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“Debut” and “evasion”

  Reading the works of the “Golden Generation” of Russian literature, there is a question that always troubles me: why did Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who “stand side by side”, never meet?
  They originally had countless opportunities to meet and chat…
  One day in May 1845, the twenty-four-year-old Dostoevsky’s debut work “The Poor” was completed.
  During the whole writing process, he was very excited for a while – he felt that he had created an amazing work; for a while he was in a low emotional trough and lacked self-confidence – is it okay to write like this? Hundreds of words and thousands of words were deleted as soon as he said it… But how much he yearned for the Russian literary stage!
  At first, he wanted to publish at his own expense. More than a month before the novel was completed, he wrote to his brother:
  self-publishing means standing up and moving forward. If the work is good, it will not only give me a firm foothold in the literary world, but also save me from debt. Makes me hungry…but no matter what happens next, no matter how miserable my situation is, I’ve vowed to grit my teeth and keep going…I want every single one of my productions to be exceptional. Look at Pushkin and Gogol, although they don’t write much, people will one day build monuments to them… Their honor is earned by years of poverty and starvation…
  I work with a pure heart, in This pure heart trembles and jumps like never before before all the new images that are being created in my soul…I am being born again, not only morally but also physically.
  On the one hand, it is uneasy; on the other hand, it is ambitious.
  After the novel was written, Dostoevsky, a novice in the literary world, decided to put it out to be tested by the literary world, but he really didn’t know where to put it. His friend Grigorovich, who was also a writer, tried to persuade him to give it to the great poet Nekrasov, the editor-in-chief of the most influential literary review magazine “Modern Man” at the time.
  Since the market is allowed to test, then pick the best magazines and editors!
  At that time, Nekrasov often held loose literary salons in the editorial office of “Contemporaries”, and the participants were almost all important figures in Russian literature at the time – Turgenev, Belinsky and later Thor. Stey, Chernyshevsky, Dubroryubov, etc., are regulars here. If you can publish an article in this journal, it is enough to make the author famous in the literary world.
  When he came to the editorial office of “Contemporary People”, after leaving the manuscript to Nekrasov, Dostoevsky went home and went to bed uneasy. But he couldn’t sleep at all, he kept repeating to himself: “They will laugh at my “Poor”, they will laugh at me…”
  At four in the morning the next morning, Dostoyevs was half asleep. Key was woken up by a sudden doorbell.
  Nekrasov and Grigorovich burst in excitedly, sweating on their faces. Excited great poets and young literary newcomers embraced warmly. Everyone was excited.
  They started reading the manuscript the evening before, and the reading went on and on until the early hours of the morning to read the entire novel. Nekrasov greatly appreciated this new work and decided to meet the author immediately and share this joy with the author immediately. The poet paced up and down the room, shouting at Grigorovich: “What does it matter if he falls asleep? It’s more important than sleep!”
  It was an enviable scene, the first of a newcomer’s A work that has received such courtesy from a famous poet and editor, what kind of situation is that!
  The excitement was not over yet. Nekrasov left Dostoevsky’s house and went straight to the critic Belinsky’s house. He announced to Belinsky: “A new Gogol is born! If I am not mistaken, Fate has sent us a new and excellent writer in the literary world!”
  Belinsky was very excited Disapproval: “Do you think Gogol grows as easily as bacteria?”
  But a big critic is a big critic. After reading The Poor Man that night, Belinsky was no less excited than the poet, and he also said eagerly to Nekrasov: “Where is your Dostoevsky? Young people? How old are you? Get him quickly, you can’t help but meet him!”
  … Years later, Tuo recalled the scene of his meeting with Belinsky that day, and he was still very excited. He always remembered what Belinsky had said to him during that meeting: “The truth has been revealed to you, proclaiming that you are a gifted artist. Please cherish this gift of yours! Just keep going. Be faithful to the truth, and you will become a great writer!”
  In his later years, Dostoevsky described the scene of that day in his “Writer’s Diary”:
  (Belinsky) Golden eyes, eagerness said: “But you, yourself, understand?” he repeated to me a few times, shouting it was his habit – “What you write!” … “For you, as a Artist, here has been revealed and proclaimed; it comes to you as a gift. In this way, treasure, your genius, if true to it, you will be a great writer!”
  We’ve all read Belin Skye enthusiastically praised or criticized Pushkin, Gogol, and critical essays by the great writers of the “Golden Generation”—but, can you imagine? This great critic who originally had profound insights, clear logic, meticulous reasoning, and endless eloquence could be so incoherent and stammered…
  ”Poor Man” was published in “Modern People”, and the novel was a great success. Stoevsky became famous.
two

