Gatekeepers Reception Reputation

Khvoshchinskaia's career as a poet, according to Praskov'ia Khvosh-chinskaia, began in 1847, when she was twenty-three. A friend of the family arranged to have a notebook of Khvoshchinskaia's poetry delivered to Vladimir Zotov (1821-96), then editor of Literaturnaia gazeta. As discussed in chapter 1, women writers, lacking the entrée into literature that men enjoyed through salons and universities, found it difficult to make the contacts with men necessary to get published. Those women writers who, like Khvoshchinskaia, lived far from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, where the periodic press was concentrated, experienced even more difficulty. A few months later, Praskov'ia Khvoshchinskaia continues, Zotov, looking for something to put in the poetry column of the newspaper, read the notebook. He published six of Khvoshchinskaia's poems in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 38 (Sept. 18, 1847) under an effusive note in which the twice italicized "lady" marked his astonishment (or perhaps his doubt) that a woman could have written this poetry:

Buried under bad poetry sent to us from all corners of verse-loving Russia we were very pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised by the verse delivered to us by a Miss N. D. Khvoshchinskaia. We found in it much true poetry and warmth of feeling, heated by thought and originality. It is even more pleasant to acquaint the readers of our newspaper with a new poet because this poet is a lady. We have not read such wonderful and sonorous verses in Russian for a long time. We sincerely thank their author in particular on behalf of ourselves and the entire reading public, which no doubt will justly appreciate the new poetic gift of a lady who commands verse with more ease than many contemporary men poets have attained.

Between 1847 and 1859 Zotov published more than eighty of Khvosh-chinskaia's poems.

Interestingly, Praskov'ia Khvoshchinskaia does not mention Khvoshchinskaia's true poetic debut five years earlier, in 1842, when her poem, "Zavetnye chuvstva" (Secret feelings) appeared in Syn otechestva (no. 2). (The poem appears as "Na bale" [At the ball, no. 21] in her notebook, which is discussed later in this chapter). That same year "Materi" (To my mother), Khvoshchinskaia's dedicatory poem to her translation of Victor Hugo's "La prière pour tous" (1831), also appeared in Syn otech-estva (no. 5).31 How these poems came to be published remains unknown.

Vladimir Zotov, who arranged for all subsequent publications of Khvoshchinskaia's poetry, has been described as her "mentor" and "in the liberal camp."32 Both terms require qualification. In regard to Zotov's politics, it is true that in the 1840s he was friendly with the antigovern-ment Petrashevsky circle, which included Dostoevsky and A. N. Plesh-cheev, was arrested with them, but was then released.33 And in the late 1850s and 1860s he helped Aleksandr Herzen collect censored Russian literature to be published abroad. However, in 1861 Zotov praised the reforms under which the serfs were nominally freed, but which more radical social critics, for example, the Sovremennik group led by N. A. Nekrasov, N. G. Chernyshevsky, and N. A. Dobroliubov, considered inadequate. And in 1858 he wrote an article described as "openly anti-Semitic" in Illiustratsiia, which he edited from 1858 to1861, "protesting against the idea of extending civil rights to Jews."34

Zotov's treatment of Khvoshchinskaia was equally equivocal. From one point of view, it could be argued that Zotov did indeed act as Khvoshchinskaia's mentor: he published her poetry in a wide variety of newspapers and thick journals, making her known as a poet. He introduced her to Saint Petersburg literary circles and prevailed on her to turn from poetry to prose, in which she experienced a great deal of success. From another point of view, however, it could be argued that Zotov exploited and abused Khvoshchinskaia, while appropriating her work. Several sources observe that he did not pay her for her poetry. As mentioned in chapter 2, he published the first two groups of her poems below an article suggestively titled "Safo i lesbosskie getery" (Sappho and the courtesans of Lesbos). As women poets generally did not appear in Literaturnaia gazeta, it seems a strange choice to have placed Khvoshchinskaia's work below an article that sexualized the most famous classical woman poet. The poems of Khvoshchinskaia's that Zotov did publish (fewer than half the poems she sent him) he rewrote without her permission, continuing to do so over her protests. He never honored her wish that he help her publish a book of her poetry.35 However, he did publish biographical articles about Khvoshchinskaia and her sister against Khvoshchinskaia's express request and at the end of his life published self-glorifying memoirs about having discovered her. He was not her mentor as Zhukovsky was Pushkin's mentor, and Pushkin, Del'vig's. While the latter helped their "mentees" advance to a position of professional independence, Zotov could more accurately be described as Khvoshchinskaia's literary guardian, and she as his permanent ward until she turned to prose.

