Dark Age of Tsarism

From the epilogue of my German translation of Dostoyevsky’s “White Nights” (“Белые ночи”):

Verbitterung bestimmte das Verhältnis vieler Intellektueller gegenüber dem Regime des Zaren Nikolaj I., der mit einem gewaltigen Polizei- und Spitzelapparat seine Doktrin von Autokratie, Orthodoxie und nationalem Patriotismus verteidigte […].

My loose translation:

Bitterness characterized the relations of many intellectuals with Tsar Nicholas I’s regime who defended his doctrine of autocracy, orthodoxy and national patriotism with an enormous apparatus of policemen and spies.

This doctrine with its three cornerstones seems to be all too familiar looking at what’s happening nowadays.

And most likely, many Russians wouldn’t even object. Once I talked to a guy of my age who was playing in an indie band and living in St Petersburg. He believed that Russia would need a new Tsar who could run the country (these were his exact words). Well, we’re getting there, if you ask me.

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