given journal is difficult to assess, and information about the circulation of individual copies among multiple readers is equally sparse. Nevertheless, a review of comparative press runs and a review of those few periodicals that actually went into second printings should yield some idea of the approximate size of the overall journal reading public. Newspapers were by far the most widely printed eighteenth-

The creation of journals and the profession of letters


century periodicals. Although we know very little about their actual sales and circulation, press-run figures for the biweekly St. Petersburg News show that between 1759 and 1769 printings fluctuated between about 600 and 1,050 copies per issue. Pressrun figures rose, if unevenly, to about 1,250 copies per issue in the early 1780s, about 1,800 copies per issue in the early 1790s, and about 2,500 copies per issue during the reign of Paul I (1795-1801).11 The historian I. F. Martynov recently uncovered a document showing that the Academy of Sciences earned about 3,500 rubles for newspaper subscriptions between 1781 and 1784.12 Such modest returns suggest that even when the newspaper was printing over 1,200 copies per issue only a few hundred subscriptions had actually been sold. More than any other periodicals, however, newspapers - even the rather dry official newspapers of the eighteenth century — lent themselves to street and bookshop sales for individual issues. Thus the actual level of sales could have run higher. No such complete figures exist for the Moscow News (Moskovskie vedomosti), which began biweekly publication in 1756. According to Nicholas Karamzin's famous essay of 1802, "On the Book Trade and the Love for Reading in Russia" - our only source on the subject - their circulation grew enormously during the last two decades of the eighteenth century: Earlier, Moscow newspapers sold, in all, no more than 600 copies; Mr. Novikov enriched their content . . . and finally distributed along with the news a free Children's Reading, which by its novelty and variety of subjects did appeal to the public despite the amateurish translations of many of its works. The number of subscriptions increased spectacularly and within ten years reached 4,000. Since 1797 newspapers have become important for Russia . . . At the present time [i.e., in 1802] there are about 6,000 copies of Moscow newspapers distributed. . ,13 We may never know for certain whether these figures were accurate or whether Karamzin inflated them as part of his campaign to rehabilitate Novikov's reputation. If Moscow News did truly achieve the circulation rates here described, it was far and away the most widely disseminated periodical of its day.



No other Russian title could claim a regular circulation of even 2,000 copies, and those few that did achieve relatively high press runs and long print lives were, almost without exception, beneficiaries of institutional sponsorship or financial support. Thus, the Works (Trudy) of the Free Economic Society, a journal that attracted only sporadic interest from the reading public, appeared continuously between once and four times per year from 1765 until 1917. In the eighteenth century it managed to sustain press runs of 1,200 copies, despite its modest number of subscribers.14 Similarly, the press-runs of the Bulletins (Izvestiia) of the St. Petersburg Foundling Home (St. Petersburg, 1778-87) varied between 1,750 and 2,000 copies, 600 of which were routinely given away without charge charge at the expense of the Home. 15 Among the more numerous literary and philosophical journals, by contrast, although figures could vary from around 100 copies per issue to over 2,000, the range of circulation generally fell between 600 and 1,200 copies per issue. One of the very first general interest periodicals, Gerhard Friedrich Mueller's Monthly

Works (Ezhemesiachnye sochineniia) (St.


1755—64) — thanks to a generous subsidy — had press-runs as high as 2,000 copies. Most scholars believe, however, that the actual level of sales for this publication were closer to 700 copies per issue.16 Among the so-called satirical journals of 1769 to 1774, the most extensively published was Bits of This and That (Vsiakaia vsiachina), a publication that is widely believed to have been Catherine's own. Although the first twelve issues of Bits of This and That came out in about 1,500 copies each, subsequent printings slowly declined from 1,000 copies, to only 500 copies for the last six issues. Novikov's The Drone (Truten'), which is usually considered to have been Catherine's polemical adversary, published within this range as well; from Semennikov's analysis, however, The Drone appears to have maintained its readership more successfully, at least until its last few issues.17 Most other satirical journals received somewhat less public attention; their press runs, consequently, fell generally within the 300 to 800 copy range: Evenings (Vechera) had about 500;

The creation of journals and the profession of letters


Miscellany (Smes') 600 to 650 for the first, 300 for the second, edition of the first issue; Neither This Nor That (Ni to ni se) 600 per issue; The Hired Hand (Podenshchina) 500; The Babbler (Pustomelia) 500; The Diligent Ant (Trudoliubivyi muravei) 400; and The Painter

(ghivopisets) about 700 per issue.18 Because these journals ceased publication so quickly it is difficult to know whether the press runs corresponded to the general levels of demand. Some satirical journals were reprinted later in the century; The Painter went through an extraordinary five printings. But these were exceptions. One suspects that the similarity of press runs from one publication to the next, and the inability of any of these publications to expand sales or to be viable for more than a few years indicates that the steady public for these works was quite limited. Although individual issues of a given periodical may have created a sensation, the journals could probably count on a dedicated readership of at most a few hundred people from one issue to the next. These figures, we should note, are certainly lower than those for comparable periodicals in other European states, but they are nevertheless relatively respectable by the standards of their day. By way of comparison, the most popular French newspaper of the 1780s was the Parisian daily Gazette, whose circulation fluctuated between 7,000 and 15,000 copies.19 During the 1790s, although there were many more newspapers in circulation, the more popular ones had press runs that ranged from 2,500 for the royalist Bulletin de VEurope to 5,200 for the moderate constitutionalist Publiciste.20 As in Russia, literary and philosophical journals usually sold less well, with circulations of a few thousand copies per issue representing unusual success. The English London Magazine had a circulation of 4,000 in 1769. During the same period of time, the Spectator sold on average well over 3,000 copies per issue, while numerous other literary periodicals sold between 1,200 and 3,000 copies per issue.21 In Germany the situation was much the same, with the Hamburg weekly magazine Patriot reaching 5,000 buyers in the 1720s and dozens of other literary and moral periodicals of the 1770s and 1780s reaching sales of well over 1,000 copies per issue.22



These circulation figures were perhaps two or three times what the most successful Russian periodicals could achieve, a significant but not overwhelming differential when one considers that magazines had been mainstays of the European reading public long before they ever took hold in Russia. Moreover, European magazines tended to fail in about the same high proportion as Russian ones did. However, in the last analysis, the reading publics of most of the other European states were sufficiently large to support dozens, or even hundreds, of such journals at any one time, mostly through public sales. Britain, for example, had 265 current periodicals at the end of the eighteenth century (1799-1800), several of which, such as the Monthly Review and Gentleman's Magazine, were able

to stay afloat for decades, often with little or no patronage. 23 In contrast Russia had only fourteen active periodicals at the end of the eighteenth century.24 In both Britain and Germany (less so in France), provincial magazines and newspapers flourished in the local literary markets at rates of sales that regularly exceeded 1,000 copies per printing. By contrast, Russia's publishing trade was highly centralized, with only five eighteenth-century periodicals originating from outside Moscow or St. Petersburg (one from Tambov and two each from Iaroslavl and Tobolsk), none of which enjoyed anything other than fleeting success, even though each stirred up considerable local interest for several months. 25 Over the last three decades of the eighteenth century journal readership in Russia undoubtedly grew very sharply, along with the general readership for books. This growth contributed to the greater frequency with which journals appeared. Still, the figures continued to lag well behind those for most of the rest of Europe, and, in the absence of institutional sponsorship, private patronage, or special fund-raising campaigns, a journal's chances for success beyond the first few issues were not much greater in 1795 than they had been in 1760. The range of sales for any given literary or philosophical periodical, moreover, stayed approximately within the limits established during the late 1760s.

The creation of journals and the profession of letters


To give just a few examples, The Flourishing Vine (Rastushchii

vinograd), a. monthly publication of the normal school students at the state Public School Commission started by printing 1,000 copies of its first issue in 1785. Within a few months, however, it reduced the figure to 250 copies, a level that it maintained until it ceased publication in mid-1787. The Russian Theater (Rossiiskii teatr)26 (1786-94), a 43-issue journal of the Academy of Sciences dedicated to Russian theater and to publishing original plays, maintained a steady run of 600 copies per issue. Novikov's famous journal of history and antiquities, The Ancient Russian Library (Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliqfika), produced ten

issues in the mid 1770s in runs of 1,100 to 1,200 copies. This was an unusually popular publication, it should be noted, and in the late 1780s Novikov ran through a second 1,200-copy printing. Novikov's more esoteric periodicals, by contrast, had far smaller circulations. The masonic Freemason's Magazine (Magazin svobodno-kamen'shchicheskoi) (Moscow, 1784) circulated only among the masonic lodges and had runs that Novikov estimated at 600 and 1,200 copies per issue.27 The runs for most of his other masonic or specialized periodicals are not known, but large stocks of them were still on hand during the various confiscations and inventories of Novikov's property (compiled in 1787, 1789, 1792, and 1794). For example, 1,605 copies of Evening Glow (Vecherniaia zaria) (Moscow, 1782) were still in stock in 1794 as were over 1,100 copies of his Magazine ofNatural History {Magazin natural'noi istorii) (Moscow, 1788-90, ten parts).28 There can be little doubt that the readership for these works remained quite small. But size is not necessarily a good indicator of social character. Several historians, in fact, have concluded from an examination of memoirs and letters, or from the impressions of the editors themselves, that the readership for journals was socially quite diverse. Karamzin's vivid description of common people reading the newspapers, for example, has been widely cited as an authoritative account in much of the scholarly literature: It is true that many wealthy noblemen, as well as many comfortably situated people, do not touch newspapers; on the other hand, however, merchants and the middle class (meshchanstvo) already have



grown to love reading them. The poorest people subscribe, and the most illiterate want to know what is happening in foreign countriesl One of

my acquaintances happened to see a few bakers who crowded around a reader and listened with great interest to the description of an encounter between the French and the Austrians. He asked them and found out that the five of them pool their money for Moscow papers, even though four do not know how to read; the fifth, however, knows the letters, and the others listen to him.29 In a similar vein, Novikov attributed the multiple printings of The Painter to its popularity among humble townsfolk ("sie sochinenie popalo na vkus meshchan nashikh"). 30 Such views suggest a wide range of possibilities for journal audiences, from exclusively cosmopolitan gentry to broadly national and "democratic" (i.e., "socially heterogeneous" in Soviet parlance). They also alert us to the possibility that audiences may have been larger than the number of subscribers, and may possibly have included illiterates - a phenomenon that was to become common in the late nineteenth century within the urban working class. But to treat impressionistic accounts as statements of fact endows them with a dubious and often undeserved authority. In the last analysis, the observations of writers and memoirists are rather evenly divided on the question of whether Catherinian Russia had an elite reading public or a socially heterogeneous one. Thus, even if the contemporary accounts are sober reflections rather than literary projections - the reverse seems to be more likely - they do not point in any discernible direction. A more reliable, if still imperfect, guide to the audiences for periodicals comes from the subscriber lists often published in the periodicals as a way of acknowledging public support, or that were occasionally preserved in the archives. Such lists are known to exist for eighteen periodicals that were in print during the years between 1770 and 1800 - about 20 percent of all Russian periodicals from that time. 31 Several of these journals constitute some of the best-known literary and philosophical publications of the Catherinian era, including Novikov's moralistic Morning Light (Utrennii svei), and both editions of The Ancient Russian Library, as well as literary

The creation of journals and the profession of letters journals edited by Karamzin, Krylov, Bolotov, and Rakhmaninov. The list of journals represented also includes some lesser-known publications from the capitals, such as the previously mentioned The Flourishing Vine and two literary journals printed in the Siberian town of Tobolsk. The total number of subscribers listed in all of these journals was about 4,800, the largest number appears for the first year of Morning Light (785 in 1777-78), and the smallest for The Flourishing Vine (19 in 1785). Thus, although these journals do not include every type of periodical available in Catherine's day (they exclude, for example, the satirical journals and the newspapers), they nevertheless cover a very broad range in content, popularity, visibility, and popular success. Their editors, whose names were usually listed on title pages, in booksellers' catalogues, and in newspaper advertisements, were mostly well-known literary figures who were clearly identified with these publications and who could count on a certain amount of public support or patronage as a result of their prominence. To whom, then, did they speak? In some instances, public support amounted to an organized campaign, as with Novikov's Morning Light, which was launched in part to finance Novikov's private boarding schools - St. Catherine's and St. Anne's. As Gareth Jones has shown, the journal never provided many resources for the schools, and during its last year and a half of operation it had to be subsidized itself.32 Nevertheless, both the schools and the journal succeeded in galvanizing a major subscription campaign in several provincial towns. This campaign was led by local priests presumably sympathetic to Novikov's emphasis on faith and worship in these schools - a marked contrast to the tone of most other private schools. These priests gathered hundreds of subscribers from all social classes during the three years of the journal's publication. Far more common than these well-coordinated philanthropic campaigns were private subventions, often by the Empress (as was the case in several of Novikov's ventures), or by individual subscriptions motivated by personal friendship, an interest in the publication's contents, or esteem for the




editor(s). Subscribers, in other words, probably represented a fair cross section of actual readers. An examination of subscription lists demonstrates that, by any conceivable method of counting, the primary (and sometimes the only) readership for Catherinian periodicals came from the hereditary service nobility, in particular from those who stood between ranks four and eight on the Table of Ranks. 33 Each of the journals had an absolute majority of noble subscribers, with percentages that ranged from ioo percent for Chilly Hours {Prokhladnye chasy) (Moscow, 1793) to 65

percent for the second year of Morning Light (Moscow, 1778-79). For the journals overall, nobles constituted 81 percent of all subscribers, with the median running even higher at 88 percent, an indication that the relatively high percentage of non-noble subscribers for the well-subscribed Morning light was somewhat anomalous. The only other social groups represented with any frequency were the clergy (7 percent mean and 2 percent median) - many of whom subscribed to a small number of periodicals largely for philanthropic reasons - and the merchantry (5 percent mean and 2 percent median), at least some of whom were undoubtedly purchasing the journals for resale. The few remaining subscriptions went primarily to societies, clubs, and governmental institutions, with a very few going to representatives of other social groups. None of this even approaches the democratic readership that Novikov and Karamzin described. Despite the stated intentions of Russia's editors and writers, and despite their widespread desire to herald a universal message to all of literate society, the public that these journals actually reached was decidedly aristocratic. Indeed, the evidence is quite overwhelming on this point: unless non-nobles were specifically urged or cajoled into supporting a journal, they were extremely unlikely to subscribe. Virtually the only people who regularly availed themselves of Russia's lively journalistic discourse came from the very ranks of the relatively well-educated, affluent and socially privileged elite that had produced the journalists themselves. From a sociological perspective this was a very confined dialogue indeed.

The creation of journals and the profession of letters This narrow social base was quite at variance with what was happening in most of the rest of Europe. Subscription costs were said to be high everywhere, but, regardless of price, journal subscriptions managed to reach deeply and regularly into the urban middle and lower classes, although only intermittently into the peasantry. Indeed, the subscription lists of eighteenth-century western and central Europe testify to the emergence of an ubiquitous bourgeois public in the form of merchants, teachers, clerks, artisans, and other skilled or whitecollar employees.34 Nowhere else in Europe, with the possible exception of Spain, was the reading public, whether for newspapers, literary magazines or religious and moralistic periodicals, so predominantly aristocratic as it was in Russia. Considering its social exclusivity, the geographic distribution of journal readership was surprisingly broad. Most readers, as one would expect, came from the larger cities. But the number of towns that regularly received subscriptions was remarkably high, and the geographic spread of those towns was quite broad. Fifteen of the Moscow and St. Petersburg journals listed the residences of the subscribers. Among these, 27 percent lived in Moscow (1,127 subscribers in all), 34 percent lived in St. Petersburg (1,526 total), and 39 percent (1,716 total) lived in the provinces. Several cosmopolitan journals [The Mirror of Light (JTerkalo sveta), Weekly Bulletins (Ezhenedel'nye izvestiia). Morning Hours (Utrennie chasy), and the second year of Morning Light) sent

over half of their subscriptions into the provinces. For the two Siberian journals - Irtysh (named after the river that ran through Central Siberia) and A Scholar's Library (Biblioteka uchenaia) — all but a handful of readers came from outside of the two capitals.35 The geographic breadth of this readership is equally impressive. Most of the journals listed reached at least half a dozen towns, and some, including Morning Light and The St. Petersburg Herald (St. Peterburgskii vestnik), reached more than a

dozen localities from Kiev and Novgorod in the west to Simbirsk and Ufa in the east. Several provincial towns were regular and intensive recipients of journal issues. None, of course, came close to rivaling the two metropolises, but in




several of them the circulation of journals had become a common affair, with many families per town holding subscriptions. Tambov, the leader, had over ioo aggregate subscribers to the fifteen journals mentioned above; eight other provincial towns (Tver, Kazan, Tula, Nizhny Novgorod, Archangel, Poltava, Novgorod, and Astrakhan) had fifty or more each. In all, more than fifty localities were cited as receiving journal subscriptions during the last three decades of the eighteenth century.36 Thus, the Catherinian journalists can take some credit for having established a far-flung, nationwide readership similar to that for the Parisian and London journals in France and England. The fact remains, however, that the great majority of these readers were nobles. Provincial readership was more democratic than the metropolitan audience was (72 percent noble as opposed to 88 percent), but it too remained overwhelmingly aristocratic. In light of this extremely narrow social base of support, any sort of profession of letters, journalistic or otherwise, was an unlikely proposition in the eighteenth century. Certainly the massive incomes of magnates such as Charles-Joseph Panckoucke in France and the relatively reliable wages available to hundreds of other European journalists, remained totally out of the question in Russia. Of necessity Russia's journalists usually wore two hats, that of publisher/editor and of state servitor. In many respects these men remained amateurs, for whom financial compensation other than an occasional act of patronage was considered an extraordinary event. Still, one can discern a modest but unmistakable trend toward professionalism by the middle of Catherine's reign. The most explicit, and the most frequently cited, examples of professional journalism come from that seemingly inexhaustible well of lively and unparalleled information, the memoirs of Andrei Timofeevich Bolotov. In the third volume of his opus, Bolotov recounts a conversation with Novikov in Moscow shortly after Novikov had taken over the direction of Moscow University Press in 1779.37 Novikov asked how much money Bolotov had received from the previous director of the Press for

The creation of journals and the profession of letters


having edited the short-lived journal of popular economics, The Village Resident {Sel'skoi zhitel'). Bolotov reported that his salary

had been 200 rubles a year, a figure that Novikov offered to double in order to entice Bolotov to stay on as editor of a proposed supplement to The Moscow News, entitled The Magazine of Economics (Ekonomicheskii magazin). Novikov even promised to

supplement Bolotov's salary once the first fifteen numbers of the magazine had been printed. Bolotov found the offer impossible to turn down. He claims, in fact, to have made quite a lot of money from editing The Magazine of Economics, as indeed he should have, as 400 rubles represented a good if not enormous salary for the late eighteenth century. Several sources attest to Novikov's generosity, and to his particular commitment to providing his authors and translators with income. He could be equally expansive with booksellers, as his unheard of 30 percent discounts to the merchant Nikita Kolchugin make clear.38 Nevertheless, Bolotov's financial arrangement appears to have been extraordinary, since, as far as is known, no one else in the eighteenth century received a salary to write for or to edit a privately financed journal. If Bolotov was unique in having earned a living wage as an editor, we are left to conclude that the limited and unrewarding market imposed severe limitations on professional journalism in the eighteenth century. Still, there are indications from the last quarter of the century that several of the more dedicated literati were prepared, with or without compensation, to devote most of their time to intellectual pursuits, occasionally at the expense of their service careers. Novikov and a small number of his associates actually resigned military commissions for a life of letters. Few others followed their example; most of the full-timers relied on institutional salaries or reliable patronage. Typically, writers offered their services as translators for publications of the scholastic or academic presses. Literary translation had been a source of remuneration at the Academy of Sciences Press since the 1730s, and it made sense for both writers and publishers to stay with one of the few proven sources of income if they were serious about devoting their energies to lives of letters.39



With the proliferation of private presses after the advent of the "free press" (vol'naiatipogrqfiia)law of 1783, however, some literati were willing to risk publishing on their own. 40 Novikov was the most outstanding representative of the new intellectual publishers, but he was not alone: over a dozen literati became involved in extensive and time-consuming private publishing activities in the 1780s and 1790s. These activities tended to be far-flung publishing ventures rather than specifically journalistic projects. Still, some journals, including Ivan Krylov's The Spectator (JTritel'), I. G. Rakhmaninov's The Chatty Citizen (Beseduiushchii grazhdanin), and the masonic Conversations with God (Besedy s bogom), were intellectual fixtures of some of the private presses. The Spectator, for example, was part of a modest publishing venture that Krylov and a few of his literary friends began in St. Petersburg in 1792. Conceived with great enthusiasm and little cash - they had only 2,000 rubles to spend on the entire operation - this enterprise was nevertheless expected to pay salaries to the printers and the authors and still provide enough money for handsome contributions to charity. Instead, Krylov and his friends soon ran out of funds, and they ceased publishing in March 1794, less than two years later.41 Experiences such as these were quite the norm for the publishing exploits of the independent-minded literati of the 1780s and 1790s. Typically, their enterprises lasted for a few years, rarely as long as a decade, and then folded in financial ruin. Usually, one or two bad experiences of this sort would convince the literati to forsake independent publishing and return to the financially safer ground of service or patronage. But the high rate of failure and the greater risks involved in private ventures did not dissuade new waves (perhaps "ripples" would be more accurate) of literati from trying their hands at it. We must assume that the high level of independence and editorial control (and here we are speaking of intellectual and social motives rather than a specifically political opposition to the state) that private publishing, including private journalism, afforded was sufficiently attractive to continue to tempt writers to test the tempestuous waters of the literary market, at least

The creation of journals and the profession of letters until the new, highly restrictive and censorious press laws of the mid-i7gos made such ventures all but impossible.42 Of course, even had there been no new onslaught of censorship, the move by writers toward independent and professional letters would have continued to founder on the rocks of an unsupportive market. What we have witnessed in the eighteenth century, then, is a variation of Trotsky's notion of parallel and uneven development in which intellectual life and institutions evolved, in accordance with the sentiments and worldviews of the literati, far more rapidly than readership did. Indeed, Russia's leading intellectuals were prepared for a profession of letters at least a generation or two before the market could sustain it. This economic and educational imperative proved to be a source of tremendous frustration for several generations of Russian journalists, and it added considerable pathos to the already painful dialogue among nineteenth-century intellectuals concerning the transformative power of their own words. Deprived by an unsympathetic government and unresponsive society of any other course of constructive action, writers had only the written word as an instrument of praxis, and they came to endow words with a near mystical power of influence. Yet the unfriendly market and the small readership for the very journals into which they poured their souls continued to confront Russia's intellectuals with the limitation of the universe in which their words mattered. In the end, therefore, even literate society betrayed them - a circumstance that contributed greatly to the sense of isolation and superfluousness that lay at the heart of the emergence of a Russian intelligentsia during the 1840s.


Providing English translations for the titles of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Russian publications is something less than an exact science. Some titles include arcane terms, such as vesti and vedomosti, that have no exact English equivalent; others contain words, such as vivliofika, that had a deliberately antique sound




3 4


6 7 8

9 10 11 12



even for eighteenth-century readers. In all of these cases I have attempted to provide as close an English equivalent as possible. On seventeenth-century periodicals see A. Shlosberg, "Nachalo periodicheskoi pechati v Rossii," Z^uma^ rninisterstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, no. 9 (1911), 63-100; S. Marlinskii, "Pervaia dopetrovskaia rukopisnaia gazeta," Istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 5 (1945), 74-75S. M. Tomsinskii, Pervaia pechatnaia gazeta Rossii (1702-1727 gg.) (Perm, 1959); Vedomosti vremeni Petra Velikogo, 1702-1719, 2 vols. (Moscow, 1906); N. M. Lisovskii, Russkaia periodicheskaia pechat', 1703-igoo: Bibliogrqfiia i grqficheskaia tablitsa (Petrograd, 1915), 1-2; Svodnyi katalog russkoi knigi grazhdanskoi pechati XVIII veka, 1725-1800, vol. 4: Periodicheskie i prodolzhaiushchiesia izdaniia (hereafter SK) (Moscow, 1966), 51-114. (Unless otherwise noted, all references to S/Tare to volume 4 and to page numbers rather than entry numbers.) Lisovskii, Russkaia periodicheskaia, 1-9; SK, 9-211. On the history of commercial publishing in eighteenth-century Russia see Gary Marker, Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual life in Russia, 1700-1800 (Princeton University Press, i985)> 109-22. The high profits available for some eighteenth-century European periodicals is well documented. See, for example, the discussion in Claude Bellanger et al., eds., Histoire generale de la pressejranqaise, vol. 1: De I'origines a 1814 (Paris, 1969), 159-88 and ff. On the scholastic publishers see Marker, Publishing, ch. 3: "Schools and Publishers." Nicholas V Riasanovsky, A Parting of Ways: Government and the Educated Public in Russia 1801-1855 (Oxford, 1976), 23. Marker, Publishing, 49-50; A. V Zapadov, Russkaia zhurnalistika 30-kh-60-kh godov XVIII v. (Moscow, 1957), 9-11; SK, 170-71; S. P. Luppov, Kniga v Rossii v poslepetrovskoe vremia (Leningrad, 1976), 63-64. Quoted in A. V Zapadov, Russkaia zhurnalistika XVIII veka (Moscow, 1964), 34. Several of these introductions have been collected in I. V Malyshev, ed., N. I. Novikov i ego sovremenniki (Moscow, 1961), 324-36. For press run figures see SK, 71-114. M. I. Martynova and I. E Martynov, "Peterburgskii knigoizdatel' i knigotorgovets XVIII v. E. K. Vil'kovskii i izdanie uchebnykh posobii dlia narodnykh uchilishch," in A. I. Kopanev et al., eds., Istoriia knigi i izdatel'skogo dela (Leningrad, 1977), 68. The original version of this essay was printed in part 4, 1802, in Karamzin's own journal, Vestnik Evropy. It has been reproduced in

The creation of journals and the profession of letters


15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25




Malyshev, N. I. Novikov, 415-17. T h e translation comes from Harold B. Segel, ed., The Literature of Eighteenth-Century Russia: A History and Anthology, vol. 1 (New York, 1967), 449-53. On the history and circulation of the Trudy of the Free Economic Society see: John H. Brown, "The Publication and Distribution of the Trudy of the Free Economic Society, 1765-1796," Russian Review, 36 (1977), 341-50; SK, 197-201; and A. I. Khodnev, Istoriia vol'nago ekonomicheskago obshchestva s iy6^ do 1865 goda (St. Petersburg, l86 5)> 39O-9 1 SK, 139. P. N. Berkov, Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki XVIII veka (Moscow, 1952), 77-107V. P. Semennikov, Russkie satiricheskie zhurnaly iy6g-iyj4 gg. Razyskaniia ob izdateliakh ikh i sotrudnikakh (St. Petersburg, 1914), 8 2 - 8 3 . Ibid., 8 3 - 8 6 ; Marker, Publishing, 96; See also the appropriate listings for the satirical journals in SK and Lisovskii. Histoire generale, 1, 199. Jeremy D. Popkin, The Right-Wing Press in France, iyg2-i8oo (Chapel Hill, NG, 1980), 80. Alvin Sullivan, ed., British literary Magazines: The Augustan Age and the Age of Johnson, i6g8-iy88 (London, 1983), xvii. Jurgen Wilke, Literarische Zeitschrifien des 18. Jahrhunderts (1688iy8g), vol. 1: Grundlegung (Stuttgart, 1978), 124-26. Sullivan, British Literary Magazines, xv. This figure derives from a review of the dates of publication listed in SK. For more details on the histories of these journals see Marker, Publishing, 143-44; A. I. Dmitriev-Mamonov, "Pechat' v tobol'skom namestnichestve v kontse XVIII st. (Istoricheskie i bibliograficheskie razyskaniia)," Pamiatnaia knizhka Tobol'skoi gubernii na 1884 god (Tobol'sk, 1884), 259-350; L. Trefolev, "Pervyi russkii provintsiarnyi zhurnal 'Uedinennyi poshekhonets'," Russkii arkhiv, no. 9 (1879), 9 3 - "5" In the eighteenth century, vernacular Russian was far from fully formalized in grammar, stylistics, or spelling. The reasons for this linguistic disorder are complex, and they go beyond the limits of this essay. However, one of the many consequences of this longterm state of flux was a lack of uniformity in transliterating sounds that had no precise Russian equivalent. Thus, the English th or Greek theta were often rendered with rather than with a t, as it is in modern Russian (teatr). SK, 148; M. N. Longinov, Novikov i moskovskie martinisty (Moscow,

1867), 224-25.



28 Berkov, Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki, 388, 408-11; Longinov, Novikov i moskovskie martinisty, 41; L. B. Svetlov, Izdatel'skaia deiatel'nost3 N I. Novikova (Moscow, 1946), 38, 57, 88, and 97. 29 Segel, Literature of Eighteenth-Century Russia, 450. 30 Malyshev, N I. Novikov, 328. 31 The following account comes primarily from Gary Marker, "Russian Journals and Their Readers," Oxford Slavonic Papers, New Series vol. 29 (1986), 88-101. See also A. Nezelenov, N I. Novikov, izdatel' zhurnalov 17^-1785 gg. (St. Petersburg, 1875), 203-4, 207, and 270-72; Brown, "Publication and Distribution"; DmitrievMamonov, "Pechat'," 268-70 and 320; and G. J. Marker, "Novikov's Readers," Modern Language Review, 77 (1982), 894-905. 32 W. Gareth Jones, "The Morning Light Charity Schools, 17771780," Slavonic and East European Review, 65 (1978), 49-60. 33 On the method of establishing the rankings of the nobility see Marker, "Novikov's Readers," 904-5. 34 The literature describing bourgeois readership in the West is very extensive. All of the books that were cited earlier on Western periodicals speak at some length about the prevalence of the middle and urban classes among the readers. Among many other works, see Roger Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs dans la France d'ancien regime (Paris, 1987), 165-222. 35 Marker, "Russian Journals," 98-100; Dmitriev-Mamonov, "Pechat'," 268-69 and 320. 36 Marker, "Russian Journals," 94-98. 37 A. T. Bolotov, ZJiizri i prikliucheniia Andreia Bolotova opisannye samim im dlia svoikh potomkov, vol. 3 (Moscow, 1931), 277. 38 D. I. Ilovaiskii, "Novye svedeniia o N. I. Novikove i chlenakh kompanii tipograficheskoi," in Nikolai Tikhonravov, ed., Letopisi russkoi literatury i drevnosti, vol. 5 (Moscow, 1862), 6-7. 39 On the wages of literary translators see Marker, Publishing, 50-58 and 90-95 and ff. 40 Ibid., 105-34. 41 On the publishing experiences of Krylov and his friends see: N. Bystrov, "Tipografiia Krylova s tovarishchami," Severnaia pchela, no. 289 (1847), 1155-56; S. M. Babintsev, /. A. Krylov: ocherk ego izdatel'skoi i bibliotechnoi deiatel'nosti (Moscow, 1955), 8 - 3 3 ; I. M. Polonskaia, "K biografii I. A. Krylova," Gosudarstvennaia publichnaia biblioteka imeni V I. Lenina Trudy, 2 (1958), 69-85. On The Spectator, see Berkov, Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki, 461-78. 42 For an interesting discussion of the impact of press laws on Catherinian intellectuals see V A. Zapadov, "Kratkii ocherk istorii russkoi tsenzury 6 0 - 9 0 - x XVIII veka," in B. F. Egorov, ed.,

The creation of journals and the profession of letters Russkaia literatura i obshchestvenno-politicheskaia bor'ba XVII-XIX

33 vekov

(Leningrad, 1971), 94-135; and V A. Zapadov, "K istorii pravitel'stvennykh presledovanii N. I. Novikova," in G. P. Makogonenko, ed., N. I. Novikov i obshchestvenno-literaturnoe dvizhenie ego

vremeni (Leningrad, 1976), 37-48.


Early nineteenth century


Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century William Mills Todd III

Early nineteenth-century Russia - 1800 to 1840 for the purposes of this survey - features a confusing variety of literary movements (Sentimentalism, Classicism, Romanticism), a wealth of literary genres, and at least four institutions of literature: patronage, familiar associations (student groups, salons), the chapbook trade (lubok), and incipient professionalism. The plethora of cultural possibilities occasioned, in turn, a widespread obsession with literature as a social activity. Contemporary essays and works of literature addressed every conceivable aspect of literature as an actual or potential institution: the status and role of the writer; the reader's role in the literary process; the proper subjects and language for literature; literature as a mode of association; literature and social concerns (education, leisure, morality); literature and the marketplace; censorship. Although familiar associations - over four hundred literary salons and student circles - still dominated Russia's literary life, at least at the beginning of the period, concern with the possibilities and problems of the periodical press figured prominently in these critiques of Russian literary culture. The decades covered by this outline witnessed three major and interrelated developments in Russian journalism: (1) the rise of periodicals, such as The Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Evropy,

1802-30), which would be more far-ranging in their content than their eighteenth-century predecessors; (2) the rise of commercially viable periodicals, such as The Library for Reading (Biblioteka dlia chteniia, 1834-65), which would encourage, if not enable, the rise of a profession of letters in Russia and the 37



spread of literary culture beyond the salons of the two capitals; and (3) a shift in the orientation of the literary criticism in these journals from the sort that would be helpful to writers preparing their texts to the sort that would entertain and form a reading public. Toward the beginning of this period, a prominent critic, Prince P. A. Viazemsky, could justly scorn Russian periodicals "all our journals are school archives of pupils' essays."1 But by 1840 the most popular critic among the younger generation, V. G. Belinsky, could no less persuasively place periodical literature at the very center of Russian literary life: "the journal has now swallowed up our entire literature - the public doesn't want books, it wants journals, and in the journals they publish whole plays and novels, and each issue of the journals weighs forty pounds." 2 In the discussion that follows, I outline the place of periodicals in the largely amateur literature of the first twenty years of the century, then turn to the commercial enterprises of the third and fourth decades. Treatment of particular controversies - literary language (1800S-1840S), literary "aristocrats" (1828-31), and literary commerce (1835-36) - will illustrate some of the problems that Russian periodical literature endured as it became capable of serving a literary situation in which writer and reader no longer faced each other across a Moscow or Petersburg drawing room. FAMILIAR ASSOCIATIONS AND THE PERIODICAL PRESS

A literature practiced in and by familiar groups developed slowly alongside the patronage system, which had sustained Russian literature during the eighteenth century, as Russian culture underwent processes of secularization and westernization. But the salons and circles came to dominate Russian literary life during the first decades spanned by this outline. They became the locus of an institutionalization of literature that could give form and substance to the ideology of Russia's dominant cultural group, the enlightened westernized gentry, as it found its interests and orientation growing away, in very circuitous and complicated fashion, from those of the autocratic government.3

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


Instead of a subservient relationship to a patron, the writer now enjoyed by convention a position of social and cultural equality with his or her immediate audience, and, indeed, the roles of author and audience in theory coalesced in this new way of literary life. Friendly criticism from the group could lead the author to revise his or her work, which was generally written to be recited for the group in the first place. An author established contact with the audience orally or through the medium of the neatly handwritten page (a letter, for example), and received direct critical response. What was called "the spoken language of good society" served as the dominant linguistic code of this literature, although controversies over the linguistic, aesthetic, social, and political ramifications of this norm did not cease until the 1840s and would figure in the later journals of the period, such as The Library for Reading, as it had in the earlier ones, such as The Messenger of Europe. Any institutionalization of literature, even one so seemingly limited as the familiar groups (salons, student circles), engages literary life in some way with other cultural processes and, in turn, responds to them in keeping with its own structuring capabilities. The literature of familiar groups assumed educational, recreational, and entertaining functions. Literary composition that observed the conventions of polite society was, like dancing or duelling, a valued social skill, and a member of "society" acquired it both in school and at home. Beyond its role in the upbringing of the gentry elite, however, the practice of literature sought functions outside of the drawing room or study, first of all as an avenue of social mobility. Beyond this, literary people also sought a second public function: to play a role in the development of Russian society by contributing to the spread of civility, the amelioration of manners, and (by means of periodicals) the formation of public opinion. This second public function called on amateur writers to become journalists, but the path to journalism was by no means straight or unobstructed. If the literature of familiar groups did not reach very far beyond Moscow and Petersburg, this was not due to any lack of good intentions and effort on the part of Russian literary



people. The first twenty years of the century witnessed a proliferation of journals unprecedented in Russian culture; sixty journals appeared during the first decade alone, many published by the literary circles and societies of the two capital cities.4 Even the most playful of the circles, the Arzamas Society, planned to publish a satirical, literary, and political journal that would wage war against "prejudices, vices, and absurdities" in defense of "common sense and taste" and would force an opening in the "wall of China" that separated Russia from Europe.5 Strict censorship during the last years of the reign of Alexander I rendered the political section virtually unthinkable, but the Decembrist conspirators in the Arzamas society were willing to influence public opinion through literature and literary criticism in the circles and their periodicals. The project came to naught even without the political section. Another literary-philosophical circle, the Wisdom Lovers (Liubomudry), managed to publish four issues of an almanac, Mnemosyne (1824-25), which aimed to disseminate Romantic philosophy and literature. The surviving members of these two earlier groups continued their journalistic efforts even after the advent of a commercially viable periodical press in the 1830s. Alexander Pushkin's new Contemporary (Sovremennik, 1836-37) paid its contributors the relatively handsome honorarium of two hundred rubles per signature and would subsequently become (under Nekrasov's editorship, 1847-66) one of the most profitable and influential journals of the century; during the period covered by this survey, however, its table of contents offers a nearly complete roster of the surviving amateurs of the 1800S-1830S.

By the 1820s the amateur approach to literary life had proved unsatisfactory to many of the most talented writers of the time, even as they continued to frequent the familiar associations and to take part in their periodicals. The journals and almanacs that the groups produced turned out to be, at best, short-lived and of narrow circulation. Four brave projects for an Arzamasian journal (1818-24) did not proceed past the stage of tentatively assigning responsibilities to the society's members. Government discouragement played some part in

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


this (the censorship was reluctant to license new periodicals), but much of the fault rested with the group's naive and condescending attitude towards the material aspects of literary dissemination, without which literature would remain a matter of oral recitation and hand-written texts. Other projects by the familiar groups fared somewhat better. The Wisdom Lovers circumvented the ban on new journals by passing their periodical off as an almanac. Its advertisements promised "satisfaction of the various tastes of all readers," and V. K. Kiukhelbeker, its co-editor, boldly attacked the literature couched in "un petit jargon de coterie" that the familiar groups seemed to be providing.6 This appeal to a larger audience won them a mere 157 subscribers, and, even taking into consideration the extra 400 copies that were printed and sold, this printing could not have reached far beyond the group's friends and relatives in the two capitals. A journal that this Moscow group later founded, The Moscow Herald (Moskovskii vestnik), lasted but three years (1827-30) while losing over half of its initial 600 subscribers and its most valuable contributor, Pushkin. The seriousness of the group's philosophical interests would not permit it to make the concessions to taste (color plates of Paris fashions, material on contemporary life) that won its encyclopedic competition, N. A. Polevoi's Moscow Telegraph (Moskovskii telegrqf, 1825-34), greater longevity and a profitable list of 1,200 subscribers. Perhaps the most shocking failure befell a weekly newspaper, The Literary Gazette (Literaturnaia gazeta, 1830-31), that was edited

by Pushkin and A. A. Delvig. Despite contributions from prominent writers (Viazemsky, Davydov), early works of promising young authors (Gogol, Khomiakov), and translations from Western literatures (E. T. A. Hoffmann, Tieck, Scott, Stendhal, Paul de Kock, Manzoni), it lasted a mere eighteen months and attracted fewer than one hundred subscribers.7 Not all of the contributors stood on a uniformly high level, the indolent Delvig's editing left much to be desired, and later issues failed to appear regularly. But these typical shortcomings of the amateur periodicals tell only part of the story. The commercially skilled journalists who had come to prominence



in the late 1820s (F. V Bulgarin, N. I. Grech, N. A. Polevoi) joined forces to promote their own already successful periodicals at the expense of the new one. The government, rewarding Bulgarin for his loyalty and espionage, not only permitted him to wage unscrupulous war on Pushkin, but also tied the hands of Bulgarin's rivals, refusing The Literary Gazette permission to publish political news and even closing it down for several weeks. Pushkin's former fellow Arzamasian D. N. Bludov, now highly placed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, obtained permission for it to resume publication, but no such intercessions could win it a public, the continuing interest of its contributors, or a professional level of editing. In 1842, S. P. Shevyrev, a prominent critic and veteran of the salons and circles who had condemned the new commercial trend in Russian literature with more vehemence than logic or success, wrote an epitaph for the literature of familiar associations: The entire Russian reading public now lies in the hands of commercial literature . . . Meanwhile, the capital of the Russian intellect and imagination, the treasures of thought, knowledge, and language lie in the hands of talented people who are, for the most part, inactive. Contenting themselves with peaceful, friendly conversations, squandering their vital capabilities on a game for small stakes, growing ever more disused to labor, weaned by frequent refusals from inspiration, they release virtually none of the capital of their gifts into general circulation and concede, in their idleness and apathy, the leading roles to literary entrepreneurs - and this explains why our contemporary literature has grown rich in money and bankrupt in thought.8 Shevyrev's bitter epitaph cannot stand unqualified as a history of the 1830s, for during these years the amateur writers had continued their attempts to establish journals, new writers of unquestionable talent (Gogol, Lermontov, and Belinsky among them) had begun to win wide attention, and the journals that would prove the center of the next three decades' literary life The Contemporary and Fatherland Notes



1839-84) had begun to appear. Nevertheless, by the 1820s, the most perspicacious of Shevyrev's contemporaries had already begun to see that the widening gap between the familiar

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century

groups' ideals of mobility, openness, and enlightenment and their often perceived state of indolence, exclusiveness, and triviality had opened the way for a new way of literary life, a profession of letters. COMMERCIAL POSSIBILITIES

The profession of letters, like the literature of familiar groups, began to find a place in Russian culture during the eighteenth century. Responding to specific challenges of westernization and secularization, would-be professional writers produced (or, more frequently, translated) works that were to varying degrees educational and entertaining for readers eager to make their way in a world of new languages, careers, social relations, and values. Ambitious Russian writers took notice not only of individual foreign books and periodicals, but also of the technology, marketing techniques, literary forms, and cultural functions that would ensure the survival of a profitable public literature on their native soil. N. I. Novikov had perhaps the most comprehensive view of such a literary process, the most altruistic, and, at the same time, the most commercially sound. His example of success followed by repression would continue to inspire and haunt journalists of the early nineteenth century, such as Karamzin. 9 Novikov's intelligent, comprehensive, and at times wellfinanced efforts had attempted to circumvent, even to confront, the very force that had made a secular Western literature conceivable in Russia: the autocratic government. In contrast to Western states, early nineteenth-century Russia lacked, as Nicholas Riasanovsky has noted, such counter-balancing social forces as an independent legal profession, private universities, a powerful church, a broad reading public, or the middle class that had been so crucial to the Western Enlightenment.10 By the beginning of the nineteenth century the literature of familiar associations, supported in its independence by the ideology of the enlightened westernized gentry, might try to escape dependency on the autocracy. But any professionalization of Russian journalism had to depend upon the good will of




the government, which took a very direct interest in the impact of the printed word. Faddei Bulgarin would boast in 1833 that the development of a commercially viable literature had freed writers from the departments of the imperial bureaucracy.11 This was at best a half-truth, as Bulgarin well knew, for his own profitable literary activities depended upon the support of the Third Section of His Majesty's Imperial Chancery, which helped finance Bulgarin's newspaper, The Northern Bee (Severnaia pchela, 1825-64), protected him from other censorship organs, restrained his journalistic competitors, and even sought promotions for him from the Ministry of Education, to which he was formally attached. This was a far cry from the London Times, which could, from 1803 on, refuse political subsidies.12 Consequently, a discussion of Russian journalism must take cognizance of the autocratic government, which had not only peopled the literary process but also stood poised over it, capable of interfering with any stage in that process at almost any time, and thereby hindering its institutionalization. During the period 1780-1848, for example, private presses were permitted, banned, and reestablished; ambiguous passages in a text were held against the author, then disregarded, and - de facto - again interpreted with the utmost suspiciousness of the writer's intent; the importation of foreign books and journals was banned, permitted, then severely curtailed. Censorship agencies proliferated, supervising and often contradicting one another; there were no fewer than twelve by the end of this period.13 But rapid change in the legal process was not, in itself, the chief problem facing the would-be professional journalist. Laws, however quickly they changed, could at least enable people to predict the consequences of their actions. The central problem was rather the unpredictability, arbitrariness, and vindictiveness of the government, from the tsar to the "very important people" in its agencies - ecclesiarchs, army officers, bureaucrats. Although the censorship examined works prior to publication (a hardship for newspapers, one that the French abandoned in 1819), if the published work incurred the displeasure of someone in high places, writers and publishers could be punished subsequent to publication, even when the

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


laws ostensibly protected them. For panning a novel that the tsar admired, no less a figure than Bulgarin was incarcerated briefly in the guardhouse. The censors themselves were vulnerable: an article that displeased higher authorities could result in severe reprimands, loss of position, or brief jail sentences for the censors that let it pass. It is not surprising, then, that the censors passed on their own uncertainties to the journalists. To be sure, the punishments that censors, writers, and publishers endured were less severe than they had been or would be at other times in Russian history. Sidney Monas notes that not a single case of literary treason was prosecuted during the reign of Nicholas I. 14 Nevertheless, the banning of periodicals (even temporarily), the intimidation of censors, and the humiliation of journalists made it difficult for honorable people to overcome the problems that confronted them as they sought to earn a living through their journalistic vocations. Besides this autocratic system, the would-be professional journalist had to contend with a second tyrannical power: the fashion-oriented capriciousness of the enlightened, westernized gentry. "Society," as it called itself, held any professionalization in contempt and adhered to a cultural norm of refined nonspecialization, the honnete homme (ckestnyi chelovek). Nevertheless, despite these unpredictable and shifting barriers, and despite the minuscule potential readership that early nineteenthcentury Russia could offer, some remunerative periodical activities flourished during the early decades of the century, although these could hardly be called "professional" (i.e., training, group identity, social prestige) in any sense beyond remuneration. Foremost among these early activities (leaving aside the chapbook trade, lubok, which serviced the semi-literate and provincial publics) were the yearly almanacs, for which there flourished a French precedent, the annual Almanack des Muses (1765-1833).15 The almanacs derived much of their appeal to gentleman-litterateurs from their dissimilarity to the productions of both patronized panegyrists and the lubok industry. Established as a commercial venture by Karamzin in the 1790s (Aglaia, 1794 and 1795, and Aonidy, parts 1-3, 1796-99), the



almanac was an elegant pocket-sized volume that generally sought to meet the literary interests of a reading public with pretenses to refinement. The chapbook publishers provided adventure narratives and didactic texts, the almanacs - lyric poetry, sentimental short fiction, fragmentary travel accounts, and familiar essays. The typical almanac delivered a wide selection of short works, generally in time for the new year; it furnished people of fashion with material for salon conversations. One might regard it as the portable, commercial equivalent of the ladies' albums, which were very much in fashion. The almanacs cultivated the fugitive themes, the generic trifles (bezdelki), and the mellifluous style of album verse from the very outset, when Karamzin had sought to avoid the "superfluous pomposity" of the odic tradition. Later almanacs, most notably The Polar Star (Poliarnaia zvezda, 1823-25), edited by the De-

cembrists A. A. Bestuzhev and K. F. Ryleev, might choose to include material on more civic themes, and Bestuzhev made the annual survey of Russian literature a fixture of the serious almanacs, but readers nevertheless expected the almanac to proffer a wealth of different works and to address a genteel reader in the polite style that Karamzin had institutionalized in Russian letters, one that was the fundamental expression of "society's" ideology. Such adherence to the codes and interests of polite society made it possible for gentlemen (and lady) writers to give their works to these commercial ventures. But at first, only the gentleman editor (such as Karamzin, Bestuzhev, or Delvig), the bookseller, and the printer profited from the enterprise. The editors' friends would contribute short pieces out of friendship and for the pleasure of seeing their works in print. But one almanac, The Polar Star, soon became so profitable that Bestuzhev and Ryleev proposed honoraria for their contributors. Their publisher, Slenin, fearing an inroad into his profits, countered by withdrawing his support from them. Not wishing to abandon this profitable territory altogether, he then persuaded Baron Delvig to accept the handsome sum of four thousand rubles for founding a rival almanac, Northern Flowers, Gathered by Baron Delvig, to which Delvig's schoolfellow Pushkin

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


dutifully donated a fragment of Eugene Onegin. A competition for contributors ensued, but the rival editors5 acquaintances provided sufficient fragments for each, and friendship between the editors survived, which suggests that proprieties had not been severely violated. By the late 1820s, the almanacs dominated Russian literature. Pushkin, like most subsequent commentators, ignoring the lubok trade, could write: "the almanacs have become the representatives of our literature. In time its movement and successes will be judged according to them."16 Judged in this way, Russian literature of the late 1820s offered intelligent criticism, lyric poetry of high quality, promising beginnings of longer works, and very little prose of any merit. The literary situation producing and consuming these elegant tomes offered little hope to those writers, who, like Pushkin, aspired to support themselves not by publishing, but by writing, and whose dreams of literary professionalism extended beyond remuneration to social standing and the development of a public sphere. Leaving aside the critical surveys, the almanacs certainly seemed an unlikely nursery for the serious, intellectual prose that Pushkin saw as one of Russia's most pressing cultural needs and that proved to be the mainstay of Russian journalism during the ensuing decades. Almost as quickly as they came to literary reputability and prominence, the almanacs slipped into the commercial realm controlling the production and dissemination of translated novels and chapbooks. The publishing conditions of the almanacs, however, characterized much of the periodical production not controlled by the familiar groups discussed in the first section of this survey. With such journals, Karamzin's important Messenger of Europe, for example, the translators and contributors received no honoraria, but the gentleman-editor who secured and arranged these contributions (a number were usually his own) derived a regular income from them. In Karamzin's case, the journal's publisher paid him 3,000 rubles a year as editor, a salary three to four times that of the average government functionary. In turn, the journal's offerings - perceptive reflections on the state of Russian culture, original Russian and translated fiction,



European cultural and political news - and its political orientation (patriotic, yet cosmopolitan; for education and the rule of law, yet anti-revolutionary; for serfdom, yet opposed to abuses) won it a stable readership among the enlightened, westernized gentry and those who aspired to membership in it. Karamzin's articles, original and translated, offered instruction in polite conversation, a portrait of the ideal woman, and an ideal set of poses for the Russian honnete homme: "I love to imagine the Russian gentry not only with sword in hand, not only with the scales of Themis, but also with Apollo's bays, with the staff of the God of the Arts, with the emblems of the Goddess of Agriculture."17 Karamzin's ability to reflect and, more important, to shape the values and aspirations of the gentry elite won The Messenger of Europe unusual longevity and a significant readership, 1,200 subscribers. It published important works by Russian authors (including Pushkin's first verse), remained a cultural force under its subsequent editors (including V A. Zhukovsky) until the early 1820s, and survived until 1830.18 Although such remunerated and sometimes highly profitable activities as the almanacs or The Messenger of Europe could help gentlemen-writers out of an occasional bind, none provided a steady, dependable source of income. Government interference, as well as commercial and ideological problems, made these journalistic ventures (like such other noble pursuits as gambling and duelling) a matter of high risk and frequent failure. Thus none of the almanacs appeared more than eight times, and editorships revolved as quickly as journals failed. These commercial activities (again like gambling and duelling) were generally oriented toward the quick kill, rather than toward the establishment of lasting concerns. Thanks to the relatively low cost of paper and typesetting and to the underdeveloped (therefore inexpensive) marketing networks of early nineteenthcentury Russia, considerable profits could be realized on highly priced small editions that satisfied the tastes of well-to-do readers. But this was not conducive to long-lived journals, and it inspired neither the gentlemen-litterateurs nor the evergrowing number of booksellers in the capital cities to invest adequate capital in expanding the reading public and edu-

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


eating it to overcome the whims of fashion, as Novikov had once tried to do. The profession of letters offered hope to serious writers of the 1820s and became a pressing cultural issue in the 1830s, but the conditions of literary commerce unstable, antagonistic relationships in the marketplace and lack of economic foresight among all parties — insured that publishing would remain, as one historian put it, a cottage industry.19 AUTHORS, CRITICS, AND READERS: FOUNDING AN INSTITUTION

