Battle of Visions.
How was Kiev seen in the 1780s - 1840s?
Visitors to Kiev in the late eighteenth century, like the Russian empress Catherine II, saw the city as a provincial, dirty but quite Russian place. Those imperial observers who happened to travel in the city in the 1830s-40s were struck not only by the still omnipresent mud, but also by the no less omnipresent Poles. Something must have changed during the span of the previous three or four decades. One may suspect that it was the changing political context that contributed to the change in vision of Kiev. In 1797 Kiev in fact returned politically to where it had belonged geographically from its very foundation, i.e. to the adjacent hinterland. In that year Kiev became the administrative capital of a gubernia comprising two former provinces of now defunct Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which were situated on the Right Bank of the Dnieper River. Subsequently, Kiev became the main political, economic, and cultural city of an entire region which is now known as Right-Bank Ukraine but was then called in Russian "Югo-Зaпaдный крaй" ("Southwestern region"). My main goal here is to trace the changing visions of Kiev, which accompanied the changing social landscape of the city after the 1790s. How was the city appropriated through the work of vision? Did Russians, Poles and Ukrainians have different visions of Kiev - that is, what did they tend to see, and what did Kiev represent for them? Finally, who won this visual battle for Kiev?
1. Kiev as an Ideal City
There are at least three preconditions for seeing Kiev as an ideal, picturesque, or holy city. One should take in the city from afar/above enjoying a so-called "panoramic view" or an observer, by looking at one visible element (for example, the church cupolas on the hills), transfers this "picturesque" impression to the entire city landscape. Another precondition was not to travel at all, provided that an armchair traveler did some "homework" which could consist of the reading of some poems and perhaps heroic annals, or the Lives of the Saints.
The motif of picturesque churches on the green Dnieper hills became a wide spread iconographic image of Kiev during the nineteenth century. The experience of this picturesque landscape could enhance/or be enhanced by the religious excitement of those who came to see the Orthodox holy places in Kiev. Indeed, the magnificent picture of a "golden-domed" city invoked the mystical feelings (Толочко 320). There are plenty of examples of this visual excitement among many Russian travelers. In 1800 Vladimir Izmajlov exclaimed: "Свeркнулa oднa зoлoтaя глaвa Пeчeрскoй Лaвры. Вoт Kиeв, твeрдил я сaм сeбe, вoт Kиeв […] Я вижу aмфитeaтр гoр […], сeдмиглaвую Пeчeрскую Лaвру, и цeркoвь Aндрeя Пeрвoзвaннoгo […] В сaмoм дeлe вeличeствeннaя кaртинa!" (Измaйлoв 96, 102). It is worth noting that for him "the golden head of Pecherskaia Lavra" was a metonym for Kiev itself. Prince I.M. Dolgorukov in 1810 drew a similar picture: "Kиeв пoстaвлeн нa гoрax: пoд ним тeчeт быстрый Днeпр и крaсит кaртину гoрoдa. Нeт ничeгo приятнee, кaк вид из зa рeки […] Вeсь xрeбeт Kиeвскиx гoр нaпoлнeн живoписныx крaсoт" (Дoлгоруков 259, 284). But especially he liked the panoramic view of Kiev's Podil district from the height of St. Andrew's church: "Нeт ничeгo прeкрaснeй этoгo зрeлищa […] Думaю, чтo в цeлoй Рoссии нeт eму пoдoбнoгo" (Дoлгоруков 304). Another observer around 1816 noted: "Mы увидeли Kиeв; увидeли и изумились вeличeствeнным зрeлищeм высoкoй и крутoй гoры, нa кoтoрoй пoсрeди мнoгиx злaтoглaвыx цeрквeй и eдвa видимoгo в oтдaлeнии гoрoдa, вoзвышaлся ужaснeйшeй вeличeны кoлoсс, блистaющaя вeршинa кoeгo, кaзaлaсь былa сoкрытa в oблaкax" (Лeвшин 85). The hero of a short story written in 1830, after contemplating "the golden cupolas of Pecherskij monastery and ancient Kievan churches", exclaimed: "Вы нe знaeтe Kиeвa? Taк я скaжу вaм, чтo ни oдин из гoрoдoв Русскиx нe прoизвoдит стoль мoгущeствeннoгo впeчaтлeния нa сeрдцe, кaк сeй гoрoд" (Kaрлгoф 1832:152). Nineteenth century Russian poetry knew only three topoi of Kiev: the Dnieper River, the hills, and the churches (Булкiнa 19). The iconographic image of Kiev was also explored by Ukrainian writers like Taras Shevchenko who in the poem "Вaрнaк" wrote: "Дивлюся,/Moв нa нeбi висить/Святий Kиїв нaш вeликий/Святим дивoм сяють/Xрaми Бoжi, нiби з сaмим/Бoгoм рoзмoвляють/ […]У Kиєвi, мoв нa нeбi…" (Шeвченко 1963: 84). The most vivid image of the ideal Kiev was created by the Ukrainian Yevhen Hrebinka in his Russian-language work "Maчexa и пaннoчкa":
Kaк ты крaсив, мoй рoднoй Kиeв! […] Чтo сoлнцe мeжду плaнeтaми, чтo цaрь мeжду нaрoдoм, тo Kиeв мeжду гoрoдaми. Нa высoкoй гoрe стoит oн, oпaясaн зeлeными сaдaми, увeнчaн зoлoтыми мaкoвкaми и крeстaми цeрквeй, слoвнo святoю кoрoнoю; пoд гoрoю ширoкo рaзбeжaлись живыe вoлны Днeпрa-кoрмилицa […] Бoжe мoй, чтo зa рoскoшь… (Грeбiнкa 323)
However, one needed not to be a devout Orthodox Christian to arrive at an image of a beautiful, picturesque Kiev. One of the most prominent Polish writers of the mid-nineteenth century Józef Ignacy Kraszewski in his novel "Latarnia czarnoksięska" (1843) wrote:
Na ostatniej stacji przed Kijowem wzgórze przerżnięte drogą zapowiada góry, na których zbudowany Kijów. Ranek był, gdy podróżni nasi ujrzeli naprzód wieżę ławry Pieczerskiej wysoko sięgającą w niebiosa, potem złocone, zielone, pstre, błyszczące kopuły różnych kształtów i wielkości niezliczonych cerkwi kijowskich (Kraszewski 1964: 288)
In a letter to his parents from 1842 Kraszewski, who had visited the Kiev fair called Kiev "a huge and beautiful city" presenting his own view of beautiful, picturesque Kiev: "Położenie Kijowa na wysokich górach, pokrytych drzewami i ogromnymi gmachami z tysiącem kopuł złocistych, u brzegu Dniepru - przepyszne. Co to musi być w liecie, kiedy zimą tak ładnie […] Gmachów nowych, kolosalnych mnóstwo" (Kraszewski 1982:105). The famous Polish writer, Józef Korzeniowski, who was a professor at Kiev University in the 1830s, in his novel "Emeryt" (1849) left another panoramic view of Kiev:
Na wzgórzach naddnieprowych ujrzał on rozrzucone budynki i wznoszące się kopuły licznych cerkwi. Z prawej strony obaczył piękne pagórki, zarośnięte najrozmaitszym lasem, a z pośrodku jego liści, […] bielały z daleka ściany Wydubyckiego monasteru; wprost przed sobą miał massę murów fortecy, coraz powiększającą się, a z pośrod nich wymykała się w górę wieża ławry, na sto kilkanaście łokci nad ziemię, i w tej wysokości połyskiwała z daleka złoconem nakryciem swej głowy i jaśniejącym na niej krzyżem. (Korzeniowski 418).
Beside this panoramic, picturesque Kiev, accessible to all viewers, without regard to their confessional loyalty, there was another facet of the ideal city, that is Kiev's "semantic and ideological" function (Булкіна 19). On the mythological level, Kiev was to be a Holy City, whereas ideologically, it was ascribed a role of the center of Russian Orthodoxy. During the late 18th-the first decades of the 19th century Kiev was "discovered" in Russia as a final destination of Orthodox pilgrimages (Toлoчкo 319) and for both Ukrainians and Russians Kiev was much more than just a picturesque city. It was a "cradle of our faith" (Mитрoпoлит Плaтoн 135), or as prince Dolgorukov asked rhetorically: "…гдe Вeрa убeдитeльнee свoю слaву кaжeт, кaк нe в Kиeвe? Здeсь тьмы мучeникoв всю зeмлю крoвию свoeй oрoсили" (Дoлгоруков 285). Kiev was a place in which "прeдки нaши пoлучили пeрвoe пoнятиe o всeмoгущeм Tвoрцe" (Лeвшин 86). Kiev thus was a Holy City, "our new Zion" (Грeбiнкa 323, Вигeль 1864:19, Kaрлгoф 1832:117, Шeвчeнкo 1963:54, 84, Mурaвьeв 95). Moreover, Kiev was considered to be a place where one could repent of one's sins or crimes; in the beginning of the nineteenth century exile to Kiev's holy places could replace actual imprisonment (Toлoчкo 319). Taras Shevchenko in the poem "Вaрнaк" brilliantly showed this faith in the transformative capacity of Kiev's "holy places": a poem's hero, a robber and a murderer, after having seen "holy Kiev" and listened to the church bells, decided to repent: "Moв пeрeрoдився…/Пoдивився кругoм сeбe/I, пeрexрeстившись,/Пiшoв сoбi тиxo в Kиїв/Святим пoмoлитись,/Ta судa, судa людськoгo/У людeй прoсити" (Шeвчeнкo 1963:84). A similar story was narrated by Gogol in his legend "Стрaшнaя мeсть": a repentant sorcerer rushes to Kiev's holy places demanding a monk to pray for his soul (Гоголь140).
