Egor Driansky


Presentation of Egor Driansky.

Егор Дриянский ( Egor Drijanskij) «Записки мелкотравчатого» ( first edition 1857) Mелкотравчатый= a suitable synonym may be “small”. That is, the autor speaks of hunters who did not have a complete hunt (a large number of borzois and hounds), like rich landowners. They ( melkotravtschatyi) only had a couple of packs of borzois. (Andrus Kozlov)

Little is known about this writer. It seems that the definition of “forgotten” does not suit any other author in the history of Russian literature of the 19th century, but in the case of Dryansky it is filled with some special meaning. After all, it seems that fate itself has ordered that the meager and almost always joyless information about his life receded into the background before the amazing world that you discover in his books. And perhaps it is not by chance in our time, when man, as if having caught up, again and again tries to comprehend his relationship with nature, written more than a hundred years ago works by Yegor Eduardovich Driyansky with their main theme: people, earth, sky, animals and birds come back to the reader, become necessary in his movement into the future.    E. E. Driyansky was the author of one novel, wrote something about ten stories, short stories and essays, two plays. From 1851 to 1872 he collaborated in almost all major Russian magazines. Somewhere since the mid-60s, the writer began to think about the results of his creative activities. “You see,– he wrote to S.V. Maksimov in November 1865,– in the third year the deceased Apollo Grigoriev addressed me with an offer from Stellovsky (F. T., a well-known book publisher.-V. G.) about the complete collection of my things…

All things will be up to fifteen, and with all the sheets near a hundred…” “Citation by K.: Yegolev P.E. On the author of “The Note of the Small-Grass”.– In the K.: Driyansky E. E. Notes of the small-grassed. M.— L., 1930, p. 30.    But less than ten years later, as the results had to be summed up by his friends. “Dear Misha,– Alexander Ostrovsky wrote to his brother on December 4, 1872,– Egor Driyansky at the last breath: need, raw apartments broke his iron health and brought to a bitter consumption. In a dark corner, behind Presnya, without a piece of bread, without a penny of money dies the author of “The Gifts of Kvochka,” “Quartet,” “Ace,” “Panych,” “Candy” etc., such works, which in any, even rich literature would be in plain sight, and we went unnoticed and did not deliver to the creator-artist anything but grief. Now it is too late to scold him for impracticality, for khokhlatsky stubbornness, for inability to show the goods face; Now we have to help him. Do mercy, write to someone from the Literary Fund to rush the help of the unfortunate Dryansky (formalities this time can be circumvented)…. Ostrovsky A. N. Poln. op.    Ostrovsky’s letter was reported at the 32nd meeting of the Literary Fund Committee, and on December 18 the needy writer was allocated 100 rubles.  “To understand how this help was in time and to the place,– thanked ostrovsky Treasurer Litfond,– it was necessary to see how Driyansky was baptized, taking money”    That winter, Moscow newspapers reported on the production in the Small Theatre of the new comedy Ostrovsky “There was not a penny, but suddenly Altyn” Ostrovsky will write To Nekrasov about “crazy, rabid y.

Ostrovsky was, of course, right in his assertion that Driyansky’s best things, the works of the “creator-artist”, went unnoticed in the then literature. In fact: if his first compositions and there were positive reviews in the press (among them first of all should be singled out the assessments of Apollo Grigoriev), soon they changed characteristics from private correspondence, and then complete silence.    Another conclusion of Ostrovsky is confirmed that these things did not bring Dryyansky anything but grief. The best commentary to it can serve as letters of the writer, especially the last. They are talking about poverty, “pure poverty” when there is no 1 ruble 19 cents in the pharmacy today, and tomorrow the money may not be for “more necessary need”, that is, for a funeral. In one of the letters of the late 60’s the writer tried to summarize the experience of his literary and other misadventures: “You know, I am not a fatalist and believe that all inconsistencies and failures depend solely on our inability to wield the case, from impracticality, incalculability and from such reasons, but I have the right to say that I am the exceptional person for whom I am invented. For example, I firmly believe that if I have to cross the street tomorrow in order to get something desired, even due in the sense of interest, by all means in the middle of the street will be either a  

