Yevgeny Mikhailovich Feoktistov ( April 14 , 1828 , Kaluga - June 16 , 1898 , Tsarskoye Selo ) - writer, journalist, employee of the Sovremennik magazines, Patriotic Notes , editor of the Russian Speech and Journal of the Ministry of People’s Magazine enlightenment ”(1871–1883), then censor , (since January 1, 1883) privy councilor and for almost thirteen years (1883–1896) - head of the main press department of the Ministry of the Interior (main censor of Russia) and senator (with May 23, 1896 on the day of his death).
|Evgeny Mikhailovich Feoktistov|
|Predecessor||Nikolay Savich Abaza|
|Successor||Mikhail Petrovich Solovyov|
|Spouse||Sofya Alexandrovna Beklemisheva|
|Education||Moscow University (1851)|
writer , journalist , editor
Yevgeny Feoktistov went through an impressive path of personal development, which led him from the ranks of active liberals and employees of the journal "Domestic Notes" to the chair of the chief censor of Russia, who twenty years later signed an order to close the same magazine.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Literary works
- 3 Comments
- 4 notes
- 5 Literature
- 6 Recommended reading
- 7 References
Yevgeny Feoktistov was born into a poor family of an official: his father, Mikhail Yakovlevich (1789—?), Came from ober-officer children, in 1825-1831. served as an assessor of the Kaluga provincial government, had the rank of titular adviser, behind his wife there were “serfs two souls of the masculine gender”; in addition to Eugene, the Feoktistov family included a son Nikolai (born 1822) and a daughter Sophia.
After graduating from the 1st Moscow gymnasium , where he was raised at the expense of the Moscow order of public charity, he entered the Imperial Moscow University in 1847 - because of poverty he was a scholarship holder of the same order; in 1851 he successfully completed a university course with a candidate’s degree [Comm 1] .
Evgeny Mikhailovich could very well turn into a writer , journalist or historian , as he possessed the gift of speech and a penchant for historical research. And although he wrote very large historical works, “The Struggle of Greece for Independence” and “ Magnitsky : Materials for the History of Enlightenment in Russia,” and towards the end of his life Feoktistov wrote widely known, sharp memoirs, “Behind the Scenes of Politics and Literature,” with open and sometimes caustic characteristics of a number of the highest dignitaries of Russia, but he wrote his name in history mainly with other achievements. By chance and his own character, Evgeny Feoktistov did not become more than anything a “man of the pen”: a writer, journalist or historian. His life was completely different. First, a liberal and a freethinker, and then more and more a monarchist , a statesman and, finally, a strict law enforcer and an unstoppable censor - this was the path taken by many public figures of Alexander times. Perhaps something similar to the life of Yevgeny Feoktistov (in soft form) was described in Ivan Goncharov ’s early novel Ordinary History.
Even at university, student Eugene Feoktistov was distinguished by left-liberal convictions; he even managed to take some part in the work of the circle of Mikhail Petrashevsky ,  for which in 1849 he was questioned several times as one of the suspects in the Petrashevsky case. But in the next decade, Feoktistov remained very close to the circle of liberal youth. In the 1860-1870s, in the wake of a public upsurge, he collaborated with such well-known and iconic publications as Sovremennik, Domestic Notes, and edited Russian Speech.
During Feoktistov’s training at the university, he lectured such a well-known liberal Westerner as Timothy Granovsky . An article about his lectures delivered in the spring of 1851 was placed by EM Fektistov in the February book of Sovremennik in 1852 and became his first publication; then followed an article about Mary Stuart .
Upon graduation, Feoktistov joined the circle of the famous geographer and traveler N. G. Frolov , in the journal of which the Store of Geography and Travel (1852, Volume I) appeared several of his translations by K. Ritter . Initially, Feoktistov began to teach at Ennes's boarding school .
He entered service on February 1, 1853, in the Tauride Chamber of State Property. He left for Crimea with Countess E.V. Salias de Turnemir , whose house, when still a student of Feoktistov, was enrolled as a home teacher. The next year he returned to Moscow, where he briefly served in the office of the Moscow civil governor , and then was appointed a history teacher at the Alexandrinsky orphan cadet corps in Moscow. He also taught for a short time; already on April 24, 1856 he retired.
