(28) Visit to a place associated with Dostoevsky in the spa resort of Bad Ems - Dostoevsky sends ardent love letters to his wife even 10 years after their marriage.

Dostoevsky and His Wife's Fateful Journey: Travels in Western Europe of Madness and Love

Travels in Germany] (28) Visiting the places associated with Dostoevsky in Bad Ems, a spa resort in Germany - Dostoevsky still sends ardent love letters to his wife 10 years after their marriage.

Previous Article"(27) Mrs. Anna's Warriors after returning home! Even debt collectors are repelled! Dostoevsky has full confidence in her!In the previous section, I told you about the Dostoevsky couple's return to their home country. And at the end of this travelogue, I would like to talk about another of Dostoevsky's European connections, Bad Ems.

Bart Ems.Wikipedia.

Bad Ems is a spa town in western Germany, which became famous as a resort town around the late 19th century.

Dostoevsky came to this town after suffering from pulmonary catarrh and was recommended by his doctor to stay here for a long period of recuperation. He entered the city via Berlin.

I, on the other hand, was headed to this town from Cologne, which is located north of the city, via a Koblenz transfer.

Dostoevsky reported the landscape near Bad Ems to his wife Anna as follows.

Cute Anya, I have never seen a view like that in all my life! Switzerland and Wartburg (remember them?). (Do you remember?) It's nothing compared to the second half of the way to Ems. I have never seen anything like it, in the most enchanting landscapes on earth, the most enchanting, tender, fantastic things that can be created - hills, mountains, castles, towns with beautiful towers like Marburg and Limburg, where mountains and valleys are in amazing harmony. I have never seen anything like it. And so we rode on the train until we reached Ems in the morning, when the sun was shining brilliantly and it was quite hot. (To Mrs. Anna, June 15, 1874)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, The Complete Works of Dostoevsky 18, p. 18-19

It is rare for Dostoevsky to praise the scenery with such open arms. He was apparently impressed by the mountain and forest scenery near Ems.

Unfortunately, the route I took into Ems did not offer that much of the scenery that Dostoevsky raved about. I wondered if it might be another route, or perhaps he was writing to reassure Mrs. Anna, who was worried at home, but I don't know about that.

Arrive at Bart Ems station.

Dostoevsky wrote the following about his arrival in this town

Ems, - it is a small town in a deep canyon, nestled between high hills, yes, 200 sarjens (about 420 meters) or more high, and forested on all sides. The town is nestled against a rocky mountain (the most beautiful in the world), or more precisely, it is made up of two streets along both banks of a river (not very wide). The mountains are so close that there is no place to build a town wider than that. There are places to walk, parks, and everything is lovely. I was fascinated by the topography, but people say that on rainy days and cloudy mornings, it turns into such a gloomy and troubling landscape that even the best of people get melancholy. (To Mrs. Anna, June 15, 1874)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 18, p. 19

Here, too, Dostoevsky praises Ems, but ominously, according to the locals, "even a masterful person can have melancholy. And indeed, Dostoevsky would later suffer in this gloomy town, "Life here is like torture.

The building where Dostoevsky stayed still remains just off the station square. When Dostoevsky arrived in Ems, he first stayed at a hotel near the station, but it was too expensive and he gave up on a long-term stay, so he decided to stay at what is now called a guest house. He stayed at a guest house in 1975, 1976, and 1979. Incidentally, Dostoevsky stayed on the second floor of the Brücher building above.

Let us now look at Dostoevsky's stay in Ems. Dostoevsky reported to his wife Anna about his daily routine as follows

The day after I wrote to you (i.e. Thursday) I went to the Fountain for the first time. It was only a short walk from the inn. The weather was terrible and the rain was pouring down like a torrent. I borrowed an umbrella from the landlady and ran to the fountain, which was already crowded with people. People all over Ems wake up at six in the morning (including me), and by six-thirty, two thousand people are already gathering by the two springs, Klingchen and Kesselbrunnen, to drink from them. In the park nearby, music is being played, generally to the tune of boring Lutheran hymns. I don't know of anything more maddening or deliberate than that. Each of the spa treatment patients buys a cup here and uses it for the duration of his or her stay, and the cups are graduated in ounces. I drank two cups of six ounces each. I drank the first cup, walked around for an hour, drank the second cup, and returned to the inn at eight o'clock to drink coffee. The mineral spring tastes sour and salty, with a slight smell of rotten eggs. The water was warm, about the consistency of a cup of tea, and it was only a few minutes old when poured into the cup. The weather has been freaky for two whole days (and even yesterday), with the sun peeking out when it rained, and it has been boring, to say the least. It must have been the humidity, but my body felt worse than before. The choking in my throat has gotten worse, and my cough has become more and more hoarse. Yesterday and the day before, I even felt a pain in my chest, something that had rarely happened in Petersburg. After a few more days, I would go to the doctor and tell him that it had gotten worse. (Omitted).