During the late 1820s and throughout the 1830s, writerjournalists (the first role inevitably accompanied the second), booksellers, and critics sought to expand these commercial opportunities and to form, from a synthesis of the possibilities I have outlined, a profession of letters that could function under constraints imposed by the autocracy and by polite society, provide a living for themselves, and foster the development of the salient forms of modern writing, journalism and the novel. A number of developments inspired attempts at such a synthesis of the security of patronized activity, the respectability of familiar literary association, and the profitability of successful commercial enterprise: the copyright, instituted in 1828; attempts to codify the censor's role in literary life (1826, 1828), unexpected examples of windfall profit (from Bulgarin's journalism and novels, Karamzin's history, and Pushkin's narrative poems); the eagerness of some journalists to engage in monopolistic activities (Bulgarin, Grech, Polevoi); and more active agents of dissemination, such as the bookseller A. F. Smirdin. But even more striking than the possibility of this synthesis, the terms of which are implicit in Pushkin's comments on Karamzin, are its fragility, the bitter controversies that it occasioned, and the need that it revealed for defining and constituting such roles as author, critic, and reader.20 What is equally important to note, for the purposes of this survey, is that the periodical press had now become sufficiently central to Russian culture that it could serve in these controversies over



authorship, criticism, and commerce as both the arena and object of struggle. In the remainder of this survey, I shall focus on two controversies, the debate over the "literary aristocracy" and the general concern over literary "commerce," in order to diagnose the considerable growing pains that Russian literature and Russian journalism were undergoing during this decade. The documents of the first controversy - satires, reviews, and crude personal attacks in the major periodicals as well as denunciations to the Third Section — use a terminology ("aristocracy") that invites a naive sociological analysis, one that neglects not merely ideological considerations, but also the noble status of most participants on all sides and of their readership. Begun over Polevoi's doubts about the enduring value of Karamzin's historical studies, the debate quickly turned into one over the nature of authorship and criticism and threatened to dismantle the delicately balanced synthesis of roles which Karamzin (official historiographer, salon figure, and salaried editor) was seen to have bequeathed to Russian culture upon his death in 1826. The question of authorial independence and dignity became central to Pushkin's interpretation of the Karamzinian legacy because of his own financial difficulties and growing ties to the imperial court. Bulgarin would claim the Karamzinian succession, and Grech would portray Karamzin as more of a court figure than Pushkin and his allies deemed desirable or appropriate. But Bulgarin's new popularity with the reading public, based on the success of his novel Ivan Vyzhigin (1829), enabled him to direct the charge of "aristocratism" (in this context, snobbery, disrespect for talent) against his critics, who included Prince Viazemsky (Karamzin's own brother-inlaw), Pushkin, and other poets of their circle, who had monopolized the attentions of the 1820s almost as completely as Bulgarin and his confreres would do in the 1830s. The former group had praised and defended each other in their almanacs and journals, inspired in large part by their friendships. Now Bulgarin and Grech would praise each other's works in their newspaper and journals - The Northern Bee, The Northern Archive (Severnyi arkhiv, 1822-29),


^ The Son of the

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Fatherland (Syn otechestva, 1812-44, 1847-52); they artfully camouflaged commercial opportunism under the same mantle of friendship that had been woven by the ideology of polite society and by the literature of the familiar groups. Pushkin sought to expose this impersonation and to brand his opponents with the label, "aristocrat," which they had attached to him by writing two literary satires, but he published them in a journal, N. I. Nadezhdin's biweekly Telescope (Teleskop, 1831-36), that could not hope to compete in circulation with the periodicals of its targets. The temptation to view Bulgarin's success as the opening of a new era of Russian literature and journalism must be in large part resisted. The sequel to Ivan Vyzhigin, the first nineteenthcentury Russian novel to enjoy commercial success with the educated, westernized public, did not fare well. In any case, the fortunes of The Northern Bee, which became a daily in 1831, depended in large part in its monopoly over political and court news, news supplied by the government, which in turn accounted for many of its subscriptions. Its price, fifty rubles a year (expensive, like the other periodicals of its time), placed it well beyond the reach of the broader public serviced by the lubhi, which cost mere kopecks. Although Bulgarin's feuilletons, like his denunciations to the Third Section, contained insightful comments on Russian literary culture, the popularity of this generally undistinguished four-page sheet was greatly aided by the lack of competitors. While Pushkin, Bulgarin, and their respective allies contended ferociously for possession of the fragile Karamzinian synthesis, its inadequacy would appear most clearly in its lack of a critical mediator between writer and public, of someone who could inform the public of literary developments and convey to the writer a focused sense of the public's interests and expectations. The dignified authorial persona created by Karamzin did not encourage an author to answer his critics or even to engage in the public criticism of published works. Karamzin had not only ignored his own critics, but had refused, as editor of The Messenger of Europe, to criticize contemporary authors. He feared to discourage their efforts: in



1802 it seemed a luxury to have criticism when there was so little Russian literature to evaluate. Until the 1820s this absence struck but few Russian litterateurs. A protege-writer could address his patron-reader directly and be judged by him, while (ideally) he could educate that patron's tastes. In a familiar circle writer and reader exchanged roles in a continuing critical dialogue throughout the production of the work. The groups' familiar letters and the minutes of their meetings left many examples of painstaking, hard-headed criticism and response. But a modern, professionalized literary process presents writer and reader few such opportunities for personal interaction. Criticism becomes a necessity with the expansion of the reading public — just beginning to occur in Russia — and with the proliferation of different sorts of work reaching that public. Without intelligent, principled help in the selection and reception of literature, a reader can remain unaware of much that is appearing, undisposed towards new developments, and subject to crudely commercial or ideological manipulation, or else to accident. This was precisely the prospect that faced Russian literature of the late 1820s and 1830s, as representative works of disparate foreign and native movements filled the bookstores and journals. Mere bibliographical notices in the Russian journals could no longer suffice, as Pushkin had noted in 1825 and would later repeat in The Literary Gazette, nor would the other modes of Russian criticism that he observed: vulgar exchanges of epithets (such as "aristocrat"), outright abuse, clever jokes, satiric comments, the mutual admiration of friends, proof-readers' comments, "unliterary" ad hominem accusations, and "several separate articles full of bright thoughts and pompous wit."21 Pushkin's positive attempts to define an institutional role for criticism might be more instructive than his incisive and comprehensive catalogue of failings. Where could Pushkin turn, given the possibilities of Russian journalism and criticism in the late 1820s and early 1830s? His notebooks for the years 1830-31, kept during the debate over literary "aristocracy," are filled with attempts to create a public criticism from these possibilities. One type of criticism that Pushkin considered was

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


simply to print the debates of the familiar groups.22 Yet, as Pushkin surely knew, much of this conversation involved the exchange of satiric observations, specific comments on turns of phrase, and mutual admiration of a sort that might encourage writers, but could not serve the needs of the Russian reader. Another fragment addressed the need for critics to know the conventions and traditions of literature; a third proclaimed the need for open polemics.23 None of these, least of all the first, spoke directly to the problem of mediation between writer and unseen reader, which was crucial to the development of Russian literary journalism, but they do show that the existing institutional components of Karamzin's synthesis could not fill the needs of the 1830s. The controversy over the "literary aristocracy" brought to the fore problems of authorial dignity and the shortcomings of Russian criticism. A second controversy, over "literature and commerce," not only revealed that these problems remained unsolved, but introduced new ones that concerned no less vital aspects of modern literature and journalism: editing, publishing, and readership. The combatants in the first campaign took part in this one too, but a new group assumed leadership: Smirdin, the bookseller; O. I. Senkovsky, the editor of the monthly Library for Reading, and Shevyrev, Belinsky, and Gogol commentators for the rival journals The Moscow Observer (Moskovskii nabliudatel', 1835-39), The Telescope, and The Contemporary,

respectively. Smirdin's triumphs - a new bookstore and subscription library at a fashionable Petersburg address (1832), a successful almanac that celebrated this move {The Housewarming [Novosel'e, 1833]), ownership of a virtual monopoly over the print media (including The Library for Reading) — occasioned Belinsky's label for the 1830s, "the age of Smirdin." All Russian writers who aspired to any public presence had to reckon with his editors Bulgarin and Grech and with his commercial network. Belinsky, who saluted Smirdin's honesty and reliability, nevertheless noted that books not published by Smirdin and not written or protected by his editors tended not to circulate very widely.24



Smirdin's enthusiasm and three years of schooling from a Moscow deacon did not enable him to interact with his authors on an intellectual basis. "Smirdin, naturally, is no Novikov," as Bulgarin gracelessly put it.25 Nor can it be said that Smirdin modernized Russian journalism and publishing by significantly lowering prices in the marketplace and by making literature accessible to something approaching a mass public. Annual reading privileges at his bookstore cost fifty rubles, and the availability of monthly rates suggests that it catered to landowners visiting Petersburg for the winter.26 The Housewarming was an elegantly printed, expensive volume; The Library for Reading at fifty rubles per year was among the most expensive periodicals of its time. The high salaries and honoraria that Smirdin offered his most fashionable editors and writers - even for the mere right to list their names or as bribes not to found rival enterprises - did not make the practice of journalism a profitable profession for more than a few writers. To be sure, Smirdin paid his editors unprecedented salaries - Senkovsky 15,000 a year, Bulgarin 25,000 a year - and a few established writers received handsome honoraria from him. But the typical contributor to his journals could not expect to make a comfortable living from the honoraria, as contemporaries noted.27 This negative assessment of Smirdin's efforts should not obscure his historical role, which was essentially that of consolidation, not innovation. Pushkin, Gogol, and Belinsky all noted the reliability and honesty of his commercial dealings: the journals that he owned came out on time and in the promised "thickness"; contributors to his journals, paid by the signature, received their honoraria promptly. Given the chaotic publishing marketplace, the gambling instincts of his writers, readers' susceptibility to shifting fashions, and other institutionalized drawbacks to journalistic commerce, this reliability was no small achievement. Indeed, professional journalism cannot survive without something like it. But Smirdin's efforts would not prove sufficient for his own survival. By the 1840s he was ruined, as unscrupulous writers (such as Bulgarin) continued to abuse his extravagant generosity and as the publishing trade

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


suffered a general decline. But the commercial principles that his periodicals established set a standard for the "thick journals" that dominated Russian journalism until the last two decades of the century. Smirdin's success, then, rested not on an intellectual partnership with his contributors and editors but on his ability to distribute their works. To some critics of Smirdin's enterprises (Pushkin, Gogol, Belinsky) this meant limiting the readers' choices by monopolistic practices, as his journalists shamelessly lauded each other in their periodicals. But it also meant giving the readers, who participated in an increasingly complex syncretic culture, everything they demanded: both Russian and foreign works; fiction, history, and popular science; prose and poetry; works of each and every notable Russian writer of any generation and tendency - an encyclopedic inclusiveness that Smirdin proclaimed in the catalogue to his reading room, on the cover of The Housewarming (which showed a multitude of writers raising their glasses to salute him), and on the title page to The Library for Reading, which was subtitled A Journal of Literature, The Sciences, The Arts, News, and Fashions. The names of

fifty-seven contributors appear on this title page. Many of them subsequently asked that their names be removed, some never published anything in the journal, and some had been added without their owners' permission. Nevertheless, the "trusting public," as Belinsky called it, rushed to subscribe in numbers that amazed all commentators —fiveto seven thousand during the 1830s - numbers that would not be significantly surpassed until the late nineteenth century. Syncretism became the guiding principle for The Library of Reading, a principle that helps distinguish this journal and others like it from the "thick journals" of the 1840s-1880s, journals that were marked by a stronger ideological identity, by the clear predominance of prose over verse, and by vigorously principled cultural criticism.28 Syncretism in itself, however, was no novelty. Mnemosyne had promised to satisfy every taste; The Moscow Telegraph had addressed a wide range of topics; and Shevyrev's Moscow Observer, founded in opposition to The Library for Reading, would advertise itself as an "encyclopedic journal."



But, more than the others, The Library for Reading made good on this promise of plenty. Why, then, did this journal, which appeared with unusual accuracy, rewarded its contributors generously, published such brilliant works as Pushkin's "Queen of Spades," and reached an unprecedentedly broad readership, arouse a storm of controversy that touched upon the entire literary process? The answer, leaving aside any personal motives, has much to do with Senkovsky's contributions, and refused contributions, to this process. Shevyrev led the charge against The Library for Reading. Much of his attack borders on hysteria: accusations that payment by the signature makes writers long-winded; hyperbolic accounts of the fortunes to be made in Russian letters; fears that commerce would destroy all taste, thought, morality, learning, and honest criticism; and the piously romantic assertion that poetry alone had not fallen into the clutches of commerce.29 The values that Shevyrev articulates in this essay, its desire for a literature of thought that would lend expression to the age and to society, and its very form (a pseudo-epistolary reply to a friend) mark his approach as that of the Moscow familiar groups, of which he was an inveterate member. Their highminded approach to journalism and their hope to form public opinion ran contrary to Senkovsky's expressed editorial policy of entertaining the public and catering to its desires. Senkovsky's motives had to strike Shevyrev as still more monstrous because Senkovsky had attracted works of high literature, including an historical piece by Shevyrev himself, and because he had appropriated the codes of high literature, professing to base his journal's style on the conversational usage of good society. Gogol and Belinsky, two further critics of Senkovsky, themselves embraced the professionalization of literary life. Their criticism, consequently, did not attack commerce per se, but rather defended, against perceived abuses by Senkovsky, specific requirements for a dignified literary profession: respect for the author's text, responsible criticism addressed to the public, and critical awareness of the cultural needs of that public.

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


By no means the least striking of Senkovsky's practices was his unashamed editorial free-handedness, which Gogol, forgetting the traditional deceits of the chapbook publishers, found unprecedented in Russian culture. He could only quote Senkovsky in amazement: "we leave no story in its prior form, but redo every one; sometimes we work up one out of two, sometimes out of three, and the piece gains significantly from our alterations."30 Senkovsky probably never went this far, but he did add a happy conclusion to Balzac's Pere Goriot, altered scholarly articles (including Shevyrev's), and inserted his own idees fixes into other critics' essays. Some of his alterations merely reflected the presence of an editorial policy, theretofore unknown in Russia (except in the coauthorship patterns of the familiar groups), but many represented a blatant assault on the text and, by extension, on the name and unique mission of the poet (celebrated by Gogol in an earlier essay on Pushkin). To Belinsky, this was nothing less than a betrayal of the reader's trust. Even when measured by the low standards of early nineteenth-century Russian public criticism, The Library for Reading struck its contemporaries as irresponsible, capricious, and outright dishonest. It was, in Lydia Ginzburg's deft phrase, "in principle unprincipled."31 Where Pushkin had sought to forge public criticism from an amalgam of rules, models, and taste, Senkovsky offered unalloyed, ostensibly ungoverned personal taste, which could not possibly be assayed.32 Aside from its brassy dismissal of literary precedents, this position did not differ in broad outline from the one Karamzin had adopted before the turn of the century, when "taste" had liberated Russian criticism from the sway of the rhetorical manuals and other formularies. Senkovsky's success argues that he, like Karamzin, found a personal taste that could be shared by much of the reading public. But three decades after Karamzin's early successes such "taste" could not play the liberating role that it had in Karamzin's time. Senkovsky's practice in the 1830s opposed both the philosophical aspirations of the Moscow critics, such as Belinsky, and the program of public debate that Pushkin had advanced. Given the nearly mono-



polistic position that The Library for Reading enjoyed, its refusal to engage in open polemics and to ground criticism in anything more stable than personal whim threatened to debase the already fragile public literature or at least to preserve the status quo. The journal's refusal to review anything but current literature disengaged it from the otherwise universal and compelling search for a Russian tradition. It's "Literary Chronicle" section, replete with jokes, puns, gossip, and other forms of small wit — sometimes quite funny — promised nothing more than mere entertainment. The pseudonym under which much of this appeared, "Baron Brambeus," was itself a provocation to serious critics, borrowed as it was from the hero of a chapbook tale. In short, this most popular of Russian journals realized in its policies and practices every failure that Gogol could discover in Russian public criticism: (1) self-contempt (2) neglect of the literature of the past (3) the absence of pure aesthetic enjoyment and taste and (4) neglect of large questions in favor of petty quarrels and small wit.33 Gogol could be specific and devastating in his attack on the reviews of his time, but another aspect of the journalistic process left him puzzled: "On what educational level does the Russian public stand, and what is the Russian public?" The only answer that the journals of his time seemed to give him, apart from boasting of their subscription figures, came in their advertisements and their flattery of the reader. The rudimentary statistics of his time could have told him that, even at ten readers a copy, The Library for Reading would have reached less than one percent of the population and that only five percent of the gentry and three percent of the "obligated classes" received even a gymnasium education.34 Neither Smirdin, with his wealth, nor Senkovsky, with his shotgun approach to editorial selection, could answer Gogol's crucial questions. The success of The Library for Reading, nevertheless, focused attempts to define the public concretely. Nadezhdin, for one, immediately identified the journal's reader as a provincial, and Gogol followed, noting with satisfaction that it was read more in the provinces than in the capitals.35 Belinsky, however, refused to share in the traditional contempt for the provinces,

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


or, rather, showed that a "provincial" attitude toward literature characterized the capitals as well. He argued that the capitals differed from the provinces only in having greater access to fashion's verdicts, not in education or taste.36 "Provincial" in this definition would signify the backward, the counterfeit, the mediocre, the merely entertaining, even when clothed in the "good language" of The Libraryfor Reading.

Throughout this period Belinsky would continue to express similar doubts about the reading public, distinguishing those who bought literature as a mere entertainment commodity from those for whom literature could be a "res publica, great and important, a source of lofty moral enjoyment and live ecstasy." Such a public would be "a single living personality, historically developed, with a certain direction, taste, and view of things," and it would see literature as "its own, flesh of its flesh, bone of its bone, and not something alien, accidentally filling a certain number of books and journals." Only such a public could, argued Belinsky, make the titles "writer" and "critic" meaningful.37 These aspirations appeared in 1841 in Fatherland Notes, a journal whose transformation during the late 1830s prepared the new way of literary life of which Belinsky dreamed. It had been founded in 1818 by a literary adventurer, P. P. Svinin, who filled it with generally uninteresting and unreliable material (an exception was some of Gogol's early short fiction) until it folded for want of subscribers in 1831, a common fate for the amateurishly edited and under-capitalized periodicals of the 1800-40 period. In 1839, however, an enterprising Moscow litterateur, A. A. Kraevsky, took it over from Svinin, who had tried to revive it that year; Kraevsky raised enough capital and enlisted sufficiently prominent contributors to make it competitive with the periodicals of Bulgarin, Grech, and Senkovsky. Belinsky joined it as chief critic and in July 1839 began the process of attracting and shaping a public that would match his organic vision of a literary institution, a public that would recognize journalism as a vocation, even a profession. This new public would comprise university students, raznochintsy and provincials - the "intelligentsia," in short. Belinsky would exercise a



hegemony over this public no less impressive than Senkovsky's had been in the 1830s, as his Fatherland Notes would eclipse The Library for Reading, The Northern Bee, and The Son of the Fatherland

as a cultural force. Until that day really came, Russian journalism was not yet the central cultural force that it would become in the "thick journals" during the second half of the century. It was not yet a widely practiced profession, in either ideological or economic terms. Periodicals were too expensive to reach a broad public, even had such a public existed or had sufficient free libraries been able to serve it. But Russian journals had begun the process of forming and serving a public sphere, and had already become the place where problems facing Russian society and culture could be debated by Russia's most talented writers. NOTES

1 Quoted in Iu. M. Lotman, "P. A. Viazemskii i dvizhenie Dekabristov," Uchenye zapiski Tartuskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, 98 (i960), 50. 2 V. G. Belinskii, Sobranie sochinenii v deviati tomakh (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1976-82), 9: 411. Letter to V. P. Botkin, 31 October 1840. 3 On the relationship of Russia's incipient intelligentsia to the government, see Nicholas V Riasanovsky, A Parting of Ways: Government and the Educated Public in Russia, 1805-1855 (Oxford University Press, 1976). On the ideology of the enlightened westernized gentry, or polite society, see William Mills Todd III, Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin: Ideology, Institutions, and Narrative (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), ch. 1. 4 V E. Evgen'ev-Maksimov et al., eds., Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki, vol. 1 (Leningrad: Izd. Leningradskogo Universiteta, 1950), 155-56, 199, 211, 300. 5 Viazemsky, quoted in M. S. Borovkov-Maikova, ed., "Arzamas" i "arzamasskie" protokoly (Izdatel'stvo pisatelei v Leningrade, 1933), 239-42. 6 Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki, 230—32. 7 E. M. Blinova, e Literaturnaia gazeta" A. A. Del'viga i A. S. Pushkina, 1830-31: Ukazatel'soderzhaniia (Moscow: Kniga, 1966).

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8 S. P. Shevyrev, "Vzgliad na sovremennoe napravlenie russkoi literatury," Moskvitianin, i (1842), xxxii. 9 For Karamzin's praise and defense of Novikov, see "O knizhnoi torgovle i liubvi ko chteniiu v Rossii," and "Zapiska o N. I. Novikove," in N. M. Karamzin, Izbrannye sochineniia v dvukh tomakh (Moscow-Leningrad: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1964), 2: 176-80, 231-33. The first appeared in Karamzin's journal Messenger of Europe, the second (addressed to Alexander I) was not published until 1862. 10 Riasanovsky, A Parting of Ways, 22-23. n Severnaia pchela, 1833. Quoted in T. Grits, V Trenin, M. Nikitin, Slovesnost' i kommertsiia (knizhnaia lavka A. F. Smirdina), ed. V B. Shklovskii and B. M. Eikhenbaum (Moscow: Federatsiia, 1929), 278. 12 Lenore O'Boyle, "The Image of the Journalist in France, Germany, and England, 1815-48," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 10 (October-July 1967-68), 313. This article provides useful social, political, and economic comparisons. 13 On the censorship during this period see M. Lemke, Mkolaevskie zhandarmy i literatura 1826-1855 gg. Po podlinnym delam tret ego otdeleniia sobstv. E.I. velichestva kantseliarii, 2nd edn (St. Petersburg: S. V Bunin, 1909); A. V Nikitenko, Dnevnik, 3 vols. (Moscow: Goslitizdat, 1955-56); and Charles A. Rudd, Fighting Words: Imperial Censorship and the Russian Press, 1804-1906 (University of Toronto Press, 1982), chs. 4-6. 14 Sidney Monas, The Third Section: Police and Society Under Nicholas I (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961), 196. 15 On the history of the Russian almanacs, see John Mersereau, Jr., Baron Delvig's Northern Flowers, 1825-1832: Literary Almanack of the Pushkin Pleiad (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1967), 7-25; Grits, Trenin, and Nikitin, Slovesnost' i kommertsiia, 188-208; and V E. Vatsuro, ceSevernye tsvety": istoriia almanakha Del'viga-Pushkina (Moscow: Kniga, 1978). 16 A. S. Pushkin, "Ob al'manakhe 'Severnaia lira'," Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 17 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad: Nauka, 1937-59), I I : 4^The almanac under Pushkin's review was edited by S. E. Raich, whose scruples prevented him from selling his own verse, but permitted him to publish almanacs, S. Gessen, Knigoizdatel' A. S. Pushkin (Leningrad: Academia, 1930), 127-30. 17 Quoted in A. G. Cross, "N. M. Karamzin's 'Messenger of Europe' (Vestnik Evropy), 1802-3," Forum for Modern Language Studies 5 (January 1969), 15. For other instructive portraits, see "Portret miloi zhenshchiny," Vestnik Evropy, 1 (January 1802): and "Ob



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21 22 23 24 25

26 27



uchtivosti i khoroshem tone," Vestnik Evropy, 9 (May 1803). The ideal woman in the first of these - a reader of morally instructive novels, an accomplished letter-writer, submissive to providence, kind to her servants, adept in society, married from circumstances and not love (her husband is no "Grandison") - could well be a preliminary portrait for Tatiana in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (1833). The favorite reading of the politely picaresque hero of Gogol's Dead Souls (1842) is the fiction of Mme. de Genlis, which figured prominently in Vestnik Evropy. I mention this to show the stability of the ideology of polite society during the period covered by this survey. For an account of the journal's post-Karamzin years, see V V Gippius, "Vestnik Evropy" in Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki, 179-93. M. N. Kufaev, Istoriia russkoi knigi v XIX veka (Leningrad: Nachatki znanii, 1927), 140. A. S. Pushkin, "Otrivki iz pisem, mysli i zamechaniia," Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 11: 52-57. These comments were first published in the almanac Northern Flowers in 1828, in response to Bulgarin's memoir on Karamzin, published in another almanac, Album of the Northern Muses (Atbom severnykh muz), also in 1828. Pushkin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 11: 89, 123-24, 151, 166, 176; 12: 178; 13: 178. Ibid., 11: 90. Ibid., 11: 132, 139. V G. Belinskii, "Neskol'ko slov o 'Sovremennike,' " Sobranie sochinenii v deviati tomakh, 1: 489. Severnaia pchela, 300 (1833), 1186. Shevyrev, Gogol, and Belinsky also noted that Smirdin played no intellectual part in The Library for Reading. Grits, Trenin, and Nikitin, Slovesnost' i kommertsiia, 238. Belinskii, Sobranie socheninii v deviati tomakh, 1: 263; S. Shashkov, "Literaturnyi trud v Rossii (istoricheskii ocherk)," Delo, 8 (1876), 24-3 1 Robert Maguire offers this useful distinction between the "encyclopaedic" and "thick" journals in his Red Virgin Soil: Soviet Literature of the ig2os (Princeton University Press, 1968), 44. The distinction, a fixture of criticism since the early 1840s, partly disappears if one considers that the editors of the "encyclopedic" journals, Polevoi and Senkovsky among them, were no less ideologically oriented than later editors, but that they catered to an ideology of non-specialization which the next generation chose to combat. For balanced modern views of Senkovsky, which

Periodicals in literary life of the early nineteenth century


properly separate him from Bulgarin, see Louis Pedrotti, Jozef Julian Sekowski: The Genesis of a Literary Alien (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965); and V A. Kaverin, Baron Brambeus: Istoriia Osipa Senkovskogo, zhurnalista, redaktora uBiblioteki dlia chteniia"

(Moscow: Nauka, 1966). 29 S. P. Shevyrev, "Slovesnost' i torgovlia," Moskovskii nabliudatet', 1: 1 (1835): 3, 18-19, 25-27. 30 Quoted in N. V Gogol', "O dvizhenii zhurnarnoi literatury v 1834 i 1835 godu," Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 14 vols. (Moscow: Nauka, 1937-52), 8: 162. 31 Ocherkipo istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki, 332. 32 "Kritika," Biblioteka dlia chteniia, 1 (1834): 36-38. 33 Gogol', Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 8: 173-75. 34 For further information on the early literacy and education statistics, see Todd, Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin, 100. 35 N. Nadezhdin, "Zdravyi smysl i Baron Brambeus," Teleskop, 21 (1834): 329-30; Gogol', Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 8: 162. 36 Belinskii, "Nechto o nichem," Sobranie sochinenii v deviati tomakh, 1: 228-29. This article, "Something about Nothing," appeared in The Telescope in 1836. 37 Belinskii, "Russkaia literatura v 1840 godu," Sobranie sochinenii v deviati tomakh, 3: 195-98.


jV. A. Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and the journal wars 0/1825-1834 Chester M. Rzadkiewicz

The remarkable upsurge in polemics among Russian literary periodicals in the 1820s may be attributed in part to the upheavals of a fledgling literature striving for national identity. Scholars have tried for years to explain the decade's heated literary debates.1 A close study of the polemics of the 1820s and early 1830s, however, reveals that literary issues were absent from, or else peripheral to, some of the most bitter conflicts, which, in fact, resulted from intense personal rivalries and competition for readers and profit. Polemics — aggressive disputes marked by repeated attacks and counter-attacks - were so prevalent in the 1820s and had such varied causes that only a monograph could offer a satisfactory treatment of the subject. My aim in this essay is more modest: to examine the polemics involving N. A. Polevoi's Moscow Telegraph (Moskovskii telegraf) (1825-34), the leading

literary journal of its time, and to explore their meaning for the development of literary journals. The Telegraph's vigorous advocacy of Romanticism ensured its participation in many literary controversies. But the Telegraph also participated in two major "journal wars" in which literary issues were not paramount.2 Competition, for instance, was the principal motive behind the Telegraph's bitter conflict of 1825-27 with the periodicals of F. V. Bulgarin and N. I. Grech, Son of the Fatherland (Syn otechestva), Northern Archive (Severnyi arkhiv), and The Northern Bee (Severnaia pchela). Similarly, at the core of the Telegraph's con-

siderably weightier dispute in 1830-31 with the so-called literary aristocracy headed by A. S. Pushkin and P. A. Viazemsky was the question of journalism's role in Russian life. 64

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


Writers had conventionally regarded the journal as a medium for presenting literary works, chiefly poetry, to readers who shared their literary tastes and values. The Telegraph, however, embodied a concept of journalism as a cultural institution in its own right. Envisioning a broadened literary culture, Polevoi argued that journalists had an obligation to publish for the benefit of classes beneath the elite - the "middle ranks" of merchants, craftsmen, ordinary government workers (chinovniki), and provincial gentry (MT, no. 1 [1825]: 5; no. 3 [1825]: 258-59). Polevoi also embraced a utilitarian concept of journalism, defining its primary function as the dissemination of information and opinion in a society confronted with the task of making social and economic progress. POLEVOI AND MOSCOW


A "born" journalist is how the famous critic Vissarion Belinsky described Nikolai Polevoi (1796-1846), a man who must surely be reckoned as one of the most remarkable and influential figures of nineteenth-century Russian journalism.3 A selfeducated scion of an old and respected Kursk merchant family, Polevoi burst into prominence in 1825 when he established the biweekly literary journal, Moscow Telegraph.4" Some scholars maintain that the Telegraph was Russia's first "encyclopedic" journal. 5 An immediate forerunner of the prestigious "thick" journals of later decades, this type of journal was calculated to serve "not just literature and history, or the arts, or scholarship, but all the interests of society."6 The Telegraph's blend of edifying and popular contents made it an instant success. In its first year, at a time when most periodicals could claim but 300 to 600 subscribers, the journal attracted some 1,500; in later years, its circulation apparently exceeded 2,500.7 Clearly, the journal's most ardent readers were university students and aspiring writers, including many members of the early intelligentsia - notably Belinsky, Ivan Panaev, and Alexander Herzen. Panaev later cast light on the Telegraph's appeal for the young and the restless when he characterized Polevoi as a truculent foe of the "vulgar and the rigid" and a "scourge of all



prejudices and everything base and servile."8 In addition, the early intelligentsia highly valued Polevoi's insistence on the urgency of social and economic reforms. In fact, Polevoi anticipated the westernizers of a decade or so later in his admiration for the West's scientific, economic, and political accomplishments.9 And, true to its name, the Telegraph provided extensive coverage - unprecedented in a Russian periodical — of the ideas, inventions, and techniques that made these accomplishments possible. Obviously, Polevoi hoped that this coverage would encourage his countrymen to adopt the best that the West had to offer, especially in such vital areas as science and technology where Russia was notoriously deficient by Western standards. At the same time, he declared himself an implacable enemy of "kvas patriots" who objected strenuously to the contamination of native traditions and customs by foreign influences. Above all, Polevoi pushed hard for reforms that would enhance the status and improve the economic prospects of businessmen, for he believed that the nation's ultimate fate hinged on the emergence of a large, prosperous, and influential middle class that would duplicate the progressive role of its counterparts in advanced Western nations. Polevoi would have also welcomed corresponding political change toward a republican form of government with representative institutions and guaranteed civil liberties. However, he understood, at least after the Decembrist debacle, that autocracy in Russia was firmly entrenched; the most that one could hope for in the foreseeable future was enlightened imperial rule. Nevertheless, he thought that journalists should try to establish a basis for eventual political reform. Toward this end he attempted to heighten political consciousness and understanding by publishing informative articles in the Telegraph on other political systems (e.g., Britain's constitutional monarchy and the United States' evolving representative democracy) and important political events (e.g., the French Revolution, the Greek struggle for independence, and the South American revolutions). Other articles extolled the virtues of foreign heroes identified with revolution and republicanism, such as Simon Bolivar and George Washington. Finally, Polevoi wrote

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars oj1825-34


a series of satirical articles entitled "The New Painter," which among other things dealt with the tyranny wrought by serfdom, bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency, and the self-centered and pointless lives of many nobles.10 In broaching such dangerous topics, Polevoi would resort to allegory and Aesopic techniques, which baffled censors and trained literate Russians to read between the lines.11 The bureaucratic watchdogs of Nicholas I, however, could not be held at bay indefinitely. Long doubting Polevoi's political reliability, even suspecting him of Jacobin leanings, certain powerful officials concluded by the early 1830s that the Telegraph was a dangerous publication that had to be suppressed.12 S. S. Uvarov, Minister of Education, a longtime critic of the periodical, convinced the tsar to issue an order prohibiting the Telegraph. In April 1834, the journal was suppressed.13 THE TELEGRAPH AND POLEMICS

If the Telegraph's progressive aspects disturbed tsarist officials, quite different reasons explain the chilly reception it encountered in some literary circles. In the first place, Polevoi was a relative newcomer to journalism and had negligible literary credentials; many literati were quick to label his confidence, outspokenness, and readiness to debate the authorities on various subjects as arrogance, impertinence, and ignorance. Second, Polevoi's merchant status provided a convenient target for insults and marked him as an outsider in journalism, which was then dominated by the aristocracy. Prince P. I. Shalikov, for instance, published articles in his Ladies3 Journal (Damskii zhurnal) that challenged Polevoi's right to pass judgment on authors who stood above him in social rank; they also insinuated that a person of his background (his family owned a vodka distillery) could only corrupt Russian literature.14 Third, the Telegraph's contents generated much criticism. In the opinion of Polevoi's rivals, the journal's popular format, which allotted comparatively little space to poetry and included an illustrated fashion department, diluted the serious purpose that Polevoi ascribed to the Telegraph. The popular format also



suggested that his primary motive for publishing the journal was profit. Most objectionable, however, were the Telegraph's book reviews. As a vexed Polevoi himself observed in mid 1825, t n e critics of his journal focused almost exclusively on its book reviews, ignoring the scholarly articles that comprised its greater part (MT, no. 13 [1829, special supplement]: 9). The reason is easy to discern. Polevoi and Prince Viazemsky (the Telegraph's chief literary critic until 1828) handled most of the book reviewing chores for the journal; and both men evaluated the works they reviewed critically, exposing defects as well as merits.15 Such criticism was still not solidly established in Russia, and it frequently prompted "counter-criticism" (antikritika). In theory, counter-criticism afforded authors the opportunity to refute unjust criticism of their works; in practice, it was a ubiquitous polemical device used by journalists to malign rivals. Finally, perhaps the most elementary, but unacknowledged reason for attacks on the Telegraph was its popularity, which provided a threat to its competitors' survival. As the Russian reading public of the 1820s was probably not large enough to support more than a few successful periodicals, most literary journals failed within two to four years.16 Competition for readers was so keen that editors undoubtedly viewed polemics as a way of undermining public support for rival publications. The most bellicose critics of the Telegraph included N. I. Grech and M. T. Kachenovsky, whose respective journals, Son of the Fatherland and Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Evropy), lost many

subscribers after the Telegraph's appearance. A. F. Voeikov and S. E. Raich, respectively the editors of The Slav (Slavianin) (1827-30) and Galatea (Galateia) (1829-30), two journals that failed to attract readers, also attacked the Telegraph fiercely. Another, less palpable, source of polemics was the considerable stress, anxiety, and insecurity that the business side of journalism entailed. Editors had to cope with publishing deadlines, unreliable contributors, and suspicious censors, as well as with competitors and literary and personal rivals. Polemics provided an outlet for the tension that normally attended

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


editing a journal. No doubt, too, some editors believed that polemics could enhance the popularity of their periodicals inasmuch as readers found them entertaining. THE JOURNAL WAR OF 1 8 2 5 - 2 7 (THE TELEGRAPH VS. THE BULGARIN-GREGH PUBLICATIONS)

Polevoi originally assumed that through self-restraint he could avoid being drawn into useless, time-consuming polemics. His naivete was quickly dispelled. In the second issue of the Telegraph, he acknowledged pressure from writers to publish their counter-criticism and, what is more, admitted that his current policy on polemics left him "defenseless against attacks" (MT, no. 17, special supplement [1825]: 1). Therefore, he announced, polemical articles would henceforth appear as a special supplement to the Telegraph. Over the next nine years, Polevoi engaged in polemics almost continuously, and his opponents included virtually every Russian journalist of note. Of the Telegraph's many polemical campaigns, two stand out because of their special meaning for Polevoi's biography and the history of the Telegraph, Russian journalism, and literature: first, its "journal war" (as Polevoi called the conflict) of 1825-27 with the Bulgarin-Grech publications; and second, its dispute of 1830-31 with the "literary aristocracy" Generated by competition and involving the most successful journalists of the 1820s, the earlier conflict was Russia's first important commercially motivated journal war. Yet, the mutual recriminations it produced, though cleverly expressed, were too repetitious and insipid to warrant extensive commentary. In October 1824, after learning that Polevoi had received permission to start a journal, Bulgarin tried unsuccessfully to dissuade him from going ahead with his plans.17 Then, in early 1825, worried that Polevoi's new and evidently popular publication would draw readers away from their own periodicals, Bulgarin and Grech wasted little time finding a pretext for attacking the Telegraph: Polevoi's innocuous-looking review of a theatrical almanac, The Russian Thalia (Russkaia Taliia), which



Bulgarin had recently published (M% no. 2 [1825]: 162-71). Although his review contained some criticism of the almanac, Polevoi's judgment was generally favorable; he even urged Bulgarin to publish another, albeit improved, installment in the following year. Nevertheless, the review elicited a sharp response from Son of the Fatherland (no. 5 [1825]: 57-67); and for the next several months Bulgarin and Grech relentlessly attacked Polevoi and his journal. Much of their criticism focused on minor editorial points: grammatical errors, misspellings, and other evidence of sloppiness in the Telegraph.1* Adding insult to injury, Bulgarin printed sarcastic articles in his newspaper The Northern Bee alleging that the Telegraph's fashion news was so inaccurate that individuals who followed its advice had suffered great embarrassment.19 Finally, the veteran journalists tried to cast doubts on Polevoi's character by insinuating that he was arrogant, insolent, and biased, as well as ignorant and incompetent.20 Several months elapsed before Polevoi decided to respond to Grech's and Bulgarin's charges. In a special supplement to a July issue of the Telegraph, he published a sixty-four page diatribe against his various critics, much of it devoted to his most persistent and formidable detractors: Grech and Bulgarin (M%no. 13, special supplement [1825]: 1-64). Besides attempting to expose the hollowness and superficiality of their criticism, Polevoi also vigorously counter-attacked. He accused them of blatantly unscrupulous behavior, calling Bulgarin a cunning rogue with a penchant for trying to dupe the public. Perhaps the best example of Bulgarin's and Grech's lack of scruples was their use of counter-criticism to bestow extravagant praise on their own publications, while simultaneously indulging in literary assassinations of their adversaries. Polevoi especially objected to the anonymity of the countercriticism (MT^no. 13, special supplement [1825]: 3-4, 44-45).21 Polevoi had hoped that his diatribe would allow him to retire from polemics (MT, no. 17, supplement [1825]: 1-4). However, Bulgarin and Grech, irritated by Polevoi's counter-charges against them, increased the frequency and virulence of their attacks on him.22 For the remainder of the year, almost every

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph'' and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


issue of the adversaries' respective publications contained contributions to their journal war. Bulgarin's and Grech's chief effort was a massive collection of counter-criticism published as a two-part special supplement to Son of the Fatherland (nos. 19 and 20) in October. Nearly 150 pages, it was an unprecedented indictment of a journalist by his peers. Although occasionally broaching genuine literary issues, the retaliatory articles mostly repeated earlier charges: they depicted Polevoi as a brazen upstart and charlatan who had no business editing a Russian journal and charged him with inciting a polemical tempest through his ineptness, "dictatorial tone," and shabby treatment of respected writers.23 Meanwhile, Polevoi continued to publish rebuttals and counter-charges in the Telegraph's regular and special supplements, frequently copying the tactics of his opponents. For example, in one article, an "anonymous" correspondent carefully documented how Bulgarin had time and time again failed to provide readers of Northern Archive with specific articles that he had promised them (MT, no. 21, supplement [1825]: 422-31). Another article "Matiusha-Zhurnalouchka," took the form of a hilarious dialogue, mocking Bulgarin for reporting "facts" that were either manifestly untrue or too far-fetched to be taken seriously (M7^no. 15, supplement, [1825]: 311-24). The journal war diminished in intensity at the end of 1825, but nonetheless dragged on until late 1827 when, inexplicably, favorable reviews of works by Bulgarin and Grech appeared in the Telegraph (MT, no. 22 [1827]: 140-45; no. 24 [1827]: 312-15).24 Then, in the spring of 1828, Ksenofant Polevoi Nikolai's younger brother and top assistant - met the two men during a visit to St. Petersburg.25 From that time until 1831, when fresh disagreements broke out among them, new works by Bulgarin and Grech received approval from the Telegraph. Furthermore, Bulgarin was the only important writer in the country to praise the first volume of Polevoi's highly controversial History of the Russian People.

Though commentators have tended to view the journal war of 1825-27 as an inconsequential affair that brought no honor to its participants, the prolonged dispute was an important



event in the history of Russian journalism. After all, Polevoi, Bulgarin, and Grech were the most successful journalists of the period because they were also among the most innovative and enterprising. Intended for the public at large, The Northern Bee and Moscow Telegraph reflected the penetration of entrepreneurial attitudes and values into journalism.26 While publicly justifying their conduct in the journal war as a natural impulse to defend personal honor and the integrity of literature, the journalists were doubtless motivated by more pragmatic concerns: subscribers and profits. Less obviously, Polevoi, Bulgarin, and Grech hoped that their imaginative means of attack - fake letters to the editor, dialogues, parody, and satire — would not only score polemical points but also entertain their readers. Indeed, journalistic polemics of the 1820s reflected and contributed to that era's transition from poetry to prose as the major medium of literary expression in Russia. Furthermore, the journal war's petulant style of polemics indicates that the tsarist authorities were unable to prevent journalists from violating censorship regulations. Although the basic function of the censorship code was to preserve order by preventing the publication of any work questioning the legitimacy of the autocracy and the Orthodox Church, the code also prohibited writers from casting aspersions on an individual's honor.27 During the 1820s, however, this provision was violated with relative impunity.28 Although punitive action was occasionally taken against journalists, the government responded chiefly with largely ineffectual pressure on censors to enforce the law more vigilantly. Finally, the journal war of 1825-27 demonstrated the difficulty of publishing a good periodical in Russia at the time. If the Telegraph contained misprints, misspellings, and other minor errors, so did the publications of Bulgarin and Grech. Such imperfections were chiefly the result of staff limitations for editorial work and the haste required to meet publishing deadlines. Nonetheless, these were not the sole factors affecting Polevoi's performance as a journalist. His lack of formal schooling was a serious deficiency for which his industriousness

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph33 and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


could only partially compensate. On the positive side, however, the "encyclopedic" Telegraph was an advance in Russian journalism and capable of fulfilling the chief task that Polevoi had set for a Russian literary journal: to provide the enlightenment necessary for progress in Russian life. THE TELEGRAPH VS. THE


Polevoi precipitated the Telegraph's most important conflict in mid 1829 w i t n a series of highly controversial actions. First, he wrote a critique of the twelfth and final volume of N. M. Karamzin's History of the Russian State (MT, no. 12 [1829]:

467-500), which many contemporaries interpreted as Polevoi's attempt to debunk the History and discredit Karamzin's entire literary legacy. Three months later, Polevoi announced the forthcoming publication of his own History of the Russian People (MT, no. 19, announcement [1829]: 1-6);29 and the first of its projected twelve volumes soon appeared. His contemporaries, quite understandably, perceived Polevoi's behavior as a plot to establish himself, at Karamzin's expense, as Russia's foremost national historian; and they denounced him for shameless opportunism. Polevoi responded by mounting an offensive against what he labeled the "aristocratic party" in Russian literature: the literary circle surrounding the nation's finest living author, Alexander Pushkin. The ensuing conflict was a seminal one in the history of Russian literature and journalism for at least three reasons: first, its focal point was the viability of the stewardship traditionally exercised by noble literati over cultural and literary life; second, it would influence the future direction of journalism; and, third, it had potentially grave consequences for Polevoi, as it exposed him to charges of cultural and political radicalism. Although he had long been suspected of propagating radical ideas, these suspicions had so far remained unconfirmed. Unfortunately, in provoking the conflict with the "literary aristocrats," Polevoi set into motion a train of events that in 1834 cost him the Telegraph and, ultimately, his reputation as a progressive writer and journalist.



More than a book review, Polevoi's insightful essay on The History of the Russian State was a concise assessment of Karamzin's place in Russian literary history and a provocative analysis of his contributions as a national historian. To start with, Polevoi praised Karamzin as a man of great intellect and enlightenment whose honored status in the annals of Russian literature was secure. He argued, however, that Karamzin could no longer serve as a literary model, for his work as a poet, story-writer, and essayist ranked below current standards and had been far surpassed by that of V. A. Zhukovsky and Pushkin, among others. Even Karamzin's ideas about writing and literature, once breathtakingly novel and useful, were dated (MT^no. 12 [1829]: 472-74). Likewise, Polevoi argued that the History of the Russian State, though an outstanding scholarly achievement, was deeply flawed. Declaring it more a chronicle of events than a genuine history, Polevoi criticized Karamzin's handling of cause and effect, his depiction of human character and the spirit of the time, and his pro-autocratic bias. Above all, Karamzin had failed to provide his magnum opus with an underlying principle that could explain the Russian past within the context of world history. Furthermore, the History fell far short of the finest European historical works and thereby pointed to Russia's continuing intellectual immaturity. Polevoi's final verdict was that Karamzin's History of the Russian State - as the product of a man whose sensibility and thought belonged to the eighteenth century - did not reflect the latest advances in history and philosophy (AfT^no. 12 [1829]: 471-75, 486-96). In my opinion, Polevoi's review is lucid, well-reasoned, and judicious. Impartial readers could easily discern the author's deep respect for Karamzin. Yet, in view of the late court historiographer's reputation and the fact that previously the Telegraph had energetically defended Karamzin's History against both domestic and foreign critics, the review was bound to foment controversy and give rise to speculation about Polevoi's motives. Not unexpectedly, Polevoi's literary enemies were pleased and proceeded to attack their bete noire. Raich and Voeikov, for

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph33 and thejournal wars 0/1825—34


example, published articles in Galatea (no. 40 [1829]: 199-216) and The Slav (no. 48-49 [1829]: 375-94) that sought to refute Polevoi's criticism of Karamzin point by point. S. V Russov, The Slav's critic, published his article as a pamphlet. Subsequently, he published additional pamphlets on the first three volumes of Polevoi's History of the Russian People, providing an annotated catalogue of what he regarded as their major errors.30 The first volume of Polevoi's History, in fact, elicited torrents of abuse. Except for Bulgarin, who praised it effusively in the Bee (nos. 129 and 130 [1829]; a l s o n o - 4 [ ^ o ] ) , the literati agreed that the History was so wretched that it should have never been allowed to see the light of day. Reviews by N. I. Nadezhdin in The Messenger of Europe (no. 1 [1830]: 37-72) and M. P. Pogodin in The Moscow Herald (Moskovskii vestnik) (no. 2

[1830]: 165-90) condemned the author as well as the work, evoking protests from Prince Viazemsky and Pushkin in the The Literary Gazette (Literaturnaia gazeta) for their violations of literary

decorum.31 Polevoi initially declared that he would not reply to critics of his History until all twelve volumes were published {MT, no. 24 [1829]: 468). However, in late 1829 a n ( i early 1830, as criticism of the work mounted, he began to assail what he considered its source: the "literary aristocracy," the devoted guardians of Karamzin's literary legacy. Polevoi applied the term "literary aristocracy" primarily to the writers affiliated with the literary almanacs Northern Flowers (Severnye tsvety) and Dawn (Dennitsa),

and the The Literary Gazette - in other words, the so-called Pushkin pleiad. The Telegraph's attacks on Pushkin and his literary associates was only one episode in a larger conflict that had started in the 1820s between the "aristocratic party" in Russian literature and the "literary plebeians" - a label that embraces writers from both the petty nobility, such as Grech and Bulgarin, and non-aristocratic strata, such as Nadezhdin, the Polevoi brothers, and eventually Belinsky.32 The following commentary, however, will focus exclusively on the Telegraph's clash with the "literary aristocracy."33 The Telegraph's campaign immediately exposed Polevoi to



charges of ingratitude, because several of the "enemy" (e.g., O. M. Somov, E. A. Baratynsky, N. M. Iazykov, and A. S. Pushkin) had occasionally contributed poems and articles to the journal in 1825-27, when Viazemsky had been its de facto co-editor. Of these men, apparently only Viazemsky and Baratynsky either had been on close terms with Polevoi or had demonstrated respect for his abilities as a writer and journalist.34 Initially excited by the founding of the Telegraph, Pushkin quickly began finding fault with it. Furthermore, despite his friendship with Viazemsky, he categorically refused to place his talent at the exclusive disposal of the new journal. He explained, "The Telegraph is a decent fellow and an honorable one - but a twaddler and an ignoramus; and the twaddle and the ignorance of the journal are shared by its editors [i.e., Polevoi and Viazemsky]."35 While Pushkin considered Polevoi clever and resourceful in the manner of a "sharp-witted shop clerk," he mostly saw him as "long-winded and boring, a pedant and an ignoramus."36 Also, for Pushkin, Polevoi's participation in polemics placed him in a category with the reptilian Bulgarin.37 In late 1826, when Pushkin accepted an offer to become a regular contributor to the newly created literary monthly, The Moscow Herald, he implored Prince Viazemsky to join him. As he told Viazemsky, The point is that we must possess our own journal and rule it autocratically and absolutely. We are too lazy to translate, make extracts, make announcements, etc., etc. This is the dirty work of a journal; that is why the editor exists; but he must 1) know Russian grammar, 2) write and make sense, i.e., make the substantive agree with the adjective and join them to a verb. But Polevoi can't do even that . . . And grant me that it is impossible to entrust to him the editing of a journal sanctified with our names. There's nothing that can't still be done, though. Perhaps not Pogodin but I shall be the proprietor of a new journal. Then you'll have to send Polevoi up his mother's a—.38 To Pushkin's regret, Viazemsky chose, for the time being, to remain "firm and faithful" to the Telegraph.39

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars 0/1825—34 77

Substantial differences in personality and outlook also made a close relationship between Polevoi and Pushkin impossible. Polevoi returned from his eagerly awaited first meeting with the man he regarded as Russia's greatest literary hope dejected and bitterly disappointed.40 Pushkin had received him coolly and evinced displeasure at his failure to observe various formalities and proprieties, because Polevoi had attempted to behave like a fellow writer rather than a social inferior, and Pushkin attributed this to crudeness and ignorance. Furthermore, Polevoi and Pushkin represented markedly dissimilar and, ultimately, mutually antagonistic value systems and social and political perspectives. First, Pushkin and his confederates cherished and strove to uphold cultural and literary standards and values that clashed with the commercialization of literature and journalism.41 To the Pushkin circle, the Telegraph was a lamentable manifestation of this commercial trend and thus reflected the decline of literary taste and standards. Second, Pushkin and other aristocratic literati were politically much more conservative (especially after the Decembrist rebellion of 1825) than Polevoi, who in Belinsky's eyes was something of a radical.42 The novelty in Russia of a writer with a merchant background, espousing progressive positions on social and economic questions, could not have failed to irk aristocratic literati such as Pushkin. In addition, "literary aristocrats," with few exceptions, lacked Polevoi's work ethic, which resembled the work ethic displayed by the West's middle classes in their drive for progress during the nineteenth century. Finally, the criticism evoked by his essay on Karamzin and the publication of his History of the Russian People apparently exacerbated Polevoi's long-festering sense of resentment toward aristocratic writers. He attributed the criticism to the fact that Karamzin had published his History earlier and that the late court historian's literary legacy had been claimed as the possession of a small coterie of writers who plumed themselves with their aristocratic status. As early as 1828, Polevoi had made reference in a letter to "accursed aristocratism." 43 Two years later, having assumed the role of



spokesman for Russia's "middle ranks," 44 Polevoi began expressing in print his strong feelings about the pernicious effects of "estate-class55 privileges on Russian life, especially on literature. The Telegraph's editorial stance on the issue of the "literary aristocracy55 was set forth in 1830-31 in several strategically placed articles, most of them written by the Polevoi brothers. 45 Their allegations against the "literary aristocracy5' may be summarized as follows. First, aristocratic writers behaved as though they had a special claim to superiority in literature, presumably because of the long-standing association of Russian letters with the gentry and court aristocracy. Second, they gave preferential treatment in reviews and other articles to their "illustrious55 aristocratic literary friends. Meanwhile, they both deprecated popular writers outside of their circle, such as Bulgarin, and ridiculed the public - an unpardonable offense for its predilection for such works as Bulgarin's Ivan Vyzhigin (MT, no. 2 [1830]: 225). Third, the "literary aristocrats" were hypocritical in that they savagely attacked popular works like Vyzhigin and A History of the Russian People and at the same time

called for "good tone" in criticism. They also ranted about the evils of polemics, yet indulged in polemics themselves {M% no. 1 [1830]: 79). Fourth, and perhaps most damning, the "literary aristocrats" had contributed little to the cause of Russian enlightenment, and thus progress, at a time when social and political change was imposing new demands on literature. Their work consisted mostly of poetry, published for the pleasure of the few, to the neglect of the needs of the many (M^no. 9 [1830]: 76-77). Also relevant to the Telegraph's case against the "literary aristocracy" were Nikolai Polevoi's scattered reflections on the social context of literature (which became known during the early Soviet period as "literary byt" or way of life), specifically his application of the concepts of mestnichestvo (order of precedence) and metsenatstvo (patronage of art and/or literature). Thus, responding to criticism that contained an implicit social slur, Polevoi stated in 1825 t n a t "fortunately, there is no mestnichestvo in literature" (MT, no. 13, special supplement

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph33 and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


[1825]: 35). Four years later, justifying his critique of Karamzin, he suggested that mestnichestvo really did exist in Russian literature, identifying it with class prejudice, the establishment of a literary hierarchy, and disdain for the public. He also declared that the time had come to eradicate mestnichestvo just as it had been eliminated in civil life (M% no. 12 [1829]: 469). Then, in 1833, Polevoi wrote about metsenatstvo or the metsenat system. He claimed that although the patronage system, which had developed under Catherine the Great, had collapsed during the first decades of the nineteenth century, its vestiges were still visible in the pretensions of high society and, along with literary mestnichestvo, in the conduct of the "literary aristocracy" (M% no. 16 [1833]: 543. Prince Viazemsky, Pushkin, and other writers of their circle reacted angrily to Polevoi's accusations. Understandably, these writers vigorously disputed the existence of a "literary aristocracy," a concept they considered unfounded and fraught with dangerous political implications. Viazemsky's most important contribution to the polemics of 1830—31 was an essay entitled "On the Spirit of Parties - On the Literary Aristocracy," only the first part of which was approved by the censorship.46 Viazemsky disputed the idea, which he imputed to the Telegraph's editorship, that writers of aristocratic status conspired to control Russian literature. Rather, he declared, Russian writers were divided into two distinct parties: those who had talent, and those who did not; one party was distinguished by its ability to write, the other by its ability to publish and to sell. "We live in an age of industry," Viazemsky wrote, and "theories have conceded the field to practice, hopes to cash totals"; now literary industrialists (a clear reference to Polevoi and Bulgarin) constituted the real aristocracy. He cited the fact that the public embraced such utterly pedestrian works as Polevoi's History of the Russian People and Bulgarin's Ivan Vyzhigin, while

ignoring far better works, as evidence not so much of the "public's innocence" as of the entrepreneurship and selfpromotion of the literary industrialists.47 Viazemsky also maintained that it was "natural" that most writers were nobles, as the nobility constituted the most



educated class in Russia; moreover, there was no statute that precluded persons of aristocratic birth from having "true talent." Furthermore, the "democratic" or "liberal" writers who heaped abuse on aristocratic writers were not only unjust, but unconscionable! Here Viazemsky's counter-criticism shaded into political denunciation, for he charged that the opponents of the aristocratic writers had imbibed at the well of the French Revolution, and that they took their abusive language from the revolutionary Parisian mob. Viazemsky drove home his point and amply demonstrated the political conservatism of the "literary aristocrats" by stating that if political order was to be preserved in a nation, "the higher class must be respected," and that this respect had been universal until the French Revolution.48 An essay that is commonly attributed to Pushkin, entitled "New Outbursts Against the So-Called Literary Aristocracy" {The Literary Gazette, August 1830), repeated several of the arguments found in Viazemsky's article. He construed the attacks on aristocratic writers as political attacks. Such attacks against the aristocracy by the likes of Polevoi deserved censure because they were politically irresponsible in the manner of eighteenth-century French writers. The essay concludes: "the epigrams of the democratic writers of the eighteenth century" - with whom, the author concedes, Russian writers could not be compared - "prepared the cries: 'Aristocrats to the lamp post' and provocative couplets such as 'We'll hang them, we'll hang them.' Avis au lecteur (Notice to the Reader)" (LG, no. 45 [1830]: 7 2).