Feoktistov’s active participation in the “Moscow Vedomosti” and in the liberal “Russian Messenger”, which had just emerged in 1856 under the editorship of M. N. Katkov , belongs to the same period. Evgeny Feoktistov published a number of his historical articles in the Russian Herald and in the Notes of the Fatherland . At the end of 1856 he went on a trip abroad and throughout the whole of 1857 sent correspondence from France and Italy to the Moscow Gazette. Returning in 1858, he again began to teach at the cadet school and prepare for teaching at Moscow University, which subsequently did not materialize. He was also an active employee of the Russian Herald, posting in it during 1858-1859 at least nine articles on recent history and politics.
From the beginning of 1861, Feoktistov was the assistant to Countess E. V. Salias in the management of her magazine “ Russian Speech ”, and then (from No. 39, May), when the political department arose in it — the editor-in-chief of the magazine.
In 1862, Yevgeny Feoktistov moved to St. Petersburg , on May 10 he entered the service of the Ministry of Education and on January 12, 1863 was appointed official of special assignments of the VI class with the rank of college assessor ; On August 30, 1866, he was promoted to court adviser ; on December 29, 1866 he received the Order of St. Anne of the 2nd degree (previously he was awarded the Order of St. Stanislav of the 2nd century with the imperial crown). His duties included compiling a brief “review” of the most curious and revealing publications for His Imperial Majesty ( Alexander II )  . At the same time, he received an invitation to lecture on general history at the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff . Apparently, the eight years spent in this occupation left a very serious mark on the general mood, character, and then the biography of Feoktistov.
In 1871, Feoktistov was appointed editor-in-chief of the official Journal of the Ministry of Public Education , and he held this responsible public post for twelve years. Over the years, his character has become more and more cemented, and his views are even more “right.” After the assassination of Emperor Alexander II and with the cessation of a contradictory, but still reformative course, the state machine will demand just such conservatives who have stood the test of time. The death of the liberator , who was killed by the Narodnaya Volya on behalf of the liberated , turned out to be largely symbolic: the reforms brought the whole of Russia into motion, but in the end there were much more dissatisfied and disappointed than before the start of the transformation process. Even the most outspoken monarchists and conservatives (including Konstantin Pobedonostsev , Yevgeny Feoktistov and Konstantin Leontyev ), with more or less directness, said that the emperor died "on time" - if he had been under the rule for another year or two, and a catastrophe of Russia would have become inevitable  .
In the second half of 1882 , having entered into a trusting relationship and having won the personal favor of the Minister of the Interior , Count D. A. Tolstoy , having received the rank of State Councilor in 1883, Evgeny Feoktistov received his first real and “serious post”  . On January 1, 1883, he was promoted to Privy Councilor and was appointed head of the supreme body of political censorship in Russia, the Main Press Directorate . And at that moment, the youthful “ liberalism ” of Feoktistov received his final expression ...
In the early 1860s, when he was a member of the commission for the development of laws on the press, Feoktistov strongly opposed the provision of state and administrative authorities to impose penalties on the press. But by the time he became the head of censorship, there was no trace of the liberal hobbies of youth. The time of his management is one of the most difficult periods in the history of the Russian printed word. During the thirteen years spent at his top post, Feoktistov closed several major opposition publications, including the newspaper Golos and the journal Domestic Notes . In addition, under the constant close attention and the threat of closure, fines and confiscation of rooms were all other liberal political and even humorous publications  . In left-wing journalistic circles, even the very word "Feoktistov" for a time became a household name , designating the most severe censorship, pressure and generally reactionary policies of Alexander III in the field of severe restrictions on freedom of speech. Having begun his life by participating in a circle of Petrashevists , at the end of his career Feoktistov already looked like a typical investigator or prosecutor in the Petrashevsky case.