When the weather is nice, we go for a walk, and in the evening we go to listen to music. There is only one Russian-language newspaper in the depot, the Moscow Gazette, but there are quite a few French newspapers. Everything here is miserable and pathetic, even the stores are really bad. The only thing that is beautiful is the location of the land, but you can see it in a minute, because the Ems is a narrow canyon between mountains, and you can get to know it all in a short time. You know the park from one end to the other, and there is nowhere to go after that. On top of that, the place is crawling with people all year round (German is the most common language, although you hear a lot of Russian as well). After my morning coffee, I do whatever I can. So far, I've been reading only Pushkin and getting lost in admiration. Every day I discover something new. But instead, I have not yet been able to make any sense out of my novels. I fear that epilepsy has robbed me not only of my memory, but also of my imagination. Lonely thoughts come to my mind: What if I am no longer able to write? (To Mrs. Anna, June 16, 1874)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 18, p23-24

This letter was written on his second day in Ems. Dostoevsky spends his stay here basically as described above. He drinks the spa water for treatment and spends the rest of the time walking, reading, and writing.

But Dostoevsky soon began to be ravaged by the melancholy that had been foretold.

In her "Recollections," Mrs. Anna describes her husband's stay in Ems as follows.

After a week, my husband began to miss his family. Previously, when we had lived apart, it had been for very short periods of time, and he was able to come to visit his family on special occasions. When my letters did not arrive as expected and were severely delayed, his melancholy grew more intense. (omitted).

Misuzu Shobo, Anna Dostoevskaya, translated by Hiroshi MatsushitaDostoevsky in Recollection 2."p76

Within a week, Dostoevsky began to complain of loneliness and became obsessed with melancholy. He began sending fervent letters to Madame Anna.

The second half of the letter above already contains words of ardent love, but since we are here, let's take a look.

As for my situation, well, that's about it for now. As for my mental state, as I already mentioned, I am melancholy and bored, and I think about you all the time. Anika, I am painfully in love with you! During the day I count up your good qualities in my heart and I love you irresistibly. (I love you irresistibly.)

Cute Anya, I don't know a single woman who can compare to you. Well, I mean, how can I compare with that stupid woman from the day before yesterday? But nowadays almost all women are the same as that stupid woman. But instead, when I go to bed at night (this is just between the two of us), I think about you so much that it bothers me, I hug you in my heart, and in my fantasies I think about you, and I think about you, and I think about you, and I think about you, and I think about you.from head to foot、、、、(get it?). Kissing. That's right, Anya. I have even added this trouble to my loneliness and anguish. I must live and suffer without you. You are the enchantment of my dreams. Will you ever see me in your dreams? Anya, this is very serious for my position. If it were a joke, I would not write this. You said that I would be chasing other women's asses in this foreign country, but I know from experience what it's like, and now I can't even imagine any other woman better than you. I have no need of any other woman, I have only you, and this is what I tell myself every day. I have become too familiar with you, and too much of a family man. All the old things have passed. Besidesthat point,,I have nothing more than my own arnetica on the subject of "The World of the Arts". Don't look so gloomy when you read this. You must know this. You won't show this letter to anyone, will you? (To Mrs. Anna, June 16, 1874)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 18, p. 25-26

I'm sorry! I saw it!

What do you think? How is this Dostoevsky's dereliction of duty? At this time, Dostoevsky had already been married for seven years, and he still feels this way after seven years. You can see how much Dostoevsky loved his wife Anna. Just a few days away from her and he is already at the end of his rope.

Dostoevsky sent these letters to his wife Anna almost every day from Ems, where he was staying. In all of them, these words of love are written. This is true not only in 1974, the first year of his stay, but also in 1975, 1976, and 1979. For reference, let's look at the letter from 1979.

