The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview

IV
Khovanshchina: Sketched

1872-1873

87. To VLADIMIR STASOV

Sometimes one must express something, "although a stake be sharpened on the head." I am pregnant with this something and I am giving birth--and to what I am giving birth you will see, my dear généralissime. What can it mean, that occasionally I feel your absence very keenly? that feeling your absence, I grow disquieted? (I am no woman.) What must this mean, that when I am disquieted--not firm --I miss you? Do not think that this means "O thou, whom I fear to love" and so forth. All this and other such obscenities to the side.

Ex abrupto:

How dared you think that I do not acknowledge the fact that you acknowledge me? Slav, see how great are your trespasses! And what if Musoryanin were to thunder over Mother Russia! More than once have I plowed the black earth, and I want to plow the unfertilized, virgin earth; not merely to become acquainted with the people, but I thirst to be their brother: frightening, but good! What then? and why did I accuse this Russian of heresy? Am I not aware to what I should echo? do I not sense where power is hidden, where truth clouds the eye, and perhaps the nostrils too: I could sneeze for spite!

The black earth's power will manifest itself, when you plow it to the very bottom. It is possible to plow the black earth with tools wrought of alien materials. And at the end of the seventeenth century they did plow Mother Russia with such tools, that she could not immediately discern with what they plowed, and how the black earth opened up and began to breathe. And there the beloved Mother gave herself to sundry actual and privy state councilors and they gave her, the long-suffering, no time to collect herself and to think: "where areyou pushing me?"

-185-

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