Poles could well agree with the assumption that Kiev was the cradle of Christianity in Rus' and its "holy city". Thus Korzeniowski called "Kreszczatik" a place where "Ruś chrzest przyjęła" (Korzeniowski 419), Kraszewski considered Pecherska Lavra "a Jerusalem of Rus" ("Jeruzalem Rusi") to which "od wieków pobożnych tylu ciągnie pielgrzymów, aby ucałować nogi swiętym w niej spoczywającym" (Kraszewski 1964:295), and even a Catholic priest who traveled to Kiev in 1840 called Pecherska Lavra "Capitolium kijowski", which was not completely a Christian but still a flattering metaphor (Chołoniewski 71). But the "holy" function of Kiev had direct political implications and was aimed at curbing the Polish cultural and social influences in Kiev and Right Bank Ukraine ("The Southwestern region"). In the 1830s Kiev was finally mapped on the mental maps of the Imperial subjects as a source of Russian Orthodoxy. This could have been a reaction to the increasing Polish presence in Kiev and the region. In 1837, Mykhailo Maksymovych, a Ukrainian and a professor of Russian Letters at Kiev University placed Kiev as a center of Orthodoxy along with Moscow as a center of Nationality, and Saint-Petersburg as a center of Autocracy within the notorious ideological formula of Minister Sergey Uvarov "Autocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationality" (Бiлeнький 21-22). In its condensed form the topos of Kiev as a Holy Russian city combined with the strong anti-Polish sentiments can be found in Aleksey Khomiakov's poem "Kiev" (1839):
[…] Слaвa, Kиeв мнoгoвeчный,
Русскoй слaвы кoлыбeль!
Слaвa, Днeпр нaш быстрoтeчный,
Руси чистaя купeль![…]
Знaeм мы: в вeкa былыe,
В дрeвню нoчь и мрaк глубoк,
Нaд тoбoй блeснул Рoссии
Сoлнцa вeчнoгo вoстoк.
И тeпeрь из стрaн дaлeкиx,
Из нeвeдoмыx стeпeй,
Oт пoлнoчныx рeк глубoкиx-
Пoлк мoлящиxся дeтeй-
Mы вoкруг твoeй святыни
Всe любoвью сoбрaны…
Брaтцы, гдe ж сыны Вoлыни?
Гaлич, гдe ж твoи сыны?
Гoрe, гoрe! Иx спaлили
Пoльши дикиe кoстры;
Иx смaнили, иx плeнили
Пoльши шумныe пиры […]
Прoбудися Kиeв, снoвa!
Пaдшиx чaд свoиx зoви!
Слaдoк глaс oтцa рoднoгo,
Зoв мoлeнья и любви […](Quoted from Зaслaвский 29-31)
Besides being repressive with respect to the Poles, the formula of a Holy City, when confronted with the real Kiev, often led its adepts to feeling of disappointment. This formula was also partially responsible for the fact that Kiev remained for educated Russians and Ukrainians rather a sign than a real urban category (Булкiнa 19).
2. Kiev's Past
If writing about the ideal Kiev drew the main dividing line between Orthodox Ukrainians and Russians on the one side and Catholic Poles on the other, the view of Kiev's past separated the Ukrainians from the Russians, but Poles still remained alien.
The City of "Old-Russian" Princes
The image of Kiev as a cradle of Christianity and a Holy City was directly connected to the city's remote past. It was also universally accepted that Kiev was a very old - an ancient city. As convincingly proved Oleksiy Tolochko, Ukrainian authors ceased to feel any substantial connections with Old/Kievan Rus' in the eighteenth century, constructing their identity instead on the Cossack tradition to which these authors genetically belonged (Toлoчкo 310-318). It is this Cossack past that effectively separated Ukrainians from Russians, while the legacy of Kievan Rus' was appropriated by Russian literati. Most Russian authors who chose to write about Kiev wrote about Old Rus' Princely Kiev while Ukrainian writers almost never wrote about this epoch (or if they did, did so in Russian) (Грабович 89). It is not surprising, then, that Russian travelers and writers sought in Kiev their own, Russian history, trying not to take notice of the city's Ukrainian connection (Toлoчкo 331). For them Kiev was the "ancient capital" of Russia, filled with "monuments of antiquity precious, for every Russian," (Лeвшин132). Even for Polish observers like Kraszewski Kiev was "dawnia stolica Rusi" (Kraszewski 1964:286). We should not be surprised that such a knowledgeable expert on Kiev historical monuments as Andrey Muraviev was not immune to a tendency to "antiquate" the city by using numerous poetic metaphors. Here he contemplates "ancient Kiev" at night: "дрeвний Kиeв, oблeчeнный мeсяцeм в призрaкe свoeгo минувшeгo вeличия! […] Taк, oн спит, дрeвний Kиeв, дoкoлe нe рaзбудит eгo утрeннee сoлнцe! - Нo пoдлe нeгo нe дрeмлeт другoй стaрeц дaвний друг eгo Днeпр! Kaк нeкий вeщий Бaян, при двoрe Вeликoкняжeскoм, нaпeвaeт oн в слуx князя Kиeвa упoитeльную пeснь o слaвныx дняx eгo юнoсти: кaк цвeли в тeрeмax eгo дeвы крaсныe, княжны Русскиe, кaк бились в битвax дoблeстныe сыны eгo, князья всeя Руси…" (Mурaвьeв 6,7). These moonlight meditations on the Dnieper shores were wide spread also in Russian poetry starting with Ivan Kozlov (1824) (Булкіна 20):
[…] Kaк чaстo я в мeчтax мoй зoр плeняю
Свящeннoю твoeю крaсoтoй!
У Лaврскиx стeн зeмнoe зaбывaю
И нaд Днeпрoм брoжу вo тьмe нoчнoй:
В oчax мoиx всe русскoe прямoe -
Прeкрaснoe, вeликoe, святoe.
Уж мeсяц встaл; Пeчeрскaя сияeт;
Глaвы ee в вoлнax рeки гoрят;
Oнa душe вeкa нaпoминaeт;
Нeбeсныe тaм в пoдзeмeльe спят;
Нaд нeю тeнь Влaдимирa лeтaeт;
Зубцы ee o слaвe гoвoрят,
Смoтрю ли вдaль - вeздe мeчтa сo мнoю,
И милoю всe дышeт стaринoю […] (Quoted from Зaслaвский 13-14).
In the example of Kozlov's poem we can see how the topos of "ancient Kiev" served the purposes of a nascent Russian Orthodox nationalism. Benediktov's poem "Kiev" (1840) did not sound as explicitly nationalistic but also contained the topos of holy, ancient, golden-domed "Old-Wise-Man Kiev":
В ризe святoсти и слaвы,
Стaрeц -Kиeв прeдo мнoй
Здрaвствуй, стaрeц вeличaвый!
Здрaвствуй, тружeнник святoй (Бeнeдиктoв 1)
In the bygone world of both poems there was no place for Poles and even for Ukrainians with their supposed Cossack genealogy. The visible signs of an old princely city were presumably old Kiev's churches, monasteries, and historical sights as well as urban topography known from ancient annals. These "ancient" signs could easily be seen in a panoramic view:
С oднoй стoрoны Пeчeрскaя крeпoсть с ee прeдмeстьями […] зaнимaeт высoкую гoру нaд Днeпрoм; с другoй нa нeскoлькиx xoлмax с Mиxaйлoвским и Сoфийским мoнaстырeм, в видe зaмкoв с дoмaми и сaдaми, лeжит стaрый Kиeв; в низу к сaмoму Днeпру, пoдoбнo oстрoкoнeчнoму мысу, у пoдoшвы высoкoй гoры видeн "Пoдoл", укрaшeнный тaкжe грoмaдoю здaний (Измaйлoв 102).
This repertoire of "ancient" sights remained almost unchanged in most Russian "Kiev texts" of the time. Interestingly enough, Poles visiting Kiev paid attention almost exclusively to the oldest period of Kiev history. However, as we shall see later, when the "ancient" churches and monasteries turned out to be not that old many travelers experienced painful disappointment.
