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Germany: Pushkin Memorial Day at the Literary and Music Salon in Nuremberg



Germany: Pushkin Memorial Day at the Literary and Music Salon in Nuremberg

184 years ago, on January 29 (February 10, new style), 1837, at 2 hours 45 minutes in the afternoon, the heart of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin stopped. “The sun of our poetry has gone down,” wrote the writer Vladimir Fedorovich Odoevsky in one of the newspapers of that time. This memorable date is a significant event in the history of Russia, in the history of world culture and in the life of every person who loves the poetry and prose of the great Russian poet. Traditionally, these days around the world there are events dedicated to the life and work of Alexander Pushkin.

On February 13, the Russian Center of Nuremberg hosted the next Literary and Musical Salon “What a Lamp of Reason Has Gone! What a heart has stopped beating! ” However, this time the event was held in the format of a video conference. The Russian Center in Nuremberg has continued to work remotely since last autumn. But this does not prevent us from planning and preparing various thematic events for important and memorable dates.

Literary and Musical Salon – a new academic subject appeared in the educational program at the Lyceum of the Russian language and was added to the schedule of the graduating class “The Seagull” This academic year these guys are intensively preparing for the RFL exam. The Literary and Music Salon is run by two teachers – Zinaida Schneider, teacher of Russian language and literature, class curator, and Elena Rybak, music teacher. This integrated form of the lesson allows us to bring together literature, music, painting, as a single system of cognition of the world and thinking, the formation of artistic culture and taste of our students.

The Day of Commemoration of A.S. Pushkin became the theme for the preparation of the next salon. The format in which the salon was held made it possible to include a virtual 3-D excursion to the Mikhailovskoye Museum-Reserve, the family estate of the poet’s family located in the Pskov Region. This cozy village was presented to Pushkin’s great-grandfather Abram Petrovich Hannibal by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1742. From that time on, Pushkin’s ancestors settled there. Pushkin himself first visited there as a young man, years of his exile passed there, but even after his exile, Pushkin repeatedly came to the village of Mikhailovskoye, and it became for him “a haven of tranquility, work and inspiration.” It was here that the central chapters of the novel “Eugene Onegin”, the drama “Boris Godunov”, the poem “Count Nulin”, more than two hundred lyric poems, which are masterpieces of the Russian and world literary heritage, were written.

The performances of all 15 children from the “Seagull” class were held against the background of images of an old estate, a cozy nanny’s house, a wonderful park of the Mikhailovskoye estate, laid out by the poet’s grandfather Hannibal. And the most famous romances to the poems of Pushkin sounded. The romance “I loved you” performed by Dmitry Hvorostovsky sounded especially emotional. The salon was held in one breath, the guys in their small reports drew attention to different aspects in the poet’s biography and the poet’s work. It was interesting to know how Pushkin, with his extraordinary talent, was able to combine folk art, the language of the common people with a poetic word. It was, of course, about Pushkin’s tales. After all, Pushkin heard them from his nanny, a simple peasant woman, Arina Rodionovna. She was illiterate and could not read. But she was distinguished by folk wisdom, well-aimed and sharp expressions. From her words, Pushkin wrote down seven stories from fairy tales. Three of them have come down to us in a wonderful poetic arrangement: these are “The Tale of Tsar Saltan”, “The Tale of the Priest and His Worker Balda” and “The Tale of the Dead Princess”.

And the guys from the “Seagull” class studied the topic of Pushkin’s knowledge of different languages, because the guys themselves, in fact, are bilinguals, and they study other foreign languages ​​even in a German school. And what about Pushkin? Before studying at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, the young poet knew French perfectly. In those days, French was the official language, and it was customary to communicate in it in the so-called “high society”. The lines in French are scattered throughout the novel in the poem “Eugene Onegin”. His friends at the Lyceum called him French. While studying at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, Pushkin learned Latin, the Greek language, which became the basis for his creation of some of the words that are currently used. And in adulthood, the poet was engaged in self-education and learned English in order to read Shakespeare and Byron in the original, German, to read Schiller and Goethe. Many Pushkin scholars say that Pushkin still spoke Italian and Spanish and knew the Old Church Slavonic. So Alexander Sergeevich was a real polyglot and sets an example for the current generation of children and adolescents, how important it is to study and know many languages.

The guys told amazing facts about the mined monument on the grave of Pushkin in the same place near the village of Mikhailovskoye during the Great Patriotic War. In 1944, leaving the Pskov region, the Germans literally filled the Svyatogorsk monastery with explosives, where the grave of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin is located. According to military archives, from July 12 to 22, 1944, more than 14,000 mines, 36 land mines, 3 new “surprise” charges and 2,107 explosive objects were cleared in the Pushkin Reserve from 12 to 22 July 1944. The very monument on Pushkin’s grave was covered with boards – supposedly for preservation; in fact, several anti-tank mines were hidden at its base. And under Pushkin’s grave, the Germans carefully dug and disguised a tunnel about 20 meters long, filling it with land mines and aerial bombs.

To defuse these bombs was ordered by the military from the engineer-sapper of the Riga Red Banner Order of Kutuzov, the reserve brigade of the Supreme High Command. Senior lieutenant from this brigade, Vladimir Kononov, was then only twenty years old, although he had fought since September 1941th year. The demining attempt ended in tragedy – as soon as he removed the cover over the fuses, the mine went off. More than 30 servicemen were injured, and 9 sappers were killed. They were buried in a mass grave near the walls of the Svyatogorsk monastery. This is how, at the cost of the lives of young guys, not only the combat mission was completed, but by their feat they saved for us, descendants, the grave of Pushkin.

Each performance of the children was a stop at the station of the life path of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. And throughout the route, of course, his poems sounded. And as the culmination of all the speeches, the lines from his famous poem sounded:

“I erected a monument to myself not made by hands,
The folk path will not grow to it. “

Even being in the online format, all the presenters and guests of the Literary and Music Salon, which was an open event and all colleagues from the Russian Center of Nuremberg could join it, were able to plunge into the unique world of Pushkin. Hear well-known and little-known facts from the biography of Alexander Sergeevich, once again pay tribute to Pushkin’s greatest contribution to the formation of the modern Russian language. Two centuries have passed, but Pushkin’s creativity and great legacy only flourishes more and more every year. Alexander Sergeevich has firmly and forever entered the world culture, and we are glad that it is within the walls of our center that we regularly turn to Pushkin in the original, in Russian, which is studied by our many young visitors.

Natella Yakimov,

Russian Center in Nuremberg.

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