Островский Александр Николаевич
Комментарии: 4, последний от 12/11/2008.
Островский Александр Николаевич
Обновлено: 15/09/2005. 205k.
Островский на иностранных языках
Перевод на английский язык Констанс Гарнет.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Storm, by Aleksandr Nicolaevich Ostrovsky
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in
how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****
Title: The Storm
Author: Aleksandr Nicolaevich Ostrovsky
Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7991]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on June 10, 2003]
Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE STORM ***
Produced by Eric Eldred, S.R.Ellison and the DP Proofreading Team
[Aleksandr Nicolaevich Ostrovsky]
TRANSLATED BY CONSTANCE GARNETT
Up to the years of the Crimean War Russia was always a strange, uncouth
riddle to the European consciousness. It would be an interesting study to
trace back through the last three centuries the evidence of the historical
documents that our forefathers have left us when they were brought face to
face, through missions, embassies, travel, and commerce, with the
fantastic life, as it seemed to them, led by the Muscovite. But in any
chance record we may pick up, from the reports of a seventeenth century
embassy down to the narrative of an early nineteenth century traveller,
the note always insisted on is that of all the outlandish civilisations,
queer manners and customs of Europeans, the Russian's were the queerest
and those standing furthest removed from the other nations'. And this
sentiment has prevailed to-day, side by side with the better understanding
we have gained of Russia. Nor can this conception, generally held among
us, which is a half truth, be removed by personal contact or mere
objective study; for example, of the innumerable memoirs published on the
Crimean war, it is rare to find one that gives us any real insight into
the nature of the Russian. And the conception itself can only be amended
and enlarged by the study of the Russian mind as it expresses itself in
its own literature. The mind of the great artist, of whatever race he
springs, cannot lie. From the works of Thackeray and George Eliot in
England and Turgenev and Tolstoi in Russia, a critic penetrates into the
secret places of the national life, where all the clever objective
pictures of foreign critics must lead him astray. Ostrovsky's drama, "The
Storm," here translated for the English reader, is a good instance of this
truth. It is a revelation of the old-fashioned Muscovite life _from the
inside_, and Ostrovsky thereby brings us in closer relation to that
primitive life than was in the power of Tolstoi or Goncharov, or even
Gogol to bring us. These great writers have given us admirable pictures of
the people's life as it appeared to them at the angle of the educated
Westernised Russian mind; but here in "The Storm" is the atmosphere of the
little Russian town, with its primitive inhabitants, merchants, and
workpeople, an atmosphere untouched, unadulterated by the _ideas_ of any
outside European influence. It is the Russia of Peter the Great and
Catherine's time, the Russian patriarchal family life that has existed for
hundreds of years through all the towns and villages of Great Russia, that
lingers indeed to-day in out-of-the-way corners of the Empire, though now
invaded and much broken up by modern influences. It is, in fact, the very
Muscovite life that so puzzled our forefathers, and that no doubt will
seem strange to many English readers. But the special triumph of "The
Storm" is that although it is a realistic picture of old-fashioned Russian
patriarchal life, it is one of the deepest and simplest psychological
analyses of the Russian soul ever made. It is a very deep though a very
narrow analysis. Katerina, the heroine, to the English will seem weak, and
crushed through her weakness; but to a Russian she typifies revolt,
freedom, a refusal to be bound by the cruelty of life. And her attitude,
despairing though it seems to us, is indeed the revolt of the spirit in a
land where Tolstoi's doctrine of non-resistance is the logical outcome of
centuries of serfdom in a people's history. The merchant Dikoy, the bully,
the soft characterless lover Boris, the idealistic religious Katerina,
Kuligin the artisan, and Madame Kabanova, the tyrannical mother, all these
are true national types, true Russians of the changing ages, and the
counterparts of these people may be met to-day, if the reader takes up
Tehehov's tales. English people no doubt will find it difficult to believe
that Madame Kabanova could so have crushed Katerina's life, as Ostrovsky
depicts. Nothing indeed is so antagonistic to English individualism and
independence as is the passivity of some of the characters in "The Storm."
