Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here is the man in all his complexity: "Ты чо?!..."

Last Update: 10:55 AM 10/15/2013

Mike Nova comments: 
This newly added to the coverage of this event photo is designed, apparently, to show the support of the regions and the military: the officer in the background salutes and holds what appears to be the nuclear suitcase. This display of force is somewhat new, not very usual and routine, and recent (evident to me today) feature: a bodyguard and now this suitcase. I have the impression that it might be an indication that Vovchick is getting increasingly paranoid and I would not be surprised if he is also losing his intellectual sharpness. This "display of force" apparently is also designed to convey a sense of counterbalance to the previous post on his website which was signalling some, if only ambivalent and defensive desire for cooperation in military matters and arms trade. Possibly, the offer to come clean on Bout and to wash their hands off him (along with previous calls in this post to acknowledge and address Putin's own corruption), made him overly apprehensive, defensive and threatened, and enhanced his concerns about his own (in the very logical turn) personal political security and well-being. By the way, the workers at that plant (the venue was chosen, most likely as a signal of "togetherness" with certain, but just certain, ethnic minorities, in the light of Moscow xenophobic riots) look quite skeptical and desiring to examine him closer. Vovchik also appears, again (most likely his illness runs with periodic, waves-like, remissions and exacerbations) quite sick and tired physically; he probably does experience his chronic back pain and tries to control the intake of narcotic pain killers, to keep himself more alert. 
In other words, Вовчик здесь имеет несколько бледный вид. 
It is hard to say, for how long he can continue to function or dysfunction like this, and for how long his Politburo is willing to put up with him and to tolerate his increasingly inadequate and erratic behavior.
Last Update: 8:25 AM 10/15/2013

Mike Nova comments: 
Carefully designed, arranged and "choreographed" photo-message: the centerpiece is the bodyguard in the background looking directly into the camera and striking the defiant, militant and threatening pose: "Ты чо?!..." (confirmed by the pointing arrow on the floor), and Putin, in a foreground, with some expression of attentive concern surveying the map of Eurasia with oil trading routs. 

В Тобольске Владимир Путин проводит совещание по вопросам развития нефтехимической промышленности. 

Перед началом совещания Президент посетил новый комплекс нефтехимической промышленности «Тобольск-Полимер», осмотрел технологические линии производства и принял участие в церемонии запуска предприятия. Ранее глава государства совершил вертолётный облёт Тобольского кремля и ознакомился с ходом его реконструкции. 
15 октября 2013 года, 13:00  Тобольск
Last Update: 1:11 AM 10/15/2013

Владимир Путин провёл встречу с председателем правления концерна «Сименс» Джо Кэзером. Обсуждались вопросы реализации проектов концерна на территории Российской Федерации.
Встреча с председателем правления концерна «Сименс» Джо Кэзером

Mike Nova comments: 
One of the best recent photo-portraits, I must admit. Here is the man in all his complexity: ironic, sophisticated, cynical, humane to a point, strong willed, very shrewd and manipulative, Russian-German (culturally: since he speaks German fluently, he probably is most comfortable with German speakers), and yet: ruthless and cruel when he has to be, but not sadistic, we must admit it also; and most of all a mystery: complexity always involves a mystery element in it. Can we solve it, should we solve it? Yes, but also just up to a point. In his mind, he is merged with his country inextricably, in his mind he is Russia. But is he, really? What is Russia and what is Putin? The first part of the question is much more important than the second, but also is much harder to answer, because it is much more complex. 



There is no need for flowers, let us get straight-gayed to the berries. If you want to sit down with me and hear out my recommendations, I can give you some. Keep in mind that we are of the same age and of the same Age, and also of somewhat similar early lives backgrounds. I do not give a shit about your social status, it does not matter to me, I do not evaluate and judge people on this basis. We could go to the same school and could become childhood friends, however our adult lives are very, very different. So, listen, if you want to: 

- Stop all the hostile and provocative actions, even if they are just messages, right now and do not resort to them anymore; remember what Tolstoy said: "непротивление злу насилием", regardless of what you or me mean by "evil" or "violence". 

- If you want to be America's friend, so be it; without double dealing, shrewdness, which will be discovered easily, double talk or any other primitive devices. This is your and your country's historical choice and chance; and if you are concerned about your historical legacy, think about it very carefully, but most importantly about Russia's fate, if you you really love it. 

-  Introduce English as bone fide second language throughout the country; without it nothing can go forward and progress; with it Russia will be truly European country; business, technological, cultural and any other types of communications will be greatly enhanced and invigorated, the whole country will prosper in all aspects and respects, for she will be truly included into the World and will become a true part of it. The great Russian culture will be revived and will prosper again. 
Without this basic communication vehicle, there could not be any other communications. Not the German, that you speak, but English! 

- Introduce broadly based Internet secondary and higher education, based on the highest and best World, and first of all American and European knowledge base and educational standards. Formal degrees and diplomas do not matter, in Russia, as every one knows, they are bought and sold like sunflower seeds in a market place, it became an open scandal and the butt of jokes and ridicule; it is just a formal ticket for life success. Teach your children well and teach them the highest quality truth, in all respects and in all subjects, and give them the Internet universities diplomas on par with regular university diplomas, and/or combine both types of education. This will be the pattern everywhere. Russian people and Russian kids are not stupid, give them a chance and they will learn well and will push the country forward. 

