Charents about Russian devil

Today is Yegishe Charents’s birthday.

On March 15, 1934 Yegishe Charents wrote in the notebook.

“I have thought much about Lermontov’s “Devil”.-What symbol is it? Not Russian- Tatar denying genius image…? And not that “Devil” is ancestor of Russian nihilism…? Interesting conception… According to this conception, the followers of “Devil” are not any but Russian and universal history and culture invented, than… from Chernishevski to…Lenin… Who hasn’t had “Devil”’s spiritual image powerful influence in Russian history, everything that is purely Russian and independent.

So, Lermontov’s “Devil” becomes an ancestor of everything, which Russian people have inserted or try to insert into universal history. And its best students are Chernishevski, Pisarev, Shchedrin, Dostoevski, Tolstoy, Lenin, Nikolay Morozov… Especially the latter, which denies the universal history… Really, “Devil” is nothing but the best symbol of Russian genius.

And Russian positive apoghon genius…? He found his best expression in Alexander Pushkin and remained alone! … And it is also very interesting that in Russian culture the positive apoghon genius comes from… Africa! … And before it has no continuer or follower… Pushkin is the only positive and constructive rule in Russian culture and remained alone… All worship him, but no one follows him.”