Zotov somewhat condescendingly described his first impressions of Khvoshchinskaia's poetry, which he deemed "far from irreproachable" in form, "not entirely finished," but the work of a "naturally gifted" writer (samorodok) "that only required smoothing the rough edges" ("Nadezhda Dmitrievna Khvoshchinskaia," 94).This he proceeded to do, dismissing with amusement Khvoshchinskaia's requests, which he considered ungrateful and disrespectful, that her poetry be published as written. In one memoir he wrote:

I received a letter without any respectful salutation and without closing assurances of "complete respect and devotion" and with the simple signature "N. Khvoshchinskaia." In the letter, thanking me for printing the poetry, she said "I am sending you a few other poems, but I ask only one thing: that you print them without changes.. . . Thank you for your condescension and attention [in changing my poems], but again I earnestly ask you not to do this. ... If you find that something in my poetry is weak and requires reworking, don't print it at all." (94)

Zotov writes that Khvoshchinskaia continued to object to his editing even when he pointed out to her that he was "more experienced in literature" and had a "more mature point of view" (95).36

Khvoshchinskaia's irritation is easily understood when we compare her original poems to Zotov's "edited" versions. Zotov may have honestly thought he was improving the poems, but, as we shall see, his editing, especially of those poems protesting women's treatment in society, more accurately could be described as censorship—or mutilation. Certainly he was unqualified to deal with Khvoshchinskaia's intellectual power and unconventional poetic genius.

At least two autograph notebooks (notebooks in Khvoshchinskaia's handwriting) still exist, one comprising 197 poetic works, the other 9, both located in RGALI, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art. The larger notebook bears the inscription from her father on the inside front cover, quoted earlier in this chapter.37 The second, in which Khvoshchinskaia wrote nine later poems, comes from France and has "Album buvard." (Blotter-album) stamped on the cover.38 It has pockets in the back for correspondence, printed French poems in the front, and blank blotting pages in the middle, on which Khvoshchinskaia wrote her own poetry.

The larger notebook has a table of contents in which 72 of the 197 poem titles are underlined, apparently to indicate publication. Under the text of each of these poems a different hand identifies the issue and year of the newspaper or journal in which it appeared. Most, but not all, of this information is correct. By my count, 85 poems from both notebooks appeared in print. Also in the larger notebook a few vertical strokes in the left-hand margin indicate lines of poetry that did not appear in the printed versions. In a few cases lines are crossed out and rewritten in the same second hand. While it is tempting to see this second hand as Zotov's, that would not appear to be the case. Zotov did write in a memoir that he had received "an entire notebook from Riazan'" but describes it as having "more than half a hundred poems," not 197. And at the end of his life he wrote of having 120 of Khvoshchinskaia's poems.39