Enraged, Polevoi interpreted the article as an attempt to draw the government's attention to the controversy. He responded in a July issue of the Telegraph, which, however, only appeared toward the end of August. Seeking to vindicate himself as well as to counteract any harmful effects to himself and his journal, he wrote that "everything published in the Telegraph is proof that at the basis of all [my] activities and thoughts has been and will be a respect for civil order, the laws of the Fatherland, the merits of the Russian dvorianstvo (nobility), [and] a desire for the happiness and prosperity of the Father-

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph33 and thejournal wars of 1825—34


land55 [M% no. 14 [1830]: 242). Objecting to being bracketed with Marat and the journalists (gazetchiki) of the French Revolution, Polevoi carefully pointed out that his attacks on the "literary aristocracy55 were not aimed at the nobility in general. He noted that while Prince Viazemsky5s noble status commanded respect, his poetry was abominable; similarly, while Cardinal Richelieu had been a great minister and a cardinal, his poetry was vile. Polevoi5s tone was bold and defiant. He would not shy away from a literary dispute, for "literary cowardliness55 was not one of his shortcomings. Finally, Polevoi averred that in his campaign he could expect the support of the public, which had repeatedly shown that it was on his side (MT, no. 14 [1830]: 243). Attacks on the "literary aristocracy55 continued to appear in the Telegraph until early 1832 {MT, no. 2 [1831]: 246-53; no. 8: 235-43; no. 1 [1832]: 112-17), and one might be tempted to conclude that the journal's position ultimately prevailed. After all, the controversy seemed to demonstrate that the aristocratic party in Russian literature - as Polevoi insisted and as the unpopularity of the The Literary Gazette appeared to confirm had fallen behind in its understanding of what was required to produce a successful periodical in Russia. The aristocratic writers5 scorn for the utilitarian and commercial approach to journalism embodied in the Telegraph along with their traditional ideas about literary style, correct language, good taste, civility, and poetry estranged them from the majority of Russian readers. To be sure, in the late 1820s and early 1830s, Polevoi tended to underestimate the originality of various works by Pushkin and other writers of his circle. Still, the Telegraph's message that the "literary aristocrats55 wrote and published periodicals for the select few rather than for the reading public at large was right on the mark. Nonetheless, the controversy proved very damaging to Polevoi's reputation. Some observers discerned truth in Viazemsky5s complaint that the Telegraph's attacks on aristocratic writers were unjust and that a "literary aristocracy55 did not exist, so that Polevoi's use of the concept was gratuitous. What is more, Polevoi appears to have opportunistically grasped for a



scapegoat when most of his fellow journalists attacked his critique of Karamzin and derided his History of the Russian People. Furthermore, despite the Telegraph's contributions to the cause of social progress - subsequently recognized by the early intelligentsia and later by several Russian scholars - the controversy allowed Polevoi's adversaries to argue that his stress on the role of journalism to spread enlightenment was merely a veneer for crass commercialism. Finally, the controversy earned Polevoi the reputation of a firebrand. A Russian scholar, V. G. Berezina, suggests that despite Polevoi's disclaimers to the contrary, his campaign against the "literary aristocracy" was actually directed against the entire aristocracy.49 In Berezina's judgment, Polevoi sought to undermine the nobility's influence in order to secure an increased role for the middle ranks in Russian life. Although Berezina overestimates the element of class conflict in Russian journalism during the Telegraph era, her viewpoint does correspond to several contemporary interpretations of Polevoi's behavior and motives. Thus, in 1834, V. K. Kiukhelbeker, the writer and exiled Decembrist who generally sympathized with the Polevois and their journal, was astonished to discover, upon receiving some old issues of the Telegraph, that they contained outbursts against Russia's best poets, including Pushkin.50 M. P. Rozberg, a writer and Moscow University professor, noted in a letter to a friend in June 1830 that Polevoi was in a "total rage, choking from bile, abusing, scolding each and all." 51 And A. N. Vulf, who was friendly with The Literary Gazette's circle of writers, wrote in his diary that Polevoi had become a "literary demagogue and sans culotte who shouted at and scolded everyone without exception."52 This identification of Polevoi with France's revolutionary tradition was probably widespread in the Russian literal'/ milieu in the early 1830s as a result of his clash with aristocratic writers. Even Pushkin justified the autocracy's subsequent suppression of the Telegraph on the grounds of the "Jacobinism" that the journal had so "impudently" propagated. 53 Certainly, the Telegraph's attacks on the "literary aristocracy" did not escape the attention of tsarist officials, who had had misgivings about Polevoi's political

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


reliability since 1827.54 They soon concluded that the Telegraph was dangerous to the social order and, therefore, ought to be suppressed. One might conclude from this analysis that as a result of his conflict with the aristocratic literary party in 1830-31, Polevoi became an increasingly isolated and embattled writer and journalist. Former friends such as Prince Viazemsky would in fact never forgive him for such offenses as his critique of Karamzin, his infernal History of the Russian People, or his attacks on aristocrats.55 Not only was Polevoi labeled a radical, or, in Viazemsky's words, a "literary condottiere,"56 he was also branded (quite unfairly) an opportunist, swindler, and literary huckster. Soon his name became irrevocably linked with the unsavory, blatantly commercial brand of journalism associated with Grech, Bulgarin, O. I. Senkovsky, and A. F. Smirdin.57 Not surprisingly, then, after the suppression of the Telegraph in 1834, Polevoi was forced into affiliation first with the publications of Smirdin and Senkovsky, and later with those of Bulgarin and Grech. With the exception of the publisher Smirdin, these were persons with whom Polevoi differed on social and literary issues and had clashed repeatedly during the Telegraph era. He had no alternative but to work with them if he was to remain active in journalism because the "literary aristocrats" considered the wounds that Polevoi had inflicted on them in 1830-31 too deep to be either forgotten or forgiven.


1 See, for example, Lauren G. Leighton, Russian Romanticism: Two Essays (The Hague: Mouton, 1975), 19-22; and John Mersereau Jr., Baron Delvig's Northern Flowers: 1825-1832 (Garbondale: South-

ern Illinois University Press, 1967), 40-69. 2 The expression is Polevoi's. See Moscow Telegraph (hereafter MT), no. 13, special supplement (1825), 93 V G. Belinskii, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (hereafter PSS) (Moscow, 1955^9:682. 4 The fullest treatment of Polevoi's life and literary career is his brother Ksenofant Polevoi's Zapiski (St. Petersburg, 1888); a



6 7

8 9


n 12





CHESTER M. RZADKIEWIGZ convenient source of biographical information is V Orlov, Puti i sud'by: literaturnye ocherki (Leningrad, 1971), 313-448. Orlov, Puti i sud'by, 355; Robert A. Maguire, Red Virgin Soil: Soviet Literature in the ig2os (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 42. Maguire, Red Virgin Soil, 42. Orlov, Puti i sud'by, 376-77; V G. Berezina, Russkaia zhurnalistika vtoroi chetverti XIX veka (1826-i8jg) (Leningrad, 1965), 25-26; and Paul Debreczeny, "The Reception of Pushkin's Poetic Work in the 1820's: A Study of the Critic's Role," Slavic Review, vol. 27 (1969): 405. Debreczeny states that the Telegraph's circulation in 1830 was "almost 3,000." I. I. Panaev, Literaturnye vospominaniia (Leningrad, 1928), 126. The points made in this and the following paragraph are developed and documented in Chester M. Rzadkiewicz, "Russian Journalism during the Romantic Era: A Study of N. A. Polevoi's Moscow Telegraph, 1825-1834" (unpublished PhD dissertation, SUNYat Buffalo, 1987), chs. 7 and 8. The "New Painter," loosely modeled upon N. I. Novikov's famous Painter of the 1770s, was a regular supplement to the Telegraph from issue no. 13, 1829 through no. 24, 1831, whereupon it was replaced by the "Camera Obscura of Books and People." See, in particular, "Novyi Zhivopisets," MT, no. 14 (1829), 258-61; no. 16: 518-22; no. 9 (1830): 153-56; and no. 10: 159-80. A. I. Gertsen, Sobranie sochinenii (Moscow, 1956), 7: 215-17. Cf. M. I. Sukhomlinov, Issledovaniia i stat'i po russkoi literature i prosveshcheniiu (St. Petersburg, 1889), 2: 398-429; and Russkaia starina, no. 2 (1903), 311—13. See Sukhomlinov's well-documented account in his Issledovaniia i stat'i, 2: 403-28; and Mikhail Lemke, Nikolaevskie zhandarmy i literatura, 1826-1855 gg. (St. Petersburg, 1909), 86-97. Damskii zhurnal, no. 2 (1829): 27-28; no. 12: 186-88. Also, see Alexander Pisarev's Anti-Telegrqf (Moscow, 1826), which is dedicated "with deepest respect" to authors who have been "attacked" by Polevoi. At first overshadowed as a critic by Viazemsky, Polevoi eventually gained notoriety as an audacious critic who had little regard for the prevailing wisdom. His review of Nikolai Karamzin's History of the Russian State, to be discussed below, was the most sensational example of the controversy his criticism could spark. Cf. A. G. Demen'tev, A. V. Zapadov, and M. S. Cherpakhov, editors, Russkaia periodicheskaia pechat' (1J02-1894). Spravochnik

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph33 and thejournal wars 0/1825-34

17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24

25 26 27 28





(Moscow, 1959), and V G. Berezina et al., Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki XVIII-XIX vekov (Moscow, 1966). MT, no. 20, supplement (1825), 4°7J K. Polevoi, %ppiski) 97. See, for instance, Severnyi arkhiv, no. 16 (1825), 348-80. Severnaia pchela, nos. 80, 98, 116, 125, 132 (1825). Syn otechestva, no. 10 (1825), 195-216. Bulgarin and Grech habitually signed counter-criticism in their journals with enigmatic initials, such as "Zh.K." and "D.R.K.," and disavowed the opinions expressed by these "persons." Cf., for example, Severnyi arkhiv, no. 16 (1825), 348-380. Syn otechestva, no. 19, supplement (1825), 7^Apparently both sides had grown weary after so many months of polemics; perhaps, too, they had decided that their dispute had begun to wear thin on readers. K. Polevoi, Zzpiste) 263-70. An introduction to this topic is found in T. Grits, V Trenin, and N. Nikitin, Slovesnost' i kommertsiia (Moscow, 1929). Charles A. Rudd, Fighting Words: Imperial Censorship and the Russian Press, 1804 -1906 (University of Toronto Press, 1982), 18, 55. This judgment is based on my study of the imperial censorship. In the aftermath of the revolutions of 1830, however, tsarist officials - in particular, S. S. Uvarov - succeeded in tightening the censorship by means of directives that at once recalled the "cast iron" censorship statute of 1826 and effectively subverted the "liberal" statute of 1828. See, for example, Rudd, Fighting Words, 61-63; TsGIA SSSR,fond, 772, op. 1, no. 329, //., 1-2; and Russkii arkhiv, no. 3 (1912), 421-22. The announcement intimated that Polevoi had already written all twelve volumes. This was untrue, and as successive volumes appeared intermittently over the next five years (only six volumes in all ever saw print), Polevoi had to face repeated accusations that he had swindled the public by collecting money for twelve volumes. S. S. Russov, Moi mysli 0 kritike sochinitelia Istorii russkogo naroda na na Istorii gosudarstva rossiiskogo (St. Petersburg, 1829); Zamecnan^a amec an a na iom Istoriiu russkogo naroda (St. Petersburg, 1829); Z ^ ^ H~i Istorii russkogo naroda (St. Petersburg, 1830); and Zamecnan^a na HI~i torn Istorii russkogo naroda (St. Petersburg, 1831). Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 4 (1830), 31-32, no. 12: 9 6 - 9 8 , and no. 31: 250-52. Also, see P. A. Viazemskii, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (PSS) (St. Petersburg, 1879), 2: 145-49. Viazemsky noted sarcastically that attacks on Karamzin previously published in Messenger of Europe and The Moscow Herald had paved the way for Polevoi's


32 33


35 36 37 38 39 40 41

42 43 44



47 48 49 50 51

CHESTER M. RZADKIEWIGZ "literary saturnalia," i.e., his History of the Russian People. Viazemskii, PSS, 2: 147. Leigh ton, Russian Romanticism, 16. On the broader dimensions of the conflict, cf. M. M. Gillel'son, P. A. Viazemskii: zhizn i tvorchestvo (Leningrad, 1969), 194-201; Nikolai Barsukov, ZJiizri i trudy M. P. Pogodina, book 2 (St. Petersburg, 1889), 341-51, and book 3 (St. Petersburg, 1890), 46-57; and Orlov, Puti i sud'by, 406. For an account of Viazemsky's relationship with Polevoi and the Telegraph, see Gillel'son, P. A. Viazemskii, 128-69. On Baratynsky, see VI. Orlov, Nikolai Polevoi: materialy po istorii russkoi literatury i zhurnalistiki tridsatykh godov (Leningrad, 1934), 210-15. J. Thomas Shaw, ed. and trans., The Letters of Alexander Pushkin (Bloomington, Indiana, 1963), 1: 227. Ibid., 2: 525; 1: 255. Ibid., 1: 253. Ibid., 2: 332. Ibid., 2: 338. Orlov, Nikolai Polevoi, 224-30; also, cf. K. Polevoi, £apiski, 314-18. Joe Andrew, Writers and Society during the Rise of Russian Realism (Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1980), 27-31; P. V Annenkov, A. S. Pushkin (St. Petersburg, 1873), 175-76. Ibid. Also, see Belinskii, "Nikolai Alekseevich Polevoi," in PSS, 9: 671-96. V Salinka, "Pis'ma N. A. Polevogo k S.D. Poltoratskomu," Lietuvos TSR Aukstuju Mokyklumokslo Darbai. Literatura, 9 (1966), 317-18. On this topic, see Nikolai Polevoi, Reck! 0 kupecheskom zvanii3 i osobenno v Rossii (Moscow, 1832). Also, cf. G. S. Isaev, "N. A. Polevoi o sotsiarno-ekonomicheskikh interesakh burzhuazii ( 2 0 - 3 0 - e gody xix v.)," Shakhtinskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii institut: uchenye zapiski, 3.3 (1961), 57-87. MT, no. 1 (1830), 75-81; no. 2: 203-32; no. 3: 355-57; no. 6: 236-37; no. 9: 76~77> 98; no. 14: 240-44; no. 2 (1831), 246-57; and no. 6: 235-43. The heavily censored version of this article appeared in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 23 (1830), 182-83. Viazemsky later published the original version in his collected works. See his PSS, 2: 156-65; also, Gillel'son, P. A. Viazemskii, 196. Viazemskii, PSS, 2: 159. Ibid., 2: 161-64. Berezina, Russkaia zhurnalistika, 32-36. V F. Kiukhel'beker, Dnevnik (Leningrad, 1929), 170. Istoricheskii vestnik, no. 7 (1887), 19.

Polevoi's "Moscow Telegraph" and thejournal wars 0/1825-34


52 A. N. Vul'f, Dnevniki (Moscow, 1929), 282. 53 The Letters ofAlexander Pushkin, 3: 683-84, note to letter 497. 54 Rzadkiewicz, "Russian Journalism during the Romantic Era," 286-90. 55 K. Polevoi, Zapiski, 293. 56 Viazemskii, PSS, 9: 211; also, cf. Russkii arkhiv, book 1 (1900), 388-89. 57 Orlov, Puti i sud'by, 443; M. A. Vaniushina, "Zhurnarnaia rabota N. A. Polevogo v poslednee desiatiletie ego deiatel'nosti (1836-1846 gg.)," Borisoglebskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii institut: uchenyi zapiski, no. 1, Filologicheskie nauki (1956), 99-132.


Mid nineteenth century


Survey ofRussian journals, 1840—1880 Robert L. Belknap

In the mid nineteenth century, literary journals assumed a primary position as an instrument for the propagation of culture in Russia. Other cultural institutions prospered as well — the imperial court, the schools and universities, the many religious bodies, the theaters, conservatories, salons, communes, discussion groups, academies of arts and sciences, communities of urban and peasant artists and performers, among others - but the literary journals were in a class by themselves. They not only chronicled, criticized, and coordinated the other developments, they also printed a body of fiction and criticism that has continued to shape human selfawareness both within and outside Russia down to our own time. The journals provided an initial place of publication for virtually all works in Russia's great novelistic tradition. Some major figures - for example, Tolstoy and Turgenev - benefited for a few years from this cultural resource and then went on to use other ways of publishing their works. A far greater number of Russia's men of letters, however, including Nekrasov and Dostoevsky, devoted much of their lives to editing and publishing journals or to primarily journalistic writing. Tolstoy and Turgenev, of course, as landed gentry, had ample social and economic resources; Dostoevsky and Nekrasov, although legally noblemen, had to rely on literature for their living and for their place in society. Among Dostoevsky's critics, Nabokov and other "literary aristocrats" have treated journalistic works as less aesthetically "pure"; scholars with a broader cultural vision tend to join Joseph Frank in recognizing that the literary 91



greatness of Dostoevsky and many of his generation is inseparable from their journalistic quality.1 The literary journals did far more than provide a living, a publication outlet, and a stylistic framework for writers. They were also the chief source of information and attitudes, an arena in which writers and other literate people could learn more and absorb more culture than in any part of Russia's explicit system of education. The journals were a center around which writers would structure their social and literary identity. Groups of like-minded authors and editors would gather around a successful journal — and sometimes move together from journal to journal - for long periods of time. They would read the same books, attend the same lectures and great public occasions, and learn from their colleagues the substance of books they had not read. As members of the same enterprise, they would receive and answer letters from the same faithful readers and booksellers in the capital or the provinces, engage in the same polemics with other journals, and collaborate with one another to the point that now, when modern scholars analyze an anonymous journal article of this time, they often cannot tell which contributor wrote it. This close personal, artistic, political, and financial support-system fostered the intellectual survival and growth of an extraordinary generation of writers. The community of journals - reviewing, praising, attacking, and parodying one another - made the Russian literary world a tight and structured whole. In these journals, such geniuses as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who never met, could interact with their critics, their contemporaries, and one another to elaborate a kind of novel-making unlike that of Balzac, Dickens, Thackeray, Flaubert, James, and Proust - one so sophisticated and so technically different from its European prototypes that only much later would Western readers realize what an extraordinary literary form had emerged. In addition, the ideological debates among critics, essayists, and polemicists of nineteenth-century journals formed the language and the intellectual heritage of Lenin, Lunacharsky, Gorky, Zhdanov, and other leaders of Soviet cultural life down to the present

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80 day. Through Soviet officialdom, these journals have put the stamp of nineteenth-century Russia on official culture in Eastern Europe, much of Africa and Asia, and the leftist cultures of Western Europe and the Americas. The journal is itself a literary genre: like the novel or the lyric, it works on the basis of a system of organizational and thematic expectations shared by readers and authors. In the mid nineteenth century, Russians took European journalism and formed a genre with a cultural power very much its own, much as Russian novelists had done with the novel. This power derived from many sources; the chief one was probably the peculiar nature of Russian autocracy and bureaucracy, which directed into literary journalism energies that would have gone elsewhere in the West: in America or England into parliamentary activity, in France into remaking the government, and in Germany or Italy into the foundation of a nation. In addition, Russian censorship was more highly bureaucratized than in the West, and its restrictions drove much intellection from the political to the literary press, where censorship was less rigid. As Solzhenitsyn has pointed out, Russia had a strong and exciting emigre political press in the time of the tsars, but it took Soviet improvements in control to warrant an emigre literary press.2 In the whole matrix of Russian publications, literary journals fall in the space between non-literary journals and literary non-journals. Literary non-journals form a reasonably distinct category, with several subdivisions. Books are the largest subdivision, and any work that received acclaim at its first appearance in a journal would normally reappear as a book. In 1848, seven or eight hundred titles appeared in Russia; in 1868, well over three thousand. Aside from the rare case of an established author who decided to bypass the captive audiences of the journals, the literature that initially appeared in book form did not, as a rule, belong to high culture at all. Jeffrey Brooks records that by 1880 the penny press was circulating hundreds of titles in any given year, in editions running thousands of copies, for the edification or pleasure of a public that although able to read, was still very




much a part of seventeenth-century peasant or merchant culture.3 In addition to books, the Russians continued to publish the collections (al'manakhi and sborniki) that had played such a crucial role in the literary scene of the 1820s and 1830s. A number of these appeared more than once, but by the 1840s, the journals, with their economic, editorial, and political continuity, had substantially reduced the role of these collections. Perhaps the last of the great al'manakhi, with its octavo format and handsome engravings, was V A. Vladislavlev's The Dawn (Utrenniaia zaria), which appeared several times between 1839 and 1843 a n d published works by Pushkin, Lermontov, A. V Koltsov, I. I. Panaev, Vladimir Dal, P. A. Viazemsky, V. F. Odoevsky, and others. These literary figures had established themselves before the "men of the forties" appeared, and, in some cases, they continued to publish after most of those liberals had left the literary scene. Newer in spirit was Nikolai Nekrasov's Physiology of Petersburg (Fiziologiia Peterburga). This

collection really set the tone for the whole physiological school of Russian literature, with its almost scientistic approach to urban sociology and its strong debt to the journalistic essay as it was evolving out of its eighteenth-century antecedents, whether in France or England. Perhaps the only other collection of major importance in this period was the Moscow Literary and Scholarly Collection (Moskovskii literaturnyi i uchenyi sbornik),

which came out in 1846, 1847, a n d l&52 under the editorship of V. A. Panov, G. A. Valuev, and Ivan and Konstantin Aksakov, among others. This collection was a major organ of the Moscow Slavophiles, who until the mid 1850s were prevented by the censorship and other forces from having their own journal. Other collections appearing throughout the nineteenth century included Fumeli's Literary Evenings {Literatumye vechera, 1849-50). This tradition has continued until recent times, with such important collections as Literary Moscow (Literaturnaia Moskva, 1956), Notes from Tarus (Tarusskie zapiski,

1961), and Metropolis (Metropol\ 1979), which, like their nineteenth-century predecessors, have sought to avoid the official controls that come with having a continuous identity. By 1840,

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80


however, the center of literary activity had shifted to the periodicals. The line between literary and non-literary journals is much harder to draw. Daily newspapers such as The Saint Petersburg News (Sankt Peterburgsfrie vedomosti, 1728-1918), The Moscow News (Moskovskie vedomosti, 1756—1917), and The Voice (Golos, 1863-84)

published important literary works, criticism, and sometimes whole literary supplements. The illustrated weekly The Meadow (Niva, 1870-1918), with its enormous circulation (it went from 9,000 in 1870 to 55,000 in 1880 to 250,000 by the early twentieth century), could afford to publish works by Goncharov, Grigorovich, Leskov, and many other major figures, as well as illustrated biographical sketches of hundreds of authors; as a supplement it published complete editions of dozens of the greatest Russian and foreign authors. The Russian Veteran (Russkii invalid, 1813-1917) called itself "a military, political, literary, and scholarly" publication; even the Journal of Generally Useful Facts, or the Library for Industry, Agriculture, and Studies Related Thereto (Zhumal obshchepoleznykh svedenii, Hi Biblioteka po chasti promyshlennosti, sel'skogo khoziaistva i nauk k nim otnosiashchikhsia, 1833-59)

contained pieces by Gogol, Grech, and Grigorovich. Journals of the bishoprics and the great monasteries, such as the Kiev Episcopal News (Kievskie eparkhalnye vedomosti, 1861-70) or the

journal of the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary (Dukhovnyi vestnik, 1862-67), contain some of the sharpest and most neglected literary criticism of the century; journals written for a broad and not overly literate populace, whether by Tolstoy or by commercial hacks, all contained materials that merit treatment as literature. This study will concentrate on those weeklies and monthlies that devoted a substantial number of their pages to selfconsciously literary texts (although very few imitated those great British periodicals that were almost exclusively literary). Even these boundaries are indistinct, however - weeklies could become monthlies or dailies as the demands of readers, owners, and censors changed, and the character of their contents could change from issue to issue. It would probably be impossible to define the literary journal



as a separate species, with its own characteristics, rules, internal anatomy, subspecies, related species, etc. It makes more sense to characterize them not taxonomically but algorithmically, as the ongoing result of a series of procedures that could be varied to produce different subgroups or individual journals. In the mid nineteenth century, the first procedure was the decision to start a journal or take over one already in existence. Usually two or three people would make this decision; sometimes an individual would. Motives ranged from the purely commercial to the purely ideological. In virtually all accounts of journalism in this period, the author's political enemies are actuated by pure greed and his friends by self-sacrificing political or literary idealism. The second step was to find a publisher and an editor, occasionally the same person, and often one of the organizers of the journal. Most commonly, the editor was a professional whose skill or popularity would help to sell subscriptions, and the publisher was an established figure whose government or court credentials would help with the third step, that of securing the approval of the Chief Censorship Office (Glavnoe Upravlenie o Tsenzure). Without such help, this step might take years or fail entirely. Concurrent with this effort would be step four: finding financial support for the start-up costs and making arrangements for printing and for marketing in the bookstores of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the provinces, and sometimes Paris and/or other foreign cities. More important for the actual definition of a literary journal was the fifth step - assembling a "stable" of eminent contributors. Authors tended to be generous in lending their names or even a contribution to a new journal if they admired its editor or liked its viewpoint. Finally, in step six the founders would initiate a ritual that they hoped to repeat, annually, for years to come: the drafting of an announcement, which they would pay to print in other journals. This announcement would describe the goals, the form, and often the contributors to the new or reconstituted journal, and would solicit subscriptions. The price would run to several rubles per year, and the number of subscriptions would range from several hundred to several

Survey of Russian journals, 1840—80


thousand. These procedures would then become the journal's routine. Most journals defined themselves in their subtitles as "Literary-Political," "Historical-Literary," or some other combination of two or three areas of interest. Each issue would most often have a section of poetry with a dozen poems in it; a section of creative prose with a short story or two and installments of one or more novels; a section devoted to literary criticism - sometimes of single books, but often including articles reviewing current thinking in an entire area of scholarship: Egyptology, biological thought, or agricultural reform, for example. In addition to sections one might expect in a literary periodical, there would be political, historical, economic, or other sections with articles in these areas, and usually a miscellany {smes') that would contain everything from satirical articles and parodies to chess puzzles and the latest Paris fashions. Within this general formula, different journals emphasized different elements as they emerged, changed, and disappeared according to the character of the times. 1840-48 In the 1840s, the literary scene was dominated by major journals from the preceding decades. The Son of the Fatherland (Syn otechestva, 1812-52) was the oldest and the most set in its ways. Its publisher, Nikolai Ivanovich Grech (1787-1867) had founded it. He edited it alone until 1825, then jointly with Thaddeus Benediktovich Bulgarin (1789-1859). These two men were successful novelists, critics, editors, and historians of literature and nations, and the first great literary entrepreneurs in Russia. In the mid nineteenth century they were most famous for publishing The Northern Bee (Severnaia pchela, 1825-64), the great daily newspaper of the right, which published and defended government pronouncements and enunciated or sometimes provoked the official rejection of Pushkin, Gogol, Belinsky, and others honored today. In the 1840s Grech continued to publish The Son of the Fatherland, but the editorship passed to such major men of letters as Nikolai Alekseevich



Polevoi (1796-1846) and Aleksandr Vasilevich Nikitenko (1804-77). I n t n e l a s t dozen years of its existence, The Son of the Fatherland published many accounts of travel and many articles on history; it touched on literature primarily in its bibliographical section and in the letters and other materials that it published for the historical record. Like Bulgarin, Osip Ivanovich Senkovsky (1800-58) was an assimilated Pole whose political position had shifted well to the right by the 1840s. He was a broadly based man of letters and a shrewd and successful publisher. His novels, published under the name "Baron Brambeus," were widely read and discussed, and his travels and studies in the Orient made a major mark on Russian scholarship and understanding of Eastern cultures. His most lasting contribution, however, was to The Library for Reading (Biblioteka dlia chteniia, 1834-65), which he founded and

edited for a dozen years, working with the great publisher Aleksandr Filippovich Smirdin (1795-1857) - whose Hundred Russian Authors (Sto russkikh pisatelei, 1839-43) had established one of the first canons of Russian texts. The Library for Reading, which as many as 7,000 people bought each month, claimed to deal with "literature, scholarship, the arts, industry, news, and fashion" and did much to shape Russian awareness of the world at large, especially in the provinces. In its last two decades, this journal was edited by a series of important men of letters — including Druzhinin, Pisemsky, and Boborykin — but appealed to a less and less sophisticated readership. It had published Pushkin and Lermontov in their lifetimes, and a new generation found such figures as Bulgarin, Grech, and Kukolnik to be inadequate successors. As a conduit for foreign literature, The library for Reading retained its value to the end, bringing before the Russian public translations of Dumas, Cooper, Balzac, Hugo, Dickens, George Sand, and many others. There was nothing artistically rarified about the journal. On the one hand, it would omit and sometimes add substantial materials to an author's text; on the other, its commercial success enabled it to pay its authors well and to show that literature was not incompatible with prosperity. Of the two greatest literary journals that continued into the

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80


1840s, Pushkin's Contemporary (Sovremennik, 1837-68) and Kraevsky's Fatherland Notes {Otechestvennye zapiski, 1839-84) would

become central in the literary scene of the 1850s and 1860s. Andrei Aleksandrovich Kraevsky (1810-89) ranked with Bulgarin, Grech, and Senkovsky as an entrepreneur of the 1840s and 1850s. He had begun his career as a literary journalist with Pushkin's Contemporary, and in 1839 he took control of the moribund Fatherland Notes and turned it into a broadly based and highly successful journal. He held vital editorial positions on The Russian Veteran from 1843 *°



o n r ie


Literary Gazette

(Literaturnaia gazeta, 1840-49), which he founded and edited in 1844 a n d I 845, and on The St. Petersburg News from 1852 to 1862. Still, he continued as the central figure of Fatherland Notes until he founded his own daily newspaper, The Voice, in 1862, and he only relinquished official control to Nekrasov in 1868. The Literary Gazette came out once a week through most of the 1840s and more often in its first few years. Fedor Aleksandrovich Koni (1809-79), Nikolai Alekseevich Polevoi (1796-1846), and others edited The Literary Gazette in various years, and Kraevsky's literary contacts and business acumen enabled it to attract writings from the chief men of letters of the 1840s: Grigorovich, Dal, Panaev, Sollogub, Belinsky, and even the young Nekrasov. By the mid 1840s, Polevoi's career as a novelist, historian, translator, journalist, and editor was over. Koni, who had published the young Ostrovsky in Kraevsky's shadow on The Literary Gazette, however, went on to become the most important figure in the world of theatrical journalism. A major writer of social farces (vodevili) and a prolific translator, Koni was the founder and first editor of a journal modestly entitled The Pantheon of the Russian and of All the European Theaters (Panteon russkogo i vsekh evropeiskikh teatrov, 1840-41). After two years this

journal merged with its three-year-old competitor, I. P. Pesotsky's Repertory of the Russian Theater (Repetuar russkogo teatra,

1839-41). This new journal bore a series of names - usually some combination of Panteon and Repetuar - and survived, under Koni's leadership, until 1856. Koni took his theatrical mandate broadly: he published not only plays and theatrical criticism but also poetry and translations that might interest the theater



readership. In 1846, for example, Repertory and Pantheon (Repetuar i panteon) published Dostoevsky's first literary work — a translation of Balzac's Eugenie Grandet, which had been adapted for the Russian stage a year or two before. At the beginning of the 1840s, another established journalist, Mikhail Petrovich Pogodin (1800-75), founded The Muscovite (Moskvich, 1841-56). This journal, first appearing monthly, then every two weeks, flirted with Ivan Kireevsky, Khomiakov, the Aksakovs, and the other Slavophiles, but usually stood closer to an older patriotic nationalism. It was edited by Pogodin and S. P. Shevyrev, whose interest in history did much to shape the journal's publication of scholarly and archival materials. The Muscovite attracted the major figures of the 1840s — Zhukovsky, Iazykov, Viazemsky, Glinka, and Karolina Pavlova in poetry; Gogol, Veltman, Dal, and others in prose. In the 1850s, Ostrovsky and a group of younger men entered the editorial operation and attracted a new generation of contributors; it published Pisemsky and Grigorovich in prose, Tiutchev, Fet, and Polonsky in poetry, and Ostrovsky's own plays. Without such an infusion of young blood, The Muscovite might have met the fate of S. A. Burachok's Beacon (Maiak, 1840-45), which survived more as an object of mockery from the left than as a journal per se, and which published such figures as Taras Shevchenko, Nestor Kukolnik, and Polevoi. By the late 1840s, Russia had two dozen active and serious literary journals, some with a special theatrical, historical, or political readership and almost all with some substantial involvement in the extraliterary world. The first professional publishers had established their position in the worlds of commerce, politics, and ideas. Belinsky, the first great figure to write an entire creative corpus in the journalistic genre (see Victor Terras's article in this volume), had taken his place as the leader of the westernizing liberals, whose debate with Kireevsky, Khomiakov, the Aksakovs, and the other Slavophiles, liberal and conservative, was to define much of Russian culture in the following years. Several new journals were being established every year and provided the intellectual, moral, and political foundations for the innovative bureaucrats already

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80


exploring ways of reforming a society that plainly was not functioning well. In these journals, and in discussions among official and literary figures, the word glasnost' was being heard more and more often, as serious thinkers realized the harm censorship was doing to all of Russian culture. 1848-55 The European revolutions of 1848 interrupted this progress. Tsar Nicholas I and many of those closest to him saw these disorders as a threat to be countered by isolating Russian culture from foreign influences and indigenous dissidents. The earlier censorship law (1828) had subjected every journal to the approval of a dozen different offices, depending on whether an article dealt with the military, foreign policy, the empire's many established religions, or any one of a changing list of sensitive matters. This law, although burdensome, had permitted twenty years of literary excitement, partly because these restrictions were knowable, and partly because the censors were themselves often men of letters who would enter into a tacit and perhaps unconscious partnership with authors and editors to facilitate the publication of important works. Each journal had one censor to supervise its publication. Rather than change the rules of the censorship — which would have given editors another knowable universe — Tsar Nicholas appointed a secret committee under Dmitrii Petrovich Buturlin (1790-1849)to review all published materials and to punish any censors, editors, and authors who deviated from this secret committee's secret criteria. Censors, editors, and authors reacted to this indistinct threat with the caution its instigators had intended, but the committee kept the entire literary world off balance until the death of Nicholas in 1855. The committee would discipline everyone - authors, editors, and censors involved in the publication of critical articles, but also of favorable ones on issues which the authorities felt to be strictly governmental business. Aesopic language, with its ellipses, allusions, and euphemisms, had so far escaped censorship, for it was considered a "discreet" vehicle for criticism and satire.



The Buturlin committee pursued such language with especial vigor. The committee returned to a pattern of censorship that had prevailed some fifty years earlier - censoring a history of the Athenian republic, for example, because the word "republic" smacked of revolution. In this environment, conservative journals floundered as much as liberal ones. Senkovsky contemplated entering the cigarette business; Mikhail Dostoevsky (Fedor's brother), who was to become a major journalist of the 1860s, actually did so, with some success. Kraevsky's Fatherland Notes was severely reprimanded at various times but still managed to accommodate itself to the government's demands. Nekrasov's Contemporary was in special danger. Belinsky, who had been its defining voice, had died in 1848, at the very beginning of the government crackdown; the journal's sharpest social critic, SaltykovShchedrin, had been exiled for an objectionable article. Nevertheless, the journal survived, as did most of those that had held secure positions in the preceding decade. This was not a good time for founding a literary journal, however; no successful new literary journals appeared. Most Soviet accounts of this period, and the best early Soviet accounts (e.g., M. K. Lemke's Outlines of the History of Russian Censorship - Ocherki istorii russkoi tsenzury, 1904), emphasize how

oppressive and ridiculous censorship in this period was. Undeniably it ended a period of rich growth in the whole world of journalism, and a vicious alliance between the court and the bureaucracy took on a form which the Soviets have imitated in their very worst moments. Unlike the Soviets, Nicholas preferred to jail or exile dissidents rather than execute them, and the censors of this period tended, to threaten, confiscate, or suspend, but not shut down offending journals. These seven years, then, delayed, but did not prevent, the great outburst of journalistic activity that begain in 1856. 1855-67 In the mid 1850s, the Russian literary journals suddenly resumed their prominence and rapid development. Russia had

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80


lost an emperor terrified of a revolution whose roots he saw in the intellectual world. It had also lost a war, on its own borders, to enemies who had had to operate on hostile territory with long and risky supply lines. In the search for ways to overcome the inferiority the Crimean war had made plain, the journals pointed out the high cost of the government's secrecy and arbitrariness. By 1856, the Buturlin committee, originally headed by Buturlin, had ceased to exist; in the next few years a group of special censors representing particular government interests took on special powers. Still, Russian journalism began to pass the simplest test for an endurable system of censorship: censorship itself had become mentionable, and glasnost' again became a watchword of the press. In October 1959, for example, The Russian Herald (Russkii vestnik, 1856-1906) complained as follows: In writing on matters subject to the general censorship, if one knew the laws and possessed a measure of experience, and if one had the good fortune to work with a censor who knew and obeyed the laws, one could always be more or less sure that one's labors would not have been in vain. Special censors, on the other hand, follow rules the public does not know, and therefore people who write for the special censorship always risk writing not for a readership but only for the special censor. Naturally, therefore, those men of letters who value their time can write only about what is subject to the general censorship; naturally, those journals whose lead articles influence public opinion especially strongly cannot touch on questions subject to the inspection of the special censorships.4 A passage like this is evidence of a tremendous change from the period when any discussion, even laudatory discussion, of a government policy was grounds for censorship. This passage exists on the assumption that a journal can function as an independent advisor to the government, offering unsolicited advice as to the long-range wisdom of a given censorship arrangement, and in practice, on many other issues. Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov (1818-87), ^ e publisher and official editor of The Russian Herald from 1856 to his death in 1887, is the clearest example of an "establishment" journalist. An archetypical man of the 1840s, Katkov had studied at



Moscow University and then in Berlin, had taught philosophy at Moscow University, hobnobbed with Stankevich and Belinsky, and written literary criticism for Fatherland Notes. From the 1850s on, his editorship of The Moscow News had given him contacts with the court and the high bureaucracy, contacts he treasured, cultivated, and exploited for the sake of his literary journal. "The Russian Herald" had been the name of a nationalist and patriotic journal (1808—24) a n d of a literarily conservative monthly under Grech and Polevoi (1841-44). Under Katkov's leadership, The Russian Herald again became an establishment journal - but now the establishment was demanding serious thinking and great literature. At mid century Katkov had a circulation large enough to enable him to outbid other journals for the most talented Russian writers. The novelists of the great age of the Russian novel - Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, SaltykovShchedrin, Turgenev, Pisemsky, and Leskov, among others published much of their finest work in The Russian Herald, and poets, playwrights, scholars, and critics made it a central element in the culture of this time. One issue of the The Russian Herald in the 1880s gives a sense of the physical and intellectual format of most of the "thick journals." It is a 450-page volume, 5" by 8" (smaller than most journals), bound in a pale green paper cover with its title, Katkov's name, the volume number, the word "October," and a short table of contents on the outside. The next two pages solicit subscriptions for the following year, at 15.50 rubles, with delivery in Moscow for 16, and postal delivery anywhere in Russia for 17 - for 18 rubles one can subscribe from "England, France, Austria, Belgium, . . . Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, European Turkey, Holland, Montenegro, and the North American United States." The next two pages offer Katkov's daily, The Moscow News, for about the same amounts. The first thirty pages contain an article on peasant life twenty years after the liberation of the serfs, and the next seventy-five pages contain the end of part rvof The Brothers Karamazov, which had come out over a period of two years instead of the usual one, to the distress of Dostoevsky and Katkov, who had long since ad-

Survey of Russian journals, 1840—80


vanced most although not all of the royalties. Then a fortypage section of the Letters of a Priest, in this case a travel memoir, filling the role of the geographical department (which many journals treated separately). A dozen pages of narrative poetry follow, prosy stanzas from a long poem by Alexander Golenishev-Kutuzov. The next ninety pages contain the second half of a long story, In The Birch Groves, followed by a one-page poem by Konstantin Sluchevsky, an apostrophe to an old family clock with chimes. There follow a twenty-page childhood memoir of the 1830s by G. Golovachov, a fifty-page review of a French biography of the Marquis Velopolski, and a sixty-page installment of a society novel, The Breaking Point, by B. Markevich. The next forty pages deal with the biology, ecology, and economic implications of the Hessian fly; many basically literary or political journals had far larger scientific sections. The final section of the journal is called Literary News, and consists of two ten-page articles. The first reviews Nadezhda Dmitrevna Khvoshchinskaia's works under the nom de plume of B. Krestovsky, and the other introduces and publishes a then unknown chapter of Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter. The last five pages contain a table of contents, an advertisement for a bookstore, and a solicitation of subscriptions for a new journal. In general, the proportion of pages devoted to each type of article would vary enormously, even from issue to issue of a single journal, but this volume contains the basic elements of all the thick journals of the time. In the mid 1850s, Russia's broad array of "thick journals" were competing for readers and authors; over the next decade this competition would be transformed into a ruthless ideological battle. Initially The Russian Herald stood near the political center in Russian journal life. Kraevsky's Fatherland Notes was usually to the left of it, with Senkovsky's Library for Reading a little to the right of it, and Pogodin's The Muscovite perhaps a little further to the right (but broadly ecletic in its pursuit of literary excellence). The death of The Muscovite in 1856 and the disappearance of the rigidly distrustful censorship gave the Slavophiles the opportunity to start their own journal, The Russian Council (Russkaia beseda, 1856-60) with much the same



list of contributors as The Muscovite. After i860 this community would move to the weekly Day (Den', 1861-65), the successor to the short-lived weeklies Rumor (Molva, 1857) and The Sail (Parus, 1859) - all under the de facto editorship of Ivan Sergeevich Aksakov, with Iury Samarin taking charge when Aksakov's hostility to the westernizing status quo in city, bureaucracy, and society became too virulent for the censors. Aksakov's later journals Moscow (Moskva, 1867-68) and Russia (Rusr, 1880-86) reflect the polarization of the intellectual world, which made it virtually impossible to advocate anything but nihilism or repression. Pushkin's old Contemporary stood far to the left of the early Slavophile journals. Nikolai Nekrasov and I. I. Panaev (1812-62) bought The Contemporary from P. A. Pletnev in 1847, attracted Belinsky from the Fatherland Notes for the last two years of his brief and fiery career, published the early fiction of Aleksander Herzen, and used the journal to argue the importance of Gogol and the writers close to him. The Contemporary survived, although not unscathed, the death of Belinsky, the emigration of Herzen, and the years of terrifying censorship. In the decade from 1856 to 1866 it became the most provocative of Russia's "thick journals": it enunciated an ideology of positivism, scientism, socialism, and feminism combined with the rejection of autocracy, religion, and tradition - an ideology then called "nihilism" and later, in more mealy-mouthed times, "revolutionary democracy." Three extraordinary journalists gathered around Nekrasov at this time: Chernyshevsky, Dobroliubov, and SaltykovShchedrin. Chernyshevsky's nagging utopianism shaped a link between politics and morality, one that the bureaucracy confirmed for all time by exiling him in 1864, and effectively destroying his life. Nikolai Aleksandrovich Dobroliubov (1836-61), like many of the radical journalists, brought a sharp and rebellious mind from a theological seminary to St. Petersburg, and his brilliance introduced a shrillness to the polemics of the time that lasted long after his death. Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov (1826-89), a brilliant humorist and bitter novelist, was also a master of literary polemic equal to Dobroliubov. His

Survey of Russian journals, 1840-80


fiction, criticism, and polemics, under the pen name of "Shchedrin," would become a mainstay of The Contemporary, especially after the death of Dobroliubov, the exile of Chernyshevsky, and the closing of the journal by the censor for most of 1862. In the 1840s and 1850s, The Contemporary had been seen as the publisher of Tolstoy, Turgenev, Fet, Tiutchev, and Apollon Maikov; by the 1860s its political identity had crystallized, and the writers who set its tone were such "men of the sixties" as Reshetnikov, Pomialovsky, Levitov, Sleptsov, and Nikolai and Gleb Uspensky. In 1866 the censor closed The Contemporary for good. Within two years Nekrasov, with most of his writers and editors, had moved to Fatherland Notes, which in a startling character-change became now the great organ of the political left - until it too was closed, in 1884. After The Contemporary, the most notable thick journal of the radicals in this period was The Russian Word (Russkoe slovo,

1859-66). In the middle of i860, control of this journal shifted from the poet la. P. Polonsky and the poet, critic, and memoirist Apollon Grigorev to the most exciting and desperate of the radical critics, Dmitrii Ivanovich Pisarev (1840-68). Imprisoned from 1861 to 1864 in a cell in the Peter and Paul fortress in St. Petersburg for advocating regicide, Pisarev was allowed to publish a series of articles that passionately proclaimed the need to destroy a civilization that he treasured, because it was crushing scientism and the maximal realization of human possibility. Idealizing Turgenev's Bazarov, and developing his own vision of the role of leadership in human progress, Pisarev broke with The Contemporary in what Dostoevsky called "the schism among the nihilists." Throughout most of its existence, however, the list of contributors to The Russian Word overlapped with that of The Contemporary. T h e

censors had already closed The Russian Word twice in the 1860s; after Karakozov's shot at Tsar Aleksandr II in 1866, they closed it for good. This polarization of the broad and overlapping community of primarily literary but also political journals was both a cause and an effect of the great intellectual tragedy of the 1860s, the virtual disappearance of the middle ground that had previously



belonged both to liberals and to those whose central interests lay off the axis between radicalism and reaction. In the early 1860s strong voices combatted this polarization. Turgenev left the country in large part because his liberalism offended both the radicals and the reactionaries. Apollon Aleksandrovich Grigorev (1822-64) - who, like Dostoevsky, had begun his career in Repertory and Pantheon in the 1840s, and who had published criticism in Fatherland Notes in the late 1840s and in The Muscovite in the late 1850s - became editor of The Anchor (Iakor', 1862-64), where the idiosyncratic originality of his personality and his romantic organicism defied political categorization and denied him commercial success. Fedor Dostoevsky (1821—81), upon returning from prison camp and exile, joined his brother Mikhail (1820-64) to start their own thick journal, lime (Vremia, 1861-63), whose doctrine of "grassroots" (pochvennichestvo) collided with both The Contemporary and The

Russian Herald. At its start, Time could draw works from Nekrasov, Levitov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Dmitry Minaev; by the time the censors closed the journal two years later, Nikolai Strakhov, Apollon Grigorev, and Apollon Maikov were its bestknown contributors. The Dostoevskys paid the going rate for prose: about fifty rubles for a sixteen-page printer's sheet more for a major work by Ostrovsky, less for a drama by a minor author whose dialogue covered a page thinly. With a circulation of several thousand, Time was a commercial and literary success. A year after its closing, the brothers opened another journal, The Epoch (Epokha, 1864-65), with the same program, ideological position, and central contributors. The death of Mikhail Dostoevsky in 1864, the growing demand that one wholeheartedly support a single ideological camp, and the debts accumulated in restarting what was essentially the same journal drove Fedor Dostoevsky from the role of publisher for eleven years, although in 1873 an I X : 160-62. Here, Belinsky lists scholarly literature as a fourth kind of literature which, like poeziia, serves as a source for belles-lettres and journalism. 14 Po-staromu teper' pisat' nel'zia . . . (PSS, rx: 355), regarding the former; Eti nedostatki [Onegina] mozhno vyrazit' odnim slovom - "staro" (PSS, vn: 447), for the latter. 15 Such as the Slavophiles of Moskvitianin. See Belinsky's "Otvet Moskvitianinu," 262-63. 16 "Polevoi," 682-94. 17 For example, in responding to charges by Iu. F. Samarin that The Contemporary (Sovremennik) printed articles that expressed contradicting views, Belinsky pointed out that, while there existed a tendency in Russian journalism to gather likeminded journalists around a journal, the number of competent journalists was so small that most journals were happy to receive contributions from outsiders, even if they expressed views that differed somewhat from those of the editors. Belinsky then suggested that the same situation existed abroad: the French journals Journal des debats or Revue des deux mondes were always happy to print a piece by George Sand, even if it was not in accord with their ideology ("Otvet," 235)18 See, for example, PSS, rx: 215-16. 19 Such is the case in Belinsky's "Otvet Moskvitianinu" (1847) a n c ^ m his many skirmishes with Severnaia pchela. 20 See, for example, Belinsky's "Mysli i zametki o russkoi literature" (1846), PSS, ix: 442-43-



21 See, for example, Belinsky's article "Golos v zashchitu ot 'Golosa v zashchitu russkogo iazyka' " (1846), PSS, rx: 462-63. 22 See "Polevoi," 683. 23 See, for example, Belinsky's review of Bulgarin's memoirs, PSS, ix: 622. 24 See, for example, Belinsky's discussion of Herzen's Kto vinovat'? and Goncharov's Obyknovennaia istoriia in his "Vzgliad na russkuiu literaturu 1847 g°da," PSS, x: 319-44. 25 Del'noe napravlenie literatury (PSS, rx: 388). 26 See Belinsky's Fifth Essay on Pushkin (1844), PSS, vn: 344-47. 27 See, for example, Belinsky's "Mysli," 430-36. 28 Belinsky, "Mysli," 433. 29 See Belinsky's Ninth Essay on Pushkin (1845), PSS, VII: 5 0 2 30 See "Mysli," 439. 31 See Belinsky's "Vzgliad na russkuiu literaturu 1846 goda," PSS, x: 20-22.

