On November 23, the scarlet sails fairy tale turned 93 years old. If you compare with a person, it is a lifetime. And just like a 93-year-old man, Alexander Green’s book has seen a lot in her lifetime.
The first references to the “Extravaganza” appear in the drafts of the writer as early as 1917: in one of his notebooks, Alexander Green lists the works that he would like to write. Among them is the "Scarlet Sails".
“Be sure to write:
Shooting hairstyles (crossed out by Green)
Around the World - a play in 4 acts (crossed out)
In the same notebook, but several sheets later, the writer leaves a note of a small plan for the future work:
Meeting with the girl. (Zurbagan) Father is dying.
(1) Description of the boardinghouse, life in it, the hostess and Ayut (“The first” name is Assol: it is illegible in the writer's notes, perhaps the heroine was called “Ayut”) and lodgers.
Description of jumping a bordingauza - its owners, its reasons. "
Alexander Green in Petersburg, 1910
This is followed by extensive drafts by which one can judge that Green was trying to write a novel consisting of two books.
Book 1 st. Description of the inner life of the hero. A window with toys. Revision Feeling lonely in the world of reality and the desire to connect with it the only available way - creativity, - the impetus for it. Intermediate state: thoughts about writing, a book, life in books, books, and the power of word influence. Waiting for the arrival of the mistress and the fear of not thinking what to write. Date. Chores around the house. Scraps of manuscripts. Temporary powerlessness. Fear of words. 1st chapter of the story; how it originated, and all about the idea itself in detail, drawing a semi-conscious technique. External conditions of successful work. Meditation. The memory of a toy in the window is an impulse.
Book 2 How life flowed. in images. External comparison with existence. and enjoy watching. The eye unconsciously discards the excess; making out of visible a series of perfect pictures. In one of the walks visual associations to unravel the situation, which was unclear. The combination of subtle experiences with saturation, random shopping. Return home and - (in the land of dreams) - to the place where Assol seizes Volansten's thoughts. Returning from this country (music) thoughts about her and the code of melodies ”.
In 1917 - 1918, work on the work, in general, and developed in the framework of this plan. The surviving records provide an opportunity to fully imagine the evolution of the plan.
Initially, the novel was called “Red Sails”, the action took place in revolutionary Petrograd. It is worth noting that if Green accepted the February Revolution with enthusiasm, then closer to October his mood changed dramatically. Sensing that the color of the sails in the work carries a certain political focus, he clarifies in his drafts: “I must make a reservation that, loving the red color, I exclude from my color addiction its political, or rather, sectarian significance. The color of wine, roses, dawn, ruby, healthy lips, blood and small tangerines, whose skin smells so seductively of sharp volatile oil, the color — in its many shades — is always cheerful and precise. He will not be attached to false or indefinite interpretations. The feeling of joy that he evokes is like breathing in a lush garden. ”.
"Scarlet Sails" by A. Green, cover of the first edition, 1923
The main hero of the “Red Sails” of 1917-1918 was a certain nameless hero-narrator - a person of the creative profession, possibly a writer ("... writing has always been my external profession ", - says one of the fragments of the draft outline of Green to the work), which in the pages of the novel that has not taken place, talks about creativity, about the intricacies of perception and the peculiarities of the concept of the artistic work.
There is another amazing character in “Red Sails” - Mas Tuelle, who deserves no less attention than the storyteller himself. This is a man with a fantastic ability - the ability to fly. When he was 14 years old, he decided to meet the sunrise at sea. Dazzling action so fascinated Mas-Tuelya that they seized the desire to rise to the sun. By the power of desire, he gained the gift of lightness and rose to the sky. So he learned to fly and see what ordinary people will never see.
Nina Green, the second wife of the writer. Photos of the 1920s
Once, the hero-writer of the novel, due to the inexplicable "solar effect", "saw the sea sail red, almost scarlet." He shared his impressions with Mas-Tuele, and he, in turn, told him the story of Assol - a girl, over whom a story-teller played a joke, giving her a dream. At the time of the story, the finale of the story was unknown, he, according to Mas-Tuell, “walked towards” the narrator.
Time passed, and the protagonist forgot about the "solar effect", and about the associations caused by him. Gone in the memory and history gonna. But one day, while walking, in the window of the toy store he saw “a perfectly well-prepared bot with a correctly arranged red winged sail”. This toy boat revived the writer's old memories, and he decided to "intervene in this story" - "write it."
Unfortunately, it is not known how subsequent events developed - Green's draft notes end with an attempt by the hero to find Mas-Tuele, who could tell about the fate of Assol.
Frame from Alexander Ptushko’s film “Scarlet Sails”, 1961
It is worth noting that, being absorbed in the idea of writing a novel about creativity, Alexander Green developed two storylines during his work on the work, which later became independent: this is the story of Assol and Gray (“Scarlet Sails”) and a story about a flying man (“The sparkling world").
But back to the "Scarlet Sails". The writer continued his work on the story in 1920 in Petrograd. The draft notes made by him in the 1920s – 1921s constitute the established plot in a familiar form. Further edits were already mostly textual.
In May 1922, the Gray chapter was published in the Evening Telegraph newspaper. A separate book extravaganza came out in 1923. Green dedicated her to his second wife Nina (“Nina Nikolaevna Green brings and dedicates the Author. PBG, November 23, 1922»). Since 1923, “Scarlet Sails” was reprinted more than a hundred times, and they were translated into most European languages.
The author - Anna Zarubina