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Category: History

One day with Shulgin


O.N. Mikhaylov


A fragment from memoirs *

We bysh are young, thoughtless! also are free. Outside there was 1960, the next year of Khruschev's thaw. And I "lost" in the thrown up fool to the friend a trip to Vladimir. To Shulgin. My friend, Victor Bukhanov, the employee of the party newspaper, learned that Shulgin in 1956 was let out from Vladimir Prison. To see Shulgin! That who accepted renunciation at the last Russian sovereign and which books "Days", "1920", "Three capitals" I became engrossed in reading...

And here, having spent the night in the Vladimir hotel, we went to nursing home where, according to the friend, there was Shulgin with the wife Maria Dmitriyevna who arrived to him from abroad.

We got directly by a breakfast: inhabitants hurried with aluminum mugs to the dining room under a huge reproduction: "V.I. Lenin speaks at the Third congress of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League". The old man who carried on a carriage the old woman with brevnopodobny legs was remembered thin, in a black monastic attire and a skufeyka, shouting: "Fall! Fall! The princess goes!"

There was an administrator, turned the certificate of the friend and told that Shulgin really lived here, but recently received the apartment on Kooperativnaya Street, 1. "I there just did not fight", - Maria Dmitriyevna will tell us later about the left almshouse. "And Vasily Vitalyevich?" - "He behaved as if the Saint..."

To us little, living and very young-looking woman opened a door, and we appeared in the hall of the one-room apartment. It was heard as in the room something quickly potters, and Shulgin, old, but not so decrepit in the eighty two years, appears soon - in a new black cloth suit and at a tie. It had a beard appearing pink skin, a big toothless mouth, and eyes which are very close put like a bird without eyelashes - fast and sharp-sighted. And in general acting through it, in the form of the head, - that

* Completely literary memoirs of O.N. Mikhaylov are preparing for the publication in The Barber of Siberia publishing house.

marked out also those who met Shulgin earlier, - something frog appeared, from a big frog.

We were led to the room, seated at the table, and the right, this day was absolutely unusual, the famous interlocutor was so interesting, witty and young memory.

>- I not only believe that that world exists. I know it, - he noticed by the way and added that everything began with one tragic episode.

Escaping from Bolsheviks, Shulgin left in Russia, in machine-gun team Markov - °. N. Mikhaylov whom the shelf the the son Veniamin - to Lyal.

>- I did not know what is with it, and addressed in Paris one clairvoyant to the lady, - Shulgin said. - But I warned her that I want to check its force. Also asked to describe appearance of one mine shortly before that the died relative.

It used a sphere which was lit in a special way. And here when the sorcerer began to tell in detail how this woman looks, my doubts were gone. To me it became horrible.

"From where all of you know it?" - I asked. "It stands behind your left shoulder now". I turned back: was nobody. "Now I trust you", - I told and repeated the request. "It is too terrible", - she answered after a while. "Terribly? But I am a father, but not mother and a vyshcherzha all", - I answered.

And then it, looking in a sphere, began to say that wash Lyal is in one of madhouses in the south of Russia. Why I did not guess then in detail to ask her as this city looked, since the station and finishing that street where there was this yellow house! Then I would find Lyalya. And my secret trip to Russia in 1925 in many respects ate hope that I will find the son. I visited Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg, and then described it in the book "Three Capitals". By the way, in Kiev, made up, I saw a performance according to the novel by Mikhail Kazakov "Falling of the empire" where the actor who is made up under me played...

Shulgin told so easily and freely as though all this occurred yesterday.

>- And recently, - it continued, - I by means of Khrushchev had an opportunity to do a bit of traveling across Ukraine. Also present, in Poltava, I found my Lyali's traces in a madhouse... He died there... So in many years I received confirmation to an old prediction...

Here the sad subject ended, and Shulgin remembered the youth, study at the Kiev university of sacred Vladimir, a trip to Volhynia, in I Stay.

>- My stepfather, the editor of the Kiyevlyanin newspaper Pikhno, very much supported my hobby for the history of Russia. And at the university prepared for the end of study for me truly a royal gift: bought me from some ruined Volynsk landowner in the city of Goshcha big library of historical rarities. I went across Volyna by the boat. The trip was romantic. However, I was arrested by gendarmes, having taken for the Austrian spy, but the stepfather helped in time.

And here I in Goshche, in the big and decayed house of the local landowner. It turned out that in its library the set of books is picked up for the Time of Troubles. And in rooms Lzhedimitriya's portraits are hanging. The owner shows well checked trick. He shouts to the boy serving it: "Mityok! Become under a portrait!". And that runs up to one of Lzhedimitriya's images. Amazing similarity!.