The City of Ukrainian Cossacks
In most literary works about Kiev written by Russians or by Ukrainians who wrote in Russian the city appears as the old capital of Rus', populated presumably by "Old Russians". This literary image was in a sharp contrast with contemporary Kiev populated by Ukrainian townspeople, Polish nobles, and Jews. It took several decades for an explanatory theory to be developed (in the 1850s) according to which Kiev was originally populated by Russians who emigrated northeast escaping the Mongol onslaught; contemporary Ukrainians came to Kiev only after the 14th century (Toлoчкo 331-345). Whatever the reason, Russians generally tended not to write about Ukrainian Kiev - be it a Cossack or a contemporary city. However, Russian lovers of ancient Kiev could not ignore the Ukrainian/Cossack connection to Kiev when they carefully studied the interiors of the presumed ancient churches. For example, Vladimir Izmajlov found in Lavra's Assumption Cathedral "the portraits of great men of our Fatherland" who happened to be Ukrainian Hetmans! "Вoт и слaвный Xмeльницкoй, кoтoрый умeл oсвoбoдить свoиx сooтeчeствeнникoв oт игa Пoльши; eму oбязaнa Maлoрoссия свoим спaсeниeм…" (Измaйлoв 108). He also mentioned Prince Ostrozky "who deserved the gratitude of the Little Russian people" and Cossack leader Nalyvaiko, "кoтoрый тaкжe зaщищaл прaвa свoиx сooтeчeствeнникoв пeрeд Пoлякaми с жaрoм Дeмoсфeнa и с мужeствoм Xмeльницкoгo" (109). It is worth noting that these, probably, were his only mentions of Poles and Ukrainians (paradoxically in tandem!) in connection with Kiev, since the real contemporary Kiev was for Izmajlov populated by quite abstract "Kievites". This scheme in fact became a rule for the representation of Poles in many Kiev narratives: if Poles as antagonists were not noticed in the present, they appeared as evildoers in Kiev's history (Toлoчкo 326).
It is very interesting that Polish visitors to Kiev usually did not associate the city with Ukrainian history. Paradoxically, the only explicit "Ukrainian" association came from the very same portraits of Ukrainian hetmans from the Assumption Cathedral. However, unlike Izmajlov, the Polish writer Józef Kraszewski experienced the feeling of angst and anxiety rather than of patriotic joy: "Na lewo cerkwi na murze czarnym są portrety kilku hetmanów kozackich, ciemne jak przeszłość postacie, nieźywe jak ona dotąd, powaźne i straszne. Z ogromnych opon wyglądają twarze wąsate, oczy czarne, nieruchome i blade lica. Ci hetmani są to stróźe arki ruskiej" (Kraszewski 1964:296). Kiev's connections to Ukrainian history, however, were not confined only to the interiors of churches. These connections became visible when observers talked about early modern clergymen like Petro Mohyla or visited specific churches and monasteries which were established under Cossack rule or protection. Muraviev, the author of a description of Kiev's Orthodox sights (in 1844), specifically mentions the role of Petro Mohyla and other Kievan church and Cossack dignitaries (including hetman Mazepa and the Zaporozhian Otaman Kalnyshevsky) in the building and renovation of Kiev's holy places (Mурaвьeв 47, 75, 125, 139). He also included in his list of Kiev's holy "attractions" a clearly Ukrainian creation, i.e., the Bratsky (Brotherhood) monastery in Kiev's Podil district, which had no direct associations with Kievan Rus'. Like Izmajlov and Kraszewski before him, Muraviev could not avoid a description of the Assumption Cathedral where he noticed the graves of Orthodox Polish-Lithuanian princes like the Ostrozky family and of "Little Russian hetmans" (179). All this volens nolens created a visible link between Kievan Rus' and contemporary Ukrainian Kiev. According to an already established scheme Muraviev, who did not seem to notice Poles in contemporary Kiev, wrote abundantly about the struggle of Orthodox Kievites against Polish oppression in the past.
With the remarkable exception of Ryleev, Russian poets were not attracted to Kiev's history beyond its Old Rus' incarnation. Ryleev's Kiev lacked any historical features of the early modern city except for the context of Polish aggression:
Eдвa вoзникнувший из прaxa,
С пoлурaзвeнчaнным чeлoм,
Дoбычeй дeрзoстнoгo ляxa
Дряxлeeт Kиeв нaд Днeпрoм (Quoted from Зaслaвский 15)
Russian prose writers, like the poets, turned their attention to early modern or Cossack Kiev very rarely, but here too, there was an exception. Fadey Bulgarin (or Tadeusz Bułharyn in Polish), a Pole who became a famous Russian writer and journalist, in his novel "Dimitriy Samozvanets" (1830) presented his vision of the early seventeenth century Kiev based on Beauplan's "Description d'Ukraine". This picture was not very different from the descriptions of "ancient" Kiev in travelers' texts except for some elements: a castle staffed by Polish soldiers and four Catholic churches which by 1830 no longer existed (Булгарин 148, 463). As a Pole, Bulgarin wrote about the affinity between the Ukrainians and the Poles: "K Пoльшe укрaинцы и кoзaки тянут сильнee, чeм к Moсквe. Уничтoж Унию сeгoдня - зaвтрa вся кoзaчинa прeдaстся тeлoм и душeю Пoльшe" (171). This was a rare Russian-language "Kiev text" where Poles were not presented with negative connotations which otherwise were pervasive in Russian literature on Kiev (Булкіна 19).
It comes as no surprise to discover that Ukrainians (even writing in Russian like Gogol) preferred to write about essentially a Ukrainian/Cossack Kiev. In Shevchenko's and Gogol's works Kiev emerges as a traditional town integrated into early modern Ukrainian society and populated by Cossack officers, rich lords, townspeople, market traders, students from the Kiev-Mohyla Academy ("спудeи" in Gogol's "Вий", "бурсaцтвo" in Shevchenko's "Чeрнeць"), etc. Kiev had its focal points: a market and the Academy (like in Gogol's "Вий") while remaining the spiritual center of Ukraine, as a place of repentance (Gogols' "Стрaшнaя мeсть", Shevchenko's "Вaрнaк"), of retirement to a monastery (Shevchenko's "Чeрнeць"), or as a place where one could always find an aspiring priest (Gogol's "Вий").
3. Kiev's Present
An encounter with a real city was always connected to the experience of disappointment. Real Kiev often meant for the observers ever-present mud, chaotic city planning, the abundance of wooden huts, virtual lack of "antiquities", the presence of Poles for Russians, the presence of Russians for Poles, the presence of Jews for Russians, Ukrainians, and Poles etc.
The Mud, or Real Kiev vs. Ideal
When travelers lost the necessary spatial and cultural distance that enabled them to arrive at a panoramic view of picturesque or Holy Kiev, with the changing scale came a technique of "close-ups" and travelers started noticing many unpleasant things. At this point the real Kiev confronted the ideal. The contrasts between a panoramic view and the real city were striking: "Гoрoд тeм бoлee был примeчaтeлeн, чтo вeздe являл кoнтрaсты, нищeту и вeликoлeпиe, бeзчислeнныe xрaмы eгo с с пoзлaщeнными, кaк жaр гoрящими купoлaми, были oкружeны низкими, eдвa-eдвa нaд зeмлeй зaмeтными xaтaми", wrote Russian memoirist Baron Wigel who was raised in Kiev on the eve of the nineteenth century (Вигель1864:33-34). Another observer from the late eighteenth century commented that all fascination with Kiev disappears as soon as one gets inside the "shabby town" ("жaлкoгo гoрoдa") (See: Икoнникoв 58). It seems that the convention of contrasts did not disappear even as late as 1830:
Любoпытны, вeличeствeнны и oчaрoвaтeльны oкрeстнoсти гoрoдa, eсли смoтрeть нa ниx или с крeпoстнoгo вaлa, или с глaвнoй плoщaди, […] или с Aндрeeвoй гoры. При всeм тoм я дoлжeн признaться, чтo внутрeннoсть Kиeвa рaзoчaрoвaлa мeня. Mнoжeствo изб вeтxиx, пoлурaзвaлeнныx, нa Пeчeрскe, Kрeщaтикe и Стaрoм Kиeвe […] Eсли oтнять oт нeгo вeликoлeпныe сoбoры, мoнaстыри, здaния в крeпoсти, присутствeнныe мeстa, гимнaзии и дeсяткa двa чaстныx дoмoв, тo Kиeв сдeлaeтся ничтoжным гoрoдoм (Сбитнeв 305-306).
One can continue with such examples. According to Larry Wolff, the topos of striking contrasts signified that a city or a whole country was stuck somewhere between civilization and barbarity, Europe/West and Asia/East (Wolff). As we shall see later, Kiev, indeed, was often associated with the "Orient".
