Natan Eidelman

Natan Eidelman (Eidel'man, Natan Iakovlevich), (Russian: Натан Эйдельман) (1930 – 1989) was a Russian author and historian. He wrote books about author Alexander Pushkin, Decembrists Sergey Muravyov-Apostol and Mikhail Lunin, and historian Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin.

Conspiracy Against the Tsar. A Portrait of the Decembrists. Progress Moscow (1985); 294 pages.
Apostol Sergei : povest' o Sergee Murav'eve-Apostole. Eidel'man, Natan Iakovlevich. Vagrius Moscow (2005); 349 pages.
Lunin Eidel'man, Natan Iakovlevich. Vagrius Moscow (2004); 413 pages; .
Pervyi dekabrist : povest' o neobyknovennoi zhizni i posmertnoi sud'be Vladimira Raevskogo. Eidel'man, Natan Iakovlevich. Vagrius Moskva (2005); 397 pages.
Poslednii letopisets. Eidel'man, Natan Iakovlevich. Vagrius Moskva (2004); 247 pages.

 Books in Russian
"Прекрасен наш союз ..."
"Революция сверху" в России
Александр Радищев
Апостол Сергей
Большой Жанно
Братья Бестужевы
Быть может за хребтом Кавказа
Вьеварум; Лунин
Грань веков
Заговор против царя
Из потаенной истории России XVIII-XIX веков
Мгновенье славы настает...
Обреченный отряд
Первый декабрист
Последний летописец
Пущин: Большой Жанно: Повесть об Иване Пущине
Русский 1789-й
Свободное слово Герцена
Твой 18-й век; Прекрасен наш союз....
Твой восемнадцатый век
Твой девятнадцатый век
Что там за морем - океаном

Victor Erofeyev

Victor Erofeyev (Russian: Виктор Ерофеев; born 1947) is a Russian author, the son of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat (who worked closely with Stalin). He spent some of his childhood in Paris, which accounts for why much of his work has been translated from Russian into French, while comparatively little has reached English.

Erofeyev graduated from Moscow State University in 1970, where he studied Literature and Languages. He then made his post-graduation at the Institute for World Literature in Moscow where he completed his post-graduate work in 1973 and received his kandidat degree in 1975 for his thesis on Dostoyevsky and French existentialism. Consequently Erofeyev's work often contains pastiches of Dostoyevsky's work and themes.

He became a literary critic, publishing works on Shestov and the Marquis de Sade. He later organised his own literary magazine, Metropol, in which many of the big names of Soviet Literature participated like Aksenov, Bitov,Akhmadulina,Okudzhava and others. The magazine was put into circulation via so called «Samizdat», ie, avoiding Soviet censorship. As a result, Erofeyev was expelled from the «Union of Soviet Writers« and got banned from being published until 1988, when Gorbachev came to power.

Victor Erofeyev currently resides in Moscow and frequently appears on Russian television where he has his own programm on the Russian TV channel «Kultura» ( culture), he also has a programm on the Radio Liberty, Moscow. Alfred Schnittke's Life with an Idiot opera is based on his story with the same name which he made into a libretto for the composer.

[edit] Major works
Russian Beauty
The Good Stalin
The Last Judgement
Five Rivers of Life
Encyclopaedia of the Russian Soul
Men and God X
Life with an Idiot (a collection of short stories)
In the Labyrinth of Accursed Questions (a collection of essays)
Erofeyev also regularly contributes to The Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The International Herald Tribune.

[edit] Article
Viktor Jerofejew: "Putins Russland hat ein Image-Problem" (Die Welt, 13. February 2007)

[edit] Bibliography
Andrew Reynolds's essay entitled East is East...? Victor Erofeyev and the Poetics/Politics of Idiocy. Reynolds is the translator of Life with an Idiot, first published by Penguin in English in 2004. ISBN 0-14-023621-X.

Retrieved from ""
Categories: 1947 births | Living people | Russian critics | Russian journalists | Russian novelists | Russian short story writers | Alumni and faculty of Moscow State University

Venedikt Erofeyev

Erofeev was born in the small settlement Poyakonda in Murmansk Oblast. His father was imprisoned during Stalin's purges but survived after 16 years in the gulags. Most of his childhood Erofeev spent in Kirovsk in Karelia. He managed to enter the philology department of the Moscow State University but was expelled from the University after a year and a half because he did not attend compulsory military training. Later he studied in several more institutes in different towns including Kolomna and Vladimir but he has never managed to graduate from any, usually being expelled due to his "amoral behaviour" (actually that was equal to freethinking). Between 1958 and 1975 Erofeev lived without propiska in towns in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, also spending some time in Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan, doing different low-qualified and underpaid jobs. He started writing at the age of 17; in the 1960s he unsuccessfully submitted several articles on Ibsen and Hamsun to literary magazines.