  Soon Belinsky’s comments were made public. In his letter to Dostoevsky:
  You have touched the essence of the problem; you have pointed out the main thing at once… We try to explain it in words, but you, an artist, by a touch , a blow, an image, hits the spot, so that people can perceive it with their own hands, so that even the most inferential reader can grasp everything at once! That’s the magic of art. This is the truth of art! This is the artist’s service to the truth!
  Compared to the stories of many great works in literary history that were submerged, published and recognized even after the author’s death, Dostoevsky, who suffered throughout his life, was “born” as a “writer.”
  In the face of the sudden success, Dostoevsky was at a loss. However, soon, rationally, he had a deeper understanding. He said in a letter to a friend:
  ”I felt that a solemn moment in my life had happened, something I had not expected even in my daring dreams (in those days I was a mad dreamer) . “Oh, am I in such a great truth?” – in a state of restless obsession, I shyly ask myself…I would earn this praise! …it was the most exciting time of my life.
  The publication of “The Poor Man” made Dostoevsky famous overnight, but in contrast, he never got rid of the “poor” fate in his life.

me magazine. “Contemporary”, by the time “Contemporary” was forced to stop publishing to clear up its assets, Tuo’s total debt was 33,000 rubles. It was a huge sum of money, and he himself didn’t know if he could pay it back in his lifetime. So, for the rest of his life, he could only write desperately. It can also be said that Tuo’s whole life is almost all working for his debts… and what is embarrassing is that, compared with Tolstoy, Tuo’s manuscript fee has always been the two peaks of the “Golden Generation”. Not high – when his “Crime and Punishment” and “Idiot” were published in the “Russian Herald”, each print sheet was 150 rubles, while Toon, who also published his work in the magazine, received 400 rubles per sheet. To five hundred rubles… So it was not until early 1881, a few months before he was about to leave the world, that he finally paid off his debts.
  Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, these two world-class writers, one started from the rich and the other started from poverty – this is a bit like Tolstoy’s famous saying: happy family They are all similar, and each unfortunate family has its own misfortune-in the end, their “differences” become “similar”, and they stand on the peak of the history of human literature and the history of the mind, regardless of whether they are rich or poor.
three

