Miss Smith

  • Sofya Kovalevskaya


The clock on the classroom wall struck seven. Those seven repeated strokes reached me through sleep and gave rise to the sad certainty that now, this minute, Dunyasha, the chambermaid, would be coming in to wake me up. But sleeping was still so sweet that I tried to convince myself that those seven repulsive strokes of the clock were only in my imagination.


Young Lady Music Lesson RUSSIAN Childhood Classroom Wall Painful Moment 
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  1. 1.
    The reference is to A Russian Anthology (with Commentaries, Compiled by Andrey Filonov. Vol. 1, “Epic Poetry,” Vol. 2, “Lyric Poetry,” Vol. 3, “Dramatic Poetry.” St. Petersbury, 1863). By “poetry” the compiler understood imaginative literature in general. Malevich also mentions this book in his reminiscences. However, the book contains neither Lermontov’s The Novice nor Pushkin’s Captive of the Caucasus. It is possible that Kovalevskaya had access to another widely disseminated textbook of that period: A Complete Russian Anthology, compiled by A. Galakhov, Moscow, 1857.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    These childish verses have been lost. Very little of Kovalevskaya’s verse has been located up to the present time.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Undine (1811), a long narrative fairy tale by the German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, freely translated into Russian by V. A. Zhukovsky. The Novice (Mtsyry, a Georgian word) by Mikhail Lermonmv, a long narrative poem closely related in meter and diction to Zhukovsky’s translation of Byron’s Prisoner of Chillon. Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    This is not quite accurate. As S.Ya. Shtraikh points out, Elizaveta Fyodorovna’s diaries dating from the first year of her marriage up to 1851 are filled with bitter complaints against Vasily Vasilievich’s behavior toward her.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Beatrice Stillman 1978

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  • Sofya Kovalevskaya

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