Author Topic: Imperial Train  (Read 129651 times)

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Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2004, 01:15:04 PM »
I'll have to edit this when I'm at home and can check the name of the video, but I have a documentary that contains the longest excert of the Shulgin interview that I have ever seen.  I've seen bits here and there, but this documentary has virtually all of it, I think.  I love this interview because Shulgin spoke the softest and most beautiful Russian I've ever heard.  I can read and write it reasonably well for a non-native speaker, but I've always had some trouble following spoken Russian.  Until Shulgin!  When I heard him speak, I thought, "OK, THIS is the Russian that I learned!"  Sometimes I put that tape in just to listen to him.  I haven't thought about it enough to put my finger on what is the exact difference between him and everyone else -- all I can think it that he's very old school and probably didn't speak "lazily" or with too much slang.

I also like watching him move around the train carriage, pointing out this and that -- where he stood, where Nicholas sat, etc -- and the way he placed his hand on his interviewer's chest in order to emphasize a point.  Wonderful body-language.  You could see that he felt the reconstruction deeply, so it must have been pretty close to the real thing.
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

RobMoshein

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2004, 03:21:50 PM »
Quote
 I love this interview because Shulgin spoke the softest and most beautiful Russian I've ever heard.  I can read and write it reasonably well for a non-native speaker, but I've always had some trouble following spoken Russian.  Until Shulgin!  When I heard him speak, I thought, "OK, THIS is the Russian that I learned!"  Sometimes I put that tape in just to listen to him.


Penny makes an interesting point.  I had once read that the Russian spoken in the Imperial Era by the upper classes and well educated sounded quite different than the "guttural" modern spoken Russian; its sound was described by someone (who, I have long since forgetten) as "the sound of silver troika bells over new fallen snow"...With that in mind, I once  asked my dear friend "Tante Lilly" born into a very Noble and very wealthy Moscow family around 1900 if she would read some Pushkin to me so I could hear that old Russian properly spoken...She put the ancient volume of Pushkin (from the personal library of GD Dmitri P no less, and a personally inscribed gift from him to her!!) down on the table, and recited 20 minutes of his poetry by heart. I will NEVER forget how incredibly beautiful and musical it was to hear.  It was indeed "silver troika bells over fresh fallen snow".  When she was finished, she smiled warmly at me and said simply "We all knew Pushkin by heart, my darling, it was just something everyone did then." What an experience. I will never forget the sound of that Russian, ever.

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2004, 09:07:44 AM »
It is very true about the change in the sound of the language.  "Chisto russki" or "clear" russian before the revolution was a purer version of the language than it is spoken today.  Russian has a myriad of declensions and uses of gender, all of which are differentiated on the page by minor changes to the endings of words.  Now, these endings are blurred in speech, and unless you have studied Russian for a long time, you are forced to guess what people are saying contextually.

Before the revolution, and in emigration, members of the educated russian classes made each of these grammatical constuctions heard distinctly.  When you hear someone speak "clear" russian, you really understand what they are saying.

I am, however, happy to report that even under the Soviets, every schoolshild learned to recite Pushkin.  You can go deep into the Russian countryside and pull a guy off a tractor, and he can recite some Pushkin.  The same, I am sorry to say, cannot be said of men on tractors reciting Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or Robert Frost here.!

Nick

PS As an aside, I was once acknowledging how difficult Russian was to an emigre, and she agreed, replying "No wonder everyone spoke French."
Nick Nicholson
New York City

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Trainhulgin was
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2004, 12:47:27 PM »
Shulgin fled Russia after the Revolution and was lured back by the "Trust" (A phoney front of the Cheka) in 1920 who offered to smuggle him into Russia to see his son of his son who was in Sebastopol.

He was used by the Trust(Cheka) for a number of years after that. Somehow he got to Belgrade in the 1930's where he stayed.  In 1944 he was grabbed by the Red Army in Yugoslavia and sent back to Russia where he was then transported to the Gulag for 12 years.  After he got out of prison he claimed to be a dedicated Communist.  He died on February 15, 1976 at the age of 99.

Shulgin must have been an involuntary or voluntary agent of the Cheka (and its successors) for many years and this accounts for his survival.  He wrote a number of books.

The train car was recreated for the film.  The original car was wrecked during the war.  It had been left at its exhibition spot at Peterhof when the Germans captured the area.

Bob

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2004, 04:16:48 PM »
Quote

I am, however, happy to report that even under the Soviets, every schoolshild learned to recite Pushkin.  You can go deep into the Russian countryside and pull a guy off a tractor, and he can recite some Pushkin.  The same, I am sorry to say, cannot be said of men on tractors reciting Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or Robert Frost here.!