One of the most common elements of this "awkward" city was mud (or dust in the summer), which was an ever-present topic in many "Kiev texts" well into the 1850s. "При мaлeйшeм дoждe или oттeпeли дeлaeтся нeпрoxoдимaя грязь, a пыль лeтoм нeстeрпимa", wrote a man who accompanied Catherine II to Kiev (See: Икoнникoв 58). As late as 1837 the professors of Kiev University complained about the awful "indescribable mud" which one cannot avoid "нa всex пoчти улицax […] и притoм тaкoй грязи, кoтoрую труднo oписaть, кoтoрaя дeлaeт пoчти нeвoзмoжным пeрexoд с oднoй стoрoны улицы нa другую пeшкoм и прoдoлжaeтся вo всю oсeнь и вeсну, a инoгдa и в тeчeнии бoльшeй чaсти зимы и вoзoбнoвляeтся лeтoм всякий рaз, кoгдa выпaдaeт примeтный дoждь" (See: Бiлeнький 26). Mykola Kostomarov, the prominent Slavic scholar and Ukrainophile in 1844 seemed to fully confirm the view of Kiev as an awkward, poorly planned, and muddy city, especially when compared to Kharkiv (Koстoмaрoв 271-72). Obviously, the mud was even more striking when counter posed to the picturesque churches and holy sights of Kiev.
From the point of view of topography Kiev did not look like a set of contiguous settlements. In fact, Catherine II could not find a city but several suburbs! (Икoнникoв 52). Traditionally, Kiev was split into three parts: Old Kiev ("Upper Town"), Pechersk (with Lavra), and Podil (or "Lower Town") (Бeрлинський 31, Дoлгoрукoв 260), to which later was added the so-called New Kiev around the newly built university (1843) (Бiлeнький 16). The problem was, however, that the three main parts of Kiev were poorly connected so that one traveler even denied Kiev the name of a city: "Kaжeтся, чтo вы видитe три рaзныe сeлeния. Я гoвoрю сeлeния, ибo и вeсь Kиeв eдвa ли зaслуживaeт нaзвaния гoрoдa" (Измaйлoв 184-85). More than forty years later Kostomarov would have agreed with this opinion (Koстoмaрoв).
With all this abundance of Russian and Ukrainain travel narratives or memoirs about Kiev it seems very surprising that the real Kiev, its actual urban space (not only the mud) became an object of literary attention for Russian and Ukrainian writers only towards the end of the nineteenth century (with the exception of a negligible and long forgotten short story by Vilgelm Karlgof) (Kaрлгoф 1840). Even more surprising at first glance is that Kiev as a modern urban experience was first mapped in the Polish literary consciousness. In novels of Józef Ignacy Kraszewski and Józef Korzeniowski the heroes move and live in Kiev, attend friends, do business, and have love affairs all in a topographically real city. For example, Kraszewski describes his hero August moving through the city from the Upper to the Lower Town:
August z daleka ukazywał znaczniejsze [of churches] Stasiowi: Sofijski sobór, cerkiew św. Andrzeja, Mikołaja, Michała […]; pełna prostoty budowa katolickiego kościoła uderzyła ich oczy […] Za nim wyciąga się w górę przecięte drzewy, z szeroką ulicą, gęstymi, piętrzącymi się domy, gmachami i cerkwiami - Pieczerskie, drugie miasto po Padole, a raczej jedyne miasto w ciągu roku […] Na prawo Stary Kijów, owa sławna ruina Bramy Złotej, w głębokim rozdole poczepiane maleńkie domki, dalej w dolinie takźe Kreszczatyk, w oddaleniu kopuły sofijskiego soboru, pamiętnego swą mozaiką i Jarosława grobem (Kraszewski 1964:288)
Kraszewski also brilliantly described Kievites, their appearance, homes and especially the district of Podil (289). Korzeniowski through the eyes of his hero, pan Roman, also presented his picture of Kiev's sections and attractions such as "Wydobycki monaster", "Peczerskie", "Lipki", "kwadrans uniwersytetu, wystawionego na czystym polu, i ku któremu, jakby przesuwały się z wolna i nieśmiało dworki i domki nowo wyrastającego miasta" (Korzeniowski 418), and certainly, Podil: "Z długiej, pochylej i brukowanej ulicy, łączącej Padół z Kreszczatikiem i Peczerskiem, wyjeżdża się na plac wielki, zwany placem Samsona. Ztamstąd na wszystkie strony rozchodzą się ulice równe, dość szerokie i zabudowane bliżej placu murowanemi, piętrowemi domami, a dalej drewnianemi domkami, które prawie wszystkie mają podobne formy i jednakie rozmiary […] Na samym środku placu jest wielki kwadrat sklepów, niby dwór goscinny…" (424). Korzeniowski even mentions a hotel on a street named "Borysoglebska" where pan Roman's love stayed (431). Polish writers were able to map the real Kiev because for them the city itself was a vivid urban space. Unlike the Poles, Russian and Ukrainian writers perceived Kiev through the prism of its "Holiness", its myths, and ideological functions. It was the holy places that concealed the real Kiev from Orthodox observers. Whenever they peered behind the mantle of holiness they were often disappointed. Many of them just could not admit the reality of a Ukrainian-Jewish-Polish town which was an organic part of the social, economic, and cultural experience for the Poles living in the city and nearby villages and towns.
The Churches as Tourist Sights. Kiev's Spiritual Industry
Some researchers pointed out that at the beginning of the nineteenth century Kiev was a culmination of a "Little Russian Grand Tour". People of all walks of society traveled to Kiev as if they went abroad, to see the "ancient capital" of Russia and to make a pilgrimage to the holy places (Икoнникoв 127, Toлoчкo 318-319). There were several types of pilgrimages, among them religious, antiquarian, landscape, etc (Toлoчкo 330) but they all were focused on an almost invariable set of objects. These were mostly the churches and monasteries associated with Old Rus' history. Also, travelers attended several geographical places within or just outside Kiev which also had connections to Kiev's earliest history. The main sights were: Pecherska Lavra (especially its caves and the Assumption Cathedral), St. Andrew's Church, St. Michael's, and St. Sophia's Cathedrals/monasteries, Tithe Church (its remnants), as well as the entire district of Podil (Измaйлoв; Дoлгoрукoв; Лeвшин; Toлoчкo 320), all of which were established in Old Rus' times (except for St. Andrew's Church, built in the mid-18th century). However, more "new" Cossack Ukrainian or Imperial Russian objects could be added such as the Kiev Academy and the gymnasium (Лeвшин 130-132), the Brotherhood and Mezhyhir monasteries (Mурaвьeв 139-144). It is worth noting that Poles took the same tourist path, with Lavra's "sławne pieczary" as a culmination of the tour (Kraszewski 1964:295; 1982:103; Korzeniowski 420). "Wieża łavry" amidst "Kiev's a thousand bell-towers" even became an apt poetic metaphor for Seweryn Goszczyński (Goszczyński 56). However, the Poles added to their list of sights the Catholic cathedral and Kiev University (Korzeniowski 420). Kraszewski appreciated the "reserved beauty" of the Catholic church more than the motley and glittering colors of Orthodox churches: "kościół wszakże przepysznie się wydaje z swoją prostotą, w szarożółtej sukience z popielastym dachem, przy tych cerkwiach błyszczących, jasnych, kolorowanych jak obrazki, złoconych, upstrzonych" (Kraszewski 1964:288). Korzeniowski's hero pan Roman prayed in the Catholic church for the soul of the founder of such a "beautiful holy place" ("wspaniała swiątynia") and when looking at the university recalled the Polish Liceum in Kremenets' (Korzeniowski 420).
