A real chornoi russki

At last further information on Pushkin’s legendary but little-researched African great-grandfather Gannibal. A very fascinating figure by all accounts, but the very idea of such an anomalous figure popping up in Russia of all places, and being related to perhaps the most famous Russian of all to boot, has tended to obscure everything pertinent about his life. I would still quibble with crediting this man with for example the canals which were not built until the mid-20th century under Stalin for the same reason that I object to crediting Leonardo with inventing the parachute or the tank or the many other contraptions that he drew but was never able to get to work. It reminds me of the joke in which a beaver and a rabbit are sitting next to the Hoover Dam and the beaver points proudly to it and asks: “What do you think about that?” To which the rabbit replies: “Did you build that?” And the beaver responds: “No, but it’s based off of a design of mine.”

But on the whole, as I say, Gannibal is apparently a remarkable man for what he accomplished particularly in light of his origins. The obvious delight that black intellectuals take in his accomplishments, even the rather strained embrace of the 7/8 white Russian Pushkin as one of their own, rather puts the lie to the insistent claims of Frantz Fanon and his numerous maggot-like disciples that black “post-colonial” culture has to define itself in violent opposition to Western culture. That is the product of a feeling of inferiority turned to resentfulness and despair. Gannibal had no need or use for that kind of brutishness, and perhaps that is in part why Pushkin became himself such a rarity in Russia: a liberal, a humanist, a spokesman for individuals in love and suffering, the greatest poet of the modern world’s greatest national poetic tradition…

4 Responses to “A real chornoi russki”

  1. shonk Says:

    I’m assuming you meant “A real черный ру??кий,” yes?

  2. Curt Says:

    But the ‘e’ is actually an ‘ë.’

  3. shonk Says:


  4. Curt Says:

    pronounced like “yo.”

Leave a Reply

If your comment doesn't appear right away, it was probably eaten by our spam-killing bot. If your comment was not, in fact, spam (and if you're actually reading this, it probably wasn't), please send me an email and I'll try to extricate your comment from our electronic spam purgatory.