As head of the Main Directorate for Press, Feoktistov received a maintenance of 9,500 rubles a year (salaries of 4,000, canteens of 4,000, and, since 1885, also of rent of 1,500 rubles); had the order: St. Vladimir 3rd art. (1877), St. Stanislav 1st art. (1880), St. Anne 1st Art. (1885), St. Alexander Nevsky.
Quite often, in liberal and literary circles, a very vivid and self-evident parallel was drawn between Yevgeny Feoktistov and his predecessor as head of the Main Directorate for Press - Mikhail Longinov . The bright and witty poet of the circle of Sovremennik , a bosom friend of Nekrasov , Turgenev and Druzhinin , the author of many vaudeville and shameful verses , no one was so fierce against his former friends as Mikhail Longinov himself, who was appointed to the post of chief censor in 1871 . Being a well-known author of many indecent and frankly pornographic poems, when he became the head of the Main Directorate for Press, Longinov became a perfect hypocrite and puritan , armed himself with a microscope and began to extort even the smallest hints of frivolity or an intimate joke from the poetry of his contemporaries  . The parallel between Longinov and Feoktistov all the more struck to the point that the circle closed by censorship in 1884 of the journal Domestic Notes was almost a direct continuation of the famous circle of Sovremennik.
Only with the accession to the throne of Nicholas II was the elderly Feoktistov on February 8, 1896 sent to an honorable resignation from his post; first, he was entrusted with the rights of a comrade Minister of the Interior to “maintain relations with places and persons for affairs” of the Main Directorate of Press and to be present at the State Council at the hearing of the affairs of this department, and on May 23, Evgeny Mikhailovich was completely removed from censorship and appointed senator of civil cassation department. This step of the new emperor in liberal circles was almost perceived as a "breath of freedom", although in essence it was a simple change of personnel.
He was married to the daughter of the Mogilev governor A.P. Beklemishev, Sofya Alexandrovna, and their only son, Alexander (born November 18, 1860), studied at the Lomonosov Seminary of Moscow Lyceum in memory of Tsarevich Nikolai, but did not finish the course.
He died on June 16 (28), 1898 in Tsarskoye Selo after a long illness  . He was buried at the Nikolsky cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg  .
As early as the beginning of 1853, E. M. Fektistov, answering I. S. Turgenev , wrote:
I have no literary talent; passion for historical studies is great. Actually, the “scientist" will never come out of me, because in me there is no strength for painstaking work, there is no necessary perseverance and vigilant constancy in studies; but, in spite of the fact that I am engaged in history and, therefore, literature (that is, its history), I will not leave it and I think that I can bring some benefit from this side, as anyone with love and selflessly doing something serious can benefit in life.- Maykov L.N. E. M. Feoktistov (obituary)
Over his long enough life, Evgeni Feoktistov wrote dozens of very lively and talented articles written mainly on new history: both Russian and European. Most of these articles were published in the Russian Herald (in 1856-1882), as well as in the Notes of the Fatherland , subsequently by Feoktistov himself and closed.
For many years of his administrative activity, Evgeni Feoktistov kept a diary (still not published), and in the last two years of his life he wrote memoirs that very desirably and sharply describe in their faces the official world of their time. It is interesting to note that these memoirs were so risky that they could only see the light of day in 1929 . They were published under the title “Behind the Scenes of Politics and Literature” as an example of a painful satire on the tsarist bureaucracy (in the spirit of Saltykov-Shchedrin ). In such a paradoxical way the ring was closed in the life and literary activity of Yevgeny Feoktistov.
As an observant, intelligent and to some extent outsider in the typically official world of St. Petersburg, Feoktistov evaluated the world of the ruling elite with the stern eye of a writer and journalist. Despite his extremely conservative views, he could not help but see all the insignificance of his environment and, as a result, not rejoice at the sovereign good . It is with this pathos that his memoirs of the chief censor are imbued.