I am very worried about you and think about you a lot. I read with euphoria the lovely words that you love me. You write, "Love me," but do I not love you? For my part, I don't like to put it into words, but I am sure you can see many things about yourself, and it is a pity that you can't see them. I could imply many things to you with just my constant (and ever-increasing) husbandly excitement, but either you don't understand it or you are too inexperienced to understand it at all. I would like to know if there is any family in which this phenomenon is more strongly manifested than in our marriage, which has already lasted twelve years. My joy at this is unbounded. You will say that this is only one aspect, the most vulgar, but it is not vulgar at all, but essentially everything else depends on it. You, however, refuse to understand it. I will prove that I long to kiss your toes one by one in order to put an end to this long and broad tongue, because that will serve the purpose. Come and see. You write, "If anyone reads our letters," of course. I don't care, I'll let them envy me. (To Mrs. Anna, August 16, 1879)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, The Complete Works of Dostoevsky 18, p. 335

Sorry. I saw it again!

But it is because of these private letters that we are able to know the true face of Dostoevsky. I would like to thank Mrs. Anna for this. (In fact, she also publishes her letters in black and white when they are too explicit. In other words, there are still more letters that demand Mrs. Anna more intensely than this one. Dostoevsky's love for her is evident.)

After more than 10 years of marriage, Dostoevsky was still like this. He loves her and can't stop loving her. Dostoevsky is a very lucky man to be able to spend time with such a wife. When I see that the suffering of the first half of his life has been rewarded in this way, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, "Good for you, Dostoevsky....

The letter from Ems describes these daily events and his love for Mrs. Anna. They are written almost daily, so they read like Dostoevsky's diary. And it is very interesting anyway. Dostoevsky has produced many profound works of fiction, but if he had published an easygoing travelogue or diary, he would have had a big breakthrough in that area as well.

Dostoevsky is a man with a journalistic sense. He would be able to write an interesting article based on casual daily events and experiences in a strange town. In this letter, Dostoevsky describes his days in Ems to his wife Anna in great detail. His narrative seems to bring the local situation to life before our eyes. It is as if the local conditions were right in front of our eyes! If all of these letters were compiled into a book, it would be very interesting.

There are many episodes that I would like to introduce, but due to the volume of the article, I cannot introduce all of them. Therefore, I would like to introduce here a passage that well expresses the atmosphere of the hot spring resort Ems.

Sometimes I get so angry that I can't stand it, even though I swore to myself to keep silent. At the Krenchen Fountain, where the mineral spring is filled into cups and passed around (I take out my cup and they fill it back up over the handrail), there is a great deal of pushing and shoving. It was the women's group that was the most tense and jostling. And, as one can hardly imagine, even the elderly Germans were getting into it. They were pushing and shoving each other, trying to get out in front of each other, hands outstretched, and shaking all over. Almost every day I lose patience with these Germans and lecture them. Mein Herr, man muss ruhig sein. Sie werden kriegen. Man wird nicht verzeihen. That's going to cause a fight. This is unbearable.) Because of these words, I have become a terrible reputation among the Germans who come to drink from the mineral spring.Russian with a tantrum、、、、、、、、、(I've heard it myself.) I don't know about you, but the main reason is that I don't want my clothes to get spilled. I don't know about you, but the main reason was that I didn't want to spill the mineral spring on my clothes (that happened once). Besides, I don't let the man waiting behind me put his hand holding the cup on my shoulder or back. Germans have a very crude culture, so when I stood behind someone and waited my turn, he would hold the cup in his hand, which made me feel uncomfortable, so I held it up to him to show him that I was holding the cup in my hand. Then, because he didn't like the idea of holding the cup in the air, he would put his hand on the shoulder of the person standing in front of him, as if he were holding the cup in his hand. He did not care if it was a woman or not. One day, I took the German to task and told him that he had received a bad education. The German was furious and replied that there was no need for salon-style decorum here. I retorted that a person with a sensitive heart can be polite anywhere. That ended the quarrel. You guessed it, Anya, after an exhausting hour and a half walk (and a mineral spring), I returned to the inn around 8:30 to drink the world's worst coffee, but I still had a tremendous appetite. Sometimes I remember what I saw that morning and start laughing to myself. But sometimes, I also feel awful. And it's serious. However, I cannot blame everything on the action of the mineral spring. There are some things in the world that are not related to the effects of mineral springs, but are themselves very embarrassing. (To Mrs. Anna, July 8, 1874)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 18, p. 45-46

Ems is a small town. Thousands of people would come there in droves at a time for treatment. Dostoevsky reported in a letter that at times there were more than 10,000 people. Dostoevsky was truly fed up with the huge crowds. The episode above shows just such a huge crowd and chaos.

