Megan Dixon

The best that Mickiewicz and Pushkin had to say about each other was high praise indeed. In 1827 Mickiewicz wrote to Edward Odyniec that Pushkin had “noble and elevated ideas about poetry”; in 1837 in his obituary for the Russian poet (reprinted in this issue) he wrote that Pushkin had a character “generous, noble, and given to effusion. His faults came from the circumstances in which he was raised, while what was good in him came from the depths of his heart.” In 1834 Pushkin wrote of Mickiewicz, laconically, that he “was inspired from above, and looked on life from the heights.” The frequent quotation of these passages by scholars of the poets would have us focus chiefly on the poetic context for interaction between them. At times during the history of Russian and Polish comparative studies, the emphasis on such passages has suggested that Mickiewicz and Pushkin had an untroubled relationship. Yet Anna Akhmatova, a perceptive reader of Pushkin, noted in her sketch “Two New Stories by Pushkin” (“Dve novye povesti Pushkina”) that things were probably not so simple. She wrote, “The history of the relationship between Mickiewicz and Pushkin has not yet been written. Mickiewicz’s biographers (Pogodin, and also Brailovskii) are inclined to the opinion that their relationship was complicated, and that it is difficult to speak of a friendship between the two poets.”[1] Akhmatova’s assertion is still true: the story of the two poets has still not been written, partly because of the political value in the stories of their friendship. If we “tell the story” again, the contours of their poetic and personal relationship might become clearer.


Poland was the politically subservient nation for over a century, and during its domination by first the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, a forced focus on Russian culture logically produced a sizable body of work trained on the writer of the dominant country. In times of Polish independence, Pushkin was the representative of the oppressor, and therefore was often not discussed. Polish studies of Mickiewicz have a logistical reason to focus on Russia and Pushkin, since Mickiewicz spent several years in Russia—but Pushkin never crossed the borders of the Empire, and obviously did not leave behind a wealth of memoirs, anecdotes, letters, or portraits of himself on Polish soil and among Polish acquaintances, as Mickiewicz did in Russia. Still, it is striking to see that while Pushkin studies and Mickiewicz studies are each naturally extensive in their own countries, Polish scholars and studies of Pushkin faroutnumber Russian studies of Mickiewicz.


The idea of a genial friendship between the poets, symbol of a larger Slavic and later Soviet unity, was popular among Polish imperial loyalists and some Russian scholars, and later among Soviet-influenced scholars in both Russia and Poland; the friendship was used officially to signify the common lofty destiny of Russia and Poland. The dominance of Russia in Russian discussions of literature means that Mickiewicz played a kind of supporting role for the development of Pushkin. In both directions, national feeling has prevented the native scholarship from emphasizing too much the significance of Mickiewicz for Pushkin, or Pushkin for Mickiewicz.


Due to the combined weight of history and cultural trends, each country needed its poet to be an infallible model of national qualities. This makes it difficult to read either poet in his native context in a way that places him at a disadvantage with respect to the other poet. More concretely, I mean that for Russians, Pushkin will almost always remain the hero, the one who was doing things the more sane—and less hysterically patriotic—way; while for Poles, Mickiewicz is the hero, the more morally committed one, less eccentric and not capable of political betrayal. Their friendship and mutual influence takes on clear characteristics in each country’s scholarship. This will not come as a surprise for the duration of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; yet we might be surprised that the patterns did not seem to alter substantially during the double Jubilee in 1998–99 in spite of the change in the political factors which had long influenced scholars’ views.


December 1998 was the first time that Poland celebrated a Jubilee involving Mickiewicz while not under the influence of either the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, since its period of freedom between the wars (1917–45) did not encompass any of Mickiewicz’s “round” dates (1898, 1955). There are some general similarities between the early part of that interwar period and the present day, in that Polish scholarship was freed to speak more openly than ever before about many things, among them the Mickiewicz–Pushkin myth. In particular, the issue of Russo-Polish relations could come up for unrestricted reevaluation, just as it did after Poland’s liberation from Tsarist rule.


There is a precedent for conducting such a reevaluation. In 1938, after a year in which Poles—freed twenty years before from Russian rule—paid a great deal of attention to the centennial of Pushkin’s death, Marian Jakóbiec wrote a booklet summarizing the various contributions in print and exploring the reasons for Poland’s continuing interest in the Russian poet, “friend of Mickiewicz” (“przyjaciel Mickiewicza,” Pushkin’s usual epithet).[2] His musings and conclusions are not irrelevant today; two of his points in particular illustrate the risks involved in producing a fair reading when political influences pervade the subject matter.


In some of the articles and statements made by Polish writers about Pushkin in 1937, Jakóbiec notes a “kompleks wyzwoleńca,” the “complex of the freed prisoner” (here, Poles freed from Russian domination). According to Jakóbiec, those affected by this complex express a negative view of Pushkin and a desire to see in him an enemy of Poland—as though Mickiewicz had suffered enough at the hands of the occupying government, and scholars wanted to exalt him at Pushkin’s expense in revenge. Jakóbiec criticizes this, saying that it shows a lack of historical perspective.[3]


Jakóbiec also quotes in his booklet an article by WacΠaw Lednicki published in the Revue de Littérature Comparée for January–March 1937. This article, presented to a European public, suggests the oversimplification which resulted from juxtaposing the two poets with a political agenda. The antecedent is a discussion of the legendary friendship of Mickiewicz and Pushkin, which for pacifists on both sides became a symbol, a talisman for Russo-Polish friendship.

[This Russian sympathy for the Polish poet, created through the legend of their friendship] posed a danger for the renown of Mickiewicz in Russia: this symbolic friendship, if it were forcibly put to use, could easily grow deformed and become a decrepit etiquette; it could take up too great a place in the secular thought of Russian intellectuals on the Polish poet, to the detriment of intrinsic appreciation of [Mickiewicz’s] person and creative output. Happily, Mickiewicz has escaped this danger: we find the proof of the inefficacy of this menace in the numerous critical studies and biographies which Russians have devoted to the Polish poet.[4]

From both sides—from the point of view of offended Poles or of well-meaning Russians—a fair picture might become distorted by exterior factors. Both Jakóbiec and Lednicki note that this distortion most often becomes invisible to those under its influence; thus the awareness of Mickiewicz, described by Lednicki, as simplified and overshadowed by the symbolism of his famous friendship with Pushkin could not have been explicit during Soviet influence over literary criticism, when the friendship again became an important rhetorical tool. In this paper I would like to trace this simplifying symbolism as “moral profiles.” Broadly speaking, despite the great degree of appreciation for each poet that can be found in the other country, a coloring of national perspective remains and continues to define the limits of study, especially of Mickiewicz, by assigning a moral profile to the poets when they are in juxtaposition. Lednicki does not specify to which studies of Mickiewicz he refers, but few surpass the so-called “classic” studies done earlier this century by Tsiavlovksii, Struve, and a few others,[5] which generally see Mickiewicz as a benign figure entitled to confirm Pushkin’s moral qualities through his own virtue.


