Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 7: No 1) >> Notes & Queries and Simms Society News >> Page 29

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Page 29

Scholarship | 1999
Transcription THE RUSSIAN SIMMS


Professor Eugenia A. Morozkina and postgraduate student Marina Erchtein, both
of Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russia, have joined the Simms Society. Prof.
Morozkina has sent the society her recently published book on Simms's novels.
The 155-page volume is in Russian and imprinted Ufa, Russia, 1997. In the spirit
of Glasnost, we extend a warm Southern welcome to our newest international
Society members and encourage them to spread the news of Simms and the
Simms Society to their country. We wonder if they might not see to it that good
Russian translations of major Simms works are available throughout their land.



SIMMS AND LEO TOLSTOI


Simms has often been unfairly treated by left-leaning American historians and
literary critics owing to his passionate advocacy of Secession and championing of
the cause of Southern independence. It may perhaps come as a shock to many of
us to see just how close the great Russian master of the novel was to Simms with
regard to devolution and the evils of the centralist state. Yes, Tolstoi and
Simms they agreed on these essentials.
But hear Tolstoi himself, speaking in 1896 in his prophetic volume,
Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence:
A Russian should rejoice if Poland, the Baltic Provinces, Finland,
Armenia, should be separated, freed from Russia; so with an
Englishman in regard to Ireland, India and other possessions; and
each should help to do this, because the greater the state, the more
wrong and cruel is its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of
suffering upon which its power is founded. Therefore, if we really
wish to be what we profess to be, we must not only cease our
present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire its
decrease, its weakening, and help this forward with all our might.