A comparison of the poems in these notebooks with the published versions shows many of Zotov's editorial changes to be gratuitous and others to spoil the poems. For example, it is difficult to see how Zotov improved the poem, "Dolzhna b ia vchera poplakat'" (I should have cried yesterday, no.121 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 35 [Sept. 2, 1848]) by changing in line 8 Khvoshchinskaia's "i chto zhe?" to the synonymous "a chto zhe?" Equally arbitrary appears to be his change of Khvoshchinskaia's "sozdan'ia" (creation) to the synonymous "tvoren'ia" in lines 23 and 30 of "Melodiia (O daite mne pole, shi-rokoe, gladkoe pole!)" (Melody [O give me a field, a wide, smooth field!], no. 49 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 39 [Sept., 251847]). Nor is it clear for what reason he added the word "ves'" (all) to the last line of "Segodnia vsiu noch'" (Today all night, no. 124 in the notebook, published in Panteon, no. 1 [Jan. 1854]), changing Khvoshchinskaia's "Chtob s pesneiu mir obletet'" (So as to fly around the world with a song) to "Chtob s pesn'iu ves' mir obletet'" (So as to fly around the whole world with a song). Or how he improved "V gostinoi ubran-noi roskoshno" (In a luxuriously decorated drawing room, no. 120 in the notebook, published in Panteon, no. 2 [Feb. 1855]) by changing in line 3 "Mezhdu kartinami, statuiami" (Between the pictures and statues) to "Mezhdu statuiami, kartinimi."

In several cases Zotov's editing marred Khvoshchinskaia's artistry. For example, in "Ia ne tebe otdam poslednie chasy" (I will not give you the last hours, no. 88 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 38 [Sept. 18, 1847]), he destroyed Khvoshchinskaia's alliteration in line 8 by changing "Bezvestnyi, beznachal'nyi" (unknown, eternal [without a beginning]) to "Bezvestnii i dalekii" (unknown, far off). And in lines 1112 of "Uzhasno skorbnykh dnei kholodnosti dozhdat'sia!" (It is terrible to wait for mournful days of coldness! no. 66 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 39 [Sept. 25, 1847]) he destroyed Khvoshchin-skaia's carefully crafted emphasis on "ko grobu" (to the grave) when he changed "i trepetno idti / Stopoiu robkoiu ko grobu" (and, trembling, to go / with timid tread to the grave) to "i trepetno ko grobu / Stopoiu robkoiu idti" (and trembling to the grave / with a timid tread to go).

Zotov also routinely changed Khvoshchinskaia's punctuation— adding exclamation points (four, for example, in "Druz'ia, vam istinno, vam shchedro zhizn' dana" [Friends, to you truly, to you generously life has been given, no. 76 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 39 (Sept. 25, 1847)], discussed later in this chapter), or changing semicolons to commas. A poet's punctuation, as Emily Dickinson scholars have long argued, must be seen as an important part of its meaning, providing clues about how we are to read and understand it.40 This is certainly true of Khvoshchinskaia's clear and intelligent punctuation in the manuscript versions of her poems. Furthermore, Zotov printed all of Khvoshchinskaia's poems flush left, ignoring her line indentations, that is, her visual arrangement of the poem on the page. This, too, I would argue, is part of the poem's meaning. In many cases Zotov removed lines or virtually rewrote poems. For example, in addition to other changes, he removed eighteen lines from the five poems he published under the title "Otryvki iz dnevnika" (Fragments from a diary, in the notebook poems nos. 121, 122, 123, 125, and 119, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 35 [Sept. 12, 1848]), rendering the second and the fifth unintelligible.41 In another instance he changed twenty-three lines of the thirty-line poem "Melodiia (O daite mne pole, shirokoe, gladkoe pole!)," mentioned previously, and in yet another changed fifteen out of twenty-six lines of "Byvalo, s sestrami veseloi i shumnoi tolpoi" (My sisters and I in a cheerful and noisy crowd used to), discussed later in this chapter, never, I would argue, to these poems' advantage.

Examples of many such changes may be seen in the published version of "Druz'ia, vam istinno, vam shchedro zhizn' dana" (no. 76 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 39 [Sept. 25, 1847])—one of Khvoshchinskaia's most powerful poems. (See the appendix for both the manuscript and the published version.)

In line 1 Zotov broke up Khvoshchinskaia's passionate oratory into lumpy iambs.

Khvoshchinskaia: BaM hcthhho, BaM ^e^po äh3hb ^aHa

(Friends, to you truly to you generously life has been given.)