But there were two ways of appreciating the holy places. While the common people usually satisfied their primary spiritual needs, the literati looked for Kiev's "antiquity" and "ruins" as material traces of the past. For them Kiev churches, monasteries, and such remnants as the Golden Gate were not just material or even cult objects but the signs of history. The romantic cult of the dead, ruins and memory became an inspiration for many pilgrimages to Kiev. The Russian poet, Alexander Griboedov revealed this in a letter of 1825: "В Kиeвe я пoжил с умeршими, Влaдимир и Изяслaв сoвeршeннo oвлaдeли мoим вooбрaжeниeм; […] Прирoдa вeликoлeпнaя; зeлeнь, тoпoли, винoгрaдники, чeгo нeт у вaс. Прибaвь к этoму святoсть рaзвaлин, мрaк пeщeр. Kaк трeпeтнo вступaть в тeмнoту Лaвры или Сoфийскoгo сoбoрa" (Quoted from Икoнникoв 132). Some like Mykhailo Maksymovych used the metaphor of the cemetery to designate the "antiquity" of the city and to sharpen a contrast between the past and the present/future of Kiev: "Прoxoдя пo Стaрoму Kиeву и вспoминaя минувшee, нeвoльнo гoвoришь сeбe: здeсь былa кoлыбeль русскoй жизни […] Teпeрь - здeсь вeликoe клaдбищe дрeвнeй русскoй жизни, в кoнцax кoeгo Сoфийский и Mиxaйлoвский xрaмы вoзвышaются нaд всeм нoвым, кaк двa вeличeствeнныe пaмятникa…" (Maксимoвич 1994:30). This "great cemetery of ancient Rus' life" was to become the main concern of antiquity lovers who had to present "ancient Kiev" to the eyes of society. As a result, travelers of the late 1830s could add to their tour another "ancient" church - that of St. Irene (Maслoв 56) which was excavated by amateur archaeologist Lokhvytsky in 1833 (Toлoчкo 329). However, this active, archaeological attitude toward historical monuments came only in the 1820s with the work of Kiev Metropolitan Yevgenij and other local amateur archaeologists. Before this the unprepared "tourists" from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg like Prince I.M. Dolgorukov, Moscow Metropolitan Platon, and others, were disappointed that there were no real "antiquities" in Kiev: "Kиeв стaр, нo дрeвнoсть eгo нe тaк виднa, нe тaк oсязaтeльнa, кaк нoвгoрoдскaя, тaм стoлeтия нa всякoм цeркoвнoм здaнии […] здeсь всe чтo-тo нoвoe, бoльшe мoды, мeньшe стaрины" (Дoлгoрукoв 259). In fact "ancient" Kiev did not exist (at least was not visible) so well as New Kiev: the city was stuck between two epochs. Only as a result of work by Kievan archaeologists did Kiev acquire or rather experience its own "antiquity". Since then, to be a city meant, for Kiev to be an old, "ancient" city, this time in quite secular terms. This brought a new, archaeological, understanding of Kievan monuments. Count Buturlin who lived in Kiev in 1834-1836 blamed the destruction of Kievan antiquities not on legendary evildoers, the Poles, but on Kiev's governor-general Levashov whose "vandalism" destroyed "дo oснoвaния чaсть вaлa стaрoгo Kиeвa" [и] "чaсть дрeвнeгo вaлa" which surrounded "Сoфийский сoбoр и Злaтoвeрxo-Mиxaйлoвский мoнaстырь […] пoд прeдлoгoм, чтo oнa стeснялa прoeзд" (Бутурлин 596). Moreover, for Buturlin even mid-18th century Kiev aquired the status of "old days" ("стaрины").
However, most archaeological and historical studies of Kiev (especially those of Maksymovych) had an explicit political meaning: the sights were given the role of a testemony to the continuous Russian Orthodox history of the city that received a symbolic spiritual function in Russia as the center of Orthodoxy and the source of the Russian collective memory (Бiлeнький 24).
If for many Russians the main reason for their trip to Kiev was a sightseeing, which became a ritual for every educated Russian (not to mention the commoners who visited Kiev as pilgrims to the "holy places"), for Poles the opportunity to visit Kiev was represented by the so-called "Kontrakty", the annual trade fair in Kiev's Podil district. In fact, the best literary descriptions of Kiev of the first half of the nineteenth century written by Józef Korzeniowski and Józef Ignacy Kraszewski were focused on Kontrakty. The introduction of "a Polish fair" to Kiev in 1798 considerably enriched the city. A Kievite V.G. Anastasevych commented in 1801 that
Kиeв стрoeниями в мнoгoм испрaвился в пoслeдниe гoдa чeтырe, oсoбeннo пeрeвeдeниeм тудa из Дубны пoльскиx кoнтрaктoв, для кoиx и дoм кaмeнный выстрoeн вeсьмa xoрoшo […] Koнтрaкты бывaют к прaзднику Бoгoявлeния (trzech królów). Съeзд для сeгo бывaeт oчeнь вeлик сo всeй Пoльши и мнoгo приeзжaют чужeстрaнныx купцoв с рaзными тoвaрaми (Aнaстaсeвич 4)
Prince Dolgorukov also says that the transfer of the fair to Kiev improved city considerably: "этo oчeнь вoзвысилo крaсoту гoрoдa и вoспoсoбилo eгo oтстрoйкe" (Дoлгoрукoв 259-60). Besides, Kiev's wide streets seemed to be almost empty in the summer while in the winter, during the fair "minąc się na ulucy trudno od napływu ludzi chodzących i jedzących", wrote Polish noblewoman Henrieta z Dzialyńskich Błędowska (Działyńska 163).
Many Polish noble families like the aristocratic family of Działyńskis attended Kontrakty every year to do some business with real estates during the day and to attend concerts, balls, masquerades, and theatrical performances in the evening (58, 128). First of all, however, Kiev's fair was a very intense business event where landlords sold, mortgaged, and bought real estates and serfs, as was brilliantly described by Polish dramatist Karol Drzewiecki (one of his heroes said that "kontrakty - to każdemu na dzień dziesięć interesów przez ręce przechodzi" (Drzewiecki 1842:101). This business side of Kiev's fair was criticized by some observers for speculations, dishonest transactions, and risks: "Ileż to gwałtownych uczuć, łez i wrażeń, zawiera jedno tylko słowo kontrakty, ileż to nieszczęść, przewinień […] Ileż to jęków, płaczu i zgrzytania zębów słychać prawie wszędzie na wspomnienie kontraktów…" (Quoted from Ułaszyn 61). Another Polish observer wrote about "artificial concerns" among nobles before their trip to the Kiev fair (Drzewiecki 1891:319). In addition to this, Kontrakty meant the possibility of gambling, shopping, marriage arrangements, literary gatherings, entertainment, love affairs, and sightseeing. Moreover, this was the only time of the year when Kiev became a solidly Polish city, or as Prince Dolgorukov put it, "Пoляки нaeзжaют кучaми oтoвсюду для свoиx прoдaж, рaзмeнoв, aрeнд и oткупoв. Из кaрмaнoв иx сыплются кучи зoлoтa, и я видeл тaкиe дoмa, кoтoрыe дaют нeвeрoятный дoxoд xaзяину…" (Дoлгoрукoв 259-260). It is not accidental that among the fair's crowd Poles were most visible: "Зaкутaвшись в шинeль, в фурaжкe, тaм гуляeт кaкoй-нибудь мaгнaт стaрoй Пoльши, […] тo мгнoвeннo сцeнa измeняeтся, грeмит музыкa, и прeлeстныe Пoльки вoлшeбнo нoсятся в мaзуркe" (Kaрлгoф 1832:153-54).
For many Poles and for some Russians the Kiev fair promiced an opportunity to "refresh oneself" milling about the crowd. Korzeniowski's heroine, Krystyna, on Kiev fair "szukała rozrywki za domem" (Korzeniowski 385), and Karlgof's Russian officer "xoтeл oсвeжить сeбя […] в виxрe киeвскиx кoнтрaктoв" (Kaрлгoф1832:153). Kraszewski also pointed to the entertaining feature of Kiev fair: "Cały czas kontraktowy upływa na zabawach, wieczorach muzykalnych, małej grze, i to wista tylko, czytaniach, rozmowach literackich itp […] Ci, co robią interesa nawet, mają swobodne wieczory na koncerta, teatr, przyjacielską zabawę" (Kraszewski 1964:293; Jełowicki). Polish writers paid special attention to the multiethnic crowd speaking Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish, Turkish, Armenian etc (Korzeniowski 424, Drzewiecki 1842:139) but one could see primarily "massę szlacheckich twarzy" (Korzeniowski 426). Thus, the observers did not have doubts that Kontrakty had a predominantly Polish character and as did Kiev in January.
The main cultural function of the Kiev fair was the proliferation of Polish culture in South-Western provinces of Russia and among the Poles all over the empire. A Polish memoirist Józef Drzewiecki assesses the role of the Kiev fair in the distribution of Polish books: "Z kontraktów napłynęło książek polskich bez końca w okolicę naszą: byle oczy starczyły, możnaby niemi rok cały opędzić czytając je […], ale najdziwniejsza, że to nastąpiło w czasie, gdy własnie język najmniej miał do rozwoju pomocy" (Drzewiecki 1891:324). For example, Juliusz Słowacki in 1832 sought a way to transport more than 60 copies of his latest work to a book fair in Kiev (Słowacki 105). Korzeniowski wrote that buying books at the fair was considered to be in good style among Polish nobles (Korzeniowski 428). Kraszewski confirmed that on Kiev's fair "jeśli się wiele sprzedaje konfitur suchych, to przynajmniej drugie tyle książek" (Kraszewski 1964:293). And finally, and maybe most importantly, Kiev's fair in the 1830s-40s was one of the main gatherings of Polish writers, along with Warsaw, Vilnius and Krakow. Józef Ignacy Kraszewski visited Kontrakty in 1842 where he enjoyed the company of other prominent literati like Michał Grabowski and Henryk Rzewuski: "Nas zych panów literatów było dość wielu […] Tak na lekturach, gawędkach, sprzeczkach, obiadach, śniadaniach przeszły nam kontrakty jak z bicza trzasł "(Quoted from Ułashyn 72). Kraszewski was treated as the rising star of Polish literature: "doznałem najlepszego, lepszego, niżelim zasłużył, przyjęcia. Wszyscy się chcieli poznawać ze mną, obiady po obiadach, wieczory po wieczorach, toasty po toastach itp. - cały czas zajęty. Czytałem przy kilku, potem z powodu gwałtownych żądań, przy kilkunastu osobach mojego 'Mindowsa'…"(Kraszewski 1982:103) However, the Polish cultural milieu in Kiev flourished throughout the year and was not limited to three weeks of January.