It is naturally not a pleasant feeling to have one's shoulder used as an elbow rest. I once got "pissed off" when a patron behind me used my head as an elbow rest during a live performance. I am glad to hear that Dostoevsky was angry about the same thing. No, I am quite happy.

I'm exhausted after an hour and a half walk (and a mineral spring) and return to the inn around 8:30 for a cup of bad coffee, but I have a tremendous appetite."I can't help but laugh when he says, "I've never had a bad cup of coffee in my life. For Dostoevsky, a coffee lover, "the worst coffee in the world" must have been unbearable.

Incidentally, this is the mineral water fountain. It was off-season when I visited, so it was closed, but I could see that if thousands of people gathered here at one time, it would be a terrible thing.

The light blue building in the upper left photo is Villa Algiers, where Dostoevsky lived on the second floor in 1874. Dostoevsky may have appeared on this balcony, and he stayed here in 1979.

And the picture on the right is Lucerne, where I stayed in '75 and '76. This is the building two houses to the right of the Villa Algiers. The third photo is the view from the other side of the river.

Dostoevsky also gives Mrs. Anna details about what is going on at the inn here, which makes me laugh.

In Lucerne,

The lodgings downstairs were not very nice. The window of my bedroom is under the window of a small factory next door,adornmentdecorationCraftsman tin.platingplatingThe craftsmen at the "Mere Old Man" started waking up before 5:00 a.m. and began to pound away at their hammers. Two days in a row I was awakened at five in the morning. When I complained to my master, he asked me to go out and start work at 6:00 am. But instead, he would spend the whole day talking nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, and my head would be completely blank, and my nerves would be in a mess. (To Mrs. Anna, June 7, 1875)

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 18, p. 101

I imagined Dostoevsky nervously whispering in his room as I looked at this house. A crackling sound was coming from below. What a dumb scene. It was like a comedy.

There is no shortage of such episodes at Algiers Villa.

As in Lucerne, Dostoevsky suffers from noise pollution at Villa Algiers. This time it was incessant chatter.

Dostoevsky is at his desk, trying to write. However, the room is filled with chatter that echoes around the room without any distinction. Dostoevsky gets up and wanders around. But outside is a huge crowd of convalescents! There is no escape for Dostoevsky. I can see Dostoevsky stomping on the ground. It must have been torture for his nervousness.

But such an appearance made me laugh.

This photo shows the road in front of the inn where Dostoevsky stayed. He must have stumbled along this road, grumbling as he went.

I find that funny. Dostoevsky writes this letter with humor as well. Yes, this is like watching Yo Oizumi's blurbs on "Wednesday.

Like Mr. Oizumi, self-deprecating blurts about things that are hard or funny are actually very funny. It seems as if they are complaining and getting angry, but to us, strangers, it's actually very funny. There is a fine line between tragedy and comedy. Even the toughest things can become comedy if you look at them from a slightly different perspective.

The noise disturbances at Villa Algiers and Lucerne were like a comedy in one act. The person in question must have been in a great deal of pain, but for us, it was strangely funny.

I really think this ems letter should be published. If it's bad, it's probably funnier than a novel. At the very least, it's sure to be funny. And above all, I think it would be a supremely valuable resource in terms of getting to know Dostoevsky in his true colors.

It was raining lightly the day I arrived in Ems, but it cleared up beautifully the next afternoon. It was very pleasant to take a walk in Ems in the clear autumn weather. It was fun. Very enjoyable. The photo on the left is a kuahouse (convalescent center). It is the center of Ems. It is now used as a luxury hotel.

The Ems is crowded with people in summer; November is off-season, so it is deserted, but during the summer when Dostoevsky stayed here, it must have been a sea of people.

This was taken the day I arrived, and as I proceeded along the river from the Kurhaus, I found a Russian Orthodox church. As is clear from the fact that Dostoevsky came here, many Russians had been coming to the Ems since that time. This is probably why such a church was built.

I also decided to visit the mountain path that Dostoevsky would have walked on. I was told that there is a lookout point along the path that leads to the old castle, from which one can get a panoramic view of the Ems. Let's head there first.

The entrance to the mountain road has a suspicious atmosphere. We entered an apartment-like building and climbed the stairs.

From there, a pathway led us further up the mountain to a mountain road. I felt a little uneasy, but it seemed that this was the right path.

The mountain is more solid than I expected. It would be safer not to come in leather shoes or shoes with heels.

After a short walk, we arrived at the observatory. It took about 20 minutes even if we walked slowly.

The view of the town of Ems from above was as beautiful as a painting. The mirror-like surface of the river was also wonderful.

