AMENDMENTS TO THE TEXT OF “WORKS AND TRANSLATIONS”
Edited, preparation of the text, introduction and notes by M. V. Akimova
The most complete collection of Pavel Katenin’s works (1965) raised serious doubts about its textual reliability. The editor, G. V. Ermakova-Bitner, published many poems, including the most famous, in accordance with Katenin’s amendments in his copy of Works and Translations. However, it was not Katenin’s authentic marginalia (they were thought to be lost), but the transcription of these corrections made by V. N. Orlov that became the source for the text. Moreover, everyone involved in Ermakova-Bitner’s edition carefully hid any information which would have helped us to locate what had been lost. Thus, in particular, Orlov asserted that the book containing the poet’s autographs was “provided by a man who had no connection with literature. He only gave me permission to copy Katenin’s amendments, and this I did. The book was returned to the owner, and I don’t know anything about its fate thereafter”.
The man who allegedly “had no connection with literature” was S. B. Rudakov. His paper on textual problems in Katenin was read at Pushkin House, and the article was accepted for publication in the Vremennik Pushkinskoj komissii (The Periodical of the Pushkin Commission). However, the article was not published, and Orlov’s inaccurate transcription remained the only evidence for Katenin’s last wish. This is the reason why the 1965 edition abounds in mistakes and lacunae, which were not corrected or filled in until the present publication. It is based on Rudakov’s research paper and Katenin’s autographs, which are now preserved in the Manuscript Department of Pushkin House.