Kuprin: the writer who dreamed to become... thief?
of What smell the woman?
“ The Most sensitive nose of Russia “. So Fedor Shalyapin presented to guests of the friend once - the writer Alexander Ivanovich Kuprin. The certain French perfumer who was present at that evening decided to arrange to the newly appeared guest the real examination suddenly. He suggested Kuprin to define structure of spirits - the last development of its firm. The Frenchman obviously intended to bring down a peg self-confident Russian: similar task and not to any professional in power. When examined slowly, but surely listed all main aromas of perfume, the Frenchman clutched at the head: “ I do not understand! As!? How it can be what you, the person with such rare talent, one may say, with the real dog scent, - and suddenly some writer?! “
Contemporaries joked that in Kuprin there was something “ from a big animal “. Mamin-Sibiryak remembered: “ Kuprin had one a little strange habit - the real image, like a dog, to sniff at people. Many, in particular ladies, strongly took offense … “. However, one of ladies - N. Taffy`s writer - sincerely admired his gift: “ You pay attention as he always sniffs to people! Will pull a nose, and the end - knows what the person is! “.
As regards smells Kuprin had the only rival - Ivan Bunin. And, when they met together, between them competition began: who will define more precisely, than the circus arena or the next tavern smells, for example. Once in the big literary company dispute on of what the woman smells came. “ Women smell of creamy " ice cream; - noticed Chekhov. “ And it seems to me - linden flowers, slightly podvyavshy “ - Bunin gave a vote. Kuprin, having made a small pause, told: “ And in my opinion, young girls smell of a water-melon and pair milk. And old women, here in the south, - a bitter wormwood, a camomile, dry cornflowers and - an incense “. Chekhov, in acknowledgement of a victory, shook hands with Kuprin …
“ I would like to become a woman and to experience childbirth … “
Before becoming the writer, Kuprin managed to change dozens two professions. Visited both the boxer, and the circus fighter, and the land surveyor, and the teacher, and the actor, and the advertizing agent, and the fisherman, and the aeronaut, and the organ-grinder, and the seller “ puderklozeta of the engineer Timakhovich “ … To it it was not important how many will pay, it was interesting to it to try a new role.
Burning interest in life threw it into the thick of the studied business or the phenomenon. It “ did not suffer any poluznaystvo, any diletantshchina and would feel deeply unfortunate if suddenly it was found out that to it it is unknown some household to do of life, say, of divers or the Don Cossacks “ - Chukovsky remembered it. Once in Odessa the newspaper reporter Leon Tretsek acquainted him with the chief of one of fire brigades. Kuprin immediately used this acquaintance and when in the downtown the house lit up in the middle of the night, Kuprin in a copper helmet rushed off together with group of firefighters there and worked in a flame and in a smoke till the morning.
“ I would like to become a horse, a plant or fish for several days or to stay the woman and to experience childbirth “. Only such irrepressible thirst of life could force it to try out as the horse thief, salted pork fat, the hospital attendant in a morgue and even … the thief. Somehow, after long conversation with the casual restaurant interlocutor who appeared some famous thief he suddenly wanted to test as the professional robber who got at night into others apartment feels. “ Chose the place and time, selected things, laid them in a suitcase, but to take out them there was not enough determination “. It dread to think what similar could bring Kuprin " to; experiments “ if he did not become a writer in time!
For one story - two days of a punishment cell
the Writer Alexander Ivanovich became incidentally. He wrote the first story still being a cadet of a military college. “ Russian satirical leaf “ suddenly decided to print sent by the unknown author behind the signature “ Ave. To - Rihn “ quite weak story “ Last debut “. On the same day someone reported on the administration that one of cadets “ tisnut some nonsense in a gazetishka “. The administration held an investigation, and the contemptible scribbler who wormed way into nice ranks of future heroes of the fatherland was found and prosecuted.
Punishment was surprisingly a lung: only two days of a punishment cell! Others for a similar fault were driven out from school. However, so was only in case the cadet stained official authority the composition of verses. In a case with Kuprin there was one softening circumstance: he wrote prose … to
Then, sitting in a punishment cell, Kuprin promised himself not to touch a feather and paper. And the promise it, probably, constrained. If did not meet Ivan Bunin.
from his easy hand Kuprin who at that time was very needing and even starving, wrote the small story at its request, and … at once received the royalties decent for those times. On which immediately bought “ normal “ food (wine, cheese, sausage and … calves), and also new boots (that it went, according to Bunin it was a shame to slam also a cockroach).
For what to the writer a pillow?
“ Casual “ the writer, Kuprin also wrote the works occasionally. His first wife, Maria Karlovna Davydova, dreamed to make of it if not great then fashionable writer. Every morning after a breakfast Kuprin, upon the demand of the wife, left to himself on an attic where arranged a study, and till the lunch worked. However efficiency of this work for some reason equaled to zero: for several weeks he did not write any line. At the same time on all charges of laziness it surely had weighty excuses: “ the head hurt … “ “ the stomach hurt … “ “ before writing, better to consider hundred times … “ etc.
In one fine morning, right after tea, Alexander Ivanovich told the wife: “ I would edanut something, Masha. It is good to refuel a little before work “. And with big appetite ate fried eggs and cold meat. Having finished with a breakfast, it rose from - for a table and it is somehow unusual, sideways began to leave the room. The observant spouse noticed that in front the blouse on it is strange bulged. It approached and straightened out a shirt. And suddenly … the small pillow fell out from there. “ What is it? “ - strictly Maria Karlovna asked. Kuprin was confused: “ You see Masha … on a stool to sit too rigidly … Here I also take with myself a pillow “. - “ And here I will look now as you suited the study there! “ - “ Well why! Do not go better, Masha! “. But Maria Karlovna already went on a ladder …
Certainly, no stool on an attic appeared: about a wall the hay covered with some blanket was put.