“The lack of talented and vibrant statesmen at the highest levels of the power ladder - the obvious drawback, despite all exceptions - created serious difficulties for pursuing an effective policy of the Russian monarchy. At the same time, one gets the feeling that this shortcoming was not only the result of a kind of “negative selection” that took place in the bureaucratic apparatus itself, but also a consequence of a rather directed, although probably not always conscious, line of the supreme power when forming its own immediate surroundings. Tracing the preferences of successive Russian crown-bearers, we can conclude that the general lack of dignity of the inhabitants of the state Olympus was somewhat more desirable for them than the “government of all talents” - if not from the point of view of the state interests of Russia, then from a position of greater personal peace of mind for unconditional own supremacy in the system of power ”  .- Nikolai Semenov . On the features of state power in Russia.
It is no accident that Nicholas I did not like the "too clever"; about Alexander II , Fedor Ivanovich Tyutchev ironically remarked that “when the sovereign speaks with an intelligent person, he has the appearance of a rheumatic fever standing in a through wind” ; under Alexander III, it was primarily Pleve’s outstanding abilities that prevented him from becoming Minister of the Interior - it was not by chance that Prince Meshchersky, who knew the emperor well, wrote to him something like a friendly denunciation on Vyacheslav Pleve: “he is an unreliable and even dangerous person, because he is smart and clever, like Beelzebub ” ; and the talented, moreover, independent in his judgments, Alexander Polovtsov, in the end, did not receive the coveted ministerial post to which he had sought for so long and which he undoubtedly deserved. The list of these names can be continued indefinitely. In this memoir, the Chief Censor of Russia, Yevgeny Feoktistov, lamented about this and above all about it:
“Why is it so? .. Probably because everything outstanding, any large size, is not our favorite; what is needed is mainly a “good man” , but what exactly is meant by this term cannot be analyzed. A good person can be a person of a narrow mind, without abilities, completely colorless, but if he is modest, respectful, pleasant companion, sympathies will be entirely on his side ”  .- (Evgeny Feoktistov, “Behind the Scenes of Politics and Literature”)
The following books by Evgeny Feoktistov were also published and printed separately:
- " Magnitsky , materials for the history of education in Russia", monograph , St. Petersburg, 1865 . (This book contains a stern condemnation of the notorious Russian reactionary during the reign of Alexander I ).
- “The struggle of Greece for independence” (St. Petersburg, 1863);
- " Relations of Russia to Prussia during the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna " (Moscow, 1882).
- The Niva magazine in the obituary indicated the historical and philological faculty of Moscow University as the place of study. According to the "Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary" he graduated from the law faculty , the same as in the obituary of L. N. Maykov; in the Report of the Imperial Moscow University for the 1846-1847 academic and 1847 civil years in 1847, he was considered a first-year student of the Faculty of Law. The same report indicates that he entered the university from the 1st Moscow gymnasium, although I. O. Gobza in his historical essay “The Centennial of the Moscow 1st gymnasium. 1804-1904. ”Does not indicate him among the graduates of the gymnasium.
- Management Elite, 2008 , p. 287.
- Management Elite, 2008 , p. 36.
- Russian obscene poetry of the XIX century / Comp. A. Ranchin and N. Sapov. - 2nd ed. - M .: Ladomir, 1994 .-- S. 47-54. - 414 p. - 25,000 copies.
- Obituary (with portrait) // Niva. - 1898. - No. 27 . - S. 539-540 .
- Vel. Prince Nikolai Mikhailovich . Petersburg Necropolis / Comp. V.I. Saitov. - SPb. : Type of. M. M. Stasyulevich, 1912.- T. 4 (S — I). - S. 718. - 747 p.
- Management Elite, 2008 , p. 16-17.
- Feoktistov, Evgeny Mikhailovich // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary : 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Almanac of modern Russian statesmen . - SPb. : Type of. Isidore Goldberg, 1897 .-- S. 403.
- Maykov L.N. E. M. Feoktistov (obituary) . - SPb .: type. V.S. Balasheva and Co. °, 1898. - 21 p.
- Managerial Elite of the Russian Empire (1802-1917) / Collective of authors of St. Petersburg State University, ed. Acad. A. A. Fursenko . - SPb. : Faces of Russia , 2008.
- TsIAM. - F. 418. - Op. 16. - D. 172
- Feoktistov Evgeny Mikhailovich on the site "Chronos"