Rus Articles Journal

What do we know about cockroaches? Cockroaches... literary

Tarakan - the reactionary

“La cucaracha, la cucaracha

Ya no puede caminar,

of Porque no tiene, porque le falta

Marihuana que fumar …“

This incendiary song flew in 1920-30 - x years from loud-hailers of a set of record players and record players. Its text existed in so many variations that from the original usually there was only a word “cockroach“ as, actually, and Spanish “Kukaracha“ is translated. It is difficult to believe that this cheerful melody was born in bloody years of the Mexican revolution 1910 - 19 in groups of country army under Francesco “Pancho`s“ leadership Vilyi - such Mexican father Makhno. Vilya was at war against government troops of the president Victoriano Carransi. Karransa`s supporters were also nicknamed “tarakashka“ for their long moustaches, and the original Kukarachi option has frankly humiliating tone. Here a literal translation of this song (it is taken to the address www. vivacuba. ru) :

“Tarakanchik, Tarakanchik

cannot go Any more, Because it has no

because is not enough

of Marijuana to smoke.

Receded Karransista,

Receded in Perrotta,

I cannot go more,

Having got confused in the moustaches.

And I will make a bandage,

of Karransa`s

Ya beard to tie it on a sombrero

of Senior Fransesko Vilya“.

Tarakan - the despot

“Suddenly from a gate

the Terrible giant,

Red and moustached

That is ra - Caen!

Tarakan, Tarakan, Tarakanishche!“.

(To. Chukovsky)

at the beginning of the XX century a cockroach already so got the population that its began to perceive as the little ineradicable despot before whom even the biped “wreath of the nature“ is powerless. This image found the finished embodiment in the famous poetic fairy tale of Korney Chukovsky where by means of a preuvelichitelny suffix the insect turns into the real monster - Tarakanishche - impudent, insatiable, demanding from other animals to sacrifice it the cubs.

It is remarkable that the children`s poet did not begin to turn a cockroach into the huge monster of horror films. Tarakanishche has quite realistic sizes, his power keeps only on total fear, on intimidation to which elephants and wolves, bulls and rhinoceroses give in. Generally, one more illustration to a saying “Fear takes molehills for mountains“. The sparrow who did not give in to cockroach promotion kills the despot with a simple peck in a forehead.

Among fans to read from the text contexts still the statement wanders that Chukovsky in the veiled form removed in an image of the moustached dictator - you know - whom. Nonsense of the similar statement just lies on a surface. In - the first, the fairy tale was written in 1923 when fight for the place of the dying Lenin only began, and moustached Stalin`s positions were not stronger than Trotsky and Kamenev`s so moustached positions at all, and Zinovyev absolutely without mustache. In - the second, and at Stalin`s power of “Tarakanishche“ it was published freely and considerable circulations. Well, and in - the third, Chukovsky was always extremely careful for so striking criticism of the authorities, and the authorities to similar criticism - are extremely sensitive.

Here Mandelstam “We live in the poem, under ourselves without feeling the country...“ the image of the leader of the people removed very recognizablly: “Cockroach laugh an usishcha, / And its tops shine...“. And when the power about it learned, reaction followed immediately.

Tarakan - the victim

At a cockroach can be looked not only as at the despot, but also as at the silent victim. The most tragic cockroach was brought in the poem of the same name by the colleague of literary group of OBERIU Nikolay Oleynikov. The epigraph of this poem “Cockroach Got to a Glass“ sends us to Dostoyevsky, to be exact, to the hero of his novel “Demons“ - the vulgar person - the rhymer captain Lebyadkin.

F. Dostoyevsky “Demons“:

“- … You here ask, the madam: “why?“ The answer at the bottom of this fable, fiery letters!.

… There lived on light a cockroach,

Tarakan from the childhood,

I got then to a glass

Full of a mukhoyedstvo...

- My God that it? - Varvara Petrovna exclaimed.

- That is when in the summer, - the captain began to bustle, awfully waving a hand, with irritable impatience of the author to which prevent to read, - when in the summer in a glass flies fit, there is a mukhoyedstvo, any fool will understand, do not interrupt, do not interrupt, you will see, you will see... (he all waved a hand).

The place was taken by a cockroach,

of the Fly were grumbled,

Is full very much our glass,

To Jupiter cried.

But so far they had a shout,

Approached Nikifor, Bl`s

- go - the rodneyshy old man...

Here at me it is not finished yet, but all the same, by words! - the captain cracked, - Nikifor a beret a glass and, despite shout, splashes out in a wash-tub all comedy, and flies and a cockroach that should be made long ago. But notice, notice, the madam, a cockroach does not grumble! Here answer to your question: “why?“ - he exclaimed, triumphing: - “That is ra - Caen does not grumble!“ - As for to Nikifor, he represents the nature... “

By the way, literary critics found sources of story about a cockroach in a glass in earlier work - I. Myatlev`s poem:


As Will get to a glass


Will be gone;

On glass,

Is heavy,

does not vspolzt.

And I …“

not grumbling powerless experimental victim looks a cockroach and in Oleynikov`s poem written in 1934. It is a classical sample of art esthetics OBERIUTOV where levity, the irony and a parody is oddly bound with deep gravity of a subject, with feeling of existential horror and senselessness of life. Here such gloomy mockery penetrated also the poem “Tarakan“. And if at Lebyadkin the cockroach is destroyed by the ruthless and indifferent Nature, then at Oleynikov the insect is the victim of cool scientific experiment. “There is no soul“ - the science and therefore the death of a cockroach is especially cruel and senseless claims.


“The cockroach sits in a glass,

red sucks the Leg. It got to

. It in a trap. now he execution waits for


He sad eyes

darts a glance,

At a sofa Where with knives, with

axes Vivisectors sit...

... Cockroach nestled on glass

I looks hardly breathing...

It would not be afraid of death,

If knows that there is a soul.

But the science proved,

That the soul does not exist,

That a liver, bones, fat -

Here that forms soul.

There are only joints,

A then connections.

Against conclusions of science

It is impossible to resist.

Tarakan, squeezing hands,

Was going to suffer... “
it is Extremely improbable

that Oleynikov was familiar with Franz Kafka`s creativity - works of the Austrian writer in the USSR were at that time almost unknown. And nevertheless images and mood of the story of Kafka “Transformation“ (1916) according to many literary critics are surprisingly conformable to Oleynikov`s poem.

In “Transformation“ all also begins with senseless and cruel accident. One morning “the little Austrian person“ direct-sales representative Gregor wakes up in image... ugly insect. Researchers of creativity of Kafka claim that the cockroach was this insect. All horror is that the author describes this fantastic situation quite everyday household language. And George not transformation most of all worries, and the fact that he tries to master the new body to leave... for work, it - the main source of the income of his poor family.

T. Kafka “Transformation“:

“To dump a blanket it appeared simply; was to inflate a little a stomach enough, and it fell. But further business went worse, mainly because it was so wide.

It needed hands to rise; and instead it had a set of legs which did not cease to move randomly and which it besides could not master in any way. If he wanted to bend any leg, it first of all was extended; and if it at last managed to execute this leg what he conceived, then others meanwhile as if having crashed out, came to the most painful nervousness. “Only not to be late in vain in a bed“, - Gregor told himself“.

But all the hero faces - it is horror, misunderstanding and the growing disgust for it. Crippled by the father and thrown by the family, he silently dies, without having understood that it happened. Its corpse, like a corpse of an oleynikovsky cockroach, is fastidiously thrown out in a musornik...

And nevertheless these cockroaches cause pity in the reader. It appears, and it is possible to feel sorry for cockroaches...