Kuprin: the writer who dreamed of becoming ... thief?



  Kuprin: the writer who dreamed of becoming ... thief? What smells like a woman?
"The most sensitive nose of Russia. So Fyodor Chaliapin introduced once the guests of his friend - the writer Kuprin. Some French perfumer, who was present that evening, suddenly decided to organize newly arrived guest real examination. He suggested Kuprin determine the composition of spirits - the latest development of his firm. The Frenchman is clearly intended to bring down a peg or self-confident Russian: such a task and not every professional under force. When examinees are slowly but surely have listed all the major flavors of perfume, the Frenchman grabbed his head: "I do not understand! How?! How can it be that you, a man with such a rare talent, one can say with this dog's nose - and suddenly a writer? "

Contemporaries joked that Kuprin was something "from the big beast. Mamin-Siberian recalled: "Kuprin had a few strange habit - this way, a dog, sniffing people. Many people, especially ladies, strongly resented .... However, one of the ladies - writer N. Teffi - truly admired his gift: "You notice how he always sniffs the people! Pull his nose, and an end - knows what a man! ".

As part of the smells in Kuprin was the only rival - Ivan Bunin. And when they converge together, between them, started a contest: who will determine more precisely than the smell, for example, ring or the nearest pub. Once in a great writer of the company went dispute about what smells like a woman. "Women smell like ice-cream", - said Chekhov. "And I think - linden flowers, slightly podvyavshimi" - his voice Bunin. Kuprin, paused for a moment, said: "In my opinion, young girls smell like watermelon, and fresh milk. And the old lady, here in the south - the bitter wormwood, chamomile, cornflowers and dry - incense. Chekhov, in recognition of the victory, shook his hand Kuprin ...

  "I would like to become a woman and experience childbirth ..."
Before becoming a writer, Kuprin good time to change a couple of dozen professions. I have visited and boxer, and circus wrestler, and a surveyor and teacher, actor and advertising agent, and a fisherman, and balloonist, and organ-grinders, and the seller "puderklozeta engineer Timahovicha" ... It was not important how much pay, it was interesting to try themselves in new roles.

Burning interest in life threw him into the thick of things or phenomena being studied. He "would not tolerate any poluznaystva, no diletantschiny and would feel deeply unhappy, if suddenly discovered that he does not know some home to make the life of, say, the divers or the Don Cossacks' - remember him Chukovsky. Once in the Odessa newspaper reporter Leon Tretsek introduced him to the head of one of the firemen. Kuprin immediately took advantage of this familiarity, and when in the city center on fire in the night apartment house, Kuprin in brass helmets rushed there with a detachment of firemen and has worked in the flame and smoke up in the morning.
"I would like a few days to become a horse, plant or fish or be a woman and experience childbirth". Only such a passion for life would make him try himself as a thief, bacon, a medic at the morgue, and even ... a thief. Once, after a long conversation with a casual restaurant companion, caught up in some well-known thief, he suddenly wanted to experience how it feels to a professional robber, who had perched himself at night in someone else's apartment. "I chose a place and time, selected items, put them in a suitcase, but not enough to make their determination." One shudders to think, how we could bring Kuprina such "experiments", if he had not become a writer!

  In one story - two days in the cooler
Writer Alexander began by accident. The first story he wrote while still a cadet. "Russian satirical piece" suddenly decided to print sent by an unknown author, signed by "Al. K-Reen "rather weak story" The Last Debut ". The same day, someone reported to the authorities that one of the students' squeezed some nonsense in gazetishku. The administration has made the investigation and contemptible scribbler, mingled in the glorious ranks of the future heroes of the fatherland, was discovered and brought to justice.
The penalty turned out to be surprisingly easy: just something two days in the cooler! Others for a similar offense in disgrace expelled from school. True, it was only in the event that a cadet stained the honor of the uniform composition of poetry. In the case of Kuprin had one redeeming feature: he wrote the prose ...
Then, sitting in the cooler, Kuprin promised myself not to touch the pen and paper. And his promise, he probably would have kept. If it were not met Ivan Bunin.
With his light hand Kuprin, while very poor and even starvation, wrote at the request of a short story, and ... immediately received a decent fee for those days. On who immediately bought himself a "normal" food (wine, cheese, sausage and eggs ...) as well as new shoes (for those that he went, according to Bunin, they were ashamed to swat a cockroach).

  What writer pillow?
"The Accidental" writer, Kuprin and wrote his works on occasion. His first wife, Maria Karlovna Davydova, wanted to make of it, if not great, at least fashion writer. Every morning after breakfast Kuprin, at the request of his wife, went to his attic, where he is a study, and worked until lunch. However, the effectiveness of this work somehow equal to zero: a few weeks he had not written a single line. At the same time on all charges of laziness, he always found good excuses: "a headache ..." "... her stomach," before you write, think a hundred times better ... "etc.
One fine morning, just after tea, Alexander told his wife: "I would have something edanul, Masha. Well a little pit-stop before work. " And with a big appetite ate scrambled eggs and cold meat. After breakfast, he rose from the table and somehow unusual side began to come out of the room. Observation wife noticed that the front blouse it strange bulging. She walked over and pulled down her shirt. And suddenly there fell out ... a small pillow. "What is it?" - Strictly Maria asked Karlovna. Kuprin embarrassed: "You see, Masha ... on a stool to sit too hard ... so I'm taking a pillow." - "But I'll see now, how are you gave my office!" - "No, why? Better not go, Maria! ". But Maria Karlovna was already on the stairs ...