Ostrovsky’s opinion on which works Driyansky to consider the best was shared by many other writers of their circle, as the author himself believed. For most Driyansky was the creator of “Odarka” and “quartet” – and this served as a sufficient recommendation (in any case, in the memories of contemporaries and their correspondence, his name most often appears with such an explanatory characteristic). The “p.” that is, about other works of the writer, somehow was not remembered.    Perhaps the only exception was S.V. Maximov. On Driyansky’s letters to him the addressee’s hand for reference is confidently stated: “The letter of the author of “The Note of the Small-Grass.” Gradually, this point of view prevailed: it is known that “Notes” highly appreciated and used in his works Chekhov, read and praised Bunyan, that among the connoisseurs of “Melkotravit” belonged to A. M. Remizov and M. M. Prishvin.    In 1930, the famous historian of literature P. E. Shchegolev reissues Driyansky’s book and in his foreword calls it “the best of hunting books”, puts on a par with the famous hunting notes of S.T. Aksakov,  “The Hunts of the Hunter” by I.S. Turgenev, brilliant pages written about the hunt of Leo Tolstoy. That is, he puts on a par with the best, classical examples of the great Russian prose of the 19th century. And authoritatively asserts: “Not only hunting book, but also universal and artistic,” “written by the pen of a first-class master.”    But what is this book that overshadowed all other works of Driyansky? What are “Notes of the small-grassed” that allow their author to claim a place of honor in Russian literature with full right and how do they differ from other, classic hunting notes?

“I am sending you, the amiable Alexander Nikolaevich, an article in “The Mix” ,– wrote to Driyansky Ostrovsky from Ranenburg in the summer of 1850. It’s up to you to score. My job was to do as well as I could. The truth was started by her first without the basic idea, and so simple, shoulder! But, having delved after the case, when it went smoother, I find that this department is an inexhaustible source for the pen, and therefore, perhaps, neither to the village, nor to the city dubbed it “Small-grassed” and placed so that later it will be possible to develop them as a soulmate of anything”    So carelessly began the story of “The Note,” the first passage of which is titled “Small-traumatic. Essay from the Hunting Life” appeared in No. 2 “Moskvitian” in 1851. Let’s just say it’s a coincidence. “Small-grassed” were printed in the department “Blend,” “so to speak, on the margins of the magazine,” according to Shchegolev. And four years earlier, the first essay from Turgenev’s “The Huntsman’s Note” was published in the “Mix” of the January book “Modernist”. Or, as P.V. Annenkov wrote about it: “… in one corner of the magazine the story “Khor and Kalinych” shone like a guiding star rising on the horizon” (Annenkov P. V. Literary Memoirs. M., 1960, p. 395. In the future, both of these works were printed  Aksakov’s book is indeed much more specific and as if “scientific” works of Turgenev and Driyansky. In the center of his notes animals and birds, a man with his own human psychology, passions are eliminated from this world or, more precisely, obeys him and serves as a faithful reflection of it. He is a naturalist observer who observes and according to Aksakov it means: and loves and dishes, that is, with love protects,– opened to him as if for the first time the beauty and complexity of the natural world, not wanting to mix and spoil them with their own complexity. This observer (but not a hunter as the main actor) seems to be in the auditorium, on the stage of which unfolds a great and quite independent action the life of nature. His main characters feathered and four-legged indifferent to man, it seems, may well do without him, but man is already beginning to guess that nature has its own soul and freedom. And this guess, a guess about the relative, though forgotten, leads to participation, love, even if still  unrequited.    It’s very different for Turgenev. Hunting as such interests him least the hunter he masquerade, “weird” (i.e. third-party, outsider on the hunt), according to the reviews of many contemporaries, in particular I. I. Panayev. Beautiful hunting and landscape descriptions in “The Huntsman’s Notes” are only lyrical digressions, a kind of poem in prose. Descriptions of nature compositionally organize the book, give it a general light tone; they can merge with its main theme, can contrast with it, but never self-satisfied. Roughly speaking, hunting here is only an external reason for the manifestation of the poetic “sense of nature” of the narrator, a conditional organizational technique to solve a completely different problem: images of the world of people, “agricultural class”, large-scale social generalizations.  And finally, Driansky. Hunting is important for him. Hunting as a process, as an independent social institution, as a phenomenon that changes the usual relationship between people, between man and beast and makes you remember the common, related “great basis” of these relations. There is something in common with Aksakov’s approach to the world, but if the Aksakov hunter, lurking on one mgst, caresses nature with his loving, attentive gaze, then the hunter Driyansky invades it with passion, instinctively realizing that he will meet an equally strong reciprocal The reader, who did not hold a gun,– rightly wrote about the “Small-grassed” Yegolev,– has no idea about hunting, dogs and so on, suddenly imbued with the moods and interests of the hunter, enters into all the details of hunting sport. He becomes close and native psychology of the gona, the psychology of fighting the beast, make clear and exciting experiences of the dog and the person arising from their joint work” (Driyansky E. E. Notes of the small-grassed, p. 4.    Many of the differences between Driyansky’s book and Aksakov and Turgenev’s notes stem from the originality of the material itself. After all, dog hunting, as well as its air counterpart falconry, a lot of ancient most other hunts, including shotgun. The gun in the hands of the hunter shows that between the world of animals and birds and man lay an impassable border and man can break it only with the help of an alien to this world object the product of human development, civilization, and he enters this world master-conqueror, dictating their terms. Gun hunting is a struggle of notoriously unequal rivals, and certainly the ethical moment was decisive in the strangeness of the Aksakov book that there is no gun-hunting in the notes of the gun hunter as such it is only implied. This is the original premise, set, but left outside the book condition.    The gun hunter is usually lonely, during the hunt he does not belong to a human or any other collective. If he for humane reasons forgets about the gun, will become a naturalist-hunter, a writer-hunter (and the word “hunter” will necessarily be in second place), he will still remain in the sphere of human culture, and his loneliness will be even more noticeable:it is not by chance that in this area the formula “alone with nature” has been established.    The relationship between a hunter and a friend, a legal dog a cast with the inequality of relations in human society. The dog is here, of course, and a friend, but most importantly a faithful servant, looking for and bringing the killed game.    Not so in dog hunting. Here between man and beast stands essentially another beast, only in the greater or lesser steppes tamed, domesticated and therefore holding the side of man. The main struggle takes place between representatives of one and almost one world, the person first of all a concerned witness of the dog hunt, and then a participant of its finale. Here the power passes into his hands, he rises above the stage as the main organizer and the real master of his conceived, and carried out by the beasts action, he decides their fate and receives their prey. It is no coincidence that on a fresco in the southwestern tower of Sofia Kiev, which depicts an ancient scene of hunting tarpans (wild horses), the situation is so close to dog hunting, only on the place of dogs depicted pardus (tamed cheetahs).

