Эссе: A Collection of Articles and Essays on the Great Russian Poet, A. S. Pushkin

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... Pushkin makes Hermann resemble Napoleon and at the same time describes him as a mean character. The Queen of Spades is an independent solution of those problems with which European art was then concerned. The solution of these problems and the method of solving them differs profoundly from those resorted to by Stendhal and Balzac. In The Queen of Spades Pushkin attained the greatest simplicity of language. He uses the shortest possible sentences and hardly ever resorts to the use of adjectives. The following is a passage from this story: "It was a terrible night. The wind howled, wet snow fell in large flakes; the street lamps burned dimly; the streets were deserted. From time to time a sleigh driver, looking out for a belated fare, went slowly by, urging on his wretched nag. Hermann stood there without his overcoat, feeling neither the wind nor the snow. At last the Countess's carriage drew up. He saw the old woman in a sable coat being lifted into the carriage by two footmen; then Lizaveta, in a light cloak, with fresh flowers in her hair, flitted by. The carriage door banged. The carriage rolled heavily, over the wet snow. The porter closed the doors. The lights in the windows went out." II The circumstances under which The Captain's Daughter was written were extremely difficult: Pushkin wrote under the eye of four censors. The scene of the story is an out-of-the-way fortress somewhere in the steppes not far from present-day Soviet city Magnitogorsk. The fortresses on the river Yaik were utterly insignificant from the military point of view. They were commanded by officers who, as Catherine herself said, were large landowners tilling the land with the labour of their garrisons. One of these officers, Stupishin by name, commanding the Verkhneyaitsk fortress, wrote to the Bashkirs during the insurrection: "Bashkirs, I know all that you are planning. Know this, however, if any rumours come to my ears that you--thieves and rogues--are waiting for those other thieves to come to you and are supplying them with cattle and food and yourselves with arms. ...