'A FINE JOB FOR A PHILOSOPHER!' ON ONE JOURNAL ENTRY OF THE STUDENT PUSHKIN

E. Abdullaev
2018 Voprosy Literatury  
The article is devoted to an entry in Pushkin's diary from when he was a student at the Lyceum, on 10 December 1815: he writes that 'in the evening, together with his fellow-students, he was snuffing out the candles and lamps in the auditorium' and calls it 'a fine job for a philosopher'. In calling himself a philosopher, Pushkin evokes the image of Voltaire in Condorcet's Vie de Voltaire, the book he was reading at the time and which interprets a philosopher as another term for educator and
more » ... for educator and enemy of prejudice. 'Snuffing out', by contrast, was associated with a conservative reaction in the minds of liberal writers in the late 18th - early 19th centuries. This analogy is entrenched in the publications about an imaginary Order of the Extinguishers in the French opposition journal Le Nain Jaune (1814-1815). These were in active circulation among members of the Arzamas Society, with which the young Pushkin was also affiliated. Therefore, a philosopher putting out light must have looked comical, which was noted in Pushkin's journal entry.
doi:10.31425/0042-8795-2018-1-40-52 fatcat:diksvdqolnaapfrxitltrfnqre