RE: The other notes supposedly by Rasputin
Tatiana Mironova’s book, Iz-pod lzhy
[From Under the Lie], printed in Moscow in 1994, contains some pertinent passages on Rasputin’s famous notes.
Without necessarily accepting the tendentious premises of T. L. Mironova’s open defense of G. E. Rasputin, one can, nevertheless, find her observations on the notes written by him to be of interest, since her philological credentials seem to be legitimate.
The Russian Wikipedia article and the biographical blurb on the cover of her book state that:
Tatiana L. Mironova graduated from the Philology Department of Moscow State University. For fifteen years she has taught Church-Slavonic at the St. Tikhon Institute in Moscow. She is the author of a text book on Church-Slavonic which has been reprinted several times. She has a Doctorate in Philology, is a corresponding member of the International Slavonic Academy of Science, a Russian author, and a member of the Writers’ Union of Russia. She is said to be an expert on original written sources in Church-Slavonic and Old Russian.http://ru.widipedia.org/wiki/Миронова,_Татьяна_Леонидовнаhttp://www.rusprav.org/biblioteka/Mironova_Nikolai_II_and_Rasputin/Iz-pod_lzhy_text.html
The originals of the two documents which she considers are found in the Russian State Library, in Moscow: РГБ (Russian State Library), f. 251, op. 25, d. 61.
They are two letters purportedly written by G. E. Rasputin to the editors of the Russian newspaper Russkoe Slovo
. In analyzing their contents, T. Mironova makes the following observations:
1) While the author of these letters strives to give them the appearance of letters written by someone who is poorly educated, semi-literate, and not used to writing, he nevertheless betrays himself by forming certain individual characters quite correctly, and in a manner usually taught in a gymnasia
— high school, i.e., he lapses into his usual handwriting.
2) If these two letters are compared with undisputedly genuine documents in G. E. Rasputin’s handwriting, then it becomes quite evident that these are forgeries.
3) In addition, several of the individual characters were initially written properly, but then scribbled over again to “correct” them and make them appear more crudely formed.
4) The artificial “muzhik” style of the letters reflects the peasant dialects of Western Great Russia or Byelorussia, not
that of G. E. Rasputin’s native western Siberia. And the style is even lower and more ungrammatical than Rasputin’s own.
5) From a linguistic and stylistic point of view, those two fabrications are not very successful, and they betray the hand, not of philologist or writer, but most likely of a journalist.
[I. N. — That is not to imply that all
the notes attributed to Rasputin are forgeries.]
But T. Mironova then goes on to pose a very intriguing question: How many similar notes floating around the salons and offices of St. Petersburg were actually written by G. E. Rasputin? And who among the many recipients of such notes knew Rasputin personally, or were familiar with his handwriting?
I cite all this not in order to exonerate G. E. Rasputin, but to suggest that perhaps it would be naïve not to realize that many people might have stooped to scrawling such notes on scraps of paper simply to further their own personal affairs, or — on the part of the revolutionaries — to discredit the Imperial family and government.