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

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Jay Leyda et al. | Go to book overview

142. To VLADIMIR STASOV

Wednesday, 5 March, '75

Généralissime,

I'll be at your place this evening. It is despicable and beneath contempt for us to live as we do--as if one of us were on the Cape of Finland and the other on the Cape of Good Hope. I'll be there, I'll be there--positively.

MUSORYANIN


143. To ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV, Tver TO SIR MOST HIGH COUNT OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE ARSENI ARKADYEVICH GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV FROM A MEMBER OF THE UNKNOWN MINISTRY OF SIMPLE AFFAIRS9
REPORT

We are informed, Your Highness, of the capture in the State of Tver of a certain person, dangerous and highly troublesome to the Chancery of Detective Affairs, an escaped man, unusually audacious, calling himself Arseni Kutuzov. This aforesaid dangerous man has been apprehended in the very city of Tver. And with the aid of some questioning and some gentle torture, it came to light that the said dangerous man, in his extreme arrogance feared neither the proximity of the Governor's seat nor the Detection. Overflowing with such audacity, the aforementioned dangerous individual strove also to remain invisible to the all-seeing eye. And he was caught in the act of harmful and crafty peotic licenses and all sorts of laws contrary to those established by Sir Sumarokov for dramatic statutes and comedies, as well as rules for all Russian writing.10 And furthermore, he confessed to thieving relations, for these as well as for even more dangerous purposes, together with the already caught and published mussician-compositor, passing himself off as Musorgsky. This latter, in fraudulent dreams, maliciously repudiating the codified mussical laws,

____________________
10
Alexander Petrovich Sumarokov was an eighteenth-century arbiter of literary style. Not only did he publish "Instructions to those wishing to become writers," but he also presented his translations of Hamlet and plays by Corneille and Racine as their co-author.
9
Musorgsky assumes the comic mask of a stupid eighteenth-century police investigator inditing a misspelled report.

-289-

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