32 "Vzgliad," 21-22. See also "Mysli," 441-42. 33 See, for example, Belinsky's discussion of S. P. Shevyrev's Istoriia rnsskoi slovesnosti in "Vzgliad," 46-47. 34 See, for example, Belinsky's "Sovremennye zametki" (1847), PSS, x:92. 35 "Otvet Moskvitianinu," 248-49. 36 D. S. Mir sky, A History of Russian Literature from its Beginnings to igoo (New York: Vintage Books, 1958), 175. 37 "Vzgliad," 300-2. 38 Belinsky explicitly rejected the ideology of Panslavism (see his review of Moskovskii literaturnyi i uchenyi sbornik na 1847 £°d, PSS, x: 198), as well as the cosmopolitan ideas of V N. Maikov ("Vzgliad," 25-32). 39 See, for example, "Mysli," 435-36. 40 V Belinsky, review of Bukety [J Hi Peterburgskoe tsvetobesie, by V A. Sollogub, 1845, PSS, rx: 351. 41 Belinsky, review of Vybrannye mesta iz perepiski s druz'iami, by N. Gogol, PSS, x: 60.


'TJie Messenger of Europe3 Alexis Pogorelskin

In 1866 M. M. Stasiulevich, formerly a professor of history at St. Petersburg University, founded The Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Evropy) as a triquarterly devoted to historical scholarship. The journal was to be serious, sober, devoid of politics and eschewing the mainstays of Russian journalistic polemics: belles-lettres and literary criticism. But within two years the journal's success encouraged Stasiulevich to include literature as well as politics and to publish The Messenger of Europe twelve times per year. Its contributors included the leading literary figures of the day, both Russian and non-Russian. Its domestic survey set a standard for permissible criticism of the regime. It waged war with conservative journalism, first with Katkov's Moscow publications and then with Suvorin's in St. Petersburg. The journal survived until early 1918 and in its longevity and consistency (Stasiulevich remained as editor until 1908), The Messenger of Europe constituted the quintessential Russian thick journal of the second half of the nineteenth century. The Messenger of Europe is correctly regarded as the locus of Russian liberalism, at least through the 1880s.1 Yet the memoir literature about it is inadequate, at times inaccurate, and even misleading. For instance, A. F. Koni, jurist and literary critic, who joined The Messenger of Europe circle in 1876, lumps A. N. Pypin with irregular and ancillary contributors.2 In fact for over two decades, Pypin was Stasiulevich's editorial assistant and the single most prolific contributor to the journal. But Pypin is not the only figure connected with the journal to be slighted. L. A. Polonsky, who launched the domestic 129



survey and began the journal's politicization in 1868, is accorded meager treatment in the memoir literature. K. K. Arsenev, whose connection with the journal was even longer than that of Stasiulevich, enumerated Polonsky's many contributions but failed to mention his close personal relationship with Stasiulevich and the blow his departure inflicted on both editor and journal. 3 Koni neglected to mention Polonsky at all. Arsenev slighted his own contributions with the result that a basic misunderstanding persists. Because the domestic survey was anonymous, few historians have been aware of the influence that first Polonsky and then Arsenev had in writing it; or, by the same token, the modification in the journal's stance brought by the change in authorship. In this article, I shall use the archival record, primarily unpublished editorial correspondence, to correct and emendate the memoir literature. Much of The Messenger of Europe's success arose from Stasiulevich's ability to attract competent contributors. In fact, its circle was ready-made. Those professors, like Stasiulevich, who had resigned from St. Petersburg University in 1861 to protest the government's harsh treatment of student demonstrators, joined him on the new journalistic enterprise in 1866.4 They included three participants trained in the law - K. D. Kavelin, V. D. Spasovich, and B. I. Utin. The appointment of the historian N. I. Kostomarov as co-editor was especially important for a journal devoted to the study of the past. The best known of the group and formerly the most popular lecturer in the university, Kostomarov was the historian who would make the otherwise dry, scholarly journal sell. Yet none of the initial contributors to The Messenger of Europe was to be as important to the journal as a handful of latecomers. Kostomarov, who had clashed repeatedly with his colleagues while in the university, 5 fared no better in journalistic collaboration with them. His anti-Polish sentiments offended the other members of the circle, most of whom held strong pro-Polish feelings.6 When the journal expanded and

"The Messenger of Europe"


Kostomarov's historical essays were no longer its mainstay, he became expendable.7 The three jurists - Kavelin, Spasovich, and Utin - wrote on a wide variety of topics for The Messenger of Europe. Kavelin was as much a historian as a legal scholar. Spasovich combined both law and literary criticism. But none produced work regularly for the journal, nor did they earn their livelihood from it. The working group closest to Stasiulevich and responsible for much of the content of The Messenger of Europe therefore consisted of individuals who did not join its circle initially and, who, with one exception, were not among the editor's erstwhile colleagues in St. Petersburg University. Precisely those three individuals whom the memoir literature has slighted - A. N. Pypin, L. A. Polonsky, and K. K. Arsenev - constituted Stasiulevich's closest collaborators. Pypin, who had resigned with his academic colleagues from the university and then faced similar difficulties finding work that was both permanent and suited to his talents, did not join The Messenger of Europe as a regular contributor until 1868; and even then the nature of his connection differed from that of his former associates. Until his election to the Academy of Sciences in 1897, Pypin earned his livelihood from the journal, becoming The Messenger of Europe's resident historian, the role that Stasiulevich had once envisaged for Kostomarov. Pypin came to Stasiulevich with extensive journalistic experience. He had assisted Nekrasov as editor of The Contemporary (Sovremennik) from 1863 to 1866 when it was closed by the censorship. Next he sought to collaborate with N. L. Tiblen on what proved to be the short-lived Contemporary Survey (Sovremennoe

obozrenie).8 But Pypin and Tiblen quarreled over finances and editorial policy. Pypin was thus relieved when Stasiulevich offered him a permanent position with The Messenger ofEurope.9 In fact, Stasiulevich had been hoping for over a year to entice Pypin to The Messenger of Europe. He had been pleased with the series on the Russian Masons that Pypin had contributed in the spring of 1867 and paid him well for it, 200 rubles for the June article alone.10 Stasiulevich was delighted to acquire Pypin's services just as The Messenger of Europe expanded



publication in 1868 and hoped that Pypin would have something ready for the September issue that year.11 He told his wife: "Pypin has broken with Tiblen and will join me. This is an important acquisition for the journal; it is impossible to do better.5512 Stasiulevich5s wife disagreed and raised an objection. She feared that Pypin would be a dangerous addition to the journal and that her husband would be unable to control his radical tendencies.13 Pypin, who was Chernyshevsky5s cousin, was known to have remained close to him. In his three years with The Contemporary, Pypin had endeavored to replace his cousin and had assumed full responsibility for Chernyshevsky5s wife and two sons.14 Stasiulevich reassured Liubov Isaakovna that he could readily contain any dangerous lapses on the part of his new collaborator. Pypin justified Stasiulevich5s expectations, and at the same time found The Messenger of Europe a far more congenial publication than the last two he had worked for. Aside from his own numerous contributions, in his first years with the journal he successfully influenced its policy and contents. Pypin shared Stasiulevich5s strong bias toward historial and scholarly contributions.15 That The Messenger of Europe "was intended to be primarily historical . . . enthused55 Pypin. "Publicistics,55 he later reminisced, "could only be repugnant after the experience with The Contemporary."16

Pypin was able to encourage the placement in The Messenger of Europe of the latest historical and literary works, including many articles which seemed too specialized for a broad-based journal. 17 Stasiulevich was so pleased with Pypin5s efforts that he put "the September issue [for 1870] . . . fully in [his] hands.5518 Yet such warm relations and enthusiastic collaboration did not last. According to Vera Pypina5s unpublished memoir about her father, Pypin and Stasiulevich became estranged over questions of content and editorial policy.19 While Stasiulevich had at first regarded specialized scholarly contributions as safe, as The Messenger of Europe grew more competitive with other journals, he came to oppose reliance on them. Pypin, on the contrary, believed that a Russian journal

"The Messenger of Europe33


had an obligation "to extend the accepted framework" of what is popular and inform its readership of Russia's past and culture, preferably from a non-official point of view.20 A nonofficial point of view, moreover, contributed to the liveliness and social responsiveness of the journal. Stasiulevich, on the other hand, consistently refused to allow The Messenger of Europe to be seen as the spokesman of any particular cause or individual. Pypin's frustration mounted. A real breach between them occurred, however, not because of what Pypin urged Stasiulevich to accept by others, but because of what Pypin himself wrote for the journal. Pypin became his cousin's defender, a practice begun during his years as assistant editor of The Contemporary.21 At first more cautious with The Messenger of Europe, by the early 1870s Pypin had once again taken up a limited defense of Chernyshevsky's cause. His approach was subtle, indirect, but unmistakable to the perspicacious reader. Pypin's contributions to The Messenger of Europe can in fact be divided into two groups: those before and those after 1876. His essays in the first group are devoted to Russian social and cultural history of the recent past because he believed that the years 1812-21 constituted "the epoch of the formation of new social views for which the existing literature gives [only] a fragmentary picture." 22 He produced pioneering studies on the period, culminating in his "Essays on the Social Movement under Alexander I." 23 His next studies, "Characteristics of Literary Opinions from the 20s to the 50s," 24 thus came even closer to the period of Chernyshevsky's literary activity. Pypin's initial references to his cousin served not only to remind his readers of Chernyshevsky's existence but also to compare his cousin's fate to that of other political martyrs. For example, he lamented the ostracized generation of Decembrists who "were long excluded from memoirs and historical research," 25 a fitting commentary on his cousin, who had been denied the right to exist in print. Similarly, Pypin insisted that the critics of the 1860s (his cousin and Dobroliubov) were the heirs of the critical tradition of Belinsky, 26 a theme which he amplified in his biography of Belinsky.27



The very study of Belinsky recalled Chernyshevsky, whose treatment of the critical tradition of the 1840s, Essays on the Gogol Period (Ocherki gogolevskogo perioda), had borne that title because

the censorship banned the appearance of Belinsky's name in print. In 1874-75, the name of Pypin's cousin could not appear in print. In linking his cousin to Belinsky, Pypin also pitted himself against the journal's most famous contributor, the novelist Ivan Turgenev, who had explicitly denied any continuity between the critical tradition of the 1840s and that of the 1860s.28 Pypin argued that Belinsky's correspondence convincingly showed "his transition from esthetic criticism to publicistics" and that his "striving for social criticism . . . served as a school and starting point" for "the writers of the new generation." Pypin concluded that the criticism of the 1860s not only derived from Belinsky but was "its direct heir" (ME, 6 [1875], 479-81). Turgenev admitted defeat, stating that if he had had access to Belinsky's unpublished correspondence unearthed by Pypin, "he would not have written what he did." 29 Stasiulevich too supported Pypin's conclusions about Belinsky. Thus encouraged, Pypin referred more directly to his cousin in a critical essay which appeared in The Messenger of Europe in early 1876. Returning to the theme of continuity between the 1840s and 1860s, he observed that the critics of the latter decade referred to Belinsky as their "precedessor and teacher," a point that Chernyshevsky had made about Belinsky in his Essays on the Gogol Period (ME, no. 1 [1873], 413).

Until late April 1876, Stasiulevich apparently had no qualms concerning Pypin's increasing directness about his cousin. But the intervention of M. A. Antonovich, a journalist down on his luck, impelled him to re-examine Pypin's recent contributions. In the spring of 1876, Antonovich sent Pypin an article for inclusion in The Messenger of Europe. The two knew each other well, having worked together the previous decade on The Contemporary. Pypin, replying that he had no authority to accept the piece, urged Antonovich to turn directly to Stasiulevich. Furious, Antonovich published a broadside in The Tiflis Messenger (Tifiisskii vestnik), denouncing Stasiulevich. Furthermore, he condemned Pypin for kowtowing to Stasiulevich, arguing

"The Messenger of Europe3'


that his deference constituted a betrayal of "Dobroliubov and the commentator on Mill [Chernyshevsky]."30 Stasiulevich reacted angrily. He condemned Pypin for not bringing Antonovich's proposed article to his attention and suspected that Antonovich was expressing Pypin's real opinion about his position with the journal. 31 Pypin was not conniving with Antonovich, but he was unable to hide his loyalty to Chernyshevsky when he wrote on recent history. Stasiulevich felt betrayed. He had protected Pypin before the censorship when the Main Administration for Affairs of the Press had protested that Pypin's writing showed sympathy for proscribed figures. Now, despite Pypin's humbling efforts to reassure Stasiulevich of his loyalty, "peculiar relations" existed between them for months. 32 The incident was a turning point for Pypin and The Messenger of Europe. Stasiulevich never fully recovered his former trust of Pypin. And Pypin, to guard his position with the journal, on which he was totally dependent for the support of his family, henceforth avoided studies of the recent past and devoted himself to writing on his long-time interests - the Slavic peoples and Russian narodnost'.33 He increasingly turned to the eighteenth century and earlier periods, except for two noncontroversial series - one on Saltykov in 1889 and one on Nekrasov in 1903 and 1904 (ME, nos. 10-12 [1889]; nos. 11-12 [1903]; nos. 3-4 [1904]). Pypin's influence on the content of the journal began to diminish. Rather than negotiate with Stasiulevich directly, he worked through others. In the late 1870s, for example, he supported Polonsky in his wish to take up the Polish question and urged Arsenev to assume the responsibilities of literary critic for the journal. 34 Pypin felt like an outsider and grew frustrated with Stasiulevich's persistent distrust. Most painful of all, even by innocuous contributions to the journal, Pypin could do nothing to assist Chernyshevsky, who returned from Siberia a defeated and broken man in 1883.35 Shortly thereafter, Pypin almost broke with Stasiulevich over a conflict ostensibly concerning money. More likely, Chernyshevsky was the cause of the quarrel.



The emergence of Arsenev as a prolific contributor in the early 1880s encouraged Stasiulevich to make changes at Pypin's expense. Stasiulevich proposed cutting the honorarium for Pypin's contributions to the first section of the journal, i.e., the original works of scholarship for which Pypin (and The Messenger of Europe) were noted. Pypin was shocked and hurt. Stasiulevich appeared to be playing him off against Arsenev, but in fact he was attempting to punish Pypin for seemingly continuing to invoke his cousin on the pages of the journal. 36 Stasiulevich may also have sought to warn him: Chernyshevsky's return to European Russia did not necessarily mean his return to Russian journalism. Pypin was on the verge of accepting the new arrangement "because at the time" he "had no other income," but Arsenev refused to prosper at Pypin's expense.37 Had Pypin maintained his influence on the journal, its content would have been different. As it was, 1876 marked a watershed in Pypin's contributions to The Messenger of Europe. The incident in 1883 confirmed his role as outsider. Taken together, both events can be compared to Polonsky's departure from the journal, which marked another turning point for The Messenger of Europe.

L. A. Polonsky is little known in the history of Russian journalism, although he deserves far greater recognition. The zenith of his career - the years 1868 to 1880 - coincided with his collaboration on The Messenger of Europe. Before that he had worked intermittently for as many as seven publications, never remaining long with any one. 38 But unfortunately for Polonsky's future renown, nearly all the contributions that he made to The Messenger of Europe were either pseudonymous or anonymous.39 Stasiulevich probably preferred it that way as it increased his chance of keeping Polonsky. Polonsky's domestic surveys, one of the journal's key sections, defined its politics and made it one of the most consistent and forceful defenders of reform in the 1870s. The domestic survey both contributed to The Messenger's success and made it an effective competitor with Nekrasov's popular Fatherland Notes [Otechestvennye zapiski\. Polonsky monitored the regime's com-

"The Messenger of Europe33


mitment to the Great Reforms of the previous decade, 4 0 quickly condemning any curtailment in their effectiveness and urging the regime forward when it proposed or discussed the possibility of their extension. 41 He served as watchdog over whatever freedom of expression the Russian press enjoyed. 42 He also followed the declining state of the peasantry and its increasing post-emancipation hunger for land 4 3 and deplored the effects of industrialization on the peasant way of life. 44 Polonsky's success on The Messenger of Europe arose in part from his ability to deal effectively with Stasiulevich. Sensitive about how little of his own writing appeared in the journal, Stasiulevich wrote more for the debate on secondary education (real schools vs. classical) than on any other topic, although even here his output was small. 45 Polonsky nonetheless insisted on its significance, thanking Stasiulevich for his defense of real schools which opened "new horizons and is therefore useful." 46 Stasiulevich appreciated more than Polonsky's ability to flatter. Polonsky's command of foreign languages was formidable; he therefore helped to "Europeanize" the journal, providing it with a particular distinction in the competitive world of Russian journalism. In fact, Polonsky's contributions helped to justify the journal's name. In his foreign survey, later called foreign politics, which ran from December 1870 to January 1880, Polonsky devoted particular attention to parliamentary and electoral politics throughout Europe, especially in England. Furthermore, Polonsky provided unmatched services for The Messenger of Europe. For example, he produced lively copy on short notice. When the literary survey for August 1878 was "threatened with emptiness," Polonsky quickly wrote 1 1/2 lisfy the equivalent of twenty-four printed pages. 47 He enjoyed Stasiulevich's trust to such a degree that through the 1870s the editor granted Polonsky alone the responsibility for negotiating with the censorship in his absence. 48 Encounters with the censorship, conducted during the last four days of each month, were vital to the journal's existence. A committee of three scrutinized The Messenger of Europe. Stasiulevich cultivated the chairman Petrov. 49 The two men below him were appalled at



what they read, but their protests apparently carried no weight as the government was reluctant to appear heavyhanded or oppressive to a publication highly esteemed by the public.50 Polonsky's talents extended beyond what might be expected of a Russian journalist, even one as gifted as he. When he tried his hand at fiction with a short story entitled "One Has to Live," (Nado zhit', ME, no. 12 [1878]), no less than Turgenev praised it. Stasiulevich, however, never conveyed Turgenev's praise to Polonsky, who learned of it only in 1912 with the appearance of M. K. Lemke's publication of the StasiulevichTurgenev correspondence.51 Perhaps Stasiulevich remained silent because he feared that Polonsky might devote more time to literary rather than journalistic pursuits. In the end Polonsky left the journal not to write fiction, but to pursue journalism on his own. By the late 1870s, Polonsky had clearly begun to regard The Messenger of Europe as a harness whose restraints chafed him. For example, he risked a conflict with Stasiulevich by dedicating the August 1877 domestic survey to the Polish question. As was his usual practice, Stasiulevich was spending the summer in Western Europe.52 By the time Polonsky's letter announcing his intentions reached him, the September number was ready for distribution. Polonsky not only attempted to extend the limits on controversial topics, he also sought to expand the whole range of the journal's content. He urged Stasiulevich to undertake a bolder program, if necessary at the expense of shocking the public. Polonsky called for: several articles on current questions, yes, and more belle-lettres. Political topics: the insufficiencies of our military. . . the position of our gymnasia, the question of Russia's alliances, our attitude to a Slavic war. Other topics: . . . where does Russian literary criticism end, a comparison of Russian realism and French realism, several essays on the dulling of Russian society and the modificiation of its taste, a non-dry review of branches of Russian factory industry, the position of agriculture in Russia. You will . . . say where to take all this. I will answer with names for each topic.53

"The Messenger of Europe'3


Stasiulevich had his own list, including suggestions for possible contributors, which Polonsky rejected. Polonsky and Stasiulevich did not argue over any single issue. Like Pypin, Polonsky differed with Stasiulevich on the content and direction of the journal. Like Pypin, he believed that the journal needed more liveliness and topicality in its contributions. Polonsky, however, had the journalistic talent and energy to strike out on his own. In fact Polonsky's craving for independence was so great that he kept his new venture, the newspaper Country {Strand), almost entirely in his own hands and invited very few collaborators to join him. 54 Thanks to Polonsky's anonymity on The Messenger of Europe, the censorship had no reason to object to his new enterprise. He received permission to publish Country in mid November, 5 5 yet did not announce it until early January 1880 when preparations for the new publication were well under way. Stasiulevich was caught completely by surprise. 56 Polonsky tried to assure him that he would continue to write for The Messenger of Europe, even though the content of Country would surely duplicate what Polonsky contributed to the journal. Stasiulevich, who always insisted that The Messenger of Europe replicate no other publication, could only reject Polonsky's offer, thanking him for his past twelve years of service and wishing him well.57 But such cordiality was brief. Stasiulevich came to believe that Polonsky had not only betrayed The Messenger of Europe, but had compounded his perfidy by using Country to compete unfairly with Order (Poriadok), Stasiulevich's short-lived newspaper, which was launched in 1881 and suppressed in early 1882.58 After Country was in turn closed by the censorship the following year, Arsenev tried unsuccessfully to convince Stasiulevich to allow Polonsky to return to The Messenger of Europe] but Stasiulevich would not hear of it. 59 Arsenev himself had by then replaced Polonsky on The Messenger of Europe, regularly contributing three sections: the domestic survey and the literary and social chronicles. In many ways, Arsenev was the mirror opposite of Polonsky. Cautious and insecure where Polonsky was bold, Arsenev would never strike out on his own. He was much less self-consciously



European than Polonsky, and certainly nothing of the Anglophile that Polonsky had been. Arsenev believed that "Russian liberalism always had little in common with the bourgeois liberalism of Western Europe, from which in the course of time it moved further and further" [ME, no. 12 [1915], 8). He himself was careful to draw distinctions between the two.60 Unlike Polonsky, Arsenev never needed to be restrained on the issue of democratization in Russia, and was therefore better suited to the stricter censorship conditions that prevailed in the reign of Alexander III. Arsenev nonetheless assumed a critical stance on certain issues. Though his manner was "strictly self-possessed . . . and highly restrained,"61 he consistently condemned the regime's encroachments on the responsibility of the zemstvos and municipal dumas; protested the heavy hand of Pobedonostev directed against such religious minorities as the Old Believers, Catholics, and Lutherans; and warned against "the increasing danger of clericalism which threatens Russia."62 Arsenev still remained cautious even when critical, a stance that saved the journal from any serious confrontation with the regime until the end of the decade. That its boldness and liveliness diminished proved a saving grace. The period 1883-1884 saw The Messenger of Europe's main journalistic rivals closed by the government [Country in 1883 and Voice [Golos) and Fatherland Notes in 1884). Though Arsenev himself observed, "our press is now in such a pitiable condition . . .," 63 he nonetheless concurred with Stasiulevich: "for journalism there now remains a choice between two positions: either cease being serious or crawl onward in expectation of better days." 64 Because The Messenger of Europe erred on the side of caution, the journal compromised its role as spokesman for the moderate yet critical segment of society which wanted more responsibility and freedom of expression. Liberalism, even as adapted by Arsenev to specifically Russian conditions, seemed less and less appropriate. By the time the press began to revive again in the 1890s, The Messenger of Europe was isolated and unable to attract new blood. Still, Stasiulevich had succeeded in one regard. He had found a collaborator to replace the

"The Messenger of Europe"


productive Polonsky. And given Arsenev's caution and insecurity, Stasiulevich could at last play the role he claimed, namely that of "sublimatory" who "altered and molded" all contributions to the journal, including the domestic survey.65 Unfortunately, what Stasiulevich gained in control and certainty, The Messenger ofEurope lost in influence and prestige.66 Although Arsenev had formally belonged to the staff of The Messenger of Europe almost from its founding, he wrote little for it through the 1870s and then "for the most part only at the special invitation of . . . Stasiulevich."67 Instead he had devoted himself to the cause of the newly reformed judicial system, itself still largely on trial. From 1866 to 1874, Arsenev conducted a highly successful law practice and was among those who made the new courtroom procedures work. In the spring of 1874, however, he opted for a quieter life in the Ministry of Justice, hoping to give more time to literary activities. His participation from the fall of 1874 in the Shakespeare Society, where fellow lawyers, often members of the Messenger of Europe circle, read critical essays on literary topics increased his "taste for literary-critical studies."68 By the late 1870s, Pypin was urging him to consider contributing such pieces to The Messenger of Europe on a regular basis because the journal still lacked a literary critic of its own.69 Starting in January 1879 Arsenev began to contribute monthly to the newly founded literary survey.70 But he still could not afford to relinquish his position with the Ministry of Justice and devote himself to journalism full time until early 1880 when Stasiulevich proposed that he write the domestic survey.71 Arsenev read Stasiulevich his first domestic survey in February of that year.72 Stasiulevich accepted it, and Arsenev "agreed with joy" to replace Polonsky permanently on The Messenger ofEurope.1* Unfortunately for Arsenev, his pleasure at devoting himself to the literary and journalistic work that he had long sought was continually undermined by his own unfavorable comparisons between himself and Polonsky. Yet Arsenev brought to the journal a background superior to Polonsky5s in its breadth and experience. His work as a trial lawyer had given him first-hand



exposure to Russia's social ills. In addition, he was no mere urban dweller alienated from the countryside and the needs of the peasantry. From 1878 to 1884 he lived with his family on an estate half a day's journey from the capital in order, as he wrote, "to draw close to the people." 74 In 1881 and 1882 he surveyed institutions in Saratov and Samara provinces "to study everything that was . . . important for the writer of the domestic survey." He was active in zemstvo work, concentrating on questions of school administration. Polonsky, a journalist of the capital, lacked Arsenev's firsthand knowledge of local institutions and rural life, but made up for it with his knack for the telling detail, an engaging style, and clear opinions about timely issues. Arsenev chafed repeatedly at the thought that his sober, informed pieces were devoid of Polonsky's flair. Although Arsenev rivaled Polonsky in his command of European literature, 75 he was as disparaging of his literary criticism as he was of his other writing.76 His colleagues tried to reassure him. Pypin especially valued his literary studies, believing that Arsenev "possessed a delicacy of critical feeling" combined with an understanding of the social significance of literature.77 It was Pypin who urged Arsenev to contribute literary articles on a regular basis, advice echoed by Polonsky. In fact, unpublished editorial correspondence suggests that both Pypin and Polonsky encouraged Arsenev as a counterweight to Zola, who since 1875 had been using his Paris Letters to advocate his own critical views on the pages of the Russian journal. Enamored of Zola's work, Stasiulevich had tried to engage him for The Messenger of Europe earlier. When Lafaute de Vabbe Mouret (Prostupok abbata Mure), Zola's first work of fiction to

appear in The Messenger of Europe, began serialization in January 1875, Stasiulevich was delighted. Zola, pleased with the arrangement, suggested expanding it by providing a regular correspondence from Paris.78 Stasiulevich agreed, and the March issue saw the inauguration of Zola's Paris Letters which ran through December 1880, a total of sixty-four in all. Not all members of the The Messenger of Europe circle were pleased with the journal's new contributor. Pypin, for example,

"The Messenger of Europe"


considered Stasiulevich's estimation of Zola "curious." 79 While Stasiulevich admitted the truth of Pypin's observations, he was more swayed by the popularity of the Frenchman's contributions which were unique for a Russian journal. 80 Pressure mounted to separate the journal from Zola's views on literature, however. N. K. Mikhailovsky, stating the radical position, condemned Zola for his lack of "strictly defined moral and political ideals," and for substituting instead "a science of man." 81 Other journals joined the attack and claimed that Zola spoke for The Messenger of Europe?2 Polonsky was notably chagrined by the latter suggestion and condemned the Frenchman for "self-propagandizing." "How much are Zola's literary ideas . . . obligatory for us?" he asked Stasiulevich. He saw the answer in Arsenev's newly begun literary survey. By granting Arsenev more latitude to criticize Zola in that section, "it would be revealed that Zola speaks only in his own name." 83 Stasiulevich did not become receptive to such advice until he had developed his own objections to the journal's Paris correspondent. He wrote Pypin in 1877 of his emerging frustration: "the current article [of] Zola seemed . . . weak and colorless. Evidently he knows little of the subject matter himself and like a realist understands only when he sees a thing with his own eyes . . ." 84 Two years later Stasiulevich complained to Pypin, "the title of the new correspondence of Zola . . . horrified me. It has long been a rare event when I am not tormented by his correspondences."85 Perhaps the French writer was unable to balance deftly over the abyss of tsarist censorship.86 The agility which Stasiulevich could assume in his compatriots was simply absent from Zola's otherwise formidable range of gifts. As a result, by 1879 Stasiulevich agreed to allow Arsenev to challenge Zola directly. Arsenev did so writing under the pseudonym Z. Z. In 1880 he continued a series that he had begun the year before entitled "The Contemporary Novel and its Representatives" (ME, nos. 4, 7, 10 [1879]; n o s - JJ 8> 10 [1880]). While Arsenev had devoted his essays to German novelists, in 1880 he turned to those French writers about whom Zola had previously written for The



Messenger of Europe. Arsenev condemned Zola's interpretation of his own literary heritage, arguing that Zola did not understand Hugo nor was his judgment sound regarding Flaubert. Arsenev's articles in 1880 were surely instrumental in Zola's decision to quit The Messenger of Europe, 87 but pressure had been mounting since 1877 to divest the journal of its popular though problematical French contributor. Arsenev's critical essays were typical of his prodigious contribution to the journal as a whole. He was cautious and instead of leading the journal in a new direction, he more often spoke for a consensus among its leading participants. His caution was even more apparent after The Messenger of Europe received an official warning from the Main Administration for Affairs of the Press in 1889. It was the first since the amnesty of 1877 which had rescinded two earlier warnings. The Messenger of Europe was thus a long way from a near-fatal third warning which would require it to suspend publication for six months. Although the reprimand of 1889 hardly posed an immediate threat to the journal, Arsenev took all the blame upon himself. The warning, given for "a whole series of articles" which condemned "the most important measures of the government" (ME, no. 12 [1915], 7), Arsenev ascribed solely to the domestic survey and social chronicle.88 He felt compelled "to raise caution at least to the third power" in the domestic survey and introduce his own observations as little as possible.89 Such caution ill-equipped The Messenger of Europe to compete with a host of new publications which appeared in the 1890s. Legal Marxism, modernism, estheticism, Nietzcheanism - all found journalistic homes. In the reign of the new monarch Nicholas II, The Messenger of Europe seemed as much a relic as a survivor. Its diminished status may have discouraged study of it before 1917. After the revolution Soviet scholars had little inclination to treat seriously an exemplar of tsarist liberalism. Blame for the lack of attention must also lie with those who knew the journal best; they failed to supply information that might have piqued curiosity. Pypin wrote for The Messenger of Europe almost up to the day he died. He never found time to complete the

"The Messenger of Europe3'


memoirs that would have treated his years with it. Polonsky never committed to print an account of his partnership with Stasiulevich, perhaps hoping one day to be welcomed back to the fold. Arsenev's caution and reluctance to treat personal relationships hamper the usefulness of what memoir pieces he was able to write. Modern scholarship must complete the picture. Only with knowledge of authorship can true appreciation of this literary monument to nineteenth-century culture begin.


1 See for example George Fisher, Russian Liberalism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), 5 and V R. Leikina-Svirskaia, Intelligentsia v Rossii vo vtoroi polovine XlXveka (Moscow, 1967), 233. 2 A. E Koni, Sobranie sochinenii v vos'mi tomakh (Moscow, 1969), VII:

220, 257. 3 K. Arsen'ev, "Piatidesiatiletie VE.," The Messenger of Europe (hereafter ME), no. 12 (1915). 4 For a full discussion of these events, see A. E. Pogorelskin, "N. I. Kostomarov and the Origins of the Vestnik Evropy Circle," Oxford Slavonic Papers 11 (1978), 87-89. 5 Ibid., 90-94. 6 A. E. Pogorelskin, " Vestnik Evropy and the Polish Question in the Reign of Alexander II," Slavic Review, 1 (1987), 92. 7 Ibid. Stasiulevich formally broke with Kostomarov over his attempt to encourage Ukrainian separatists to publish in The Messenger of Europe. In fact, Stasiulevich had ceased to tolerate Kostomarov's independence and hauteur. 8 See I. E. Barenbaum, "K istorii zhurnala Sovremennoe obozrenie N. L. Tiblena," in Problemy istorii obshchestvennoi mysli i istorigrafii

(Moscow, 1976), 144-54. 9 Gosudarstvennaia publichnaia biblioteka im. SaltykovaShchedrina, Leningrad, Otdel rukopisei (hereafter GPBOr), fond 621, ed. Khr. 882, 11.7, 11, 13-14: Pypin to Tiblen, n.d. and Institut russkoi literatury (Pushkinskii Dom) (hereafter IRLI), f. 293, op. 1, 1.112: Stasiulevich to L. I. Stasiulevicha, 2/14 Feb. 1868. 10 GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 820, 1.1: Stasiulevich to Pypin, 12 May 1867. 11 Ibid., 1.1, June 1868. 12 IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, 1.112: 2/14 Feb. 1868.



13 Ibid., undated. 14 See forthcoming in Slavic Review, A. E. Pogorelskin, "Pypin's Daughter on Ghernyshevskii's Wife: the Perils of Family Biography." 15 As Stasiulevich confided to P. A. Pletnev, "a failure will not be so ignominious for me as it [would be] if I were to fail with a political journal." M. K. Lemke, ed., M. M. Stasiulevich i ego sovremenniki v ikh perepiske, 1 (Spb, 1911), 228 10/22 Nov. 1865 (hereafter Perepiska). 16 Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv literatury i isskustva (hereafter TsGaLI), f. 80, op. 1, ed. khr. 181, 11.70-71: Pypin to A.N. Veselovskii, 31 March 1903. 17 GPBOr, f. 621, N. 1117, 1.296: V A. Pypina, "Vospominaniia ob A. N. Pypine (1868-1904)." 18 GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 322, 1.48: Stasiulevich to Pypin, 7/19 Aug. 1870. 19 Pypina, "Vospominaniia," 11.296-97. 20 GPBOr, f. 1014, ed. khr. 69, 1.16: Pypin to V. F. Miller, 14 Sept. 1889. 21 See especially A. [Pypin], "Protsessy o pechati v Avstrii," The Contemporary, nos. 1, 4-5 (1863). 22 GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 322, 1.5: Pypin to Stasiulevich, 1 July 1870. 23 "Ocherki obshchestvennogo dvizheniia pri Aleksandre I," ME, nos. 2, 4, 6, 9-10, 12 (1870); no. 2 (1871). 24 "Kharakteristiki literaturnykh mnenii ot dvadtsatykh do piatidesiatykh godov," ME, nos. 5, 9, 12 (1871); nos. 5, 11-12 (1872); nos. 4 - 6 (1873). 25 A. N. Pypin, "Ocherki obshchestvennogo dvizheniia . . .," ME, no. 12 (1870), 681. 26 Pypin, "Kharakteristiki literaturnykh mnenii . . .," ME, no. 61 (1873), 228 and passim. 27 Pypin, "V G. Belinskii," ME, nos. 3-4, 6, 10-12 (1874); nos. 2, 4 - 6 (1875). 28 I. S. Turgenev, "Vospominaniia o Belinskom," ME, no. 4 (1869). See T. A. Nikonova, "Vospominaniia o Belinskom," Turgenevskii sbornik, in (Leningrad, 1967), 125-34. See also N. N. Mostovskaia, /. S. Turgenev i russkaia zhurnalistika (Leningrad, 1983), 42-65. 29 BPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 826, 11.24-24 ob.: 18/30 July 1875. 30 BPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 34, 1.9: Antonovich to Pypin, 26 Nov. 1875. TsGALI, f. 1167, op. 1, ed. khr. 57 1.15: Pypin to Stasiulevich 29 Apr. 1876; E. S. [Antonovich], "Zametki o zhurnalakh," Tijlisskii vestnik, nos. 29-30 (5-6 Feb. 1876).

"The Messenger of Europe33


31 A. E. Pogorelskin, "Pypin and Chernyshevskii: The Prolog Affair Reconsidered," Oxford Slavonic Papers, 14(1981), 114. 32 TsGALI, f. 1067, op. 1, ed. khr. 57, 1.15: 29 Apr. 1876. Also Ibid., f. 1065, op. 4, ed. khr. 1, 1.9: Pypin to M. P. Dragomanov. 33 An exception was "Pol'skii vopros v russkoi literature," ME, nos. 2, 4-5, I O - I I (1880), for which Pypin incurred the wrath of Katkov and triggered a reminder of his relationship to Chernyshevsky. When most of these pieces appeared, Pypin was in charge of ME while Stasiulevich edited his short-lived daily Order. See Pogorelskin, "The Polish Question," 101-2. 34 Pogorelskin, "The Polish Question," 98. 35 See N. Chernyshevskaia-Bystrova, "Chernyshevskii posle sibirskoi ssylki," Krasnaia nov', no. 8 (1928): 172-91. 36 Pogorelskin, "The Polish Question," 98. 37 Pypina, "Vospominaniia," 1.178. 38 See "L. A. Polonskii," Entsiklopedicheskii slovar, xxiv (Spb., 1898): 360-61 for details of his career before 1868. 39 For a complete list, see IRLI, f. 661, N.879, n.i8-i9ob: Polonskii to M. K. Lemke, 2 Feb. 1912. 40 See for example, "Otniatie u zemstva darovoi pochtovoi korrespondentsee," ME, no. 12 (1869). 41 "Glavneishiie sobytiia i novye reformy," ME, no. 1 (1870). 42 "Ogul'naia kharakteristika sovremennogo obshchestva i ego pechati," ME, no. 1 (1875). 43 "Obshchyi vopros ob upadke krest'ianskogo khoziastva," ME, no. 12 (1879). 44 "Polozhenie detei na fabrikakh i zavodakh," ME, no. 10 (1975). 45 Pogorelskin, "The Polish Question," 93-94. 46 IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 1144 (1), 1.14: 23 July 1871; 1.16: 19 Aug. 1871. 47 Ibid., 1144 (2), 1.52: 13/25 July 1878. 48 Each summer, as Stasiulevich spent June through August in Western Europe, Polonsky made the long walk from the editorial office of ME on Gallernaia Street to the Main Administration for Affairs of the Press on Theater Street to fight for the latest issue of the journal. In contrast to Pypin, who was ineffective before the censor (in part because he was a former editor of The Contemporary and Chernyshevsky's cousin), Polonsky was able to maintain a cordial working relationship with his censorship opponents. 49 See for example GPBOr, f. 621. ed. khr. 826, 1.106: Pypin to Stasiulevich, 29 Dec. 1875. 50 See numerous reports in Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv (hereafter TsGIA), f. 777, op. 2 (1865-81).



51 IRLI, f. 661, N. 879, 1.22: Polonskii to Lemke, 24 Sept. 1912. 52 IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 1144 (2), 1.43: Polonskii to Stasiulevich, 24 Aug.Aj Sept. 1877. 53 Ibid., 1.47 ob.: 24july/5 Aug. 1878. 54 Pogorelskin, "The Polish Question," 99. 55 TsGIA, f. 777, op. 3, delo 84: 13 Nov. 1879. 56 IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 1144 (2), 1.55 ob.: Stasiulevich to Polonskii, 9 Jan. 1880. 57 Ibid. 58 See GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 832. 1.10 ob.: 15 Aug. 1881. 59 GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 39, 11.69-70: 20 Nov. 1883. 60 K.K.A., "Otvet na voprosy: est; li programma u russkikh liberalov," ME, no. 4 (1882); "Eshche neskol'ko slov o liberalnoi programme," ME, no. 5 (1882). 61 Ch. Vetrinskii, "Ocherk istorii zhurnalistiki," in Istoriia russkoi literatury XIXv. (ed. D. N. Ovsianiko-Kulikovskii), v: 437. 62 See for example "Novyi zakon o raskornikakh," ME, no. 7 (1883) and IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 164 (2), 1.44: Arsen'ev to Stasiulevich, 16 Oct. 1882. 63 Ibid., ed. khr. 165 (3), 1.11: Arsen'ev to Stasiulevich, 16/28 Aug. 1884. 64 GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 833, 1.27: Stasiulevich to Pypin, 24 June 1883. 65 M. L. Perovskii, "Pis'ma Baron N. A. Korfa," Russkaia starina, no. 5 (1894), 122, 25 Nov. 1870. IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 165 (2), 1.3, 13 Feb. 1881; 1.33: 30 Sept. 1882. 66 See for example, IRLI, f. 293, op.i, ed. khr. 154 (3), 1.41 ob.: Arsen'ev to Stasiulevich, 25 Dec. 1886. 67 TsGALI, f. 40, op. 1, 1.10: K. K. Arsen'ev, Avtobiogrqfia. 68 Ibid., 1.34. 69 Pypina, "Vospominaniia," 1.298. 70 Arsen'ev, Avtobiogrqftia, 1.42 ob. 71 Ibid., 1.47. 72 IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 165 (4), 1.17: Arsen'ev to Stasiulevich, 1 Sept. 1894. 73 Arsen'ev, Avtobiogrqfiia, 1.47. 74 Material for the rest of this paragraph was taken from Arsen'ev, Avtobiogrqfiia, 1.35; 1.48; 2.45-48. 75 See for example IRLI, f. 293, op. 1 N. 1188, I.67: Pypin to Stasiulevich, 9 Aug. 1879. 76 See especially IRLI, f. 293, op.i, ed. khr. 165 (3), 1.60: Arsen'ev to Stasiulevich, 15 Dec. 1887: ". . . must I continue my critical articles? You know that I have become a critic late, accidentally,

"The Messenger of Europe33

77 78 79 80

81 82 83 84 85 86

87 88 89


and have remained one, primarily in the absence of another sotrudnik for this part." Pypina, "Vospominaniia," 1.298. Zola made his suggestion through Turgenev. I. S. Turgenev, Perepiska, in: 49: Turgenev to Stasiulevich, 6/18 Jan. 1875. IRLI, f. 293, op. 1: 30-31 July 1875. GBPOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 826, 1.6: Stasiulevich to Pypin, 14/25 July 1875. See also "Emil Zola. Parizhskie pis'ma." Nedelia, no. 48 (27 Nov. 1877), 1629. N. K. Mikhailovskii, "Literaturnye zametki," Fatherland Notes, no. 9(1879), 112. M. Kleman, "Emil Zola v Rossii," Literaturnoe nasledstvo, 21 (1932), 246. IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 1144 (2), 1.54: 26 Aug. 1879. GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 828, 1.21 ob.: 3 o j u l y / u Aug. 1877. Ibid., ed. khr. 830, 1.35: 26 Aug./7 Sept. 1879. See for example IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, n.. 118: Pypin to Stasiulevich, 25 July 1877: "the Berlin correspondent . . . must write in the future so that he does not forget that in a Russian journal it is awkward for him to talk about certain questions as he would at home." See GPBOr, f. 621, ed. khr. 1032: Zola to Stasiulevich, 14 Feb. 1881. IRLI, f. 293, op. 1, ed. khr. 165 (4), 1.19: 22 Dec. 1889. Ibid., 1.26: 28June/ioJuly 1890; 1.28: 23/24july 1890.


Dostoevski's "Diary of a Writer": journal of the i8jos Deborah A. Martinsen

Dostoevsky's Diary of a Writer (Dnevnik pisatelia) was one of the most popular journals of the 1870s. A generically unique monojournal, the Diary drew on literary forms from feuilletons to "thick journals,55 confessional novels to Utopias. Begun in 1873-74 as a column in the conservative Prince Meshchersky5s weekly The Citizen (Grazhdanin), the Diary became an independent journal in 1876.l Though internationally renowned as a novelist, Dostoevsky was also one of the most successful journalists of his day. His first literary efforts in the 1840s were feuilletons. In the 1860s, following his Siberian exile, he and his brother Mikhail established two successful journals - Time (Vremia) (1863-64) and The Epoch (Epokha) (1865). In 1873-74, he edited The Citizen. Finally, in 1876-77 and again in 1880-81, he wrote, edited, and, with his wife Anna Grigorevna, published the Diary of a Writer.2 In order to create interest and a pool of subscribers, Dostoevsky advertised his forthcoming journal: In the coming year of 1876, E M. Dostoevsky's Diary of a Writer will appear monthly, in separate issues. Each issue will be composed of one to one-and-a-half printer's sheets of elite print [16-24 Pages] m the format of our weekly newspapers. It will not be a newspaper, however: all of the twelve issues will compose a whole, a book written by one pen. It will be a diary in the literal sense of the word - an account of impressions actually experienced each month, an account of what has been seen, heard, and read. Of course, it may include short or long stories, but mainly it will concern actual events. (22: 3

Like the eighteenth-century Russian monojournals and then 150

Dostoevsky^ "Diary of a Writer"


the "thick journals" of the nineteenth-century, the Diary had periodical, separate issues, regular subscribers, social and political articles covering foreign and domestic affairs, literary criticism and artistic works, and even correspondence with its readers. In style and organization, however, the Diary drew more from the feuilleton tradition and the literary traditions of the Utopia and the confessional novel.4 The feuilleton, a popular genre in the 1840s, made its comeback in the newspapers and journals of the 1870s in the form of columns called "Survey" (Obozrenie).5 Attracted by the feuilleton's topicality, Dostoevsky felt it was an appropriate vehicle for substantive issues and chose it as the model for his Diary.6 The Diary had no regular columns, but was divided into chapters which were subdivided and given headings such as: "The Golden Age in our Pocket"; "On Love for the People"; "The Kroneberg AfTair"; "The Death of George Sand"; "Children's Secrets"; "Metternichs and Don Quixotes"; and "The Irritability of Self-Esteem." Like the feuilleton, the Diary was thus topical and diverse, but like a novel it was an artistic whole. Dostoevsky's authorial persona is the key to understanding the Diary's rhetorical strategy and its enormous popularity. On his return to Russia in 1871, Dostoevsky was anxious to become familiar with the current Russian reality firsthand. He intended to use his Diary to define his own positions by engaging in polemics with perceived ideological opponents. The everyman persona he created, unique in its day, broaches contemporary issues from the perspective of someone trying to orient himself.7 Like the confessional novelist's authorial persona, the Diary writer attempts to portray a generic self that stimulates the reader's insights about his/her own private and social selves, is interested in psychological motivation, and constantly refers to an ethical norm outside the self. Like a feuilletonist's,8 Dostoevsky's authorial persona is consciously constructed, intimate and personal; he freely chooses topics or incidents, usually ones that have some personal significance, skips from one sketch to another without apparent sequitur, and makes his points by establishing character types, dramatizing attitudes, and nar-



rating experiences and observations. The Diary subsequently became the model for a whole series of "journal-diaries" that gained popularity in the 1880s when it was adopted by writers in all fields.9 The Diary was a product of its time. The 1860s had been a decade of great reforms and heightened social expectation. Russians in the 1870s felt the need to master the new facts of contemporary life and to take a personal stand. Literary genres that dealt with clarifying the relation of self to the outside world, such as confessional novels, diaries and notebooks, became immensely popular. Parts of Herzen's My Past and Thoughts (Byloe i dumy), which began publication in 1852, were still being published in the 1870s (chapter seven appeared in 1870). Tolstoy's Confession appeared at the end of that period, in 1880-82. Right in the middle of the decade Dostoevsky's confessional novel Raw Youth (Podrostok, 1875) w a s published serially in Fatherland Notes. Publicistic pieces, such as N. K. Mikhailovsky's "Notes of a Layman" ("Zapiski profana") and Gleb Uspensky's "Rural Diary" ("Derevenskii dnevnik"), both published as columns in Fatherland Notes, also abounded.10 Recognizing his contemporaries' thirst for education (21: 122) and for ideals (23: 70), Dostoevsky sought in his Diary to impart knowledge or provide some insight into the phenomena he discussed; to create a sense of community among his audience; and to educate his audience by providing them with guidelines for future actions.11 He does this in a Socratic manner by engaging his contemporaries in dialogue. As V A. Tunimanov observes, "In the Diary it is not only difficult to find a page, but even to find a line that is not polemical in one way or another — open or veiled, trenchant or palliated - on questions of politics, ethics, aesthetics, economics, jurisprudence, etc." 12 The Diary writer engages in polemics with writers (Tolstoy, Nekrasov, Turgenev, Leskov); men of the forties (Belinsky, Gradovsky); contemporary scholars (Mendeleev, Pypin, Danilevsky); publicists from various Moscow and Petersburg journals and papers (Mikhailovsky and Eliseev from Fatherland Notes, Gradovsky from The Voice (Golos), Lavrov from The Cause (Delo), Avseenko from The Russian Herald {Russkii vestnik), Skabichevsky from Stock

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer"


Market News (Birzhevye vedomosti)); lawyers (Spasovich, Utin);

readers; and fictional personae.13 The Diary writer engaged in the major polemics of the 1870s, including: court reforms and the legal profession; the concept of the people (narod) and its relationship to the intelligentsia; generational conflict; contemporary youth; suicide; and Russia's relationship to Europe, particularly in regard to the Balkan war. A brief look at Dostoevsky's position on a few of these issues will help situate him in the 1870s journalistic context. An examination of his rhetorical tactics will elucidate the journal's popularity. Court reform was not a new issue in the 1870s. In the 1860s, the government had officially recognized the need to elevate the court system in Russia to the level of those in Western Europe, as well as to develop a judicial credo rooted in national experience. Throughout that decade, the liberal press heatedly discussed all facets of the reforms, including the questions they raised about power and rights as well as the role of the court in government and society.14 Both Time and The Epoch, the journals edited by the Dostoevsky brothers, participated actively in these debates. In the 1870s, with the proliferation of political trials, journalists transferred their attention to criminal trials and to the role of lawyers (since political matters could not be discussed in the press). Court cases provided a natural subject for Dostoevsky. They make big social issues accessible by focusing on individuals, thus operating synecdochically as novels do, not abstractly, as Dostoevsky's enemies tended to do. Because of their impact on the community, Dostoevsky saw the courts as a forum for public morals (23: 19). Furthermore, since the court is a natural arena for competition between differing world views, examining court cases enabled Dostoevsky not only to articulate his own world view, but also to put his opponents' world views and rhetoric on trial. Dostoevsky's interest in broken families is reflected in the court cases he discusses, three of which form a progression that reveals his social agenda: the Saiapin case (1873), the Kroneberg case (1876), and the Kornilova case (1876-77). These cases all touch on emotionally charged social issues related to family



welfare — wife beating and child abuse. Each case involves a family of three — man, woman, child. In each case a strong figure physically abuses a helpless one; the abused are female; and the aggressors are conscious of their actions, but somehow not in control. The Diary entries on these cases examine not only the experience of the individuals involved, but also the verdicts' impact on society. Since a verdict involves beliefs about the moral value of actions, each verdict affects society by encouraging certain beliefs which, in turn, encourage certain kinds of action. Dostoevsky's articles may thus be viewed as exhortations to his readers to expand their moral consciousness. In examining the court cases in his Diary, Dostoevsky evaluates beliefs by considering their social consequences. In each article, the Diary writer proceeds dialogically, personifying and thus giving voice to his opponents' moral positions. He then deploys a whole arsenal of rhetorical strategies to undermine his opponents' rhetoric: he recontextualizes, dramatizes and proposes alternatives. The Diary writer also appeals to images, emotions, and a higher morality in order to move readers into his own camp. One of the first articles Dostoevsky wrote for his Diary in 1873 was devoted to the newly instituted system of jury trials in Russia. Entitled "Milieu" ("Sreda"), the article addresses the issues of determinism and misplaced compassion by embodying them as the rhetorical standpoints of imaginary lawyer and actual jury. The case he discusses at greatest length is the Saiapin case: "Most simply put a woman hanged herself as a result of her husband's beatings; the husband was tried and found deserving of leniency" (21: 20). The Diary writer combats both the lawyer's appeal to "Lack of development, obtuseness, have pity, it's the milieu . . . " (21: 23) and the jury's verdict: "Guilty, but worthy of leniency." He formulates his attack around the issue of personal responsibility, directing his main fire against "milieu" theory, the position that crime results from injustices built into existing social institutions. Seen from this perspective, criminals are victims of society. The Diary writer counters with appeals to the Christian doctrine that each individual is ultimately responsible for his/her own actions,