From the observatory, we shift our gaze to the left hand side. As can be seen, Ems is surrounded by mountains. The town is complete in this small area along the river. You can easily walk from one end to the other. More than 10,000 convalescents have crowded into such a place. No wonder it was so crowded.

The benches at the observation deck here are shaped so that you can stretch out your legs and half lie down.

I was sitting here, leisurely enjoying this view.

Incidentally, the observation deck shown in the photo above is reflected right in the middle of this photo. You can clearly see the steep mountain just behind the building. The inn where Dostoevsky stayed is also just to the right of the building.

The date changes again, but this is the morning ems. Unlike the sunny daytime, it is quite cold. And the sky is so dull that it looks as if it has fallen. The sky is low. It is understandable that this makes one feel heavy. Dostoevsky wrote in his letterSuddenly, the whole town of Ems was covered in a thick fog like milk.black and whiteSiberian iris (Iris sanguinea)(to Mrs. Anna, June 13, 1875).This is exactly what he was referring to. This is exactly what will happen if we go further down.

Most mornings during my stay were overcast and drizzly like this.

And I would like to introduce Ems at night. The lights along the river, spaced at equal intervals, create a fantastic atmosphere.

I was able to enjoy a different kind of ems from the heartwarming walk in the daytime.

On my last night in Ems, I wandered into a bar. It is extremely rare for me to drink alcohol during my travels. For me, Ems was such a fun and relaxing place that I felt like I was in the right mood. I enjoyed German beer and the famous Weissblust.

We made our way back to the inn, feeling tipsy and enjoying the afterglow of Mms. It was the last night in Ems, and it was a perfect ending.

Last morning in Mms. It was cloudy as usual. As I have told you, I certainly enjoyed this town. I can say that I enjoyed it to the fullest with the greatest sense of satisfaction. It was such an exciting stay.

But that is probably because I came here "to feel Dostoevsky. His letters gave me a detailed picture of him and his days here. It is thanks to them that I was able to feel one of Dostoevsky's comedic acts.

But Dostoevsky is not here for comedy. He did not even come here of his own volition. He had no choice but to come here unwillingly to recuperate from his illness. He had to leave his beloved family. He could not even work because of the noise that rang out in his head. Even when I went outside, I was met with hordes of noisy convalescents. This was hard.

My stay at Ems was four days. But what if they had asked me to stay here for another 30 days to recuperate? I would not be able to say, "Oh, I'm having fun. Dostoevsky said of life here, "This is literally torture. I can understand why Dostoevsky said, "This is literally torture; it is worse than being thrown in jail. Dostoevsky was bored out of his mind.

Indeed, there is nothing to do here in Ems. It is quite understandable that Dostoevsky complained of boredom. Moreover, Dostoevsky was so fed up with the people here that he hardly had anything to do with anyone. People, people, people all around. But Dostoevsky was lonely. I think I understand why he kept sending letters to Mrs. Anna at a furious pace. No wonder he was so eager to tell someone about this current situation. Walking around the town of Ems for the past four days, I could certainly understand Dostoevsky's intense longing for Mrs. Anna. This place makes me strangely conscious of being "alone.

I walked back and forth in front of Dostoevsky's inn for the last time. I also walked to the other side of the river.

I felt Dostoevsky in this town. I "saw" him as if he were right there. Hideo Kobayashi wasOn Reading."In the "The letter is the man. "A sentence is a person. I have always wished to know Dostoevsky through his words. And here I have met Dostoevsky. I have never been so happy.

For me, Bart Ems is a symbolic place where I can feel Dostoevsky's love for his wife Anna.

Dostoevsky loved his wife so passionately even after 10 years of marriage. If you want to know Dostoevsky as a loving wife, there is no better place than here.

In this article, I told you about Dostoevsky as a loving wife. In the next article, I would like to talk about Dostoevsky as a father. I have already mentioned in previous articles that Dostoevsky had an extraordinary love for his children. The death of his first child, Sonya, in Geneva is still fresh in everyone's memory. However, Dostoevsky lost another child in his later years. Moreover, the shock of his death had a decisive impact on Dostoevsky.

I would like to share that episode at the end of this travelogue. I believe this episode is absolutely essential to know Dostoevsky as he walked with his wife.

be unbroken

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Click here for a list of Dostoevsky's recommended books.
List of recommended Dostoevsky biographies."
List of recommended Dostoevsky commentaries.
A list of recommended commentaries on "Dostoevsky and Christianity."

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