The Story of how Alexander Dumas father decided to

The Story of how Alexander Dumas (father) decided to write "Three Musketeers"

Alexander Dumas got acquainted with the Henri Troyat's biography.

“A great writer-biographer! He writes a biography per month (or approximately so)! For example, he wrote a biography of Gogol! ”

Somehow, it  causes a little envy ...

"And I, what? I can’t?"

So, he is from Russia - probably, he personally knew and knows all the writers, great people ...

Here is a trip to Russia. In Russia - Gogol.

A great opportunity. To talk with Gogol and to write his biography.

Alexander Dumas arrives in Russia. He comes to Gogol and says:

- “I want to understand your life. Why do not you have a family, a children?”

Gogol clarifies:

- “This is probably very strange for you ... There are many beautiful women in France ...”

Alexander Dumas in response only sighed ...

Gogol continues:

- “You write, the public reads and pays money. You are with the money. There is such a thing - popularity. You live an exciting, wonderful life.”

Alexander Dumas seemed to shake his head slightly, in agreement.

- “In Russia, “popularity” is a complex concept. My high school comrade Nestor Kukolnik recently received an invitation from the emperor. Rumor has it that at first my gymnasium comrade was silent, then trembled, and in the end promised to take into account all the creative recommendations. What should he do? He has a family ... How many years did Chernyshevsky live in Transbaikalia, almost in a yurt? Shevchenko was sent into the soldiers. And Chaadaev, perhaps, felt that would be declared a madman. He did not marry. One Dostoevsky pulled out a lucky ticket ... He has an interesting biography ...”

- “Henri Troyat wrote about Dostoevsky ...”

- “Yes, I read ...”

Alexandre Dumas returned to the theme of conversation:

- “And what are you talking about with Archpriest Konstantinovsky?”

- “Prince Talleyrand was a bishop at the beginning of his career. And before his death in 1838 (he was 84 years old), he talked with the 44-year-old Duchess Dino - a girlfriend, loveress, a wife (in fact). She convinced him to come to terms with the Church. Have you seen her portrait?”

Alexander Dumas sighed.

Gogol slightly shook his head:

- “On the contrary, I have never been a cleric (although relatives and ancestors were in a spiritual rank). I talk with Archpriest Konstantinovsky. All types of visions appear ...”

Alexander Dumas shook his head, looking at Gogol.

Gogol reacted to Dumas's gaze:

- “I didn't make my life a very bad.” Money, of course, was not enough, but I wrote almost what I wanted. The family did not interfere. I didn’t meet with the emperor. I didn’t have to tremble and to agree with the recommendations ...”

Alexander Dumas carefully looked at Gogol and wrote something down.

[Возможно изъятие одного абзаца текста - без согласия автора]

[It is possible the deletion of one paragraph of the text - without the consent of the author]

Alexander Dumas wrote something down again.

Someone walked down the corridor. “Apparently, mother-in-law of Pletnev,” - Gogol thought.

- “Thank you!” - Alexander Dumas began to say goodbye. – “Would you like to participate in joint trip along the Russia?”

- “A great health is necessary for such a trip,” - Gogol joked.

Dumas on the way to the hotel looked at the notes. How to write a biography of Gogol? The Russia is very different from France for writers. Perhaps to read Henri Troyat, more attentively?

A crowd of fans awaited  Dumas near the hotel.

“I’ll write, better, “Three Musketeers”!” - Dumas decided. - "In general, there is something to learn from Henri Troyat ..."

September 24, 2019 09:09

Translation from Russian into English: September 24, 2019 10:33.
Владимир Владимирович Залесский “Рассказ как Александр Дюма (отец) решил написать «Трёх мушкетеров»”.