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer"


and to his personal belief that each individual is ultimately responsible for all. The Diary writer actively engages his readers' emotions by dramatizing the family scene, leaving his readers with the unforgettable image of a peasant beating his wife.15 In light of the portrayed brutality, the peasant commune's seemingly neutral response to the wife's plea for help, that she "Go, live in peace," reads as a strong condemnation of the status quo. The jury is coopted by a false compassion, which the Diary writer diagnoses as the grafting of milieu theory onto the Christian concept of compassion. In this view, the jurors empathize with the criminal/victim of society and speculate that in his position, they might have acted similarly. The Diary writer notes that the jury thereby collaborates in perpetuating cruelty. The Diary writer aligns his readers against this view by presenting a broader context for the jury's judgment, using the Saiapin case to highlight what will become one of the 1876-77 Diary's major themes: the future of Russian families. He does this by imagining Saiapin's daughter. He vividly portrays her starving with her mother, hiding and trembling in a corner as her mother is beaten, and then discovering her mother's hanged body. Since the jury's "leniency" means only eight months of incarceration for the father, the Diary writer speculates that upon his release Saiapin will demand his daughter's return. The cycle of violence will thus continue: "There will again be someone to hang by the feet" (21: 22). Leniency for the father spells probable death for the daughter; the jury's compassion is myopic. By recontextualizing and appealing to a higher morality, the Diary writer models his readers' responses. He lauds the Russian jury's natural compassion, but points to the consequences of false compassion. He also appeals to jurors' civic responsibility. (The article begins with a discussion of the English court system and the English concept of citizenship.) Finally, he redirects jurors' (and readers') compassion: the Diary writer closes his article by directly addressing the imaginary lawyer in the Saiapin case, turning readers' attention to



Saiapin's free will: "For in fact millions of them (peasants) live and not all of them hang their wives upside down!" (21: 23). In his January 1876 Diary, Dostoevsky introduces the themes of children, family, and education that he will return to throughout the Diary for the next two years and again in his novel The Brothers Karamazov. He then devotes the greater part of his February 1876 issue to a discussion of the Kroneberg case. Kroneberg severely beat his seven-year-old daughter with a cat-of-nine-tails until the peasant concierge threatened to call the police. After seeing the child's bruised body, she reported him. Spasovich, defending his client, tried to downplay the severity of the beating and to pass off the whole affair as a bit of pedagogy gone awry. The Diary writer, combatting Spasovich's rhetoric, focuses on the young child's suffering. The Diary writer deliberately dissociates himself from the legal profession by declaring himself a non-specialist: "I am not at all a lawyer, but so much falsity has turned up in this case from all sides, that it is evident even to a non-lawyer" (22: 50). The Diary writer's disclaimer, a Socratic technique he uses elsewhere in the Diary, encourages readers to identify with his position. Moreover, his modesty enhances his credibility, and thus his rhetorical effectiveness. He claims that he is writing about the Kroneberg case because he intuits moral falsity: "but really I am writing my Diary for myself, and these thoughts have firmly settled in me. However, I confess, they are not even thoughts, but rather some kind of feelings" (22: 52). This personal statement introduces the first in a series of oppositions (another rhetorical constant in the Diary) that the Diary writer develops in the article: thoughts vs. emotions; the letter vs. the spirit of the law; parental authority vs. love; and, in an Aesopian subtext, government vs. people. From the outset of his speech, Spasovich assumes the role of dispassionate investigator and employs legal, scientific language to reinforce that image. For example, V V. Vinogradov notes that Spasovich uses the word "incident" (sluchai) instead of "case" (delo) to connote the sense of the incidental, thus expressing the supposed unexpectedness of the event even for the father himself, as well as to convey Kroneberg's putative

Do stoevsky's "Diary of a Writer33


lack of intention to systematically torture his child. Vinogradov remarks that Spasovich's mixing of scientific and literary styles enables him to transform words with multiple significances into terms with much more determinate meanings and neutral tone. By adopting rationalistic, quantitative jargon, Spasovich distances his listeners from their emotions for the child.16 Moreover, Spasovich tells Kroneberg's story, creating a context for emotional identification with him. Dostoevsky counters by retelling the story from the child's perspective. Whereas Spasovich's narration treats the child as an object, a child who willfully flouts parental authority, the Diary writer tells the story of a lonely, abandoned child, full of desire to please and be loved, a little girl whose fate depends entirely upon her father's whim. While Spasovich tries to deny the extent of the child's physical suffering, the Diary writer not only amplifies it, but also points to her psychological suffering. In contrast to Spasovich, who argues that the relationship between father and child is analogous to that between a state and its citizens, the Diary writer advocates relationships based on the reciprocity of love. The Diary writer again appeals to compassion for the defenceless as a higher moral principle: "Oh, acquit your client speedily, Mr. Defense Attorney, . . . But leave us, at least, our compassion for this babe; . . . This compassion is our treasure. To root it out of our society is frightful. When a society ceases to pity the weak and oppressed, then things go badly for the society itself: it hardens and dries up, becomes debauched and barren" (22: 71). Earlier in the article, the Diary writer characterizes compassion, a world view based on emotional identification with others, as an inherent characteristic of the Russian people (22: 62). His closing appeal to compassion thus not only discredits Spasovich's position as unnatural, but also presents compassion as a model for social interaction. Since he has associated compassion with the peasant women, praising their natural compassion as a Christian virtue binding members of a society, the Diary writer thus also illustrates the division between intelligentsia and people. In both the Saiapin and Kroneberg cases, the Diary writer



appeals to his readers' compassion for weak and undefended females (women and children) against powerful males (fathers/ husbands and lawyers). When the defendant is a woman, his argument gets more complicated.17 In fact, he entitles his first article on the Kornilova case "A Simple, but Complex Case." Kornilova, twenty years old and pregnant, pushed her six-yearold stepdaughter out of a fourth floor window in a fit of anger at her husband. The child miraculously survived. Struck by the strangeness of the case, Dostoevsky called for an in-depth investigation (May 1876). After her trial and sentence to two years and eight months of hard labor followed by permanent exile in Siberia, Dostoevsky wrote about the case at length (October 1876). His article led directly to a review of the case and resulted in Kornilova's acquittal. His May 1877 article announcing her return home drew fire from A. S. Suvorin, " T h e Observer" of the Northern Herald [Severnyi vestnik). Dos-

toevsky then strategically held his return fire until the concluding article of his December 1877 Diary. Dostoevsky's response to Suvorin has the short-term goal of clearing himself of the Observer's charge that he is defending a child abuser, and the long-term goal of affecting the moral development of Russian society. Although generally the Diary writer does not reply to his critics, he rebuts the Observer's article because "such attacks influence society, the court, public opinion; they will affect a similar defendant in the future" (26: 94). In justifying his position, the Diary writer has recourse to a number of the same rhetorical strategies that he earlier condemned his lawyer opponents for using: shifting the readers'/ jury's attention away from the abused child; ignoring or marginalizing the child's trauma; creating sympathy for the abuser; and invoking an outside force, over which the criminal has no control, as cause.18 He grounds his defense of Kornilova (and thus himself) in several arguments: the affect arising from pregnancy; the consequences of her sentence (probable prostitution) both for her and her unborn, then newborn child; her immediate self-surrender to the police; the short-sightedness of simplifying the case; and the beneficial effects of social compassion on the Kornilov family and society itself. Though his

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer"


appeal to biology (the mystery of pregnancy) as an affect smacks of the positivist discourse he decries elsewhere, the Diary writer adopts any rhetoric that works. Nonetheless, he emphasizes her self-surrender as the conclusive proof that her crime was unpremeditated, and thus not an act of systematic child abuse. The Diary writer's most insistent objection to the Observer is his oversimplification of the case for literary effect: Suvorin presents Kornilova as an evil stepmother and inveterate childabuser, and her acquittal as a perversion of justice. The Diary writer dismisses his opponent's gut response to the case in favor of his own. Where his opponent sees a straightforward case, Dostoevsky argues for the complexity of reality. Where the Observer calls for her punishment, the Diary writer asks his readers to choose between mercy and execution: "isn't it better to find and reinstate a person than to cut off his head right away? To cut off heads is easy according to the letter of the law, but to figure things out according to the truth, in a humane, fatherly manner, is always harder" (26: 106). The Diary writer's position in each court case depends on various factors: the voluntary or involuntary nature of the act, the defendant's motives, the fate of the family, the consequences for the community, his own initial emotional investment, and, most critically, the defendant's sense of responsibility. In his view, Saiapin was completely unrepentant; Kroneberg capable of repentance; and Kornilova full of repentance. Kornilova's self-surrender thus proves her worthiness for mercy. Already in his October 1876 issue, the Diary writer had argued for mercy. In his December 1877 issue, he triumphantly argues that he was correct - that the seed of mercy had in fact fallen on good ground (Kornilova), that she had been reborn into the community. The Diary writer thus exploits the journal's serial publication to his own ends. Here, as elsewhere, the Diary writer refers to earlier articles and then reports the fulfillment or explains the disconfirmation of his earlier predictions. He thus confirms his status as astute politician, propagandist and prophet and endows his later issues with authority.19 The problem of suicide, which for Dostoevsky is a metaphys-



ical and moral, as well as a theological issue, haunts Dostoevsky's ceuvre and his Diary?® The Diary writer devotes so much attention to suicides, and particularly to ones that he characterizes as resulting from an "inflexible view of life" (23: 408), because he sees them as children of their age, suffering from rational disbelief while thirsting for some higher ideal in which to believe, capable of self-sacrifice for a society from which they are willfully alienated, self-enclosed, consumed by an idea. Such ideological suicides thus emblemize a whole range of values and ideas which run throughout the Diary, and which the Diary writer treats as pairs of oppositions. The frequent articles and two stories concerning suicide in the Diary touch on many of the oppositions that are central to the journal: logic vs. faith; uprootedness vs. "grass-rootedness" (otorvannost'/pochvennichestvo); dissociation vs. community (obosoblenie/vseobshchnost');

indifference vs. living life (indifferentizm/zhivaia zhizn); inflexibility vs. complexity (priamolineinost'/slozhnost'); simplification vs. contextualization; and complacency vs. anxiety (uspokoenie/ bespokoistvo). These oppositions operate on the psychological, social, political and metaphysical levels and reflect two dominant underlying metaphors - of separation and of union. A brief look at Dostoevsky's story "Dream of a Ridiculous Man," the last piece of fiction in the Diary, reveals that the ridiculous man is associated with all the aforementioned oppositions and with the underlying metaphors of separation and union. His rationalism and indifference, symptoms of his psychic and social alienation, lead him to contemplate suicide, a complete separation from others. His dream not only saves him from suicide, but illustrates a point that Dostoevsky makes and argues repeatedly elsewhere - belief in God leads to love of life. In the story, the reintegration of the anonymous narrator's psyche leads to love for the earth: "I cried out, shaking from an incontrollable, ecstatic love for that former native earth that I had cast off" (25: in). Personal reintegration also leads to love for others: "And ever since then I have been preaching! Besides that — I love everyone, those who laugh at me more than all the others" (25: 118). His indifference and complacency give way to passionate involvement in life and a burning sense of mission.

Dostoevsky3s "Diary of a Writer"


He seeks out the little girl whom his earlier desire for an uncomplicated existence had led him to drive away. The dream provides him with belief, an intuitive form of knowledge, and thus integrates his alienated reason. And the dream restores him to the earth and human community by releasing his positive emotional energy — his active love for others. The dream inside the "Dream" thus acts as a paradigm for the Diary writer's rhetoric: he choses a contemporary dilemma, real or fictional, and dramatizes it, leaving his readers with a distilled image of the complexity of contemporary life.21 The "Dream" also exemplifies another of the Diary writer's rhetorical tactics. Following the tradition of saints' lives, which the Diary writer recommends as vital reading for children's education (22: 24), he provides his readers with models for life. The ridiculous man's dream is a journey of conversion that leads him from isolation to community.22 He thus travels one exemplary path. The Diary writer, however, also provides many real-life models for readers to emulate: the peasant Marei (February 1876); Iury Samarin (March 1876); the nanny who offered his mother her life savings when the Dostoevsky estate burned down (April 1876); George Sand (June 1876); Foma Danilov, the Russian soldier martyred for his faith (January 1877); the selfless Jewish doctor whom he calls the "common man" (March 1877); women (1873; May 1876; September 1877); and Pushkin (August 1880). Sometimes he provides linked pairs of positive and negative models. In his May 1876 Diary, for instance, he contrasts the suicide Pisareva, whose lack of ideals left her world-weary, with Shchapov's wife, who alleviated her grief with self-sacrifice and love. The most ideal figure of all for his Diary, however, is Christ. The figure of Christ as model, which is integral to Dostoevsky's conception of Russians' national identity, provides clues to both Dostoevsky's ethics and politics in the Diary. In his December 1876 Diary, he writes: "The major goal of the Diary so far has been, as far as possible, to elucidate the idea of our national, spiritual independence and to point it out, as far as possible, in represented current facts" (24: 60). Dostoevsky portrayed the political conflicts between Russia and Europe in



an extremely personal and novelistic manner as a conflict of personalities. Characterizing Russia and the European nations, particularly France and Germany, as embodiments of their national spirits, he defined them in terms of their religious roots: Catholic France, Protestant Germany and Orthodox Russia. Tracing Russia's social ills to European influence on the educated classes, the Diary writer argues that all political forms produced by Europe - the Catholic Church, the French Republic, socialism and even Protestantism - descend from the Roman Empire with its doctrine of conquest and temporal power. In this view, Europe has abandoned Christ, i.e. the embodiment of universal brotherhood and individual freedom, for material and political power. By contrast, the Diary writer maintains that Russia's spiritual health and future lies with the Russian people, who, despite their poverty, backwardness, corruption and drunkenness, have preserved their belief in Christ and a sense of community. Once people and educated classes unite (which he saw happening in the Balkan war), Russia, with her universalism, would triumph over the conflicting and limited national personalities of Europe. 23 Dostoevsky's nationalism was thus idiosyncratic, prophetic, polemical, and immensely appealing. By depicting Russia's conflict with Europe as a drama of personalities, his Diary writer created an image of a universal and original Russia that appealed to a readership plagued by a negative and derivate self-image.24 Dostoevsky elaborated this synthetic vision in his 1880 Pushkin speech, which he published as a separate Diary entry in August of that year. Dostoevsky's view of Christ as model also frames his polemical struggle with Russian populists. Joseph Frank and Igor Volgin agree that Dostoevsky had no major differences with populists on social issues. Volgin contends that Dostoevsky's major polemics were actually with liberals and reactionaries.25 Frank explains this by pointing out that the populists' embrace of moral ideals and Christian values, such as obligation and self-sacrifice, as well as their renewed respect for Christianity, brought them close to the tenets of pochvennichestvo, the doctrine advocating the reunion of intelligentsia and people which was

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer33


espoused by the Dostoevsky brothers5 journals in the 1860s.26 Dostoevsky's basic difference with populism thus lay in populists' denial of Christ's divinity, which Dostoevsky saw as the only firm anchor for moral values. Through its years of publication Dostoevsky's Diary changed. While the 1873 Bwry rarely touched on Europe and the 1876 Diary discussed politics as one of many themes, the 1877 Diary became progressively obsessed with the Balkan war and Russia's relation to the Eastern question. The Diary thus became more political, less generically diverse, and less dialogically open. While scholars agree that Dostoevsky's obsession with the Balkan war is responsible for the structural changes in the Diary, Tunimanov and Morson provide the best explanations of this metamorphosis.27 Tunimanov explains the changes dialogically by examining the Diary writer's exchanges with his imaginary interlocutors "the paradoxalist" and "a certain person." Tunimanov demonstrates that when the Diary writer wants to end a dialogue, he deprives his opponent of counterarguments or the opportunity to change his point of view, thus leaving triumphant the voice of Dostoevsky as politician, prophet, or propagandist. Morson explains the Diary's structural changes chronotopically, arguing that in the course of 1876 Dostoevsky came to reject the very ideas that gave rise to his Diary, accepting in their place a radically incompatible sense of time and social experience. In his view, Dostoevsky moved from his original viewpoint where time is seen as open and the present is a "field of possibilities" to a viewpoint where the present is seen as part of an apocalyptically determined drama. Both dialogic and chronotopic explanations help to account for the Diary's enormous popularity. On both accounts, the Diary writer implicates readers in the burning issues of the day. By framing his polemics as dialogues which reflect his readers' internal debates, the Diary writer implicates his readers emotionally and ethically. By conveying a sense of time as open, the Diary writer gives readers a sense of personal responsibility for shaping events of their own and others' lives. His shift to an apocalyptic perspective also makes his readers participants in the divine drama unfolding. Furthermore, the Diary writer



shifts back and forth from first-person ("I am not a lawyer") to second-person address ("Haven't you"), creating sympathy for his position and involving readers directly in the issues at hand. As Volgin points out, readers from opposing ideological camps identified with the authorial persona Dostoevsky created: "Everyone sought and found in the Diary something of 'their own.5"28 The Diary's enormous success is also due to the serendipity of its timing. Dostoevsky had voiced his fundamental belief in the Russian people and the necessity of the intelligentsia's union with the people in his 1860s journalism; the rise of populism in the 1870s brought the Russian left much closer to his position. Furthermore, Dostoevsky's idealism struck deep chords in the hearts of 1870s Russians. Dostoevsky wrote both of the universal need for ideals and of the current generation's great thirst for self-sacrifice in the name of an ideal — during a decade when hundreds of young people were "going to the people" and enlisting for service in the Balkan war. Dostoevsky thus simultaneously touched the universal and the particular one of his Diary's characteristic features. NOTES

1 J. Frank, "Dostoevsky and Russian Populism," in The Rarer Action: Essays in Honor of Francis Fergusson, ed. Alan Gheuse and Richard Koffler (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1970), 302. Despite Meshchersky's reactionary reputation, The Citizen was conservative, not reactionary, both under its first editor, the liberal K. D. Gradovsky, and its second editor, Dostoevsky. The left-wing thinker who provided the populist slant to Fatherland Notes, N. K. Mikhailovsky, called The Citizen an anodyne publication and praised Dostoevsky's Diary contributions. 2 Dostoevsky's Diary was anticipated skeptically and received enthusiastically. Further discussion of the Diary's reception can be found in I. L. Volgin's Dostoevskii - %hurnalist: "Dnevnik pisatelia" i russkaia obshchestvennost') (Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo Universiteta, 1982), 23-27. Approximately 6,000 copies of the Diary were printed every month. In 1876, the Diary had 1,982 subscribers; by 1877 the number had increased to 3,000. For more information on publication statistics, see I. L. Volgin, "Redaktsionnyi arkhiv

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer33





7 8


'Dnevnik pisatelia5," Russkaia literatura, no. 1 (1974), 154-61. The International Research and Exchanges Board and Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Program provided funds for my research in the Soviet Union during 1983-84. F. M. Dostoevskii, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Leningrad: Nauka, 1972-88), 22: 265. Hereafter references to Dostoevsky's work will appear in the text. All translations are my own. Saul Morson argues persuasively that Dostoevsky designed the Diary to be read as a meta-utopia, a type of threshold literature that is designed as a dialogue between Utopia and the parody of Utopia. Gary Saul Morson, The Boundaries of Genre: Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer33 and the Traditions of Literary Utopia (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981). V. A. Tunimanov points out that the Diary is not a personal diary about Dostoevsky himself and his family. Dostoevsky uses autobiographical moments, such as his childhood encounter with the peasant Marei, his relationships with Belinsky, Nekrasov, and his brother, or his trips abroad as jumping off points to articulate or dramatize his beliefs. V. A. Tunimanov, "Khudozhestvennye proizvedeniia v 'Dnevnik pisatelia' F. M. Dostoevskogo" (dissertation: Leningradskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet, 1965), 170. T. V Zakharova, " 'Dnevnik pisatelia' i ego mesto v tvorchestve F. M. Dostoevskogo 1870-x godov" (dissertation: Leningradskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet, 1974), 59. The feuilleton's appeal lay in its extreme topicality, shade of scandal, ideological diversity, linguistic and stylistic experimentation, pull to paradox, recognized authorial irresponsibility, constant stipulation, abruptness and reticence. An excellent source of information on Russian feuilletons is Iulii Oksman's Fel'etony sorokovykh godov (Moscow: Academia, 1930). Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, i82i~4g (Princeton University Press, 1976), 237. Frank notes that all of Dostoevsky's publicistic writing bears the stamp of the feuilleton style which Dostoevsky found so congenial. In an 1876 letter to V S. Solovev, Dostoevsky wrote: "Without doubt the Diary of a Writer will resemble a feuilleton, but with this difference: a monthly feuilleton naturally cannot resemble a weekly one" (29.11: 73). Volgin, Dostoevskii - Journalist, 21; Tunimanov, "Khudozhestvennye proizvedeniia," 89. Feuilletonists fall loosely into two categories - those who entertain and those who polemicize. (E. Zhurbina, Povest's dvumia siuzhetami: 0 publitsisticheskoi proze [Moskva: Sovetskii pisatel', 1974], 57-58, 78.) The first category, the "boulevard" feuilletonists, whose own



personality and word play are central, wander the streets and the theaters of a city commenting wittily and satirically on what they see; their avatar is Lucien de Rubempre, hero of Balzac's novel Lost Illusions. Senkovsky, Druzhinin and Panaev exemplify this type of feuilletonist in 1840s Russia. The second group employ the same idiosyncratic and playful authorial stance, but take their point of departure from the physiological sketches of the Natural School. Leaving aside the traditional superficial sketch of events around town, they write human interest stories, usually followed by some kind of commentary. They make frequent use of types. Their goal is to pique the social conscience and consciousness. Nekrasov and Herzen, both of whom are mentioned in the Diary, as well as Dostoevsky himself developed this kind of feuilleton in Russia. 9 Examples are K. V Trubnikov's Russian Economist (Russkii ekonomist, 1884-86); D. V. Averkiev's Diary of a Writer (Dnevnik pisatelia, 1885-86); F. A. Kumana's Diary of a Writer {Dnevnik pisatelnitsy); G. V Plekhanov's Diary of a Social-Democrat (Dnevnik sotsial-demo-



12 13


krata); and A. V Kruglov and E K. Teternikov's (Sollogub's) Diary of a Writer (Dnevnik pisatelia). Mikhailovsky's column ran from January 1875 through February 1877 and may have had some affect on Dostoevsky (he certainly was aware of the column); Uspensky's column started in 1877 and ran through 1880. Michael Carter points out that these are the functions of ritual. He argues that epideictic rhetoric, which grew directly out of ancient ritual, may be understood as ritual, and that these functions become the goal of epideictic rhetoricians. Michael F. Carter, "The Ritual Functions of Epideictic Rhetoric: The Case of Socrates5 Funeral Oration," Rhetorica, 9.3 (Summer 1991), 209-32. In my work on Dostoevsky's liars, I argue that Dostoevsky was a consummate epideictic rhetorician. Tunimanov, "KJiudozhestvennyeproizvedeniia," 91. Ibid., 80; 91-92.1 .L. Volgin and V L. Rabinovich, "Dostoevskii i Mendeleev: antispiriticheskii dialog," Voprosyfilosqfii,11 (1971), 103-15; Morson, Boundaries of Genre 104—5. Morson notes that as an editor Dostoevsky exploited the serial nature of the journal by printing and responding to some of his readers' letters, thus defining his own typology of readers. T. S. Karlova, Dostoevskii i russkii sud (Izdatel'stvo Kazanskogo universiteta, 1975), 6-8. The reforms addressed the problem of closed trials, punishment based on class, police arbitrariness, the system of formal evidence and the undeveloped system of investigatory evidence.

Dostoevsky's "Diary of a Writer''


15 R. L. Jackson discusses this scene in conjunction with the beating of Akulka from Dostoevsky's Notes from the House of the Dead. R. L. Jackson, The Art of Dostoevsky: Deliriums and Nocturnes (Princeton University Press, 1981), 90-92. 16 V V Vinogradov, Izbrannye trudy: 0 iazyke khudozhestvennoi prozy (Moscow, 1980), 146-61. Olga Meerson also points out that the world sluchai connotes a certain passivity on the father's part. Spasovich's use of this word locates him among "milieu" theory rhetoricians. 17 See also his discussion of the Kairova case in the May 1876 Diary. 18 For more on the marginalization of the child, see Eric Naiman, "Of Crime, Utopia, and Repressive Complements: The Further Adventures of the Ridiculous Man," Slavic Review, 50:3 (fall 1991). 19 Morson, Boundaries of Genre, 104. 20 In the 1860s, six suicides, four attempted suicides, and one contemplated suicide (Raskolnikov) appear in Dostoevsky's work. In the 1870s, while the rate of suicide in Russia increased (or at least the rate of reporting suicides increased), the number of suicides in his work more than doubles - nineteen actual suicides, two attempted suicides, and three contemplated suicides. In her memoirs, L. Kh. Simonovaia-Khokhriakova testifies to Dostoevsky's obsession with the incidence of suicide. In the appendices to his book, N. N. Schneidman lists most of the suicides in Dostoevsky's work. See Dostoevsky and Suicide (Ontario: Mosaic Press, 1984). 21 Morson demonstrates that the "Dream" also functions as a metautopia embedded in Diary, which is itself a meta-utopia. Morson, Boundaries of Genre, 182. 22 See Deborah A. Martinsen, "Dostoevsky and the Temptation of Rhetoric" (unpublished dissertation, Columbia University, 1990), ch. 8. 23 January 1877 Diary, Geoffrey C. Kabat, Ideology and Imagination (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), 49-50. 24 Robert L. Belknap, "Dostoevsky's Last Inspirational Speeches: A Rhetorical Study," unpublished article. 25 I. L. Volgin, "Dostoevskii i russkoe obshchestvo: ({Dnevnik pisatelia' 1876-77 godov v otsenkakh sovremennikov)," Russkaia literatura, no. 3 (1976), 131. Though in the 1870s most journals, including The Citizen, were censored after printing, the Diary was censored prior to printing - at Dostoevsky's request. He confided to his printer M. A. Alexandrov that without a censor one must censor oneself and he knew from experience how difficult that could be. Russkaia starina (April 1892), 203. (Dostoevsky may have had in mind the three days he had to sit in jail as editor of The



Citizen for having announced the arrival of some important personage in Petersburg without the government's mandatory prior permission.) Volgin points to Dostoevsky's problematic interaction with the censor as evidence of his troubled relationship with the Russian government, thus belying the widespread view that Dostoevsky acted as an instrument of the reactionary circles in Alexander IPs government. I. L. Volgin, "Dostoevskii i tsarskaia tsenzura: (k istorii izdaniia 'Dnevnika pisatelia')," Russkaia literatura, no. 4 (1970), 119-20. 26 Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Stir ofLiberation, i860-1865 (Princeton University Press, 1986), 306. 27 Gary Saul Morson, "Introductory Study: Dostoevsky's Great Experiment," in Fyodor Dostoevsky, A Writer's Diary, vol. 1/ 1873-1876, trans, and annotated by Kenneth Lantz (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1993). Morson argues persuasively that the 1873 Diary loosely centers on the theme of the intelligentsia. Tunimanov, "Khudozhestvennye proizvedeniia," 93-113. T. V. Zakharova attributes the increasing ideological unity of the 1877 Diary to a shift in authorial position to idealism and utopianism. Zakharova, " 'Dnevnik pistalia'," 150-52. 28 Volgin, Dostoevsky - ^Tiurnalist, 58.


Silver age


Rise and decline of the "literary"journal 1880-igiy Joan Delaney Grossman

The most notable development in Russian literary journalism between 1880 and 1917 was easily the emergence of an alternate vision of the function and form of the genre itself. In 1880 the concept of the "thick journal" was still intact and its social role unquestioned. The word "literary" in a journal's subtitle merely signalled inclusion of poetry, fiction, and reviews. But long before 1917 the catalogue included periodicals devoted entirely to exemplifying and propagating advanced notions of art. Yet before an entire journal (even of the slim variety) given solely to literary and aesthetic matters could appear, several changes had to take place. The view, widespread since Belinsky's day, that social and literary criticism were one and the same had to be successfully challenged. A new conception of literature had to gain currency, and a new kind of writing had to emerge. The inception of these changes between 1880 and 1900 constituted the initial step in the Russian modernist revolution. The appellation "transitional" for the eighties is nowhere better applied than to its major journals. The Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Evropy), founded in 1866, took up the title and to a degree the mission of Karamzin's journal of acquainting Russian readers with European culture. Yet in the 1880s its role was still in the process of definition. Eventually the Moscow monthly Russian Thought (Russkaia mysl') rivalled The Messenger of

Europe in influence and longevity. Established in 1880, Russian Thought benefited from the closing in 1884 of Fatherland Notes (Otechestvennye zapiski), the major figures of which dispersed among other journals of relatively liberal persuasion. One 171



which did not benefit from this event was Katkov's conservative The Russian Herald (Russkii vestnik). Earlier, The Russian Herald

(est. 1856) had printed some of the century's major literary works, but by 1880 it had essentially dropped from view as a literary organ. Russian Wealth (Russkoe bogatstvo), another name

of importance in this history, went on from a weak beginning in 1876 to become an important vehicle of populist thought. While at no stage did its belles-lettres section exhibit any independence of taste, the 1892 addition to its staff of the former Fatherland Notes critic N. K. Mikhailovsky made its pungent anti-modernist views a spicy addition to the literary scene. Finally, in 1885, Northern Herald [Severnyi vestnik) joined the

ranks, though its eventual role as the first major publication to give even qualified welcome to modernist writers was not yet in place. These, then, were the leading serious monthlies of the eighties, when Russian journalism, like Russian literature and the life of Russian society at large, was nearly in a state of suspended animation.1 The surge of renewed political and social concern that stirred Russia after the Volga famine of 1891-92 indirectly influenced the treatment of literature as well. By the mid 1890s all the journals were writing about literary and aesthetic questions from their varying political and social positions. These positions appeared less in the choice of fiction and poetry than in reviews and criticism, and most of all in regular publicistic features with titles like "Literature and Life" and "Letters about Literature." Especially when written by such critics as Mikhailovsky and Mikhail Protopopov these features expressed the ideals of an earlier period. Nonetheless they help to fill out the picture of "what was happening" in literature in the years just before the turn of the century. No journal without an ideological stance was regarded as serious in the later nineteenth century. The Messenger of Europe and Russian Thought, along with the Moscow daily The Russian News (Russkie vedomosti), provided a formidable liberal presence: all three came to be dominated by liberal academics and exacademics bent on forming an enlightened public opinion to lead Russia along the path of progress on all fronts.2 To this

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end, both The Messenger of Europe and Russian Thought regularly

printed authoritative articles on a wide variety of subjects, including literature and culture. In these last, with its "European" orientation felt in its literary criticism even in the eighties, The Messenger of Europe played a significant role. K. K. Arsenev's articles on and reviews of "the newest Russian poetry" - that of Apukhtin, Nadson, and Frug, but also Minsky, Fofanov, and Fet - and articles on contemporary French criticism were far from modernist in orientation but to some degree prepared readers for bolder departures. Zinaida Vengerova's path-breaking "Symbolist Poets in France" (September 1892) came just in time to spark the imaginations of young readers like Valery Briusov. Also in the nineties Vladimir Solovev's essays on Pushkin, Tiutchev, and others laid a foundation for Symbolist criticism. Russian Thought, founded in 1880 as a "scientific [nauchnyi], literary and political journal," followed a different path and served a somewhat different purpose. Its first editor, S. A. Iurev, a product of the Slavophile circles of the 1840s, imparted a somewhat archaic flavor to the early issues. However, in 1884 Saltykov-Shchedrin turned over Fatherland Notes's subscription list and some manuscripts to Russian Thought. In 1885 a new editor, Victor Goltsev, along with some new contributors from Saltykov's defunct journal, completed its transformation. During the twenty years of Goltsev's editorship Russian Thought gained a reputation for tolerance of varying viewpoints and consequently the acceptance of an impressive range of readers and authors alike. Russian Thought is less useful in tracing the rise of literary modernism than is Northern Herald under Volynsky, or even The Messenger of Europe. Yet it is invaluable for understanding the actual cultural background against which that movement arose - the literary tastes and expectations of readers, authors, and editors, the debates that engaged them. In the early eighties the "belles-lettres" section leading most issues was a medley of usually undistinguished tales and lyrics and oddly random translations from Goethe and Mickiewicz. But by the nineties these yielded to translations from contemporary Scandinavian,



Polish, and even French realist authors. The fiction of Leskov, Gorky, and Chekhov appeared beside the poems (not yet in the new vein) of Merezhkovsky, Minsky, and Balmont. In addition, its bibliography section developed into a thirty-to-forty-page supplement, sometimes published separately, that often included reviews of other journals and paid copious attention to their fiction. The chief critics of Russian Thought were stalwarts of civic criticism, who addressed questions of literary change in a predictable way. But through these critics Russian Thought participated spiritedly in literary and cultural discussions at the turn of the century. At the start of the nineties, along with the vigorous voice of civic criticism, a note of uncertainty could be heard. Wistful expressions of hope for better days carried both social and artistic implications. In the literary area, "better" did not mean new or foreign. Indeed, an important defensive strategy against unwanted influences lay in consolidation. After the deaths of so many of Russia's major writers within a few years, a stocktaking of the literary tradition began. The immediate occasion was a series of convenient anniversaries, the greatest of which was of course the Pushkin centenary. The erection of the Pushkin statue in 1880 had brought the Pushkin legacy to national attention. Now in late May 1899 jubilee celebrations throughout the country evoked a veritable flood of publication by scholars, memoirists and enthusiasts. An academic edition of Pushkin was undertaken, and much archival material saw the light. Lermontov and Gogol were also commemorated and reexamined - in these years. (Anniversaries of their deaths in 1842 and 1852 provided the opportunity.) A wealth of memoirs, letters, and other literary materials pertaining to these and other writers encouraged the process of reevaluation and reinterpretation that would become so important a feature of early Symbolism. Though many journals engaged in this enterprise of exploring the past, one stands out almost as a national institution. This is The Russian Archive (Russkii arkhiv), founded by Peter

Bartenev in 1863 and edited first by him until his death in 1912, and then by his grandson until 1917. Born in 1829

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


graduated from the historical-philological department of Moscow University in 1851, Bartenev spent his life pursuing historical and literary-historical documents. That his methods were sometimes insufficiently scholarly for later generations hardly detracts from the undertaking. Moreover, he published the research of scholars like la. K. Grot and was assisted for several years by Valery Briusov, whose first scholarly work on Pushkin and Tiutchev appeared in The Russian Archive. The 1890s brought several new monthlies into the increasingly lively discussion of literature and aesthetics. Two of these, Education (Obrazovanie) and God's World (Mir bozhii), both

founded in St. Petersburg, at least initially bore a definitely pedagogical stamp, while the third, Problems of Philosophy and Psychology (Voprosyfilosqfiii psikhologii), had more broadly educa-

tional goals. All three, from their respective standpoints, throw light on some current preoccupations that bore on literary questions. Education revised its subtitle several times during its seventeen-year existence (1892-1909) but always retained the words "pedagogical" and "scientific" (nauchnyi). It regularly printed "psychological studies and observations" and reviews of psychological and psychiatric literature. Dreams, hypnotism, poetry, the psychology of women, predictions of racial degeneration manifested in neurosis, pessimism, suicide — Schopenhauer, Ibsen, Durkheim, Max Nordau, Wilhelm Wundt - all were relevant to education. Discussion of these frequently involved critical comment on new literary developments. God's World, founded by Alexandra Davydova and edited by the well-known pedagogue Viktor Ostrogorsky, was advertised as a "literary and scientific journal for youth." 3 Its first issue (December 1891) was largely devoted to fiction, and throughout its existence (realistic) fiction was a featured attraction. However, its pedagogical mission led God's World also to cover a wide range of current topics, initially with special attention to scientific ones (including dreams, somnambulism and hypnotism). Within a few years, the journal was reoriented toward an adult audience and soon gained a reputation for serious erudition. At the same time, with the addition to its staff in



1894 of Angel Bogdanovich, a man with a radical political past, social themes became central. Though initially literary comment in God's World was limited to academic topics, Bogdanovich changed all that. True to the civic critics' tradition, he took contemporary literature as his special purview. His critical notes signed "A. B." added another strong voice to the chorus of those who feared and opposed the advent of art that did not serve social goals. However, following the assumption of the editorship in 1902 by F. D. Batiushkov, a St. Petersburg university professor of literature, the critical horizons of God's World widened to accept some aspects of the new art. The journal of the Moscow Psychological Society was possibly the most serious and surely the most erudite of these three new monthlies. Problems of Philosophy and Psychology was

published from November 1889 till April 1918. Its editor until his sudden death in 1899 was Nikolai Grot, son of the philologist Iakov Grot, holder of the chair of philosophy at Moscow University, and founder of the Moscow Psychological Society. In his introductory editorial message Grot soberly set forth the intention to offer an educated readership whatever help the broadest forms of learning might give in solving contemporary spiritual problems. Though the journal included no specifically literary section, numerous articles and reviews covered a wide spectrum of topics in literature, art, and aesthetics. The first issue featured Vladimir Solovev's "Beauty in Nature." Subsequently the nature of talent and genius were discussed by several psychiatrists in terms that went well beyond the then much debated theories of Lombroso. Several articles on Gogol's mental and physical health contributed to the Gogol debate of those years. Nor was the journal afraid of controversial writers. Beginning in 1892 a series of studies on Nietzsche gave many Russians their first serious look at a philosopher whose name had only recently begun to be heard in Russia. Tolstoy's "What Is Art?" appeared in the issues for November-December 1897 and January-February 1898, but the latter number was delayed until March by censors' objections to Tolstoy's piece.

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The 1890s and early 1900s saw numerous other journals concerned in one way or another with literature and literary matters. Whatever their ideological differences, most were united in rejecting any attempt to depart from what was conceived to be the literary tradition, so essential to achieving national identity and so useful in molding attitudes and values. Without independent views to offer or anything positive to say about the new art, they said a great deal; their attitudes ranged from mild distaste to vituperative abuse of the morally degenerate upstarts who called themselves Symbolists and Decadents. Belles-lettres were staunchly "realistic," though lists of authors might vary according to the journal's political position. Talent was not an essential criterion: tables of contents included not only Gorky, Andreev and Chekhov, Korolenko, Kuprin and Bunin, but also Velichko, Machtet, Mamin-Sibiriak, and many more whose names have dropped into oblivion. Lisovsky lists eighty-two journals established between 1880 and 1900 in Petersburg alone, of which few neglected to include "literature" among their attractions. Some were merely collections of novels and tales, sometimes translated, aimed at a broad popular audience.4 A good many "literary supplements" to journals and newspapers provided their readers with material of this kind. Of those that pretended to a more serious purpose, a few varied the pattern in some manner. Russian Survey (Russkoe obozrenie) (1890-98), edited initially by a minor poet Prince D. N. Tsertelev, stood out at this early date by a publication policy resembling Northern Messenger's, except that no critic like Volynsky dominated it. It paid much attention to poetry, including that of Fet, Solovev, Merezhkovsky, Sologub, and Balmont, and to important literary memoirs and such materials. In about the same years the conservative Observer {Nabliudatel') (1882-1904) was broadmindly printing literature of various stripes (Zinaida Gippius alongside Sheller-Mikhailov) and translations ranging from Bret Harte to Strindberg. Ieronim Iasinsky, who published fiction under the name of Maksim Belinsky, opened the pages of his Monthly Writings {Ezhemesiachnye sochineniia) (1900-2) to

selected Decadents. At the turn of the century, then, some publishers and editors



were beginning cautiously to take note of the new art. Yet this was still a far cry from the situation that the young pioneers envisioned. Vast quantities of mediocre writing, continued devotion to tendentious (and often tedious) themes, literary criticism that refused to release literature from its civic duties: all of this produced lethargy in many, but in some a powerful urge to rebellion. The artistic revolt that was preparing throughout the 1890s required an outlet in print. The new art and its theoreticians needed their own organs and their own publishing houses. These pressures yielded their first results at the end of the nineties, when a new era began. Journals devoted to art and theater were not unknown in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century, but the "thick" journal's presumed rights in regard to literary criticism had so far precluded any publication like Mercure de France or La Plume. The initiative for a journal in the new mode came from a group of artists and critics calling itself - and the new publication - the "World of Art." If Northern Messenger was a forerunner of the modernist press, The World of Art (Mir iskusstva) was its first manifestation. 5

Dedicated to the proposition that the arts should exist in living unity, The World ofArt set out to revolutionize Russian taste and simultaneously to save the Russian artistic tradition from the dead hand of positivist interpretation. Its life was short - from the beginning of 1899 to the end of 1904 - but its impact was immense. The World of Art was essentially a review of the visual arts, with liberal inclusions of aesthetic theory. Literature and music received moderate attention, but no belles-lettres or poetry were printed, except (rarely) as a subject for illustration. Sergei Diaghilev, its editor and sometime publisher, was also chief ideologue. His programmatic article "Complex Questions" (nos. 1-2, 3-4, 1899) stated the journal's intention of laying a new, solid base for aesthetic judgment in Russia. In a challenge to existing journalistic practice, The World of Art offered the best and newest in all aspects of production: illustrations, type, paper, design, layout, reproductions. Initially it was divided into "Illustrations" and "Literary Section." The

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


latter, edited by Dmitry Filosofov, included a chronicle of artistic events which became a veritable encyclopedia of Western artistic life and views that had great influence in Russia. Zinaida Gippius and Dmitry Merezhkovsky soon became the chief literary forces in The World ofArt, and Merezhkovsky, with his monumental "Leo Tolstoy and Dostoevsky," the leading literary contributor. Increasingly dominated by their and Filosofov's religious concerns, the literary section formed an inner opposition to the Diaghilev party, whose preoccupation with artistic form, the freedom of art, and exaltation of the individual quickly earned the journal the label of "decadent." Writers like Briusov and Balmont, seemingly better-suited to the journal's aims and spirit, were discouraged from editorial participation by various factors, including the markedly "Petersburg" aura of The World ofArt. The Merezhkovskys thus remained in uneasy proprietorship until 1903, when New Way (Novyi put') was founded as a vehicle for their views on art, culture, and religion. Whatever the disparity between its literary and artistic wings, Diaghilev's journal contributed powerfully to the development of new literary positions. Important writings by Rozanov, Shestov, Minsky, Briusov, and others first appeared there, and The World ofArt remains a source for studying major literary debates. Moreover, its new aesthetic orientation supported the efforts of the Moscow group centered in the publishing house Scorpio that provided a standard for Russian modernist publications over the next decade. Yet The World of Art did not satisfy the needs of the new literary elite. Within a short time two more journals New Way and The Balance (Vesy) attempted in their different ways to do this. The founding editor and publisher of New Way was Peter Pertsov, a literary entrepreneur who was also a sympathizer of the Merezhkovskys and the neo-Christian doctrine they had espoused. His opening editorial statement (Jan. 1903, pp. 1-9) defined New Way's position: it meant to rise above the ideological rifts of the past to a "new way" combining social quest with mysticism. Its lineage would include Gogol, Dostoevsky,



and Vladimir Solovev. New Way thus aimed at a synthesis, not, as in the case of The World of Art, of the various arts, but of art, thought, and religion - the new religion. Dispensing with many traditional features of format, New Way took as its model not the "thick journal" but the European "revue." Pertsov rejected the idea of an official editorial "line," stating, moreover, that fiction and poetry would have equal billing with philosophical, critical, and publicistic articles of general interest. And for a time literary works and criticism did occupy a prominent place. The first six issues showed, beside the names of Gippius and Merezhkovsky, those of Sologub, Balmont, Minsky, Remizov, Blok, and Briusov. Translations from Henri de Regnier, Walter Pater and Nietzsche showed its cultural sweep. Yet few prospective readers could have taken seriously the disclaimer of an official editorial position, since from the very first the protocols of the recently formed Religious-Philosophical Society were appended, often using considerable space. However, the "Literary Chronicle" was lively and varied, and the section "Literary Archive" sometimes printed material of real scholarly interest. The "Political Chronicle" was another matter. No doubt with an eye to his proven organizational skills, Briusov was drafted to be secretary of the journal during the planning period in 1902. He was soon replaced on the staff by a member of the Society E. Egorov, but was retained to write book reviews, and, surprisingly, political commentary. (Briusov's extreme political conservatism and inexperience caused embarrassment to the journal and considerable friction with the editors.)6 During the two-year existence of New Way its most important literary function was arguably the publication of works by writers already important or soon to become so in the development of Russian modernism. Along with the already mentioned older Symbolists, newer figures like Blok, Remizov, Viacheslav Ivanov, Bely, and Maximilian Voloshin printed their work there. Poems were not placed randomly, as in the "thick" journals, but were grouped together and, when possible, in cycles by one author. The poems of Gippius, Briusov, Balmont, Blok, and others profited by this visibility.

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


The real outlines of the Symbolist movement and its twin, Decadence, began to take definite shape. One anomaly of New Way lay in the clash between the journal's religious ideology and the individualistic worldview and aestheticism marking the poetry of some contributors, including Gippius and even in a few instances Merezhkovsky. Another lay in the mediocrity of many pieces of fiction accepted for their "correct" religious orientation. Once again the Merezhkovskys5 priorities placed a strain on whatever alliances they had formed with practitioners of the new art. No solution was found; instead, toward the end of 1904, events took a different turn. With the appearance of Sergei Bulgakov and Nikolai Berdiaev in the October number, an independent brand of thought made itself felt. Clearly a more substantial change was in the offing. In January 1905 subscribers learned that from now on they would receive the journal under the name of Problems of Life (Voprosy zhizni), edited by Georgy Chulkov. This was in fact a new journal with a new orientation.7 The idea of a journal committed to new artistic values had emerged already in the nineties.8 Then lacking, besides assured financial backing, was an adequate pool of suitable contributors and, of course, readers. The World of Art had private and later state support. New Way presumably could rely to some extent on the Religious-Philosophical Society. In 1904 a third modernist journal made its appearance, this time in Moscow. This was The Balance, and its appeal for readers lay in the burgeoning interest in Moscow Symbolism. Its home was the new publishing firm Scorpio (Skorpion).9 Decisive in the development of modernism was the advent of publishing houses devoted to propagating the new literature and art. Scorpio was the first and most important of these. Financed by the scion of a Moscow merchant family Sergei Poliakov, Scorpio was controlled by the Moscow Decadents led by Briusov and Balmont. The group also included Mikhail Semenov and the Lithuanian poet Jurgis Baltrushaitis. In all editorial matters Briusov's soon became the dominant voice. Scorpio aimed to bring modern Western works to Russian readers in artistic translations and to cultivate an audience for



the new Russian writing. To this end in its first year, along with numerous translations and collections of poetry by Briusov, Balmont, Alexander Dobroliubov and others, its editors planned a miscellany to be called Northern Flowers (Severnye tsvety). The start of the twentieth century saw this genre, classic in Russian publication history, turned into a vehicle for specific literary interests, modernist and other.10 Briusov had anticipated this development with his Russian Symbolists (Russkie simvolisty). This series, three volumes in 1894 and 1895, with another projected, prematurely announced an as yet unformed literary movement. Now the time had truly come. To distinguish their effort from the mass of such publications, as well as to lay claim to a lineage, its publishers announced Northern Flowers as the continuation of Delvig's and Pushkin's series by that name which terminated in 1832. Three volumes appeared in regular succession, 1901, 1902, and 1903. (Two more were published in 1905 and 1911.) Presumably this experience, along with the demonstrated insufficiency of New Way as a vehicle for the new literature, paved the way for The Balance. Briusov and his colleagues envisioned a journal devoted to the new literary and artistic culture with special attention to those Western currents on which Russian developments were still dependent for inspiration. This aim was in keeping with their conception of art's essential oneness and their hopes for a broad new artistic movement without national or linguistic boundaries. The Balance was announced in three languages besides Russian: French, German, and English. The Englishlanguage announcement (1904, no. 2, p. 92) reads: "THE BALANCE" a scientific, artistic, literary, bibliographic monthly review. "The Balance" appears monthly in books of at least 80 pages, with original illustrations. Price 15 r. a year. Society of artistic and literary editions "The Scorpion". Moscow. Theater Square, House Metropole, 23.

For the first two years of its six-year existence (1904-9), The Balance, like The World of Art, printed no poetry, fiction, or drama. "The Balance wishes to create in Russia a journal of criticism. As exterior models it chooses such publications as the

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igij


English Athenaeum, the French Mercure de France, the German Litterarische Echo, the Italian Marzocco" (1904, no. 1). While in principle claiming receptivity to any worthy work, The Balance was clearly committed to '"Decadence,5 'Symbolism,' 'the new art5" in which it saw concentrated "all the best forces of spiritual life on earth.55 Pursuant to its high cosmopolitan aims, The Balance printed its table of contents in Russian and French and named correspondents from various parts of the globe, but notably from England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Scandinavia. Issues were divided into two parts. The first offered general articles on art, literature, and related questions. The second included features that had proven especially successful in The Balance'% predecessors: the chronicle of literary and artistic events and bibliography. The latter covered both books and the periodical press, keeping the attentive reader well-abreast of developments both in Russia and abroad. Throughout 1904 the first section was dominated by the names of Bely, Balmont, Briusov, and Viacheslav Ivanov. Correspondents5 surveys of foreign literatures and occasional pieces on the other arts completed that section's menu. It was in the second section that the shortage of active participants showed itself, though not overtly. Briusov authored a large portion of its reviews and other items, though under various pseudonyms. In 1905 a few more names appeared among the features, notably those of Rozanov and Voloshin. During its first two years as a journal of criticism The Balance carried some key programmatic articles of early Symbolism: in 1904 Briusov5s "Keys of the Mysteries,55 Bely5s "Criticism and Symbolism,55 Ivanov5s "Nietzsche and Dionysus.55 In 1905 Ivanov5s "On Descent,55 Bely5s "Apocalypse in Russian Poetry55 and Briusov5s response "In Defense from a Certain Praise,55 as well as his "Sacred Victim,55 already revealed the rift that led eventually to the "crisis of Symbolism55 debate of 1910. Meanwhile, an important change in editorial policy was in the making. In the final issue for 1905 the editors announced that henceforth The Balance would print imaginative works along with its previous features. Reasons for this - other than



the stated reader demand - can be surmised. While intended for an elite group, The Balance still counted on influencing literary taste. For this purpose, a wider audience was indicated. Moreover, a growing number of writers acceptable to the Symbolist camp were seeking outlets. Finally, a presumably decisive reason was the competition, both ideological and artistic, which arose within the Symbolist group itself in 1905. Problems of Life, the successor to New Way, appeared only through 1905, but its literary section far outdid that of its parent in quantity and quality. Sologub's Petty Demon, Remizov's novel The Pond, poems and translations by Blok, Briusov, Bely, Ivanov and Sologub were printed there. Possibly as a counterbalance and as a supplement to The Balance, in 1905 Scorpio printed its most substantial anthology so far, Assyrian Northern Flowers.

