Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin
bbb

Профессиональная этика историка

Пару недель назад я написал об одном исследовании Дэвида Ширера, а потом запостил обширный кусок из его книги.

В обсуждении постинга с этим куском vvagrВитя Агроскин написал коммент, в котором обратил внимание на несоответствие авторского пересказа одного из выступлений и русской цитаты, приведенной в скобках.

Вопрос, очевидно, был просто мелкий, никак не затрагивающий собственно сюжет исследования, но я решил не ограничиваться своими домыслами о том, как оно могло произойти, а написать напрямую автору. При этом с Дэвидом Ширером я никогда знаком не был и о моем существовании он, естественно, и подозревать не мог.

И как отреагировал более чем состоявшийся профессор на письмо от бог весть кого? Не просто разыскал свои старые конспекты, сделанные в московском архиве двадцать шесть лет назад, но еще попросил жену сходить в этот архив и найти тот самый документ.

В итоге, собственно, все оказалось примерно так, как я и предполагал: выступающий заявил, что "говорить о том, что тезисы тов. Коссиора или тезисы тов. Рябовола имеют что-либо общее с практической жизнью, в которой нам приходится работать, явно не приходится"

Мне кажется, что эта маленькая история служит хорошей иллюстрацией того, какой должна быть этика настоящего исследователя. Естественно, все куски из переписки выкладываются с предварительно полученного разрешения Ширера.

Спасибо, Дэвид!



**********

Thank you so much for your kind letter, and your interest in my book. It seems to have found a second life, recently. Your inquiry sent me to a set of filing cabinets that I have not opened in 25-27 years. I did not have much hope, since may notes from those years, of course, were all written long hand in those old ubiquitous burgundy colored Soviet тетради. I was impressed with my young self, though, in that I kept pretty good inventory records of my notes. I was able to find your reference in about ten minutes.

An interesting reference. In my notes I have written Явно не приходится, but I have a question mark after it in parentheses. And, I translated it as if it were Явно не пригодится. So, I am not sure what to say right now. I do not have the original book ms. text anymore, so I cannot check to see what I originally wrote in the ms. I believe that my Russian at the time was good enough to know that Явно не приходится did not make sense, which is why I had the question mark, and also why I translated it as Явно не пригодится. How Явно не приходится made it into the published version, I am not sure. I am certain that If I had translated the phrase as “wholly useless” (Явно не пригодится), I would not have used the phrase Явно не приходится in the ms. So, maybe the book reference is my careless mistake in the ms. or the editor’s mistake? I am about 99 percent certain that the phrase must have been Явно не пригодится. But that still leaves the question why my original archive note has Явно не приходится with a question mark. A couple of explanations come to mind: 1) typed records from that time were often blurred, and it might not have been clear. Also, 2) typed records from that time were done on typewriters in which keys sometimes did not work properly. Stenographers would substitute keys for those that did not work. I remember clearly and often substitutions of the number 3 for the letters з or э. It is possible that the stenographer used х for г. Maybe. Maybe not. Most likely, though, the stenographer made a mistake or the typed record was blurred, which often happened as well. In any case, my wife is in Moscow and she is often in GARF, the state archive of the Russian Federation. GARF and RGAE are in the same complex. I sent her the reference and she can check it if she is in the archive in the couple of weeks.

Your email and blog sent me back to the book, which I have not visited in a long time. There are several things that I would do differently about that book, if I were to revisit it. I would highlight the technocratic aspects of the Stalinist/Rabkrin model more than I did. You may be familiar with Loren Graham at MIT who writes about technical specialists who opposed Stalin. Opposition to the Stalinist model came, of course, from many economists, as a number of scholars point out. But, in contrast to Loren’s arguments, many engineers saw in that command-administrative model a way to break away from commercial-economic constraints and use the state to release the full potential of technological power. I can imagine that for many that was a seductive idea. The other change I would make in the book would be to re-contextualize the discussions about socialism. I read them now and wince at their naiveté. But, that is a discussion for another time.

Thank you, again, for your note. I will certainly let you know if my wife, Marina, is able to track down the document in question.


************

Marina got back to me today. She tracked down the reference you mentioned. She transcribed the relevant paragraph and she photographed it. So, I am sending you, below, her transcription, the photograph of the document page, and a scanned copy of my original notes. I realize that this is not at all a crucial or very important point. The fate of nothing hangs in the balance here. I do this because it gives a rare opportunity to see how a particular piece of evidence gets reproduced from the original to a published account. And, it also gives an example of how some of these documents actually look in the original. You will see that the document is a stenogram typed on a carbon paper copy. From my experience, I would say that this particular item is in pretty good shape compared to some I have seen. The text of this document is somewhat faint and was obviously a copy. It was not the original, but the second sheet of paper under the carbon paper. (That in itself has interesting implications about provenance). Still, the carbon paper was probably in pretty good shape, not overly used. I have seen some documents where it was obvious that the carbon paper was not only used, but so much so that you can see small holes where letters should be and, in some cases, you can see the trace script of a different transcript. Sometimes, it can be difficult to separate which text is which. So, here, first is Marina’s transcript of the document, 2nd, a photo of the original document, and 3rd the brief note in my archive notebook. I apologize if this seems a bit much. I find it interesting to revisit this after so many years.

<...>

1. Marina’s transcription:

РГАЭ. Ф. 3915. Оп. 1. Д. 241. Л. 108

Стенограмма заседания Президиума Всесоюзного совета синдикатов 12.10.1928

Выступление тов. Липшица В.В. члена или кандидата правления.

Теперь перейду к тезисам, которые раздавались здесь. Я думаю, что здесь не может быть двух мнений. У нас есть определенное представление о синдикатской системе, может быть это недостаточно оформлено до сих пор. Но несомненно установка определенная есть и поэтому говорить о том, что тезисы тов. Коссиора или тезисы тов. Рябовола имеют что-либо общее с практической жизнью, в которой нам приходится работать, явно не приходится.

2. Photograph of document page:




3. Archive notebook. June 1991.

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