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This was a man!

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

As soon as he was back in Bougival Turgenev started telling friends in France, in Germany, in Russia, of his triumph at the Encaenia. Though conscious of the slight absurdity of his position, he was obviously pleased and proud. Bryce’s ringing Latinity, untouched, doubtless, by modern conjecture of true Roman speech, differed from Molière’s by its sense and its sincerity. It was, of course, inevitable that a parallel with the latter should be drawn by hostile Russian newspapers, for whom Turgenev seemed more of a malade imaginaire than a médecin malgré lui. The danger of ridicule increased when he let himself be photographed in his Oxford cap and gown, even though he did this primarily to please the Viardot ladies and sent copies of it to his Russian colleagues with inscriptions of typical self-mockery. Annenkov received one with the legend: ‘To his oldest and best of friends, from a doctor of civil law who has no understanding of the thing of which he is doctor.’ Around this time Turgenev also underlined the dazzling incongruity of his new violet ribbon of Officier de l’Instruction publique, granted him by Jules Ferry, upon his bright red Oxford robe. But although even so-called friends, like Saltykov-Schedrin, were inclined to sneer at him, the Imperial press itself was strangely quiet. He might still be accepted as a leading author in England, but in Russia (as he saw it) he had almost ceased to be one at all.

Keywords

Virgin Soil Saturday Review British Press Imperial Press Funeral Procession 
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References

  1. Pis’ma, VI, 202, 206, iX, 142, 154, 255, XII (1), 292, XII (2), 91, 93, 95, 99, 101, 108–9,118,126, 143, 159, 222, 259, 261, 297,305–6, 308–9, 313–14, 316, 323, 326, 333, 555–7, 577–8, XIII (1), 5, 11, 14, 18,37,69, 132–4, 139, 141, 149, 329–31, 483, XIII (2), 152; Sochineniya, XII, 295, XIII, 120, 131, 133, 145, 188–9, 201, 216–17, 354, XIV, 121–3, 135, 283, 359; Nouv. corr. inédite, I, 233, 241, 296, 299, 307; Lettres inédites, 221, 224–5; Quelques lettres, 147; Saltykov-Schedrin, XIX (1), 121; Opisaniye rukopisey, 77–8; Lukanina, no. 3, 69; Harris, Contemporary Portaits, 49–53, His Life and Adventures, 183, 198, 326, 528, My Life and Loves, 138, 267, 288, 707, 795; Waddington, ‘Some unpublished letters’, 71–2, ‘Turgenev and George Eliot’, 758–9, Turgenev’s last will’, 39, 53, 61–2; Gissing, 85, 135, etc.; Harrison (Royden) and Strmecki; Coustillas; Phelps, Russian Novel, 88ff; Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Report, 1880; Mackail, II, 6–7; British Library MSS Add. 38831, ff. 52–3, 65, 99, 127, 134, 163; Partridge, ‘Novyye materialy’, 447; Kleman, 294; Literaturnoye nasledstvo, torn 76, 467, 482, 489; Jacobs, xvi–xvii; Jewish Annual 5708, X, 116; Cambridge University Library MSS 6256/126; Faurie, 178–81; Edel, 372; Eliot, VII, 267, 271–2, 323; Ritchie, Blackstick Papers, 240–1; Grant Duff, 1892–1895, 1, 131; Garshin, 382. Spalding’s book was called Eugene Oneguine: a Romance of Russian Life in Verse (London, 1881). Lady Ritchie’s account, if true, must relate to 1881, even though she says that Cross was a ‘very young man’ at the time; but cf. Eliot, IX, 21.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Patrick Waddington 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Waddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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