[edit] Literary heritage
Erofeev is best known for his 1969 poem in prose Moscow-Petushki (several English translations exist, including Moscow to the End of the Line and Moscow Stations). It is an account of a journey from Moscow to Petushki (Vladimir Oblast) by train, a journey soaked in alcohol and littered with encounters with some famous and some not so famous figures. During the trip, the hero recounts some of the fantastic escapades he participated in, including declaring war on Norway, and charting the drinking habits of his colleagues when leader of a cable laying crew. The poem was published for the first time in 1973 in Jerusalem immediately making Erofeev famous throughout the world. It was not published in the Soviet Union until 1989.

Of note is his smaller 1988 work, My Petite Leniniana (My Little Leniniana, Моя маленькая лениниана, Moya malenkaya Leniniana), which is basically a collection of quotations from Lenin's works and letters, which show Vladimir Ilyich from a rather ugly side. Sufficient to mention that Erofeev's Leniniana made widely known Lenin's remark (in his letter to Maksim Gorky, 1919) that "intelligentsia is not the brain of the nation, but the shit of the nation".

Erofeev also claimed to have written in 1972 the novel "Shostakovich" about the famous Russian composer, but the manuscript was stolen in a train. The novel has never been found.

Erofeev died of throat cancer. Before his death he finished a play called "Walpurgisnacht or Steps of the Commodore" ("Вальпургиева ночь или Шаги командора") and was working on another play about Fanny Kaplan.

Retrieved from ""

Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg (Russian: Илья́ Григо́рьевич Эренбу́рг IPA: [ɪˈlʲja grʲɪˈgorʲɪvɪtɕ ɪrʲɪnˈburk]), January 27 [O.S. January 15] 1891 (Kiev, Ukraine) – August 31, 1967 (Moscow, Soviet Union) was a Jewish Soviet propagandist, writer and journalist whose 1954 novel The Thaw gave name to the Khrushchev Thaw.

Life and work
Ehrenburg was a revolutionary as a teenager, a disenchanted poet in his youth, writing Catholic poems despite his Jewish background, a follower of Lenin on arrival in Paris, who then became an anti-Bolshevik and sensitive journalist.

Later on he was hired to write Soviet propaganda, while occasionally defending his views with boldness against Stalin or government mouthpieces. Ehrenburg was a public figure during his time. He a was prominent member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.

Ehrenburg is well known for his literary writing, especially his memoirs, which contain many portraits of interest to literary historians and biographers. Together with Vasily Grossman, Ehrenburg edited The Black Book that contains documentary accounts by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and Poland.

He died in 1967 of prostate and bladder cancer, and was interred in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, where his gravestone is adorned with a a reproduction of his portrait drawn by his friend Pablo Picasso.

Literary References

Apparently Alan Furst - considered by many America's premier writer of espionage fiction - found much of Ehrenburg's life and work so riveting that he modeled the central character in his 1991 novel "Dark Star" ISBN 0375759999 on the Russian writer. Addressing the degree to which fact and fiction sometimes overlap, Furst said, "(a particular character) was modeled on a number of people, although I've written about many people who did exist. Andre Szara in "Dark Star", for example, is based on the Russian writer Ilya Ehrenburg" (Boston Globe interview, June 4, 2006). Six weeks later, in another interview, his comments were rather more qualified: "None of my characters are meant to be representations of real people. But in fact, in "Dark Star," the lead character is a Russified Polish Jew, a foreign correspondent for Pravda. So are we talking about Ilya Ehrenburg? Not really. But he's like that." Finally, we're left to decide if that's a yes or a no.

This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2007)

One of the major controversies surrounding Ehrenburg is that during World War II he exhorted Soviet troops to kill the Germans that they encountered, as they advanced. Ehrenburg allegedly authored a leaflet entitled "Kill," which was circulated among the soldiers on the Eastern Front:

"Now we understand the Germans are not human. Now the word 'German' has become the most terrible curse. Let us not speak. Let us not be indignant. Let us kill. If you do not kill a German, a German will kill you. He will carry away your family, and torture them in his damned Germany. If you have killed one German, kill another."
Some historians attribute Ehrenburg's message as a motivating factor for the violence against German civilians that took place[citation needed] as Soviet troops advanced through Nazi occupied territory toward the end of the war. "убей немца" literally translates as "kill the German man".

Other historians challenge Ehrenburg's authorship of the infamous "Kill" leaflet. Their arguments are based on the absence of known original Soviet copies of the leaflet from archives and an article by the alleged author in the Krasnaya Zvezda dated November 24, 1944 in which Ehrenburg explicitly denies his authorship of the "Kill" leaflet. (German) A few historians even claim the "Kill" leaflet to be a fabrication of the Nazi Propagandaministerium, invented to strengthen the German resistance during the final months of the war.

Ivan Yefremov

Ivan Antonovich (real patronymic Antipovich) Yefremov, sometimes spelled Ivan Antonovich Efremov (Russian: Ива́н Анто́нович Ефре́мов; April 22, 1907–October 5, 1972) was a Soviet paleontologist and science fiction author. He originated taphonomy, the study of dead organisms' fate.

