Archival literary album Turgenev

The 200th anniversary of the birth of I. S. Turgenev Russian state archive of literature and art prepared a literary and artistic album “I. S. Turgenev and his contemporaries”. In the collection of published documents and graphic materials from the collection of the Russian state archive of literature and art related to the female environment of I. S. Turgenev, directly or indirectly influenced the formation of the literary image of “Turgenev’s girl”.

Important role in the life of the writer played his mother, Varvara Petrovna Turgeneva, which is the range of personality certainly surpassed many of his contemporaries. People of strong character, independent Outlook and hot temperament she combined a love of power, selfishness, wildness in raw with gusts of tenderness, kindness and humanity. She had a distinct passion for writing – she wrote an original, colorful, expressive writing, kept a diary, notebook for notes and orders, etc. have made albums with notes and references to the sons. V. P. Turgenev was rather fond, in her own words, interview with Ivan “the letter”. Dialogue with son was her persistent need. Of his mother’s letter to I. S. Turgenev was the most important source of information about events in the life of the family, relatives, close friends and neighbors of the landowners. They have and heartfelt outpouring, and parental guidance. For the latter were intended and albums that are specifically targeted to son Ivan.

One of these albums has been preserved among the descendants of V. N. Getaway and in the 1930-ies was acquired by the State Literary Museum, and later transferred in the established Central state literary archive (now RGALI). Its leaves extracts of French novels, moralizing history, presenting examples worthy of imitation, or, on the contrary, a warning from Vice, reasoning about what is seen and chuvstvennogo calling the person to whom this is addressed to understand and share the feelings of the writer. This text was first published in the jubilee album, RGALI. Give a few initial pages of this interesting document.

…My son, Jean

You maybe will never read these notes, written in the presence of your image, but so what. My soul is poured out, and my love given to moments of happiness. These lines you will not come up. Here I am talking with you in my heart; useless to your happiness that can only hope on this earth.


If the eye of the curious penetrated into the attic, at first glance, it would he did not look; however, having peered more closely, he’d understand that the location, the decor, the privacy it, and the surrounding silence makes it a delightful refuge. It is a sanctuary where you can immerse yourself in the ecstasy of dreams, privacy, where, with view of the vastness of the sky, you can give vent to thoughts, fast, like clouds driven by the wind. Such a cell could be a refuge of hopeless torment, the place of redemption to the repentant soul, the beloved sanctuary of the heart which seeks and cherishes the silence, the bliss, hardly hidden before the ordinary relations of life, which, however, breaking like immerses the senses in the delicate delight of untold dreams.

Yes, it could be resting place of the flour, the flour that loves solitude without being aware of it; it is sent down by Providence instinct of nature, forcing her to look gloomy and deserted area, where it will end its torments; for in this lonely death. Communication with the outside world, can be fooled in the flour and gradually blot out her, instead she increased in this solitude, which destroys one after the other rare flowers, still remaining on the devastated earth; and when the limits of the parched deserts stretch far, so far that the eye sees more on the horizon, no cool shade, no flowering lawns, this meal finally completes its job in silence. So the sandstorm overtakes the traveler, who, fleeing from the light, where he suffered for a long time, rushed into the desert and dying on the hot sand, far from the oasis of shady trees, far from the bubbling water. But happiness! How many charms it gives the mystery an unattainable refuge. How can it clothe its bare walls images, shining brighter than the gold and gems of fabulous palaces! Some pictures of bright and shiny colors! I’m talking about the happiness of the heart, and not on any other, if it is in the world; I say this unearthly delight that is born from thoughts, from a smile; and I do not hold on to the happiness that comes from a clear conscience, duty, good deeds, friends, happy in this manner are not looking for seclusion, it won’t add them calm contentment; I’m talking about happiness secret, that takes away our soul from earthly feelings and leads her from end to end, to the shores, of which so many dreamed of, to Eden in fragrant bloom, one glance at which gives sometimes hope for happiness, single word, favorite name transforming into the divine harmony of the silence of the night and turns to gold everything it touches! When you’re so happy, you have to lock yourself away with your treasure, close your ears from the sounds of this world and pray to God for death before awakening. And this loft may, therefore, be given shelter mournful flour or decorate the secret revelations of happiness.

Photo: RGALI

Every day now I feel a certain decadence, weakness, almost entirely depriving me of power over my feelings… I think I’m dying; I don’t know of another flour. You certainly must be enough of these attacks that kill me. I feel the rising nausea, weakness takes over my body and let go, only giving place to a violent nervous pain. Sometimes it seems to me also that I’m about to choke… the Air that I breathe heavy and thick; I like the bird in the pneumatic machine. Extend this status for some time, and I feel like dying…

The image, however, clear to my soul… What happened to the flower that I have nurtured in solitude and whose aroma has to Istachatta only for me?.. Oh, Heaven! Take from him the anger of the person I insulted… Hit me with one… You, however, know how many tears I shed, how many victims have brought much hourly penance was imposed! My life is spent with them, the spirit is weakened… You’ve seen it all, Lord! Alas! So, even the prayers of the most pure souls do not always resonate with the most high!

Holy Mother Of God! You, you the one I dare to offer my prayers. Before you was called to heaven, you lived on earth, our life, our sorrows you know; your heart is burst bleeding wound; you’re the only one suffered all that’s in store for the rest of the women; hear me, o Mary! Did you read in my heart; your divine gaze accompanied me in my sad pilgrimage, and all that I have suffered in this way, you may have read me in expiation of my sins.

Today, when God’s will has shed light in my dark and languishing soul; today, when the flower bloomed beside me, to delight my eyes, accustomed to the tears; today, when an innocent child entrusted to me a noble person, who shall be my husband, as Joseph was yours… Let me, the virgin, the source of joy and consolation; let me lay down at your feet my happiness, my hopes; my gift to you is a child; let thy powerful patronage give to her the blessing of your heavenly spouse. You know the secret of her birth, o Mary! But your divine care will only gently, only more forgiving. The sin of the mother falls on the child, and you, in your infinite mercy, may be, finds that the remorse of the sinful woman deserve His forgiveness… My Union will remain barren forever abyss lies between my bed and the bed men, who gave me your name; let me, Oh, Maria, to move upon the child that I kiss today, the love that I gave to our legitimate children. And don’t be afraid, Holy Mother, I, in a mad and forgetful of his vanity, even for a moment cease to repent…” (Translated from the French. N. About. Khotyn).

Prepared by the Russian state archive of literature and art.