Rus Articles Journal

What the album in the 18-20th centuries mattered?

are familiar to All the word album . As soon as we say it, at once recurs a photo album which lies at home on our coffee table to the memory. Actually the speech will go not about it now, and about that album which became a prototype modern.

Let`s remember young ladies who once kept diaries in which they put the dried florets, wrote down interesting verses, ardent speeches and declarations of love where left autographs and drawings. These diaries differently were called albums.

Album as life, contradictions mix,

Mix of kind, thin idle talk:

Here friendship tribute, here secular condition,

Here fervor of love, there philosophizing arrogance.

Graceful in it along with insignificant,

Mind with nonsense or true with false

of Ideas and feelings pestret a masquerade

(P. A. Vyazma)

the Tradition of their maintaining came to Russia from Germany through the French culture. In the beginning they were conducted only by women, and further men also joined them. The album was a certain meeting of diverse records which or belonged to owners, or were addressed to them.

Such literaturno - the household album is considered as the historian - the cultural phenomenon of the Russian life of the 18-20th centuries. Why literaturno - household? All the matter is that in it verses in which the events which were taking place in everyday life were reflected registered. It were verses which had personal character and made double sense, unclear to profane persons.

Till our time of such albums very little, but even those that remained, are or in private collections, or in the closed archives which are inaccessible to a wide range of readers remained. These albums, first of all, are certificates of cultural life of that era. Yu. M. Lotman, speaking about an album of the end XVIII - the beginnings of the 19th century, compares it to the almanac or the hand-written book. But in the 20th century the hand-written album disappeared and on its place photographic appeared.

Coming back by a century of XIX, It should be noted that during this period an album from local family culture grew also turned into property of fashion of high society, the hobby for it became general. Depending on interests of the owner, albums were divided on:

1) vanity albums;

2) albums of actors;

3) albums of writers;

4) albums of women;

5) albums of maidens;

6) albums of husbands;

7) albums student`s etc.

About these hand-written books wrote much. So, E. A. Baratynsky in one of the poems says that all girls need to conduct an album not to forget names of all the admirers. In other poem he calls an album a well of memoirs as in old age or in the foreign land it is very pleasant to look through its pages and to remember former times, friends, beloved. In the last poem Baratynsky compares an album to a cemetery - its motley sheets are certain monuments to antecedents. It is necessary to tell that many wished to leave about themselves memory on pages of these hand-written books.

V. A. Zhukovsky in the poem devoted to an album eulogizes it and thanks the creator: That true wise man who invented an album! A.S. Pushkin in the poem To I. V. Slenin on the contrary, writes not really pleasant words:

I do not love albums fashionable, their dazzling mix

Aspazy of our noble


only arrogance.
Pushkin preferred to leave to

records only in friendly albums, it compared them with pleasant house for writing. And derides albums of women of fashion or rural young ladies as considers one too elaborate, and others tasteless.

At the beginning of the 20th century albums it is mentioned in V. Ya. Bryusov and M. I. Tsvetaeva`s verses (Tsvetaeva called the first book Evening album ). During this period the album culture underwent very serious changes - the educational level of their owners, art taste and, of course, cultural life changed.

Summing up the result, it is worth emphasizing that the album though reflected a situation of concrete time, first of all, all was - the personal diary. Memoirs of the specific person therefore many records bore secret sense which was clear only to their owner were kept in it.