The hound can violate the will of the sent her, turn her enemy, encroach on the property of a man pets. And these violations of human law are regarded not by the laws under which the right of only the person is recognized, but by the oldest, where man and the beast are equal and, having entered into a struggle (or concluding a union), are equally responsible for their actions: whether it is murder or attempted property. A man is stronger than a dog, he subordinated it to his will, it became his property. But he also because of the laws of dog hunting, recognizes her right to protest, the manifestation of animal freedom is responsible for the poor endurance of the pack is himself as a catch hunter. In “Notes of the Small-Grass” the boy Funtik dies on the hunt, but it is not just an accident, not a tragic exception to the order of life justice, but a reminder of the natural and just order when the victim can respond to the killer in the same way.  At the very end of “Small-traumatic” made the following statement: “… the right serious dog, like any other hunt, is a kind of science, to which, I will conclude with the words of the catchy Theopen: “No, I’m not going to do it.”    How professionally followed this statement in his book Driyansky, you can see, comparing it with special guides for dog hunting Reutt and Wenceslavsky, which has already done in his time P. M. Machevarianov “professor of hunting” as it was called contemporaries. “E. E. Driyansky,– he wrote in “Notes of the Dog Hunter of the Simbir Province” ,– in his beautiful, the living hunting story “Notes of the small-grassed” expressed about the dog hunt a hundred times more, more useful and instructive for inexperienced hunters, than how much is written in both of the above guides” “The Macchevarians P. M. Notes of the dog hunter of the Simbir province. Already in the 19th century, the “Small-grassed” begin to be invoked in the resolution of professional disputes, their authority in matters of dog hunting becomes indisputable. “Would you like to look into the book “Notes of the small-grassed” Mr. Driyansky,– advises his opponent the author of one of the articles in a special “Journal of Hunting” (1876, No. 3),– see how the newly rescued dog Karai then you will  see how the newly rescued dog Karai then you will have the concept of how to catch a frisky dog of two or three autumns, i.e. in the pore.”    The most detailed book driyansky already familiar to us “Russian hunting bibliography” by N. Y. Anofriev (Brest-Litovsk, 1905): “The famous story of hunters depicting dog hunters of the time of serfdom. The story is written wonderfully lively, beautiful hunting and literary language and is considered a model of stories about dog hunting. This story is the best board book of every hunter. The main faces depict the hunters known then: Aleev Kareev, Batsoya Nithlev, and Count Atukayev Count Palen. The book is rare, it costs up to 8 rubles.”  Shchegolev considered the reference to the prototypes of the characters of “Melkotraved” “more a product of a hunting legend than a historical reality.” Obviously, here played a decisive role traditionally skeptical approach to any hunting (or fishing) statement, claiming to be reliable. But this time the tradition of “hunting” tradition turned out to be extremely documentary.    Here’s how Driyansky describes in “Small-traumatic” dogs “brotherly breed” bred by Aleev hunters: “… eleven young dogs were led on the thieves; looking at them, it was hard to believe that these were puppies. I don’t know what my hunters thought, but I was aware that this is the beauty, articles and growth of dogs I see for the first time in my life.”    And now compare this excerpt with an excerpt from the “Report on the 2nd regular exhibition of dogs and horses in Moscow” by A. E. Korsh, placed in No. 3 “Journal of Hunting” for 1876: “We will win a man of sex and a half-life of 1 arshin 3 vera (84 cm. G.) “The growth is huge for a greyhound dog, so huge that we have seen only the second dog like this…” We won a big silver medal at the 1st regular exhibition. The second “such dog” mentioned in his report A.E. Korsh Award (growth 1 arshin 2 top), “as the best representative of the Russian breed of dog dogs”, received a large gold medal at the 1st exhibition. “Reward a year-old Victorious, a dog of the Kareev breed… S.S. Kareev’s dogs go all from Nayan, owned by the late Al. Nick. Kareeva, who brought out a very dog, a beautiful and vicious breed of dogs, which has achieved considerable fame and described in the “Notes of the Small-Grassed” by Driyansky.”    In 1875-1876, the pages of the “Journal of Hunting” erupted into controversy over the “rules of breed” of dog dogs. It was started by a certain N.P. Ermakov. Soon he was answered by S.S. Kareev. His article with the expressive title “Heart is not a stone did not suffer and spoke” was signed by the author’s name and the instruction: “Ranenburg County, Bratovka” (remember that it is from Raedburg now the city of Chaplygin, the district center of the Lipetsk region, Driyansky sent his letter about “Melkatrats” Ostrovsky in the summer of 1850). Controversy was conducted with constant references to “Notes of the small-grassed”, mentioned Count Palen and other prototypes of the heroes of “Melkotrav”, and it was discussed about the “grandfather’s and great-grandfather traditions” of the content of the “brother’s breed” S.S. Kareev prepared for the release of the book “One Hundred Years of The Punishian Hunt.”

