The last duel Pushkin: what were the questions

History 04/03/20 the Last duel Pushkin: what were the questions

Historians and scholars researching the details of the duel with Georges Dantes and Alexander Pushkin, several find at least weird things that are contrary to the dueling code, and quite possibly led to such a tragic ending.

Could the Pushkin to escape this duel

Famous writer, scholar, candidate of philological Sciences Vladimir Orlov, who studied the letters of Alexander Pushkin during the conflict of the poet Louis Baron Gekkern and his “adopted son” with Georges d’anthes, comes to the conclusion that other way but to resolve the tense situation with the duel Pushkin was not. Moreover, according to the Russian poet, historian of literature and of the scholar Vladislav Khodasevich, a poet in his lifetime was at least 20 duels (4 held), in most of which the initiator was Alexander Pushkin. More than a dozen duels ended with reconciliation of the parties.
Vladimir Orlov believes that Pushkin, offended by the behavior Dantes in relation to the poet’s wife, Natalya, had evidence that allowed him over time to expose the dirty intentions and gossip Gekkern-Dantes, so those strongly provoked “slave of honor” in a duel.

How was training for the fight

the Poet Vasily Zhukovsky, friend of Alexander Pushkin, as is known, acting as a mediator between the poet and Baron Gekkern (but remaining on the side of Natalia Pushkina), in his memoirs wrote that he tried not to bring the case before the duel, Pushkin was asked to withdraw, but he was not going to do that. Later Zhukovsky said the eldest son of the poet Alexander of the disgrace of the shooter Dantes, on compliance with the rules of the duel on 27 January 1837 on the Black river (suburb of St. Petersburg).
2 days before the duel, Alexander Pushkin sent a letter to Baron Gekkern demanding to leave Natalia Cannonwell alone. Gekkern in response immediately caused the poet to a duel. Moreover, according to the scholar of Vladimir Orlov, a pair Gekkern-Dantes has done everything possible to Dantes to a duel was as safe as possible.

first, prepare the duel took place hastily, and the man selected to Pushkin as the second, Lyceum friend of the poet Konstantin Danzas, was ignorant in the duel rules. It was an important circumstance, because the seconds on both sides had to follow the strict observance of the rules of the game. Secondly, it is known that the conditions of the duel, according to Georges Dantes, supposedly fixed by the parties in writing and subsequently by a military court, held in February of the same year, was not provided. They were published much later, and they followed that Gekkern insisted on 10 walking distance stressiga and on the resumption of the duel in case of failures on the part of both duelists. Thirdly, the pistols for the duel chosen by each party independently, that sickened the dueling code – the seconds had to make sure that the weapons are exactly the same and regularly.
Scholars believe that all of these items subsequently were not considered by the investigators and court and accused Gekkern and Dantes, because the Russian Emperor Nicholas I wanted to hush up this affair.

the Gun Dantes was prepared?

Historians tend to believe that Gekkern and Dantes hypothetically could prepare the dueling pistols and shoot them before the fight (which was strictly forbidden by the dueling code). Pushkin got his weapon directly before the duel, right from the store. To create equal conditions for dueling pistols were played directly on the site of the duel – originally they didn’t know which weapon will shoot. In the case of duel on the Black river that was not done. Moreover, according to the memoirs of Konstantin Danzas, everything happened in a hurry, Pushkin was hurried by his second, wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. Poet salesnot looked at the conditions of the duel, although Danzas had to insist on this.
it is Known that d’anthes fired first, and to aim he also started early Pushkin, even when the duelists began to converge, and shot at the ninth meter, not moving to the barrier one step – as soon as Pushkin raised his gun. Shompolnye dueling pistols of that time had a rather low precision – shooter was supposed to aim with a given degree of offset of the sight to be in the area of vital organs of the opponent. Pushkin Vladimir Orlov points out a detail – Dantes, being an excellent marksman, aiming at a leg (Pushkin, as is known, was fatally wounded in the stomach). This fact indicates that the dueling pistols still Dantes could previously to zero.

Indirectly, this fact confirms the nephew of Alexander Pushkin by Leonid pavlishchev, who remembered the conversation with the son of Denis Davydov, Vadim – that in 1880, aged Georges d’anthes was allegedly told about the downed sight of his dueling pistols in the killer Pushkin followed that Dantes knew that, aiming at the leg, you fall above.
in addition, Vladimir Orlov is convinced that Konstantin Danzas shouldn’t have let another two points in a duel – to let Georges d’anthes to change position (he was in front of Pushkin’s response with a shot turned sideways and closed the gun) and give the wounded poet, the second gun – it was enough to reload already fired.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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