But the English reader's very difficulty in this respect should give him a
clue to much that has puzzled Europeans, should help him to penetrate into
the strangeness of Russian political life, the strangeness of her love of
despotism. Only in the country that produces such types of weakness and
tyranny is possible the fettering of freedom of thought and act that we
have in Russia to-day. Ostrovsky's striking analysis of this fatalism in
the Russian soul will help the reader to understand the unending struggle
in Russia between the enlightened Europeanised intelligence of the few,
and the apathy of the vast majority of Russians who are disinclined to
rebel against the crystallised conditions of their lives. Whatever may be
strange and puzzling in "The Storm" to the English mind, there is no doubt
that the Russians hail the picture as essentially true. The violence of
such characters as Madame Kabanova and Dikoy may be weakened to-day
everywhere by the gradual undermining of the patriarchal family system now
in progress throughout Russia, but the picture is in essentials a
criticism of the national life. On this point the Russian critic
Dobroliubov, criticising "The Storm," says: "The need for justice, for
respect for personal rights, this is the cry ... that rises up to the ear
of every attentive reader. Well, can we deny the wide application of this
need in Russia? Can we fail to recognise that such a dramatic background
corresponds with the true condition of Russian society? Take history,
think of our life, look about you, everywhere you will find justification
of our words. This is not the place to launch out into historical
investigation; it is enough to point out that our history up to the most
recent times has not fostered among us the development of a respect for
equity, has not created any solid guarantees for personal rights, and has
left a wide field to arbitrary tyranny and caprice." This criticism of
Dobroliubov's was written in 1860, the date of the play; but we have only
to look back at the internal history of Russia for the last thirty years
to see that it too "has not created any solid guarantees for personal
rights, and has left a wide field to arbitrary tyranny and caprice." And
here is Ostrovsky's peculiar merit, that he has in his various dramas
penetrated deeper than any other of the great Russian authors into one of
the most fundamental qualities of the Russian nature--its innate tendency
to arbitrary power, oppression, despotism. Nobody has drawn so powerfully,
so truly, so incisively as he, the type of the 'samodour' or 'bully,' a
type that plays a leading part in every strata of Russian life. From
Turgenev we learn more of the reverse side of the Russian character, its
lack of will, tendency to weakness, dreaminess and passivity: and it is
this aspect that the English find it so hard to understand, when they
compare the characters in the great Russian novels with their own idea of
Russia's formidable power. The people and the nation do not seem to
correspond. But the riddle may be read in the coexistence of Russia's
internal weakness and misery along with her huge force, and the immense
rфle she fills as a civilising power. In "The Storm" we have all the
contradictory elements: a life strongly organised, yet weak within;
strength and passivity, despotism and fatalism side by side.
The author of "The Storm," Alexander Ostrovsky (born in Moscow 1823, died
1886), is acknowledged to be the greatest of the Russian dramatists. He
has been called "a specialist in the natural history of the Russian
merchant," and his birth, upbringing, family connections and vocations
gave him exceptional facilities for penetrating into the life of that
class which he was the first to put into Russian literature. His best
period was from 1850 to 1860, but all his work received prompt and
universal recognition from his countrymen. In 1859 Dobroliubov's famous
article, "The Realm of Darkness," appeared, analysing the contents of all
Ostrovsky's dramas, and on the publication of "The Storm" in 1860, it was
followed by another article from the same critic, "A Ray of Light in the
Realm of Darkness." These articles were practically a brief for the case
of the Liberals, or party of Progress, against the official and Slavophil
party. Ostrovsky's dramas in general are marked by intense sombreness,
biting humour and merciless realism. "The Storm" is the most poetical of
his works, but all his leading plays still hold the stage.
"The Storm" will repay a minute examination by all who recognise that in
England to-day we have a stage without art, truth to life, or national
significance. There is not a superfluous line in the play: all is drama,
natural, simple, deep. There is no _falsity_, no forced situations, no
sensational effects, none of the shallow or flashy caricatures of daily
life that our heterogeneous public demands. All the reproach that lives
for us in the word _theatrical_ is worlds removed from "The Storm." The
people who like 'farcical comedy' and social melodrama, and 'musical
sketches' will find "The Storm" deep, forbidding and gloomy. The critic
will find it an abiding analysis of a people's temperament. The reader
will find it literature.
E. G. _November_, 1898.
SAVIL PROKOFIEVITCH DIKOY, _a merchant, and personage of importance in the
BORIS GRIGORIEVITCH, _his nephew, a young man of good education_.
MARFA IGNATIEVNA KABANOVA, _a rich merchant's widow_.
TIHON IVANITCH KABANOV, _her son_.
KATERINA, _his wife_.
VARVARA, _sister of Tihon_.
KULIGIN, _a man of artisan class, a self-taught watchmaker, engaged in
trying to discover the secret of perpetual motion_.
VANIA KUDRIASH, _a young man, clerk to Dikoy_.
SHAPKIN, _an artisan_.
FEKLUSHA, _a pilgrim woman_.
GLASHA, _a maid servant in the Kabanovs' house_.
AN OLD LADY _of seventy, half mad, with_ TWO FOOTMEN.
TOWNSPEOPLE _of both sexes_.
_The action takes place in the town of Kalinov, on the banks of the Volga,
in summertime. There is an interval of ten days between the 3rd and 4th
acts. All the characters except Boris are dressed in old Russian national