Born in the village of Vyritsa in St. Petersburg's province on the 22nd (old style 9th) of April, 1908. Yefremov includes the year 1907 in his biography in order to begin his labor activity earlier. During his young years he had to combine his studies with different kinds of labour. In 1924 under the influence of academician Sushkin he became interested with paleontology. Yefremov was admitted into the Leningrad State University but did not graduate. From the middle of 1930 he took part in several paleontological expeditions on Volga region, Ural, Central Asia. He became a Laboratory Head in the Institute of Paleontology. 1935 he passed an external exam in Leningrad Mining Institute. In the same year he became a Candidate of biological science, and in 1941—a Doctor of biological science.

In the 1940s Yefremov developed a new field of science called taphonomy: the monograph "Taphonomy" was published in 1950 and many regulations of it were successfully employed during his expedition on Gobi desert in Mongolia. In these years he became the world's famous scientist[citation needed] and won the State Prize.

The first belles-lettres story of Ivan Yefremov was first published in 1944. In 1949 the historical novel The Land of Foam (Great Arc, 1946) was published. But he became most famous with his novel Andromeda Nebula (Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale, 1957). This book is the hymn to a whole-hearted world of communist future of mankind that reached the stars and changed the Earth into blooming garden. There is no more inequality between people, the social structure of the society allows each person to reach elevations of self-development. The all-Universe communication system called Great Circle includes mankind in the interstellar family of rational creatures. This book became a moral guiding line for many soviet people.

A Meeting Over Tuscarora (1944)
Olgoi-Khorkhoi (1944)
Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale (Andromeda Nebula, 1957, 1959)
The Land of Foam (At the Edge of Oikoumene also known as Great Arc, 1946)
The Heart of the Serpent (Cor Serpentis, 1958, 1961)
The Yurt of the Raven (1959)
Aphaneor, The Arkharkhellen's Daughter (1959)
Razor's Edge (1963)
Five Paintings (1965)
The Bull's Hour (1968)
Thais of Athens (Thais Athenian, 1972)

[edit] Non-fiction
Road of Winds (1956)

[edit] Scientific works
Ivan Efremov has written more than 100 scientific works. Unfortunately, only few of them were published in languages other than Russian. Below is a list of the works published in German or English. Source - the book "Ivan Antonovich Efremov" by Petr Tchudinov (issued in 1987 by the Publishing House "Nauka", Moscow)

Bentosaurus sushkini ein neuer Labirinthodont aus den Permo-Triassischen Ablagerungen des Scharchenga-Flussess, Nord-Duna Gouvernement , Izvestia Akademii Nauk SSSR (Proceedings of Acad. Sci. USSR. Phys. and Math.), N. 8, P. 757-770 (1929)
Uber die Labyrinthodonten der UdUSSR. II. Permische Labyrinthodonten des fruheren Gouvernement Wjatka, Trudy Paleozoologicheskogo Instituta (Proceedings of Paleozoological Institute), Vol. 2, P. 117-158 (1933)
Some new Permian reptiles of the USSR, Comptes Rendus (Doklady) Acad. Sci. USSR. Paleontol., Vol 19, N 9, P. 771-776 (1938)
Die Mesen-Fauna der Permischen Reptilien , Neues Jahrb. Min. Geol. Pal., Bd. 84. Abt. B, S.379-466 (1940)
Kurze Ubersicht uber die Formen der Perm- und Trias Tetrapoden - Fauna der UdUSSR, Centralbl. Min. Geol., Abth. B. N 12, S. 372-383 (1940)
Taphonomy: a new branch of Paleontology, Pan.-Amer. Geol., Vol. 74, P. 81-93 (1940)
Ulemosaurus svijagensis Riab. - ein Deinocephale aus den Ablagerungen des Perm der USSR, Nove Acta Leopold. (N. F.). Bd 9, S. 155-205 (1940)
The Godwana system of India, and the live history in the later Paleozoic, J. Paleontol. Soc. India, Lucknow D.N. Wadia Jubilee number, Vol. 2, P. 24-28 (1957)
Some consideration on biological bases of Paleontology, Vertebr. Palasiatica, Vol 2, N. 2/3, P. 83-99 (1958)

[edit] External links
Yefremov's bibliography
Yefremov's books available for download (Russian)
Ivan Antonovich Yefremov, his life and creation (Russian)
Club of SF and prognostication "Ivan Yefremov" (Bulgarian)
Ivan Yefremov at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Olson, E.C. The other side of the medal: a paleobiologist reflects on the art and serendipity of science. Blacksburg, Virginia, The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, 1990, 182 p.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: [ˈfʲodər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstʌˈjɛfskʲɪj], sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski listen ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction (Refer his list of works)whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect on intellectual thought and world literature.