  Tolstoy was seven years younger than Dostoevsky. The story of Dostoevsky’s “debut”, seven years later, happened almost the same with Tolstoy. This year, Tolstoy happened to be twenty-four years old. Moreover, the protagonist of this story is still Nekrasov.
  On July 2, 1852, the twenty-four-year-old artillery lieutenant Tolstoy sent his first novel “Childhood” to Nirvana, the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Modern Man” in high spirits from his remote Caucasus station. Krasov, with a letter attached:
  I am convinced that an experienced and extremely conscientious editor – especially in Russia – is often in the middle of the The opinions of the majority of readers are pre-identified. So, at this very moment, I am anxiously awaiting your verdict. This verdict will either motivate me to pursue a career I love, or it will force me to destroy everything I’ve just started.
  From this letter, we can see the difference between the “noble” Tolstoy and the “poor” Dostoyevsky: a confident, imposing, and even a little threatening – if this manuscript is not used, the Ruin a great writer! The other was hesitant, uneasy, or a little cautious – “they’ll laugh at me”…
  I wonder if Tolstoy’s “threat” had any effect on Nekrasov. Judging from the obscurity of Tolstoy and the flourishing of Nekrasov at that time, it is estimated that it should have no effect. However, Nekrasov was a great editor after all, and there is evidence that he only read half of Tolstoy’s original manuscript, and he greatly affirmed this literary newcomer, and excitedly told the main author of “Modern Man” at this time. The author, the famous writer Turgenev, declared: “A new genius has appeared in Russia!”
  In fact, Tolstoy’s debut novel “Childhood” is nothing special compared with Turgenev’s works. The same text is fresh, the same emotion is delicate, and there is almost no dramatic conflict. The difference between them is the subject matter, one writes about the quiet and melancholy grassland, and the other writes about the innocent and beautiful childhood. Some works of Gogol and Dostoevsky, such as the famous novels “The Coat” and “White Nights” are almost in this style… This is very intriguing: almost all the early famous works of the “golden generation” writers have this feature .
  However, this kind of innocence and tranquility is what Nekrasov likes, many people like it, and the history of literature likes it. Because this is the original human emotion, this is the original state of art.
  Both Dostoevsky and Tolstoy were lucky because they met Nekrasov right from the start. Going a step further, the Russian writers of the “golden generation” were lucky to be “writers” despite how difficult their lives were, because at the same time there were editors like Nekrasov and commentators like Belinsky Family.
Four

  In the years after their “debut”, Tuo’s and Tuo Weng’s masterpieces came out one after another and were thrilling.
  There should be no controversy to say that “The Brothers Karamazov” is Tuo’s representative work. But when it comes to Toon’s masterpiece, there seems to be some controversy. As far as my personal reading experience is concerned, my favorite is “Anna Karenina”.
  This point is affirmed by Merezhkovsky, later writers, critics and religious thinkers of Bitovun and Toshi: “Modern Russian culture has brought two A phenomenon like Peter the Great and Pushkin, and in the next half century, brought Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Incredibly, in barely a quarter of a century … Russia produced two of the greatest works of all modern European literature – “Anna Karenina” and “The Brothers Karamazov.” After the Russian soul reached these two climaxes what a sudden fault, what a Collapse!”
  Merezhkovsky was sixteen when Toon died, forty-five when Toon died, and then lived another thirty-one years—he obviously had a chance to open up a little space and talk about the two great The value of the writers – in the years they were alive, no one could surpass them, and after their death it was “faults” and “collapses”.
  It is true that the birth of “Twin Peaks Side by Side” made the “Golden Generation” of Russian literature in the nineteenth century worthy of its name. In my opinion, the Russian literature of this period is completely comparable to the Chinese literature of more than two thousand years ago. Comparing with hundreds of schools of thought, ancient Greek philosophy, and German classical philosophy more than two hundred years ago…
  Compared with these grand themes, I have a relatively “small” problem, which is the one that bothers me at the beginning of this article. Question: Why do the two peaks of Russia’s “golden generation” writers – Toon and Tuo, who are seven years apart, have never met since they often walk in literary gatherings in Moscow and Petersburg?
  Their own explanation is “missed”, but more people think it is “deliberately avoiding each other”.
  I think this is an interesting question – or is it that Merezhkovsky, who has such expectations and imaginations about the relationship between the two: “The reason why we connect the two of them is because we are secretly Expectation: Between them, as between opposite poles, will that spark of fire, that lightning break out? And that spark will cause fire and become the manifestation of man and god as the Western world.”
  So I The question is even more urgent – why do they always “deliberately avoid”?
  Tolstoy himself has an explanation: “I have always thought of him as my friend. I have no other idea. I will definitely meet. I haven’t had a chance to meet now, but there will be a chance.” He planned to meet, but he didn’t seem to. Well planned, “no chance yet” – this reason is obviously a bit too reluctant.
  A closer look at their relationship may reveal some clues.
  Toweng liked Tuo’s “Notes from the House of the Dead” very much. On September 26, 1880, he wrote to a friend: “I have been unwell recently, and I have been reading “Notes from the House of the Dead.” In the whole new literature of , there’s no better book. The point of view (I don’t mean his tone) is amazing: sincere and unpretentious, in the spirit of Christianity. It’s an instructive book Books. If you see Dostoevsky, please tell him: I love him.”

