N. M. Karamzin: a Study of His Literary Career, 1783-1803

By A. G. Cross | Go to book overview

TWO
The Moscow Journal
1791-1792

ACCORDING to an entry in the record of arrivals and departures which the St. Petersburg chief of police kept for Catherine, Karamzin arrived in the capital on July 15, 1790, some fourteen months after his departure for Germany.1 Before the recent discovery of this document the only evidence to contradict Karamzin's own assertion in Letters of a Russian Traveler that he arrived in Russia in September had been a letter from A. A. Pleshcheev to Kutuzov, which gave his arrival in August.2 It is possible that Plesheheev is referring to Karamzin's arrival in Moscow after spending some three weeks in St. Petersburg and that the confusing indication "from Moscow" in the police record arose from a misreading of his passport. Karamzin may well have finished his journey by land, mindful of the difficulties he had encountered originally in attempting to leave St. Petersburg by boat.3 Shtorm in his commentary on the police document attempts mistakenly to relate Karamzin's movements on his return to the undoubtedly false dating of the English letters in Letters of a Russian Traveler. Karamzin could hardly conceal his whereabouts from the authorities and his presence in St. Petersburg was dictated by his wish to gain the collaboration of Dmitriev and, through him, of Derzhavin and other writers in his projected journal. With regard to Lettersitself, there could be no intention to mislead Catherine's officials, since part 5, in which the English letters appeared, was published for the first time in 1801; it was obviously immediate and distant posterity that Karamzin wished to deceive, successfully if unnecessarily.

"At last I returned--(the very same person who had set out, only with some new experiences, some new knowledge, a greater

-35-

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N. M. Karamzin: a Study of His Literary Career, 1783-1803
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • One The Formative Years 1766-1790 1
  • Two The Moscow Journal 1791-1792 35
  • Four Sentimental Fiction 1789-1803 96
  • Five From Aglaia To The Pantheon of Russian Authors 1793-1801 143
  • Six Karamzin's Verse And Aonides 1796-1799 172
  • Seven The Messenger of Europe 1802-1803 193
  • Eight Into the Temple of History 218
  • Checklist of Original and Translated Reviews in The - Moscow Journal 233
  • Notes 243
  • Selected Bibliography 275
  • Index 295
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