- Liberalize the political life, free all the political prisoners, including the prisoners of the latest protests, Pussy Riot girls and all the others. They are not a threat to the state in any respect; it is just the sheer stupidity to persecute and to prosecute them. Respect, love, cherish, embrace and protect your opposition, in Russia it is traditionally very weak and was always suppressed and oppressed; your opposition, political and ideological, even if it bites you viciously, is your (I mean the governing circle's) alter ego, it is a part of the national soul, without it there is no complexity and real life. Help them to have their say openly and without any fear, facilitate their political growth, legitimize and empower it; it is the source of strength of the civil society and the state; one of the components of political and social truth, just like the medical second or third opinion. Make the Parliament the true place for discussions and for the open political conflicts and struggles; it is much better and healthier this way; take your examples from the true democracies: American, British and European. Also do not try to whitewash and embellish the rich and still poorly understood and interpreted Russian history, but explore it honestly, with the help of independent and objective Western sources; history is a part of the conscience of the nation, of its soul; it does not make any sense to distort or misinterpret it for short term political gains. Do not brainwash the nation, if you want it to be healthy and viable nation. Do not be afraid of admitting the darkest mistakes of the past, Russia had plenty of them, otherwise the country is doomed to repeat them. Do not fill up the blind and unknown spots with pleasant and comfortable lies; face, admit and acknowledge the truth, research it objectively and lay it out, this is the best vaccine against the future horrors. 

- Technological and economic progress will follow naturally and logically if the nation becomes healthier socially and psycho-socially. 

- Address openly the accusations and claims regarding your own personal (true or false, we do not know definitely, but just suspect) corruption and your own personal "fortune". You cannot avoid dealing with this issue in honest. Present all the facts, respond to all the claims, tell the truth and nothing but the truth. People in Russia and abroad are not fools; they do not have as much power as you do on the individual basis, but they do have their brains and common sense analytic ability. If the law was broken, resign and face the music, if you are an honest man and if you truly love your country; that what any Western politician would do, and their people would not allow them to do otherwise; these are the times, this is the Zeitgeist

Well, I am tired now and I have to take a pause. And if the need be, I will continue. If you wanted to hear me, you heard me. 



Links and References: 

santayana quotes - GS

  1. George Santayana Quotes (Author of The Sense of Beauty)


    30+ items - 80 quotes from George Santayana: 'The earth has music for ...
    The earth has music for those who listen.” ―
    1,914 people liked it.

    "Sanity is a madness put to good uses." ―

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Protest and communications with "authorities" in Russian history and literature - GS

Russian literature - From Wikipedia

joseph stalin and russian literature - GS

joseph stalin and russian literature and culture - GS

mikhail bulgakov and stalin - GS

Yevgeny Zamyatin and stalin - GS

Solzhenitsyn Pismo Vozhdam - Amazon

солженицын письмо вождям советского союза - GS

  1. Александр СолженицынПисьмо вождям Советского Союза


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    Александр Солженицын. Письмо вождям Советского Союза ...
     Это письмо родилось, развилось из единственной мысли: как избежать грозящей нам национальной катастрофы? Могут удивить некоторые практические предложения его. Я готов тотчас и снять их, если кем нибудь будет выдвинута не критика остроумная, но путь конструктивный, выход лучший и, главное, вполне реальный, с ясными путями. Наша интеллигенция единодушна в представлении о желанном будущем нашей страны (самые широкие свободы), но так же единодушна она и в полном бездействии для этого будущего. Все завороженно ждут, не случится ли что само. Нет, не случится. 
      И не "конвергенция" ждет нас с западным миром, но -- полное обновление и перестройка и Запада, и Востока, потому что оба в тупике.
      Эта идеология, доставшаяся нам по наследству, не только дряхла, не только безнадежно устарела, но и в свои лучшие десятилетия она ошиблась во всех своих предсказаниях, она никогда не была наукой.
      Сказавши все это, я не забыл ни на минуту, что вы -- крайние реалисты, на том и начат разговор. Вы -- исключительные реалисты и не допустите, чтобы власть ушла из ваших рук. Оттого вы не допустите доброю волей двух -- или многопартийную парламентскую систему у нас, вы не допустите реальных _выборов_, при которых вас могли бы не выбрать. И на основании реализма приходится признать, что это еще долго будет в ваших силах. 
      Долго, но -- не вечно. 
      Чтобы не задохнулись страна и народ, чтобы они имели возможность развиваться и обогащать нас же идеями, свободно допустите к честному соревнованию -- не за власть! за истину! -- все идеологические и все нравственные течения, в частности _все_религии_ -- их некому будет преследовать, если их гонитель марксизм лишится государственных привилегий. Но допустите честно, не так, как сейчас, не подавляя в немоте, допустите его с молодежными духовными организациями (не политическими совсем), допустите их с правом воспитывать и учить детей, с правом свободной приходской деятельности. (Сам я не вижу сегодня никакой живой духовной силы, кроме христианской, которая могла бы взяться за духовное исцеление России. Но я не прошу и не предлагаю ей льгот, а только: честно -- не подавлять.) Допустите свободное искусство, литературу, свободное книгопечатание не политических книг, Боже упаси! ни воззваний! не предвыборных листовок -- но философских, нравственных, экономических и социальных исследований, ведь это все будет давать богатый урожай, плодоносить -- в пользу России. Такая свободная колосьба мыслей быстро избавит вас от необходимости все новые идеи с запозданием переводить с западных языков, как это происходит все полвека, вы же знаете. 
 А еще ведь и такая потребность бывает в человеческой душе -- искупление прошлого?.. 
      Вы можете с негодованием или смехом отбросить соображения какого-то одиночки, писателя. Но с каждым годом то же самое будет настойчиво предлагать вам жизнь -- по разным поводам, в разное время, с разными формулировками -- но именно это. Потому что это осуществимый плавный путь спасения нашей страны, нашего народа. 