Dostoevsky's literary output explores human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of his 19th century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th century existentialism, his Notes from Underground (1864), written in the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", was named by Walter Kaufmann as the "best overture for existentialism ever written."


Early life
Dostoevsky was the second of seven children born to Mikhail and Maria Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky's father was a retired military surgeon and a violent alcoholic, who served as a doctor at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow. The hospital was situated in one of the worst areas in Moscow. Local landmarks included a cemetery for criminals, a lunatic asylum, and an orphanage for abandoned infants. This urban landscape made a lasting impression on the young Dostoevsky, whose interests in and compassion for the poor, oppressed, and tormented was apparent. Though his parents forbade it, Dostoevsky liked to wander out to the hospital garden, where the suffering patients sat to catch a glimpse of sun. The young Dostoevsky loved to spend time with these patients and hear their stories.

There are many stories of Dostoevsky's father's despotic treatment of his children. After returning home from work, he would take a nap while his children, ordered to keep absolutely silent, stood by their slumbering father in shifts and swatted at any flies that came near his head. However, it is the opinion of Joseph Frank, a biographer of Dostoevsky, that the father figure in The Brothers Karamazov is not based on Dostoevsky's own father. Letters and personal accounts demonstrate that they had a fairly loving relationship.

Shortly after his mother died of tuberculosis in 1837, Dostoevsky and his brother were sent to the Military Engineering Academy at St Petersburg. Fyodor's father died in 1839. Though it has never been proven, it is believed by some that he was murdered by his own serfs. According to one account, they became enraged during one of his drunken fits of violence, restrained him, and poured vodka into his mouth until he drowned. Another story holds that Mikhail died of natural causes, and a neighboring landowner invented the story of his murder so that he might buy the estate inexpensively. Some have argued that his father's personality had influenced the character of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, the "wicked and sentimental buffoon", father of the main characters in his 1880 novel The Brothers Karamazov, but such claims fail to withstand the scrutiny of many critics.

Dostoevsky was an epileptic and his first seizure occurred when he was 9 years old. Epileptic seizures recurred sporadically throughout his life, and Dostoevsky's experiences are thought to have formed the basis for his description of Prince Myshkin's epilepsy in his novel The Idiot, among others.

At the St Petersburg Academy of Military Engineering, Dostoevsky was taught mathematics, a subject he despised. However, he also studied literature by Shakespeare, Pascal, Victor Hugo and E.T.A. Hoffmann. Though he focused on areas different from mathematics, he did well on the exams and received a commission in 1841. That year, he is known to have written two romantic plays, influenced by the German Romantic poet/playwright Friedrich Schiller: Mary Stuart and Boris Godunov. The plays have not been preserved. Dostoevsky described himself as a "dreamer" when he was a young man, and at that time revered Schiller. However, in the years during which he yielded his great masterpieces, his opinions changed and he sometimes poked fun at Schiller.

Beginnings of a literary career
Dostoevsky was made a lieutenant in 1842, and left the Engineering Academy the following year. He completed a translation into Russian of Balzac's novel Eugénie Grandet in 1843, but it brought him little or no attention. Dostoevsky started to write his own fiction in late 1844 after leaving the army. In 1845, his first work, the epistolary short novel, Poor Folk, published in the periodical The Contemporary (Sovremennik), was met with great acclaim. As legend has it, the editor of the magazine, poet Nikolai Nekrasov, walked into the office of liberal critic Vissarion Belinsky and announced, "a new Gogol has arisen!" Belinsky, his followers and many others agreed and after the novel was fully published in book form at the beginning of the next year, Dostoevsky became a literary celebrity at the age of 24.

In 1846, Belinsky and many others reacted negatively to his novella, The Double, a psychological study of a bureaucrat whose alter ego overtakes his life. Dostoevsky's fame began to cool. Much of his work after Poor Folk met with mixed reviews and it seemed that Belinsky's prediction that Dostoevsky would be one of the greatest writers of Russia was mistaken.

Exile in Siberia
Dostoevsky was arrested and imprisoned on April 23, 1849 for being a part of the liberal, intellectual group, the Petrashevsky Circle. Czar Nicholas I after seeing the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe was harsh on any sort of underground organization which he felt could put autocracy into jeopardy. On November 16 that year Dostoevsky, along with the other members of the Petrashevsky Circle, was sentenced to death. After a mock execution, in which he and other members of the group stood outside in freezing weather waiting to be shot by a firing squad, Dostoevsky's sentence was commuted to four years of exile with hard labor at a katorga prison camp in Omsk, Siberia. Dostoevsky described later to his brother the sufferings he went through as the years in which he was "shut up in a coffin." Describing the dilapidated barracks which, as he put in his own words, "should have been torn down years ago", he wrote:

"In summer, intolerable closeness; in winter, unendurable cold. All the floors were rotten. Filth on the floors an inch thick; one could slip and fall...We were packed like herrings in a barrel...There was no room to turn around. From dusk to dawn it was impossible not to behave like pigs...Fleas, lice, and black beetles by the bushel..."