- Here so a study! - the strict spouse cried.
- You see - is guilty Kuprin began to babble, - I lie, I consider a subject, and then imperceptibly I fill up …
- Well, - Maria Karlovna cut off. - Breakfasts it will be from now on finished!
The love of the wife should … be earned!
Kuprin was the lazy writer. What the ambitious spouse only did not undertake it to re-educate the hubby: also abused, and deprived of lunches, and even refused what is called matrimonial proximity. Business reached that she delivered to it the ultimatum: he rents to himself the single room and will work over “ Duel “. And she will begin to visit him. Sometimes. And it can come home, but under one condition: in the house it will be let only in case he shows the following chapter of the story … to
Now home “ on a visit “ Kuprin came to have a rest only when he wrote new chapter or at least part it. Once it brought to Maria Karlovna several old pages. In the morning she declared to it:
- So will not be possible to deceive me to you any more! - also disposed to strengthen a chain on a door. To Kuprin it was necessary before getting to the apartment, to push the manuscript in a crack and to wait until it passes Maria Karlovna`s censorship. If it was the new fragment from “ Duel “ the door was opened.
Kuprin silently suffered. Painfully ambitious, he felt small doubly, work fell from hands. And he wanted to visit a family very much, and he came with old pages again, hoping that Maria Karlovna forgot them. He pushed leaves in a black crack and sat down on a ladder, damning himself for lack of will. The voice of the unshakable spouse sounded from - for doors:
- You were mistaken, Sasha, and brought me second-hand articles. Good night! You will bring a new piece tomorrow.
the Door slammed.
- Mashenka, let, I was very tired and I want to sleep. Let me, Masha … - Kuprin`s voice shivered.
the Answer was silence. He sat on a step, having clasped the head with hands, and silently cried.
- What you cruel … ruthless …
Kuprin rose and slowly went down.
“ The Father drinks a lot of vodka, for it mother beats him … “
When the husband, having lit, throws the burning match on a gas dress of the wife when the wife breaks a decanter with water against the head helplessly - the drunk husband - whether these two love each other? Whether will live together? No, do not love. No, will not be. Before deciding on a final gap, Kuprin a long time heated pain in alcohol. His four-year-old daughter Lida once, in the presence of numerous guests and the father, executed a chastushka of own composition:
I have a father,
U me is mother. the Father a lot of vodka drinks
, for it mother beats him with
… the legend of Kuprin as about the drunkard, the brawler and the idler was born
At this particular time. Unloved and weak-willed, he turned into the restaurant frequenter, got doubtful friends, and spent almost all evenings in taverns or on a hippodrome. Wrote all rags about its drunk tricks. Kuprin is the rude fellow, the uneducated person, the former officer … Kuprin poured hot coffee of it is, threw out from a window on the street of it is, painted green oil paint the head to it is, threw at " restaurant; North “ to the pool with a sterlet of it is, on a banquet of it is jumped in drunk waste on a table and crumbed legs all plates with food …
These deep intoxicated years will halloo later: Kuprin radiating with health and physical force by the end of life will turn into the pathetic and sick person, almost the vegetable. But it will be then for now … So far everything will proceed till that day when he perishing is not rescued by the young and loving it girl, the nurse and the teacher of his daughter, Lisa Geynrikh. She will manage to persuade him to cease to drink and go to treatment to Finland. Lisa Geynrikh will become for it the real guardian angel. Thanks to it, its sincere softness and kindness, Kuprin will return to creativity and learns at last pleasure of quiet family life.
“ The Woman is the last vessel … “ to
of Peru of Kuprin possesses many remarkable stories and stories. In this row one small work is obviously allocated. It causes especially strong emotional response in his readers. “ Garnet bracelet “ …
Once long ago, during a youth time, someone told it a strange story about one fanatic in love who abandoned many years the beloved - the married woman - love letters and gifts. Letters were flat, and gifts - tasteless. And the end of history was rather a reason for practice of the psychiatrist. But Kuprin was inspired by the heard story. And in several years wrote the story for which took one thousand critical injections from fellow writers. And - one thousand grateful letters from readers.
“ I remember each your step, a smile, a look, a sound of your gait. The sweet grief, gentle, fine melancholy fanned my last memoirs. But I will not cause you grief. I leave one, silently, it was so necessary for God and destiny, “ Yes your name " is consecrated; … “. It is the quote from “ Garnet bracelet “. At the end of life, in Paris, semi-sick Kuprin every evening, sitting in cafe, wrote long love letters to the unknown young woman in whom it, the gray-haired old writer, suddenly desperately and hopelessly fell in love. Wrote, but did not send to the addressee. In these letters that line from " often repeated; Garnet bracelet “ - “ Yes your name " is consecrated; … Eyewitnesses told that his face these minutes wonderfully changed: sharp lines were smoothed, the look became lighter also umirotvorenny, and on lips, usually always than severely squeezed, the faint smile … began to play
“ The woman, - Goethe told, is the last vessel which we fill with our melancholy for an ideal “. He did not approach, did not get acquainted, did not open it. It was happy already only one fact of its existence...]