Mike Nova comments: Полнейший бред сивой кобылы русского националиста, страдавшего глубоким комплексом неполноценности и бредом величия; кроме некоторых слов об "истине".


Pushkin and Nicholas I - GS

  1. Pushkin to Putin: the sad tale of democracy in Russia | New Republic


    Jul 1, 2013 - From the times of Pushkin and Nicholas I, it was no longer enough for ...be sanctified by Russian literature, the second sacred Russian power

    "И долго буду тем любезен я народу,
    Что чувства добрые я лирой пробуждал,
    Что в мой жестокий век восславил я свободу
     И милость к падшим призывал."
Андрей Михайлович Курбский - GS

First Epistle of Prince Andrew Kurbsky to Tsar Ivan the Terrible. 17th-century manuscript copy. State Public Library, Leningrad

New York Times Articles - Arts

By TOMAS VENCLOVA; Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian writer who teaches Russian literature at Yale University

Published: February 14, 1988

The countries of the world should be divided into two classes, countries of immigrants and countries of emigres. Everybody knows that America - her might, her prosperity, her culture - has been created mainly, if not exclusively, by huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The culture of Russia, on the other hand, has been created, almost to the same extent, by her emigres, the wretched refuse of that ancient, pompous empire. Virtually the same observation applies to Poland or Hungary or, for that matter, to my native Lithuania, to all parts of that ill-defined realm called Eastern (or sometimes Central) Europe, which remains within the empire's reach.

There are at least two kinds of such emigres. Some leave their countries for good, like Adam Mickiewicz and Alexander Herzen in the 19th century or Czeslaw Milosz and Joseph Brodsky in our day; others become the so-called internal emigres, like Boris Pasternak and Mikhail Bulgakov. Internal emigration is a particularly Russian concept; I do not think it makes much sense elsewhere. Even Alexander Pushkin was an internal emigre. He was more than eager to go abroad; predictably, he never managed to obtain permission. Driven to despair, he cherished such outlandish projects as joining the Russian delegation that was to visit Peking, and he enlisted in the Russian Army during the war with Turkey, just to put his foot on foreign soil. But the soil of the occupied part of Turkey, he noted with some dismay, had already become Russian.

The impossibility of escape - even if some people manage to do the impossible - is the very definition of prison. Some countries create impressive mythologies to support their decision to close their borders for good. These mythologies have been disproved hundreds of times. Nevertheless they have an immense potential for survival, not only because of the governments' efforts, but, as it were, by the force of common consent. The usual argument goes like this: Abandoning one's society equals spiritual suicide. It is an act of treason comparable to adultery or to the betrayal of one's mother. It means religious crime, rejection of true orthodoxy, be it that of the Eastern church or of Marxism-Leninism; it means renunciation of certain mystical truths that can flourish only on one's native soil. Life on that soil is hard, one cannot deny it, but it is immoral and vicious to forsake one's country in her eternal misfortunes. A writer cannot survive outside his native language. A human being is not just a human being, but part and parcel of his soil, a drop of his motherland's blood, a cogwheel in its spiritual mechanism. An individual does not exist at all. It is as simple as that.

Of course there were people who rejected that mythology, consciously or unconsciously. At least, they struggled against it, just as Jacob struggled with the angel. Arguably, the very best part of the Russian and East European culture originated as a result of that struggle and that rejection. One could tell innumerable stories about such people, stories that are not always amusing but usually are instructive. But the very first among the Russian exiles - the first who was bold enough to cut his umbilical cord, to become a separate human being and not just a particle of the collective soul - lived more than 400 years ago. His name was Prince Andrei Kurbsky. In a sense, he was and still is the patron of all emigres. Not their patron saint (a saint he never was), but their ancestor.

The story has two heroes. The second was the czar of all Russia, the first to use the title of czar. In the Western tradition, he is commonly known as Ivan the Terrible. This is an inaccurate translation of the Russian ''Ivan Groznyj''; ''groznyj'' means stern and formidable. The adjective is usually employed when one talks of a father, a force of nature or some deity. It was also applied to Stalin. According to a generally held opinion, it meant that the ruler, while threatening (in Russia, he has to be threatening; it simply cannot be otherwise), was at the same time rather benevolent toward his loyal subjects.

