I. S. SIDOROV
TWO NOTES ON PUSHKIN’S “THE COMMANDER”
1. A comparison of Pushkin’s The Commander (1835) with the “Griboedov” episode from The Journey to Arzrum and the poem The Caucasus demonstrates that the idea, conception and imagery of The Commander are inseparably linked with Pushkin’s impressions of the 1829 journey, the memory of which was reinvoked during his work on The Journey to Arzrum in 1835.
2. The article argues that Pushkin could have found parallels between Kutuzov’s relationship to Barclay-de-Tolly and similar situations, in which General Field Marshal Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich replaced first General Aleksej Petrovich Ermolov and, a few years later, General Field Marshal Ivan Ivanovich Dibich. Moreover, the concluding formulation, to be found in the poem To the Artist (1836): Here is the initiator, Barclay, and here is the completer, Kutuzov, reflected the experience of Pushkin himself, who happened to “silently yield” his ideas to Vladimir Titov, Vladimir Dal’ and Nikolaj Gogol’. En passant, some reasons are advanced in favour of the possibility that the changes, which the poet introduced into The Commander when publishing it in The Contemporary, were made for artistic reasons, rather than from considerations of possible censorship.