He was released from prison in 1854, and was required to serve in the Siberian Regiment. Dostoevsky spent the following five years as a private (and later lieutenant) in the Regiment's Seventh Line Battalion, stationed at the fortress of Semipalatinsk, now in Kazakhstan. While there, he began a relationship with Maria Dmitrievna Isaeva, the wife of an acquaintance in Siberia. They married in February 1857, after her husband's death.

It is popularly believed that Dostoevsky's experiences in prison and the army resulted in major changes in his political and religious convictions, and that after his ordeal he became disillusioned with 'Western' ideas and began to pay greater tribute to traditional Russian values. Perhaps most significantly, he had what his biographer Joseph Frank describes as a conversion experience in prison, which greatly strengthened his Christian, and specifically Orthodox, faith (the experience is depicted by Dostoevsky in The Peasant Marey (1876)). While conversion plays a strong role in many of his works, not all his characters arrive at Christianity in a moment of crisis (notably, Alyosha in The Brothers Karamazov is converted through the example of the good works and moral teachings of Elder Zosima.) Although we cannot assume with authority that Dostoevsky's prison ordeal was the sole catalyst for his dramatic shift in views and style, this explanation parallels his own semi-autobiographical description of prison life in The House of the Dead.

Whether inspired solely by his prison experiences or for reasons known only to himself, Dostoevsky was a sharp critic of the Nihilist and Socialist movements of his day, and in part dedicated his book The Possessed and his The Diary of a Writer to espousing conservatism and criticizing socialist ideas. He later formed a friendship with the conservative statesman Konstantin Pobedonostsev embracing some of the tenets of Pochvennichestvo.

While Dostoevsky's post-prison novels abandoned the European-style domestic melodrama and quaint character study which characterized his youthful work, this might also have been the result of his maturation and growing confidence in himself as a writer. Dostoevsky's mature fiction explored themes of existentialism, spiritual torment, religious awakening and the psychological confusion caused by the conflict between traditional Russian culture and the influx of modern, Western philosophy.

Later literary career
In December 1859, Dostoevsky returned to St. Petersburg, where he ran a series of unsuccessful literary journals, Vremya (Time) and Epokha (Epoch), with his older brother Mikhail. The latter had to be shut down as a consequence of its coverage of the Polish Uprising of 1863. That year Dostoevsky traveled to Europe and frequented the gambling casinos. There he met Apollinaria Suslova, the model for Dostoevsky's "proud women," such as Katerina Ivanovna, in both Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

Dostoevsky was devastated by his wife's death in 1864, which was followed shortly thereafter by his brother's death. He was financially crippled by business debts and the need to provide for his wife's son from her earlier marriage and his brother's widow and children. Dostoevsky sank into a deep depression, frequenting gambling parlors and accumulating massive losses at the tables.

Dostoevsky suffered from an acute gambling compulsion as well as from its consequences. By one account Crime and Punishment, possibly his best known novel, was completed in a mad hurry because Dostoevsky was in urgent need of an advance from his publisher. He had been left practically penniless after a gambling spree. Dostoevsky wrote The Gambler simultaneously in order to satisfy an agreement with his publisher Stellovsky who, if he did not receive a new work, would have claimed the copyrights to all of Dostoevsky's writings.

Motivated by the dual wish to escape his creditors at home and to visit the casinos abroad, Dostoevsky traveled to Western Europe. There, he attempted to rekindle a love affair with Suslova, but she refused his marriage proposal. Dostoevsky was heartbroken, but soon met Anna Grigorevna Snitkina, a twenty-year-old stenographer. Shortly before marrying her in 1867, he dictated The Gambler to her. This period resulted in the writing of what are generally considered to be his greatest books. From 1873 to 1881 he published the Writer's Diary, a monthly journal full of short stories, sketches, and articles on current events. The journal was an enormous success.

Dostoevsky is also known to have influenced and been influenced by the philosopher Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov. Solovyov is noted as the inspiration for the character Alyosha Karamazov.

In 1877, Dostoevsky gave the keynote eulogy at the funeral of his friend, the poet Nekrasov, to much controversy. On June 8, 1880, shortly before he died, he gave his famous Pushkin speech at the unveiling of the Pushkin monument in Moscow . From that event on, Dostoevsky was acclaimed all over Russia as one of her greatest writers and hailed as a prophet, almost a mystic.

In his later years, Fyodor Dostoevsky lived for a long time at the resort of Staraya Russa in northwestern Russia, which was closer to St. Petersburg and less expensive than German resorts. He died on February 9 (January 28 O.S.), 1881 of a lung hemorrhage associated with emphysema and an epileptic seizure. He was interred in Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, St Petersburg, Russia. Forty thousand mourners attended his funeral.1 His tombstone reads "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." from John 12:24, which is also the epigraph of his final novel, The Brothers Karamazov.

Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky
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Perhaps inevitably, given the emotional directness and intensity of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's music, in Russia the composer's name was placed alongside Dostoyevsky's. A typical passage about the two reads, "With a hidden passion they both stop at moments of horror, total spiritual collapse, and finding acute sweetness in the cold trepidation of the heart before the abyss, they both force the reader to experience those feelings, too."

Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky met only once, at a mutual friend's house in the fall of 1864. Neither ever wrote about the meeting. But Tchaikovsky read Dostoyevsky eagerly all his life. He sometimes delighted in what he read, and was sometimes revulsed. The Brothers Karamazov first captivated the composer. As he continued reading, however, he became depressed, writing, "This is becoming intolerable. Every single character is crazy."

Tchaikovsky's final word: "Dostoyevsky is a genius, but an antipathetic writer."

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.That antipathy was not shared by Tchaikovsky's younger contemporaries. They equated Tchaikovsky's symphonies, beginning with the Fourth, with psychological novels at the center of which—for the first time in Russian music—was an ambivalent, suffering personality. Like Dostoyevsky's characters, Tchaikovsky's hero persisted in exploring the meaning of life while trapped in a fatal love-death-faith triangle in the best Dostoyevskian fashion.

Volkov writes that Tchaikovsky's music conveys a Dostoyevskian confusion about the mysteries and contradictions of life using techniques characteristic of Dostoyevsky's novels. These techniques include the writer's—and composer's—favorite piling up of events and emotions leading to a catastrophic, climactic explosion.

He adds that a frenzied longing for love saturates many pages of Tchaikovsky's symphonies and Dostoyevsky's novels alike. The other pole of the same passion—a fascination with and fear of death, combined with the need to confront it—is also typical of both composer and novelist. For both Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky, the most perplexing mystery was death, not life.

Tchaikovsky's notes concerning the hidden "program" of the Fifth Symphony, Volkov comments, are a case in point: "The fullest submission before fate, or, which is the same thing, before the inexplicable predestination of Providence." A reader, Volkov writes, could almost feel the pain Tchaikovsky suffers as fatalism and pessimism bear down upon him. Then Tchaikovsky adds, in a note relating to the second movement of the same symphony, "Should one throw oneself into the arms of faith???"

For Dostoyevsky, Volkov concludes, leaping into the arms of faith was both natural and profound. Tchaikovsky could not make such a leap. John Warrack phrases Tchaikovsky's dilemma this way:

Lonely, desperately unhappy and, for all the fictions he consciously assumed, fundamentally honest with himself, he turned to composition for consolation and delight, and gradually, as his art grew to maturity, for the release into music of his frustated personality. It is not until we understand his threefold isolation—a man feeling himself cut off from the ordinary world, an exceptional talent projected into a young musical tradition struggling to form itself, and a Russian of intense patriotism ambitious for his isolated country's artistic and intellectual maturity—that we shall fully appreciate the scope of his achievement.

Works and influence

Dostoevsky's tomb at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.Despite his death in 1881, Dostoevsky is often considered to have had an immense influence upon the modernist movements in twentieth century philosophy and psychology. Dostoevsky's influence has been acclaimed by a wide variety of writers, including Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Charles Bukowski, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry Miller, Yukio Mishima, Gabriel García Márquez, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan and Joseph Heller. American novelist Ernest Hemingway, in his autobiographic books, cited Dostoevsky as a major influence on his work.

In a book of interviews with Arthur Power (Conversations with James Joyce), James Joyce praised Dostoevsky's influence:

"...he is the man more than any other who has created modern prose, and intensified it to its present-day pitch. It was his explosive power which shattered the Victorian novel with its simpering maidens and ordered commonplaces; books which were without imagination or violence."
In her essay The Russian Point of View, Virginia Woolf stated that,

"The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools, gyrating sandstorms, waterspouts which hiss and boil and suck us in. They are composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul. Against our wills we are drawn in, whirled round, blinded, suffocated, and at the same time filled with a giddy rapture. Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading."
Though a writer of symbolic tales (and in this respect sometimes compared to Herman Melville), Dostoevsky displayed a nuanced understanding of human psychology in his major works. He created an opus of vitality and almost hypnotic power, characterized by feverishly dramatized scenes where his characters are, frequently in scandalous and explosive atmosphere, passionately engaged in Socratic dialogues à la Russe; the quest for God, the problem of Evil and suffering of the innocents haunt the majority of his novels.

His characters fall into a few distinct categories: humble and self-effacing Christians (Prince Myshkin, Sonya Marmeladova, Alyosha Karamazov, Starets Zosima), self-destructive nihilists (Svidrigailov, Smerdyakov, Stavrogin, the underground man), cynical debauchees (Fyodor Karamazov), and rebellious intellectuals (Raskolnikov, Ivan Karamazov); also, his characters are driven by ideas rather than by ordinary biological or social imperatives. In comparison with Tolstoy, whose characters are realistic, the characters of Dostoevsky are usually more symbolic of the ideas they represent, thus Dostoevsky is often cited as one of the forerunners of Literary Symbolism in specific Russian Symbolism (see Alexander Blok).