So, Driyansky erects a spacious building “Melkotravitny” from the bricks of documentary, “portrait” fact. But this fact is instructive of its dissimilarity to the momentary, “photographic” picture of natural life given by Aksakov, on the applied accuracy of Turgenev’s “hunting” view. It is taken from the world of dog-hunting a “portrait” of legendary, bygone times, a world cherished by its resemblance to this “portrait” of its “grandfatherly and great-grandfather traditions”. Unlike any other and hunting “science.” After all, the genealogy of any dog seeks to ideally find out how long ago the animal was tamed by man and whether he has preserved for a number of generations the “noble” purity of its natural, wild “breed” despite communication with the man who changed this past.    Changing the relationship between man and dog, hunting transforms and relationships between people. In “Small-traumatic” widely represented the life of small-town nobility with its often ugly forms of family life (Peter Ivanovich and Karolina Fedorovna); Count Atukayev can be carried out by the weaknesses of his jester and slacker Petrunchik, in short, the life and manners of serfdom Russia are shown in all their unsightlyness. But hunter Atukayev is no higher than other hunters, he bows to the professional authority of Aleev, unconditionally obeys the will of the catching Theopen. The team of hunters is a kind of social utopia, a primitive brotherhood of people in the face of nature. “No, you, brother, don’t joke about it! now you yourself are the one who is in the name of a dog hunter, or a member of this fraternity.    And the same utopian laws of hunting allow the dexterous Danila at Tolstoy to threaten with a raised arapnik on his master, and he is forced to confer, to be afraid of his own serf. When the hunt is over, the old count’s appeal to Danila: “However, brother, you are angry” reminds that everything has returned to its place.