Published version: ,3,py3ta moh! BaM BceM TaK ^e^po äh3hb ^aHa

(My friends! To you all so generously life has been given.)

In line 3 he weakened Khvoshchinskaia's "strast'mi moguchimi" (with mighty passions) by changing it to "strast'mi sil'nymi" (with strong passions), and flattened Khvoshchinskaia's "liubvi sviatoi toskoiu" (the sacred anguish of love) to "liubov'iu i toskoiu." (love and anguish). In line 4, which sums up the first three lines, he changed the strong adjective "roskoshnaia" (luxurious, splendid) to the weaker "prekrasnaia" (beautiful, fine), moving "roskoshnaia" to the less emphasized second line.

While it would be tedious to discuss all of Zotov's changes, I would draw the reader's attention to line 25, in which he destroyed Khvoshchin-skaia's parallel syntax:

Khvoshchinskaia: r^e TyT fleaTentHOCTt, r^e TyT pa3ryn flna CHn?

(Where here is activity; where here is the revelry for one's energies?)

Published version: r^e fleaTentHOCTt TyT, r^e TyT pa3ryn flna CHn?

(Where is the activity here, where here is the revelry for one's energies?) and to the censored (and unintelligible) lines 35 and 36.

Khvoshchinskaia: Mto, ecTt nH oh Hnt HeT? Oh 6o«te nt TBopeHte

(What? Does it [the world] exist or not? Is it a god's creation

Published version: Mto, ecTt .rn oh, hhb HeT? . . . . . . H flanee nntiBeT.

Zotov made line 36 even less intelligible by removing Khvoshchinskaia's comma after "chto."

It might be argued that in the last case Zotov censored the lines that question whether the Christian God created the world and whether that world is real because he feared government or religious censorship. However, this poem appeared in September 1847, six months before Nicholas I launched the "censorship terror" in reaction to the European revolutions of 1848. One historian characterizes the decade before 1848 as "a time of reasonably benign censorship controls." I would argue that Zotov censored the lines, just as he rewrote the poem, for himself.42

Zotov also succeeded in obscuring the meaning of "Byvalo, s ses-trami veseloi i shumnoi tolpoi" (My sisters and I in a cheerful and noisy crowd used to, no. 75 in the notebook, published in Literaturnaia gazeta, no. 38 [1847], see appendix), a poem that describes the withering effects of poverty. The speaker and her sisters are walking along a small-town lane, loudly talking and laughing, when the speaker notices a young woman in the window of a rundown house, enviously observing them. The young married woman, a poor seamstress, already feels there is no joy or hope for joy in her life.

r^aflHT, 6yflTO xotct cKa3aTt: "BepHO npa3flHHK y hhx!"

H MO»eT 6htb Tpyfl cbohx aoothx 6eccoHHHX hotch

Y3HaeT Ha 6ecne^Hon noflpyre MoeH,

H cto^bko ne^a^H b tom B3ope, h »a^ocTH cto^bko HeMOH

O rpycTHO yTpaTCHHOK kihocth, cBeraon, pocKomHoH, »hboh,

O »H3HH, hto flan eH rocnoflt, hto6 cMeaTtca, h neTB, h ,hk>6htb. . .

Mto 3Toro B3opa MHe flonro, BOBeK He 3a6HTB. . .

Her work in front of her on the window ... [. . .] She looks as if she would say "They're having a real holiday!" And perhaps the labor of her long, sleepless nights [i.e., her sewing] She recognized on my carefree friend,

And there was so much sadness in her gaze, and so much unspoken regret

For bright, splendid, lively youth sadly lost,

For the life which the Lord gave her to laugh and sing and love

That this gaze I will not forget, for a long time—for all time.)

