- Project Runeberg -  Impressions of Russia /
139

(1889) [MARC] Author: Georg Brandes Translator: Samuel Coffin Eastman - Tema: Russia
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another, unknown in Russia, but previously delivered,
he charged me principally with not being able to hit
upon anything new, but with confining myself to the
presentation of old and well known stories. ’The
Russian public,’ it added, ‘was not so stupid as I
supposed, nor yet so ignorant. It is understood very well
that in such circumstances the stranger treats it like
a fool in order to get his fingers into its pockets.’” My
informant adds, “Even with abundant experience from
the press of other lands, even with all the surprises of
the past which no one who lives the literary life
escapes, the foreigner will be surprised at the shamelessness
and corruption, not so much of some Russian as of
some particular St. Petersburg newspapers.”

Moscow, like St. Petersburg, has two large newspapers.
One is liberal, written in the best style, and
the most honorable of all the Russian newspapers,
Russkiya Vyedomosti (The Russian Times), published by
Sobolevski, a quiet, honorable, energetic, and scientific
man, formerly a professor, but now an editor. This
daily paper, certainly the most widely circulated in
Russia, has 30,000 subscribers. Next to this is the
newspaper hitherto better known in Western Europe, the
Moskovskiya Vyedomosti, the organ of the lately
deceased Katkóf.

Katkóf was a man without much knowledge and of
little reading. In the last twenty years of his life he
never read a single book. There was no need of his
reading or thinking to support and maintain the general
Russification. But he wrote exceedingly well; he was
of the first rank among the prose authors. His paper
did not have many subscribers; not a third part of what
the Russkiya Vyedomosti has. But it was written for
a single reader, who never skipped a single number,

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