Ivan's reign was truly spectacular, even by Russian standards. Only Stalin exceeded Ivan in the range of his enterprise, but Stalin had trains, machine guns and modern media at his disposal. Ivan subjugated Tatars and many other tribes, making Russia for the first time a multinational state. He abrogated any concept of territorial or personal autonomy in his country. He limited the power of the nobility, mainly by means of physical elimination. He organized oprichnina, a sort of K.G.B. which tortured and killed alleged traitors by the thousands, more often than not in Ivan's presence. During Ivan's reign, becoming a head of any central department was an invitation to a beheading; it is easy to comprehend that the oprichniki themselves enjoyed no immunity. Ivan forced some of his supposed enemies to inform on themselves and then to take poison. In a fit of madness, he killed the only one of his sons who had some ability for governing (the other one was good-natured and imbecilic). Moreover, he started a war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden that lasted 24 years and was almost as senseless as today's war in the Persian Gulf.

I suspect that many, if not all people of Moscow actually loved him. They gave him dictatorial powers, and he never grew tired of praising their loyalty and patience, just as Stalin did 400 years later. Ivan's late years were even more astonishing than his earlier ones since he rehabilitated posthumously all of his victims and ordered the church to pray for their souls. So, in a sense, he combined Stalin, Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev in one person. Like many dictators, Ivan had a weakness for chess and it proved fatal; he died in 1584, presumably in a fit of anger, when one of his partners dared to win. He was 54 years old, and a very old man. No wonder.

Prince Andrei Kurbsky, two years older than Ivan, did not live long enough to see Ivan's death. He grew up virtually in the same milieu as the future czar (they were relatives). Their fates were closely interconnected. Kurbsky took part in some of Ivan's projects of administrative reform and in some of his wars; he served with distinction and was ruthless enough to earn the czar's confidence and friendship. Then something happened. During the war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Kurbsky fell out of favor. Perhaps he displayed some sympathy with the executed and ruined, many of whom were his friends and relatives; perhaps he was irritated by the obvious senselessness of the war in which he had to take part; perhaps his tastes were slightly too conservative for him to enjoy Ivan's paranoid innovations in ruling his country. In any case, he became an internal emigre.

There may have been a subconscious factor in Kurbsky's decision: he had to follow his vocation. He was born to be a writer, and today we remember him mainly as a writer. Yet there was no place for a writer in Ivan's Russia, except, of course, Ivan himself. Therefore, in 1564 when he was 36 years old, Kurbsky left ''God's land.'' He crossed the border with a large crowd of adherents and servants and arrived in Lithuania.

For almost two centuries (except for a short and precarious period of independence during the 1920's and 30's), Lithuania, in popular opinion at least, was part of the Russian empire. And today she shares Russia's fate and has to conform to the Russian way of life, even if extremely reluctantly. During the medieval and the Renaissance periods, Lithuania was a great nation (larger than Russia itself), maintaining a union with Poland but fiercely protecting her independence, a democracy by the standards of the age, quite prosperous and, as Mr. Milosz has said, moderately corrupt. In short, to Ivan's subjects, Lithuania looked very much the way the United States looks to a Soviet emigre now. And Kurbsky's story looks like the typical one of a successful defector. He was granted political asylum; he was debriefed by the intelligence service of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (a rather modest institution, at that time), to which he disclosed some sensitive information on Ivan's character and intentions; he was given an office and several large estates. (His mother, his wife and his only son perished in Ivan's prisons. His brothers were murdered, and their wealth was distributed among the oprichniki; that was a regular procedure.) Then, Prince Andrei Kurbsky started to write.

His abundant literary work includes historical essays, translations of the lives of saints and a theological treatise. But, of course, his main task - the only goal of his life, to be sure - was settling accounts with Ivan and the Russia which Kurbsky had had to leave. He badly needed to comprehend what had happened to him, to the czar, and to their country. He attempted to rationalize his act as an exercise in the traditional freedom of a knight to choose his sovereign. At the same time, he could not help but grasp that he had done something new and unusual. He deliberately left his land and the realm of strict orthodoxy. That was threatening; perhaps it led to a loss of identity. The pain was particularly acute since Kurbsky was a traditionalist (while Ivan was a modernist). Coming to one of the first modern decisions in Russia's history became, for Kurbsky, an unbearable burden. He sent Ivan a short letter which is the first surviving document of Russian dissent and of Russian emigre prose. He wrote in a heavily rhetorical fashion, quoting the Bible and Cicero, but one can discern a faint flicker of a new and personal language under that traditional guise, a language adequate to the unique historical challenge Kurbsky had to face. In the translation of J. L. Fennell (''The Correspondence Between Prince A. M. Kurbsky and Tsar Ivan IV of Russia,'' Cambridge University Press), his letter demands: ''Wherefore, O czar, have you destroyed the strong in Israel and subjected to various forms of death the voevodas [ the commandants ] given to you by God? And wherefore have you spilt their victorious, holy blood in the churches of God . . . and stained the thresholds of the churches with the blood of martyrs? . . . In front of your army have I marched -and marched again; and no dishonor have I brought upon you. . . . And this, not in one year, not yet in two - but throughout many years have I toiled with much sweat and patience; and always have I been separated from my fatherland, and little have I seen my parents, and my wife have I not known; but always in far-distant towns have I stood in arms against your foes and I have suffered many wants and natural illnesses, of which my Lord Jesus Christ is witness. . . . But to you, O czar, was all this as nought; rather do you show us your intolerable wrath and bitterest hatred, and, furthermore, burning stoves.'' (The mention of stoves refers to one of Ivan's favorite tortures.) Ivan deemed it necessary to answer the traitor, and did it without delay. He wrote a very long and vigorous letter, later characterized by Kurbsky as a ''grandiloquent and big-sounding screed.'' A dramatic correspondence followed. The letters of the two men, taken together, make one of the most interesting books ever written in Russian. Ivan was a much better writer than his adversary. Both, of course, were helped by scribes. Nevertheless, Ivan's personality shows itself on every page. There is a sort of Shakespearean quality in him. He is passionate and witty, sincere and hypocritical, erudite and totally idiosyncratic; in short, he is extremely individualistic (no wonder, since he was the only human being in his empire allowed to be an individual). His speech is a magnificent dramatic performance - mocking, taunting, tantalizing, complaining, bewitching. All the devices described in this century by the Russian Formalists are already there. He postures and changes masks, he always sees his correspondent in his mind's eye and anticipates his reactions unerringly. His curses are virtually untranslatable though seldom obscene.