Zotov's changes in the printed version of the poem all served to mute Khvoshchinskaia's contrast between the sisters' gaiety and the young woman's unhappiness. He removed "bezzabotno" (carefree) from line 10 and in line 11 changed "chasto sluchalos' [gromkoe slovo]" (there was often [loud speech]) to "neredko sluchalos'" (not infrequently there was [loud speech]). Clearly, young ladies should not be so boisterous. Zotov also removed Khvoshchinskaia's reference to the woman's youth, which underlines the sapping effects of poverty.

Khvoshchinskaia, Line 14: "Mo^o^aa, ho 6^eflHaa"

(Young but pale)

Published version: "ne^a^BHaa, 6^eflHaa"

Rather, Zotov implied, by rewriting another line, the woman's sadness was attributable to disease, perhaps tuberculosis, which, nevertheless, made her beautiful:

Khvoshchinskaia, Line 16: 3pKHH B3op, tomhhh .hhk cpe^n Mpa^Hon KpyroM TeMHoTH

(A bright gaze, a languid face amidst the surrounding gloomy darkness)

Published version: B3op apKHH h tomhhh, 6o^e3HeHHHH bha KpacoTH

(A bright gaze and a languid, sickly kind of beauty)

Zotov also eliminated Khvoshchinskaia's reference to the woman's sewing in line 19, making lines 21-22 difficult to understand. He added a tear on the young woman's eyelash, changing a picture of common domestic drudgery and misery to one of emotional crisis:

Khvoshchinskaia, lines 18-19: H mmtHtm nyq Ha hhx, h repaHHH tto rpycTHo no6^eK nepeA Hen Ha oKHe, h pa6oTa. . . [. . .]

(And the dusty ray of sun on [her braids], and the geranium which sadly withered

Published version, lines 18-19: C.ne3y Ha pecHH^ . . . TepaHHH TaK

(A tear on her eyelash . . . A geranium so sadly withered Near her on the little window. .. [.. .])

Zotov also changed Khvoshchinskaia's understated last line from a relative clause to an effusion, complete with exclamation point:

Khvoshchinskaia, lines 23 and 26: H cto^bko ne^am b tom B3ope, [. . .] [ ]

Mto 3Toro B3opa MHe Ao^ro, BoBeK He 3a6tiTt. . .

That I will not forget that gaze for a long time, for all time . . .) Published version: O, 3Toro B3opa MHe Ao^ro, BoBeK He 3a6HTt! . . .

(O, I cannot forget that gaze for a long time, for all time! . . .)

Five years later, in 1852, Zotov took the opportunity to mutilate the poem still further. In an article reprinting some of Khvoshchinskaia's poetry, Zotov wrote:

The Literary Gazette, in which these poems for the most part appeared in 1848 and 1849, has now become a bibliographic rarity and does not enjoy a great deal of prestige with the reading public. Therefore we are convinced that our readers will read with pleasure several excerpts from that newspaper to be fully convinced of the varied and brilliant talent of Miss Kvoshchin-skaia.43

Zotov reprinted the poem, which now started with the words "By-valo, s podrugami" (My girlfriends and I used to) instead of "Byvalo, s sestrami" (My sisters and I used to). Among other changes, he removed the last six lines of the poem without any indication to readers that he had done so. It now ended: "Gliadit' budto khochet skazat': 'Verno prazdnik u nikh!'" (She looks as if she wanted to say, "They are really having a holiday"). In this way Zotov eliminated the only remaining reference to the fact that the young woman was a seamstress—thus making the poem incomprehensible—along with the speaker's suggestion that God did not intend this woman to be ground down by poverty. I have not found this poem subsequently reprinted in any form.

In some cases Zotov went beyond obscuring a poem's meaning to reversing it, a fate that befell "'Vy ulybaetes'? ...'" ("You're smiling? . . ," no. 152 in the notebook, first published in Otechestvennyi zapiski, no. 8 [1852], see appendix), an elegant, restrained, but effective critique of the treatment of young women in society. Like "Byvalo, s sestrami," the poem consists of a frame narrative and story.44 In the frame narrative, a woman, abstractedly playing with a wedding ring, notices a man smilingly observing her. She shows him the ring, inscribed 1730, and tells him its history. It belonged to a young woman whose parents married her off to an unpleasant, elderly fool, despite the fact that she loved another man. The young woman, too constrained from birth even to protest, died soon after, mourned only by the man who loved her. We return to the frame narrative, in which the narrator's interlocutor merely responds, "No sto-vos'mnadtsat' let! . .. Ona b stara byla" (But 118 years! ... She would be old!).

