A Russian Prince in the Soviet State

Cloth Text – $44.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1655-9
Publication Date
February 2006
Page Count
352 pages
Trim Size
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
ISBN
0-8101-1655-3

A Russian Prince in the Soviet State

Hunting Stories, Letters from Exile, and Military Memoirs
Vladimir Trubetskoi
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.
About the Author
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.
Reviews

"The logical high point of his rediscovery in Russia and now in the West." 
--Slavic and East European Journal