Statue of Dostoyevsky in OmskDostoevsky's novels are compressed in time (many cover only a few days) and this enables the author to get rid of one of the dominant traits of realist prose, the corrosion of human life in the process of the time flux — his characters primarily embody spiritual values, and these are, by definition, timeless. Other obsessive themes include suicide, wounded pride, collapsed family values, spiritual regeneration through suffering (the most important motif), rejection of the West and affirmation of Russian Orthodoxy and Tsarism. Literary scholars such as Bakhtin have characterized his work as 'polyphonic': unlike other novelists, Dostoevsky does not appear to aim for a 'single vision', and beyond simply describing situations from various angles, Dostoevsky engendered fully dramatic novels of ideas where conflicting views and characters are left to develop unevenly into unbearable crescendo.

Dostoevsky and the other giant of late 19th century Russian literature, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, never met in person, even though each praised, criticized and influenced each other (Dostoevsky remarked of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina that it was a "flawless work of art"; Henri Troyat reports that Tolstoy once remarked of Crime and Punishment that, "Once you read the first few chapters you know pretty much how the novel will end up").[citation needed] There was, however, a meeting arranged, but there was a confusion about where the meeting place was and they never rescheduled. Tolstoy reportedly burst into tears when he learnt of Dostoevsky's death. A copy of The Brothers Karamazov was found on the nightstand next to Tolstoy's deathbed at the Astapovo railway station. Since their time, the two are considered by the critics and public as two of the greatest novelists produced by their homeland.

Dostoevsky has also been noted as expressing anti-Semitic views. In the recent biography by Joseph Frank, The Mantle of the Prophet, Frank spent much time on "A Writer's Diary - a regular column which [Dostoevsky] wrote in the periodical The Citizen from 1873 to the year before his death in 1881," and notes that the Diary is "filled with politics, literary criticism, and pan-Slav diatribes about the virtues of the Russian Empire, [and] represents a major challenge to the Dostoevsky fan, not least on account of its frequent expressions of anti-Semitism."

Dostoevsky and Existentialism
With the publication of Crime and Punishment in 1866, Fyodor Dostoevsky became one of Russia's most prominent authors in the nineteenth century. Dostoevsky has also been called one of the founding fathers of the philosophical movement known as existentialism. In particular, his Notes from Underground, first published in 1864, has been depicted as a founding work of existentialism. For Dostoevsky, war is the rebellion of the people against the idea that reason guides everything. And thus, reason is the ultimate principle of guidance for neither history nor mankind. Having been exiled to the city of Omsk (Siberia) in 1849, many of Dostoevsky's works entail notions of suffering and despair.

Nietzsche referred to Dostoevsky as "the only psychologist from whom I have something to learn: he belongs to the happiest windfalls of my life, happier even than the discovery of Stendhal." He said that Notes from the Underground "cried truth from the blood." According to Mihajlo Mihajlov's "The great catalyzer: Nietzsche and Russian neo-Idealism", Nietzsche constantly refers to Dostoevsky in his notes and drafts through out the winter of 1886-1887. Nietzsche also wrote abstracts of several of Dostoevsky's works.

Freud wrote an article entitled Dostoevsky and Parricide that asserts that the greatest works in world literature are all about parricide (though he is critical of Dostoevsky's work overall, the inclusion of The Brothers Karamazov in a set of the three greatest works of literature is remarkable).

Dostoevsky's fanatical aversion to Poles
Dostoevsky had fanatical aversion, actually hatred, to Poles. In the Dostoevsky's novels, the Poles are only marginal figures of fun or occasional stage villains. It is well visible in majority of his books and offends the eye sometimes. Such depiction does not refer to the actual image of a typical 19th century Pole at all. It was just Poles who were repressed by Russians after the partitions of Poland - Dostoevsky met them first on the Siberia katorga and they even made a strong impression on him then, for their patriotic inflexibility. However, the writer - known for his fanatic nationalism - accused the Poles of moral infidelity to the Slavic tradition, due to their natural adhering to the Western customs and disobedience to the violent Russian imperialism.

Dostoevsky's notion of rebellion
Dostoevsky, in a chapter of The Brothers Karamazov entitled Rebellion, has the atheist character Ivan Karamazov ask his religious brother Alyosha:

Imagine you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death one tiny creature- that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance- and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect of those conditions?
Dostoevsky's character makes the point that if there is a God, he is unjust and immoral for making innocent children suffer even if it is to make the world a better place. Ivan further states that the moral thing for a person to do would be to reject God’s bargain (The suffering of children to make the world a better place) and give back their ticket to heaven: “I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible”.

