"Any": a story, ashes censored

Unskilled and foul

“This is not a story at all, but simply notes, excerpts from a diary, written at different times, under different impressions, and on a live thread connected by intrigue, rather unskilful,” said Suvorin himself. Feuilletons entitled "Any. Something like a story ”was published in St. Petersburg Vedomosti, where the future well-known publisher worked. Essays were signed by pseudonym A. Bobrovsky.

Prior to the adoption of the Provisional Rules, they were published as they were written: from July to September 1865, 16 chapters saw the light. “In general, the censorship of public education was much more lenient at that time than it was when it moved to the Ministry of the Interior and when the newspaper began to be published supposedly without censorship.” After the approval of the new law, the feuilleton works of Suvorin continually provoked discontent, and the newspaper "... already on September 20, received the first warning for the most innocuous article, but which touched one of the minor officials."


Young Alexey Suvorin. Source: wikimedia.com

Suvorin admitted that the vulgar speeches of the landlords were written by him almost verbatim. The names of some heroes are authentic, others are changed. So, Chernyshevsky, hiding under the name of Samara, could not be not recognized by the censor. Bold thoughts "about the zemstvos, about the need for a central unifying Zemstvo assembly, and about the Zemstvo council" contained in the feuilletons could have cost Korsch, the editor of Vedomosti, and his newspaper. When the further publication of "Everyone" became impossible, Suvorin decided to add them and publish them in a separate book.

What are the attempts of the emperors?

The preparation of the "Everyone" was completed by March 1866. “The book was submitted to censorship at the beginning of Holy Week. But a day later it was returned to the printing house, as the bookbinder missed one sheet. While this defect was corrected, the “non-business days” came ... In the corrected form, the book was sent only on Monday, on Fomina, in the morning, and by evening the whole of St. Petersburg was deeply shocked by the news of the attempt on the life of Emperor Alexander II ”.


Alexey Suvorin, 1903 Source: russiainphoto.ru

Inspections and searches began, publicists were arrested. Suvorin decides to postpone the release of the book. In order to withdraw it from censorship, he writes to the Minister of Internal Affairs, P. A. Valuev. But the letter remained unanswered, and the book was arrested.

Process and sentence

“Almost on the eve of the trial, I went to Tsarskoye Selo together with the prosecutor, who was supposed to accuse me. We were well acquainted, and the conversation was about my book, and such a conversation that I could take from it the most favorable impression for myself. But when in the dock I heard a formidable speech and the demand to imprison me for three months, I was thrown into heat. ”

Thanks to the efforts of the lawyer K. K. Arsenyev, the sentence was relaxed: Suvorin received a three-week sentence in the guardhouse. "Despite this short time, I learned how hard the imprisonment is." With the work, however, they were treated more severely: “Everybody” was burned. Moreover, the General Directorate insisted on the destruction of even proofreading and defective sheets in order to prevent the possibility of any distribution.


The attempt of Karakozov on Alexander II on April 4, 1866. Source: lithist.ru

In the story, Suvorin ironically addressed the censor: “I was frank, I was not cunning, and I hope I didn’t give your work, about the guard on the press, red or blue pencil ...” , dazzled with censorship marks. Only in 1909, the author will decide to reprint the story again.

Colorful characters

The protagonist of "Everyone" is a seminarist Ilmenev, who graduated from the course at the Medico-Surgical Academy. With the writer of Samara he had in common thirst for struggle. Ilmenev participated in throwing up the proclamations, but he understood the ineffectiveness of such a method of protest. The hero, “the criminal, presented as moral force,” is hiding from the police. He runs from Petersburg to Siberia, frees his convict father and travels with him to America.

Another heroine who is encountered throughout the story is Lyudmila Ivanovna, a nihilist with cropped hair. She "loved to passion" Samara. He lives by translations and lessons, works in a printing house. But especially she is bothering about the device of the female artels and propagandizes new ideas about the social status of women.

Prince Schebynin - a characterless person. He stands for nihilists and for some time even imitated Bazarov. The wife left the prince, but after a while, her sister informs Shchebynin that he has a son. The prince himself, as it seems to him, is hopelessly in love with Lyudmila Ivanovna.

Is it guilty without guilt?

The prosecutor accused Suvorin of subjecting the government to harsh censure. Such a picture was presented: the power bribes the editors, and under the guise of freedom of the press admits the former constraints. The hint that important positions are entrusted in Russia to incompetent and mean people incites hatred towards officials. The nobility class is shown in the story of the immoral, trampling the sanctity of marriage. And according to the indictment, Suvorin sympathized with the political agitators who were persecuted: for example, the execution of a sentence over a political criminal (in which Chernyshevsky was recognized) was described on purpose so as to inflame in the reader "aversion to the act of punishing law."