Or maybe "*especially* under the Soviets" they had to learn to recite him? - I was just thinking that while he might already have become a sort of national icon in the later Tsarist period, Pushkin had an *outstanding* significance to the Soviet government...?
I don't suppose we can measure relative degrees of veneration, though :-)

Janet

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2004, 10:02:12 AM »
Here's a bad picture of the Imperial Train Pavillion in Tsarskoe Selo.  Sorry about the quality.

Bob

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2004, 12:52:34 PM »
Thanks Bob for the photograph!
I was several times in this pavillion and has preserved a great deal of decorative details, even some paintings in the ceiling very much like those destroyed in the Feodorovsky Gorodok. sadly the present level of the road is higher than in former times and the entrance has lost the two side ramps and the front steps. It looks neglected but still in pretty well state.

Antonio.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2004, 01:25:13 PM »
Antonio - do you have any photographs to share with us!

Bob
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by BobAtchison »

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2004, 01:56:29 PM »
Well Bob, i´m so ashamed to say this again. I have a lot of photographs i would love to share since you all are the only people i´ve known that could be interested on them. I also have an scanner(don´t know if it´s the correct word) and have no idea of how to reinstall it(i had recently a lot of problems with the computer). I´m waiting for a friend to come home to help me. Belive me, as soon as i know how to send the photographs i´ll be posting them. The lower dacha, Yussupov dacha,Interiors of the Feodorovsky cathedral nowadays, even Alexandra´s own private praying place in the basement and everything else that could be interesting. I have more than three thousand of photographs from my trips and feel sometimes so frustrate not being able to post them. I´m so very eager to send this photographs that once i learn how to do it you will have to tell me: stop please!!!
I bought last time in the cathedral a most beautiful booklet you perhaps already own with old paintings depicting the interiors of the cathedral and also the Feodorovsky Gorodok that i think would be interesting for all to see. The reproductions are full page an colour and are so charming. You can see the soldires gathering flowers and even the grand duchesses along with them.

Antonio.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Joanna

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2004, 09:31:44 PM »
The National Library of Russia had an exhibition on Tsarskoye Selo:
http://www.nlr.ru:8101/eng/exib/pushkin/
Number 6 is a map from 1901 showing the train tracks leading to the private imperial train station. I had always been curious where exactly this station was located. Peter Kurth's "Tsar" was the first indication that it had survived destruction.

Antonio I also will be thrilled to see your photographs!

Also this site has a few incredible photographs - one of Tsarskoye's gostiny dvor and two of general views.

Joanna

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2004, 10:21:40 PM »
Hello Joanna,
I´ve already sent the photographs to Bob, along with some text and i suppose they will be posted. The pavillion is at the end of the Akademichevsky road. When you reach Tsarskoe through the Egyptian Gate, just turn to the right in the first street. There is a fountain with a bonze lady in the corner that you have to turn. The road is bordering the Feodorovsky cathedral and gorodok lands...Hope you will understand this explanation...i tried my best...

Antonio.

Offline Joanna

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2004, 10:32:05 PM »
Thanks Antonio !

I have the location now with your reply and the map! I see it is opposite the Agrarian University. Do you know anything about the university building that was once the barracks of an Imperial regiment? Did you tour around it when locating the Imperial train station?

Oh mon dieu I am anxious to see your photos !!!!

Joanna

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2004, 10:43:39 PM »
Hi Joanna,
I´m so happy that my indications were useful for you to find it!!
The university building is one of the few i did not take a photograph of...sorry! May be the next time... There are many interesting buildings in this area always in the same medieval style from Nicholas´reign. For curiosity sake i´ll tell you to be carefull when searching this pavillions. They are being used now for another purposed i do not know and my friend and i ended running away when we met a quite unfriendly and big dog...Now i recall it and laugh but,believe me, at the very moment we wouldn´t do it...

Offline Joanna

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2004, 03:08:00 PM »
Does anyone know if the Tsarskoye Selo Pavilion restaurant is part of what was the imperial train station or was the building constructed to recreate the architecture of the imperial pavilion?

Also for Antonio did you see along with the imperial train pavilion itself the sheds for the trains? Apparently the sheds are still extent!

Joanna

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Imperial Train
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2004, 05:59:36 PM »
Hello Joanna
the restaurant is near the pavillion but as far as i know it´s a new construction.
The sheds? Please Joanna give me more details because i do not know what do you mean...