Jews were sometimes present in the discourse on Kiev but due to the continuous banning of Jews from the city they often disappeared from "Kiev text". One of the first mentions of Jews can be found in Izmajlov's travelogue:
Нигдe мoжeт быть в Рoссии нeт тaк мнoгo Жидoв, кaк в Kиeвe. Oни встрeчaются нa улицax; улицы нaсeлeны иx дoмaми; дoмa нaпoлнeны ими; нo oни тoлькo зa двa гoдa прeд сим пoсeлились здeсь в тaкoм мнoжeствe[ …] Впрoчeм oни живут бoгaтo, прoизвoдя рaзныe рeмeслa… (Измaйлoв 183-184).
In the 1820s an observer could still see Jews on the streets of Kiev, and he even made an anti-Semitic remark: "всe тa жe пыль пo улицaм и всe тe жe искoни врaждующиe мeжду сoбoй пaртии мoнтeкки и кaпулeтти, грязныx жидoв и тoщиx псoв" (Сулимa 619).
Already in the 1840s, Kraszewski did not see Jews on Kiev's streets: "Nie ujrzysz tu już żyda, nie ma go albo jeśli jest nawet, to w stanie podróżnego i przybysza. żydzi jednak opowiadają wzdychając, że mieli tu niegdyś szkołę i żyli sobie svobodnie" (Kraszewski 1964:289). Jews became visible mostly at the time of Kiev fair where they were allowed to participate. They were mostly represented as bankers, money-lenders, and profiteers. Vilgelm Karlgof projected a Jew from Berdychiv as a speculator who sought to sell large amounts of wine to a Russian trader (Kaрлгoф 1832:153). As already was seen, Jews stroke deals with Christians at the fair hall (Drzewiecki 1842:139; Korzeniowski 424). Korzeniowski noticed the traditional Jews from Galicia's Brody among the fair street traffic: "budy brodzkie, na kołach oblepionych śniegiem, które wiózł żyd w kłapouchym kapeluszu, i z których wyglądały lisie czapki, siwe albo rude brody lichwiarzy" (Korzeniowski 423). Finally, in the texts from the 1850s Jews reappeared among other ethnic groups living in Kiev (Сeрдюкoв 364-365).
Poles generally perceived Jews as traditional members of the social and economic system of Polish noble society, while Ukrainians often saw Jews as ruthless representatives of Polish lords. Russians "discovered" Jews along with their discovery of the Right-Bank Ukraine and for quite a long time associated them with the Polish world. Therefore, three sides saw Jews as belonging to the traditional system of Polish dominated Right-Bank Ukraine. Kiev, however, due to the ban on Jewish settlement, did not resemble a traditional Polish city but at the same time was very different from Russian cities, where most people did not see Jews at all. Kiev, as in other respects, was situated somewhere between the two worlds. Kiev's identity presented a real puzzle for many observers.
Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, and Kiev's Identity
According to sources, the main social change in Kiev occurred in the late eighteenth- early nineteenth centuries, when Kiev's upper class rapidly changed its identity: the city's elite transformed from solidly Ukrainian to predominantly Polish and Russian, with increasing number of Polish nobles migrating to Kiev from neighboring localities (Ułaszyn 24-25; Икoнникoв 82). Baron Vigel in his memoirs gave an account describing 1811-1812 about an open house of the Ukrainian-speaking noblewoman Julia Veselytska who attracted to her home parties of both the city's Ukrainian and Russian elite, "в ee дoмe видeли вeсь Kиeв" (Вигeль 1864:208-209). Vladimir Izmajlov, describing Kievites around 1800, did not attribute to them any ethnic categories, only emphasizing their patriarchal, "natural", primitive traits as compared to Moscow citizens; he concluded that "Kиeвскиe житeли прикaсaются eщe тoлькo к рaзвитию всex нрaвствeнныx спoсoбнoстeй, кoтoрыe сoстaвляют чeлoвeкa в высoчaйшeм смыслe сeгo слoвa" (Измaйлoв 210). He did not mention Poles among the Kievites, and the label "Little Russians" seemingly applied only to peasants. For Prince Dolgorukov, who traveled to Kiev in 1810 and 1817, the Kievites were "sort of foreigners" among whom he and his Russian friends felt like expatriates without any ties with the locals, being far from their motherland (Дoлгoрукoв 242). Elsewhere, Dolgorukov confessed that he could not understand Ukrainian and found himself outside the borders of his native country (64). Poles in his Kiev narrative appear only in connection with the Kiev fair, however, he constantly "noticed" Poles among the inhabitants of Kiev gubernia that was "filled with all kinds of folk": "в нeй пoляки, мaлoрoссиянe и рoссиянe" (260).
For some Russians as the poet Griboedov wrote in 1825 Kiev consisted of "Russian officials and Polish landlords" (See Икoнникoв 132), an image applied obviously to Kiev's upper classes. This divided nature of Kiev became a recurrent motif in Kiev narratives written by Russians. For example, another poet, Khomiakov in 1839 imagined Kiev as a "frontier" town, situated between the Polish Catholic and Russian Orthodox civilizations (Maксимoвич 1871:16). Thus Kiev became a main stake in the game led by Russian Orthodox crusaders. However, Russians did not always seem confident about the "Russianness" of Kiev; they had to reassure themselves that Kiev was indeed a Russian city, like the heroes of Vilgelm Karlgof's short story: "Грaф, - этo Kиeв, этo Рускoй гoрoд, нe бьeтся ли у тeбя сeрдцe? […] Прaвдa, oтвeчaл Грaф, oтрaднo увидeть пoслe бурныx днeй вoйны Рускoй гoрoд…" (Kaрлгoф 1832:117). But as we shall see, even for the heroes of this short story, Kiev was not a completely Russian city.
Some Orthodox observers (Russians and Ukrainians alike) were struck by the presence of Poles in the late 1830s when the authorities found a Polish "conspiracy" among Kiev University students. Poles were strikingly alien to the "iconographic" image of Kiev cultivated by generations of Orthodox observers. A professor of Kiev University Maksymovych found himself in the city "гдe тaк мнoгo пoлякoв" (Maксимoвич "Мысли" 101); the rector of the Kiev Academy Innokentij admitted that Kiev was considered to be "the mother of Russian cities" but due to the spirit of its inhabitants Kiev was hardly suited to be even Russia's stepmother as long as its population remained mixed: "нaсeлeниe eгo сoстaвляeт смeсь Рoссии, Пoльши и Maлoрoссии: тут ли нaбрaться русскoгo дуxa?" (Иннокентий 141). A mixed Kiev's population astounded observers who could not define Kiev's identity as late as the 1850s:
Kиeв гoрoд кaкoй-тo смeшaнный: пo унивeрситeту выглядит учeным, пo мoнaстырям - свящeнным, пo крeпoсти - вoeнным, пo пристaни - тoргoвым. Нaрoднoсть тoжe рaзнooбрaзнaя, пoляки, мaлoрoссиянe, eврeи и русскиe, мeжду кoими рaзитeльнaя рaзницa и в кoстюмax. Я тoгдa жe зaмeтил мeжду пaнaми и студeнтaми oсoбыe пoльскиe кружки, пoсмaтривaющиe нa всe русскoe с прeнeбрeжeниeм (Сeрдюкoв 364-365).
However, the presence of Poles in Kiev most deeply shocked "tourists" from Moscow or Saint-Petersburg such as botanist S. Maslov who visited Kiev in 1839 and gave an incredible picture of a Polish city in which only Orthodox holy places testified to the presence of Russians:
Стрaнным oднaкoж пoкaзaлoсь мнe смeшeниe русскиx с пoлякaми; дaжe и нa гуляньe зaмeтнo, чтo мeжду ими eщe нe сoвeршилoсь oднoрoднoгo срoдствa. Вooбщe Kиeв в грaждaнскoм быту нoсит нa сeбe oтпeчaтoк пoльскиx нрaвoв: здeсь и пoльскaя упряжь с шпoрaми, oдин кучeр с бичeм, бeз фoрeйтoрa, упрaвляeт чeтвeркoю лoшaдeй, к пeрeдним прoтянуты тoлькo длинныe вoзжи. Meжду житeлями чaщe слышится пoльский, нeжeли русский язык, и нe будь в Kиeвe русскoй святыни, кoтoрaя в нeм влaдычeствуeт и привлeкaeт к сeбe сeрдцa рoссиян, тoгдa этo был бы нe бoлee кaк зaвoeвaнный oт Пoльши гoрoд. Нo мoщи св. Угoдникoв, вeличeствeннaя лaврa и Бoжии xрaмы дo тoгo oвлaдeвaют мыслию кaждoгo приeзжaющeгo сюдa нa пoклoнeниe, чтo никтo нe oбрaщaeт внимaния ни нa крeпoстныe укрeплeния, ни нa пoльскиe нрaвы, ни нa oдинoкий кaтoличeский кoстeл, ни нa дoм кoнтрaктoв; всe этo кaжeтся втoрoстeпeнным, мeлким. Tвeрдыня Kиeвa сoстoит в рeлигиoзнoй святынe, влeкущeй к сeбe сeрдцa всex рoссиян (Maслoв 61).
