S. B. RUDAKOV
NEW WORDINGS OF KATENIN’S POEMS
(The Author’s Copy of the 1833 “Works”)
Edited, preparation of the text and notes by M. V. Akimova
Sergej Borisovich Rudakov (19091944), the author of the research paper on the rhythm and style of The Bronze Horseman (see: Pushkin: Issledovaniia i materialy, Leningrad 1979, vol. IX, 294324), was an intimate acquaintance of Osip Mandel’shtam. In 19351936 they both lived in exile in Voronezh (it is Rudakov to whom we are indebted for several unique copies of Mandel’shtam’s poems and priceless biographical facts contained in Rudakov’s letters to his wife). Both before and after exile Rudakov worked in close collaboration with Jurij Tynianov. The latter considered him “a gifted scholar and textual critic”, who displayed not only “exceptional accuracy, skill and expertise in textual criticism, but also a genuine feeling for the material concerned”.
According to the oral testimony of Emma Gerchtejn, the copy of Katenin’s Works containing the author’s amendments was acquired by Rudakov as a bibliophile. This was no later than 1937: in any event, the first variant of Rudakov’s paper, in which he described the recently discovered source, is dated 14 September 1937. On 26 April 1940 he reported the results to the Pushkin Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The article which expounded the principal propositions of the report should have appeared in the seventh (unpublished) volume of the Vremennik Pushkinskoj komissii (The Periodical of the Pushkin Commission). The value of this research lies not only in its material: the author also attempted a reconstruction of Katenin’s artistic logic during the poet’s work on the text. We hope that the publication of this investigation, albeit sixty years after it was made, will, if only in part, do justice to the prematurely deceased scholar.
Appendix: Iurij Tynianov’s letter to Rudakov (1941).