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A Russian Prince in the Soviet State: Hunting Stories, Letters from Exile, and Military Memoirs
by Vladimir Sergeevich Trubetskoi
edited by Susanne Fusso
translated by Susanne Fusso
Northwestern University Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-8101-1655-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6591-5

Of a noble and distinguished family disenfranchised by the Bolshevik revolution, Vladimir Trubetskoi (1892-1937) alone remmained in Russia, and suffered the consequences.His life and experiences are well documented in this remarkable volume, a selection of his writings that reflects his comfortable prewar existence and his post-revolutionary poverty, uncertainty, and displacement, all conveyed with humor and ironic detachment. Including selections from Trubetskoi's memoirs, his letters from exile in Uzbekistan, and his hunting stories, the chapters of this volume offer autobiographical narratives of the self, creative "reflections," ethnography, and, most of all, uniquely evocative and informative instances of history lived and recorded with quiet power and irrepressible character.
In his letters from exile, Trubetskoi describes his grim situation in Central Asia-how he snatched moments to write between mornings playing piano in a ballet studio and late nights in a restaurant band, struggling with the heat, the insect-borne illness, and the problems of a large, uprooted family. His memoirs of 1911-12, "Notes of a Cuirassier," are the culmination of his efforts and they convey in vivid detail the glittering prewar world of an elite Russian Guards regiment. These reminiscences as well as his stories offer a glimpse of what life was like for a citizen of Imperial Russia who tried to make a life for himself in the new Soviet state. Instructive, amusing, moving, Trubetskoi's stories are also an inspiring example of how a person of grace and true nobility meets large-scale social and political upheaval.
Vladimir Trubetskoi was the son of Prince Sergei Nikolaevich Trubetskoi, an important philosopher and historian of ancient philosophy. After a brief time studying physics and mathematics at Moscow University, Trubetskoi became a cadet in the navy, serving with the escort of the Tsar’s private yacht, then entered the Blue Cuirassiers Life Guards cavalry regiment in 1911. He served with distinction in World War I, receiving the St. George’s Cross. After the October Revolution, Trubetskoi, dispossessed, but with a wife and children, attempted to support his family by writing and performing music. He was arrested and exiled with his eldest daughter in 1934, then arrested again in 1937—and, as the family was finally informed only in 1991, summarily executed.

Susanne Fusso is a professor of Russian at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Designing Dead Souls: An Anatomy of Disorder in Gogol (Stanford, 1993) and also the co-editor of Essays on Karolina Pavlova (2001) and Essays on Gogol (1994) both published by Northwestern University Press.
    List of Illustrations 000
    Acknowledgments 000
    Introduction 000
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Bochonkin and Khvoshch 000
     How We Fished for Grandmother 000
     Shchadilov Pond 000
     A Trap with a Triple Rehearsal 000
     I Got the Fox! 000
     The Death of the Dirigible 000
     Psycho-Curiosities of Semion Semionovich 000
     Adventures at the Zoo 000
     The Recovery of the Dirigible 000
     The Wolf Hunt 000
     Beautiful Mecha 000
     The Aggitator from the Mississippi River 000
     The Black-White-and-Tan Skewbald Dog 000
    Letters from Exile 000
    Notes of a Cuirassier 000
    Notes 000

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