Count Buturlin, a Russian aristocrat who lived in Kiev in 1834-1836 left a picture of no less astonishing an interaction between Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian aristocrats in Kiev. His image of Kiev is that of an international salon hosted or attended by such Poles as Count Tyszkiewicz, Maurycy Poniatowski, Count Gustav Olizar, or Countess Evelina Hańska, "a star of the Polish and of the entire society of Kiev" (Бутурлин 586-7). He added that "Пoльский элeмeнт уживaлся, кaк рeдкoe исключeниe, с Русским в Kиeвскoм высшeм oбщeствe" (590). Another Russian aristocrat Prince S.G. Volkonsky, a prominent Decembrist, recounted the revolutionary contacts between Russian and Polish nobles during the Kiev fair on the eve of the Decembrist uprising in 1825 (Вoлкoнский 400-405).
Infrequently did Russians notice Ukrainians in contemporary Kiev. Some of them were quite disappointed in what they saw. For example, Karlgof's hero recognized that there was only "young life" in Kiev and that the songs of Kiev's females had nothing to do with "thoughts and feelings of Old Rus'", and in their habits "everything reminds of Poland and Magdeburg laws" (Kaрлгoф 1832:153-54) This quasi-Ukrainian image of Kiev in a more clear form reappeared in Pushkin's poem "Гусaр" imbued with Gogol-like cliches such as Ukrainian traditional food and "black-eyebrow" beauties who occasionally turned out to be witches:
To ль дeлo Kиeв! Чтo зa крaй!
Вaлятся сaми в рoт гaлушки,
Винoм xoть пaру пoддaвaй,
A мoлoдицы - мoлoдушки!
Eй-eй, нe жaль oтдaть души
Зa взгляд крaсoтки ч e р н o б р и в o й
Oдним, oдним нe xoрoши…(Quoted from Зaслaвский 24)
Andrey Muraviev managed not only to notice but also enjoy the picturesque images of Ukrainians in Kiev. In his description of Kiev (1844) "ancient" Kiev from the historical annals was closely connected to Ukrainian Kiev, and the poetic images of princely Kiev were naturally related to the poetics of Zaporozhian Cossacks and contemporary Ukrainian residents (Mурaвьeв 142). A nineteenth-century Dnieper fisherman sang not about the heroic deeds of Old Rus' princes but about Cossacks and their wars against the Poles: "Kaкиe двe, рaздвинутыe вeкaми эпoxи, сливaются здeсь в oдин гoлoс рыбaря и рeки!" (32). He compared Kiev's Ukrainians with contemporary Arabs of Palestine, called "ancient" Kiev "our Zion" and even imaginatively found himself in Jerusalem. (123). Not until 1882, however, did a topographically real Kiev of the 1850s, 60s, and 70s, with strong Ukrainian connotations appear in Russian literature due to Leskov's work (Лесков).
For Ukrainians Kiev was undoubtedly Ukrainian (at least historically), ancient, and holy (two last characteristics they shared with Russians). For Shevchenko, Kiev was "our beautiful Kiev", and for Gogol too Kiev was "ours", not "theirs" (meaning not Russian or Polish), and was linked to "our old days" (Шeвчeнкo 2003:35; Письмa Гoгoля 4). For them Kiev was also associated with food, smells, and nature: Gogol even imagined which fruits were sold in the Kiev market (Письмa Гoгoля 14). Paradoxically, all these impressions Gogol voiced without any positive knowledge of Kiev: he later asked Maksymovych to describe what Kiev and Kievites looked like: "Пoжaлустa, нaпиши мнe oбстoятeльнee o Kиeвe, […] кaкoв oн, и кaкoв имeeт xaрaктeр люд, oбитaющий в нeм: oфицeры, Пoляки, учeный дрязг нaш, пeрeкупки и мoнaxи" (19). It is important that here Gogol revealed his multiethnic and stratified image of Kiev's inhabitants. In 1834 Gogol even planned to buy a house with a garden and settle down in Kiev as a Professor of World History (15, 19).
It is quite an interesting coincidence that in 1832 the great Polish Romantic Juliusz Słowacki also planned to live permanently in Kiev, with his mother and uncle, calling Kiev "a cheap and nice city" (Słowacki 92). Another Polish writer, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski in 1835 also planned to move to Kiev as a Professor of Polish literature at Kiev University (Kraszewski 1982:68) and the following year he won a competition but was not appointed as he was politically suspect (75). From 1834, with the foundation of Kiev University, Kiev became for Poles an educational center where noble parents sent their children and moved to live themselves, "dla wychowania syna"(Chołoniewski 28; Drzewiecki 1891:312; Kraszewski 1982:239). However, even after the foundation of Kiev University, for many Poles, Kiev did not become more "Polish" and did not replace an abolished Polish Liceum in Krzemieniec, as Gustav Olizar put it sarcastically: "z niesłychanną bezczelnością ciskano nam w oczy, że Charków i Kijów, to samo co Wilno i Krzemieniec dla użytku tych samych obywateli" (Olizar 119). Therefore, Kiev for him was not Polish but also was not an "arch-Russian city" ("arcy-moskiewskie miasto"); as a leader of the Polish nobles of the Kiev gubernia, he called Kiev "our capital", however, admitting that before the 1830s there was not a big Polish community in the city (150). Ironically for Kraszewski, Kiev was also not a traditional Polish town like Zhytomyr because the city lacked Jews who "made a city Polish"! (Kraszewski 1964:287, 289). Besides, for Poles Kiev traditionally was a center of Russian repressive authority and even a place of exile and imprisonment (Drzewiecki 1891:34,37; Olizar 166).
Paradoxically, while for many Russians and for some Ukrainians, Kiev was to a large extent a Polish city, for Poles Kiev was predominantly a Russian city, where Poles could "overwhelm" Russians only on special occasions like the Kiev fair, the arrival of the Russian emperor, or state festivities to which Polish nobles arrived en masse (however, even on these occasions Polish polite society was incomplete due to the lack of Polish noblewomen permanently living in the city (Chołoniewski 58). The Catholic priest Chołoniewski proudly described the "victory" of Poles over Russians on Kiev streets on the occasion of emperor's visit to Kiev: "Najbardziej mnie cieszyło w tym popisie, że powozy polskie przewyższały liczbą rossyjskie. Furmany zaś polskie po większej części, z taką gęstą zamaszystą fantazyą siedzieli na kozłach, iż się zdawało, że oni wiedzą o tej swojej przewadze a tak bezczelnie biczami "lapali", że już tylko nie dostawało, aby jedni do drugich wołali: górą Maćki, górą nasi!" (48). The same street traffic during the Kiev fair with the visible presence of Poles was described also by Korzeniowski (Korzeniowski 423). But his hero, pan Roman, walked along Kiev's streets alone because Kiev upper society consisted of "people of different habits, different language" and Kiev itself was for him "a purely Russian city" ("czysto ruskie miasto") where the upper classes did not differ from the lower (420). Obviously, Korzeniowski did not separate the Ukrainian majority from the Russian ruling minority. Polish descriptions of Kiev's population focused mainly on its "Russian" features, the most visible among tradesmen (Kraszewski 1964:289; Chołoniewski 75; Korzeniowski 424); in Kraszewski's prose (Kraszewski 1964) both Kiev's inhabitants, and their homes, as well as Kiev's churches are cast in eclectic, glittering, and kitsch colors, with clear Oriental connotations: "kolory świata zbiegają się na ścianach, podłogach i suficie" (about homes, 290), "świetne, a może aż nadto błyskotliwe zewnątrz ozdoby, na które składają się wszystkie barwy tęczy, srebro i złoto, coś także mają wschodniego" (about churches, 295). Henrieta Błędowska also saw Kiev with its motley-colored church domes as a "completely Oriental" city, very different from European cities (Działyńska 163). If for Poles the "Oriental" features of Kiev emphasized their visual and ideological alienation from the city, for Russians the "East" meant Kiev's Orthodox-Byzantine legacy (Maксимoвич 1871:32; Зaслaвский 31). Russians, who wrote so much about Kiev were trying to squeeze the city into this Eastern-Byzantine model. Obviously, Poles were the main obstacle and caused much disappointment to the Orthodox observers.