The accounts left by contemporaries of Pushkin and Mickiewicz in Moscow and Petersburg reveal the outline of a moral profile to come. Imagine this situation. Mickewicz comes to Moscow in December 1825; he gradually becomes acquainted with some Russian members of the literary scene. The young Pole has come recommended to his peers there as an important new poet. In the spring of 1826 he becomes closely acquainted with the Polevoi brothers. He is invited to the salon of Princess Zinaida Volkonskaia.


Pushkin returns from exile in Mikhailovskoe to Moscow in August of 1826, the long-awaited poetic hero of the liberal youth. He immediately conducts readings of his play Boris Godunov. Mikhail Pogodin recorded his impressions:

You have to imagine the figure of Pushkin. The long-awaited majestic priest of high art was a smallish person, with long, slightly curling hair, without any pretensions, with lively, bright eyes, with a pleasant quiet voice. … Instead of the pathetic language of the gods we heard a simple language, clear, ordinary, and yet poetic, magnetic. It was as though we lost consciousness.[6]

This summary points out the strong impression that Pushkin initially made on all of literary society, his later enemies included. The passage also contains a hint of something else: they had been waiting for a “majestic priest of art” and “the pathetic language of the gods.” As time went on, there were people among the literary groups in Russia who blamed Pushkin for not offering this, despite the favorable initial impression made on them by the contrast that Pushkin presented to an idealized priestly figure. They had a counterexample in Mickiewicz, the poet from the nation with a moral mission: to regain independence from the government that so many of the Russian literary figures criticized.


Kireevskii writes exaltedly of Mickiewicz in the late 1820s as a poet who can be a model for others who want to embody the spirit of their nations. A poem by Evgenii Baratynskii urged Mickiewicz to shake himself free of the influence of Byron (“Ne podrazhai: svoebrazen genii,” 1828); the poem reveals that almost divine attributes were allotted to Mickiewicz due to his talent for improvisation. Baratynskii reproached Mickiewicz, “Get up, get up, and recall: you yourself are a god!” (“Vosstan′, vosstan′, i vspomni: sam ty bog!”). Polevoi describes Mickiewicz in his memoirs:

Whoever got to know Mickiewicz loved him, and loved him not as a poet (since only a few could actually read his poetry) but as a man of uncommon spiritual qualities, which attracted people to him by the nobility of his views, his erudition, and a generosity that was particular to him. His outward appearance… was beautiful. Thick curling black hair covered his marvelously sculpted head, shading a wide forehead that was constantly reflective of deep thought… When it happened that some question strongly interested him, when the sense of some truth or noble idea wanted to burst from his breast, then his face took on a completely different appearance: he became almost a magician, stunning his listeners with the sublimity of his marvelous improvisations, full of inspired beauty…[7]

It is clear from these reports that Mickiewicz made a very favorable impression not only because of his character but also because of his appearance and nobility of bearing. Many of his young Russian contemporaries were seeking a match to this charismatic model among their own poets; Venevitinov, who knew both Mickiewicz and Pushkin, wrote a poem to Pushkin encouraging him to become more like Byron. Although the Decembrists and Lovers of Wisdom reproached Pushkin later for not becoming more romantic or more prophetic, their great admiration for Mickiewicz did not mean that they thought of Mickiewicz explicitly as an available model for what some of them urged Pushkin to become. That they compared Mickiewicz with Russian poets and used him as a measuring stick for virtue is indicated by a mention of Mickiewicz in the diary of Anna Olenina: in one of the notes, a sister of the authoress is quoted as writing to someone about Konstantin Ryleev, “I cannot see him as lower than Mickiewicz.”[8] However, the question of Mickiewicz as direct inspiration for criticism of Pushkin by his peers has not been thoroughly addressed.


The lack of a direct comparison between Pushkin and Mickiewicz derives partly from the different needs of the two societies at the time, the different styles and idioms, but the political situation also played a role. A Polish scholar records that Pushkin once said to Mickiewicz, “The great difference that separates us comes from our opposed positions: you are the poet of an oppressed nation [narod], and this decides your superiority over me. You would not believe with what joy I would change places with you.” This may be apocryphal; it is difficult to tell sometimes, because a Russian scholar would hardly record this to Pushkin’s disadvantage, either under the Russian empire or Soviet regime, and a Polish scholar is likely to record it despite its dubious authenticity because it confirms his opinion of Poland’s superiority, even more than that of Mickiewicz. We might also remember an equally apocryphal, if more frequently quoted, scene between the poets that suggests a possible competition: Pushkin and Mickiewicz are walking towards each other on the street. Pushkin steps aside, saying, “Out of the way, two, the ace is coming” (“S dorogi, dvoika, tuz idet”). Mickiewicz supposedly replies, “The two of trumps beats the ace” (“Kozyrnaia dvoika tuza b′et”). Each gives way to the other, although you can feel the subtle tension of rivalry in Mickiewicz’s rhymed answer. Neither anecdote escapes the framework of Russia—and by extension Pushkin, as the locus of power—but they suggest complexity in the relationship.


Contemporary Poles, on the other hand, did not usually praise Pushkin as Russians did Mickiewicz. The Polish writer StanisΠaw Morawski left his recollections of Pushkin; he was acquainted in Russia with Senkovskii and Bulgarin. National feeling seems to govern his reaction to seeing portraits of both Mickiewicz and Pushkin done by the Polish painter Wincenty Wańkowicz.[9] (The one of Mickiewicz is famous; Mickiewicz leans on a cliff in a Byronic pose. The one of Pushkin is long lost.) Morawski describes the portrait of Pushkin—which Wańkowicz claims is like to him as a drop of water to another—in this way: “a very unappealing face (litso neprivetlivoe); its color was somehow strange, but it was obviously natural; the facial features were very uninteresting… everything together made it impossible to look at the canvas without distaste.”[10] Morawski concludes that Mickiewicz “in the painting, in appearance, and in his literary works is higher, goes ahead of Pushkin [Mitskevich vyshe, idet vperedi Pushkina].” He describes Pushkin later at a dinner hosted by the Polish poet, and notes the disarray and poverty of his attire. Of Mickiewicz he says, “[he] also was no dandy, but in his refusal of dandyism one could always note a certain dignity, nobility, and elevation [dostoinstvo, blagorodstvo i vozvyshennost′].” Of Pushkin he adds, “In meeting with him, I always felt that for me at least it would be difficult to become fond of him as a person.” Morawski allows that as a poet Pushkin can be rated highly, but he constantly returns to small details of dress and appearance which reduce his standing. Pushkin is made to look more like a jester to Mickiewicz’s king.




What should complicate the morally weighted picture of the friendship?


