суббота, 5 сентября 2009 г.

The Boldino autumn (a milestone in life of A.S. Pushkin)

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The Boldino autumn was the most fruitful period in the life of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

…The wedding of Alexander Pushkin and Natalia Goncharova, his fiancee he had been courting for three years, was scheduled for September 1830.

Болдино, музей
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The sudden death of Pushkin's uncle and the ensuing period of mourning forced the poet to postpone the wedding ceremony. Hating to lose time, he headed for his Boldino family estate near Nizhny Novgorod to make preparations for the upcoming wedding. A cholera epidemic advancing from the south made the trip a risky business, but, ignoring his friends’ warnings Pushkin hit the road only to find Boldino ringed by a sanitary cordon. As a result, Pushkin was forced to stay there for a whole three months which proved the most fruitful in his whole life…

It was autumn, a season Pushkin loved most because of the physical and creative upsurge it always gave him. Pushkin was on seventh heaven in Boldino where nothing stood between him and his inspiration, as if Fate itself had hoisted him high above the earth so than he could look back on his past and better translate into artistic images the feelings and thoughts which had piled up throughout his tempestuous and passion-filled life. In Boldino, Pushkin's genius came to its full flowering with a constellation of wonderful stories that were more than enough to earn him the fame of an excellent lyricist, dramatist and novelist even if they were the only thing he had ever written in his life…

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Alexander Pushkin wrote his first story when he was already 30 years old and he openly admitted that "prose made him sick". In Boldino he apparently changed his mind writing the five short stories collected as “Tales by I.P.Belkin" and loving it. When the “Tales” had already been published, someone asked Pushkin who this I.P.Belkin really was. "Whoever he may be," Pushkin laughed, "this is the right way to write things, short and clear…"

Apart from the "Tales", Pushkin also wrote the four "Little Tragedies" — “The Covetous Knight”, “The Stone Guest”, “Mozart and Salieri” and “Feast in Time of Plague” — all giving credit to the author's deep understanding of the human soul, gripped by avarice, envy and sensuousness.

Busy as he was writing and managing the estate, Pushkin also worried about his fiancée because people were saying the cholera epidemic had reached Moscow. In his letters to Natalie, Pushkin complained about his forced seclusion calling himself "a wretched animal", trying unsuccessfully to break free and marry his beloved one. Still, deep in his soul, he was so happy savoring every moment of his God-given inspiration.

There, working in the seclusion of his empty country house, Pushkin finally finished his novel in verse, “Yevgeny Onegin” which he had been writing for seven long years. “Yevgeny Onegin” unfolds an encyclopedia of Russian life showing it in all its actuality, a book admired by many generations of Russians. It is the ‘most Russian’ novel this country has ever had, offering an eye-opening picture of Russian history.

Finishing his work on “Yevgeny Onegin”, Pushkin closed a chapter on his past life of hard work and loving affection. Who knows, maybe he already sensed the coming of a life that was so new and unknown to him…

Source:The Voice of Russia

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