"Everyones: Essays on modern life." 1909 edition. Source: litfund.ru

In general, the story has been given the following summary: “Suvorin’s writing belongs to the category of those works of print that, without representing anything useful, can only bring confusion in inexperienced minds, arousing in them an unaccountable irritation against the existing order of things.”

Are these charges fair? Here are just some vivid quotes, which would not pass by a contemporary who can read between the lines, or a watchful censor.

About wrestling

Noise, poliberalnichite, dear children, it gives an exercise to the lungs.
***
And that young people want to be independent, do not want to bow down before mediocrity, do not want to look at abuse and close their eyes, this is what she says in her favor.
***
The physical nature is all the more beautiful than it is more diverse; the more colors, the brighter the picture, the more vivid. The differences are smoothed out, drown in general harmony, and a beautiful whole comes out. Look at the monotonous steppe - doesn't it scare you with its appearance? The same in the life of the state. Give an arena for the struggle of opinions, give a field in which everyone’s strengths can be applied, and you will see how broad, what wonderful life will boil, how quickly all differences will smooth out and how quickly our homeland will grow ...
***
In bad times, I sometimes think that if Darwin was Russian, it would never occur to him to invent a “struggle for existence”. He invented it because he is an Englishman. England is primarily a country of struggle, there everyone is fighting - plants with plants, animals with animals. And what a struggle! ... And what about us? Wide and smooth and fertile sleep. Places plenty - go and walk. Nobody thinks about the fight. And who will come to the fight ...

About officials

I tell you this: under the former kings, there was torture a long time ago, a hundred years ago. Good, I'll tell you, it was a deal.
***
After all, I am stupid, uneducated, because I am more stupid than you, and I ride in carriages ...

About censorship

Here, look at the proof sheet - exactly the cells are done. Here is a box. Instead of the “French Revolution”, “the events of the end of the 18th century” were put, instead of “freedom” - “privileges”, instead of “the country demanded its rights” - “the country declared its needs” ... Tell me please, why can't all this be said? ...
- And, apparently, it is impossible. After all, allow me only, ”Ilmenev said jokingly,“ you will indeed write such an absurdity that the country demands rights for itself.
“But this is about Mexico.”
- And Mexico does not dare to demand. Let them declare their needs ... You can declare ...
***
If you say that rich students do not study well and drive around only on trotters, the editor tells you that you are restoring poor classes to the haves. If you say that there are fools and villains between the nobles, they say that you are annoying the estates. You scold the policeman, - undermine the credibility of the administration. You bring out illegal love - they say you are breaking the sanctity of marriage ... There are no sad notes: you know, there is glee everywhere - brilliant balls, faithful wives, blissful spouses, honest officials and grateful men, with tears of joy meet their masters.

On the women's issue

“A woman as pretty as you should have a whole shop with the freshest outfits.”
- Eh, sir! ... Without this we do. But it's bad when the head is not quite fresh.
***
Better yet, sheer ignorance: in ignorance, poetry; Let the girl think that a man is only a mustache and a beard and a dress different from women, that the marriage relationship lies in the fact that the husband tickles his wife.
***
- Why are you in my brother do not despair?
- He is a man, and you are a woman. He is freer than you ...

About life

Tired of life - and you still live; finally, if it became too ugly to throw out a piece of something. Come load some important bird, do it dirty tricks. A little and you will be comforted ... I sometimes admire things drunk - not joking. There is an abyss of courage, and I respect the courage, even among drunks ...
***
Honesty - the concept of elastic and bends under the easiest stress.

About nobility

I would not want to come, in particular, from the Eastern Barons, because they are said to be dominated by a ribbon worm.

***
Excuse me, but in America, in honor of the uniform is a ridiculous expression; we have the honor of a citizen, a man, and we don’t have the honor of a uniform, a tail coat, the honor of a tie, or any other male toilet accessories.
***
Do we have many births really valiant? Scroll through your fingers. Yes, these and behave decently. It is an empty-voiced vanity that goes for indecency, striving for separation, to create a closed privilege. And all this, believe me, the worm of serfdom sharpens them, regrets about the past doing nothing, the gentry tempting them. After all, they played the kings in their estates, the peasants kissed their hands. Believe me, all these gentlemen are not worth a damn.

About Petersburg

For St. Petersburgers, a dozen names would suffice to distinguish them from each other.
***
Yes, indifference and lack of character is a common phenomenon in an impersonal city like Petersburg. Here, people are like buildings — to measure they are cut out and fitted tightly to each other; even the rock on which Peter the Great gallops, and that one is hewed - this is logical, because obtaska began precisely with Peter and continues to this day.
***
This can be done in Moscow. There still smells of patriarchs, but try with us ... Here, sir, Europeanism, bureaucratic subtleties ...

Source: Suvorin A. S. Everyones: Essays on Modern Life / [Op.] A. S. Suvorin. - 2nd ed. - St. Petersburg: A.S. Suvorin, 1909.

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