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2024 №31

Author: Anna A. Polyakova
About the author:

Anna A. Polyakova — PhD in Philology, Junior Researcher, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova Emb. 4., 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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It is generally considered that the name of Alexander Marlinsky appeared in the list of the contributors of “The Reader’s Library” in 1833 without preliminary agreement with the writer, and this is the bright example of the publisher’s arbitrariness. But the closer examination of A.A. Bestuzhev’s epistolary heritage of the 1830s (primarily the unpublished letters kept at the Manuscript Department of the Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences) gives the opportunity to rethink the history of the writer’s collaboration with A.F. Smirdin. For example, Bestuzhev’s letter to K.P. Thorson (December 7, 1833) presents that the writer was included to the list of “The Reader’s Library” contributors on the initiative of his sister, Elena Alexandrovna. Moreover, this decision neither surprised, nor outraged Bestuzhev. As is clear from Bestuzhev’s correspondence of 1830–1833s, this Elena’s act could be closely connected, on the one hand, with Bestuzhev’s collaboration with the journal “The Son of the Fatherland and the Northern Archive,” and on the other hand, with the history of publication of the first five parts of “The Russian Tales and Stories,” and the relationships developed between the participants in this enterprise ending in conflict: A.A. Bestuzhev, E.A. Bestuzheva, N.I. Gretsch and A.M. Andreev, who was the young Gretsch’s assistant and who played an important role in this story.

Keywords: A.A. Bestuzhev (Marlinsky), E.A. Bestuzheva, N.I. Gretsch, A.M. Andreev, “The Russian Tales and Stories,” “The Reader’s Library,” book publishing.
For citation:

Polyakova, A.A. “ʽ…But when Somebody Refers to My Sister’s Word, I’m Out’: From Comments to A.A. Bestuzhev’s (Marlinsky’s) Letters from the 1830s.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (31), 2024, pp. 293–309. (In Russ.)


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4. Polevoi, N.A. Izbrannye sochineniia i pis’ma [ Selected Works and Letters], comp., text prep. introd. and comm. by A.A. Karpov. Leningrad, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1986. 580 p. (In Russ.)