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Topics - Nathalie

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Imperial Russian History / Religious sects at the turn of the century
« on: April 28, 2011, 01:04:07 AM »
I read a lot about the enthusiasm of the nobility and intelligentsia in Russia at the turn of the century towards different sects and religious offshoots - the best example (and the most well-known) is definitely Rasputin, but looks like to me, that such -hand in hand with that "Titanic-like" decadence of the higher classes- was indeed a "fashion" - so as the interest in various sects. Some converted to R.Catholicism,but some turned towards more "Russian spirited" groups, such as hlists, etc....(even the bolshevik Bonch Bruevich mentions it).

I wonder if the Old Beilevers ("Raskolniks"*) came into the picture of such (re)searchers, and overall I am interested in their position; in some books I even read that some suspected Rasputin as being "one of them" or at least associated closely with them. (Ok, maybe I should have opened this in the Rasputin-thread...?)
I know, that until 1905, Old Believers were not fully emancipated, but had they any role between 1905 and 1917/18 in Russian society? I know, that the Empress Alexandra was also interested in what she called "native Russian beliefs" (of course within orthodoxy)...did she ever come across them...?

*It might be an offensive name, if so I apologise...

Imperial Russian History / Konstantin Pobedonostsev
« on: April 25, 2011, 05:28:31 AM »
I wonder about his role in the politics of Alexander III. and Nicholas II.
I know, that he had an important role during Alexander III. and I also read, that during the first years of his reign,  Pobedonostsev was highly appreciated by the Dowager Empress and he could keep his influence on the young Tsar but later on was dismissed.

Overall, how would you consider his influence on this era? I found somewhere, that for example Tolstoy formed Anna Karenina's narrow-minded, hypocrite husband after P. but also read that as for Dostoevski, he quite liked Pobedonostsev (not sure though...even forgot where did I read that).

Can we possibly say, that in this era, there was a "slavophile renaissance" and P. was it's flag-bearer?
Was he dismissed at the end or retired?

For further reading:

Imperial Russian History / "Silver Era" of Russia and the IF
« on: April 23, 2011, 03:51:31 AM »
(I hope I am not repeating a topic, if so then my apologies)

I've asked already about tsarina Alexandra's favouritue writer (as I read that she was an ardent reader) and frankly I've never heard about that author's name.

Overall, it sounds sad, that in the middle of the so-called "Silver Era" of the Russian literature I get the impression that the works of those contemporary poets and authors (such as Blok, Akhmatova, Beliy, etc) were not really preferred by the IF.
I wonder why...I read that the tsar liked Gogol, and his wife found enjoyment in the works of such poets as Fet or Maykov - so I beleive they had a good taste.
I get the impression that the imperial couple were..hmm...too "sheltered" from their contemporaries. Does anybody know, if Nicholas or Alexandra even heard/cared about what's going on in such circles?
I read in one of Alexandra's letters to the tsar during WWI. her complaint that nowadays (that is in their days:)) no real writer emerges, everybody is fake  and untalented or something like that - honestly this strucks me as she was living in a great era, when Russia was "literally" full with talents!

Then of course, I guess they would have judged them as too "mondain" and decadent...:(

Imperial Russian History / Pre revolution spoken Russian
« on: April 22, 2011, 04:37:32 AM »
I have heard, that the spoken Russian before the revolution was a little bit different, than the Russian which is used now - Well I don't mean the grammar (though Im not sure, maybe grammar too), but the accent...
I also read even here somewhere, that it was like "silver troika bells across fresh fallen snow".
Is it correct?
Can a language/accent change within such a -relatively- short time?

Alexandra Feodorovna / Favourite books?
« on: April 22, 2011, 03:21:09 AM »
I wonder what books did Alexandra Feodorovna like to read? Who were her favouritue authors? (I read somewhere that she liked Maykov's and Fet's poetry)
I know that she was impressed by religious tracts but what kind of "secular" literature she preferred?

Thank you in advance for replies-)

Nicholas II / Tunguska - reaction of the Tzar?
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:52:50 AM »

I am curious, were there any notice or comment in Saint Petersburg / Tsarskoye Selo, about the famous Tunguska-event in 1908?

(more here:

I am a big fan of Russian literature-I have just finished some short stories of Ehrenburg (after having read his main novels of course) and also, last night I re-read some chapters from Blok's memoires on the Revolution. Also, let's not forget the referring parts of Doctor Zhivago and other books...It would be interesting to discuss, if any of you have a favouritue book,d escription, poem on this part of the Russian history...I am far from being a communist, but for example I really like the poem of Blok, "Twelve" (dunno the correct English translation)...Sholohov, etc...
What do you think?

