Russian writer with a passion for duels

  Russian writers used to love duels. In 1837, Pushkin was interrupted in a duel with the Frenchman Dantes and died two days later. Known as the “National Poet”, Lermontov beat up Balant in public because the son of the French envoy to Russia, Balant, was arrested by the military police and sent to serve in the Caucasus Mountains. In 1841, Lermontov was shot and died in a duel with officer Martynov.
  The writers Turgenev and Tolstoy also clashed. In 1861, when the two had breakfast at the poet Fett’s house, Turgenev talked about his daughter’s English teacher teaching her to donate to the poor and sew clothes for the poor. Tolstoy thought this was a phony play. Turgenev shouted: “You are not allowed to talk like that!” Tolstoy objected: “Why don’t you let me tell the truth?” Turgenev jumped up and said sharply: “If you say it again, I will slap you! ”
  Tolstoy is sensitive by nature and has strong self-esteem. After returning home, he sent someone to send a duel letter to Turgenev. Fortunately, due to timely dissuasion by friends, the duel did not happen. Tolstoy is an experienced officer, and Turgenev is a hunting master. If they really shoot at each other, Russian literature will definitely suffer unprecedented catastrophe.
  The poet Yesenin is also a fist-wielding person. Not only did he beat the lyric poet Pribrudny with a beer mug, but he also crushed his wife Duncan, an American dancer, on the ground. Yesenin once met the poet and novelist Pasternak in the editorial office of the magazine “Red Virgin”. Slap each other across the face. The eyewitness and writer Katayev said that the reason why Yesenin beat Pasternak is still unknown, but as far as he knows, Yesenin usually does not need a reason for beating people.
  The poet Mandelstam was also known in Soviet literary circles for his short temper. Once he was short of money and borrowed 50 rubles from the writer Porokin, but he did not pay it back. Seeing this, Borokin went to the door and complained to his wife. Mandelstam happened to come home, and when he heard Porokin’s rude words, he told him to leave. Borokin rushed forward to wrestle with him. Afterwards, Gorky entrusted the writer Tolstoy Jr. to deal with it. Mandelstam scolded Porokin for insulting his wife hoarsely at the coordination meeting, but he didn’t mention anything about borrowing 50 rubles. He also said that if the young Tolstoy did not speak on his side, he would be an accomplice of Porokin. After two months, Mandelstam saw Tolstoy Jr. again, patted him on the face and said, “I have already punished the guy who insulted my wife.” Not long after, Tolstoy Jr. suggested Gorky banned Mandelstam’s work. In 1934, Mandelstam was arrested by the KGB. His wife blamed it on young Tolstoy.
  The poet Mayakovsky also liked to solve problems by force. As early as March 1915, the famous “Cafe for Stray Dogs” in Petrograd was forcibly closed by the city government because Mayakovsky was fighting inside. Later, the poet fell in love with Lilia, the wife of his literary publisher Brick, and beat Lilia, a businessman who wrote love letters and presented flowers to Lilia, on the street. His hands were swollen from beating, and after being detained, he was released through Gorky’s mediation, but Gorky thought he was ashamed and didn’t like to talk to him.
  There are many more stories of tyranny from Russian writers. For example, in the autumn of 1910, the poet and translator Voloshin and the famous Akme poetry standard-bearer Gumilev held a duel in order to compete for the poetess Dmitrievna. Fortunately, no casualties were caused. In November 1913, when the symbolist poet Balmont met with the poetess Akhmatova in the “Stray Dog Cafe”, he almost killed a passerby by beating him. In the 1960s, the Nobel Prize winner for literature, the Soviet poet Brodsky, after playing table tennis in Leningrad had a dispute with the writer Naiman, he held down Naiman’s head and hit the ball until his head was bleeding… …

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