In 1903 Scorpio's initial success under Poliakov and Briusov encouraged another Moscow modernist Sergei Sokolov (pseud. Krechetov) to establish the publishing house Gryphon {Grifj. Sokolov lost no time in copying Scorpio's program by publishing The Gryphon Anthology (Almanakh Grif) in 1903, 1904 and

1905. But not content with anthologies, Sokolov aspired to a journal on the level of The Balance. In 1905 he started Art (Iskusstvo), intended to take up where The World of Art had left off. This journal failed to attract either contributors or subscribers and closed after eight issues. Yet from this shakey beginning emerged another monthly, this time backed by the banking fortune of Nikolai Riabushinsky.11 The first number of The Golden Fleece (£olotoe runo) appeared in January 1906, with

Sokolov heading the literary section. The Golden Fleece in its first phase offered no new thoughts, no new directions for art: it seemed conceived only as a more opulent version of The Balance, with an aftertaste of The World of Art. The Balance noted its debut in an astringent piece by Zinaida Gippius under the pseudonym "Comrade Herman" (1906, no. 2). Mocking its pretentious exterior and basic lack of culture, she called it "unpromising, but not hopeless." Briusov went further: he called The Golden Fleece a. luxurious catafalque where the new art was being buried with all pomp and honor.12

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


Yet, able to pay handsome honoraria, Riabushinsky's journal at first attracted all the leading names associated with The Balance, including Briusov and Bely. These names drew subscribers to The Golden Fleece, even while its aesthetic pronouncements revealed the naivete and vulgarity of its proprietors. To this point The Balance had been the main rallying point for the Symbolist movement. Both the journal and the movement were in the process of organization and consolidation. In the first years the enemy was clearly identifiable: it was anyone who wrote in the old realistic vein or supported the old aesthetic against the new. The leading opponents of Symbolism were the writers associated with the Knowledge (£nanie) publishing house founded in 1898 and headed by Maxim Gorky. Its anthologies rolled off the press, several a year from 1904 to 1911, totalling thirty-seven in all, many of them in printings of twenty, thirty, and forty thousand. "Knowledge" never published a journal, since all journals (even in some cases the modernist ones) were in principle open to its writers. Some of its adherents were writers of note - Bunin, Andreev, Gorky himself — whom The Balance treated sometimes with caution. But Zinaida Gippius's pungent "Fraternal Grave" (1907, no. 7, signed "Anton Krainyi") summed up The Balance'% attitude, not only to Gorky's enterprise, but to any writing that failed to measure up to The Balance's standard: "Over all these literary works, revolutionary or nonsensical, over talented authors and semi-literate ones, hang the common smokey fumes of Russian unculturedness . . ." While Knowledge publications lay completely outside the sphere of The Balance and therefore never competed for influence, The Golden Fleece was very much within. However, in its first phase it was more a nuisance than a threat to The Balance: it did not challenge the basic orientation of the Symbolist movement, only vulgarized it. The challenge came from another quarter, in the form of a new movement called "mystical anarchism." Its early notes had sounded in the last issues of Problems of Life, but its manifesto was set forth boldly in the first miscellany Torches (Fakely), published in Petersburg and edited by Georgy Chulkov.13 Torches called for artists to



abandon Symbolism and Decadence and move forward to "new mystical experience." Art was to play an instrumental role in this search. Briusov ridiculed the new publication in The Balance (1906, no. 5, "Signposts," signed "Avrelii"). None of its names promised anything genuinely new, he said, not Andreev, Sologub, nor Bunin. Blok's drama "The Puppet Show" had nothing to do with mystical anarchism, and only Ivanov's opening dithyramb "Torches" pointed clearly in that direction. What alarmed Briusov in mystical anarchism was the apparent return to the tendentiousness which he and The Balance had tried to exorcise from literature. That this time art should serve mystical rather than social ends made no difference. The battle against this trend occupied The Balance for the next two years. The Balance'sfirstperiod, January 1904 to May 1906, can be described as the time of unifying tactics. The following one, from May 1906 to the end of 1908, reflected the growth of factionalism within the Symbolist movement. This led to the final stage, when the centrifugal forces always present at the core of Symbolism took over, and its ideas underwent change and dilution. From 1906 till the end of 1908, however, Briusov, along with Bely, still directed The Balance in its battles against foes within the movement and without. Torches itself was the least of The Balance's worries; Viacheslav Ivanov's influence was perhaps the greatest. His championship of a theurgic art exerted a powerful pull on many, including Alexander Blok. The publishing house "Ory," founded by Ivanov in 1907, produced one miscellany, but no journal. Instead, a shift within The Golden Fleece transformed that journal in mid 1907 into an organ of mystical anarchism, and a fullscale attack on The Balance and the Decadents began. The Balance, and especially Bely, responded in kind, so that sharp polemics ensued throughout 1907 and 1908. Ivanov's and Blok's contributions sustained for a time the new, higher cultural level of The Golden Fleece. These, along with Bely's and Briusov's in The Balance, constitute a rich exposition of the aesthetic and philosophical positions of later Symbolism. A rather different note was introduced by the appearance in 1906 of The Crossing (Pereval).14 Ousted from The Golden Fleece,

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


Sergei Sokolov wasted no time in founding another journal. The Crossing, which ran from November 1906 through October 1907, billed itself as "the journal of free thought." Its advertisement announced its slogan: "radicalism - philosophical, aesthetic, social." Sokolov oriented the new journal's platform toward the mood of social concern which the events of 1905 had generated among the Symbolists, at the same time attempting to imitate the aesthetic flavor of The Balance. The ideal he formulated was "the union of free art with free socialmindedness" (1906, no. 1, p.3). The new art was to share space with high-minded articles on social themes. Minsky's "The Idea of A Russian Revolution," which ran in the first three issues, drew Briusov's censure, but The Balance's most acid response came in Gippius's "Trichina" (1907, no. 5), signed "Comrade Herman." Although some major Symbolists appeared in The Crossing, along with newer poets like Kuzmin and Annensky, so did realist writers like Ivan Bunin. In its attempt to cover all fronts The Crossing failed to develop anything like its own physiognomy as a serious journal. Yet its very existence gives further evidence of the volatility marking the modernist literary scene between 1905 and 1910. The next phase saw the closing in 1909 of both The Golden Fleece and The Balance.

The demise of The Golden Fleece in 1909 was preceded by a clear decline of interest on the part of readers, potential contributors, and of Riabushinsky himself. Despite the participation of major figures like Ivanov, Blok, and Sologub and a temporary allegiance to mystical anarchism, it had never established a clearcut aesthetic or ideological position. Here it was the opposite of The Balance, which The Golden Fleece had

accused of hardening into academicism. Yet there was, of course, change in The Balance. Over its six years of existence it maintained attention to Western art and culture, but with rather less emphasis, as the orientation set by Briusov yielded to a more consciously Russian one. This shift had a variety of causes, among them the resistance, especially on the part of Bely, to Briusovian aestheticism and Decadence, which were felt to have deeply Western roots. This division, with other factors, led to a reorganization in late 1908 and



Briusov's departure from the editorship. During 1909 Bely's Silver Dove was the single large feature in the journal, though poets from Gippius and Merezhkovsky to Kuzmin and Gumilev appeared in its final issues. A publisher's note in the final issue (no. 12) promised continuation of The Balance as a bibliographical organ with literary and artistic sections. But this promise was not realized. In the meantime, The Balance's successor was already on the boards. The last of the major modernist journals, Apollo [Apollon) was published in Petersburg from October 1909 till the end of 1917. Its editor was Sergei Makovsky, later joined by Baron N. N. Vrangel. The impulse for Apollo came from Viacheslav Ivanov's "academy of poetry," where the other arts also played a role. In one important sense Apollo was also successor to The Golden Fleece, which, in its turn, had sought to fill the place of The World ofArt. Even in its last year and a half, when curtailed resources caused a reduction in format, The Golden Fleece continued to focus on contemporary art and to provide reproductions generously. In this it was distinguished from The Balance from the start, since The Balance, despite its attention to art, its careful design, and its strikingly modern illustrations, was always concerned primarily with literature. True to its subtitle "an artistic-literary monthly," Apollo outlined in its first issues a plan that suggested its priorities. The journal would include the following sections: (1) art; (2) general questions of literature, literary criticism; (3) questions of art, art criticism; (4) music; (5) theater; (6) "Bees and Wasps of Apollo" (editorial comment, often polemical); (7) chronicle, including reports of foreign correspondents; (8) literary, including works of well-known writers, Russian and foreign, predominantly though not exclusively modernist. In fact, these divisions were never sharply defined. Rather the first section was comprised of, as a later prospectus put it, "articles on questions of painting, architecture, sculpture, poetry, literature, theater, music, dance — especially those throwing light on contemporary creative work as it is linked with the artistic tradition of the past." In 1913, Russian art was given its own section that shortly merged with the "chronicle" which,

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-191J


presumably because of the war, dispensed with foreign correspondents and largely treated Russian artistic events. The section devoted to poetry and belles-lettres disappeared in the reorganization.15 While dominated by the visual and theatrical arts, Apollo yet played a significant role in shaping post-Symbolist literary trends, both through the changed aesthetic atmosphere it helped generate, and more directly The closing of The Balance formalized the division within Symbolism. Yet the movement was still influential and in any case had not been superseded. The new journal seemed, on the face of it, to adopt the aestheticism and European orientation of its predecessor, and the list of poets contributing to the first number suggested a high degree of continuity: Ivanov, Balmont, Briusov, Kuzmin, Voloshin, Gumilev, Innokenty Annensky, and Sologub. But Ivanov's critical writing, controversial from the start, was attacked first of all by Annensky.16 However, Annensky's death late in 1909 changed the balance offerees for the time being. The vigorous defense of theurgic Symbolism by Ivanov, Blok, and others followed by Briusov's curt rebuttal appeared in mid 1910 (nos. 8, 9).17 Yet while theurgic Symbolism seemed to prepare an apotheosis of sorts, another element was entering the literary picture, also on the pages of Apollo. Mikhail Kuzmin's landmark "On Splendid Clarity (Remarks about Prose)" (1910, no.4) announced the mood that crystalized a little later as Acmeism. Symbolism of any stripe was in retreat. The Acmeist manifestoes of Gumilev and Gorodetsky (1913, no.i) made a bold show of setting forth new principles. Some major poets joined the ranks - Akhmatova, Mandelshtam - but their individuality was stronger than their adherence to any program. And since no substantial program emerged, the movement came to be defined primarily by its opposition to certain features of Symbolism. Had Acmeism developed a strongly independent position, the literary side of Apollo might have fared differently. As it was, for several years it took a marginal position. Some significant literary criticism was printed: Gumilev's occasional "Letter on Russian Poetry" and the articles of Valerian Chu-



dovsky. Then those of Georgy Ivanov began to appear, and the early critical pieces of the young Formalists Tomashevsky and Eikhenbaum gave a foretaste of things to come. Meanwhile, only in mid 1914, after several lean years for poetry in Apollo, did the poems of Akhmatova, Mandelshtam, Georgy Ivanov, along with those of Gumilev, Khodasevich, Voloshin, and Blok, Viacheslav Ivanov, and Briusov, appear in strength. Thus from 1909 to 1917 Apollo served as witness to current literary processes if not as a prime actor in all of them. From February 1917 discussions on art policy under a new regime began, but Apollo did not live to experience such changes. Given the fact that Apollo never gave literature first billing, other successors to The Balance were to be expected. The most direct claimant to speak for Symbolism was Works and Days {Trudy i dni), a. bimonthly journal produced by the publishing house Musaget.18 Launched in Moscow at the end of 1909, Musaget was led at the start by Andrei Bely and the music critic and philosopher E. K. Metner, along with Ivanov and Blok. This alliance loosely represented the mystical-philosophic wing of Symbolism. Musaget continued till 1917, while Works and Days appeared regularly only in 1912 and spasmodically in 1913, 1914, and 1916. Both ventures claimed to represent "true" Symbolism, as opposed to the aesthetic and Decadent brand that dominated Scorpio and The Balance. The program of Works and Days indeed restated the positions articulated by Ivanov, Blok and Bely in the "crisis of Symbolism" articles in 1910. These ideas were augmented by the cultural orientation of Metner, with his vision of the universal creative personality based on Goethe and Wagner. Like The Balance in its first years, Works and Days printed no creative works. Instead, it carried theoretical and philosophical articles and, unlike any of its modernist predecessors, published little actual criticism or comment on current artistic or literary activity. After 1912 it ceased to be a genuine propagator of Symbolist ideas. (In the latter part of that year Bely and Ellis attempted to turn it in the direction of anthroposophy, a move resisted by Metner.) Indeed, after 1912 Works and Days ceased in effect to be a journal at all and became a series of collected articles, some-

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igij


times literary and increasingly specialized in nature. All this gave one more evidence of the disintegration of Symbolism. Yet while Works and Days failed to move in any dynamic new direction, some of the material it printed was and is of interest to students of the culture of that period. Another short-lived Moscow journal with high cultural aims was Sophia (Sofiia), of which six numbers appeared in 1914. Edited by P. P. Muratov, its emphasis on art put Sophia in the line of The World of Art and Apollo, rather than The Balance. But

like its predecessors, though on a much smaller scale, it carried some literary items of substantial value. Among them, Briusov's and Khodasevich's notes on poetry suggested Sophia's aesthetic kinship with Symbolism and Acmeism. If Acmeism at least to some degree admitted its links to Symbolism, Futurism proclaimed itself as fiercely independent. While Acmeism, at least for a few years, was identified with a journal, Apollo, Futurism was too various and too volatile to admit of such an association. Instead, the proliferation of Futurist miscellanies in succeeding years speaks eloquently of the rapid evolution and fragmentation of this group as a literary entity.19 As in the nineteenth century, many journals, as well as newspapers, played a role in literary life, if only by virtue of printing fiction and poetry, book notices and reviews. One standard journal of the "thick" type underwent interesting transformations. At the end of 1906 Russian Thought lost its longtime editor Viktor Goltsev and the following year came into the hands of Peter Struve. Its ideological position became that of the future members of the "Signposts" (Vekhi) group, and its literary section was taken over for a time by the former editors of New Way. Merezhkovsky's chief literary targets were Gorky and Andreev. Gippius leveled her attacks on the Decadents. However, in the next two years Balmont, Briusov and Sologub were all publishing there. At the end of 1909 Briusov became literary editor and promptly invited his former colleagues from The Balance to join him in an attempt to capture at least the literary section of Russian Thought for aesthetic Symbolism. Many did join him, but Peter Struve did not tolerate



any rival authority. Strains between him and Briusov were soon felt, and the final break came in 1912 when Struve categorically refused to print Bely's Petersburg (though Bely for a long time blamed Briusov for the rejection). Yet Briusov continued to appear in Russian Thought, which published his important 1913 and 1914 articles on Acmeism, Futurism, and the newest poets, including Pasternak, Tsvetaeva, Akhmatova, and Mayakovsky. The outbreak of war in August 1914 hampered Russian Thought as it did other publications. Struve used this excuse to rid himself of Briusov as steady contributor. Yet Briusov and other established figures continued to print there, along with new writers like Zamiatin and Nabokov. The remarkable hardiness of Russian Thought, including its literary section, is shown by the fact that it still printed poetry in its final issues (January-June 1918), while Struve and his son Gleb were making their way out of Soviet Russia. During the years of the First World War literary activity itself took on a new cast. Poets became war correspondents (Briusov spent nine months in Poland for The Russian News). Others wrote anti-war poetry. Blok and Mayakovsky both appeared in Gorky's Chronicle (Letopis'), and Mayakovsky enlivened the pages of Amfiteatrov's New Satyricon {Novyi Satirikon).

With Symbolism's disintegration, the forces it had generated flowed into different channels, and names once associated chiefly with elite modernist journals appeared increasingly in publications of the more popular type. New Journal for Everyone {Novyi zhurnal dlia vsekh) showed a contributors' list reminiscent of anthologies of early twentieth-century literature: Andreev, Bunin, Blok, Balmont, Briusov, Gorky, Gorodetsky, Zaitsev, Kuprin, Remizov, A. N. Tolstoi. If one obvious reason for the descent from Parnassus of some of these writers was their search for new places to publish, a related one may have been the presence of a wider, relatively more cultivated audience which resulted in part from their earlier efforts in narrower spheres. In any event, the genre for strictly literary discussion and aesthetic theorizing had ceased to be the literary journal

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-1 giy


per se. The literary journals of the early 1900s appear almost as a brilliant aberration in the history of Russian journalism, sustainable only in the special cultural conditions of that time, but constituting a memorable chapter in that history that has not yet been fully explored. NOTES

Bibliographical note: Specific information on publication, editorship and indexes




Bibliografiia russkoi periodicheskoi pechati

1703-igoo, ed. N. M. Lisovskii (Petrograd, 1915), and . . . igoi-igi6, ed. V M. Barashenkov, O. D. Golubeva, and N. la. Morachevskii, 4 vols. (Leningrad, 1958). More detailed information, though on fewer publications,

is to be found

in: Russkaia periodicheskaia pechat'

(1702 -i8g4), ed. A. G. Dement'ev, A. V Zapadov, M. S. Gherepakhov (Moscow, 1959) and . . . (i8g^~igiy) (Moscow, 1957); and in the Kratkaia literaturnaia entsiklopediia, ed. A. A. Surkov et al., 9 vols.

(Moscow, 1962—78). Contemporary descriptions, sometimes written by active participants, appear in the Brockhaus-Efron publication: Entsiklopedicheskii slovar', 82 vols. and four supplements (St. Petersburg, 1890-1907). A recent set of volumes that has been extremely useful in preparing this article is: Literaturnyi protsess i russkaia zhurnalistika kontsa

XlX-nachala XXveka, i8go~igo4, ed. B. A. Bialik, V A. Keldysh, V R. Shcherbina, 2 vols. (Moscow, 1981-82) and Russkaia literatura i zhurnalistika nachala XX veka, igo^-igiy, ed. B. A. Bialik, 2 vols. (Moscow, 1984). Hereafter this work will be referred to as "Bialik," with dates and volume. The most complete survey of modernist journals in English is Georgette Donchin, The Influence of French Symbolism on

Russian Poetry (The Hague, 1958), ch. 2, "The Symbolist Press." A basic Russian source for thorough accounts of Symbolist journals is: V Evgen'ev-Maksimov and D. Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki (Leningrad, 1930). 1 Russkaia mysl', Vestnik Evropy and Russkoe bogatstvo all continued

publication into 1918, but only the first two sustained the standards and the interest they commanded in the first half of their existence. The history of Russkaia mysl' is particularly striking (see below). See also comprehensive articles on these two by E. V. Starikova ("Russkaia mysl'" [in Bialik, 1890-1904, 2: 44-90]) and M. A. Nikitina ("Vestnik Evropy" [Bialik, 1890-1904, 2: 4-43, and 1905-17, 2: 4-25] and "Russkaia mysl'" [Bialik, 1905-17, 2: 26-47]).







Under the censorship law of 1865 periodicals published in Petersburg and Moscow were exempt from preliminary censorship but were subject to and frequently suffered from administrative penalty after the fact. The "provisional rules" instituted in 1882 and in force till 1905 made the situation even more difficult, despite an appearance of easing toward the end of the eighties. As Florinsky explains, "The decline in the number of penalties imposed in the late 1880s and in the 1890s must not be ascribed to any softening of the censorship regime. The apparent leniency of the authorities, according to the historian of Russian censorship [K. K.] Arsenev, was due to the disappearance of many periodicals." (Michael T. Florinsky, Russia. A History and an Interpretation, 2 vols. (New York, 1955), 2: 1112.) Russkie vedomosti (1863-1918) enjoyed the closest ties with Moscow University and with the city's artistic and cultural organizations, as shown in its coverage of literary, artistic, and cultural events as well as of international learned congresses involving Moscow University professors. In their chronicling of such events and even of literary publications, many journals relied on accounts in Russkie vedomosti. In general, newspapers in the major cities - Russkii listok, Birzhevye vedomosti, even the reactionary Novoe vremia - can be important sources for certain types of literary information. For example, Russkie vedomostfs coverage of the Pushkin days in 1899 provides details practically unavailable elsewhere. Mir bozhii was published in St. Petersburg from 1892 to 1906. In October 1906 a companion journal Sovremennyi mir appeared. Both were announced for 1907, though with an indication of a coming merger. Sovremennyi mir described itself as a journal concerned with "spreading among readers ideas of consistent political and social democratism and freedom of the person." Though the immediate post-1905 situation allowed a more openly political orientation, it continued to publish literary works. Cf. L. A. Skvortsova, "Mir bozhii" (Bialik, 1890-1904, 1: 136- 97). These latter are by no means a development of the eighties. Examples in this period are: £hurnal romanov i povestei (Petersburg, 1878-84), Romany original'nye i perevodnye (Petersburg, 1881-96), Novosti inostrannoi literatury (Moscow, 1891-99). Mir iskusstva was published for two years twice-monthly and in 1901 began to appear monthly. Diaghilev was replaced as editor by Alexander Benois in 1904. I. V Koretskaia points out that the journal's name is mildly polemical: "The World of Art" instead of "God's World" (Bialik, 1890-1904, 2: 134).

Rise and decline of the "literary" journal: 1880-igiy


6 See: D. Maksimov, "Valerii Briusov i cNovyi put"," Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vol. 27-28 (Moscow, 1937), 276-98. 7 See I. V Koretskaia, " 'Novyi put", cVoprosy zhizni'" (Bialik, 1890-1904, 2: 179-233). 8 See P. P. Pertsov, Literaturnye vospominaniia, i8go-igo2 (MoscowLeningrad, 1933), 203, 241. 9 The use of the zodiacal signs was emphasized in the journal's cover design. For the most complete account of Vesy see: K. M. Azadovskii and D. E. Maksimov, "Briusov i cVesys (k istorii izdaniia)," Valerii Briusov, Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vol. 85 (Moscow, 1976), 257-324, and, most recently, A. V Lavrov and D. E. Maksimov, "Vesy" (Bialik, 1905-17, 2: 65-136). 10 See O. D. Golubeva, "Iz istorii izdaniia russkikh al'manakhov nachala xx veka," in Kniga. Issledovaniia i materialy, in (Moscow, I 96o), 300-34. For a comprehensive listing for this period see: Literaturno-khudozhestvennye al'manakhi i sborniki, vol. 1, 1900-n, ed. O. D. Golubeva (Moscow, 1957), vol. 2, 1912-17, ed. N. P. Rogozhin (Moscow, 1959). 11 See William Richardson, Z°l°toe runo an^ Russian Modernism (Ann Arbor, 1986). Riabushinsky also financed a Moscow daily, Rannee utro (1907-18) in the literary section of which many of the Symbolists printed their work. 12 Valerii Briusov, Sobranie sochinenii, 7 vols. (Moscow, 1973- 75), 6: 117. 13 Two more volumes ofFakely appeared, in 1907 and 1908. 14 See A. V Lavrov, "Pereval" (Bialik, 1905-17, 2: 174-190). 15 In 1911 a reorganization was announced whereby many more reproductions would be included, the chronicle would be enlarged, and the "Literaturnii ATmanakh" would be printed separately. (One number was advertised, but the series was no more mentioned after 1912.) In 1912-13, the younger poets of Apollon published Giperborei, a "monthly of poetry and criticism." See: I. V. Koretskaia, "Apollon" (Bialik, 1905-17, 2: 214-15). 16 "O sovremennom lirizme," nos. 1, 2, and 3. See also Koretskaia, "Apollon," 216, nos. 13, 14. 17 The chief articles usually referred to as the "crisis of Symbolism" are: Viacheslav Ivanov, "Zavety simvolizma," and Aleksandr Blok, "O sovremennom sostoianii russkogo simvolizma," no. 8 (May-June 1910), 5-20, 21-30, Briusov's reply, "O 'rechi rabskoi', v zashchitu poezii," no. 9 (July-August 1910), 31-34, and Bely's riposte, "Venok ili venets," no. 10 (October-November 1910), 1-4, 2nd section. 18 "Musaget" was one of the names of Apollo. The journal was at



one point conceived of as Trudy i dni Musageta, the diary of three writers, Blok, Bely and Ivanov. Cf. A. V Lavrov, "Trudy i dni" (Bialik, 1905-17, 2: 196). 19 "The First Journal of Russian Futurists, whose issue number 1-2 appeared in Moscow in March 1914, was the first and last largescale attempt to unite all Russian futurists under the same cover. It was planned as a bimonthly and was the result of a rapprochement between Hylaea and the former Mezzanine of Poetry . . . In a way it was a unification of all futurists because at the time this issue was prepared, in February 1914, ego-futurism did not exist, and Centrifuge had not yet appeared." Vladimir Markov, Russian Futurism: A History (Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1968), 172.


The literary content of "The World of Art* William E. Harkins

The World ofArt [Mir iskusstva, 1898—1904) was first and foremost an art journal and not a literary journal. 1 It was founded to extend the work of the exhibition society also known as "The World of Art/' through the publication of lavishly reproduced art materials of all sorts. The choice of works to be reproduced struck a balance between Russian and European art, but above all the journal sought to introduce the Russian public to new artists. In this it did not do a perfect job; it showed a better acquaintance with the contemporary styles known as art nouveau and Jugendstil than it did with Impressionism or early PostImpressionism, for instance (though these deficiencies were partly repaired in 1903-4, when Igor Grabar became influential). In an early issue of the journal there is an obituary for the French artist Puvis de Chavannes, who died in 1898; his name is linked ostentatiously with those of Beethoven and Wagner! But the journal did place a very strong emphasis on new art; this in spite of the fact that its Russian program included both Old Russian art and Russian folk art. Finally, The World of Art was concerned with the applied arts, though it was clear that these could not really be integrated into a journal that was primarily a product of connoisseurship and did not include technical expertise in its editorial board. How was literature to fit into such a program? It was clear that Diaghilev's own thinking in 1898 was very largely programmatic and pragmatic. Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, the editor-in-chief of The World of Art was not himself an artist, of course, and he was even less a specialist on literature. His task was that of entrepreneur and organizer, and this illustrates his 197



pragmatism. He had made close friends who could assist him in both fields. Alexander Benois was his closest friend in the art world, and it was he more than anyone else who was responsible for the artistic content of the journal. In 1904, the journal's final year, when Diaghilev had lost much of his interest in his new child and was about to undertake one of his regular junkets to Europe, it was Benois who replaced him as chief editor of the journal. Diaghilev's chief literary associate was his cousin, Dmitry Vladimirovich Filosofov. And it was he who was to serve as chief literary editor. Filosofov is known for his high-handed, authoritarian style of management, which from the very beginning brought him into conflict with Benois.2 This does not mean that the literary content of the journal was entirely dictated by him, however. The ultimate source of power seems to have been Diaghilev, and the fact that other beginning contributors such as D. S. Merezhkovsky, Zinaida Gippius, V. V Rozanov and, to a lesser extent, Minsky (pseudonym of N. M. Vilenkin) had been for the most part Diaghilev's friends before the journal's founding was of basic importance. It remains unclear what, ideologically or theoretically, Filosofov's administration added to the literary section of the journal. The same principle of friendship applied to the journal's staff of the artistic section. But here Diaghilev's competence was broader, largely because of the experience of "The World of Art" society in arranging exhibitions. Also, of course, the journal was closer to monopolizing art-critical talent in Russia (or at least St. Petersburg) than it was to achieving a monopoly of the literary critics. The program of The World of Art was, essentially, to fill a vacuum where modern art and its propagation were concerned. It did not, and could not, have had any similar literary program. The original prospectus submitted to the tsarist government never mentioned literature at all; the journal was to be an art journal. 3 Was the literary part not an afterthought, a bid to win support from a broader element of the Russian intelligentsia than an art journal alone could have won, particularly an art journal with a good deal of snobbism in its appeal? In this

The literary content of "The World of Art33


connection we should note that the two journals The Golden Fleece (£olotoe runo) and Apollo (Apollon), both of which followed

The World of Art and to some extent imitated it, were art journals with substantial literary sections. The journal's prospectus to potential subscribers did mention literature, but suggested that the literary section would be devoted solely to literary and aesthetic criticism.4 By "criticism" the editors obviously meant largely what today we would call "poetics" or "theory of literature." And in a sense the limitation would seem appropriate; not even a limitation, indeed, but an incentive to finding fruitful links between literature, the arts and philosophy, especially aesthetics. This no doubt represented Filosofov's own interest as well as that of Merezhkovsky. Rozanov and Minsky fit such a concept at least peripherally, though hardly Gippius. It must have come as a surprise to the new subscribers, then, to discover that the first major, serialized literary piece was not a work of sustained criticism, but a travel report, Gippius's "On the Shore of the Ionian Sea" ("Na beregu Ionicheskogo moria").5 But in the long run, the impression given by the prospectus proved more or less correct: poetry and fiction were largely excluded from The World of Art, and criticism, particularly criticism of a strongly philosophical cast, was to dominate. Gippius's travel report was succeeded by her husband's (Merezhkovsky's) treatise on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, celebrated (and condemned) for its elaborate, even belabored, system of antitheses between the two writers. It appeared in The World ofArt serially from no. 1, 1900 through no. 1, 1902, under the title of "Lev Tolstoy and Dostoevsky." (Before the conclusion of serialization, a separate book edition of the work had appeared in 1901.) Today's reader may well shrug his shoulders, since the appearance of the book edition made the serialized printing something of a luxury (especially with the luxurious type style and paper of The World of Art). But perhaps more than any other literary contribution published in the journal, Merezhkovsky's Tolstoy and Dostoevsky was a work of philosophically inspired criticism that seemed to come off, and it helped to set the tone for the journal during the succeeding years, even after



Merezhkovsky and Filosofov had left the journal. Today we are impressed by Merezhkovsky's superficiality, no doubt, but the typical reader of the day must have welcomed and even applauded the brave attempt to find a synthesis of the work and thought of the two greatest giants of Russian letters. He would also have approved Merezhkovsky's approach to these two critical writers as philosophers, since this was the almost universal critical approach of the times, and the burden of Russian literary criticism since Nadezhdin and Belinsky. In passing we should note that the original literary contributors to The World of Art were all first-generation Symbolists. This was to prove a limitation during the following years of the journal, and it seems to have been difficult for the secondgeneration Symbolists to establish themselves there.6 Probably this was largely a question of ignorance, particularly on Diaghilev's part, and not active hostility or ill will. Still, it is clear that the younger generation played a much greater role in the journal after the departure of Filosofov, Merezhkovsky and Gippius; they left The World of Art in 1903 to found their own journal, New Way (Novyi put'). There seems to be no overt suggestion in the literature that they were forced out of The World of Art, but it is also clear that they had been playing an ever-decreasing role in the literary section of the journal. Nor is it clear whether the younger generation triumphed in achieving their expulsion, or simply pressed in to fill the vacuum created by their departure. Actually, the younger writers had contributed marginally to the journal as early as 1900. In that year the name of Valery Briusov appears, though it was not until 1903 that he made a major contribution in the form of two articles on Fet and Balmont. Andrei Bely first contributed in 1902 and remained a substantial contributor thereafter. But the major literary contributor throughout the last three years of the existence of The World of Art (1902-4) was to be Lev Shestov. In certain respects it mattered little which generation was in charge of the literary part of The World of Art The favored names were almost the same: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Wagner. Shestov even crossfertilized

The literary content of "The World of Art"


the Russian and German traditions by writing his celebrated treatises on Tolstoy and Nietzsche and on Dostoevsky and Nietzsche (1902-3), in which he employed Nietzsche as a touchstone to show up the egoism and paradoxical lack of Christian feeling of the two Russian writers. And it was Shestov who, even before Merezhkovsky's departure, wrote a savage review of the older man's Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (no. 102, 1903), a review which reminds us of the ethical problem of whether a journal should itself review its own contents. Shestov excoriated Merezhkovsky's inconsistency and crude lack of logic. He admits that Merezhkovsky's ideas are "great ideas," but says that ideas are not needed; for him sensitivity to literature is far more important than understanding or interpretation. And thus at least Shestov went against his elders. The final year of the journal (1904) was very hard on literature, probably because the editorship had devolved on Benois in Diaghilev's absence. But Andrei Bely was able to publish, in no. 5, an article on "Symbolism as a Mode of Understanding the World" ("Simvolizm, kak miroponimanie"). Bely traces the evolution of Symbolism through Schopenhauer (Schopenhauer's dichotomy between reason and feeling serves as a basis, as well as his antithesis between will and idea), Nietzsche (the synthesis of will and idea in Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy), and von Hartmann (the Unconscious). He then illustrates the techniques of Symbolism in Russian poetry, particularly that of Lermontov. Though the journal does not give much evidence of it, it did have a certain social function, and was forced, at times unwillingly, to discharge it. The outstanding occasion for this was the centennial of Pushkin's birth in 1899. A great public commemoration was planned by the tsarist Academy, with speeches and public celebrations. The World of Art cooperated with the publication (in nos. 13-14, 1899) of a series of four tributes to Pushkin, by Rozanov, Merezhkovsky, Minsky, and Fedor Sologub. The first three writers were, of course, regular contributors, but Sologub, except for a single lyric poem, was never again to contribute anything to The World of Art. Rozanov's essay departs from the well-known anecdote according to



which the young writer Gogol comes to Pushkin's house in mid morning, eager to converse with him, and is turned away with the news that Pushkin is still asleep. "He was no doubt writing all night long?" Gogol asks, to be told, "No, he was dancing." Rozanov wittily expands the anecdote, with the implication that genius must not be judged. This is the standpoint of the other three articles as well. Merezhkovsky opposes the public celebration on the ground that the public neither likes Pushkin not understands him; he cites the story told by Tolstoy of a merchant who wonders why a statue (the Moscow one) and a public celebration are to be dedicated to the memory of a libertine? Minsky argues that the Symbolists (i.e., the editorial staff of The World of Art) are the only ones who understand Pushkin. For them Pushkin's aestheticism implies freedom from an excessively moralistic life. Finally, Sologub likewise laments the planning of a celebration for a poet whose genius was so special and so private; only Dostoevsky among recent writers has been at all close to him. One may ask, of course, what the public (including the Academy) was to do: abstain entirely from a celebration? Would this have pleased the editors of The World of Art any better? We have noted that the original prospectus limited the journal to literary and aesthetic criticism. This indeed was the journal's general tendency and perhaps, considering the predominantly visual character of The World of Art, this was right. Occasional exceptions to the rule, beginning with Gippius's Ionian travel memoirs, were however made. Still it is surprising that lyric poetry, the very life blood of the Symbolist movement, was almost completely banned from the pages of The World of Art. Not a single lyric poem appears on the journal's pages until issue no. 5, 1900, when a kind of small "album" of poems is presented. There are poems by Merezhkovsky, Vladimir G. (pseudonym of V. V. Gippius), Sologub, Zinaida Gippius, Balmont, and Minsky. The same issue contains a critical article by S. A. Andreevsky arguing that the day of poetry is over, and that authors should write only prose. He is answered by Briusov, who suggests that Andreevsky does not

The literary content of "The World ofArt})


understand free verse, and is forced into an impossible dilemma because of his lack of understanding. Perhaps the selection of poems was published as an accompaniment to this polemic. The lack of literary content in the two volumes of the journal that appeared for 1904 has been noted. The only noteworthy publications for the entire year, besides Bely's "Symbolism as a Mode of Understanding the World," were two publications of poetry. The first, in no. 1, was a very handsome printing of Pushkin's "Bronze Horseman," with new illustrations by Benois. The second is a large group of Balmont's poems on the sun, drawn from his collection Let Us Be Like the Sun (Budem kak solntse, 1903) and other volumes. Since neither of these is an original publication, the appearance of the two helps to underscore the journal's relative literary poverty in its final year. The departure of Filosofov, Merezhkovsky and Gippius in 1903 created an unanticipated vacuum for Diaghilev (suggesting again that they had not actually been forced out). Diaghilev then offered the literary editorship to Anton Chekhov, who declined it because of poor health and presumably because of his dislike of Merezhkovsky (who was leaving the journal!).7 Although Diaghilev's choice may seem absurd, yet it does testify to his pragmatism and his feel for talent and genius. It also suggests that Diaghilev may have overvalued these qualities while underestimating the role of organization and administration in a journal, qualities that did not precisely shine at The World of Art. Ultimately no one was found to replace Filosofov, nor was anyone needed, since the journal was coasting toward its end. The problems that destroyed The World of Art, it must be understood, were not conceptual contradictions or other problems of a dialectic nature. The appearance of more publications of a like character, The Golden Fleece, The Balance (Vesy), and

Apollo, showed that a periodical like The World of Art could succeed in spite of its Symbolist and avantgarde taste. Perhaps The World of Art was ahead of its time. Financially, however, it could not succeed, with its never more than a thousand subscribers. The original backers, Sawa Mamontov and



Princess Tenisheva, had withdrawn within a year's time: Mamontov went bankrupt, while Princess Tenisheva was apparently too sensitive to the mocking ridicule of Russian society, which opposed The World ofArt for its presumption and pride as well as its avantgardism. But a more august patron was soon found: the painter Ilia Repin (not precisely a partisan of The World of Art) interceded with the emperor, whose portrait he was painting at the time, and Nicholas granted the journal a subsidy from his private purse of 10,000 rubles a year. This grant necessarily came to an end in 1904, when the RussoJapanese War broke out. It was a bad time for Diaghilev to find money, and in any event he now seemed to have lost interest in the journal. 8 Critics of The World of Art have been struck by the lack of cohesion and continuity between the art sections of the journal and the literary ones.9 This in turn suggests a lack of conception for the literary part of the journal. True, the original plan to adhere to literary criticism and theory only would perhaps have provided some degree of cohesion. But this notion was not followed strictly. Even more striking is the failure of the journal to take into account new literary trends in Western Europe. The literary sections (except for the constant tributes paid to Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Wagner - tributes that are not of course strictly literary) are almost totally confined to Russian literature. They are essentially nationalistic, and not cosmopolitan, and it is this bias that makes them seem out of place in The World of Art. It is no accident, then, that there was constant friction between the literary and artistic staffs of the journal. But the lack of interest in European literature was not merely a product of change. The truth was that neither Diaghilev nor Filosofov nor even Merezhkovsky knew very much about Western European literature, especially about recent trends. What they knew was superficial and dilettantish, and acting from the better part of wisdom they refrained from exposing their ignorance. Ruskin was known to them, but they had no way of knowing that his literary influence was as great as his influence on the fine arts. Curiously, they knew relatively little about Baudelaire or Flaubert.10 Wilde they certainly

The literary content of "The World of Art"


knew, but they failed to grasp his significance in the scheme of Western literary development. Perhaps, in the long run, all this mattered very little. As one of the editors, Peter Pertsov, puts it in his reminiscences, the literary part of the journal was, after all, expendable.11 The shattering significance and originality of The World ofArt rested, indeed, in its art, and we have no right to demand that it should have produced a coherent whole. Disappointing as the literary section of the journal is (it failed, after all, to absorb much of the burgeoning Symbolist movement, in spite of the presence among its contributors of Balmont, Briusov and Bely) still its editors had little to be ashamed of in the perspective of historical hindsight. Merezhkovsky's Tolstoy and Dostoevsky is no doubt superficial, but it did aspire to a grand conception rarely achieved in literary criticism. But probably the supreme achievements of the journal are the two books of Shestov on Tolstoy, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky. They have no precedent and no parallel in all of Russian literary criticism, not even in the writings of the "furious" Vissarion Belinsky. NOTES

1 On the founding and life of Mir iskusstva, see the following: Janet Elspeth Kennedy, "The Mir Iskusstva Group and Russian Art, 1898-1912" (Diss.: Columbia University, 3 vols., 1976); John Bowlt, "The World of Art," Russian Literature Triquarterly, 4 (1972), 183-95, 208-18; Aleksandr Benua, Vozniknovenie "Mira iskusstva", Komitet popularizatsii khudozhestvennykh izdanii pri Gosudarstvennoi Akademii Istorii Materiarnoi Kul'tury (Leningrad, 1928); Petr Pertsov, Literaturnye vospominaniia (Moscow-Leningrad: Academia, 1933); Serge Lifar, Serge Diaghilev, An Intimate Biography (New

2 3 4 5 6

York, 1940), 65-77. Pertsov, Literaturnye, 281. Lifar, Diaghilev, 67. Kennedy, "The Mir Iskusstva Group," 2. Lifar, Diaghilev, 75. Mir iskusstva 1.9-12 (1899). Further references to Mir iskusstva are made in the text of the article. My division of writers into "first"- and "second"-generation Symbolists may require some comment. The distinction rests not


7 8 9 10 11


only on birth dates, but even more importantly, on dates of first publication. Indirectly, associations with other writers are important. Thus, Zinaida Gippius was the youngest of those writers I have described as "first-generation" (she was born in 1869), but she came to publication early (in 1888), and was associated with her husband, D. S. Merezhkovsky and with D. V Filosofov. Lev Shestov, on the other hand, was born in 1866, but did not publish until 1898. Bowlt, "The World of Art," 187. Kennedy, "The Mir Iskusstva Group," i n . Bowlt, "The World of Art," 189. Pertsov, Literaturnye, 281. Lifar, Diaghilev, 75. Kennedy, " T h e Mir Iskusstva Group," 77. Pertsov, Literaturnye, 281.


'Northern Herald":from traditional thick journal to forerunner of the avant-garde Stanley J. Rabinowitz

The Petersburg-based literary and political monthly Northern Herald [Severnyi vestnik) published its first issue in September 1885 and thirteen years later, in December 1898, issued its last. Throughout its tenure many of Russia's major writers, scholars, and thinkers published on its pages, constituting perhaps the most curious and unlikely array of figures ever assembled in a single publication. Uspensky, Merezhkovsky, Mikhailovsky, Mendeleev, Leskov, Tolstoy, Miklukho-Maklai, Minsky, Gippius, Sologub, Gorky, Chekhov, Diaghilev people of the most diverse opinions and intellectual temperaments - had their work printed in this periodical. Having begun in the tradition of a "thick journal" with a moderately populist-progressivist cast, it became, from the early nineties, the major organ for the literary movement known as Symbolism, thereby occupying a special place in the history of what has come to be known as the "Silver Age" of Russian culture. Beginning in 1891, Northern Herald systematically published the works of the first Russian Symbolists, preceding by several years Briusov's Moscow-based volumes, Russian Symbolists. The journal served, in the words of its most learned chronicler, P. V. Kupriianovsky, as a "laboratory of early Russian symbolism."1 And for as much as Valery Briusov is credited with the founding of this artistic school, "his significance in the development of the symbolism of the nineties," Kupriianovsky argues, "cannot be compared to the role of Northern Herald."2 Indeed, Briusov himself recognized the unquestionable value of Northern Herald. His reminiscences of its major driving force from 1891 through 1898, A. L. Volynsky 207



(Akim Lvovich Flekser, 1863—1926), excellently characterize the journal as well: "(It) was necessary in (its) time. (It) constituted that bell which sounded the alarm when it was no longer possible to tarry. The sounds of the alarm were harsh, strident, and sometimes disharmonious, but they frightened and aroused people, and forced them to leap up and take a look at what was going on around them." 3 Briusov's word "disharmonious" is an important one. For throughout its entire and often tenuous existence, discord in one form or another plagued Northern Herald - a. discord which reflected the period's own complexities, inconsistencies, and transitional nature, and which was undoubtedly caused by them as well. Indeed, although its title remained the same, one might almost speak of two different and discrete journals - the Northern Herald of 1885-90 and the one of 1891-98 - each under the direction of two of the most fascinating women of their time, A. M. Evreinova and L. la. Gurevich respectively. Binding the two "phases" of Northern Herald, besides its title, are the obstacles which constantly beset the journal from its very inception. The beginning of Northern Herald followed shortly after the closing of the very popular and unabashedly radical-populist Fatherland Notes (Otechestvennye zapiski) (1839-84). This was the

time when the Russian "democratic" press was being completely undermined through the personal efforts of P. K. Pobedonostsev, whose desire to change the face of Russia's legal press provided a relatively favorable setting for the establishment of maiden publications. It took only a few years for the reactionary policies of the new government to set in after the assassination of Tsar Alexander 11 on 1 March 1881; in April 1884 Fatherland Notes was forced to cease publication because "not only [had] it opened its pages to propagators of dangerous ideas" but also because "it has had as its closest collaborators people who belong to secret societies."4 Almost as if they had decided immediately to regroup, albeit in a distinctly modified fashion, contributors such as Mikhailovsky, Pleshcheev, Uzhakov, Skabichevsky, and Uspensky appeared on the earliest pages of Northern Herald. The journal's program was formulated

"Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 209

early in 1885, and by April it was approved by the government's Main Administration for Publishing Affairs, although not without considerable difficulty. Already the new project was off to an inauspicious start. Certainly the publisher of Northern Herald, Anna Vasilievna Sabashnikova, posed no problem; she was a member of the highly respected Moscow family of publishers and book dealers. Rather, it was the editor and true founder, Anna Mikhailovna Evreinova, whom the government perceived as the major threat. The first Russian woman to receive the doctor of laws degree, Evreinova was foreign-educated (University of Leipzig), extremely bright, of notably liberal views (already in 1884 she had written a tract dealing with equality of women in matters of inheritance), and female. With her serving as editor-in-chief, and with a board composed of contributors who were already under a veil of suspicion, the government was initially reluctant to allow Northern Herald to publish. Only Senator V. K. Pleve's personal guarantee of Evreinova's loyalty and reliability made it possible for the first number of the journal to see the light of day in September 1885 — under one condition. In order to function, Northern Herald had to undergo a preliminary form of censorship far more scrupulous and complicated than the kind required, for example, of its two major competitors, The Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Evropy) (1866-1918) and Russian Thought (Russkaia rnysl') (1880-1918).

Continually hanging over it like a black cloud, these stringent controls reflected the journal's reputation among government circles as "harmful." Lifted only in 1897, this practice not only made the regular operation of the journal especially difficult; it also forced some prominent collaborators to curtail the number of their submissions, or to withdraw from participating altogether. Tolstoy, according to Kupriianovsky, withheld several pieces (including, perhaps, What is Art?) for fear of difficulties with the censor;5 Chekhov did the same after 1889.6 Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, whose participation was actively solicited early on to bolster the prestige of the new journal, terminated his association when his first publication (the fairy tale "The Eagle Patron"), intended for the journal's second number



(October 1885), was detained in the censor's office. Nor, as the records show, was the Editorial Committee ready to intervene on his behalf. With a pre-history of radical-progressivist leanings, and beholden to a regime which was highly conservative, Northern Herald needed to, and with overall remarkable skill did, tread very carefully. Such care is evidenced in the journal's statement of policy, printed in the first issue under the heading "From the Editors." This cautiously worded program is a study in balance and moderation, combining the toned-down rhetoric of a mild democratic populism with overtones of nationalism, surely intended to placate the ever-watchful government authorities. "The good of our dear motherland and the selfless serving of the interests and ideals of our people — that is our banner," the editors proudly proclaim. But especially significant is the commitment to give a full airing to local and provincial concerns in order that the journal represent the broadest possible spectrum of national interests and opinions. Early on, and throughout its entire history, Northern Herald demonstrates a dependence on and catering to a provincial readership - its provincial section {oblastnoi otdel) being initially conceived as its most important.7 Through the use of a large network of provincial correspondents, local Russian life - literary, sociopolitical, economic, and intellectual - would be subjected to the kind of serious, systematic study it deserved. Such an emphasis can be explained by at least three factors: firstly, a recognition of the increasing economic and cultural significance of the Russian provinces; secondly, and relatedly, an attentiveness to the growing number of provincial readers, and therefore consumers of periodicals such as Northern Herald; and thirdly, Evreinova's own long-standing involvement in provincial matters, as seen in her legal writings and in her ability to attract progressive publicists from widespread areas of the country. In its most important section - that of literature and literary criticism -Northern Herald also demonstrated liberal-progressivist leanings, at least until 1889. With his formidable editorial experience and authority, the populist critic and theoretician

"Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 211

N. K. Mikhailovsky (1842-1902) had been invited to supervise literary matters, and for several years he was the journal's "secret editor."8 A leading force in the recently defunct Fatherland Motes, Mikhailovsky helped (as Evreinova knew he would) to get Northern Herald off the ground; his presence made the periodical immediately popular among left-wing circles and encouraged many from their number to contribute and subscribe. In the journal's first volumes one encountered the early civic poetry of Minsky and Merezhkovsky, as well as poems by Nadson, Polonsky, Apukhtin, Zhemchuzhnikov, Fofanov, and others. Prose included stories by Garshin, Uspensky, MaminSibiriak, Korolenko, and by such second- and third-string writers as Machtet, Bazhin, Miturich, Korvin, Zasodimsky. Among translated writers were Balzac, Zola, Maupassant, the Pole Boleslaw Prus, and Victor Hugo. In literary criticism as well, the initial years of Northern Herald favored the moderately progressivist/populist orientation of former contributors to Fatherland Notes. The predominance of articles by Mikhailovsky's cronies — e.g. Skabichevsky ("On the Russian Historical Novel") and Iuzhakov ("Love and Happiness in the Works of Russian Poetry") - gave the (correct) impression that Mikhailovsky was attempting to mould the journal in his own image. But Evreinova envisioned a more diverse, broadly representative publication and not one which was narrowly populist. By 1888 she had begun to lean increasingly on the advice of the author-critic A. N. Pleshcheev, whose lack of sympathy for Mikhailovsky and closeness to Chekhov gave the journal's literary profile a somewhat different look. Both Chekhov's friendship with Pleshcheev and his general sympathy for the journal's moderate, democratic views (despite his personal reservations about Mikhailovsky), undoubtedly encouraged him to accept Northern Herald!% many invitations to contribute. So the appearance in 1888 of three of Chekhov's major stories, "The Steppe" (no. 3), "Lights" (no. 6), and "The Name Day Party" (no. 11), and in 1889 of "A Boring Story" (no. 11), came as no surprise. For Chekhov, this first appearance in a "thick" journal represented a significant event. He later attributed his recognition as a writer to Northern Herald,



and the journal's appreciation of him as an exponent of "major" literature (and not only of the small comic sketch) was something he never forgot. For the journal, the publication of Russian literature's rising star provided a muchneeded boost in morale; it also represented, as it turned out, one of the two events which reflected its growing and fateful independence from Mikhailovsky. The second event, also concerning Chekhov and also occurring in 1888, was the publication of Merezhkovsky's groundbreaking review (no. 11) of Chekhov's two collections In the Twilight (1887) and Stories (1888). Programmatic in nature and anticipating Merezhkovsky's highly significant manifesto "On the Causes for the Decline of and the New Currents in Contemporary Russian Literature" (1893), which literary historians consider one of the seminal documents of early Russian modernism, this twenty-page article may actually have been the straw that broke the camel's back, thereby altering Northern Herald's future course. Although the authoritarian Mikhailovsky had for two years expressed misgivings about the running of the journal as well as about its insufficiently populist content, it was only in 1888, and likely with regard to Merezhkovsky's piece on Chekhov, that he finally resigned. A footnote from Evreinova at the bottom of page one informs the reader of a difference of opinion among some of the editorial board "regarding details of (Merezhkovsky's) aesthetic views." These views find expression in the article's discussion of the current condition of Russian literary criticism and aesthetic tastes which frames, arguably, the most perceptive analysis of Chekhov's prose of the time. In short, Merezhkovsky's article represents a ringing denunciation of populist critical strategies to the point of questioning the right of "contemporary Russian reviewers and publicists" to be called critics at all. Although historians point to Merezhkovsky's above-mentioned "On the Decline . . ." as a major watershed in this area, one might consider looking to his earlier and similarly controversial piece (and give credit to Northern Herald for carrying it) as another landmark in the reevaluation of critical tastes. It is here, after all, where he makes the shockingly bold remark: "We have no


Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 213

artistic critics in the true sense of the word55 (p. 78). These words are directed not only to the Mikhailovskys, Skabichevskys, and Protopopovs (who most recently had been condemning Chekhov for his lack of tendency and "ideals55), but to the entire school of civic criticism that had prevailed in Russia in the fifty years since Belinsky5s day. And when, at the conclusion of his article, Merezhkovsky challenges established literary proclivities by asserting "Chekhov - and not Korolenko [who, by the way, was on the editorial board of Northern Herald)., S.R.], Fet - and not Nekrasov55 (the aestheticism of the much maligned Fet's intimate lyrical poetry standing in direct opposition to the populist-civic style of the extremely beloved Nekrasov), Northern Herald could be seen to be harboring a viewpoint that threatened to shake the Russian critical tradition to its foundations. And shaken it was! By 1889, all of the collaborators from Fatherland Notes who had formed the backbone of Northern Herald

had left, and Chekhov's confession to Pleshcheev about Mikhailovsky5s departure would become a self-fulfilling prophecy: "Frankly speaking, I5m sad that Mikhailovsky is no longer working for Northern Herald. He5s talented and smart, even if he5s a bit boring lately; replacing him with a Protopopov or an Impactus is as hard as replacing the moon with a candle.559 No new group seemed to be on the horizon, and subscriptions fell drastically from 4,000 to 3,300 (their maximum number would be 4,257 in 1895). Evreinova wanted new blood on the journal, and she insisted to Mikhailovsky that she "would sooner fold than allow his crowd to take over.5510 With her usual eye for talent and willingness to take chances, she selected the brilliant but virtually unknown A. L. Volynsky to become a permanent correspondent of the journal. When Volynsky5s passionately anti-materialist and pro-idealist leanings surfaced in several articles on the philosophy of Kant and Lesevich (1889, nos. 6-10), a showdown occurred wherein Evreinova was forced to choose between the newcomer and the last of the remaining populist critics, Iuzhakov. Her preference for the former was a bold move, but it represented a step closer to her demise as editor. And just as Northern Herald had risen from the ashes of



the defunct Fatherland Notes, so a "born-again" populist journal, with the ever-active Mikhailovsky at its helm, was beginning to be resurrected in the newly reorganized Russian Wealth {Russkoe bogatstvo), waiting to take over from a seemingly crumbling Northern Herald.