Nicholas II / Prayer to the Tsar
« on: June 08, 2006, 05:45:11 PM »
I have found via net a prayer (?) to the last Tsar...since he is a is he became like any other holy man in the Greek-Orthodox Church?...
here it is..

Kontakion 1
O passion bearer chosen from birth and incarnation of the love of Christ, * we sing thee praises as one who did love all the fatherland. * As thou hast boldness before the Lord, * enlighten our darkened minds and hearts that we may cry to thee: *
Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.
Ikos 1
The Creator of angels did send thee to the Russian land as an angel of meekness and instructor to thy people, as He did choose thee after the example of His Only Begotten Son to be a sacrifice of redemption for the sins of the people.  And we, marveling at the Providence of the Almighty towards thee, cry out with contrition:
    Rejoice, O likeness of Christ.
    Rejoice, sacrifice of whole burnt offering.
    Rejoice, adornment of the Tsar's of Russia.
    Rejoice, thou who gavest an example of meekness and forgiveness to all.
    Rejoice, true hope of the offended.
    Rejoice, unshakable foundation of faith.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 2
    The All good Mother of God, seeing her chosen place, the Russian land, defiled by the abomination of corruption, chose thee from thy birth as a most pure one who would be for the cleansing of Russia, that all might as a funeral lamentation make a hymn to thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 2
    The pre eternal Mind did fore know thy salvation and thy life, prefigured by Job the Much Suffering, joining thy birth and the memory of the righteous one.  And we, recalling our sins and lawless deeds, with trembling of heart and contrition of soul cry out to thee thus:
    Rejoice, thou who didst endure abuse and trials from thine own people.
    Rejoice, thou who didst preserve the Faith to the end.
    Rejoice, example of meekness.
    Rejoice, guardian of the worship of God.
    Rejoice, rule of humility.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 3
    The power of the Most High did overshadow thee, O God crowned Nicholas, who didst fight back to enlighten the West in its false wisdom, that the world might cry out to God: Alleluia.
Ikos 3
    Having fervor for the enlightenment of those gone astray, thou, O right believing Tsar, was zealous for the erection of churches, the glorification of the relics of the Saints who pleased God, the planting of Christian enlightenment, and the protection of the unfortunate against violence, and so the Christian world cried out to thee thus:
    Rejoice, namesake of St. Nicholas upon the earth.
    Rejoice, fellow intercessor with St. Seraphim in Heaven.
    Rejoice, planter of Orthodoxy.
    Rejoice, bearer of the Light of Christ.
    Rejoice, teacher of Christian patience.
    Rejoice, intercessor for Orthodox Christians.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 4
    Thou didst not fear the storm of folly and abuse, O Passion bearer Nicholas, when thou didst renounce agreement with the enemies for the destruction of the fatherland; and thou didst endure censure, imprisonment, and death, crying to the Almighty: Alleluia.
Ikos 4
    Hearing of the tumults of the Russian land and beholding the destruction of Christians, thou didst unceasingly pray, that the alleged Mother of God save Orthodox Russia.  Wherefore, we cry out to thee:
    Rejoice, fragrant incense of prayer.
    Rejoice, inextinguishable lamp of faith.
    Rejoice, admonisher of the violent by the meekness.
    Rejoice, consoled of the disconsolate amid sorrows.
    Rejoice, lover of heavenly things.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 5
    Thou hast been revealed as a God-guided star for Russians in the diaspora, O Tsar Nicholas; for, gathering them together in thy name, thou dost show the path to the rebirth of the Russian land, that we may hear angels crying out: Alleluia!
Ikos 5
    Seeing that thy meekness and humility accomplished nothing, thou didst place all thy hope in the Most Pure Mother of God and give thyself entirely into the hands of the Almighty, that even the senseless might be instructed to sing to thee:
    Rejoice, vanquisher of pride,
    Rejoice, invincible rampart of the infirm.
    Rejoice, enlightenment of the proud.
    Rejoice, overflowing love for thy people.
    Rejoice, fervent sacrifice for the Russian land.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-crowned Tsar and great passion- bearer.

Kontakion 6
    The ends of the world preach thy glory, and thy word hath gone forth into all the earth; for there is no sacrifice thou wouldst not have offered for the good of the Russian land, thereby teaching thy people to sing in thanksgiving to God: Alleluia.

Ikos 6
Thou didst shine forth greater than the sun for the Russian land, O Tsar Nicholas, revealing thine intercession for the Orthodox people even unto death, that all might be converted to Christ and hasten to thee. Therefore we hymn thee thus:
    Rejoice, O light that hath come out of the East.
    Rejoice, example to Orthodox kings.
    Rejoice, unquenchable shining of righteousness.
    Rejoice, unsetting luminary of meekness.
    Rejoice, fatherly exhortation to sinners.
    Rejoice, fervent glorification of the righteous.

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