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The Red Wheel


3DOP

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In the fine tradition of Russian historical novels, Alexander Solzhenitsyn places in the mind of the assassin of Pyotr Stolypin, these thoughts after seeing an opportunity to slay not merely the Prime Minister, but the Tsar himself, according to my English translation:

If the Tsar was done away with anywhere else, it might not be too bad. But if it was done in Kiev, and by him, it would mean a terrible pogrom. The mindless mob would rise up in a rage. The Jews of Kiev were his own flesh and blood. The thing Bogrov would most want to prevent on this earth...Kiev must never become the scene of mass outrages against the Jews, this or any other September.

 

He heard the still, sure voice from three thousand years back.

 

He smothered his excitement-this was not his quarry...

 

---The Red Wheel, Vol. 1, August 1914, ch. 64, p. 516, by A. Solzhenitsyn, Noonday Press, translated by H.T. Willets, (1989)

 

It is my understanding that this event (or "knot") as it was designated by the author, took place in 1911, and was added to his representation of the key events leading to the Russian Revolution which were featured in this volume which mostly chronicles the debacle of a hasty attack on Germany by Tsar Nicholas in August of 1914.

 

Anyway my question for anyone, (but I can't but think of volgadon as being knowledgable regarding things Russian as well as Jewish), is about what event took place around three thousand years before 1911 that would have made Bogrov refrain from killing the Tsar. That takes us back to before the times of King David. Might it simply be a mistranslation? Even so, two thousand years and the time of Christ wouldn't seem to me to offer Bogrov any particular lessons either for why he should prefer to kill Stolypin instead of Tsar Nicholas. Whose is the "still, sure voice" to whom the author is referring?

Edited by 3DOP
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In the fine tradition of Russian historical novels, Alexander Solzhenitsyn places in the mind of the assassin of Pyotr Stolypin, these thoughts after seeing an opportunity to slay not merely the Prime Minister, but the Tsar himself, according to my English translation:

---The Red Wheel, Vol. 1, August 1914, ch. 64, p. 516, by A. Solzhenitsyn, Noonday Press, translated by H.T. Willets, (1989)

 

It is my understanding that this event (or "knot") as it was designated by the author, took place in 1911, and was added to his representation of the key events leading to the Russian Revolution which were featured in this volume which mostly chronicles the debacle of a hasty attack on Germany by Tsar Nicholas in August of 1914.

 

Anyway my question for anyone, (but I can't but think of volgadon as being knowledgable regarding things Russian as well as Jewish), is about what event took place around three thousand years before 1911 that would have made Bogrov refrain from killing the Tsar. That takes us back to before the times of King David. Might it simply be a mistranslation? Even so, two thousand years and the time of Christ wouldn't seem to me to offer Bogrov any particular lessons either for why he should prefer to kill Stolypin instead of Tsar Nicholas. Whose is the "still, sure voice" to whom the author is referring?

I'm not sure, but he may have had in mind merely an approximation, thus leading us back to Elijah on Mt Horeb receiving notice of the Presence from the "still small voice" (I don't know the Russian translation) of I Kings 19:12, which in Hebrew is qol demama daqqa, which the New Jerusalem Bible has as "light murmuring sound," which is followed by the sure voice of YHWH in verses 14-18.  Being a very devout Christian, the writer may have inserted his own pious interpretation here.

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I'm not sure, but he may have had in mind merely an approximation, thus leading us back to Elijah on Mt Horeb receiving notice of the Presence from the "still small voice" (I don't know the Russian translation) of I Kings 19:12, which in Hebrew is qol demama daqqa, which the New Jerusalem Bible has as "light murmuring sound," which is followed by the sure voice of YHWH in verses 14-18.  Being a very devout Christian, the writer may have inserted his own pious interpretation here.

Robert, thanks.

 

That seems very probable. While not thinking he is doing the work of God, Bogrov, according to the author's description, thinks he has been led forward in this sad adventure by an instinct that has proven very fortunate so far in the story. I was looking for an event not this analogy. I think you are right, Bogrov is thinking of himself as though he were like a modern day Elijah, being led quietly by uncanny inspirations that seem to come from elsewhere. Much appreciated.

 

Rory

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