In November 1889 the journal suffered the great embarrassment of having its November issue appear with a blank page the work of the hostile, omnipresent censor who, with no warning, rejected the volume's obituary of Nikolai Chernyshevsky. In the same month the original publisher, Sabashnikova, withheld funds for publication, and until March 1890 Evreinova herself financed the journal. But the burden was becoming too great even for the energetic and dedicated Evreinova. Operating without a clearly defined editorial policy and any seasoned journalists on her staff; increasingly obstructed by the censor; and having exhausted her financial resources, Evreinova published her last issue in April 1890, ceding Northern Herald to a. group of inexperienced shareholders. Thus closed a chapter of a journal whose future now seemed more tenuous than ever. Between May 1890 and May 1891 Northern Herald was virtually in a state of receivership, and this can be called the journal's "interregnum period." 11 It had been purchased by some young university people, including B. B. Glinsky, the new editor and publisher. Glinsky ostensibly ran the journal with a committee consisting of M. A. Lozinsky and, more importantly, Volynsky - Glinsky's old university friend who, upon the former's explicit request, gradually assumed editorial duties. During this period funds were minimal, circulation was perilously low, and operations were at their shakiest due to an administrative and professional vacuum. But early in 1891, just around the time that Volynsky's long and venomous polemic with Mikhailovsky began (1891, no. 1), and when his journalistic star began to rise, Liubov Gurevich entered the picture, ultimately to rescue the journal and, with Volynsky's encouragement, to turn it completely around. Born into a cultivated Petersburg family, Liubov Iakovlevna Gurevich (1866-1940) had direct access to Northern Herald


Northern Herald": thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 215

starting in 1887, when she befriended its editorial secretary, A. A. Davydova. In Davydova's house, in addition to such famous writers and prolific contributors to the journal as Minsky and Merezhkovsky, Gurevich met Volynsky. He had already achieved a certain notoriety due to his above-cited articles, entitled "Critical and Dogmatic Elements in the Philosophy of Kant," and, according to S. S. Grechishkin, "produced an enormous impression on her."12 The encounter did indeed initiate a marriage of true minds, and the relationship always contained feelings of deep loyalty, as Gurevich's following assertion testifies: "I cannot imagine any situation which could arouse a principled disagreement between (Volynsky) and me." 13 Volynsky invited her to co-translate Spinoza's letters, 14 and Gurevich consulted him about her desire to found a journal - one which would provide a forum for his own philosophical and aesthetic ideas. Gurevich's timing could not have been better. In May 1891, having purchased the majority of Northern Herald's shares, and with the full approval of the editorial board, Gurevich replaced Glinsky as publisher. Two months later, Glinsky's post was filled (until 1895) by the writer M. N. Albov (whose story, "In Quiet Waters," appeared, not coincidentally, in the May 1891 issue), although Gurevich and Volynsky assumed full charge. A bitter Glinsky would later compare the editorial staff of Northern Herald to the hospital administrator in Chekhov's story "Ward No. 6," with the soonto-be-invited Symbolist writers as the ward's patients. 15 Perhaps because he was beginning to feel unjustly squeezed out of Northern Herald, Glinsky attempted to sell the journal to Gurevich's and Volynsky's enemies - the populists. But without Gurevich's permission such a move was illegal, and the board of arbitration which had been appointed to hear the matter, decided not only that Gurevich hadn't breached her contract by tilting the journal in Volynsky's implacably anti-radical direction, but that she be allowed the option of buying out the remaining shareholders. This she did. And on 2 April 1892 - in a cultural climate that was ripe for innovation and change Northern Herald fell totally into Gurevich's hands, with Volynsky close by her side.



Gurevich's commitment to Volynsky's ideas appears in her staunch determination to keep Northern Herald more literarily and less politically oriented. Her (ultimately unsuccessful) request of 8 October 1893, that preliminary censorship be lifted from Northern Herald, reveals a policy that coincided with Volynsky's own talents and proclivities: "I am publishing Northern Herald only for the sake of literature, for the abstract interests of science and aesthetics."16 And her final communication to her subscribers (17 December 1898), announcing the journal's closing, reiterates this principle: "The journal represented for me a purely literary, theoretical interest, which is not always conducive to popularity."17 The "abstract" and "theoretical" interests which sustainedly determined the journal's direction and ideological position found their clearest expression in Volynsky's philosophical idealism - an idealism which pervaded his ethics, aesthetics, and literary criticism.18 Through his numerous critical articles, in his frequent column entitled "Literary Remarks," and in his (and Gurevich's) occasional programmatic declarations, Volynsky gave the journal a definite personality by propagating an anti-materialist interpretation of man and his world. Against the utilitarian, non-spiritual, and positivist orientation of traditional Russian journalism since Belinsky (and of the descendents of the generation of the sixties who formed the bulk of the journal's readership), Volynsky posited a decidedly different Weltanschauung. Non-rational, religious, and metaphysical in nature, and inspired largely by Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Volynsky's credo was set forth most systematically in his article "Science, Philosophy, and Religion" (1893, no. 9). Its succinct formulation comes in a remark Gurevich made to Tolstoy: "We believe that the mechanism that runs man's life is wound from within, from man's spirit, and only proceding from the spirit can life be renewed."19 It is not that Volynsky eschewed social and economic issues; in fact, in social and political matters, Northern Herald remained close to the mainstream, along with the more "standard" liberal journals, The Messenger of Europe and Russian Thought20 Rather, Volynsky believed that philosophical, moral, and ethical questions - what he generally

"Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 217

labeled "theory" - were even more important. "Only true theories," he wrote in 1894, "can educate people, who are made whole in their abstract and practical aspirations."21 Further developing his idealist position and stressing its allencompassing nature, Volynsky claims: "Idealist good, as opposed to materialist understanding of good, requires that man develop in the fullness of his intellectual and moral powers. In contradistinction to the spiritual concept which separates questions of spirit and questions of life (idealist good) . . . demands harmony between practical activity and the most refined aspirations of the soul."22 To the external - economic, social, and political — freedoms sought within democraticprogressivist ideology, Volynsky added internal freedom, the need ultimately to transcend materialist concerns and reach a higher, transcendent consciousness of existence. On strictly philosophical grounds, Volynsky's writings might justly be criticized as naive and unsystematic; several eminent Soviet literary historians have noted Volynsky's ignorance of the neo-Kantians, and his misunderstanding of Nietzsche and Vladimir Solovev.23 But with their call for philosophy over publicistics in literary criticism, and for a critical methodology more dependent on aesthetic considerations than on sociological concerns, these writings had wide-ranging implications. Almost singlehandedly Northern Herald challenged the Russian periodic press's predominantly utilitarian, civic bias in literary matters. Populist works of fiction were reproached for their lack of psychology; Mikhailovsky's brand of positivism was faulted for being naturalistic, colorless, and deliberately tendentious. The journal became the single most serious threat to the primacy of populist views in Russian critical thinking. As such it attracted to its pages major literary figures: some who were oldtimers, disaffected with the traditional ways of Russian journalism; others who were newcomers, just breaking into print and seeking a haven for their innovative creations. "The struggle against publicistic criticism," recalls Gurevich in 1914, with all the passion and crusading animation that characterized her and Volynsky's activity twenty years earlier, "(was) a struggle for genuine literature, and by rejecting the principles that



governed Belinsky in his late period, Dobroliubov, and even more so, Pisarev and Chernyshevsky, we were clearing the way for the public to Pushkin in all his significance, to Gogol in all his depths, to Dostoevsky and Tolstoy - to everything that constituted the genuine strengths of Russian literature and its organic properties." 24 Gurevich's analysis is absolutely fair. Northern Herald, among its other functions, played a critical role in rescuing Russian classical writers (including some she doesn't mention, such as Lermontov, Tiutchev, and Fet) from the iron grip of civic criticism and subjecting them to what became the catchword for this period of Russian cultural history - "the reevaluation of values." During the years 1893 (nos. 10, 11, and 12), 1894 (nos. 1, 2, and 3), and 1895 (nos. 2, 3, and 4), Volynsky composed a series of articles systematically reassessing the critical and theoretical positions of Belinsky, Dobroliubov, and Pisarev respectively, simultaneously resurrecting some of Russian literature's major monuments from the oblivion guaranteed them by these allpowerful critics. For example, in a separate thirty-five page article in January 1893, Volynsky provided the most sober and informed analysis to date of Gogol's Selected Passages From Correspondence With Friends (1847), which Belinsky had virtually doomed to extinction in his vitriolic "Letter to Gogol" of 1848. But Volynsky's most persistent and vicious barbs were directed against the former contributor to Northern Herald, Mikhailovsky, whose dogmatic brand of sociological criticism fueled a bitter polemic which engaged not only the two critics but their respective journals as well between 1891 and 1896. This polemic in particular constitutes the basis for the journals' fundamental and fascinating rivalry, which is an interesting sidelight in the development of Russian periodicals of the period. To examine the opposing positions of each thinker and the different journalistic/critical policies which they reflect Volynsky in Northern Herald and Mikhailovsky in Russian Wealth - is to understand some crucial issues of Russian socio-cultural history of the 1890s. Of course, true to its long-standing and unique policy of opening its pages to views not necessarily its own, Northern

"Northern Herald": thick journal toforerunner of the avant-garde 219

Herald did publish populist writers and some of their "fellow travelers" such as Mamin-Sibiriak, Potapenko, Olga Shapir, Boborykin, Ertel, and both Nemirovich-Danchenkos - authors who did not entirely enjoy Volynsky's approval. In the field of literary and art criticism as well there often existed little ideological agreement between individual critics and the journal's top editorial staff. This is the case with the eminent critic Stasov, who published many pieces on music and painting and most of whose positions found little favor with Volynsky and Gurevich. Indeed, such practice of faulting its own contributors came to be seen (and occasionally ridiculed) as one of the journal's trademarks, as a perplexed Vladimir Solovev noted: "Show me (with the exception of Northern Herald, known for its anomalies) any other journal, Russian or European, that would print on its pages derisive editorial judgments by their own permanent contributors."25 Yet it was precisely Northern Herald's independence and eclecticism, its liberal/progressive sympathies in socio-political matters (seen best in its strong support for the rights of Jews, Poles, women, and the minority populations living in Russia's border lands), its hostility towards positivism as a spiritual state of mind, and its emphasis on moral as well as social progress that attracted Russia's most well-known cultural figure of the time - Leo Tolstoy. The journal's most famous contributor in the mid 1890s, Tolstoy declared: "I consider [Northern Herald] not only the journal most compatible to me, but the very best of all journals." 26 No doubt much to the bewilderment of readers like Solovev, Volynsky often heatedly disagreed with Tolstoy on fundamental issues. He preferred Dostoevsky's dualist view of man's personality and his metaphysical relationship with Christianity to Tolstoy's search for a single unifying principle of good in man and his interest in the ethics of Christianity. Yet none of this prevented the journal from welcoming Tolstoy to its pages or Tolstoy from respecting Northern Herald; indeed, between 1893 and 1898 it was the only journal to which he contributed. Tolstoy's association with Northern Herald, particularly during 1893-95, recalls Chekhov's affiliation with the periodical in the late 1880s. He (and to a lesser extent his one-time disciple



Nikolai Leskov) constituted the journal's literary backbone, adding to its legitimacy and demonstrating its unique ability to attract and retain Russia's best literary talent. Tolstoy served as an unofficial advisor to Gurevich, who worked hardest on crucial administrative and personnel matters, such as wooing potential contributors, arranging their honoraria, and dealing with the censor. He also recommended available authors and evaluated their submissions, many of which bore his personal stamp. For example, Tolstoy's support for the journal certainly encouraged the highly talented Leskov to publish some of his last works there; and it was Tolstoy who advised that Gurevich publish a translation of Matthew Arnold's "Problems of Contemporary Criticism" (1895, no. 1). The above-mentioned phenomena reveal some impressive and often major accomplishments of Northern Herald. It (1) helped Chekhov become recognized as a major writer; (2) provided a forum of debate with the populists, seen best in the Volynsky-Mikhailovsky polemic; (3) took a liberal stance on the minorities in Russia; (4) allowed unprecedented exposure of women writers (viz. the publication of Shapir, Lokhvitskaia, Gippius, Sofia Kovalevskaia, Mariia Bashkirtseva, George Sand) and women's issues (viz. the articles on women's education, criminality among women, the status of woinen in the Far East and in the United States); (5) challenged the predominant Russian utilitarian tradition in literary criticism and reevaluated Russian classics in light of opposing critical strategies; (6) published literary giants such as Tolstoy and Leskov. Yet for all of the significance of these developments, they do not compare with the journal's most lasting contribution in the area of Russian literary culture and the history of aesthetic taste namely its role in the growth and dissemination of Symbolist art. An angry Glinsky was forced to admit that Volynsky "transformed Northern Herald from a journal with a distinctly progressivist slant in the first phase of its existence, from an organ of the transitional period . . . which leaned toward the old traditions to, in its second period, the cradle of symbolism."27 And Zinaida Gippius, a major writer of the "new" generation, confessed that "at no time and in no place except

"Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 221

in {Northern Herald] had I ever met as much as a sympathetic hint in favor of such a serious phenomenon as symbolism in art, or such direct and simple words which in one way or another explained it and gave it a right to live." 28 Although many contemporaries viewed and ridiculed Northern Herald as a "nest of decadence," the journal was too eclectic and too dependent on the views of Volynsky, who did not fully support the new art, to adopt modernism or any other "ism" as its official ideology. It had been the journal's policy of spreading the latest foreign currents in literature through translated works that had initially created such a favorable climate for the early Symbolists. Western art and music were regularly covered — first by Stasov, then by Zinaida Vengerova. Baudelaire made his debut in April 1891, followed by Ibsen, Maeterlinck, Verlaine, d'Annunzio, Lagerlof, and Hauptmann. Critical articles exposed Russians to the writings of others who would become the foundation of Symbolist culture: Oscar Wilde, John Ruskin, Blake, Mallarme, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche; and the journal soon developed a reputation as strongly non-chauvinist and pro-European. Volynsky's own literary and critical preferences - for the already mentioned Selected Passages by Gogol, the heretofore maligned criticism of Apollon Grigorev (viz. the long article in 1895, no. 6), and the fiction of Leskov - further attracted the young generation of Russian writers to the journal. While every thick journal of the day demonstrated occasionally devastating hostility toward the latest current in Russian literature, Northern Herald alone opened its doors to some of the most talented representatives of the movement. And opened doors meant often nurturing these new and "homeless" writers, providing personal friendship and emotional support. Already in the mid 1880s Chekhov had called Northern Herald a "literary widow's home," 29 and I. G. Iampolsky's account of Fedor Sologub's relationship with the journal, with its report that it was there that the fledgling writer received his pen name, vividly confirms this.30 Especially representative of the journal's receptivity toward the latest literary currents is A. Usov's piece, entitled "Several Words on Decadence: Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarme,



Rimbaud" (1893, no. 8). One of the first studies of Western modernism to appear in a Russian journal, Usov's article excels as much in its ability to transcend the tired rhetoric and shopworn cliches of Russian populist criticism as it does in the seriousness with which it treats Decadence as a literary phenomenon. Usov's essay initiated a period of especially close ties between the Russian Decadents/Symbolists and Northern Herald during the years 1894-96.31 True, Gippius had published in Northern Herald as early as 1891; the new Symbolist-oriented poetry of Merezhkovsky and Minsky had begun to appear regularly by 1891-92; and both Sologub and Balmont had made their literary debuts in the journal in 1892 and 1893 respectively. Yet the highest concentration of Symbolist writing occurs in a three-year period. In 1894, we have Sologub's ground-breaking story "Shadows" (no. 12); in 1895, there is Sologub's novel Bad Dreams (nos. 7-12), widely considered to be the first Decadent/ Symbolist novel in Russian literature, and Merezhkovsky's historical novel Julian the Apostate (nos. 1-5); in 1896 we encounter fiction by Sologub ("The Worm" and "To the Stars" — nos. 6 and 9) and Gippius (the novel The Color Gold, nos. 2—4, and the story "The Mirror" - no. 11), poetry by them and Balmont, and Volynsky's seminal article, "New Currents in Contemporary Russian Literature - Decadence and Symbolism" (no. 12). Volynsky's 1896 essay as well as his numerous other pronouncements on modernist art reveal the ambivalent relationship which always existed between Northern Herald and the writers of the new school. Sensing its virulently anti-materialist/ anti-populist position, the Symbolists turned to the journal for refuge; no other publication would consider printing their work. But the Symbolists were never allowed to publish their own theoretical tracts in the journal; from the start, Volynsky monopolized all criticism regarding the movement in Russia and considered any competing views a threat to his autonomy. While Volynsky appreciated the fundamentally individualist nature of Decadence and Symbolism, and accepted its European and largely philosophical orientation, he was deeply

"Northern Herald33: thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 223

suspicious of the movement's excesses. His worldview reflected the measured individualism of Kant - theirs, the raw egotism of Nietzsche. His philosophy was democratic, filled with religious optimism and based on a definition of beauty synonymous with the highest Christian ethical value of good; their metaphysics tended to be anti-democratic, skeptical, occasionally oriented toward the mystical and demonic, and "beyond good and evil." His views on art were traditional - theirs, experimental. "Form in art has achieved such supremacy, technical aspects have reached such a high stage of development," he wrote in 1896, "that sometimes in the guise of new poetic discoveries we really have the complete poverty of inner meaning." In a letter to Mirra Lokhvitskaia, rejecting one of the poems she submitted for publication, Volynsky readily admitted his impotence in understanding Symbolist art. "With regard to the Annelidian Snake', I must say that I have absolutely no idea of, and I can't guess, what kind of snake you're talking about - a real or an allegorical one - although I've tried to fathom this with all my strength . . . You'll surely understand that in good conscience I cannot print a work whose meaning exceeds my ability to comprehend it." 32 Thus, while Symbolism in many ways coincided with the journal's philosophical leanings, its exponents were forced increasingly to resist Volynsky's attempts to channel their art into the idealist direction he thought it ultimately should take. Conversely, the journal sustainedly countered the Symbolists' desire (achieved only in their own publications at the turn of the century, e.g., Apollo (Apollon), The Golden Fleece (£olotoe runo),

The Balance (Vesy)) to devote its pages solely to aesthetic matters and avoid such concrete issues as are treated in psychology, anthropology, medicine, politics, and economics - all of which Northern Herald routinely covered. Perhaps this explains the collaboration of so hostile a critic of modernist art as the socialminded Gorky who, in 1897-98, published three stories in the journal: "The Rogue" (1897, no. 8), "Malva," (1897, nos. 11-12), and "Varenka Olesova" (1898, nos. 3-4). 33 It was during these years, the last two of the journal's existence, that Volynsky's criticism of the Symbolists assumed its most belli-



cose and abrupt pitch, causing their final and irreparable break. Here more than anywhere one detects both the strengths and weaknesses, the successes and failures of Northern Herald % independent course and eclectic nature. More so than in the case of its competitors, the journal's editorial flexibility consistently invited participation from the most diverse, broadlybased elements in Russia's — and Europe's — intellectual spectrum. Largely through the finesse, tact, and total devotion of its two major editors - Evreinova and Gurevich - Northern Herald could become the most accurate (because it was the most representative) seismograph of the socio-cultural tremors which were passing through Russian society from the mid eighties to the late nineties of the last century. Realist alongside Symbolist; populist alongside idealist; the affairs of the Russian majority alongside the activities of the non-Russian minorities; men alongside women; science alongside art — all of this produced a publication unique in the history of nineteenthcentury journalism. But, especially during the journal's last several years, these combinations fell apart and ultimately spelled disaster. It was not any particular hostility or enmity between one faction and another within the journal that caused its foundations to crumble. Rather it was largely Volynsky's inability34 to fuse together, to bridge the gap between, the two tracks the journal represented and the two distinct, increasingly polarized audiences it was appealing to: the broader readership which supported the liberal attitudes of the journal's sociopolitical writings (and some of its fiction) and the smaller coterie of subscribers who craved the "aristocratic" tastes of the "avant-garde," of what Maksimov appropriately labels the "chamber works" of the Symbolists.35 Briusov seemed to understand this awkward position, and with great sympathy and appreciation noted that "Northern Herald . . . was that advanced brigade that sacrificed its life in order to open the way for the entire army [of Russian Symbolists, S.R.]." 36 Briusov's remark points to another distinctive feature of Northern Herald', the substantial number of post-mortems it engendered after its demise in 1898, with almost everyone

"Northern Herald3': thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 225

offering a different interpretation of the journal's collapse. Many reasons can be cited: a decreasing readership, the perennial problem of insufficient funds, Volynsky's own pulling back from the journal, the alienation of the increasingly acceptable Symbolists who were about to found their own publications. But on one point virtually all, including those among its harshest detractors, agree. Northern Herald never failed to be a lively, provocative, and intellectually stimulating publication. Its desire — for whatever reasons — to support and encourage writers with differing, often iconoclastic philosophical viewpoints and literary approaches, facilitated more than any one institution in Russia of its day, the birth of an ongoing revolution in aesthetic taste and expression generally known as modernism. NOTES

1 Quoted in P. V Kupriianovskii, "Iz istorii rannego russkogo simvolizma: simvolisty i zhurnal 'Severnyi vestnik'," in Russkaia literatura XX veka - Dooktiabrskii period (Kaluga, 1968), 149. 2 Ibid. 3 Review of Volynsky's Kniga velikogo gneva, signed Avrelii (Briusov's pseudonym), Vesy, no. 2 (1904), 67. Quoted in V. Evgen'evMaksimov and D. Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki: Stat'i i

materialy (Leningrad, 1930), 128. 4 Quoted from "Otechestvennye zapiski," in Kratkaia literaturnaia entsiklopediia (Moscow, 1968), v: 509. 5 See P. V. Kupriianovskii, "L. N. Tolstoi i N. S. Leskov v zhurnale 'Severnyi vestnik'," in Uchenye zapiski. Gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii

institut (Ivanovo, 1962), 29: 131, footnote 62. 6 See P. V. Kupriianovskii, "A. P. Chekhov i zhurnal 'Severnyi vestnik' (goe gody)," in Uchenye zapiski. Gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii

institut (Ivanovo, 1958), 13: 157. 7 For a brief summary of the nature and content of the journal's provincial section, see L. V Krutikova, "Severnyi vestnik," in Ocherkipo istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki (Leningrad, 1965), 2: 395. 8 See B. I. Esin, "N. K. Mikhailovskii i zhurnal 'Severnyi vestnik' v 8oe gody," in Iz istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki: Stat'i i materialy (Moscow,

1959), especially p. 232. 9 A. P. Chekhov, letter to A. N. Pleshcheev of 15 Oct. 1888, in A. P. Chekhov, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii ipisem (Moscow, 1949), 15: 169.

10 Quoted in A. N. Pleshcheev, letter to A. P. Chekhov, 17 March



12 13 14

15 16 17 18

19 20


1890, in Literaturnoe nasledstvo, 68: A. P. Chekhov (Moscow, i960), 357-58. For more on Pleshcheev's account of Severnyi vestnik, see his posthumously published letters to A. S. Gatsissky in Russkaia mysl' (April 1912), 119-21. For the agreement between the shareholders of Severnyi vestnik as well as other invaluable documents pertaining to the journal's history during 1889-91, see N. G. Molostvov, Borets za idealizm (A. L. Volynskii), 2nd edition (St.Petersburg, 1903), 323-93. S. S. Grechishkin, "Arkhiv L. la. Gurevich," in Ezhegodnik rukopisnogo otdela Pushkinskogo Doma igy6 (Leningrad, 1978), 5. Ibid., 6. Gurevich seems to have translated Spinoza's letters (from the Latin) by herself, with the editing of the volume done by Volynsky. The book was reviewed in Severnyi vestnik (1891, no. 5). Quoted in Kupriianovskii, "Iz istorii. . .", 154. Quoted in Krutikova, "Severnyi vestnik," 404. See Gurevich's entire letter, entitled "From the Publisher," in Molostvov, Borets za idealizm, 394-95. For a succinct but comprehensive examination of Volynsky's literary and philosophical theories based on a careful reading of the critical articles he published in Severnyi vestnik, see P. V Kupriianovskii, "Volynskii-kritik," in Tvorchestvo pisatelia i literaturnyiprotsess (Ivanovo, 1978), 49-77. L. Gurevich, "Istoriia 'Severnogo vestnika'," in Russkaia literatura XXveka, ed. S. A. Vengerov (Moscow, 1914), 246. For a discussion of some of Volynsky's social and political views, see P. V Kupriianovskii, "Simvolisty i 'legal'nye marksisty'," in Russkaia literatura XX veka (dorevoliutsionnogo perioda). Sbornik vtoroi.

(Kaluga, 1970), 217-29. 21 Severnyi vestnik, no. 10 (1894), part 11: 106. 22 Ibid., no. 1 (1896), parti: n o - 1 1 . 23 See Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki, 99. Maksimov claims that Volynsky was ignorant of Schopenhauer as well, but Kupriianovskii ("Volynskii-kritik") makes a strong case for Volynsky's acquaintance with The Will as Representation and Idea. 24 L. Gurevich, "Istoriia 'Severnogo vestnika'," 249. 25 Quoted in Kupriianovskii, "Iz istorii. . . ", 170. 26 Quoted in Kupriianovskii, "L. N. Tolstoi i N. S. Leskov," 130. Tolstoy's most famous work to appear in Severnyi vestnik was "Master and Man," no. 3 (1895), and was generally admitted to be a coup for the journal. 27 B. B. Glinskii, Ocherki russkogo progressa (St. Petersburg, 1900), 417. Quoted in Kupriianovskii, "L. N. Tolstoi i N. S. Leskov", 154.

"Northern Herald": thickjournal toforerunner of the avant-garde 227 28 Quoted in Kupriianovskii, "Iz istorii", 162. 29 Quoted in Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki, 92. Chekhov coined the phrase in one of his letters to I. L. Shcheglov. 30 See I. G. Iampolskii, "F. Sologub: Pis'ma k L. la. Gurevich i A. L. Volynskomu," in Ezhegodnik rukopisnogo otdela Pushkinskogo Doma, igj2 (Leningrad, 1974), 112-30. 31 The most enlightening study on this topic, and a companion piece to his earlier work on the subject (cited in note 1), is P. V Kupriianovskii, "Poety-simvolisty v zhurnale Severnyi vestnik" (in Russkaia-sovetskaia poeziia i stikhovedenie [Moscow, 1969], 113-35). Particularly valuable about this study is Kupriianovskii's extensive use of archival material. 32 Volynsky's undated letter is cited in P. V. Kupriianovskii, "Poetysimvolisty," 133. 33 A full account of Gorky's ties to Severnyi vestnik is provided in P. V. Kupriianovskii, "M. Gor'kii i zhurnal 'Severnyi vestnik'," in M. Gor'kii i ego sovremenniki (Leningrad, 1968), 21-50. 34 Grechishkin (p. 19) notes that Gurevich stayed on at Severnyi vestnik in 1898 even after Volynsky began to distance himself from the journal, believing that his mission of propagating idealist philosophy had been accomplished. 35 See Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki, 126. Both Maksimov's and, especially, Kupriianovsky's accounts of the Symbolists' relationship with Severnyi vestnik are invaluable. 36 V Briusov, Vesy, no. 2 (1904), 67. Quoted in Maksimov, Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki, 91.


Chekhov and thejournab of his time Andrew R. Durkin

Throughout his career as a writer, Anton Chekhov (i860-1904) relied primarily on periodicals to reach his readers.1 In this sense Chekhov's works are typical of his time, for publication in a journal was (and still is) the usual initial mode of contact between a Russian writer and his audience. Most writers of his time carved a clearly defined niche for themselves in the rapidly expanding and diversifying readership of late nineteenthcentury Russia and often consolidated their position by taking on the editorship of a journal. Thus, Nikolai Leikin was editor and publisher of Fragments (Oskolki) as well as a major contributor to it, and Vladimir Korolenko, a writer whose star outshone Chekhov's in the 1880s, became editor of the journal Russian Wealth (Russkoe bogatstvo). Chekhov, however, never

formed an exclusive or permanent relationship with any given periodical, though he enjoyed close and lengthy professional associations with several. Chekhov also appeared in almost every type of periodical then current.2 Chekhov's lack of "specialization" can be attributed in part to his desire to remain independent of the social and political positions journals customarily espoused. It also reflects the Protean quality of his art, able to adapt to the norms of an entire spectrum of periodicals and of readers, from the unsophisticated and unformed to the most cultured. The journals to which Chekhov contributed thus provide a crosssection of the publishing world and of the readers of Chekhov's day; conversely, they help to account for the diversity and range of his works. In the early days of his career, Chekhov contributed to 228

Chekhov and the journals of his time


satirical journals with names such as Cricket (Sverchok), Alarm Clock (Budil'nik), and Fragments. This period has been interpreted as a sort of arduous apprenticeship, out of which a major writer evolved. In this version of his biography, Chekhov, through strength of character, artistic power, and plain luck, broke into newspapers such as The Petersburg Gazette (Peterburgskaia gazeta)

and New Times (Novoe vremia) and ultimately into the "thick" journals and "serious" literature. However, this scenario of upward evolution, although valid in its general biographical outline, resembles one of the predictable plots Chekhov himself avoided. This version also favors the later phases of Chekhov's career. In fact, Chekhov was a serious writer before his publishing career began. His abandoned first play Platonov (Bezottsovshchina), written in the late 1870s,3 testifies to Chekhov's early ambition and skill and thus suggests that he chose to conform to the requirements of the satirical journals as much as being "trained" by them. Chekhov continued to contribute to satirical journals after he had begun to make his way in newspapers, just as he would later contribute to the newspaper New Times for some time after his works had found acceptance in thick journals. 4 These overlaps were motivated partly by economics (the "lower," less prestigious media paid lower rates, but would accept shorter pieces that could be written more quickly). However, Chekhov also had a fairly strong sense of the appropriate context for a given work. Chekhov demonstrated much talent in adapting to the norms of a given genre as determined in part by the journalistic matrix, whether these norms were explicit (such as the strict limits placed on length in the satirical journals) or implicit (the thick journals expected pieces with some social resonance). In this paper, I will not attempt to describe in detail each of the numerous journals to which Chekhov contributed, but rather to give some sense of the overall journalistic context in which Chekhov's works first appeared. In the first phase of Chekhov's career, his works appeared in the satirical or humorous journals, which appeared weekly. The most significant of them, Fragments, was founded in 1881



and survived until 1916; Alarm Clock ran even longer, from 1865 to 1917. However, most journals of this type were much more ephemeral; speculative ventures with shaky finances, they easily succumbed to poor initial sales or to delays and deletions demanded by the censorship, which examined material for a popular audience with particular rigor. Since satirical journals depended in large part on street sales rather than subscriptions, failure to appear regularly was damaging. Particularly in the wake of the assassination of Alexander 11 in March 1881, the censorship kept the popular weeklies on a short leash, ensuring that nothing in them could be construed as substantive satire directed against the government or prevailing social order. Given these risks, as well as the publishers' desire to maximize profits, rates paid to writers by the satirical journals were quite low. In 1883, for example, Chekhov generally made eight kopecks a line, with pieces usually no more than one hundred lines. By 1886, when he had become one of the most popular writers in the satirical weeklies, Chekhov was able to insist on twelve kopecks a line, thus matching the rate he had begun to receive in March of that year, when stories by him, under his own name, began to appear in New Times.,5 To offset these low rates, writers needed to produce as many pieces as possible and frequently resorted to a variety of pseudonyms in order to publish as often and in as many journals as possible. The widespread cultivation of humorous pseudonyms was not solely a pragmatic matter; it also created the impression of a world of masks, of formalized personae, rather than of real authors. V V. Bilibin was known as I. Grek (the Russian expression for the mathematical unknown j ) , and Chekhov's older brother Aleksandr, also a writer, used Agafopod Edinitsyn and Aloe. Chekhov's own pen names included "My Brother's Brother" ("Brat moego brata"), and "The Man without a Spleen" ("Chelovek bez selezenki"). His most frequently used pseudonym, Antosha Chekhonte, originated as a nickname given to Chekhov by one of his teachers in the gymnasium in Taganrog. Chekhov gradually came to reserve this name for his more carefully crafted stories in the humorous journals, and it gained considerable recognition among readers. By late 1883,

Chekhov and the journals of his time


stories signed Chekhonte often exceeded the usual one hundred lines and frequently occupied a relatively prominent place in Fragments.

The surface diversity created by the proliferation of pseudonyms and subgenres concealed the underlying uniformity of the satirical journal. Humorous verses, short parodies, fiction, curious anecdotes based on ostensibly factual events (e.g., a duel between two women in far-off Texas), and feuilletons from Moscow and Petersburg jostled one another in the eight pages of Fragments week after week. The interchangeability of these parts was not only a practical adjustment to the constant threat of deletion by the censorship but also a reflection of the journals' aim: entertainment of a readership adapting to the everchanging spectacle of urban life. Illustrations in the satirical journals also exemplified this equivalence of parts. Artwork and caption vied in them for dominance. These illustrated texts or pictures with explanations were often collaborative efforts from the start, the editor suggesting a topic to both the artist and the writer.6 Chekhov wrote the captions to a number of illustrations, including some by his older brother Nikolai. The apparent variety of elements in the humorous weeklies is reminiscent of the variety of items in another institution that arose in the late nineteenth century - the department store. Advertisements for subscriptions typically stressed a journal's range of wares, rather than the exceptional quality of any one of them, in hopes of securing as wide a readership as possible. For example, in 1881 Fragments offered a plethora of attractive items for the coming year: fifty-two original sketches based on episodes in works of Russian literature; 104 reproductions of foreign illustrations; twenty-eight original caricatures on topics from "Russian life" (meaning current events) and twelve on other topics; twelve romances, with lyrics from the works of famous Russian poets (notes included); fifty-two feuilletons from Russian life, covering topics drawn from literary and social life, art, music, theater, and everyday life in Petersburg, Moscow, and the provinces; perhaps redundantly "miscellany" (smes); rebuses; jokes, and more. The marketing strategy clearly stressed variety and quantity at low price.



When Leikin assumed the editorship of Fragments in 1882, he oriented it even more toward ephemeral entertainment rather than cultural self-improvement. He remained editor of Fragments, the dominant satirical journal of its day, until 1896. Chekhov realized that Leikin, having hit upon a formula for success both with readers and, perhaps more importantly, with the censor, was willing to pay higher rates to writers able to meet the journal's requirements. In a letter to his brother Aleksandr, Chekhov advises him to contribute to Fragments: Write stories of 50-80 lines, short pieces [melochi] et cetera . . . Send 5-10 stories at a time.., they'll publish them right away. The payment is magnificent and on time. Send them to Petersburg yourself. The main thing: (1) the shorter, the better; (2) an idea, something contemporary, apropos; (3) caricature is well-received, but ignorance of ranks and of the seasons is not permitted. Again, you should know that Fragments is at present the most popular journal. Things are reprinted from it [in other journals], people read it everywhere . . . And it's no surprise. You see for yourself that things get through in Fragments that you'll seldom find even in journals that aren't under censorship. Working in Fragments means you have a reputation . . . I have the right to look down at Alarm Clock and I'm not likely to work for five kopecks: I've become more expensive.7 Chekhov's contributions to journals such as Fragments attest to his ability to master the various subgenres such journals employed. In fact, the volumes of Chekhov's early works should be viewed as analogous to the satirical journals themselves, consisting of a single comprehensive genre in which the various shorter works function as interchangeable parts, echoing and commenting on one another. At first glance, the humorous weekly's apparent diversity may suggest an affinity with the newspaper; however, the implicit universe of the humorous weeklies differs radically from that of newspapers. L. M. Myshkovskaia points out that the seasons, with their holidays and characteristic activities (New Year's, Maslenitsa or Shrove Tuesday, Easter, dacha life, the theater season), provided the humorous weeklies with an annual cycle of locales and activities in which typical episodes, rather than real events, occurred.8 This round of life was not

Chekhov and the journals of his time


only familiar to the journals' readers (or was the object of their aspiration) but they also found their social world reflected there. Petty officials, actors, policemen, people summering at their rented dachas, railroad personnel and passengers figure in this world, and the minutiae of urban life, perceived as spectacle, provide its humble drama. The world displayed in the humorous journals excludes as much as it includes, however. It is a closed world in which repeated actions are the norm, not an open world of continuous change; familiar types of characters in recognizable situations predominate. Such repetition and predictability were not defects of the humorous journals (at least not when judged in their own terms) but their essence, just as repetition and habituated response (prompted by canned laughter) are today typical of television comedy. Chekhov mastered these conventions rapidly. From 1883 to 1885, under the pseudonyms "Ruver" and "Ulysses," he contributed "Fragments of Moscow Life" to Fragments, providing the journal with coverage of the Moscow scene in order to appeal to readers there as well as in Petersburg, where the journal was published. In his stories, he also began to treat standard "humorous" topics in ways that deepened their significance. For instance, contrasts of power and suffering underlie the overt urban farce of a story like "Chameleon" (Fragments, 1884). Chekhov also used the conventions of humorous stories to structure later, serious stories; the surprises and reversals typical of the joke provide the structure of "Enemies" ("Vragi," New Times, 1887), f° r example. The first newspaper Chekhov wrote for was S. N. Khudekov's Petersburg Gazette, which catered to an audience not significantly different from the readership of the humorous weeklies (this overlapping readership is suggested by Chekhov's continued use of the pseudonym "Antosha Chekhonte"). Chekhov began his contributions to the newspaper with coverage of the trial of the officials involved in a financial scandal of the day, the collapse of the Skopino bank. Chekhov's reports, under the general title of "The Trial of Rykov and Company" ("Delo Rykova i komp."), ran the course of the trial in November and December of 1884.9 Although Chekhov's dis-



patches would not meet modern standards of journalistic objectivity, the contrast with his "Fragments of Moscow Life" in Fragments indicates the different demands of the humorous weekly and the newspaper. The "Fragments of Moscow Life" present randomly observed incidents, often trivial and interchangeable but noteworthy for their typicality; for instance Chekhov describes a squabble over a winning lottery ticket (xvi, 44) or a flood in the Eliseev wine shop caused by a broken water pipe (xvi, 51). Such items were often little more than engagingly presented hearsay. In contrast, "The Trial of Rykov and Company" is based on direct observation (Chekhov attended the entire sixteen-day trial as the The Petersburg Gazette's correspondent) and its interest lay in the social problem of egregious financial mismanagement and in the drama inherent in the trial itself. Apart from this foray into reporting, Chekhov contributed fiction to The Petersburg Gazette, beginning with "The Last of the Mohicans" ("Posledniaia mogikansha") in May of 1885. Nonetheless, the difference in context is not without its importance for understanding Chekhov's stories in the mid 1880s. Modern newspapers, which arose in the late nineteenth century in Russia as elsewhere, depend on the reader's sense of actual space and time, not on the conventional urban stage which is the assumed focus of attention in the humorous weeklies. The newspaper deals not with generic incidents, as the weeklies do, but with actual events with real causes and consequences about which, it is assumed, the reader needs to be informed. Accordingly, such innovations as correspondents, telegraph services, higher-speed presses and more efficient distribution systems helped to overcome the space separating the reader from the event and to reduce time closer to what might be termed a constant present.10 Change itself becomes the only permanent reality In contrast to the satirical journal, which depended on its readers recognizing the familiar, the newspaper becomes an instrument of discovery and investigation for its reader. The format of newspapers also differed significantly from that of satirical journals. The relative surface variability of a journal such as Fragments (with illustrations, verse, jokes and

Chekhov and the journals of his time


stories in apparently random or nearly random order) concealed the essential equivalence of these elements. By contrast, a newspaper such as New Times, in which Chekhov began to publish in February of 1886, n presents a strictly ordered arrangement of material in densely packed columns, with a specific place for each type of information. This predictability of layout not only permitted speedy composition of the newspaper but also allowed the readers to locate information that was of importance to them. Even the fiction published in Russian newspapers usually appeared on prescribed days and in a specific place in the paper. For example, Chekhov's stories in The Petersburg Gazette appeared on Mondays (still signed Chekhonte), and in New Times on Saturdays, usually at the foot of the second page and under the name Anton Chekhov. Chekhov's stories for New Times in particular reflect his sense of the nature of a newspaper and its readership. The typical story by Chekhov in New Times is noteworthy for its objectivity and refusal to draw definitive conclusions. Such stories as "Enemies," "Agafya" or "Mire" ("Tina") pose problems but offer no solutions. The reader is left to grapple with issues, to form his or her own conclusion. Indeed, such objectivity disturbed the newspaper's publisher, Suvorin, whose qualms on the question of a writer's responsibility to provide a clear evaluation of the characters or events in a story prompted Chekhov's famous reply that a writer need only state the problem correctly, not necessarily provide a solution.12 Chekhov's sense of the appropriateness of a given sort of story to a specific journal is clearly illustrated by the three stories he wrote for Christmas of 1886. "On the Road" ("Na puti") appeared in New Times on 25 December; "Vanka" in The Petersburg Gazette; and "It Was She!" ("To byla ona!") in the 27 December issue of Fragments. The latter two stories are explicitly labeled Christmas stories and conform, at least in part, to the conventions of a philanthropic or supernatural tale (or a combination of the two, as in one of the prototypes of the Christmas tale, Dickens's "A Christmas Carol"). "On the Road," also set at Christmas time, is much more complex in its imagery and characterization; it was thus better suited to the



complex world with which New Times dealt and to the paper's more sophisticated readers. "Vanka," one of Chekhov's most famous stories, on the surface meets The Petersburg Gazette readers' expectations of a story designed to evoke feelings of charitable sentimentality, although Chekhov may be subtly undercutting such habituated response. Finally, "It Was She!" parodies a ghost tale and ridicules readers eager for the accustomed thrill derived from a hackneyed form. Practical aspects of where and when the three stories appeared also play a role in determining their formal features. "On the Road" is by far the longest of the three and longer than Chekhov's usual contribution to New Times; Chekhov may well have felt that, as a Christmas story, it would attract more attention from readers. "It Was She," intended for Fragments, which paid at the lowest rate, is the shortest story. By 1887 Chekhov had shifted the bulk of his writing to the newspapers. Of the seventy works written in that year, fifty-four were published in newspapers, twelve in New Times and fortytwo in The Petersburg Gazette. New Times published such relatively

long and complex works as "Enemies," "Tumbleweed" ("Perekati-pole"), and "The Kiss" ("Potselui"). Even in New Times, however, there were limits on length. Only in 1891, after Chekhov had already established himself as an important writer in the thick journals, was it possible to publish a work in New Times in several installments ("The Duel" ["Duel"']). For all their advantages, both formal and financial, over the humorous weeklies, the newspapers were still less desirable than the thick journals, with their greater flexibility, better rates, and "serious," though smaller, readerships. When the opportunity arose to publish in a thick journal, Chekhov eagerly took advantage of the occasion. In fact, his first work in a thick journal, "Steppe" ("Step"'), published in Northern Herald (Severnyi vestnik) in March of 1888, is one of his longest works. In the 1880s and 1890s, the thick monthly journal, despite increasing diversity in publications (satirical weeklies, newspapers, specialized journals of various sorts), continued as the dominant medium for "serious" literature and in-depth discussion of matters of social, historical, cultural, scientific, and

Chekhov and the journals of his time


political importance. Although a thick journal counted its circulation in the thousands rather than the tens or even hundreds of thousands as did a paper such as New Times, the implied average reader of a journal was presumably a member of the intellectual and cultural elite. Unlike the newspaper, with its interest in the immediacy of the event, the journal could, and was meant to, concern itself with analysis and synthesis, with the broader view and with the problems and trends underlying events. For Chekhov, however, the prestigious traditions of the thick journal did not translate into acceptance of a rigid hierarchy of publications. In fact, he explicitly rejected such an assumption as outmoded and artistically harmful: With regard to collaborating in newspapers and illustrations I agree with you entirely. Isn't it all the same whether a nightingale sings in a big tree or in a bush? The requirement that talented people work only in thick journals is petty, smells of the bureaucrat, and is harmful, like all preconceived notions. This prejudice is stupid and ridiculous. It still had some meaning when publications were headed by people with clearly defined physiognomies like the Belinskys, Herzens, and so on, who not only paid fees, but also attracted people, taught them and educated them, but now, when instead of literary physiognomies publications are headed by gray circles and dog-fur collars of some sort, partiality toward the thickness of a journal doesn't withstand criticism and the difference between the thickest journal and a cheap newspaper is only quantitative; that is, from the point of view of the artist it deserves no respect or attention at all. Collaboration in a thick journal can't be denied one advantage: a long piece is not fragmented and is published whole. When I write a long piece, I will send it to a thick journal, but short ones I will publish wherever the wind and my freedom take them. 13

Chekhov was in fact writing "Steppe" at the time of this letter. Chekhov clearly rejected any intrinsic value in the type of publication, viewing various kinds of journals only as differing sorts of artistic opportunities. The last decades of the nineteenth century were difficult ones for the thick journals. Harsher censorship under Alexander III, the closing of journals, and the death of many of the writers, editors, and publishers prominent in the heyday of the



journals from 1856 to 1881 were compounded with the problem of retaining readership in an expanding and diversifying literary marketplace. Northern Herald (1888 to 1898), in which Chekhov published most frequently from 1888 to 1892, was beset by editorial and financial problems throughout its existence and never enjoyed the commanding prestige of the earlier journals. Russian Thought (Russkaia mysl% Chekhov's principal publisher in the 1890s and for which he served at times as an unofficial literary editor, had greater success. In addition to a number of works of his fiction, Russian Thought also published Chekhov's description of conditions in the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. The Northern Herald, with less densely arranged text making for a more appealing appearance, was not so thick a journal, in both the literal and figurative senses. Chekhov was invited to contribute to Northern Herald by its literary editors, Korolenko, A. N. Pleshcheev, and N. K. Mikhailovsky. Chekhov responded with "Steppe," one of his longest and most original works. He requested that the story be published in a single issue to ensure its maximum effect on the reader. The journal agreed to this, as well as to Chekhov's request for two hundred rubles a signature (one thousand rubles in all). Chekhov later learned that this was an unusually high rate for a first piece and claimed that he asked such a high rate out of ignorance of the usual fees, but his request indicates his expectation of much higher payment from a thick journal. 14 More importantly, the thick journal assumed in its readers greater familiarity with the literary and cultural tradition than did either the satirical journals or the newspapers. Although Chekhov occasionally engages the literary past in his New Times stories (for instance the echoes of Turgenev in "Agafya"), only with his entrance into the world of the thick journals did it become possible for him to evoke the Russian literary tradition with confidence in the readers' response to such allusions. "Steppe," while ostensibly in the pastoral mode, undermines many of the literary and political cliches clustered around the Russian narod. In "The Name-Day Party" ("Imeniny," 1888), Chekhov deliberately echoes Anna Karenina while subtly ques-

Chekhov and the journals of his time


tioning Tolstoy's critique of the inherent falsity of contemporary cultured society. In the 1890s, Northern Herald had increasing editorial and financial problems and came to espouse an aestheticism that was uncongenial to Chekhov. The story "My Wife" ("Zhena"), published in Northern Herald in January of 1892, was his last story for the journal. In November of the same year, "Ward Six" appeared in Russian Thought, marking his debut in that journal. Chekhov had previously had cool relations with V. M. Lavrov, one of the editors of Russian Thought, because of what he considered a slanderous ad hominem attack in a review of his work in 1890, but his connections with the journal from 1892 until his death were close.15 Fully one-third of Chekhov's stories after "Ward Six" appeared in Russian Thought, including "An Anonymous Story" ("Rasskaz neizvestnogo cheloveka," 1893), "Three Years" ("Tri goda," 1896), "The House with a Mansard" ("Dom s mezoninom," 1896), "Murder" ("Ubiistvo," 1895), and "The Lady with the Lapdog" ("Dama s sobachkoi," 1899). In addition, The Seagull (Chaika) was first published there in December 1896 and Three Sisters (Tri sestry) in February 1901. After the disastrous first performance of The Seagull in Petersburg in October 1895, the publication of the play helped to renew interest in it and led to its revival by the newly formed Moscow Art Theater in December 1898, finally establishing Chekhov's position as a playwright. Although Russian Thought and other thick journals were Chekhov's primary place of publication in the 1890s, the status he had achieved as a writer and the relative financial security that accompanied it allowed him more discretion in the choice of a publishing outlet. Thus on several occasions he contributed stories to journals which he wished to support, which had requested material from him, or which had a special audience. "The Grasshopper" ("Poprygun'ia") appeared in the weekly The North {Sever) because the journal's new editor, V. A. Tikhonov, was eager to have a Chekhov story in first issue for 1892, in hopes of gaining subscriptions for the year. (It was common practice to attract subscribers for the upcoming year by announcing a particularly attractive roster of contributions



for January issues.) In January 1894, "The Black Monk" ("Chernyi monakh") came out in The Actor (Artist), a journal dedicated mainly to theater matters. "Whitebrow" ("Belolobyi," 1895), one of Chekhov's few stories about animals, was written in response to a request from D. I. Tikhomirov, the editor of a children's magazine, Children's Reading (Detskoe chtenie). "My Spouse" ("Supruga," 1895) was written on request for the first collection published by the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature (Obshchestvo liubitelei rossiiskoi slovesnosti). E D. Batiushkov, the editor of the Russian section of Cosmopolis, a polyglot international journal that also published Anatole France, Rudyard Kipling, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad, requested a story in 1897. The following year, Cosmopolis published "At Friends" ("U znakomykh").16 The Marxist journal Life (Zhizn') succeeded in obtaining "In the Ravine" ("V ovrage," 1900) mainly because of Chekhov's friendship with Maksim Gorky, who participated in the editing of the literary section of the journal. The story once again appeared in the crucial January issue. As these examples suggest, Chekhov lent his name in support of many journals but declined close identification with most of them. In addition to responding to specific requests, Chekhov contributed a number of stories to the newspaper The Russian News (Russkie vedomosti), which seems to have taken over the function New Times had had for him in the late 1880s and early 1890s. So, for instance, what is now the first half of the story finally titled "The Literature Teacher" ("Uchitel' slovesnosti") appeared as an independent story in New Times in 1889; the second half, written later, was published in The Russian News in 1894. The two halves were joined only when the story was published in a collection of stories by Chekhov. Stories that appeared in The Russian News were often short, as Chekhov's New Times stories had been; indeed, some, such as "The Student" ("Student," 1894), are among Chekhov's shortest from his mature period, when length was no longer a criterion imposed by the medium of publication. Other stories that appeared in The Russian News include "At Home" ("V rodnom uglu," 1897) and "In the Cart" ("Na podvode," 1897).

Chekhov and the journals of his time


However, stories of comparable length but with more complex relationships to the literary tradition such as Chekhov's socalled "Little Trilogy," consisting of "Man in a Case" ("Chelovek v futliare"), "Gooseberries" ("Kryzhovnik"), and "About Love" ("O liubvi"), appeared in the thick journal Russian Thought in 1898. In the 1890s, Chekhov also contributed a few works to yet another sort of publication —journals, usually weekly, that were addressed neither to the serious intelligent reader of the thick journals nor to the pragmatic, information-seeking reader of the newspaper, but to what could be called the emerging "common" reader. In a letter to the editor of A. F. Marks's The Meadow (Niva), Chekhov indicates his awareness of the new audience of this sort of periodical: . . . the literary supplements to The Meadow enjoyed success in the current year mainly thanks to articles with serious content. Solovev's article even caused a big stir. You are right in saying that it is necessary to keep the "motley" ["pestry?'] reader in view, and you are right to publish Erisman, because the Russian motley reader, even if not educated [obrazovan], wants to and is striving to become educated; he is serious, thoughtful and not stupid.17 These journals, of which Marks's The Meadow was the most successful, were clearly oriented toward families.18 They served the nascent middle-class for which reading, particularly the reading of canonically defined literature, served as a social ritual confirming social respectability. A weekly such as The Meadow offered news articles, informative material, literature, and refined humor, all in a format and form accessible to any member of a modestly cultured family. Such weeklies also took advantage of developing printing technology and offered more and better illustrations than newspapers. In 1904, for instance, The Meadow carried extensive coverage of the on-going conflict in the Far East with numerous photographs. The obituary for Chekhov in July of the same year was accompanied by a large portrait of him, doubtless for readers to save. Chekhov's first significant contribution to the thick journal Northern Herald in 1888 had contained an implicit polemic with the journal's Populist assumptions, and his description of



Sakhalin in Russian Thought had exposed the Russian intelligentsia's moral myopia in the intelligentsia's premier journal. Similarly, his contribution to The Meadow called into question one of the basic premises of such publications, the cultural sanctity and importance of the family. "My Life" ("Moia zhizn'"), which appeared serially in the literary supplement to The Meadow from October through December of 1896, offers a withering critique of family life, as it traces the main character's efforts to escape the baneful effects of the social proprieties inculcated by the family. In similar fashion, "The Darling" ("Dushechka," 1898), with its ironically ambiguous depiction of selfless love, was published in a journal programatically called The Family (Sem'ia). Chekhov's last two stories, "The Bishop" ("Arkhierei," 1902) and "The Bride" ("Nevesta," 1903), were published in The Journal for Everyone {Znuma^

dlia vsekh) and

undermined two pillars of social stability — the official church and the institution of marriage and family. Thus the stories Chekhov placed in journals with the broadest readership (in terms of actual numbers as well as in terms of their implied readers) are also stories which call into question the presuppositions of that readership's social conservatism. Publication in mass readership journals implied entrance into the literary canon that was in the process of formation. A. E Marks in particular capitalized on the desire of The Meadow's readers to acquire the patina of literary culture by publishing the Russian classics and providing complete works of various authors as bonuses to subscribers.19 Authors that Marks offered to readers in this manner included Turgenev, Goncharov, Dostoevsky, Leskov, and Griboedov. Indeed publication in this form to some degree implied elevation to the status of a classic. (Other publishers, notably Suvorin, also published collected works, but Marks seems to have exploited most fully and efficiently the potential advantages of a synergetic link between a journal and bonuses in the form of books.) In 1899, Chekhov sold publication rights to all his previous work to Marks, along with the rights to any subsequent works once they had appeared in journals. After issuing a relatively expensive tenvolume set edited by Chekhov himself in 1899-1903, Marks

Chekhov and the journals of his time


offered a second, expanded edition in twelve volumes to The Meadow's subscribers in 1903. Publication of collected works indicated a significant change in Chekhov's status. The collected works severed the complex network of interrelations between each work and its original journalistic context, endowing Chekhov's works with the permanent stature of classics. NOTES

1 One of the few exceptions is the 1888 story "An Attack of Nerves" ("Pripadok") which first appeared in a collaborative volume published in memory of Vsevolod Garshin; even some of the plays, including Ivanov and Three Sisters, were published in journals soon after their premieres. 2 For the numbers of periodical publications and their circulations, see (for newspapers) A. N. Bokhanov, Burzhuaznaia pressa Rossii i krupnyi kapital Konets XIXv-igi4g. (Moscow: Nauka, 1984), 29-33, esp. tables, pp. 30 and 32; (for journals and newspapers) B. P. Baluev, Politicheskaia reaktsiia 80 -kh godov XIX veka i russkaia zhurnalistika (Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo universiteta, 1971), 103, 153-54. From 1870 to 1894, over 1,400 new publications appeared (though of course many did not long survive). Gf. V G. Berezina et al., eds., Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki, vol. 11 (Izdatel'stvo Leningradskogo universiteta, 1965), 235ff. For developments in readership, especially readers toward the lower end of the social ladder, see Jeffrey Brooks, "Readers and Reading at the End of the Tsarist Era," in William Mills Todd III, ed., Literature and Society in Imperial Russia, 1800-igiy (Stanford University Press, 1978), 97-105 and Jeffrey Brooks, When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature 1861-igiy (Princeton University Press, 1985)3 The manuscript of the play was not discovered until 1920 and the play was first published in 1923. See Anton Pavlo^dch Chekhov, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem (Moscow: Nauka, 1974-83), Works, n: 393-4. Further references to Chekhov's works and letters will be to this edition. 4 For example, the story "After the Theater" ("Posle teatra") appeared in 1892 in The Petersburg Gazette, where Chekhov had not appeared for four years; that same year, three pieces appeared in Fragments, for which Chekhov had last written in 1887. Even later, in 1900, "At Christmastide" ("Na sviatkakh") was published in The Petersburg Gazette.