Aside from the reports and rumors of potential rivalry, some cited above, there were textual interactions between the poets. Before they met, Mickiewicz had read Pushkin’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Bakhchisaraiskii fontan) and mentioned it in a footnote to one of his own “Crimean Sonnets”. Mickiewicz’s long poem Konrad Wallenrod was published in St. Petersburg in January 1828. Pushkin translated the introduction to this work in March 1828, and began work on his own Poltava in April. Wallenrod’s veiled tale of anti-Russian sentiment cloaked under the tale of a Lithuanian warrior hidden in the orders of the Teutonic knights partly provoked Pushkin’s own exploration of loyalty to Peter the Great in Poltava. The two poets had met by the time these textual sallies were exchanged; they met in Moscow for the first time no later than 24 October 1826, and probably before that at Pushkin’s private readings of Boris Godunov earlier in October and September.[11]


Polish scholars refer frequently but obliquely to comments that Mickiewicz ostensibly made about early versions of Boris Godunov which influenced Pushkin’s completion of the play. A record of this advice is nearly impossible to find; WacΠaw Lednicki cites it clearly in his article “Mickiewicz’s Stay in Russia”: “it was the time when Pushkin deleted one scene, ‘in the monastery cloister,’ from his Boris Godunov at the suggestion of Mickiewicz.”[12] Lednicki frequently relied heavily on the 1909 Vengerov edition of Pushkin’s complete works, and he found this information in the third volume. In the notes to Boris Godunov, Vengerov traces Mickiewicz’s advice to an article written by Baron E. F. Rozen in 1833. In this article, Rozen had included an additional scene, “In the Monastery Cloister”; he explains that this scene had been left out “according to the advice of the Polish writer Mickiewicz and the deceased Del′vig, as apparently this scene weakened the impression produced by the tale of Pimen.”[13] This agrees with Mickiewicz’s recorded admiration for the scene with Pimen; whether he had further influence on the composition of the play is not noted here.[14]


Pushkin and Mickiewicz saw more of each other in the first part of 1827 and during 1828–29. Mickiewicz’s obituary of Pushkin (as well as an essay written by Petr Viazemskii in 1873) indicates that they had political as well as poetic conversations during their acquaintance: these provided some seeds for Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve Part III (Dziady III) and the poem “The Monument to Peter the Great” (Pomnik Piotra Wielkiego), which suggests the pairing of Mickiewicz and Pushkin before the statue of the first Russian emperor. These two works later receive a kind of answer in Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman (Mednyi vsadnik), which also cites Mickiewicz in an ambiguous footnote.[15] As mentioned, in 1828 Pushkin translated part of the introduction to Mickiewicz’s Konrad Wallenrod, published in Russia in 1826; Mickiewicz translated Pushkin’s poem “Remembrance” (Vospominanie), which he probably saw in manuscript before it was published in 1829. Mickiewicz left Russia in 1829, so any interaction that happened between them afterwards was textual. In 1833 Pushkin translated two ballads that Mickiewicz had published in the Petersburg edition of his poems: “The Watch” (“Czaty. Ballada Ukrainska”) became Pushkin’s “Voevoda,” and “The Three Budrys Sons” (“Trzech Budrysów. Ballada Litewska”) became “Budrys and His Sons” (“Budrys i ego synov′ia”). Scholars refer to these translations as evidence that Pushkin continued to think about Mickiewicz long after he had permanently departed for Europe.


Fewer scholars address the controversial poems that Pushkin wrote in 1831, the trilogy of so-called “anti-Polish” poems written by Pushkin about the Russian military response to the 1830–31 Polish Uprising, which seemed starkly to contradict the ideals of poetry which scholars typically emphasize in both poets. The “trilogy” includes the poems “Before the Sacred Tomb” (“Pered grobnitseiu sviatoi”), “To the Calumniators of Russia” (“Klevetnikam Rossii”), and “The Anniversary of Borodino” (“Borodinskaia godovshchina”); the latter two were published in 1831 together with a third poem by Vasilii Zhukovskii. Friends of Pushkin such as Viazemskii and the Turgenev brothers were horrified by the poem’s jingoism. In them Pushkin asserts that Russia is within its rights to crush the romantic resistance of Poles to their fated rulers; the image of all Slavic rivers flowing into the Russian sea in “To the Calumniators of Russia” makes this clear (“slavianskie l′ ruch′i sol′iutsia v russkom more”). If these poems are thoroughly discussed, it is difficult to maintain that Pushkin consistently adhered to “noble and elevated ideas about poetry.”[16] Mickiewicz may have responded to these poems in his poem published in 1833, “To My Muscovite Friends” (“Do PrzyjacióΠ Moskali”) in which he reproaches those Russian poets who betrayed their Decembrist brothers in arms by remaining loyal to the tsar and taking payment for praising his victories. Pushkin may in turn have “responded” in his own poem of 1834, “He lived among us…” (“On mezhdu nami zhil”) in which he reproaches Mickiewicz for giving in to the unruly crowd (buinaia chern′) of Polish émigrés in Europe.


Pushkin’s own comments in letters to friends during the Polish Uprising of 1830–31 contributed to the picture of Mickiewicz as more “hysterical.” Pushkin wrote to Sofia Khitrovo in December 1830 that “the love of country, such as it can exist in a Polish soul, has always been a funereal sentiment. Just look at their poet Mickiewicz.”[17] This cool assessment of Polish romanticism resonates with Pushkin’s comment to Viazemskii in June 1831 about the length of the fighting and Poland’s dramatic resistance: “All this is very well in a poetic sense. Nevertheless we must stifle them, and our delay is unbearable.”[18]


Yet Pushkin returned to thoughts of Mickiewicz several times during the 1830s. As noted, we know that Pushkin saw parts of Forefathers’ Eve, which influenced his writing of The Bronze Horseman in 1833, and he translated Mickiewicz’s ballads. Several scholars have noticed that Pushkin was clearly reconsidering Mickiewicz’s version of the poetic persona in his story “Egyptian Nights” (“Egipetskie nochi”) and in this indirect forum did not conclude that Mickiewicz was exclusively hysterical and spendthrift with his talent. Mickiewicz revisited Pushkin and their relationship more directly: he wrote an obituary for Pushkin in 1837, which was published in Paris, and later he discussed Pushkin at some length during his lectures at the Collège de France in 1842 and 1843. We could argue that the poets themselves laid the foundation for a simplified interpretation of each other: they did not succumb to the temptation to interpret each other at any length. Yet the record of their interactions contains plenty of ambiguous moments which could offer insights into both poets.


Most standard studies have avoided the ambiguous moments and perpetuated the simple shapes about which Jakóbiec and Lednicki warned. Monographs naturally have featured the poet under consideration and tended to emphasize his primacy.


Juliusz Kleiner, whose Mickiewicz is a mid-twentieth-century standard study, writes that “A strong, lasting sympathy linked the two poets, and … acquaintance with the spiritually mature Polish romantic was not without its influence on Pushkin.”[19] After this rather laconic mention, the author goes on to other details and issues of Mickiewicz’s life in Russia, but without really troubling to return to Pushkin as a major influence on Mickiewicz. Rather, he emphasizes the Polish poet’s preeminence as a Romantic writer, and through his brief mention of Pushkin implies that Mickiewicz was much the greater phenomenon. His reference to Mickiewicz’s “greater spiritual maturity” remains a common theme for Polish writers.


