While Boris Godunov was in progress, Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky
forwarded to Pushkin advice from his brother-in-law Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin: "He says that in drawing the character of Boris you must bear in mind a wild contradiction between piety and criminal passions.
In 1817, Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky, in a discussion of the playwright Ozerov, became the first Russian critic to apply the word romanticesky to a Russian writer.
Indeed, by the time Vyazemsky attempted to define romantizm in his programmatic articles on Pushkin in the early 1820s, Russia had been participating in the spirit of Romanticism, if not in the letter, for almost as long as Britain or Germany, and for longer than France and America.
Vyazemsky summed up the situation in a letter to the poet Zhukovsky, comparing Romanticism in Russia to the domovoy, the mischievous household spirit of popular superstition: "Romanticism is like domovoy--many believe in it, there is a conviction regarding its existence, but what are its characteristics, how is one to circumscribe it?
The anthology brings together in English a number of important critical sources, including articles by Batushkov, Zhukovsky, Vyazemsky, Kuchelbecker, and Pushkin, as well as Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's "A Glance at Russian Literature in the Course of 1824 and the Beginning of 1825" and selections from his Moscow Telegraph essay under the title "Romanticism and the Novel.