5 For information on the rates Chekhov received, see his letter to G. P. Kravtsov, 29 January 1883 {Letters, 1: 50); letter to N. A. Leikin, 31 October or 1 November 1886 {Letters, 1: 272). 6 For reproductions of the illustrations Chekhov is known to have written text for, see Works, 3: 449-80. 7 Letter to Al. P. Chekhov, 17 or 18 April 1883. A. P. Chekhov, Letters, 1: 63. 8 L. M. Myshkovskaia, Chekhov i iumoristicheskie zhurnaly 80-kh godov (Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1929), 52. 9 Works, 16: 10 See Bokhanov, Burzhuaznaia pressa, 43-5. n Chekhov was brought to the attention of the publisher of New Times, A. S. Suvorin, by the older writer D. K. Grigorovich, an early champion of Chekhov's talent. 12 Letter to Suvorin, 27 October 1888. Letters, 3: 46. 13 Letter to la. P. Polonskii, 18 January 1888. Letters, 2: 177-8. According to the commentary to this letter in the Academy edition, "dog-fur collar" refers to Evgenii Verner, one of the publishers of the journals Cricket {Sverchok) and Around the World {Vokrug sveta). 14 In a letter to A. N. Pleshcheev of 9 February 1888 {Letters, 2: 194), Chekhov apologizes for requesting such a high rate from Northern Herald, saying that he had arrived at the amount of two hundred rubles a signature by applying the rate per line he was receiving from New Times (15 kopecks a line) to the number of lines in a signature. 15 L. M. Dolotova, "Chekhov i Russkaia mysi' (K predystorii sotrudnichestva v zhurnale)" in L. D. Opul'skaia et al., eds., Chekhov i ego vremia (Moscow: Nauka, 1977), 265-83. For Chekhov's stinging letter to Lavrov on the review, see letter of 10 April 1890, Letters, 4: 54-716 Some translations of Chekhov's works had begun to appear in France, Germany, and other countries by this time, but "At Friends" was Chekhov's only attempt to place his work before foreign readers. 17 Letter to A. A. Tikhonov (Lugovoi), 13 September 1896, Letters, 6: 179. The articles Chekhov refers to are a review article by the philosopher and poet Vladimir Solovev on the poet Polonsky and a series of articles on hygiene by E F. Erisman. A professor of medicine at Moscow University and an important figure in public health in Russia, Erisman left Russia in 1896 to protest against government repression of student activism. 18 The Meadow ran from 1869 to the Revolution and in its most

Chekhov and the journals of his time


successful year (1904) had a circulation of 275,000, one of the largest of any publication in Europe at the time. For more information on Marks, a German immigrant to St. Petersburg who modelled his publication in part on German weeklies, see E. A. Dinershtein, "Fabrikant" chitatelei: A. F. Marks (Moscow: Kniga, 1986), from which the above figure is taken (p. 40). Marks eventually became the publisher of the definitive edition of Chekhov's works published in the author's lifetime. 19 On Marks's activity as publisher of The Meadow as well as his publication of reasonably priced editions of Russian classics, see E. A. Dinershtein. On Chekhov's dealings with Marks, see I. P. Viduetskaia, A. P. Chekhov i ego izdatel' A. F. Marks (Moscow: Nauka, 1977).

Titles of journals and almanacs

Acquaintances / ^nakomye The Alarm Clock / Budil'nik The Ancient Russian Library / Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliqfika The Anchor / Iakor Apollo / Apollon Art / Iskusstvo Assyrian Northern Flowers / Assyriiskie severnye tsvety The Babbler / Pustomelia The Balance I Vesy The Beacon / Maiak The Bell / Kolokol Bits of This and That / Vsiakaia vsiachina Bulletins of the St. Petersburg Foundling Home / Izvestiia The Cause / Delo The Chatty Citizen / Beseduiushchii grazhdanin Children's Reading / Detskoe entente The Chronicle / Letopis' The Citizen / Grazhdanin Collection of Foreign Novels, Stories, and Short Stories in Russian Translation / Sobranie inostrannykh romanov, povestei i rasskazov v perevode The Contemporary / Sovremennik The Contemporary Survey / Sovremennoe obozrenie Conversations with God / Besedy s bogom Cosmopolis / Cosmopolis Council / Beseda Country I Strana Cricket / Sverchok The Crossing / Pereval The Dawn / Dennitsa The Dawn / Rassvet The Dawn / Utrenniaia zaria 246

Titles of journals and almanacs


Day / Den' The Diary of a Writer / Dnevnik pisatelia The Diligent Ant / Trudoliubivyi muravei Domestic Council / Domashniaia beseda Dramatic Collection / Dramaticheskii sbornik The Drone / Truten' Education / Obrazovanie Epoch / Epokha Evening Glow / Vecherniaia zaria Evenings / Vechera The Family / Sem'ia Fatherland Notes / Otechestvennye zapiski The Fly / Mukha The Flourishing Vine / Rastushchii vinograd Foreign Herald / Zf^michnyi vestnik Fragments / OskoJki Freemason's Magazine / Magazin svobodno-kamen'shchicheskoi Galatea / Galateia God's World / Mir bozhii The Golden Fleece / Zolotoe runo The Grasshopper / Strekoza The Gryphon Anthology / Almanakh Grif The Hired Hand / Podenshchina Housewarming / Novosel'e A Hundred Russian Authors / Sto russkikh pisatelei Iasnaia Poliana / Iasnaia Poliana The Joker/ Vesel'chak The Journal for Everyone / ZJiurnaldlia vsekh Journal of Generally Useful Facts, or the Library for Industry, Agriculture, and Studies Related Thereto / ZJiurnal obshche poleznykh svedenii, Hi Biblioteka po chasti promyshlennosti, sel'skogo khoziaistva i nauk k nim otnosiashchikhsia Journal of the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary / Dukhovnyi vestnik Kiev Episcopal News / Kievskie eparkhalnye vedomosti Laugh I Smekh The Library for Reading / Biblioteka dlia chteniia Literary Evenings / Literaturnye vechera The Literary Gazette / Literaturnaia gazeta Literary Moscow / Literaturnaia Moskva Magazine of Economics / Ekonomicheskii magazin Magazine ofNatural History / Magazin natural'noi istorii The Meadow / Niva The Mess I Eralash The Messenger ofEurope / Vestnik Evropy


Titles of journals and almanacs

Metropolis / Metropol' The Mirror of Light / J^erkalo sveta Miscellany / Sines' Mnemosyne / Mnemosyne Monthly Historical, Genealogical and Geographical Notes / Mesiachnye istoricheskie, genealogicheskie igeogrqficheskieprimechaniia v "Vedomostiakh" Monthly Works / Ezhemesiachnye sochineniia Monthly Writings / Ezhemesiachnye sochineniia Morning Hours / Utrennie chasy Morning Light / Utrennii svet Moscow Literary and Scholarly Collection / Moskovskii Literaturnyi i uchenyi sbornik Moscow / Moskva The Moscow Herald / Moskovskii vestnik The Moscow News / Moskovskie vedomosti The Moscow Observer / Moskovskii nabliudatel' Moscow Telegraph / Moskovskii telegrqf The Muscovite / Moskvich Neither This Nor That / Ni to ni se New Journal for Everyone / Novyi zhurnal dlia vsehh New Satyricon / Novyi Satirikon New Times / Novoe vremia New Way / Novyi put' The News / Vedomosti News and Notices / Vesti-kuranty The North / Sever The Northern Archive / Severnyi arkhiv The Northern Bee / Severniaia pchela Northern Flowers / Severnye tsvety The Northern Herald / Severnyi vestnik Notesfrom Tarus / Tarusskie zapiski The Observer / Nabliudatel' Order / Poriadok The Painter / %hivopisets The Pantheon of the Russian and ofAll European Theaters / Panteon russkogo i vsekh evropeiskikh teatrov The Petersburg Gazette / Peterburgskaia gazeta Physiology of Petersburg / Fiziologiia Peterburga Polar Star / Poliarnaia zvezda Problems ofLife / Voprosy zhizni Problems of Philosophy and Psychology / Voprosyfilosofiiipsikhologii Red Virgin Soil / Krasnaia nov Repertory and Pantheon / Repetuar i panteon

Titles of journals and almanacs


Repertory of the Russian Theater / Repetuar russkogo teatra Rumor / Molva Russia / Rus' Russian Antiquity / Russkaia starina The Russian Archive / Russkii arkhiv The Russian Council / Russkaia beseda The Russian Herald / Russkii vestnik The Russian Register / Russkie vedomosti Russian Survey / Russkoe obozrenie Russian Symbolists / Russkie simvolisty Russian Thalia / Russkaia Taliia The Russian Theater / Russkii teatr Russian Thought / Russkaia mysl' The Russian Veteran / Russkii invalid Russian Wealth / Russkoe bogatstvo The Russian Word / Russkoe slovo The Sail / Parus A Scholar's Library / Biblioteka uchenaia Scorpio / Skorpion Signposts / Vekhi The Slav / Slavianin Son of the Fatherland / Syn otechestva Sophia / Sofiia The Spark / Iskra The Spectator / Zritel' The Stock Market News / Birzhevye vedomosti The St. Petersburg Herald / S.-Peterburgskii vestnik The St. Petersburg News / S.-Peterburgskie vedomosti Sunrise / Zaria Telescope / Teleskop The Tiflis Messenger / Tiflisskii vestnik Time / Vremia Torches I Fakely The Village Resident / Sel'skoi zhitel' Voice/ Golos The Wasp / Osa Weekly Bulletins / Ezhenedel'nye izvestiia Whistle / Svistok The Women's Herald / Zhenskii vestnik Works and Days / Trudy i dni Works of the Free Economic Society / Trudy Volnogo Ekonomicheskogo Obshchestva World ofArt / Mir iskusstva

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Afanas'ev, A. N. Russkie satiricheskie zhurnaly iy6g-iJ74. 2nd edn. Kazan': Molodye sily, 1920. Akademiia Nauk SSSR. Institut mirovoi literatury. Ocherki istorii russkoi sovetskoi zhurnalistiki. Moscow: Nauka, 1966. Alekseev, V. A. Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki, i860-1880. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1963. Babaeva, E. G. Lev Tolstoi i russkaia zhurnalistika ego epokhi. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1978. Babaeva, E. G. and B. I. Esin. Russkaia zhurnalistika i literatura XIX v. Sbornik statei. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1979. Barabokhin, D. A. Gleb Uspenskii i russkaia zhurnalistika, 1862-i8g2. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1983. Berezina, V G. Belinskii i voprosy istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1973. Russkaia zhurnalistika. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1969Russkaia zhurnalistika pervoi chetverti deviatnadtsatogo veka. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1965. Russkaia zhurnalistika vtoroi chetverti deviatnadtsatogo veka. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1965. Berezina, V G., et al. Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki XIII-XIX vekov. 3rd corrected edition. Ed. A. V Zapadov Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 1973Berkov, P. N. Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki XVIII veka. Moscow: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, 1952. Botsianovskii, V. E Russkaia satira pervoi revoliutsii igoj-igo6. Cambridge: Oriental Research Partners, 1971. Gherepakhov, M. S. Vozniknovenie periodicheskoi pechati v Rossii. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1955. 250

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Demchenko, E. P. Satiricheskie zhurnaly Rossiiperioda revoliutsii gg. Kiev: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, 1976. Dement'ev, A. G. Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki, 1840-1850 gg. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1951. Dul'skii, P. M. Grqfika satiricheskikh zhurnalov igoj-igo6 gg. Kazan': Tatgosizdat, 1922. Emelianov, N. P. "Otechestvennye zapiski" N. A. Nekrasova i M. E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, 1868-1884. Leningrad: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1986. Esin, Boris Ivanovich. Chekhov-zhurnalist. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1977. Istoriia russkoi zhurnalistiki XIX v. Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 1989. Iz istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1959; Russkaia zhurnalistika, yokh-8okh godov XIX veka. Ed. A.V Zapadov Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1963. Russkaia zhurnalistika XVIII-XIX vekov. Moscow: Nauka, 1986. Evgen'ev-Maksimov, V E. Nekrasov i ego sovremenniki. Moscow: Federatsiia, 1930. Ocherki po istorii sotsialisticheskoi zhurnalistiki v Rossii XIX veka. Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo, 1927. "Sovremennik" pri Chernyshevskom i Dobroliubove. Leningrad: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1936. Evgen'ev-Maksimov, V E., Maksimov, D. E. Iz proshlogo russkoi zhurnalistiki. Izdatel'stvo pisatelei v Leningrade, 1930. Golomb, E. G. Rasprostranenie pechati v dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii i v Sovetskom Soiuze. Moscow: Sviaz', 1967. Goriachim slovom ubezhden'ia: "Sovremennik" Nekrasova-Chernyshevskogo. Moscow: Sovremennik, 1989. Iampolskii, I. G. Satiricheskie i iumoristicheskie zhurnaly i86okh godov. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1973. Institut mirovoi literatury imeni A. M. Gor'kogo. Ocherki istorii russkoi sovetskoi zhurnalistiki. Moscow: Nauka, 1966. Kallash, V V Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki. Moscow: n.p., Korsh, V E Stoletie "Moskovskikh vedomostei33 (1756-1856). Moscow: V universitetskoi tipografii, 1857. Kozmin, B. L. Zhurnalistika 50/di godov. ^hurnal'no-publitsisticheskaia deiatel'nost' Gertsena. Moscow: Vysshaia partiinaia shkola, 1948. Zhurnalistika 6okh godov XIX veka. Moscow: Vysshaia partiinaia shkola, 1948. Zhurnalistika yo-80 godov XIX veka. Moscow: Vysshaia partiinaia shkola, 1948.


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Kuleshov, V I. "Otechestvennye zapiski" i literatura 4.0-kh godov XIX veka. Moscow: Moskovskii universitet, 1959. Kuzmina, V. D. Vozniknovenie periodicheskoi pechati v Rossii i razvitie zhurnalistiki v XVIII veke. Lektsii. Moscow: Vysshaia partiinaia shkola, 1948. Kuznetsov, F. ZJiurnal "Russkoe slovo." Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1965. Lemke, M. K. Ocherkipo istorii russkoi tsenzury i zhurnalistiki XIX stoletiia. St. Petersburg: Trad, 1904. (Reprint: The Hague, Mouton, 1970). Letenkov, E. V "Literaturnaia promyshlennost'" Rossii kontsa XlX-nachala XX veka. Izdatel'stvo Leningradskogo universiteta, 1988. Literatura nekrasovskikh zhurnalou Ivanovo: Ivanovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1987. Literaturnyi protsess i russkaia zhurnalistika kontsa XIX - nachala XX veka:

i8go-igo4. Moscow: Nauka, 1981-1982. Mel'gunov, B. V Nekrasov - zhurnalist: maloizuchennye aspekty problemy Leningrad: Nauka, 1989. Mostovskaia, N. N. /. S. Turgenev i russkaia zhurnalistika yo-kh godov XIX v. Leningrad: Nauka, 1983. Myshkovskaia, L. M. Chekhov i iumoristicheskie zhurnaly 80 -kh godov. Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1929. Nechaeva, V S. N. G. Chewyshevskii i zhurnalistika. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1979. Nikolai Polevoi, materialy po istorii russkoi literatury i zhurnalistiki tridtsatykh godov. Ed. V I. Orlova. Izdatel'stvo pisatelei v Leningrade, 1934. Ocherki po istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki i kritiki. vol. 1. XVIII vek i pervaia polovina XIX veka. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, I95OZhurnal M. M. i F. M. Dostoevskikh Epokha: 1864—1865. Moscow: Nauka, 1975. Pel't, V D. Gorkii — zhurnalist. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1968. Pirozhkova, T. E JV. M. Karamzin, izdatel' "Moskovskogo zhurnala," iygi-iyg2. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1978. Pozoiskii, S. I. Lev Tolstoi kak zhurnalist i redaktor. Tula: Priokskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1964. Rosenberg, V and V. Iakushin. Russkaia pechat' i tsenzura v proshlom i nastoiashchem. Moscow: M. i S. Sabashnikovykh, 1905. Russkaia zhurnalistika i literatura XIX v. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1979. Russkaia zhurnalistika v literaturnom protsesse vtoroi poloviny XIX veka: Sbornik nauchnyhh trudov. Perm': s.n., 1980.

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Russkaia zhurnalistika XVIII-XIX vekov. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1986. Russkaia zhurnalistika. Shestidesiatye gody. Ed. V Polianskii. MoscowLeningrad: Academia, 1930. Sbornik statei po istorii i statistike russkoi periodicheskoi pechati. 1703 -1903. St. Petersburg: Russkoe bibliologicheskoe obshchestvo, 1903. Semennikov, Vladimir Petrovich. Russkie satiristicheskie zhurnaly 1769-1774 g.g. razyskaniia ob izdateliakh i sotrudnikakh. St. Petersburg: Sibirius, 1914. Smirnov, Vitalii Borisovich. Literaturnaia istoriia "Otechestvennykh zapisok," 1868-1884. Perm': Permskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii institut, 1974. Nekrasov i zhurnal'naia poeziia ceOtechestvennykh zapisok" Ufa: s. n., 1972. Stan'ko, A. I. Pushkin zhurnalist i redaktor. Rostov na Donu: Rostovskii universitet, 1973. Tatarinova, L. E. Istoriia russkoi literatury i zhurnalistiki pervoi poloviny XVIII veka. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1975. Russkaia bestsenzurnaia pressa jo-6okh gg. X I X veka. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1983. Zhurnal i(Moskovskii telegrqf," 1825-1934. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1959. Teplinskii, Mark Veniaminovich. "Otechestvennye zapiski," 1868-1884; istoriia zhurnala, literaturnaia kritika. Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1966. Varustin, L. E. ZJiurnal "Russkoe slovo," 1859-1866. Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1966. Vesin, S. Ocherki istorii russkoi zhurnalistiki dvadtsatykh i tridtsatykh godov. St. Petersburg: tipo-litografiia A. E. Landau, 1881. Volgin, I. L. Dostoevskii-zhurnalist. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1982. Zapadov, A. V Russkaia zhurnalistika pervoi poloviny XVIII veka. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, i960. Russkaia zhurnalistika poslednei chetverti vosemnadtsatogo veka. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1962. Russkaia zhurnalistika 1769-1774 godov. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1959. Russkaia zhurnalistika jokh-6okh godov XVIII veka. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1957. Russkaia zhurnalistika XVIII veka. Moscow: Nauka, 1964. Zaslavskii, D. Io. Zhurnalistika 90 -kh i nachala 900-khgg. Moscow: n.p., I948Zhurnalistika i literatura. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1972.



Ansberg, O. N. "K istorii izucheniia zhurnala Otechestvennye zapiski: 1868-1884 gg." Vestnik Leningradskogo Universiteta. Seriia 2, Istoriia, Iazykoznanie, Literaturovedenie 8 (1983). Bashkeeva, V V. "Belletristika I. I. Iasinskogo i osnovnye tendentsii prozy Otechestvennykh zapisok 80-x godov." Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriia 9, Filologiia. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1983), 65-71. Berezina, V G. "Iz tsenzurnoi istorii zhurnala Moskovskii telegraf." Russkaia literatura 4 (1982): 164-73. "K zhurnal'noi bor'be nachala 1830-kh godov: Tsenzurnaia istoriia vtorogo nomera 'Moskovskogo telegrafa* za 1831 god." Russkaia literatura 4 (1988): 164-75. "Zhurnal N. A. Polevogo - Moskovskii telegraf (1825-1834) l chitatel'." Vestnik Leningradskogo Universiteta. Seriia 2, Istoriia, Iazykoznanie, Literaturovedenie 164 (1981). Botsianovskii, V F. "Satiricheskie zhurnaly 1905-1908 godov." In V. F. Botsianovskii and E. Gollerbakh, Russkaia satira pervoi revoliutsii igoj-igo6 gg. Leningrad: GIZ, 1925. 210-22. Emel'ianov, N. P. "Otechestvennye zapiski N. A. Nekrasova o programme demokraticheskoi pechati 1870-kh godov." Vestnik Leningradskogo Universiteta. Seriia 2, Istoriia, Iazykoznanie, Literaturovedenie. 8 (Apr. 1982). Esin, B. I. "Rassvet russkoi zhurnalistiki." Russkii iazyk za rubezhom 2 (1986): 105-9. "Russkaia zhurnalistika poslednei treti X I X veka." Russkii iazyk za rubezhom 1 (1987): 97-103. "Zhurnalistika raznochinnogo perioda osvoboditernogo dvizheniia v Rossii: Demokraticheskaia pechat' 60-kh godov xrx veka." Russkii iazyk za rubezhom 4 (1986): n o - 1 4 . Gromova, L. P. "A. I. Gertsena o russkoi zhurnalistike 1840-kh godov." Vestnik Leningradskogo Universiteta. Seriia 2, Istoriia, Iazykoznanie, Literaturovedenie. 1 (Jan. 1988). Konkin, S. S. " 'Russkoe slovo' i 'Sovremennik': K polemike mezhdu nimi." Filologicheskie nauki 6.1 (1963): 19-31. Mel'gunov, B. V "K istorii nekrasovskogo Sovremennika: 18651867." Russkaia literatura 3 (1984): 178-88. "Nekrasov i ezhegodnye 'Obozreniia russkoi literatury' v Sovremennike." Russkaia literatura 3 (1987): 145-51. "Nekrasov i voennye korrespondenty c Sovremennika'." Russkaia literatura 1 (1989): 166-72. "O zhurnal'noi politike Nekrasova: Ob"iavleniia redaktsii Sovremennika." Russkaia literatura 1 (1987): 185-98.

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Meshcheriakoy, V. P. "A. S. Griboedov i polemika Mnemoziny s literaturnymi listkami." Russkaia literatura 3 (1980): 163-72. Nemirovskii, E. L. "N. I. Novikov - russkii izdatel' XVIII veka." Russkaia rech! 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1986): 115-19. Proskurina, V Iu. "Esteticheskaia pozitsiia P. A. Pletneva - izdatelia Sovremennika 1838-1846." Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriia 9, Filologiia, 9.6 (Nov.-Dec. 1984): 51-58. Semchuk, Antoni. "Sovremennik kontsa 1840-kh i nachala 1850-kh godov i t. n. literatura fakta." Cahiers du Monde Russe et Sovietique 28.2 (Apr.-June 1987): i45~54Teplinskii, M. V "Epizod iz istorii nekrasovskogo zhurnala Otechestvennye zapiski." Russkaia literatura 3 (1984): 189-92. Zel'dovich, M. G. "Iz istorii bor'by vokrug programmnykh idei N. G. Ghernyshevskogo: Zabytaia publikatsiia Otechestvennykh zapisok." Russkaia literatura 1 (1984): 215-24. MONOGRAPHS IN OTHER LANGUAGES

LiwofT, G. Michel Katkoffet son epoque. Paris: n. p., 1897. Maguire, Robert A. Red Virgin Soil: Soviet Literature in the 1920s. Studies of the Harriman Institute. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987. Marker, Gary. Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual Life in Russia, ijoo-1800. Princeton University Press, 1985. Monnier, Andre. Un publiciste frondeur sous Catherine II: Nicolas Novikov. Bibliotheque russe de PInstitut d'etudes slaves, vol. 59. Paris: Institut d'etudes slaves, 1981.


Baruzdin Sergei; Marks, David. "Magazines and Their Role in Literary Life." Translated by David Marks. Soviet Literature 7 ; Boyer, Arline. "A Description of Selected Periodicals in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century." Russian Literature Triquarterly 3 (1972): Craven, Kenneth. "Publish or Languish: The Fate of Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov (1743-1818), Propagator of the Enlightenment under Catharine II." Archives et Bibliotheques/Archief-en Bibliotheekwezen in Belgie 54.1-4 (1983). Cross, A. G. "N. M. Karamzin's Messenger of Europe (Vestnik Yevropy), 1802-3." Forum for Modern Language Studies 5 (1969): 1-25.


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Foote, I. P. "Otechestvennye zapiski and English Literature, 1868-84." Oxford Slavonic Papers 6 (1973): 28-47. Jones, G. Gareth. "Novikov's Naturalized Spectator." The Eighteenth Century in Russia. Ed. J. G. Garrard. Oxford: Clarendon, 1973. I49-65Kara-Sokol, Alexander. Periodical Russkoe Obozrenie. Dissertation Abstracts International 37 (1977): 5878A.

Malcolm, Neil. "The Birth of Russian Journalism." Journal of Russian Studies 31 (1976): 17-27. Marker, G. J. "Novikov's Readers." The Modern Language Review 77.4 (Oct. 1982): 894-905. McKenna, Kevin James. "Catherine the Great's Vsiakaia Vsiachina and The Spectator Tradition of the Satirical Journal of Morals and Manners." Dissertation Abstracts International 38 (1978): 7369A70A. Marcade, Jean-Claude. "Les Debuts litteraires de Leskov: L'Activite journalistique, 1860-mai 1862." Cahiers du Monde Russe et Sovietique

22.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1981): 5-42. Monter, Barbara Heldt. "Rassvet (1859-1862) and the Woman Question." Slavic Review 36 (1977): 76-85. Moser, Charles A. "Dostoevsky and the Aesthetics of Journalism." Dostoevsky Studies 3 (1982): 27-41.

Nepomnyashchy, Catharine Theimer. "Katkov and the Russian Messenger." Ulbandus Review 1.1 (1977): 59-89. Okenfuss, Max J. "The Novikov Problem: An English Perspective." Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, u-15 July 1977." Great Britain and Russia in the Eighteenth Century: Contacts and Comparisons. Ed. A. G. Cross.

Newtonville: Oriental Research Partners, 1979. 97-108. Papmehl, K. A. "The Empress and 'Un Fanatique': A Review of the Circumstances Leading to the Government Action Against Novikov in 1792." The Slavonic and East European Review 68.4 (Oct.

1990): 665-91. Pogorelskin, Alexis E. "N. I. Kostomarov and the Origins of the Vestnik Evropy Circle." Oxford Slavonic Papers 11(1978): 84-100. Shaw, J. Thomas. "The Problem of the persona in Journalism: Pushkin's Feofilakt Kosickin." American Contributions to the Fifth International Congress of Slavists. Two volumes. Sophia, September

1963. The Hague: Mouton, 1963.11: 301-26. Smirnov-Sokolsky, Nikolai. "How Pushkin's Magazine 'The Contemporary' Was Born (1836-1837)." Soviet Literature 1 (1987): 161-67. Vroon, Ronald. "Puti Tvorchestva: The Journal as a Metapoetic

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Statement." Russian Literature and American Critics: In Honor of

Denting B. Brown. Ed. Kenneth N. Brostrom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1984. 219-39. Ware, R. J. "A Russian Journal and Its Public: Otechestvennye zapiski, 1868-1884." Oxford Slavonic Papers 14 (1981): 121-46. Wlodkowski, Zinaida Spankevych. "Vestnik Evropy in the Alexandrian Period (1802-1825) (Volumes 1, 11, and in)." Dissertation Abstracts International 40 (1980): 5893A-94A.


Bakunin, M. A., 113 The Balance, 179, 181-91,195/19, 203, 223 Balmont, K. D., 174, 177, 179-83, 189, 191-92, 200, 202-3, 205, 222 Baltrushaitis,Jurgis, 181 Balzac, Honore de, 92, 98,100, 120, i66/i#, 211

Academy of Arts, 91 Academy of Sciences, 14,17, 21, 91, 131 Acmeism, 189, 191 Acquaintances, i n

advertising announcements, 96, 150,182, 187, 231, 239 Aesopian language, 67, 101, 156 aesthetics, 117, 152, 178-79,185-87, 189-90,199,202,212,215-17,220,225 Akhmatov, E. N., 109 Akhmatova, A. A., 189-90 Aksakov, I. S., 94, 106 Aksakov, K. S., 94, 112 The Alarm Clock, 114, 229-30, 232 Albov, M. N., 215 Alexander II, 168/1.25 assassination of, 107, 208, 230 Alexander III, 140, 237 almanacs, 45-48, 61/2/2/5,16, 75, 94 Amfiteatrov, A. V, 192

Eugenie Grandet, 100

Baratynsky, E. A., 76, 86/234 Baron Brambeus, 58, 98 Bartenev, P. I., 109, 174-75 Bashkirtseva, M. K., 220 Batiushkov, E D., 176, 240 Baudelaire, Charles, 204, 221 Bazhin, N. E, 211 The Beacon, 100,112 Bel in sky, Maxim (Ieronim Iasinsky), 177 Belinsky, V G., 4, 38, 42, 53-59, 62/125, 6 5> 75> 77> 97> 99- I O O > I Q 2 , 1 0 4 , 1 0 6 , 117-28 passim, 133-34,152, 165/14, 171, 200, 205, 213, 216, 218, 237

The Ancient Russian Library, 21-22

The Anchor, 108, i n Andreev, L. N., 177,185, 191-92 Andreevsky, S. A., 202 Annenkov, P. V, 117 Annensky, I. E, 187, 189 Antonovich, M. A., 134-35 Apollo, 188-91,195W/5,199, 203, 223 Apukhtin, A. N., 173, 211 aristocracy, see literary aristocracy Arsenev, K. K., 130-31, 136, 139-45,173

The Bell, n 3-14 belles-lettres, 1, 3, 120, 127/2/3,129, 172-73,177-78,189 Bely, Andrei (B. N. Bugaev), 183-88,190, 192, 195/2/7, i96w/«9, 200-1, 203, 205 Benediktov, V G., 120 Benois, A. N., 194/25,198, 201, 203 Berdiaev, N. A., 181 Berezina, V G., 82 Bestuzhev-Marlinky, A. A., 46,113, 120 Bilibin, V V ("I. Grek"), 230

Art, 184

Arzamas Society, 40 Askochensky, V I., 109 Assyrian Northern Flowers, 184

Averkiev, D. V, 115, 166/19 The Babbler, 19

Bits of This and That, 18

Blagosvetlov, G. E., 114 Blok, A. A., 117-18,122,126/23,180, 184, 186-87,189-90,192, 195/1/7,196/2/5 Bludov, D. N., 42 Boborykin, P. D., 98,115, 219


Index Bogdanov, V I., i n Bogdanovich, A. I., 176 Bolotov, A. T., 23, 26-27, 109 book publishing, 93—94 book reviews, 68, 74,119-20 booksellers, 27, 46, 48, 53, 92, 96, 105, in

Botkin, V P., 117 Briusov, V la., 122,173, 175, 179-92, 195/2/7, 200, 202, 205, 207-8, 224, 225/2? Brooks, Jeffrey, 93 Bulgakov, S. N., 181 Bulgarin, F. B., 42, 44~45> 49-5 1 , 53-54, 59, 62/220, 63/22$, 64, 69-72, 78-79, 83, 85*12/, 97-99, 121,123,1281123 Ivan Vyzhigin, 50-51, 78-79

Bulletins (St. Petersburg Foundling Home), 18 Bunin, I. A., 177, 185-87, 192 Burachok, S. A., 100 bureaucracy, 67, 93, 102, 104, 106 Burenin, V. P., i n Buslaev, F. I., 115 Buturlin, D. P., 101-2 caricatures, 111-12, 231-32 Catherine II, 12-14, 18 The Cause, 114,152

censorship, 29, 32/142, 40, 44-45, 49, 61/2/3, 67, 72, 85/12^, 94, 101-3, 106, 109-10, 113-14, 123-25, 131, 137, 139, 143,147/24*9, 167/125,194/1/, 209, 214, 216, 220, 230-32, 237 Chaadaev, P. la., 123 chapbooks, 45-47, 51, 57-58 The Chatty Citizen, 28 Chekhov, A. P., 114,174, 177, 203, 207, 209, 211-13, 215, 219-21, 227/12,9, 228-45 passim Chernyshevsky, N. G., 106-7, n o , 117, 132-36, 147/2/23?, 48, 214, 218 Chief Censorship Office, 96 Children's Reading, 240

Chizhevsky, D. I., 117 The Chronicle, 192

Chudovsky, Valerian, 189-90 Chulkov, G. E, 181, 185 circulation, 16-23, 65, 84/27, 95, 98, 104, 108, i n , 113, 214, 237, 243/22, 245/2/5 The Citizen, 108,150, 164/2/, 167/225 civil liberties, 66


Collection of Foreign Novels, Stories, and Short Stories in Russian Translation, 109

commercialization of literature, 77, 79 competition between journals, 64, 68, 132 The Contemporary, 40, 42, 53, 99,102, 106-8, i n , 113-14, 122,127/2/7, 131-34, 147/245 The Contemporary Survey, 131 Conversations with God, 28

Cooper, J. F., 98, 124 copyright, 49 Cosmopolis, 240 Council, 115 Country, 139-40

countercriticism, 68, 80, 85/22/ Cricket, 229, 244/2/3 The Crossing, 186-87

Dal, V I., 94, 99 Danilevsky, N. la., 115, 152 Davydov, D. V, 41 Davydova, A. A., 175, 215 The Dawn (Dennitsa), 75 The Dawn (Rassvet), 109 The Dawn (Utrenniaia zaria), 94 Day, 106

deadlines, 72 decadence, 177, 181,183,186-87, I9°~9I> 221-22 Decembrists, 40, 46, 66, 77, 82,113,133 Delvig, A. A., 41, 46, 182 Derzhavin, G. R., 119, 123 Diaghilev, S. P., 178-79,194/25,197-98, 200-1, 203-4, 207 Dickens, Charles, 92, 98,120, 126/2/, 235 The Diligent Ant, 19

Dobroliubov, A. M., 182 Dobroliubov, N. A., 4, 106-7, i n , 117, 122, 133,135, 218 Domestic Council, 109

domestic Surveys, 136, 138, 141-42,144 Dostoevsky, F. M., 2, 5, 91-92, 100,104, 107-8, n o , 118-19,123,126/2/, 150-68 passim, 179,199-202, 205, 218-19, 242 The Brothers Karamazov, 104,156 The Diary of a Writer, 109, 150-68 passim The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, 160-61 Notesfrom the Underground, n o

Dostoevsky, M. M., 102,108, 150, 165/24 Dramatic Collection, 109

260 The Drone, 18

Druzhinin, A. V, 98, i66n8 education, 58, 92, 119,175 Education, 175

Egorov, E., 180 Eikhenbaum, B. M., 118, 190 Eliseev, G. Z., i n , 152 emigre press, 93 encyclopedic journals, 65, 73 Enlightenment, 15, 43 The Epoch, 108, 150, 153 Ertel, A. I., 219 Evening Glow, 21 Evenings, 18

Evreinova, A. M., 208-14, 224 The Family, 242

Index 187-88, 191, 198-200, 202-3, 206/26, 207, 220, 222 glasnost', 5, 101, 103 Glinka, F. N., 100 Glinsky, B. B., 214-15, 220 God's World, 175-76, 194/25 Gogol, N. V, 2, 41-42, 53-59, 62/2/2/7, 25, 95> 97> IOO> Io6 > U9~2O> 123-26,134, 174, 176, 179, 202, 218, 221 Selected Passages From Correspondence With

Friends, 124, 126, 218, 221 The Golden Fleece, 184-88, 199, 203, 223 Golenishev-Kutuzov, A. A., 105 Golovachov, G. E, 105 Goltsev, V A., 173, 191 Goncharov, I. A., 4, 95, 115,119,128/224, 242 Oblomov, 4

fashion, 97 Gorky, M. (A. M. Peshkov), 92, 114,174, Fatherland Notes, 42, 59-60, 99,102, 104-8, 177, 185,191-92, 207, 223, 227/255, no, 113-14, 136,140, 152, 164/1/, 240 171—73, 208, 211, 213-14 Gorodetsky, A. D., 189, 192 feminism, 106 Gradovsky, K. D., 115, 152, 164/2/ Fet, A. A., 100, 107, 173, 177, 200, 213, 218 The Grasshopper, 114 feuilletons, 127/1/2, 150-51, 165/1/15, 6, 8, grassroots (pochvennichestvo), 108,160, 162 231 Grech, N. I., 42, 49-50, 53, 59, 64, 68-72, Filosofov, D. V, 179, 198-200, 203-4, 75> 83, 85/22/, 95, 97-99, 104 206/26 Griboedov, A. S., 242 Flaubert, Gustave, 92, 144, 204 Grigorev, A. A., 107-8, i n , 117, 221 fliers, see humorous fliers Grigorovich, D. V, 95, 99-100, 244/2// The Fly, i n Grot, la. K., 175-76 The Flourishing Vine, 21, 23 Grot, N. la., 176 Fofanov, K. M., 173, 211 Gumilev, N. S., 188-90 Foreign Herald, 109 Gurevich, L. la., 208, 214-20, 224, foreign publications, 19-20 226/2/4, 227/254 Formalists, 7,122, 190 Gryphon publishing house, 184 format ofjournals, 150, 182-83, 188-89, The Gryphon Anthology, 184 234-35, 241 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 118, Fragments, 228-29, 231-36 120-21 Frank, Joseph, 91, 162 hegelianism, 118, 120, 125 freemasons, see masons Herzen, A. I., 65, 106, 112-15, 119, Freemason's Magazine, 21 128/224, 152, i66/2#, 237 Free press law of 1783, 28 My Past and Thoughts, 113,152 Frug, 173 The Hired Hand, 19 Futurism, 191-92, 196/2/5 The Housewarming, 53 Galatea, 68, 75

Hugo, Victor, 98, 120, 127/2/0

Garshin, V. M., 211, 243/2/ genre, 6-7, 93, 150—51, 171, 192, 229, 231-32 Gippius, V V ("Vladimir G"), 202 Gippius, Z. N., 177, 179-81, 184-85,

A Hundred Russian Authors, 98

Iampolsky, I. G, 221 Iasnaia Poliana, 109

Iazykov, N. M., 76, 100

Index Ibsen, Henrik, 175, 221 illustrations, i n , 178, 231, 234, 237, 241, 244/16" intelligentsia, 60113, 65, 82, 114, 153, 157, 164, 1687*27, 242 investigatory literature, n o Irtysh, 25

Iurev, S. A., 115, 173 Iuzhakov, S.N, 211, 213 Ivanov, Georgy, 190 Ivanov, V I., 183-84, 186-90,19571/7, 19672/^


Kozma Prutkov, 111 Kraevsky, A. A., 59, 99, 102, 105 Krempin, V, 109 Krestovsky, V (N. D. Khvoshchinskaia), 105 Krylov, I. A., 23, 28, 32714/ Kukolnik, N. V, 98, 100 Kupriianovsky, P. V, 207, 209, 227717*3/, 35 Kuprin, A. I., 177, 192 Kurochkin, N. S., 111 Kurochkin, V S., i n , 113 Kuzmin, M. A., 187-89

Jakobson, R. O., 122 The Joker, i n The Journal for Everyone, 242 Journal of Generally Useful Facts, or the Library for Industry, Agriculture, and Studies Related Thereto, 95

journal of the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary (Dukhovnyi vestnik), 95

journalists pay rate, 26-27, 47-48, 54, 108, 229-30, 232, 236, 238 Kachenovsky, M. T., 68 Kant, Immanuel, 213, 215-16, 223 Karamzin, N. M., 2-3, 872/, 17, 21, 23-24, 43, 45-51* 53> 57> 6l*9> 627120, 73-75, 77, 79, 82-83, 84«'5> 85*?', I71 History of the Russian State, 73-74, 77,

8472/5 Kaspirev, V, 115 Katkov, M. N., 103-4, 115,129, 1477*33, 172 Kavelin, K. D., 130-31 Kherkasov, M. M., 16 Khodasevich, Vladislav, 190-91 Khomiakov, A. S., 41, 100, 115 Khudekov, S. N., 233 Kiev Episcopal News, 95

Laugh, i n Lavrov, P. I., 114, 152, 24471/5 Lavrov, V M., 239 Leikin, N. A., 228, 232 Lemke, M. K., 102, n o - n , 138 Lermontov, M. Iu., 42, 94, 98, 119-20, 174, 201, 218 Lesevich, V V, 213 Leskov, N. S., 95, 104,108, 152, 174, 207, 220-21, 242 Levitov, A. I., 107-8, i n liberalism, 129, 140 The Libraryfor Reading, 37, 39, 53-60, 627*25, 98, 105 Lisovsky, N. M., 177 literacy, 6, 22, 637234 literary aristocracy, 50-53, 69, 73, 75, 77-83, 9i Literary Evenings, 94 The Literary Gazette, 41-42, 52, 75, 8 0 - 8 2 , 99 Literary Moscow, 94

literary groups, 38-42, 73, 92 lithography, no-11 Lokhvitskaia, M. A., 220 Lozinsky, M. A., 214 Lunacharsky, A. V, 92,114, 117 Lvov, N. M., i n

Kireevsky, I. V, 100 Kiukhelbeker, V K., 41, 82 Knowledge (J^nanie) publishing house, 185 Machtet, G. A., 177, 211 Kolchugin, N., 27 Magazine ofEconomics, 27 Koltsov, A. V, 94 Magazine of Natural History, 21 Koni, E A., 99,129-30 Maikov, A. N., 107-8 Kornfeld, G., 114 Main Administration for Publishing Affairs, 135, 144, 209 Korolenko, V G., 177, 211, 213, 228, 238 Makovsky, Sergei, 188 Korvin, 211 Maksimov, V E., 224 Kostomarov, N. I., 130-31, 145717 Mamin-Sibiriak, D. N., 177, 211, 219 Kovalevskaia, S. V, 220


262 Mamontov, S. I., 203-4 Mandelshtam, O. E., 189—90 Markevich, B. M., 105 Marks, A. E, 241-42, 245/2/2/$, ig marxism, 144 Martynov, I. E, 17 masons, 131 masonic publications, 21, 28 Mayakovsky, V V, 192

Moscow University, 14, 82, 104, 113, 175-76, I94«*> 244/2/7 Moscow University Press, 16, 26 Mueller, Gerhard Friedrich, 16, 18 Muratov, P. P, 191 The Muscovite, 100, 105-6, 108, 112, 127/2/5 Musaget publishing house, 190, 195/2/$ Myshkovskaia, L. M., 232

The Meadow, 95, 241-43, 2441118, 245*1/9

Nabokov, V V, 91,192 Nadezhdin, N. I., 51, 58, 75, 200 Nadson, S. la., 211 natural school, 119

memoirs, 129-31, 145, 174, 177 Mendeleev, D. I., 152, 207 Merezhkovsky, D. S., 2, 5, 8/2/, 174, 177, 179-81,188, 191, 198-205, 206/26", 207, 211-13, 215, 222

Meshchersky, Prince V. P., 108, 150,164111 The Mess, i n Messenger ofEurope, 301113, 37, 39, 47-48, 51, 61/29, 62/1/7, 68, 75, 85/25/, 115, 129-49 passim, 171-73, 193/2/, 216 Metner, E. K., 190 Metropolis, 94

Mikhailovsky, N. K., 114, 143,152, 164/2/, 166/2/0, 172, 207-8, 211-14, 217-18, 220, 238 Miklukho-Maklai, N. N., 207 Miller, O. E, 115 Minaev, D. D., 108, i n , 114 Minsky, N. M. (N. M. Vilenkin), 173-74, 179-80,187,198-99, 202, 207, 211, 215, 222 The Mirror of Light, 25

Mirsky, D. S., 5, 117, 124 Miscellany, 19

Miturich, P. V, 211 Mnemosyne, 40, 55

modernism, 144,172-73, 178-82, 184-85, 188,190,192 Monthly Historical, Genealogical and Geographical Notes, 16 Monthly Works, 18 Monthly Writings, 177 Morning Hours, 25 Morning Light, 22-25

Neither This Nor That, 19

Nekrasov, N. A., 91, 94, 99, 102, 106-8, 112, 131, 135-36, 152, 165/24, i66/2#, 213 Nemirovich-Danchenko, 219 Nevakhovich, M. L., n o New Journal for Everyone, 192 New Satyricon, 192

New Times, 194/22, 229-30, 233, 235-38, 240, 244/2/2//, 14 New Way, 179-82, 184, 191, 200 The News, 11 News and Notices, 11

Nicholas I, 67, 101-2 Nicholas II, 144, 204 Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 176, 180, 200-1, 204-5, 217, 221, 223 nietzscheanism, 144 nihilism, 106-7 Nikitenko, A. V, 98, 109, 127/2/5 The North, 239 The Northern Archive, 50, 64, 71 The Northern Bee, 44, 50-51, 60, 64, 70, 72, 75> 97> 121,127/2/p Northern Flowers, 46, 62/220, 75,182 The Northern Herald, 158,172-73, 177-78, 207-27 passim, 236, 238-39, 241, 244/2/4 Notesfrom Tarus, 94

Morson, Gary Saul, 163

novels impact ofjournals on, 7, 92 Novikov, N. I., 16-18, 21-24, 26-28, 43, 61/23, 84/2/0

Moscow Literary and Scholarly Collection, 94 Moscow, 106 The Moscow Herald, 41, 75, 85/25/ The Moscow News, 17, 27, 95, 104 The Moscow Observer, 53, 55 Moscow Telegraph, 41, 55, 6 4 - 8 3 passim

Odoevsky, V E, 94 Ogarev, N. P., 113 Order, 139, 147/235 order of precedence (mestnichestvo), 78-79

The Observer, 177

Index Orthodox Church, 72 Ory publishing house, 186 Ostrogorsky, V P., 175 Ostrovsky, A. N., 99-100, 108, 115 The Painter, 19, 22, 84.8/0 Panaev, 1.1., 65, 94, 99,106, i66n8 Panov, V. A., 94 The Pantheon of the Russian and of All European Theaters, 99

Pasternak, B. L., 192 patronage (metsenatstvo), 78-79

Pavlova, K. K., 100 pay rates for writers, see journalists Pesotsky, I. P., 99 Pertsov, P. P., 179-80, 205 Peter I, 11 The Petersburg Gazette, 229, 233-36, 243/14 Physiology ofPetersburg, 94

Pisarev, D. I., 4,107, 109, 114, 117, 218 Pisemsky, A. E, 98,100, 104,108,115 Plekhanov, G. V, 117, 166/29 Pleshcheev, A. N., 115, 208, 211, 213, 226/1/0, 238, 244/2/4 Pletnev, P. A., 106, 146/2/5 Pleve, V K., 209 Pliushar, A. A., i n Pobedonotsev, P. K., 140, 208 Pogodin, M. P, 75-76, 100,105, 114-15 Polar Star

1823-1825, 46 1855-1868, 113 Polevoi, K. A., 71, 83/24 Polevoi, N. A., 41, 49-50, 62/22^, 64-83 passim, 98-100, 104, 118, 121,127/2// History of the Russian People, 71, 73, 75,

77-79, 82-83, 86/25/ Polonsky, la. P., 100,107,115, 129-31, 135-43, 145, HIH^ 211, 244/2/7 Poliakov, Sergei, 181,184 Pomialovsky, N. G., 107 populism, 114, 162-64, 207-8, 210-15, 217, 219-20, 222, 224, 241 positivism, 106, 216-17, 219 Potapenko, I. N., 219 price ofjournals, 13, 51, 60 printers, 46 Problems ofLife, 181, 184-85 Problems ofPhilosophy and Psychology, 176

professionalism, 45,47-49, 54 profits, 13, 30/25, 46, 48-49, 68, 72, 230 Protopopov, Mikhail, 172, 213


provincial readership, see readership Pushkin, A. S., 2, 6, 40-42, 46-57, 61/2/6, 62/2/7, 64, 73-77, 79-82, 94, 97-99, 105-6, 119, 122-24, 126/25, 128/229, 161-62, 173-75, 182, 201-3, 218 The Captain's Daughter, 105

centenary, 174, 194/22, 201-2 Pypin, A. N., 115, 129, 131-36, 139, 142-44, 147/2/233, 48,152 radicalism, 73, 77, 108, 132,176,187, 208, 210

Raich, S.E., 61/2/6, 68,74 Rakhmaninov, I. G., 23, 28 Reshetnikov, E M., 107, i n readership foreign, 25, 32/254, 244/2/6" provincial, 25-26, 58-59, 92, 96, 98, 210, 225/27, 231 realism, 119,177, 185, 224 Red Virgin Soil, 6

reforms, 66, i n , 113-14,137, 152 religious issues, 106,179-80 Religious-Philosophical Society, 180-81 Remizov, A. M., 180, 184,192 Repertory and Pantheon, 100, 108 Repertory of the Russian Theater, 99

Repin, I. E., 204 Riabushinsky, Nikolai, 184-85,195/2// romanticism, 37, 64,119,127/2// Rozanov, V V, 179,183,198-99, 201-2 Rozberg, M. P., 82 Rumor, 106 Russia, 106 The Russian, 114 Russian Antiquity, 109 The Russian Archive, 109,174-75 The Russian Council, 105 The Russian Herald, 103-5, IQ8> 152, 172 The Russian News, 172,192, 194/22, 240 Russian Survey, 177 Russian Symbolists, 182, 207 Russian Thalia, 69 The Russian Theater, 21 Russian Thought, 171—74, 191-92,193/2/, 209, 216, 226/2/0, 238-39, 241-42 The Russian Veteran, 95, 99 Russian Wealth, 172, 193/2/, 214, 218, 228 The Russian Word, 107, 114

Ruskin, John, 204, 221 Russov, S. V, 75



Ryleev, K. F.,46,113

Somov, O. M., 76 Son of the Fatherland, 50, 60, 64, 68, 70,

Sabashnikova, A. V, 209, 214 The Sail, 106

Saltykov-Shchedrin, M. E., 102, 104, 106-8, 135, 173, 209 Samarin, Iu. E, 106, 12711117, iy, 161 Sand, George, 98, 120, 127/2/2/0, iy, 151, 161, 220 satirical journals, 18-19, yni8, 110-12, 114, 229-34,236,238 satire, 67, 72, 97, 101, no, 112, 114, 230 A Scholar's Library, 25

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 175, 200-1, 204, 221, 226/1.23 Scorpio publishing house, 181-82, 184, 190 Semenov, Mikhail, 181 Semennikov, V. P., 18 Semevsky, M. I., 109 Senkovsky, O. I., 53-54, 56-60, 621128, 83, 98-99,102,105, 123, i66n