By Derek Offord
This concise and available creation to Russia within the 19th century, focuses rather at the upward push of radicalism. Derek Offord examines all of the significant faculties of idea and appears intimately on the nice thinkers and writers of the day, together with Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Bakunin and Tolstoy. additionally tested and set in context are the good 'events' within the heritage of Russian radicalism, from the Decembrist riot to the 'going to the folk' in 1874.
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Additional info for Nineteenth Century Russia: Opposition to Autocracy
The experience was for me surreal, especially when an American quartet called the Gashouse Gang performed to the opening tune of Beethoven’s 36 FINAL PAGES 3/2/04 10:09 AM Page 37 The enchanted forest Fifth Symphony, a song with the opening lines, ‘We’re four short guys/ who like to harmonise’. I made no comment, was serious as instructed, and was later rewarded by Ada telling me that Tamara would like me to accompany her to the Peterhof Palace the next morning. I get up at six, quietly, so as not to disturb the others.
It’s getting dark. We leave and drive on into the enchanted forest, the harvest moon ‘against’ the sky, as the Russians say. Before the Revolution Nabokov’s mother’s family, the Rukavishnikovs, owned all this land. At the beginning of every summer, as soon as the Nabokovs arrived here from town, she would get down on her hands and knees and kiss the earth. Irina’s dacha is charming, a typically Russian wooden summer cottage, its shutters and facia boards picturesquely carved, set in 32 FINAL PAGES 3/2/04 10:09 AM Page 33 The enchanted forest a garden in a street of similar variously coloured ones.
I ask. Ada shrugs, so I don’t pursue it. She uses the term ‘mafia’ with me privately, but never in company. I embark on a half-drunken monologue about the failure of socialism and communism — the bright hopes of the twentieth century destroyed by tyrants and madmen. ‘Now Australians too have nothing,’ I wail. ’ ‘We must believe in God,’ shouts Mitri in English, sounding so like a Brother Karamazov I can hardly believe my ears. So much for the Bolsheviks stamping out religion. Near midnight, after coffee, we leave Mitri and Anatole to their conversation in the kitchen and Viktor leads Ada and me on a night walk through the forest.