Plato’s place as a philosopher in the hunting utopia of “Melkotravchatny” is occupied by the catchy Theopen a character whose proximity to the heroes of antiquity betrays the rare sound of his name (Theopen is a Russified form of the ancient Greek name Theopempt, translated “God sent”). Theopen a miracle worker who knows thoroughly all the intricacies of the catching business, able to “stand” the pack, that it amazes even experienced hunters. This is a real, not created by human arrogance “king of nature”, a real pagan god of hunting, an ancient and powerful, full-powered lord and friend of his dogs, ready for them and with them to pass all the tests. Catcher Driyansky is an artist whose high intentions are inaccessible to ordinary people and can only be understood by a person of close, artistic, nature. This is the dodgy Odysseus, next ahead of the hunting train and, as the hunt begins to occupy more and more space, more and more growing in the eyes of the reader. The pinnacle of his skill hunting in the vast steppe of Countess Otakoito, the apotheosis of sweeping in a brilliant antics with distant and detours that blocked the way to this steppe. “Daniel Tolstoy, Theopen Driyansky and Leontii Bunina (from the story “The Catcher”, 1946 W.G.) three immortal literary types in hunting literature” ,– rightly concludes the modern researcher of this literature N. Smirnov “Smirnov N. Hunting language as a kind of folk speech.– In the alm.: Hunting spaces, i.e. 15. M., 1960, p. 249.”    There are two worlds in “Notes of the Small-Grass” and each of them has its own dimensions: social, spatial, temporal, linguistic. The world of hunting is only an island in the vast spaces of the Russian world, but this island carries a full measure of beauty and justice, the enduring value of which lies at the heart of the entire universe. We called hunting a kind of utopia, and the originality of this utopia is primarily that it really exists (“utopia” with The Greek—place, which does not exist), it is part of the actual existence of the world, not a distracted ideal, an unattainable norm. People and nature act in hunting as a single and indissoluble whole, but this whole lives by the laws of nature, and man here is only a guest, he only “goes hunting” and lives in a completely different place. This is the real utopian nature of hunting. Although the connection between the big and the small is not forever destroyed, as it persists between hunting (hunting the beast) and hunting (desire). “Hunting is the nature of man,” “hunting is fun” ,– the proverb says.    In “Notes of the fine-grassed” two times: one historical, with all the exact signs of the life of Russia in the middle of the last century, the other the time of the hunt itself the natural, “rich time” of the Russians and Homer’s epic. And the second beginning, as the story develops, wins in Driyansky’s book. There’s no plot in “Small-Traumatic.” Its movement is replaced by the movement of hunting, hunting train. And with each step of hunting man more and more approaches nature, his connection “with all the connected forces of the world” (M. M. Prishvin) becomes stronger. In the end comes their complete fusion: over the world of “Small-grassed” is raised in its timeless and extraspatial essence the image of hunting “paradise” the steppe of the Countess of Otakoito “one hundred and twenty thousand tithes of land, from the creation of the world not plowed”, on which “the herds of cranes, drofts, pests, pests, inhabits in the red. This “other edge” cannot have any master (The Countess of Otakoito is a conditional symbol, which, having received its name from hunters, is constantly somewhere “abroad”), and only hunting can exist. Here in the frame of “a picture that could not be given another name, as i’m not.”    The movement of the hunting train begins to the sound of a song, the song in the conclusion of the book (in the scene of “dedication”) announces that the hunt freezes until next fall. After all, dog hunting lives by the laws of natural time and just like nature, periodic only from the first yellow leaves to the first powder comes it on the ground. Hunting song is also an indication of the special linguistic existence of the hunting world, which has its own folklore and rich literature.    Hunting language “Small-grassed” it is not just a series of terminological inclusions in general literary, “book” speech, as on this note “from the author” seems to try to infuse Driyansky himself. This is the stylistic basis of the book, giving it an absolutely extraordinary linguistic flavor, the power of expression, loud and unexpected sound. “First in Russian literature on the richness of language” ,– called Driyansky’s book a deep connoisseur of folk speech and its magnificent master A. M. Remizov . Hunting language is not quite clear to a layman, but it is an ancient, native Russian language, connected with many familiar words by rich associative ties. And it is because of its incomplete comprepregence that the hunting term is experienced by the reader much more strongly, more directly than the worn-out, familiar, general literary word. There is something like a linguistic discovery: behind the unfamiliar, the new learns the old, familiar, and each word becomes the whole world, “abyss of space,” by Gogol.    Here are just a few examples. The hunters say, “to “lock” the beast, that is, to lift it from the place, to “wake up” and chase it on the hot trail. The beginning of the race is called “the “wash.” And next to immediately stand close, single-rooted expressions: “to wash” (someone), “to wash” (in the light), “to wash” (bride), the proverb “Wash the burqa steep slides!” and so. D. All that rich verbal series, where “smart” that is to close, to remove under the lock, and “washing to grind, to torment, to smear” (Dal), and Novgorod regional “smart”, that is, a marquee, a tramp, etc. or a strikingly accurate term “mouse”, that is, catching a fox in the autumn or winter.    Or the names of dog breeds. Here’s “bors” from the word “borzo,” that is, fast, fast. “Sedlay, brother, his brezy komoni” ,– said in the “Word of Igor’s regiment.” And then there is the whole series, expressing speed, sharpness: “borzote,” “borzolet,” “borzo-painter” etc.  Hunting language has its own hierarchy, accurately noting the changes taking place in the natural world. Each step of these changes corresponds to its own term. In the “field” of hunting there are “islands”, that is, small separate fishing line, mansions (Dal). Wolves are divided into “profits”, that is, those who are less than a year old, “per-ers” more than a year, “mothers” more than two years and “old people” more than five. In addition, the wolf, located at the lair, the nest, the wolf-father, is called “nester”, the wolf-mother “nester.”    In these terms, it is not difficult to grasp their origin: in the first case (“profit”) we meet with the derivative of “profit”, in the second (“re-azh” with a beast experiencing a time of rebirth, “distortion” from the ancient Slavic god of fertility Yarilo; in the third (“mother”) with quite a tired, formed, entered in the year beast from an ancient, ancestral, coming from the “mother.”    The narration in “Melkotrava” is conducted in the first person, the face of a former gun hunter, making his first hunting trip as part of a dog hunt and before our eyes, with us comprehending all its “science” (including language). But behind the literary image of the narrator, which so directly correlates with our own ignorance of the hunting world, is the author himself, this world is well aware and understanding. Already what we know about the real basis of Driyansky’s book suggests that the narrator and author of “The Note of the Grass”can not defend very far from each other. Knowing the biography of the writer thoroughly, we could surely, going from fact to image, to find more than one, not two confirmations of the accuracy of his artistic method.    But Driyansky’s biography is almost unknown to us. So is it impossible to do the opposite and, using the artistic material of “Melkotravited” (and his other works), try if not to establish new biographical data, then at least to supplement the few available and confirm or refute the dubious?