The man's response to the narrator's story indicates that only young, attractive women interest him, not discussions about their freedom— or survival. His response also allows the reader to realize that the poem is set in 1848—118 years after 1730, the date inscribed on the ring. Khvoshchinskaia, by having the poem take place in the year of European revolutions, underlines women's lack of freedom in society and the need for change.45 She further emphasizes that need by suggesting that the narrator shares the fate of the ring's original owner. Not only does the narrator often pensively play with the ring, which she says is dear to her, but also when she shows it to the man she says, "Vzglianite: mozhet byt' ono i vas zaimet / Napomnit vam samim den' svetlyi il' pechal'nyi .. ." (Have a look: Perhaps it will interest you as well / Remind you of a bright or sad day ...). The narrator's emphatic use of "i vas and vam samim" in two successive lines, the placement of "pechal'nyi" in the strong position at the end of the line, and the suspension points at the end of the line, suggesting that there is something she cannot say, all create the impression that the ring interests her by reminding her of the sad day of her wedding.

Perhaps Zotov felt uncomfortable with the poem's critique of the treatment of women. In any case, the poem appeared in print with most of Khvoshchinskaia's irony softened or removed. For example, the original line describing the ring's owner, "Kak ptichka chto rodom privykla k kletke tesnoi" (Like a little bird accustomed from birth to a narrow cage), appeared as "Kak ptichka grustnaia, privykshi k kletke tesnoi" (Like a sad little bird, accustomed to a narrow cage), blunting Khvoshchinskaia's point that the woman was doomed from birth. Zo-tov also removed Khvoshchinskaia's emphatic "samim" in line 7, which suggests a link between the narrator and the woman in the story. Her ironic "naznachennyi suprug" (assigned spouse) was changed to the more neutral "budushchii suprug" (future spouse). In the original poem, after an unflattering description of the assigned spouse, the incomplete line "Ona . . ." (She . . .) appeared, suggesting both the young woman's horrified reaction to him and also the impossibility of expressing that reaction or of protesting against the marriage. Zotov removed that line. When, on the night of the engagement party, the woman says good-bye to the man she loves, he weeps "O tom, chtob ne vinil on, pylkii i trevozhnyi / Pokornost' detskuiu chtoby prostil on ei" (About the fact that he, ardent and troubled, wouldn't blame her / Would pardon her childish obedience). The central words of those lines, and of the entire poem, "pokornost' detskuiu" (childish obedience), were changed to "V nevernosti ee" (her unfaithfulness). Instead of being a victim of her family and society, the woman is now depicted as responsible both for her own and—seemingly more importantly—also for a man's un-happiness. Zotov also changed the line "To byli slezy o blazhenstve nevozmozhnom" (And there were those tears over impossible bliss) to "o schast'i nevozmozhnom" (impossible happiness). Clearly, the sexual implications of the original version were too explicit—especially to have been written by a woman poet. The information enabling the reader to deduce that the poem takes place in 1848 remains, however; perhaps Zotov missed the reference.

