The Czar's Madman

The Czar's Madman

by Jaan Kross

Timo von Bock's release by the Czar from nine years' incarceration does not spell the end of the Baron's troubles: he is confined to his Livonian estate to live under the constant eye of police informers planted among his own household, and is subjected to end humiliations.

It is claimed that he is a madman and in need of 'protection': a man would need to be insane, after all, to have taken a Czar at his word when asked for a candid appraisal of the state's infirmities.From the year of his release from prison and return to his wife Eeva, a woman of peasant stock to whom, with her brother Jakob, he has given a solid education, the Baron's life is recorded in a secret journal by this same Jakob, a shrewd and observant house-guest.Reconstructing the events leading up to the Baron's incarceration in 1818 and subsequent to his release in 1827, Jakob little by little brings to light mysteries surrounding the 'Czar's madman'.

Read the Book "The Czar's Madman" Online

La voce narrante è il cognato del protagonista, il brillante Timo von Bock, aristocratico di idee illuministiche e amico personale dello zar, che venne richiuso per nove anni nelle carceri russe, poi lasciato benevolmente in libertà vigilata presso la sua tenuta di campagna, con la motivazione ufficiale di 'pazzia' : aveva scritto una lettera con 'vertà' assai scomode. Kross ha condotto rigorose indagini storiche sulle vicende annotate, come ha letto scrupolosamente le carte scritte dallo stesso Timo von Bock. Doris Lessing ha definito l'autore "uno scrittore meraviglioso che avrebbe meritato il Nobel". Ma l'arditezza di Timo è stata, con tutta evidenza, una vera pazzia" .

Il lettore viene a conoscenza della sua vicenda attraverso il diario privato del cognato che segue il nobile e la sorella nelle loro vicissitudini strettamente connesse alla storia, in virtù di quel nuovo status sociale acquisito proprio per benevolenza dello stesso Timo. Controversa invece la figura dello stesso Timo, rilasciato col certificato di pazzia, anche a causa dellepilogo della vicenda ( consiglio dunque di non documentarvi in itinere perché facendo così si rischia di scoprire il suo destino, fatto che avrei voluto invece evincere solo dalla lettura del romanzo). Al contempo godiamo anche degli sviluppi narrativi legati alla vicenda personale del cognato Jacob soprattutto in seguito al suo matrimonio, dopo averlo invero patito in fin dei conti come un sempliciotto non in grado di capire gli alti ideali che muovono lagire di Timo.

Una scrittura misurata, una lettura pacata, come un'onda sempre uguale sulla spiaggia, ma che ha forza, la forza delle parole, dei principi su cui un animo retto si fonda: onestà e Verità. Ma paga la sua sincerità nei confronti dello zar con una lunghissima prigionia e, dopo, con un controllo costante alla sua persona, perchè non sempre chi chiede la Verità è pronto poi ad ascoltarla davvero.

Timo did write a letter to the Czar condemning him for treacheries under his rule. Maybe Kross was writing a how-to guide for readers living under Soviet rule with him. The storytelling voice of Jakob in The Czar's Madman reads like Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1990s film version of Emma. His sister Eeva married the letter scribe of we need a CHANGE. His Czar loved him and allowed him to marry this girl of his choice. Jakob writes often in his journal how he cares about how the events of their lives transpire because it directly affects his own. The best parts of The Czar's Madman would have been this if the action hadn't stopped so often to detail the contents of yet another letter. That Eeva would want Jakob around when she was trying to live like a hummingbird or a shark that can never stop swimming was like going backwards. To Jakob's credit he gives his writings about Timo to Jüri so that he could make up his own mind. The talking to yourself way of Jakob's journal would have been interesting if it went deeply (even his acknowledgement of it falling into the wrong hands doesn't stop him. I also didn't care about Jakob's love life. I don't want to write off his love story as Iette was the first girl to fuck him but... As for Eeva and Timo, it is as boring as sitting in a room with a person who keeps all their cards to their chest as if you were going to lay the losing card on the table. What is the point about living in a book world if you are left to guess at the rattlings inside the bird cages. Eeva did not live to be written about in journals, letters and historical novels. I was only a little girl when this book was written and Kross must've felt tied up to have wanted to find a guy in the past who wanted to stay in his bonds and show you that he is tied up. Timo lets Eeva and Jakob waste years of their lives plotting his escape only to finally admit at first in whispering tones and then louder as he starts to feel himself in the right about his bonds. The subtext drowned out the text when their lives became talking about look at Timo and how much he believes. If what you have to say becomes about how you want to talk about what you have to say then shouldn't you look at Eeva and your son and wonder who you are saying it for. But boy is it ever boring to read endless letters that say the same thing over and over and over and over again to lead to a conclusion about politics when all I really wanted to know is if Eeva ever lived for herself. P.s. Maybe it was some real life "What a coincidence!" moment that Jakob turned down his "love" Iette because her father was a spy, only to marry his (unknown to her) other daughter. But it felt like cheesey novel shit. My book about him would be called The Czars Madmans Wife's Douche Bag Brother.

The Czar's Madman is about Timo von Bock, an actual Estonian nobleman, who has the gall to criticize the Tsar's authoritarian style of rule, and is imprisoned for his trouble.

Rich in 19th Century Estonian and Russian history.

Jakob tiene il diario dal 1827 al 1855 ma si dilunga anche sugli eventi accaduti in precedenza che ci aiutano a conoscere Timotheus van Brock, esponente della nobiltà estone, prima arrestato e poi rilasciato sempre con la stessa motivazione: la pazzia cui sono attribuite le sue azioni di lesa maestà. Nelle scuole si studia il russo e lo studio dellestone non è previsto: lEstonia avrà una propria lingua nazionale solo dopo la dissoluzione dellURSS e potrà così recuperare la sua ricca e articolata tradizione culturale, frutto della mescolanza di elementi autoctoni con altri provenienti sia dallEuropa del Baltico sia dalla grande madre Russia.

don't worry: no spoilers here First, let me say that I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, and not what often passes for historical fiction; i.e., romantic novels set in an historical period. Von Bock was a trusted general and confidant to Alexander I; after the Napoleonic Wars, he returned to his native Livonia (modern-day Estonia) and decided that he would take a wife. It is also a look at Russia under the reign of the Czars, society and the hopes held for the future.

He has been tipped for the Nobel Prize for Literature on several occasions for his novels, but did in fact start his literary career as a poet and translator of poetry.