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

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

sincere only with those things which he has known closely: thus Kutuzov hasn't done one social motif, not one Nekrasov grief.

I think that you will allow me, my dear, to come to you tomorrow with Kutuzov and if you approve of him you will accept him as closely as you have accepted me: I know what a blessing your close acceptance is. I dream of a four-in-hand.48

MUSORYANIN


104. To ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV, Tver

The eve of SS. Peter and Paul, 29 June, '73

Let this be my first epistle. These three days [that you will be] away from the city, these three days my mind mourns--so I write to you.

Man is a social animal; a social animal seeks the society of its fellows, 2 lions and 3 ostriches could not set up a society and would remain two lions and three ostriches, violating even the mathematical law of common multiples, i.e., they could not even add up to five. 2 barrels + 3 diamonds = 5, but 5 what? what are the ingredients?

Thus I travel to you, Arseni Arkadyevich, and I travel--without mercy, even if it brings sin on my soul.

Life is struggle; struggle is power, and power is unity, i.e., a community of vital interests, enthusiasms, sufferings and curses to primitive evil. External nature makes peace with one; nature calls the "wrestler with nature" to arms. Heine has successfully prompted the plot of Belle Hélène;49 all is there (in the heroic epos of the Greeks) --beauty, grace, incarnate art and even virtue, but wisdom, where is wisdom? Renowned, hallowed Troy did not deign a glance at what kind of horsie had arrived, and didn't even take the trouble to be curious to look inside this horsie.

He who senses man in the whisperings of nature, or in its fearsome uprisings; he who senses man in the drowsy surges of the sea, or in the evil mutterings of the deep; he who sees and imagines, in the warm sunset seen through cloudy mist, that last little cloud in capricious flight, clothed in a rosy garment; here is flying youth, that moment

____________________
48
To add a poet to Stasov's "troika."
49
In Heine's Mädchen und Frauen des Shakespeare there is a sketch of Helen (in Troilus and Cressida), so ironical that it may well have caught the sympathetic eye of Offenbach or Halévy.

-218-

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