  But with “The Brothers Karamazov”, things have changed somewhat. He wrote to Dostoyev’s friend Orest Miller:
  Apparently, Dostoevsky’s “man with cracked skin” in the spirit of Michelangelo warms your gaze. You should hang this anatomical masterpiece, this bloody body above your desk, to fully share its musings…but I prefer to keep it at bay.
  People with this experience saw how the skin rippled, how the blood flowed into brooks, and most terrifyingly, they saw in these eyes, in these “mirrors of the soul,” The minds of those who cut reflect themselves.
  I like it very much, but “I prefer to keep it at a distance”, because “the thoughts of those who are cut by the author reflect themselves”… Is this one of the reasons why Toweng “intentionally avoided” Tuo?
five

  Regarding “intentional avoidance”, Dostoevsky does not seem to have explained it directly.
  At those literary gatherings in Petersburg and Moscow, writers often read some of their favorite masterpieces, and Tuo liked to read Pushkin’s “The Prophet” aloud. Almost every time, he read in a trembling, low, seemingly repressed tone, while those present held their breaths. At the back, his voice grew louder and louder, and by the end he was already shouting in a reckless roar: “Use words to set the soul of the world on fire!”
  The infected people cheered and applauded, ma’am A garland was also given…but he always had some regrets: “Yeah, yeah, it’s all good. However, they still don’t understand
  the main content.” understood”: “Some people call me a psychologist, that’s not true. I’m just a writer of realism in a high sense, that is, I write about the whole depths of the human soul.”
  Living in the same era as Tolstoy , Dostoevsky seems to be a little “sad” – people applaud Toon much more than they give Tow. So even shortly before his death, he wrote in his notebook: “I, of course, belong to the people (because my orientation comes from the deep Christian spirit of the people). Although the Russian people today do not know me, in the future People will know about me.” In the
  end, he did. Today’s Dostoevsky is the “twin peaks” of Russian literature alongside Tolstoy, and even in some people, he has surpassed Tolstoy.
  Although Tuo did not directly say why he “intentionally avoided”, his views on Toon were quite clear and close to Turgenev’s – “Levin is a genuine egoist.” Nev is more inclined to intuition and sensibility. The difference is that Tuo is more inclined to rational analysis: “People like Levin may not have the ultimate belief. Levin likes to call himself a member of the people, but he is a young master. , the young master of Moscow’s middle and upper classes, whose historian is above all Count Tolstoy.”
  This is very close to the logic and conclusion of Toon when talking about Tuo – “Those who are cut by the author’s thoughts reflect themselves” – in the depths of their souls, they both see each other in the characters they create myself.
  As to why the two “deliberately avoided”, the “answer” may have something to do with this?
  There is no way: no writer admits that the characters in the works are himself, but no one knows the relationship between the deeply written characters in the works and himself better than the writer himself.
  ……
  Well, now let’s put aside the “private matters” that the two great writers “deliberately avoid”, let’s talk about their completely consistent “official matters”. When the two great writers were thinking about how to change the suffocating society in which they lived together, although the “prescriptions” were different, they had the same metaphor –
  Dostoevsky said: “In Europe, it seems that everything is below. It’s all dug up, stuffed with explosives, and waiting for the first spark.” Tolstoy said: “The fire begins with the spark,   and
  it won’t go out until everything is burnt out.”
People are not only completely consistent on the issue of right and wrong, but also sing and agree with each other… At this point, my mood is much better – in this way, it seems that it is not so important to meet “Shuangli Shuangfeng” or not, right?

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