>- You, of course, know - Shulgin continued, - what legend is connected with Goshchy. There was a monastery where Arians, the Christian sect quite tolerant to inomyslyashchy located. And as if once the old man with the little boy came to this monastery. When the old man died, opened for the pupil that that is the tsarevitch Dimitrii by miracle saved from death. Well, and the owner's altar boy - as if the descendant of the tsarevitch who sinned with someone from a goshchianok...

>- And I then solved, - Vasily Vitalyevich told, - that I will surely write the historical novel, no, a series of novels. In them the hero who will live hundred years as also I will live, will participate in events of 1612. And there I will tell that the impostor actually was a tsarevitch...

>- Such novel is already written, - I carefully objected. - His author - Zinoviy Davydov. Also he is called "From Goshchi the guest"...

Shulgin was upset a little.

>- Can you get and send me it? Do you promise? Good. And so, I buried in historical materials and began from far away - with descendants of the prince Kurbsky. And even thought up a surname to the hero - Voronetsky. Prince Voronetsky. Present, then I found the documents confirming that such prince really existed. In Kiev I wrote and published the first novel "Adventures of the Prince Voronetsky in the Country of Freedoms".

>- I republished this novel in 1930 in Belgrade, - Shulgin said. - And immediately was accepted to continuation: "Adventures of the prince Voronetsky in the country of bondage". He left in Paris in 1934. In it Voronetsky travels around Turkey and present Yugoslavia in search of the darling - Marisha sold in slavery. The following novel "Adventures of the Prince Voronetsky in the Country of Poetry" - remained in the manuscript. As well as all my archive, it was taken by the Soviet security service in Serbia...

I will add that a few years ago Shulgin's archive was transferred to Institute of the world literature. There is in it both a manuscript of continuation of adventures of the prince Voronetsky, and other works, up to typewriting on 553 pages "Lenin's Experience"...

Having returned to Moscow, I first of all found the novel "From Goshchi Guest" interesting Shulgin. Having learned in what business, the kind acquaintance gave me a library copy. And having put to it small sbornichek stories by Bunin with my preface, I sent a parcel post to Vladimir.

What there was my surprise when in about three weeks I received the big letter from Shulgin beginning a phrase: "Zhdu-pozhdu, and the guest from Goshchi is not here well..." In it without exaggeration the remarkable letter which remained only in fragments, Shulgin says about the literary addictions, unexpectedly bringing together such absolutely raznoformatny writers as the poet A.K. Tolstoy, the novelist for youth Jules Verne and... Dostoyevsky.

"And still I love Dostoyevsky, - Vasily Vitalyevich wrote, - It was very Russian person. However, there was in him also the Polish blood. So he hated Poles absolutely in Polish. And also some other foreigners. Will you tell what communication at Dostoyevsky with Jules Vernom? I will answer. Both were travelers. It will seem to you a lie. But it is optical illusion. Only Dostoyevsky had a soul travel". The letter words consisted: "Here you waited from me for a confession, and received zhabyyu caviar"...

Only later I guessed why "From Goshchi the guest" did not reach the addressee. On a cover of the buninsky book I hurriedly wrote down phone

V.V. Shulgin

the Bitter acquaintance met on the street. And vigilant trustees of Shulgin decided that in these figures something confidential is coded.

It is known that in 1925 - 1926 Shulgin got to a trap of Bolshevist intelligence agencies, having believed in existence in Russia to the underground anti-Soviet organization Monarchic Reunification of Russia, or "Trust". Security officers allowed it to return safely abroad, meanwhile as all appearances visited by it were as a result failed, and the book "Three Capitals" written by Shulgin was edited in Moscow by the high-ranking worker of OGPU - People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs A.H. Artuzov (shot during Stalin cleanings in August, 1937)...

The convinced monarchist and the consecutive supporter of P.A. Stolypin, Shulgin would be very upset, having seen the photo among prominent Russian liberals (where the Vekhi newspaper editorial office in a selection "Liberalism and liberal views" placed him). In the State Duma he steadily took the place on the right benches. His honesty and the sequence caused respect even in the most irreconcilable political opponents. Not without reason the Soviet journalist David Zaslavsky (by the way, as well as Shulgin, the native of Volhynia) called the pamphlet "Knight of the Monarchy V.V. Shulgin".

The main force undermining pre-revolutionary Russia and a throne, Shulgin considered just liberals and first of all the People's Freedom Party (cadets).

In 1964 when I prepared the book of comic stories of the ARC. Averchenko, the reference on the cadet A.M. Kolyubakin who was brought to trial for the speech delivered in August, 1906 in Saratov was necessary for me. I asked Shulgin to tell about Kolyubakin, events of the First Russian revolution and the followed political crisis when in 1906 liberals - the deputies of the State Duma (who had in it the majority) openly opposed the government. Already then the destructive nature of political opposition in Russia was clear to Shulgin. Responding to my request, he answered on April 11, 1964:

"Oleg Nikolaevich Mnogouvazhayemy.