As a writer Kurbsky pales in comparison. He is less original, less bold. His prose is languid, sometimes dull, and in the course of years it is more and more tainted by half-digested Polish traits. To make things worse, Ivan usually sounds much more convincing. He was helped very much by the ancient biblical, Byzantine and Russian traditions, which provided him with ready-made ideas and patterns of thought. The world, according to Ivan, became intrinsically evil after the Fall. It is built on blood, hierarchy and bitter duty. A reasonable ruler chosen by God must introduce a measure of order into that evil world by every means at his disposal. ''And we are free to reward our servants, and we are also free to punish them. . . . Dogs are executed in all countries.''

Kurbsky, the conservative and traditionalist, groped awkwardly for something not firmly rooted in that ancient tradition. He attempted to say that forcible oaths and hierarchies cannot bind a human being; that execution without due process is not divine justice; that one should not praise one's native country while it is a prison and even less so when it is a torture chamber; that one cannot love one's homeland if one cannot leave it and come back at will. He himself never became totally convinced that these strange truths amounted to more than ''Polish barbarism.''

His last years were less than happy. He liked Latin and spoke Polish, but at the same time he fiercely denounced Roman Catholic influences on ''pure'' Slavonic language and literature; in that way he did his best to remain in the realm of true orthodoxy from which he had defected. He considered his era the age of the Beast spoken of in the Book of Revelations and was fond of apocalyptic prophesies. Not accidentally, he earned fame as one of the most violent nobles of his new country -which was never short of unpredictable men. He maliciously enjoyed armed attacks on his neighbors and got into dozens of legal disputes. His sergeants and policemen mistreated Jews (that was not customary in the 16th-century Commonwealth). In turn he suffered endless humiliations; his new homeland, although only moderately corrupt, was rather good in the art of petty harassment. When he was approached by the king's envoys who wanted to reason with him, he used to heap on them ''vile Muscovite curses,'' yielding only to Ivan in this field. He died at the age of 55, a broken and impoverished man. Ivan survived him by a year.

Recently, his fate has been given a peculiarly ironic twist. A Harvard scholar, Edward L. Keenan, declared in 1971 that all the correspondence between Kurbsky and Ivan is apocryphal. In Mr. Keenan's view - supported by sophisticated textual analysis - the whole thing was concocted by a certain Semen Shakhovskoj, a writer with ample if complex reasons for committing such a forgery, who lived approximately 100 years after Kurbsky and Ivan. A lively controversy arose over this theory. It is still going on, though it seems that Mr. Keenan's opponents are now gaining the upper hand. Personally, I have never been convinced by Mr. Keenan's argument. In my opinion, it violates an old rule of scholarly method known as ''Occam's razor'' - the simplest of competing theories is to be preferred to the more complex ones. It is much simpler to believe that Kurbsky and Ivan wrote their letters themselves than to muse over Shakhovskoj's possible actions, his intricate reasons and his amazing ability to create two totally different literary personas. But I cannot fail to notice the sad humor of the situation: here is an exile whose life's goal was making some sense out of his predicament, but now posterity will never be totally sure that he did what he did.

The story is as absurd as any story concerning exile. Kurbsky, the forefather of all Russian emigres, was a loser. His letters to Ivan were just an exercise in futility. Nothing changed and nothing could be changed in Ivan's Russia by those letters. Not too much has changed there to this very day. Even the country where Kurbsky found a shelter today is but a part of Ivan's empire. Moreover, Kurbsky's adversary won the battle even in purely literary terms. And now Kurbsky's life work - in a sense, his very existence - has been thrown in doubt by a new generation, 400 years after his death. Virtually nothing can be said in his favor except the insignificant fact that he was right. He went against the common opinion of his times, and that is what writing is all about. THANKS TO THEIR BANISHMENT

Vienna, host in our century to so many citizens on painful journeys from fatherlands they had abandoned or been abandoned by, was the site in December of a conference sponsored by the Wheatland Foundation and titled ''The Exile as Writer.'' Participants included 26 novelists, poets and essayists living outside the dozen countries of their birth, and an Arab from Upper Galilee who lives in Jerusalem and writes in Hebrew.