We don’t know where or when Driansky was born. Ostrovsky speaks of the writer’s “khokhlatsky stubbornness” and “little Russian writer” calls him Dubrovskiy. 1. M., 1974, p. 319. Driyansky himself wrote little-Russian novels (“Odarka,” “Panych”), in which he showed himself to be a wonderful connoisseur of Ukrainian life, folklore. Everything speaks for the fact that his homeland can be considered Ukraine.    This is confirmed by the fact that in the “List of works of writers who received education in the gymnasium of higher sciences and lyceum kn. Bezborodko, where the name of the author of “Dead Souls” is numberED BY, is also the Driyansky “Gymnasium of Higher Sciences and Lyceum of Bezborodko in Nezhin. Spb., 1881. p. XLIII.” It seems most likely that he studied in Nezhin in the 1830s . . We proceed from his assumptions about the time of Dryansky’s birth (his personal file in the archives of the gymnasium was not found. It probably burned down among many others during the fire of 1918). The circle of writers in which Driyansky rotated in Moscow, consisted of people about the same age: 1820-1825 birth. that Driyansky belonged to the same generation. But Driyansky is not on the list of students who have completed the course at this educational institution. So you’re under-trained?  Teaching in the non-Jin gymnasium, as in most closed schools of that time, was characterized by a humanitarian bias: students studied here languages, literature, history, art drawing, etc. Of course, the intellectual reserve is replenished throughout life, but the foundations of it are laid in childhood. So does the narrator of “Small-traumatic” have such intellectual lines, which, being completely optional for an ordinary hunter and this is how he is presented in the book,– could “give out” the humanitarian education of Dryansky himself?  

