Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/320

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RUSSIA


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RUSSIA


the publication of his autobiographical memoirs, which appeared in the " Sovremennik " of St. Peters- burg in 1852; they are a masterpiece of psychological analysis of the mind of a child. This work was fol- lowed by "Adolescence", "Youth", "The Cossacks", and "Recollections of Sebastopol", all of which are filled 'w-ith horror of the sights he beheld at Sebas- topol. But the masterpieces among his novels are "War and Peace", a powerful romance that for all its apparent confusion and disorder is an epic and imposing picture of the Napoleonic war in Russia; "Anna Karenina", a prof oimd analysis of the feminine soul that, led astray by passion, forgets dignity and family for adultery, and finds its punishment in its sin; "Resurrection", a novel that is a study of the rehabilitation of the culprit. There is also the play "The Power of Darkness", strong in its vigour and dramatization. And yet this genius, who made Russian literature popular all over the world, at- tained religious, ethical, and political nihilism: in the "Kreutzer Sonata" he preaches the abjection of woman; "The Gospels" is a criticism of dogmatic theolog>', while "My Religion", "The Church and the State", and "The Theories of the Apostles" strip Christian revelation from its base, and for- swear the Divinity of Jesus Christ, His Church, and His sacraments; in the book "WTiat is Art?", he disparages the most illustrious intellects of the human race; his work "The Kingdom of God Is within you" preaches non-resistance to evil. Political and religious conceptions took Tolstoi out of his orbit, and transformed him into a visionary, an incen- diary, so to speak, of all institutions, Divine and human.

Among the other modern novelists, mention should be made of: A. Novodvorski, author of "Ni pavy, Ni Vorony" (Neither Peacock nor Crow), and of other stories; B. Garshin, who in his principal novels is sometimes a follower of Tolstoi and sometimes of TurgeniefT. Those works are "Tchetyre dnja" (The Four Days), "Trus" (The Coward), "Krasnyj cvietok" (The Red Flower), "Attalea princeps", "Vstrietcha" (The Encounter), and "Nadezhda Nikolaevna"; I. Yasinski was famous under the pseudonym of Maxim Bielinski; his most important works are "The City of the Dead", and "The Guiding Star"; M. Alboff ; K. Barantchevitch; A.Ertel; Matohtet; Korolenko, a beautiful story-teller, who reminds his readers of Dostoievski and Tolstoi in his novels "The Dream of Macarius" (a fantastic story), "The Sketches of a Tourist in Siberia", "Easter Night," "The Old Music Player", and "S dvukh storon" (Two Points of View); Ignatius Potapenko, who views life in the light of optimism, and not with the pessimism so much in vogue among Rassian \\Titers; one of his novels, "Sviatoe iskus- stvo", describes the Bohemia of the students of St. Petersburg; Demetrias Mamin, under the pseudo- nym of Siberian, describes the customs of Western Siberia; and finally Prince Galitzin. Among novel- ists of the new school are Anton Pavlovitch Tche- hoff (1860-1904), whose novel "Skutchnaja istorija" hari a great success. He is without a superior in the narrative of his novels; the heroes of his stories are always morally cr>rrupt, and of distracted minds. Alexei ^iak8imovitch Picshkoff, better known by the pseudonym of Maxim Gorky (b. 1869); he ia the novelist of the beggars and the populace, whose works cf>ntain pag&s of nauseating naturalism, and shameful immorality. Vincent Smidlvski, b. at Tula, 1867; under the pwMidonym of Veresaeff he came to celebrity through his work "Zapiski vratcha" (Memoirs of a Doctor), which elicited violent recriminations in the medical profession. One of the most famous of the Russian writers of the present day is Leonid Andreeff, b. at Orel in 1881. He is the novelist of the degenerate. His novels "The


Red Laughter", "The Thought", "The Cloud", "Silence", etc. are to be condemned from every point of view, religious and moral, and the Russian religious press has blamed him for them in vehement language.

Among writers of the present day mention should be made of Sofija Ivanovna Smirnova, who wrote the novels "Salt of the Earth", and "Force of Character"; Valentine Dmitrieva, writer of stories; Olga Andreevna Shapir, who wrote "Without Love", and "Tin- sel"; Lydja Veselitskaja, Alexandra Shabelskaja, Anastasia Verbickaja, who wrote "The History of a Life". Among tho.se who achieved fame as lyric poets are Simon Frug (of Jewish origin), Nikolai Maksimovitch Vilenkin, famous under the pseudonym of Minski, Dimitri Merezhkovski, whose poems have the defect of too much rhetorical effort; Alexei Apukhtin, Konstantin Rozanoff, Arsenius Golenishsheff-Kutuzoff, Sergei Andreevski, etc. These poets, however, are not original; their works recall too much the great poets who preceded them. The fiction of Russia generally ases, as a channel of pub- lication, the literary periodicals, among which some that were famous in the nineteenth century have now disappeared, as the "Sovremennik" (The Con- temporary), the "Otetchestvennyja Zapiski", and the "Moskvitjanin". The best-known of those that are yet published are the "Viestnik Evropy", and the "Pycck mysl".

The historical literature of Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century furnishes illustrious names. Sergei Soloveff is the author of a "History of Russia", in thirty volumes, which begins with the most ancient times, and terminates with the reign of Alexander I; it is a work of greater historical than literary merit; Zabielin devoted his studies by preference to the Russia of the sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries; A. Nikitski wrote on the historical past of Novgorod and Pskof; Kostomaroff wrote on Little Russia; the historical monographs of this author are held in high esteem, as also his "History of Russia", composed of biographical narratives. P3Tjin devoted his researches to the reign of Alexan- der I; Shsapoff studied the social and educational development of Russia; Bruckner dealt with the life of Peter the Great; Bestuzheff-Riumin wrote a classic history of Russia, and Biblasoff a life of Cath- arine II. We cannot name the great number of his- torians who, like Ilovaiski, Lambin, Kliutchevski, Golubinski, etc. have thrown light on the history of Russia, but we cannot omit to mention the Impe- rial Historical Society of St. Petersburg, the Archeo- graphic Commission, and the Society of Russian History and Antiquity of Moscow, which, with hun- dreds of learned publications, and especially of the Russian chronicles, have greatly facilitated the task of the student. Yushkcvitch, Yakushkin, Metlinski, Ribnikoff, KhudiakofT, and BansofT distinguished themselves in the collection of ancient Russian liter- ary documents, upon which light was thrown by Buslaeff, Miller, Stasoff, Maikoff, Kolosoff, Rozoff, Dashkevitch, Vselovski, and above all Sreznevski. who for several years edited the "Izviestija", ana the "Utchenyja Zapiski" of St. Petersburg (Academy of Sciences). Buslaeff, with his "Historical Chres- tomathy", wove together the literary annals of Russia. Pekarski related the scientific and literary transactions of Peter the Great, Pypin and Porfireff wrote full and classic histories of the literature of Russia. Special works on the greatest Russian writers are so numerous that the "Bibliography of the Russian Literature of the Nineteenth Century", ed. Mezier, St. Petersburg, 1902, devotes 650 octavo pages to the titles of those works alone.

In philosophy Russian works until now hav« not been original. They have been produced under the supreme influence of German philosophy, inspired