Few participants said they would go back home if they could (Lev Kopelev of the Soviet Union was one who would). Tomas Venclova, a native of Lithuania, said exile gave him the option to travel (in fact, he went from the Vienna conference to Stockholm and from there to Fiji). But he does send the world back home; he has translated scores of major works from many languages, making them available for the first time in Lithuanian. Nedim Gursel, the Turkish writer now living in Paris, said he felt thwarted by the French language and could write only in his ''cave of Turkish,'' and the Cuban novelist Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who lives in England, described himself as ''invisible'' without Spanish. But many of the writers professed that the vocabularies and tonalities of a fresh language enhanced their work.

Nuruddin Farah of Somalia movingly praised exile and its metaphysical nature: ''The notion of exile is central to many faiths. Without banishment, there would be no 'Divine Comedy.' '' Anton Shammas, the Palestinian novelist from Israel, cited Dante, too, suggesting that if the poet had stayed home he would have created his own exile, as so many writers tend to do. Wojciech Karpinski of Poland called exile ''a dignified institution.'' ''I majored in freedom,'' he said. ''Exile intensified it.'' Mr. Kopelev hoped exile would further ''Goethe's dream of a world literature''; Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht, he said, took their homelands abroad with them. Joseph Brodsky, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, experienced despair and fear when he first left the Soviet Union and the least strangeness in his surroundings triggered his ''retrospective machinery.'' But after a time these very reactions turned into ''an accelerated flight into absolute perspective. Exile to a land of liberty,'' he said, ''closer to one's ideals, can be a ROSE STYRON

  1. The Prince and His Czar - Letters From Exile - New York Times

    www.nytimes.com › COLLECTIONS › SOIL

    Feb 14, 1988 - Coming to one of the first modern decisions in Russia's history became, for Kurbsky, an unbearable burden. He sent Ivan a short letter which is ...

    Prince A. M. Kurbsky's History of the Grand Prince of Moscow describes the reign of Iran IV from 1533 to the early 1570s. Written probably in 1573, nine years after Kurbsky deserted to Poland-Lithuania, it is the earliest attempt at a historical monograph in Russian. It is a vivid and at times revealing eye-witness account of the first half of the Tsar's reign, and is important for its true picture of the age and for the amount of factual detail it provides. It is also valuable for the light Kurbsky throws on certain episodes in Ivan's reign at which he himself was present, such as the capture of Kazan and the Livonian War. Above all, it is important as a document written by a representative of the boyar aristocracy and an opponent of autocracy. Dr Fennell provides the Russian text, with a facing translation and full notes on historical and philological questions.

    Correspondence Between Prince A. M. Kurbsky and Tsar Ivan Fourth of Russia ...


    ivan grozny film - YouTube Search

    Иван Грозный 1 серия / Ivan the Terrible film 1 


    Оценка исторической личности[править | править исходный текст]
На камне мшистом в час ночной,
Из милой родины изгнанник,
Сидел князь Курбский, вождь младой,
В Литве враждебной грустный странник,
Позор и слава русских стран,
В совете мудрый, страшный в брани,
Надежда скорбных россиян,
Гроза ливонцев, бич Казани...
К. Ф. Рылеев[7], 1821 (отрывок)
Мнения о Курбском, как политическом деятеле и человеке, не только различны, но и диаметрально противоположны. Одни видят в нём узкого консерватора, человека крайне ограниченного, но высокого самомнения, сторонника боярской крамолы и противника единодержавия. Измену его объясняют расчетом на житейские выгоды, а его поведение в Литве считают проявлением разнузданного самовластия и грубейшего эгоизма; ставится под сомнение даже искренность и целесообразность его трудов на поддержаниеправославия.
По убеждению других, Курбский — личность умная и образованная, честный и искренний человек, всегда стоявший на стороне добра и правды. Его называют первым русским диссидентом.

сказания князя курбского - 

Сказания князя Курбского


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the ...

Kurbsky - GS

Andrey Kurbsky - From Wikipedia

kurbsky ivan letters - GS

kurbsky quest - GS

  1. Renegades, Rebels and Rogues Under the Tsars

    Peter Julicher - 2003 - ‎History
    An even more important turning point in Kurbsky's career came in 1553, just ... in Livonia.9 To be sure, the tsar's quest to win territory in what is now Lithuania, ...