It’s like there is. The narrator speaks at least two French and German languages, so fluent that he can judge errors in the pronunciation of other characters in the book. Of course, the knowledge of languages for that time is not a criterion of difference, but it is indicative that if most hunters are poorly “known in French”, only he alone can turn to the German Caroline Fedorovna in her native language. But it is not necessary for an ordinary hunter to understand the intricacies of painting, to be able to distinguish a copy from the original, a good picture from a mediocre one, and Bopp from Ruisdal. Meanwhile, the narrator on occasion confidently takes up this.    Nezhin gymnasium was created as a privileged school for children of local noble surnames. The conditions of admission were relaxed several times, the composition of pupils gradually became democratized, but the years of interest to us remained mostly homogeneous. It seems that Driyansky signed one of his letters (official letter to the Minister of Education) : “Egor Eduardov’s son Driyansky (noble)”    But in genealogical references and pedigrees, both Ukrainian and Polish, both general and provincial, the surname Driyansky was not found. And it itself raises known doubts. As Shchegolev rightly wrote, “his surname, the combination of his name and middle. Or maybe Dryansky’s “nobility” was either recent or problematic at all?    However, the unnamed narrator of “Small-tuned” is kept quite “on an equal footing” with other hunters, including the titled (Count Atukayev). And there is no shadow of neglect in his attitude, which the same “his brilliance” sometimes demonstrates in the treatment of the “lower”. Apparently, the hero Driyansky belongs to a small-town, but not native nobility, who preserved the dignity of their ancestors, but not their wealth.    What Driyansky did on leaving the Lyceum and before meeting Ostrovsky in 1850, we do not know. Most likely, he spent the 40s in military service in the province: this is evidenced by the story “quartet” with its thorough accuracy and special details in the descriptions of the army life. Some details from the life of the main characters of the “quartet” have, apparently, autobiographical character and give reason to assume the reason for Driyansky’s service in the army: the same material dissatisfaction and desire to correct matters officer’s salary.

Once in Moscow and met with Ostrovsky, Driyansky became part of his inner circle. He entered Russian literature as a member of this circle. The core of the circle was the “young edition” of “Moskvityanina.” This is the way to call a group of young writers (A. N. Ostrovsky, AP. Grigoriev, E. N. Edelson, B.N. Almazov, T. I. Filippov), who came closer together on the basis of the same views on the tasks and goals of Russian literature. Since 1850, M.P. Pogodin, editor of the old and well-deserved Moscow magazine, has invited them to collaborate to update and revitalize their publication.    The rest of the “young edition” was united: N.V. Berg, L.A. May, A. N. Potekhin, M.A. Stakhovich, E. E. Dryansky, I.T. Kokorev, I.I. zheleznov, S.V. Maximov, etc. “Writers; N. A. Ramazanov is a professor of sculpture; P. M. Boclevskiy artist, famous illustrator of “Dead Souls”; P. M. Sadovsky, S.V. Vasilyev, I.F. Gorbunov, A.I. Dubyuk, etc. artists and musicians. The mug, to a greater or lesser extent, belonged to various talented self-taught people (musicians, singers, etc.), students, merchants, sitters from the trade ranks “not on the written instructions, but on the basis of ordinary law: be sure to be first of all a Russian person and prove their services of any of the branches of native art, one or the other  indifferent” (S. V. Maximov) M., 196S, p. 80.