Boris Tomashevskii also refers only briefly to the “other poet” in his Pushkin, here Mickiewicz. He alludes to Mickiewicz’s “Digression” to Forefathers’ Eve when he writes that this poem cycle offered one point of departure for Pushkin’s “The Bronze Horseman,” but he does not elaborate on this issue.[20] When he describes their actual meeting and friendship, he summarizes neatly: “Both a commonality of fate and poetic interests united Pushkin and Mickiewicz. … Mickiewicz wrote an insightful obituary after Pushkin’s death and rated his poetry highly during his lectures in Paris.”[21] This short summary nods to Mickiewicz’s influence, but does not trace the influence specifically, from Pushkin’s poems of the Polish Uprising to Mickiewicz’s “To my Muscovite Friends” to Pushkin’s “He lived among us.” In response to assertions by Polish scholars that Mickiewicz influenced Boris Godunov or The Bronze Horseman, Russians typically demonstrated that Mickiewicz’s influence was negligible. Since it is asserted that Pushkin’s path of development was considerably different at that time, Mickiewicz’s advice ostensibly becomes irrelevant.


Political agendas also shaped interpretations of Pushkin and Mickiewicz. Stefan Ziółkiewski’s 1949 publication Puszkin a my was clearly influenced by the Communist mood at the time. He writes,

The Pushkin Year should be an important contribution to the pro­cess of revolutionization and democratization of our culture. … The most important thing is the historically conditioned similarity of their work. Those two oeuvres, so near to one another, allow each Pole who loves Mickiewicz to love Pushkin also.[22]

He finishes, “The works of Pushkin, popularized in Poland, support our friendship with the Soviet Union.” Clearly the official “moral profile” of Pushkin at this time stressed for Poles, as it did for Russians, the sup­posedly elevating influence of Pushkin’s work on Soviet (but implicitly true Slavic) minds. Further, the similarities between the two poets and their resemblance as moral catalysts are stressed to the point of making Mickiewicz a follower of Pushkin, or a gateway to the Russian poet (who somehow comes to represent the more fundamental principle).


This trend continues at a conference in 1958, where Dmitrii Blagoi read a lecture on the topic of relations between Pushkin and Mickiewicz.[23] He makes many interesting points, some about the possi­ble influence between the two writers, but he is hampered in posing any provocative questions by having to conclude that poetry is the friendship-builder of the Soviet peoples. He entirely avoids the trilogy of Polish Uprising poems.[24] Blagoi refers to another famous anecdote, which re­lates that Pushkin heard Mickiewicz’s improvisations and exclaimed in French, “Quel génie! quel feu sacré! que suis-je auprès de lui,” but he re­frains from suggesting the primacy of either poet. In spite of Mickiewicz’s “To my Muscovite Friends” and Pushkin’s “He Lived Among Us,” Blagoi states that both ultimately wanted the friendship of nations. His first statement is also his conclusion: “In the work of Mickiewicz and Pushkin, harmoniously and unceasingly repeats the humanistic motif of the influ­ence of poetry as art, triumphing over hostile nationalism, reconciling and uniting nations.”[25] At this level both Mickiewicz and Pushkin are repre­sented as moral influences which become almost hollow from excess of rhetoric; certainly the differences between them and the conflicts that they experienced are allowed to slip below the surface of the celebrations.


Wacław Lednicki was not among these scholars who avoided difficult questions; he had already shown several times (particularly in the inter­war period) that Poles felt that Pushkin had betrayed the trust of this so-called humanistic motif by writing the very Polish Uprising trilogy that Blagoi avoids mentioning. He regularly produced balanced and insightful readings of Pushkin as well as of Mickiewicz, so his occasional judgments are the more noticeable. Despite his general evenness and solid readings of Pushkin, he cannot reduce the ethical issue of the Polish Uprising po­ems—that is how a talented and just poet could write such (according to him) banal, pro-monarchist poems. His seminal study of “The Bronze Horseman” alludes only briefly to this situation, since he considered it ir­relevant to the greatness of Pushkin’s poèma; however, his earlier and very thorough study of the Polish Uprising poems concludes that Pushkin lacked some essential moral component which would have prevented him from writing poems which resemble a political pamphlet. He writes that “the odes were the most forceful expression of … national delirium. …without anything in common with true poetry.”[26] His desire to be even-handed cannot sustain Pushkin’s political intractability on the question of Poland.


The pressure of the broader rhetorical tradition of the “great friend­ship” probably helped to shape the approach of Samuel Fiszman’s 1988 article, which stresses the differences between the two poets.[27] The word “difference” (żnica) in some form is used at least thirteen times, some form of the word “other” (inny) appears at least nine times, and “distinction” (odróżnienie) at least three. Professor Fiszman’s article does the very great service—under the circumstances—of reminding readers that many aspects of culture and circumstance divided Mickiewicz from Pushkin and make it impossible to compare them as identical unifying artistic catalysts. The article particularly stresses the association of Poland with Europe and European tradition, in contrast with Russia, whose roots are seen as reaching into a much more isolated and authori­tarian tradition: Poland is associated with “liberty” (wolnośç) and the morally more worthy goals of political freedom and love of fatherland. In fact, Fiszman seems to see love of the fatherland as the determining fac­tor in Mickiewicz’s moral clarity; Pushkin had to contend with the oppres­sive (unlovable) tsarist government and the continual need both to be loyal to it and to escape its supervision. Mickiewicz is judged to be the truer Romantic poet, Pushkin to be more prisoner to the eighteenth cen­tury—and, as Fiszman quotes Wacław Borowy, Mickiewicz presents characters “for whom the patriotic obligation is a source of the greatest inspiration and the greatest strength.”[28] Seen against the backdrop of the other studies, the stake here is the need to carve out a separate place for Mickiewicz in Slavic Studies, one independent of his reputed friend Pushkin and one with its own moral value, apart from the great unifying friendship. In that great friendship, after all, Mickiewicz functions only as a pleasantly virtuous presence for Russians, who do begin, as Lednicki feared in 1937, to take him for granted as a supporting character in the grand drama of Pushkin.


During the Jubilees of 1998–99, the political situation obviously had changed. Poland no longer had to repeat that Pushkin was Mickiewicz’s greatest friend (Jan Walc had even disputed the much-lauded friendship in his unorthodox study Architekt Arki),[29] nor accord him a moral stature that Poles might not think that the Russian poet has. It had the oppor­tunity to appreciate Pushkin’s complexity and avoid the “kompleks wyzwoleńca.” Russia also found itself in a different situation; its tendency to subsume all literary relationships under the tsarist-imperial or Soviet unifying (and russifying) imperative could be questioned or rejected.


In April 1998 an exhibit opened in Warsaw commemorating the rela­tionship of the two poets. After two months in the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature, the exhibit was mounted in the Moscow Museum of Alexander Pushkin. Understandable differences arise in the two essays which precede the description of the exhibit in its catalogue.[30] The one written by the Russian museum docent is titled “Pushkin and Mickiewicz.” The one written by the Polish docent is called “Mickiewicz and Pushkin.” No surprise. Each side is perfectly entitled to this gesture of loyalty.


