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  Philologica 1 (1994)  

P. A. Viazemskij, Zapisnye knizhki, Sostavlenie, vstupitel’naia stat’ia, kommentarii i imennoj ukazatel’ D. P. Ivinskogo, Moskva, “Russkaia kniga”, 1992, 384 p. (Russkie dnevniki).

by E. V. Permiakov


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Although Viazemskij began to publish his notebooks as early as the 1820s, they are not available, as a complete authoritative printed text, to the present day. The work on the preparation of the notebooks lies ahead, and the reviewed edition in no way brings us nearer to this aim: this publication does not meet the elementary requirements which the general audience (to say nothing of specialists) has the right to make. The book, which is edited by D. P. Ivinskij, republishes extracts from ten notebooks (there are about 40 of them); their genre and structure are distorted and transformed by the editor in conformity with the title of the series (Russian Diaries: thus, in particular, Viazemskij’s travel notes are presented as diary records). An incredible number of misprints, words and whole phrases which are left out, the omission and distortion of the dates, amusing mistranslations, as well as an extremely poor, borrowed historical literary apparatus — all this makes us find Ivinskij’s work unsatisfactory in every respect. There is the need of a new, textually authentic edition: it should preserve the original spelling (on which, incidentally, Viazemskij himself insisted) and present three different versions of the notebooks, each of which is a self-sufficient and independent literary work. Of course, such an edition should be provided with a substantial academic commentary.


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