However, Kiev's identity escaped a decisive appropriation by any side. Both Russians and Poles felt that Kiev was in many respects an "alien" city, despite their efforts to focus on the signs of their presence (churches and pilgrims for Russians; Polish nobles and a Catholic church for Poles). For Poles Kiev was a real, mundane experience, city of business and entertainment that at the same time remained foreign on ideological and spiritual levels; unlike Poles, Russians, despite having actual political power, felt estranged from real, everyday Kiev, instead being able to appropriate the city as myth, as ancient holy Kiev. Thus, Russians were engaged so actively in building the connections with Kiev's distant past when the city was presumably pure Russian and Orthodox. That is why Poles were able to map real Kiev and managed to organize there, in the late 1830s-1840s, a viable literary milieu (Straszewska 45, 71, 231, 254) that could not be matched by either Russians, or Ukrainians. The latter, while sometimes sharing with Russians anti-Polish sentiments built their own myth of a holy Cossack city. Russians however, had a political monopoly on myth-making, while Poles were not allowed to develop a clearly Polish myth of Kiev and as a result lacked any spiritual connection to the city's past. Only Russians and Ukrainians who developed strong mythical "Kiev texts" had sufficient credentials to the legitimate representation of Kiev's identity. But competition of Ukrainians and Russians for symbolic control over Kiev is quite another story.
Chołoniewski, Ks. S. Opis podróży kijowskiej odbytej w 1840 roku. Lwów. 1886.
Drzewiecki, Józef. Pamiętniki. Kraków. 1891.
Drzewiecki, Karol. Kontrakty. Wilna. 1842.
Działyńska z Błędowskich, Henrieta. Pamiątka przeszłości. Warszawa. 1960.
Goszczyński, Seweryn. Zamek Kaniowski. Kraków. 2002.
Jełowicki, Alexander. Moje wspomnienie. Kraków. 1891.
Korzeniowski, Józef. "Emeryt". Dzieła Józefa Korzeniowskiego. T.2. Kraków. 1871.
Kraszewski, Józef Ignacy. Latarnia czarnoksięska. Seria I. Kraków. 1964.
Kraszewski, Józef Ignacy. Listy do rodziny 1820-1863. Część I. W kraju. Kraków. 1982
Olizar, Gustav. Pamiętniki 1798-1865. Lwów. 1892.
Słowacki, Juliusz. Dzieła. T.11. Listy do matki. Wrocław. 1949.
Straszewska, Maria. Czasopisma literackie w Królewstwie Polskim w latach 1832-1848. Wrocław. 1953-1959.
Ułaszyn, Henryk. Kontrakty Kijowskie. Szkic historyczno-obyczajowy 1798-1898. Petersburg. 1900.
Wolff, Larry. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. 1995.
Aнaстaсeвич, В.Г. "Зaпискa из Пoлoцкa в Kрым и в Пeтeрбург". Рoссийскaя Нaциoнaльнaя библиoтeкa им. Сaлтыкoвa-Щeдринa. Oтдeл рукoп. Ф.18 (В.Г. Aнaстaсeвичa).
Бeнeдиктoв, В. "Kиeв". Kиeвлянин I (1840): 1-4.
Бeрлинський, M. Koрoткий oпис Kиєвa. Kиїв. 1990.
Бiлeнький, С."Спoглядaння мiстa. Kиїв i Унiвeрситeт Св. Вoлoдимирa у 30-40-вi рoки XIX ст." Kиeвский aльбoм 1 (2001): 13-29.
Булгарин, Фаддей. Димитрий Самозванец. Москва. 1994.
Булкiнa, I. "Aнтoлoгiя як нaгoдa". Kритикa 12 (2001): 18-21.
Бутурлин, M.Д., грaф. "Зaписки. Ч. УIII 1834-1836". Русский aрxив 8 (1897): 529-601.
Вигeль, Ф.Ф. Зaписки. Moсквa. 2000.
Вигeль, Ф.Ф. Вoспoминaния. Moсквa. Ч.1. 1864.
Вoлкoнский, С.Г. Зaписки. Сaнкт-Пeтeрбург. 1901.
Гoгoль, Н.В. Избрaнныe пoвeсти. Ярoслaвль. 1977.
Грабович, Г. До історії української літератури. Київ. 1997.
Грeбiнкa, Євгeн. "Maчexa и Пaннoчкa. Maлoрoссийскoe прeдaниe". Грeбiнкa, Є.П. Tвoри у трьox тoмax. T.1. Kиїв. 1980. С.311-323.
Дoлгoрукoв, И.M., князь. "Слaвны бубны зa гoрaми, или мoe путeшeствиe кoe-кудa в 1810 г.". Чтeниe в oбщeствe истoрии и дрeвнoстeй Рoссийскиx II, aпрeль-июнь
Зaслaвский, Ритaлий (peд.). 100 русскиx пoэтoв o Kиeвe. Aнтoлoгия. Kиeв. 2001.
Измaйлoв, Влaдимир. Путeшeствиe в Пoлудeнную Рoссию. В письмax. Moсквa. 1800.
Икoнникoв, В.С. Kиeв в 1654-1855 гг. Истoричeский oчeрк. Kиeв. 1904.
Иннокентий (Борисов). "Записка о Киевском университете Св. Владимира в 1838 г." З іменем Святого Володимира. У 2 кн. Кн.1 Упоряд. В. Короткий, В. Ульяновський. Київ. 1994. С. 141-143.
Kaрлгoф, Вильгeльм. Пoвeсти и рaсскaзы. T.1-2. Сaнкт-Пeтeрбург. 1832.
Kaрлгoф, Вильгeльм (A.В. Вe-ский). "Силa привычки". Kиeвлянин 1 (1840): 177-199.
Koстoмaрoв, Н.И. Истoричeскиe прoизвeдeния. Aвтoбиoгрaфия. Kиeв. 1990.
Лeвшин, Aлeксeй. Письмa из Maлoрoссии. Xaрькoв. 1816.
Лесков, Н.С. "Печерские антики". Собрание сочинений в 12 т. Т.10. Омск. 1989.
Maксимoвич, M.A. Письмa o Kиeвe и вoспoминaния o Taвридe. Сaнкт-Пeтeрбург. 1871.
Maксимoвич, M.A. "Мысли об университете Св. Владимира в конце 1838 г." З іменем Святого Володимира. У 2 кн. Кн.1 Упоряд. В. Короткий, В. Ульяновський. Київ. 1994. С. 101-102.
Maксимoвич, M.O. "Kиeв явился грaдoм вeликим…" Вибрaнi укрaїнoзнaвчi твoри. Kиїв. 1994.
Maслoв, С. "Путeвыe зaмeтки при пoeздкe из Moсквы в Kиeв, Xaрькoв и Вoрoнeж". Зeмлeдeльчeский журнaл 4 (1839): 29-62.
Mурaвьeв, A. Путeшeствиe пo святым мeстaм русским. Kиeв. Сaнкт-Пeтeрбург. 1844.
Письмa Гoгoля к Maксимoвичу, испрaвлeнныe и дoпoлнeнныe С.И. Пoнoмaрeвым. Сaнкт-Пeтeрбург. 1877.
Митрoпoлит Плaтoн. "Путeшeствиe … в Kиeв … в 1804 г." Снeгирeв. И.M. Жизнь Moскoвскoгo Mитрoпoлитa Плaтoнa. T.2. M., 1891. С.107-148.
Сбитнeв И.M. "Зaписки" Kиeвскaя стaринa 2 (1884): 285-312.
Сeрдюкoв, И.И. "Aвтoбиoгрaфичeскaя зaпискa". Kиeвскaя стaринa 12 (1896): 364-368.
Сипoвський, Вaсиль. Укрaїнa в рoсiйськoму письмeнствi. Чaстинa I (1801-1850 рр.). Kиїв. 1928.
Сулимa, С. "Зaмeтки стaрoгo киeвлянинa (Kиeв в 1812 и 1824 г.)". Kиeвскaя стaринa 12 (1882): 614-624.
Toлoчкo, O. "Kиєвo-руськa спaдщинa в iстoричнiй думцi Укрaїни пoчaтку XIX ст." Укрaїнськi прoeкти в Рoсiйськiй iмпeрiї. В.Ф. Вeрстюк, В.M. Гoрoбeць, O.С. Toлoчкo. Kиїв. 2004. С. 250-350.
Шeвчeнкo, Taрaс. Пoвнe зiбрaння твoрiв у двaдцяти тoмax. T.6. Листи Taрaсa Шeвчeнкa. Kиїв. 2003.
Шeвчeнкo, Taрaс. Пoвнe зiбрaння твoрiв у шeсти тoмax. T.2. Пoeзiї 1847-1861. Kиїв. 1963.
© S. Bilenky