Of course, any stool in the attic was not: near the wall were piled the hay, covered with a sort of blanket.
- That's cabinet! - Strict wife screamed.
- Well, - stammered apologetically Kuprin, - I lie, pondering the subject, and then quietly fell asleep ...
- Well, - cut Maria Karlovna. - From breakfast will now be eliminated!

  Love's wife must ... earn!
Kuprin was a lazy writer. What is only doing his ambitious wife, to reeducate their muzhenka: and scolded, and dinners robbed, and even denied that the marriage is intimacy. To the point where she presented him with an ultimatum: he removes his bachelor's room and will work to "fight". And she will visit him. Sometimes. And he can come home, but under one condition: that his house be allowed only if it produces the next chapter of the story ...

Now back home "visiting" Kuprin came to rest only when he had written a new chapter, or at least part of it. Once he brought Mary Karlovna some old pages. In the morning she said to him:
- So you deceive me no longer be! - And ordered to strengthen the door chain. Kuprin had before getting into the apartment, slips into the slot manuscript and wait for it to pass censorship Mary Karlovna. If this was a new excerpt from the "Duel", the door opened.

Kuprin suffered in silence. Pathologically ambitious, he felt humiliated twice, work too much for her. A visit to the family he wanted, and he came again to the old pages, hoping that Maria Karlovna they forgot. He pushed the sheets in the black slot, and sat on the stairs, cursing himself for lack of will. The voice sounded indomitable wife from behind the door:
- You are mistaken, Sasha, and brought me junk. Good night! A new piece bring tomorrow.
The door slammed shut.
- Masha, let me go, I'm very tired and sleepy. Let me go, Masha ... - Kuprina voice trembling.
The answer was silence. He sat on the stairs, his head in his hands and silently wept.
- What are you cruel ... ruthless ...
Kuprin rose and walked slowly down.

  "Daddy drinks a lot of vodka, his mother is beating ..."
When her husband, lighting, throws a lighted match on the gauze dress of his wife, when his wife breaks the water bottle on his head helplessly drunk husband - I love these two to each other? Will to live together? No, not love. No, I will not. Before deciding on the final break, Kuprin long time drowned the pain in alcohol. His four-year daughter, Lida once, in the presence of numerous guests and her father, performed the ditty of his own composition:

  I have my dad,
I have a mother.
Dad a lot of vodka drinks,
Its for a Mama beats ...


It was at this time, the legend of Kuprin as a drunken, rowdy and Vadinho. Unloved and infirm, he became a regular at the restaurant, got a questionable friends, and almost every evening in bars or on the racetrack. On his drunken escapades hit the tabloids. Kuprin - rude, uneducated man, a former officer ... Kuprin spilled hot coffee on a certain out of the window to the street so and so, painted with green oil paint such a head, threw it at the restaurant "Nord" in the pool with sterlet so and so, at a banquet such a jumped up in a drunken stupor on the table and crumbled underfoot all the plates with fare ...

These unrestrained drunken auknutsya years later: bursting with health and physical strength Kuprin the end of life will be miserable and sick man, almost geriatric. But it will be later, but for now ... So far, will continue until the day when it lost, will not save the young and loving his girlfriend, nurse and teacher of his daughter, Lisa Heinrich. She will be able to persuade him to stop drinking and go for treatment in Finland. Lisa Heinrich will be for him a real guardian angel. Thanks to her, her soul of gentleness and kindness, Kuprin return to creativity and finally learns the joy of a quiet family life.

  "The woman - this is the last vessel ..."
Peru Kuprina owns a lot of wonderful stories and novels. In this series clearly singled out one small piece. His readers, it is particularly strong emotional response. "Garnet Bracelet" ...

Once upon a time, at the time of youth, someone told him the strange story of a lover fanatic, who for many years threw his mistress - a married woman - love letters and gifts. Letters were flat, and gifts - tasteless. And the end of history was rather a pretext for the practice of a psychiatrist. But Kuprin inspired to hear the story. And a few years later wrote a novel, for which he received critical injuries from 1000 to fellow writers. And - thousands of grateful letters from readers.

"I remember your every move, smile, look, the sound of your gait. Sweet sadness, quiet, beautiful sadness obveyany my recent memories. But I will not cause you grief. I'm going alone in silence, so please be to God and destiny, "Hallowed be thy name ...". This is a quotation from "Garnet Bracelet". At the end of his life in Paris, half sick Kuprin every evening, sitting in a cafe, wrote long love letters to an unknown young woman, in which he, a gray-haired old writer, suddenly, desperately, hopelessly in love. He wrote, but not sent to the addressee. These letters often repeated that same line from "Garnet Bracelet" - "Hallowed be thy name ..." Witnesses told us that his face at that moment miraculously transformed: the sharp features relaxed, his eyes grew brighter and peaceful, but on the lips, usually always severely compressed, and begin to play a smile ...

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