But on what does each writer focus? Russian docent Natalia Mikhailova writes of the spirit of poetry that united the two poets in spite of historical events. She refers to Pushkin’s 1824 poem “To Count Olizar” (“Grafu Olizaru”), which first rejects Poles as suitors for Russian women but goes on to extol poetry as the great unifier; she cites Mickiewicz’s poem “The Monument of Peter the Great,” which seems to say that poets can rise above everything and are like mountain peaks high above the stream of current events. She also cites Pushkin’s 1834 poem about Mickiewicz, “He lived among us,” in which Pushkin remembers Mickiewicz’s time in Russia, describing how the Polish poet spoke of fu­ture times when the nations would forget their quarrels and live as one great family; and she cites Mickiewicz’s obituary for Pushkin, at the end of which the Polish poet lists some of Pushkin’s admirable qualities. Clearly, Mikhailova is doing what comes more easily for the Russian ob­server. She stresses the spiritual reconciliation between the two poets; she avoids lines in Pushkin’s 1834 poem that criticize Mickiewicz’s later political stance. It is easier to talk about poetry uniting nations when you are the nation in control, and when you have very little to lose from the unity.


Polish docent Janusz Odrowàż-Pieniàżek focuses on the three poems written by Pushkin in 1831 during and just after the Polish Uprising. The poems are starkly pro-Russian with no mention of unity through po­etry, so in her essay Mikhailova refers to these only as an unfortunate fact of history. Significantly, Odrowàż-Pieniàżek had obviously read Mikhailova’s article and replies to her as he writes. He states that Pushkin’s anti-Polish poems were a betrayal of the doctrine of poetry uniting nations. From his point of view, universality would include the truth that Poland should be free from Russia; the fact that Pushkin, along with many of his contemporaries, thought that Poland’s subjection to Russia ensured the Empire’s safety is to him not a historical geopoliti­cal reality, but a sign of Pushkin’s unpleasant social conservatism. His goal seems to be to remind Russians of Mickiewicz’s importance for understanding Pushkin when he stresses Pushkin’s fascination with Mickiewicz’s personality, the influence of Mickiewicz’s depiction of St. Petersburg on Pushkin and thus later authors, and the ostensible changes made to Pushkin’s play Boris Godunov according to Mickiewicz’s suggestions. He states that the poetry produced by the historical conflicts and different circumstances was wonderful, masterful, but it is obvious that he is still working within the Pushkin-Mickiewicz friendship legacy, where Poles spend a great deal of time explaining the significance of Mickiewicz for Pushkin and exploring the puzzle of Pushkin: why is this poet so highly regarded compared to their own Mickiewicz? Why will no one talk about these anti-Polish poems, and why does Pushkin get called the representative of universal poetry when Mickiewicz worked so long and hard for this while in exile in Paris?


The two approaches make sense in context. Mikhailova reflects the relative security of the empire, which can write of pleasant topics such as the universal spirit of poetry; Odrowàż-Pieniàżek represents the recently subjected country, which is still trying to assert the importance of its cul­ture to a world more habituated to notice the Empire. The exhibit pro­vided a partial outlet for the topic but still has features of the “kompleks wyzwoleńca” on the Polish side, and of a certain “complex of empire” on the Russian side.


By definition museum tours and even exhibitions have a public aspect that tends to simplify their topic, in this case the image of the two poets. Another parallel event which occurred during the year was the publication of journal issues commemorating the Jubilee of the other poet; here we might expect more subtlety, remembering the unprecedented situation in which scholars found themselves after the end of the Soviet Union. There were at least two such journal issues: in its fifth issue for 1998, Teksty drugie (associated with the Institute of Literary Studies, or Instytut Badań Literackich, in Warsaw) focused on Mickiewicz and also had two articles on Pushkin;[31] Russkaia literatura (associated with Pushkin House in St. Petersburg) had four articles commemorating Mickiewicz in its second issue for 1998. Two of the Russian articles deal with major topoi in Mickiewicz’s oeuvre: his southern sonnets, compared to Pushkin’s, and his lectures at the Collège de France. The thesis of the first article is that Mickiewicz was more exotic, thus less sober and mea­sured, in his southern poems, while Pushkin “retains the taste and gaze of a European.” Further, asserts the author, Pushkin is truer to original Islamic texts and more exactly captures the spirit of native poetry in his Crimean texts, while Mickiewicz supposedly strays from the original for his own Romantic purposes. Pushkin thus represents “that international­ism which ever after defines the character of all Russian classic litera­ture.”[32] This interpretation is far from Professor Fiszman’s assessment of the two poets! The author’s agenda is clearly to assert Pushkin as the more reasonable and talented poet, with Mickiewicz as the dramatic foil to Pushkin’s success. In the article on the Lectures at the Collège de France, the author focuses on Alexander Turgenev’s distress at Mickiewicz’s oversimplified views of Russian literature; she returns to Pushkin’s 1834 poem “He lived among us” as proof that Pushkin “called for reconciliation” while the Polish poet continued to emphasize hurtful divisions between Russia and Poland.[33] The resulting moral profiles are clear: Mickiewicz tends to be overdramatic and emotional, while Pushkin is sober, calm, and just.


Such approaches provoke protest on the part of Polish scholars. The work of Jerzy Swidziński leading up to the Jubilee anticipated this Russian refusal to see both sides of the story; in answer he insists on Mickiewicz’s moral superiority. His 1992 book Adam Mickiewicz w opiniach rosyjskich i radzieckich (Adam Mickiewicz in Russian and Soviet Views) followed the treatment of Mickiewicz by Russian critics.[34] His more recent work focuses on what Mickiewicz wrote of Pushkin. In the in­troduction to the first part of his work which collects all comments ever made by Mickiewicz about Pushkin, he concludes by again discussing the latter’s 1834 poem “He lived among us,” specifically addressing lines which are critical of Mickiewicz. For Swidziński, Pushkin remains morally unequal to the task of replying to Mickiewicz’s “Do Przyjaciół Moskali”; he “unjustly” criticizes Mickiewicz’s sympathy for his country’s tragedy. Swidziński also maintains that Mickiewicz had a strong moral influence on Pushkin, and that Pushkin returned to Mickiewicz’s works constantly in his last years, seeking to understand the relationship between the two countries.[35] Such an assertion gives him the space to concede the great­ness of Pushkin’s non-political work, since Mickiewicz was also able to concede it; just as the Russians, who never mention this preoccupation with Mickiewicz and conclude that Pushkin was morally superior, concede that Mickiewicz wrote very fine poetry and was quite an interesting rep­resentative of his nation.


