P. Pascal’s Russian diary: War and revolution in Russia through the eyes of a french military expert
Keywords:Pierre Pascal; revolution in Russia; The First World War; Vladimir Solovyov; national identity
Vladimir Babintzev, a professor at Ural Federal University, well-known for translating numerous French, scholarly works into Russian (Jacques Le Hoffe and Emmanuel Le Roi Ladurie among others), will offer a new translation. This new translation will be of a primary source, instead of a scholarly work: i.e., the 1st volume of Russian Diary written by Pierre Pascal, a member of French military mission in Russia during the First World War. In a talk with Konstantin Bugrov, a researcher in the laboratory for studying primary sources at Ural Federal University, Babintzev discusses different aspects of Pascal’s diary, the 1st volume of which covers years 1916 and 1917. What did Pierre Pascal think of war, discipline and revolution? What was his interest in religion and in the ‘mysterious Russian soul’: a riddle he sought to solve for 17 years, until he left the Soviet Union for France in 1933. And although he gained a reputation for being a ‘leftist’ in France, the 1st volume of his Russian Diary deals much more with religion and national identity. Indeed Vladimir Soloviev is mentioned much more often than Vladimir Lenin. All these aspects surely make this a pioneering translation of Pascal’s work, which will attract the interest of a broad range of Russian readers.