I very well remember yours and your friend visit and I regret that communication with you tore and that the book "From Goshchi Guest" somewhere got lost. However I received it from other source and some data which are provided by Davydov are interesting to me.

Now about Kolyubakin. Kolyubakin was a member of 1 State Duma. I heard nothing that he suffered for some speech and it is a little probable. However, if there was something, then a little drama, in view of that at that time dealt shortly severely only with terrorists. In any case about any deprivation of inviolability there cannot be a speech for that simple reason that 1 State] the thought was dismissed in July, 1906, so from this day Kolyubakin stopped being the member State] thoughts and lost inviolability, so to speak, automatically. Therefore deprivation of inviolability in 1909 could not be because that was not any more. However here what could be.

After dissolution State] thoughts in July, 1906 many deputies immediately went to Finland, to Vyborg. Why they went to Finland? Because though Finland was a part of the state Russian, but on the special rights. Powers of the Russian police which could stop criminal gatherings of the former members State] thoughts, did not stretch for the Finnish territory. Above-mentioned former deputies used it including the former cadets, and issued the so-called "Vyborg appeal", a cat to [Oroya] was derisively called the Vyborg pretzel since Vyborg was known for pretzels.

"The Vyborg appeal" was the revolutionary leaflet, in a cat the population of the Russian Empire was urged not to pay in [Aura] taxes and not to give to the state of recruits. Now for such performance signed it would undergo a severe penalty. But then was differently. Residents of Vyborg were sentenced to 3 months [yaets] of prison. Among them there could be also Kolyubakin. But I cannot approve it. He was an officer and in 1915 died at the front, so, at least, cadets in 4 State Duma spoke about it.

That's all that I can remember Kolyubakin".

The letter was written already by Maria Dmitriyevna's hand. And only at the end there was a wide line:

"I send you hi. V. Shulgin".

Shulgin remained the same irreconcilable opponent of "liberals". From the first performances in the Duma he deserved in the opinion of "left" reputation of "thug" and "psychopath". They were irritated by its manner to say: he never lost self-controls and unperturbably and venomously condemned the Russian republicans. Shulgin clearly realized that Stolypin reforms, and first of all agrarian, caused not only the furious resistance of the left forces, but were at the same time braked also by the far-right considering the chairman of the board of ministers "the hidden revolutionary". And the assumption is not so paradoxical that extremes which as speak, meet, combined and in this case to destroy Stolypin. After that, as Shulgin believed, Russia inevitably moved to an abyss.

Like the younger brother-in-law M.A. Bulgakov, Shulgin considered that he lived in the Russian city of Kiev, and steadily called the population prevailing in the Southwest region "the South Russian people which at first Poles, and then Germans called "Ukrainians"". He was convinced that inhabitants of the Southwest of the empire "have the right to "Russianness" the sheer because the word "Russia" is mainly connected with Kiev". "Certainly, - Shulgin claimed, - I sweep aside all "Ukrainian" cock-and-bull stories as a false nonsense which will be liquidated at the time by the woken-up pride of the southern Russian population. It will not allow that it was deceived as small child. I consider by the Russian people members of the party Great Russia, low-Russians and Belarusians, as well as all those other blood of the Russian citizens which underwent process of assimilation and consider themselves Russians".

In 1922 in Sofia there was a small book of Shulgin "Something fantastic" - calculation with the past and reflections about the future. As if all this is written today - on fragments of the empire the independent states grew. Russia is separated from the adjacent people: "Great Lithuania" and "Great Latvia", "Enormous Georgia", "Giant Azerbaijan" and "With anything Incommensurable Armenia" were formed.

"To all of them, - Shulgin wrote, - I wish "fortunate and peaceful life and in everything a good pospesheniye, on enemies of a victory and overcoming".

>. Vasily Vitalyevich Shulgin, the brilliant publicist, the entertaining writer ("In the movie "Before Court of History" I had to think out dialogues with my opponent - the Bolshevik Petrov who was very silly", - he told us at a meeting) was extremely kind Russian person. He did not become embittered even to that communistic Russia which so unfairly managed with it.

"The world conducts experiment of communism, - Shulgin in 1958 in the unpublished work "Lenin's Experience" wrote. - At first the territory of Russia, then China and others was for this purpose allocated. These are our world pilot fields. Let's be reasonable agronomists and we will allow directors of pilot fields to finish experiments. If experiments are successful, we will use them. If are unsuccessful, then we will not disturb unrealizable any more"...

Patricia Lee
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