Of all scholars, either Russian or Polish, who have recently addressed the Mickiewicz-Pushkin friendship, Marta Zielińska of Instytut Badań Literackich has done more work that reflects a willingness to acknowl­edge influence in both directions. Her article in the 1998 Teksty drugie posits an unusual influence that Pushkin had on Mickiewicz: the Polish poet, she maintains, remembered Pushkin’s non-participation in the Decembrist Uprising of 1825, and may have made his own decision to avoid the direct fighting in the Polish Uprising of 1830 due to his conclu­sions about Russian society’s need to have its chief poet saved for further writing.[36] She concludes that Mickiewicz may have so highly valued Pushkin’s conception of poetry that, when he eventually rejected it, he had to reject poetry itself altogether. Pushkin, she notes, like Mickiewicz, believed in poetry’s power and in the special elevation and social role ac­corded the poet, who had the right not to involve himself in public affairs. (Recall that several scholars still point to the Polish Uprising poems as a refutation of that principle.) Mickiewicz, Zielińska says, “came to the con­clusion that poetic truth stemming from even the most noble sentiments of one individual can be false and destructive.”[37] Thus, non-participation in political action in exchange for the disinterested truth of poetry might be a deceptive retreat instead of a superior moral stance. The statement contains a very veiled hint that Pushkin did not or could not follow Mickiewicz down this road of active moral struggle, although that is not the author’s main goal; she merely seeks to provide Mickiewicz with a more creative context for his decisions.[38]


Ultimately, for Zielińska—a Pole—the choice of act over word must weigh more than Pushkin’s claimed exemption from political conflicts, since it is linked with a greater freedom. In her introduction to this issue of Teksty Drugie, Zielińska writes that Mickiewicz’s kind of happiness, stemming from independence, “is worth developing in our times, when the new freedom of Poland has imprisoned so many in earthly passions.”[39] This persistence of moral rhetoric when discussing one poet on his own is also typical of some recent Russian scholarship which focuses on Pushkin,[40] and in general is typical of the approach taken to the 1998 Mickiewicz Jubilee by several Polish publications associated with it: Mickiewicz is to become a moral force capable of preventing the modern age from sliding into inhuman reliance on technology and fascination with financial gain. Zielińska then has not left the moral framework behind; for her it has value as a principle for organizing the similarities and dif­ferences between the two poets.


There is also persistent evidence that Lednicki’s 1937 statement about the Mickiewicz friendship as a “decrepit etiquette” holds true for current Russian scholarship on Mickiewicz. This is partly due to the residue of Soviet scholarship, which glorified Pushkin and created grooves in studies of Pushkin that it is difficult to get out of immediately. Further, Russians are enjoying in many ways a freedom of their own, when they can refer openly and proudly to the tsarist past without fear of Soviet-minded reproach. At a conference on Pushkin at Stanford University in April 1999 which included both American and Russian scholars, no one seemed disturbed by the issue of Pushkin’s loyalism, whereas previously, under the Soviet regime, Pushkin had to be shown as an anti-tsarist revo­lutionary who always supported the brother Slav, later Soviet-bloc na­tions. Now the Polish Uprising poems produce no embarrassment because they are merely a part of Pushkin’s antagonism towards Europe’s ignorance of Russia and a historically conditioned refusal to see Poland as a rightfully independent nation.


Given this situation, it might seem tempting for Poles to retain asser­tions of Mickiewicz as a moral compass, or as morally superior. Yet this also limits the possibilities for interpretation, and oversimplifies complex­ities in Mickiewicz’s oeuvre and biography. Zielińska provides a promising model for overcoming this: she can assert influence occurring in both direc­tions without feeling insecure about who seems to have more influence at any given time.


If those who study Mickiewicz and Pushkin in juxtaposition would re­linquish the need to bolster their moral qualities, and simply attend to the facts and figures of the considerable presence and influence of each in the life of the other, we could hear a wonderful story retold. The “moral profiles” which arise might provoke admiration and provide models for readers in a nineteenth-century sense, but they ultimately limit the pos­sibilities of interpretation. More study must be done which considers their respective qualities, but does not betray a need to prove one more moral than the other. Most wonderfully of all, the sparks which flew between them, that have often been stamped out, might fly up and ignite a new phase of interest in these two complex and compelling poets. As Anglo-American scholarship as well as Slavic scholarship on the two poets be­gins to move beyond the old prejudices, we will see an increasingly intriguing picture.



Akhmatova, Anna. “Dve novye povesti Pushkina.” In Sochineniia, edited G. P. Struve, 3: 210–20. Paris: YMCA Press, 1983.

Blagoi, Dmitrii. “Mitskevich i Pushkin.” In Ot Kantemira do nashikh dnei 1. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1979.

---. As Blagoj, Dymitr. “Mickiewicz i Puszkin.” In Międzynarodowa Sesja polskiej AN. 17–20 April 1956. Adam Mickiewicz, 1855–1955, 79–111. Warsaw: Ossolineum, 1956.

Brodskii, N. L. Literaturnye salony i kruzhki. Moscow: Academia, 1930.

Ettinger, P., ed. “Stanislav Moravskii o Pushkine. Iz zapisok pol′skogo sovremennika poeta.” In Moskovskii Pushkinist (1930), 241–66.

Evdokimova, Svetlana. Pushkin’s Historical Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Fiszman, Samuel. “Mickiewicz i Puszkin.” In American Contributions to 10th International Congress of Slavists, 139–54. Columbus, OH: Slavica, 1988

Frizman, L. “Pushkin i pol′skoe vosstanie 1830–31 godov.” In Voprosy literatury 3 (1992): 209–37.

Gomolicki, Leon. Dziennik pobytu Mickiewicza w Rosji. 1824–29. Warsaw: Ksiàzka i wiedza, 1949.

Jakóbiec, Marian. Jubileusz Puszkina w Polsce. Warsaw: Drukarnia Polska, 1938.

Kaganovich, S. L. “Pushkin i Mitskevich. Natsional′nye osobennosti oriental′nogo stilia.” Russkaia literatura 2 (1998): 28–34

Kahn, Andrew. Pushkin’s “The Bronze Horseman.” London: Bristol Classical Press, 1998.

Kleiner, Juliusz. Mickiewicz wyd. 2, vol. 2: 1. Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 1948.

Larionova, E. O. “‘Kogda narody, raspri pozabyv...’ A. I. Turgenev na parizhskikh lektsiiakh 1840–1842 godov.” Russkaia literatura 2 (1998): 35–45

Lednicki, Waclaw. “Mickiewicz’s Stay in Russia and His Friendship with Pushkin.” In Adam Mickiewicz in World Literature, edited by W. Lednicki, 13–104. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1956.

---. Pouchkine et la Pologne. A propos de la trilogie antipolonaise de Pouchkine. Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux, 1928.

---. Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman: The Story of a Masterpiece. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1955.

Martynov, V. V. “Pushkin v otsenke progressivnoi pol′skoi obshchestvennosti.” In Pushkin na Iuge: Trudy Pushkinskoi Konferentsii Odessy i Kishineva, 444–52. Kishinev: Shtiintsa, 1961.

Mickiewicz. Puszkin. Dwa spójrzenia. Informator o wystawie. Warsaw: Muzeum Literatury im Adama Mickiewicza, 1998.

Olenina, Anna. Dnevnik. Vospominaniia. St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii Proekt, 1999.

Pushkin, Alexander. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, edited by B. V. Tomashevskii. Vol. 10. Moscow: Izdatel′stvo AN SSSR, 1958.

Surat, Irina. “Biografiia Pushkina kak kul′turnyi vopros.” Novyi Mir 2 (1998): 177–95.

Struve, Gleb. “Mickiewicz in Russia.” The Slavonic and East European Review 26 (1947): 126–45.