  2. Political Symbols in Russian History: Church, State, and the Quest ...

    Lee Trepanier - 2010 - ‎History
    Church, State, and the Quest for Order and Justice Lee Trepanier. power of Logos, so too must ... found in Ivan's Epistle to Prince Kurbsky (ca. 1564), where Ivan ...
kurbski andrzej - GS 


Today, nearly five centuries after his birth, Prince Andrei Kurbsky remains probably no less a controversial and talked-about figure than he was during his own lifetime and that of the terrible tsar. It is no surprise that he is something of a symbolic if not emblematic figure in Russian history.
Terror of the Livonians and scourge of Kazan, Kurbsky was a significant figure because he changed an important vector in Russian history. Prior to the rule of Ivan the Terrible, we find historical chronicles filled with stories about how certain key figures from the Tatar, Lithuanian and Polish kingdoms fled to Russian in search of a better life or simply in an attempt to save their own lives. With Kurbsky, we see the beginning of a major movement in the opposite direction, and this is why certain historians quite seriously consider him the forbearer of the nonconformist movement, the first Russian dissident.
But is this reputation well founded? Who knows? The prince’s bright and controversial figure casts a shadow over the other lower ranking subjects of the Tsar of Muscovy who travelled West earlier than Prince Kurbsky. And among these others are those who actually committed deeds damaging the state. But prior to his exodus, Kurbsky was not known to have done anything unworthy, save expressions of sympathies for his many countrymen who had fallen from grace.
Kurbsky managed to sense that winds were shifting, reading signals coming from both sides: enticing letters from the Polish and Lithuanian side and very specific warnings of impending danger from his Muscovite friends – he should not risk returning to Moscow from Yuriev, where he was serving as the military governor.
Even from the relatively scant historical records surviving today, we can surmise that the prince was not all sugary and sweet. But he also was not the spineless, self-interested and hapless narcissist depicted in Sergei Eizenshtein’s renowned film. And the accusations that Kurbsky sought to seduce the tsar’s wife Anastasia and take up the princedom of Yaroslavl (Kurbsky originated from the Smolensk-Yaroslavl line of princes) are on conscious of Tsar Ivan.
The literary talents of Prince Kurbsky were recognized by no less than the class sensitive Big Soviet Encyclopedia, and his quill seems no duller several centuries after the ink dried. The Russian historian Nikolai Ustryalov, prior to publishing these historic in the 19th century, noted that many Russian readers would find it uncomfortable to read Kurbsky’s writings. But nonetheless they should read them.
Truth be told, some people with a twinge of bitterness ask: did Kurbsky have to write his most famous and longest first letter to Tsar Ivan just in order for Alexei Tolstoy to so succinctly sum it up in 16 lines of a poem three hundred years later?
In Lithuania Kurbsky settled in and aged quickly, picking up the mannerisms of his environs and coming to resemble neighboring barons. Later his descendants converted to Catholicism and within a century the Kurbsky dynasty was no more…
Georgy Osipov
Alexei Tolstoy kurbsky poem - GS 

Vasily Shibanov - GS

Vasily Shibanov - From Wikipedia

Vasily Shibanov is a poem by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, written in the late 1840s and first published in the September 1858 issue of The Russian Messenger magazine. The poem (eighteen 8-line verses), a folk ballad in both structure and tone, deals with a real episode in the history of the 16th century Russian Empire, namely the deflection of Prince Kurbsky to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the way he sent the damning letter to Ivan the Terrible with his servant Shibanov, which meant imminent death for the latter.[1]


For a source Tolstoy used the fragment of Nikolay Karamzin’s History of the Russian State relating how "…Kurbsky by night clandestinely left his home, climbed over the city wall, found two of the horses his loyal servant prepared for him and safely reached Volmar, then under the Lithuanians". Received warmly by Sigismund II Augustus's men, Kurbsky sat down to write a letter (first of the three) to the Russian Tsar and then sent it with his stremyanny,[2] the very man who helped him escape from Moscow.
According to the History, what Ivan the Terrible did first was hit and pierce the messenger's foot with his sharp baton, so as to nail him down to the floor, then asked one of his men to read the letter, Shibanov all the while standing nearby, profusely bleeding. The reading finished, Ivan, keen on learning everything about the fugitive's allies in Moscow, ordered the messenger to be taken to the torture chamber.[1] According to Karamzin, "...the virtuous servant, named Vasily Shibanov, betrayed nobody. Suffering greatly, he only praised his own master and was saying how happy he was to die for him".[3]

The Letter[edit]

The source of the verses 11 and 12 was the text of Kurbsky's letter, published in Prince Kurbsky Tales (1833).[1][4] In Tolstoy's rendition the fragment of the letter goes as follows:
And now I address you Tsar, who's been praised from times immemorial and who's now sinking in bestiality. Tell me, you madman, why, for what sins, did you come to destroy the best and the strongest of your men? Answer this: were it not those men who, in hard fought wars have crushed numerous enemy’s citadels? Is it not their bravery that's brought you your present glory? Who can equal then in their loyalty?
You madman, who's been tempted into unspoken heresy! Could it be that you deem yourself less mortal than us? Now hear this: the hour of revenge, foretold by the Writ, will come. Me, who poured blood for your sake as if it were water, will come to stand by my Judge, but you too will be standing there beside me!

василий шибанов - 

Алексей Константинович Толстой

Василий Шибанов

Князь Курбский от царского гнева бежал,
С ним Васька Шибанов, стремянный.
Дороден был князь. Конь измученный пал.
Как быть среди ночи туманной?
Но рабскую верность Шибанов храня,
Свого отдает воеводе коня:
«Скачи, князь, до вражьего стану,
Авось я пешой не отстану».

И князь доскакал. Под литовским шатром
Опальный сидит воевода,
Стоят в изумленье литовцы кругом,
Без шапок толпятся у входа,
Всяк русскому витязю честь воздает;
Недаром дивится литовский народ,
И ходят их головы кругом:
«Князь Курбский нам сделался другом».