“Egor Driyansky of all Moscow writers was the most frequent visitor and interlocutor of Ostrovsky”,– testifies the same S.V. Maximov (Ostrovsky in the memoirs of contemporaries, p. 80. Driyansky was Ostrovsky’s “godfather” in the literary field: his first literary experience the novella “Odarka Kvochka” saw the light in No. 17-18 “Moskvityanin” for 1850 with the direct participation of the playwright. The writer was not left by the concerns of his great friend throughout the rest of his creative and life path: Ostrovsky a frequent listener of the new things driyansky (plays “Comedy in Comedy”, stories “Panych” and “quartet” etc.), their editor, he now and then claps, often unsuccessfully, for them in front of other editors. At Ostrovsky’s request, Driyansky began to write “Melkotravited”, not without his participation and the further history of this book.    Apparently, in the 1850s Driyansky still had a small estate: in one of the letters of that time to Druzhinin mentioned a village, from which the news that “the city processed everything for two years in advance” “Letters to A. V. Druzhinin. M., 1948, p. 118. In any case, then Driyansky had a choice between literature (more precisely, literary earnings) and hunting (i.e. the existence of income from the estate). In a letter to Ostrovsky dated March 3, 1853,  exasperated by the failures of the story “The quartet” Driyansky writes: “Damn with him (i.e. with the quartet.- V.G.) and with all the literature , it’s better to flog!” Unreleased letters to A. N. Ostrovsky, p. 108. In September 1856, he was going to start troublesome about some “things more significant” than literature, in which “you can have fun with literature, but only to have fun, no more” “Letters to A.V. Druzhinin, p. 121.    This operation according to Driansky’s plan, was probably supposed to ensure his well-being was clearly failing, and by the early 1960s we were finding him in debt, with the only hope of “feeding him with honest literary work.” Now, instead of his own village, he goes to the estate of Ostrovsky Shchelykovo (and performs the duties of the manager there), and his favorite hunting replaces fishing on the rivers Kuekshe and Mere, abundant “pikes and carp.” In the last years of his life, Shchelykovo (or, as Driyansky called it, “Yelokovo”) becomes for the sick and exhausted writer some symbol of rest “without worry and anxiety”: “Dear Alexander Nikolaevich! At last I began to dream that I was with you in Shchelokovo…” “Driyansky E. E. Notes of the grass-grass, p. 34.

We do not even know what it looked like: there are no signed photos or portraits. There are, however, two curious testimonies about the writer’s appearance, which suggest that it was not quite ordinary.    The first belongs to M.I. Semevsky and refers to his visits to Ostrovsky’s apartment in Silver Lane, at Nikola Vorobin. On November 1, 1855, Semevsky saw here among the guests and the author of “The Note of the Small-Grassed” “a man with a tanned face and a black mustache” “Ostrovsky in the memories of contemporaries, p. 129.”    The second “verbal portrait” is from A.F. Pisemsky’s letter to Ostrovsky (around August 7, 1858). Since the September book “Libraries for Reading” in 1858, the novella “The quartet” was to be printed. “The whole first part has already been scored,when suddenly Driyansky suddenly demanded that the manuscript be handed over to Apollo Grigoriev. The last one in the spring of 1858 in Florence was invited by G. A. Kushelev-Bezborodko to the “Russian Word” as an assistant editor-in-chief and lead critic.    Pisemsky at this time the co-editor of “Library” had every reason to dissatisfaction with both the behavior of Grigoriev, who acted here as an undesirable competitor, and Driyansky too frivolous, inconsistent and almost self-interested author. And he in a letter to Ostrovsky (a common friend of all three) does not skimp on very unflattering characteristics. And among other things, suddenly there is a completely unexpected definition, seemingly to the case itself and has nothing to do with, but clearly “portrait” properties: “I wrote Dryyansky’s letter quite lightly, but you crucify it and say that so even the berators, the look of which he wears (cursing my.–V.G.), so the bereters do not do …” Letters, M.—L., 1936, p. 124.    So, the first evidence is “a man with a tanned face and a black mustache,” the second is like a bereitor. These testimonies seem not to contradict one another, rather, on the contrary, in perfect agreement draw a portrait, if not a hunter, then, in any case, a person close to the sun and horses (the bereitor, as it is known, is called a specialist, going around riding horses and teaching them).

The deepest and warmest review about Driyansky was left by his friend S.V. Maximov: “For his sympathetic, soft heart, he was equally appreciated by literary and theatrical circles… in literary circles aroused sympathy with constant failures in affairs. There seemed to be no man more miserable than him. And he did not grieve or be discouraged, and at once forgot about himself, as soon as his help or simple participation was required on the side, and then he worked tirelessly” “Ostrovsky in the memories of his contemporaries, p. 67.    This, it seems, was to be Egor Driyansky writer, hunter, author of beautiful, human and, perhaps, one of the brightest and most joyful books in Russian literature “The Note of the Fine Grass.” V. Huminski !


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