Swidziński, Jerzy. Adam Mickiewicz w opiniach rosyjskich i radzieckich. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Adama Mickiewicza, 1992.

Szymanowska-Malewska, Helena. Dziennik. 1827–1857, edited by Zbigniew Sudolski. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Ancher, 1999.

Taranovskii, Kirill. “Pushkin i Mitskevich.” In Belgradskii pushkinskii sbornik, 359–80. Belgrad: 1937.

Tsiavlovskii. “Mitskevich i ego russkie druz′ia.” Novyi Mir 11–12 (1940): 303–15.

Tomashevskii, Boris. Pushkin 2. Moscow: Izdatel′stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1961.

Vengerov, S. A., ed. Pushkin. Vol. 3. St. Petersburg: Brokgauz-Efron, 1909.

Walc, Jan. Architekt Arki. Chomotów: Verba, 1991.

Zielińska, Marta. “Puszkin i Mickiewicz wobec wolnościowych zrywów swoich rowieśników.” Teksty drugie 53 (1998): 41–52.

Ziółkiewski, Stefan. Puszkin a my. Warsaw: 1949.


Principia College


Dixon, Megan.  "Pushkin and Mickiewicz in Moral Profile."  Pushkin Review 04 (2001): 15 - 36. <>.


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[1] See Anna Akhmatova, “Dve novye povesti Pushkina,” in Sochineniia, ed. G. P. Struve (Paris: YMCA Press, 1983), 3: 212.

[2] See Marian Jakóbiec, Jubileusz Puszkina w Polsce (Warszawa: Drukarnia Polska, 1938).

[3] Jakóbiec, 27.

[4] See Jakóbiec, 39. “[This Russian sympathy for the Polish poet, created through the legend of their friendship] offrait d’ailleurs un danger pour la renommée de Mickiewicz en Russie: cette amitié symbolique, forcé d’ śtre abusivement misé en usage, pouvait facilement se déformer et devenir une étiquette vétuste, elle pouvait prendre, dans l’opinion séculaire des intellectuels russes sur le poète polonais, une place trop grande et cela au détriment de l’appréciation intrinsèque de sa personne et de son oeuvre. Heureusement, Mickiewicz échappa à ce danger: nous trouvons la preuve de l’inefficacité de cette menace dans les nombreuses études critiques et biographiques que les Russes ont consacrées au poète polonais.” (All translations from French, Polish, and Russian are mine unless otherwise indicated.)

[5] A selection in chronological order includes: Kirill Taranovskii, “Pushkin i Mitskevich,” in Belgradskii pushkinskii sbornik (Belgrad: 1937), 359–80; Tsiavlovskii, “Mitskevich i ego russkie druz′ia,” in Novyi Mir nos. 11–12 (1940): 303–315; Gleb Struve, “Mickiewicz in Russia,” The Slavonic and East European Review 26, no. 66 (1947): 126–45; Dmitrii Blagoi, “Mitskevich i Pushkin,” in Ot Kantemira do nashikh dnei I (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1979).

[6] Cited, for example, in N. L. Brodskii, Literaturnye salony i kruzhki (Moscow: Academia, 1930), 163–64: “…nadobno predstavit′ sebe samuiu figuru Pushkina. Ozhidaemyi nami velichavyi zhrets vysokogo iskusstva—eto byl srednego rosta, pochti nizen′kii chelovechek, s dlinnymi, neskol′ko kurchavymi po kontsam volosami, bez vsiakikh pritiazanii, s zhivymi bystrymi glazami, vertliavyi, s poryvistymi uzhimkami, s priiatnym golosom … Vmesto iazyka Kokoshkinskogo, my uslyshali prostuiu, iasnuiu, vniatnuiu i vmeste piiticheskuiu uvlekatel′nuiu rech′. … my vse prosto kak budto obespamiatovali.”

[7] Quoted in Leon Gomolicki, Dziennik pobytu Mickiewicza w Rosji. 1824–1829 (Warsaw: Ksiazka i wiedza, 1949), 129. Akhmatova was one of the first to notice the connection between this description and the description of the Italian improvizatore in “Egyptian Nights.” See “Dve novye povesti Pushkina,” 211.

[8] See Olenina, Dnevnik. Vospominaniia (St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii Proekt, 1999), 176. “Nikak ne mogu videt′ ego nizhe Mitskevicha.”

[9] Wańkowicz, a Polish artist, studied at the Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. After his studies, he lived in Petersburg until 1830; he began the two portraits in December 1827. The diary of Helena Szymanowska also confirms the existence of the portrait of Pushkin. Daughter to Maria Szymanowska, a famous pianist living in Russia, she wrote of the portraits: “We looked at the portraits of Mickiewicz and Pushkin, which [Wańkowicz] did for an exhibition in Warsaw. Both are very like [Obydwa bardzo podobne].” See Helena Szymanowska-Malewska, Dziennik. 1827–1857, ed. Zbigniew Sudolski (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Ancher, 1999), 52.

[10] P. Ettinger, ed., “Stanislav Moravskii o Pushkine. Iz zapisok pol′skogo sovremennika poeta,” in Moskovskii Pushkinist (1930), 241–66; see 255–57. In the Russian it reads: “litso ochen′ neprivetlivoe; tsvet ego kakoi-to strannyi, no vse zhe instinktivno mozhno bylo ugadat′ , chto on estestvennyi… vse éto vmeste zastavlialo smotret′ na polotno s nekotorym otvrashcheniem.”

[11] As always, WacΠaw Lednicki’s sleuthing is thorough and essential. See his article “Mickiewicz’s Stay in Russia and His Friendship with Pushkin,” in Adam Mickiewicz in World Literature, ed. W. Lednicki, 13–104 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1956). For a chronology of the poets’ meetings see in particular p. 36.

[12] Lednicki, 36.

[13] See Pushkin, ed. S. A. Vengerov (St. Peterburg: Brokgauz-Efron, 1909), 3: 572. “…po sovetam pol′skago pisatelia Mitskevicha i pokoinago Del′viga: budto by stsena siia oslabliaet vpechatlenie, proizvedennoe razskazom Pimena.”

[14] Russian scholars almost never mention this commentary on Boris Godunov made by Mickewicz; Polish scholars frequently refer to reported advice that Mickiewicz gave to Pushkin, without specifying what it was. It is likely that they think chiefly of Mickewicz’s mention of Boris Godunov in his 1840s Lectures on Slavic Literature.

[15] I discuss Mickiewicz’s poem at length in an article forthcoming in SEEJ in Winter 2001. Connections between Mickiewicz’s work and Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman have been analyzed by Lednicki and more recently by Svetlana Evdokimova in Pushkin’s Historical Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), see 262–64n, and Andrew Kahn in Pushkin’s “The Bronze Horseman” (London: Bristol Classical Press, 1998), see 98–108.