Yet even in this bowdlerized form, the poem still retained enough power to cause one man editor to criticize it and bowdlerize it further. Nikolai Gerbel' included part of the poem in his 1873 anthology, Khrestomatiia dlia vsekh: Russkie poety v biografiiakh i obraztsakh (An anthology for everyone: Russian poets in biographies and examples). Strangely, in this anthology supposedly devoted to Russia's best poets,

Gerbel' praised Khvoshchinskaia as a prose writer, while disparaging her as a poet, specifically taking her to task for "'Vy ulybaetes'? .. .'": "Nevertheless, one does not note in her those qualities that make a person a poet. ["'Vy ulybaetes'? .. .'"] can serve as proof of our words. This wonderful poem is spoiled by the eleven introductory and two concluding lines [that is, the frame narrative], which are completely unnecessary and which a poet [author's italics] never would have introduced, especially the last two lines, which pour a spoonful of tar into the honey barrel."46

Gerbel''s version of "'Vy ulybaetes'? . . ,'" which appears after his introductory note under the title "Otryvok" (Excerpt), consists of Zotov's version of the poem, minus the objectionable frame narrative, which makes the parallel between women's position in 1730 and 1848. Gerbel' also removed, without comment, the two lines of the poem that recount the young woman's death and her lover's grief. In Gerbel''s version the poem ends

[mto6] He BHHHn OH, ntmKHH H TpeBO^HHH,

B HeBepHocTH ee, hto6h npocTHn oh eH.

(That he, ardent and troubled wouldn't blame her

For her unfaithfulness and would forgive her for it.)

Thus Gerbel' successfully finished transforming Khvoshchinskaia's poem about society's oppression and destruction of women into one about a man victimized by a woman's inconstancy. Gerbel' also made the poem virtually untraceable, since he removed its identifying first line (the poem has no title), while not clearly indicating that "Otryvok" was his version of "'Vy ulybaetes'? . . ,'" the poem he criticized in his introduction.

In the final stage of the poem's annihilation by men critics and editors, "'Vy ulybaetes'? ...'" did not appear at all in B. Ia. Bukhshtab's anthology Poety 1840-1850-kh godov (1972), although he reprinted twelve of Khvoshchinskaia's poems, including two ("Svoi razum iskusiv ne raz" and "Solntse segodnia za tucheiu chernoi takoi zakatilosia"), which appeared with "'Vy ulybaetes'? ...'" under the title "Piat' stikhotvorenii" (Five poems) in Otechestvennyezapiski, no. 8 (1852). "'Vy ulybaetes'? ..'" was the first, and for this reader at least, the most striking of the five.

Khvoshchinskaia's literary reputation as a poet suffered even more than Rostopchina's from biased critical opinion. One hesitates to use the word "reception" in relation to the ad feminam attacks, blatant distor-

tions, excisions, and suppression of her poetry that Khvoshchinskaia suffered at the hands of men critics, editors, and publishers. It might be more accurate to call this sexual-political censorship. I would suggest that not only Khvoshchinskaia but also every woman poet of this generation who questioned women's subordinate position in society experienced such censorship. Sexual-political censorship was far more destructive than the purely political censorship that both men and women poets endured. Political censors may have removed passages, but they generally did not rewrite them to reverse their meaning. Political censors may have had the power to forbid publication, but unlike the sexual-political censors, who were editors, publishers, and anthologizers, they did not decide what got published, or, like those who were reviewers, determine how works would be received. Most significantly the political censor reviewed a work just once, but sexual-political censors reviewed women's works continually, resulting, as we have seen, in cumulative depredations.

We need only compare the mutilation of the poems examined in the preceding discussion with the purely political censorship of Khvo-shchinskaia's poem "Kladbishche" (The cemetery, no. 9 in "Album buvard," published in Illiustratsiia, no. 52 [Jan. 8, 1859], and which Zo-tov does not appear to have touched at all). Except for a very few punctuation changes, one censored line ("Sud'ba tsarei reshaetsia perom," II: 4 [The fate of tsars is decided by the pen]), and one substitution of "kniazei" (of princes) for "tsarei" (of tsars, III: 20), the printed version of the poem is exactly the same as the autograph. This appears to be Khvoshchinskaia's last published poem. It may be that by 1859 Khvoshchinskaia could better control the form in which her work appeared; after the death of Nicholas I in 1855 the censorship eased as well. Strangely, this poem, which even Gerbel' praised but did not include in his anthology, has never been reprinted.

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