Но князя не радует новая честь,
Исполнен он желчи и злобы;
Готовится Курбский царю перечесть
Души оскорбленной зазнобы:
«Что долго в себе я таю и ношу,
То все я пространно к царю напишу,
Скажу напрямик, без изгиба,
За все его ласки спасибо».

И пишет боярин всю ночь напролет,
Перо его местию дышит,
Прочтет, улыбнется, и снова прочтет,
И снова без отдыха пишет,
И злыми словами язвит он царя,
И вот уж, когда занялася заря,
Поспело ему на отраду
Послание, полное яду.

Но кто ж дерзновенные князя слова
Отвезть Иоанну возьмется?
Кому не люба на плечах голова,
Чье сердце в груди не сожмется?
Невольно сомненья на князя нашли...
Вдруг входит Шибанов в поту и в пыли:
«Князь, служба моя не нужна ли?
Вишь, наши меня не догнали!»

И в радости князь посылает раба,
Торопит его в нетерпенье:
«Ты телом здоров, и душа не слаба,
А вот и рубли в награжденье!»
Шибанов в ответ господину: «Добро!
Тебе здесь нужнее твое серебро,
А я передам и за муки
Письмо твое в царские руки».

Звон медный несется, гудит над Москвой;
Царь в смирной одежде трезвонит;
Зовет ли обратно он прежний покой
Иль совесть навеки хоронит?
Но часто и мерно он в колокол бьет,
И звону внимает московский народ,
И молится, полный боязни,
Чтоб день миновался без казни.

В ответ властелину гудят терема,
Звонит с ним и Вяземский лютый,
Звонит всей опрични кромешная тьма,
И Васька Грязной, и Малюта,
И тут же, гордяся своею красой,
С девичьей улыбкой, с змеиной душой,
Любимец звонит Иоаннов,
Отверженный богом Басманов.

Царь кончил; на жезл опираясь, идет,
И с ним всех окольных собранье.
Вдруг едет гонец, раздвигает народ,
Над шапкою держит посланье.
И спрянул с коня он поспешно долой,
К царю Иоанну подходит пешой
И молвит ему, не бледнея:
«От Курбского князя Андрея!»

И очи царя загорелися вдруг:
«Ко мне? От злодея лихого?
Читайте же, дьяки, читайте мне вслух
Посланье от слова до слова!
Подай сюда грамоту, дерзкий гонец!»
И в ногу Шибанова острый конец
Жезла своего он вонзает,
Налег на костыль - и внимает:

«Царю, прославляему древле от всех,
Но тонущу в сквернах обильных!
Ответствуй, безумный, каких ради грех
Побил еси добрых и сильных?
Ответствуй, не ими ль, средь тяжкой войны,
Без счета твердыни врагов сражены?
Не их ли ты мужеством славен?
И кто им бысть верностью равен?

Безумный! Иль мнишись бессмертнее нас,
В небытную ересь прельщенный?
Внимай же! Приидет возмездия час,
Писанием нам предреченный,
И аз, иже кровь в непрестанных боях
За тя, аки воду, лиях и лиях,
С тобой пред судьею предстану!»
Так Курбский писал к Иоанну.

Шибанов молчал. Из пронзенной ноги
Кровь алым струилася током,
И царь на спокойное око слуги
Взирал испытующим оком.
Стоял неподвижно опричников ряд;
Был мрачен владыки загадочный взгляд,
Как будто исполнен печали;
И все в ожиданье молчали.

И молвил так царь: «Да, боярин твой прав,
И нет уж мне жизни отрадной,
Кровь добрых и сильных ногами поправ,
Я пес недостойный и смрадный!
Гонец, ты не раб, но товарищ и друг,
И много, знать, верных у Курбского слуг,
Что выдал тебя за бесценок!
Ступай же с Малютой в застенок!»

Пытают и мучат гонца палачи,
Друг к другу приходят на смену:
«Товарищей Курбского ты уличи,
Открой их собачью измену!»
И царь вопрошает: «Ну что же гонец?
Назвал ли он вора друзей наконец?»
«Царь, слово его все едино:
Он славит свого господина!»

День меркнет, приходит ночная пора,
Скрыпят у застенка ворота,
Заплечные входят опять мастера,
Опять зачалася работа.
«Ну, что же, назвал ли злодеев гонец?»
«Царь, близок ему уж приходит конец,
Но слово его все едино,
Он славит свого господина:

«О князь, ты, который предать меня мог
За сладостный миг укоризны,
О князь, я молю, да простит тебе бог
Измену твою пред отчизной!
Услышь меня, боже, в предсмертный мой час,
Язык мой немеет, и взор мой угас,
Но в сердце любовь и прощенье,
Помилуй мои прегрешенья!

Услышь меня, боже, в предсмертный мой час,
Прости моего господина!
Язык мой немеет, и взор мой угас,
Но слово мое все едино:
За грозного, боже, царя я молюсь,
За нашу святую, великую Русь,
И твердо жду смерти желанной!»

Так умер Шибанов, стремянный.

Published on 10/11/13 10:40 PM

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