[16] I have discussed the “problem” of the Polish Uprising poems in an essay entitled “Reconsidering Pushkin and the Poems of the Polish Uprising.” This essay was presented in part at the October 2000 conference “Polonophilia and Polonophobia of the Russians” at Indiana University, and is with a publisher for consideration together with other essays from this conference. A Russian reconsideration of the poems was written in 1962 for Novyi Mir but only published in 1992; see L. Frizman, “Pushkin i pol′skoe vosstanie 1830-1831 godov,” in Voprosy Literatury 3 (1992): 209–37. Frizman wrote, “We are afraid of ‘offending’ Pushkin” [My boimsia ‘obidet′ ’ Pushkina; 209]; he notes that Dobroliubov and Gertsen latercriticized the poems for expressing the views only of a minority of the Russian population.

[17] See Pushkin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, ed. Tomashevskii, 10 (Moscow: Izdatel′stvo AN SSSR, 1958), 10: 325. “L’amour de la patrie, tel qu’il peut exister dans une ame polonaise, a toujours été un sentiment funèbre. Voyez leur poète Mickievicz.”

[18] Pushkin, op cit., 351. “Vse èto khorosho v poèticheskom otnoshenii. No vse-taki ikh nadobno zadushit′, i nasha medlennost′ muchitel′na.”

[19] “ZΠàczyΠa obu poetów sympatia silna, trwaΠa, i …nie bez wpΠywu na Puszkina byΠa zażyΠośç z dojrzaΠszym duchowo romantykiem polskim.” See Juliusz Kleiner, Mickiewicz, wyd. 2, vol. 2: 1 (Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 1948), 18.

[20] See Tomashevskii, Pushkin 2 (Moscow: Izdatel′stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1961), 507.

[21] Tomashevskii, 507. “I obshchnost′ sud′by, i poèticheskie interesy sblizili Pushkina i Mitskevicha. … Mitskevich napechatal proniknovennyi nekrolog posle smerti Pushkina i dal vysokuyu otsenku ego poèzii v svoikh lektsiiakh v Parizhe.”

[22] Puszkin a my (Warszawa: 1949), 2–3. “Rok Puszkinowski winien byç ważnym przyczynkiem w procesie rewolucjonizowania, demokratyzacji naszej kultury. … Istotniejsza sprawa—historyczne uwarunkowane podobieństwo ich dziela. Te dwie twórczości, tak bardzo sobie bliskie, pozwalajá kazdemu Polakowi, który kocha Mickiewicza, pokochaç Puszkina.” The following quotation reads, “Dzieła Puszkina popularyzowane w Polsce utrwalajá naszę przyjaśń ze Zwiázkiem Radzieckim.”

[23] Dymitr Blagoj, “Mickiewicz i Puszkin,” Miédzynarodowa Sesja polskiej AN. 17–20 April 1956. Adam Mickiewicz, 1855–1955 (Warsaw: Ossolineum, 1956), 79–111.

[24] This is similar to another Russian who wrote in 1961 that “Pushkin helps us to overcome the sense of mutual mistrust, helps to strengthen the friendship between our nations [narody]…, helps, finally, to free Polish art and culture from the bourgeois influence of the West.” See V. V. Martynov, “Pushkin v otsenke progressivnoi pol′skoi obshchestvennosti,” in Pushkin na Iuge: Trudy Pushkinskoi Konferentsii Odessy i Kishineva, 444–52 (Kishinev: Shtiintsa, 1961).

[25] Blagoi, 80. “W twórczości i Mickiewicza, i Puszkina zgodnie i uporczywie powtarzá się wzniosły humanistyczny motyw tryumfujácego nad wrogościà nacjonalistyczná, godzácego, jednoczácego narody.”

[26] See Pouchkine et la Pologne. A propos de la trilogie antipolonaise de Pouchkine (Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux, 1928), 154, and Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman: The Story of a Masterpiece (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1955). See also note 15; if the poems are examined carefully, it is clear that idioms from Pushkin’s earlier poetry repeat, allowing us to place them into his oeuvre instead of rejecting them, as some Russian scholars also have done. I have not seen any evaluation, Polish or Russian, that can read the poems simply as poetry.

[27] See “Mickiewicz i Puszkin” in American Contributions to 10th International Congress of Slavists, 139-154 (Columbus, OH: Slavica, 1988).

[28] See Fiszman, 153. “[Figury] dla których obowiàzek patriotyczny jest zródłem największej inspiracji i najwiÍkszej siły.”

[29] See Jan Walc, Architekt Arki (Chomotów: Verba, 1991).

[30] Mickiewicz .Puszkin. Dwa spójrzenia. Informator o wystawie (Warsaw: Muzeum Literatury im Adama Mickiewicza, 1998).

[31] This issue, incidentally, also contained the winning essay in a contest for high school students conducted during the Mickiewicz Jubilee year, and a series of essays written on Mickiewicz by Polish writers.

[32] S. L. Kaganovich, “Pushkin i Mitskevich. Natsional′nye osobennosti oriental′nogo stilia.” in Russkaia literatura 2 (1998): 28–34. See 29 and 34. Pushkin “sokhraniaet vkus i vzor evropeitsa” and represents “tot internatsionalizm, kotoryi zatem opredelit litso vsei russkoi klassiki.”

[33] E. O. Larionova, “‘Kogda narody, raspri pozabyv…’ A. I. Turgenev na parizhskikh lektsiiakh 1840–1842 godov,” (1998): 35–45.

[34] See Adam Mickiewicz w opiniach rosyjskich i radzieckich (Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Adama Mickiewicza, 1992).

[35] His evidence includes the textual interaction mentioned above: Pushkin’s translations of Mickiewicz’s two ballads, the clear influence of Forefathers’ Eve on The Bronze Horseman, and the writing of Egyptian Nights.

[36] This interpretation is an original contribution to the general controversy in Mickiewicz studies about why Mickiewicz stopped writing poetry in his later years. See Marta Zielińska, “Puszkin i Mickiewicz wobec wolnościowych zrywów swoich rowieśników” in Teksty drugie 53 (1998): 41–52.

[37] Mickiewicz “natomiast doszedł do wniosku, ne prawda poezji wypływajàca z najszlachetniejszych nawet uczuç jednostki może byś zgubna i fałszywa.” See Zielińska, op. cit., 50.

[38] Andrew Kahn advances this effort in Anglo-American scholarship when he writes that Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman “also stands as a sequel to [Mickiewicz’s] Digression” and hypothesizes that “by 1833 Pushkin’s rapprochement with Mickiewicz had already begun.” See Pushkin’s "The Bronze Horseman," 102. Svetlana Evdokimova asserts that Pushkin “viewed Mickiewicz as a double-faced figure” in the 1830s, but that ultimately their views of history were different: “Mickiewicz perceived history historically, for Pushkin it is a myth that has to be accepted” (Pushkin’s Historical Imagination, 263–64n).

[39] This happiness “warte rozważenia w dzisiejszych czasach, gdy wolnośç Polski wielu uczyniła niewolnikami przyziemnych namiętnośçi.” See Teksty drugie 53 (1998): 4.

[40] See, for instance, Irina Surat’s 1998 article on Pushkin as a prophet in Novyi Mir: “Biografiia Pushkina kak kul′turnyi vopros,” in Novyi Mir 874, no. 2 (1998): 177–95.