Major works

Бедные люди
Poor Folk

Двойник. Петербургская поэма
The Double: A Petersburg Poem

Неточка Незванова
Netochka Nezvanova

Село Степанчиково и его обитатели
The Village of Stepanchikovo

Записки из мертвого дома
The House of the Dead

Униженные и оскорбленные
The Insulted and Humiliated

Скверный анекдот
A Nasty Story

Записки из подполья
Notes from Underground

Преступление и наказание
Crime and Punishment

The Gambler

The Idiot

The Possessed

The Raw Youth

Братья Карамазовы
The Brothers Karamazov

Дневник писателя
A Writer's Diary

Short stories
Белые ночи (White Nights) (1848)
Елка и свадьба (A Christmas Tree and a Wedding) (1848)
Слабое сердце (A Weak Heart) (1848)
Честный вор (An Honest Thief) (1848)
Вечный Муж (The Eternal Husband) (1870)
Мужик Марей (The Peasant Marey) (1876)
Сон смешного человека (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man) (1877)
Кроткая (A Gentle Creature, sometimes translated as The Meek Girl) (1876)

For Quiz related to this author and earn money please visit Squareroot

Yanka Dyagileva

Yanka Dyagileva (full name Yana Stanislavovna Dyagileva, Russian: Яна Станиславовна Дягилева) (born September 4, 1966 in Novosibirsk - died May 9(?), 1991) was a Russian poet and singer. She played solo and with several artists, such as Egor Letov and Velikie Oktyabri (Great Octobers) rock band.

On May 9, 1991, she left a house in the countryside where she lived with her family and disappeared. On May 17, she was found dead in the river Inya, probably committed suicide after long depression, although this point of view was never officially confirmed.
1988 - Ne polozheno! (Not allowed!)

1988 - Declassirovannim elementam

1988 - Live in Kurgan

1989 - Prodano! (Sold!)

1989 - Krasnogvardeyskaya (Live in Moscow)
Named after Moscow Metro station. A.k.a. "Akustika".

1989 - Live in Kharkov, Ukraine

1989 - Domoy! (To Home!)

1989 - Anhedonia

1990 - Yanka & Grazhdanskaya Oborona live in MEI

1991 - Styd i Sram (Shame and Reproach)
There are two variants of this album. One contains 4 songs in acoustic. Another is a compilation and remastering done by Egor Letov, there are 7 songs in it, most electric.

and some self-made recordings...

[edit] External links
Tribute web site
Yanka Dyagileva at MusicBrainz

Nadezhda Durova

Nadezhda Andreyevna Durova (Russian: Надежда Андреевна Дурова) also known as Alexander Durov, Alexander Sokolov and Alexander Andreevich Alexandrov (1783, Kiev - March 21, 1866, Yelabuga ) was a woman who became a decorated soldier in the Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic wars. She was the first known female officer in the Russian military. Her memoir is a significant document of its era because few junior officers of the Napoleonic wars published their experiences and The Cavalry Maiden is one of the earliest autobiographies in the Russian language.

Nadezhda Andreyevna Durova (Russian: Надежда Андреевна Дурова) also known as Alexander Durov, Alexander Sokolov and Alexander Andreevich Alexandrov (1783, Kiev - March 21, 1866, Yelabuga ) was a woman who became a decorated soldier in the Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic wars. She was the first known female officer in the Russian military. Her memoir is a significant document of its era because few junior officers of the Napoleonic wars published their experiences and The Cavalry Maiden is one of the earliest autobiographies in the Russian language.

Sergei Dovlatov

Sergei Donatovich Dovlatov (Mechik) (Russian: Сергей Донатович Довлатов (Мечик) September 3, 1941-August 24, 1990) was a Russian short-story writer and novelist.

Dovlatov was born on September 3, 1941 in Ufa, Republic of Bashkiria, where his family had been evacuated during World War II from Leningrad. His mother is Armenian and his father is Jewish. After 1945 he lived with his family in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Dovlatov studied at the Finnish Department of Leningrad State University, but flunked after two and a half years. He was drafted into the Soviet Army and served as a prison guard in high-security camps. Later, he earned his living as a journalist in various newspapers and magazines in Leningrad and then as a correspondent of the Tallinn newspaper "Soviet Estonia". He supplemented his income by being a summer tour guide in the Pushkin preserve, a museum near Pskov. Dovlatov wrote prose fiction, but his numerous attempts to get published in the Soviet Union were in vain . The set of his first book was destroyed under the order of the KGB. In 1976, some stories by Dovlatov had been published in Western Russian-language magazines, including "Continent", "Time and us", resulting in his expulsion from the Union of Journalists of the USSR.

In 1979 Dovlatov emigrated from the Soviet Union with his mother, Nora, and came to live with his wife and daughter in New York, where he later co-edited "The New American", a liberal, Russian-language emigre newspaper. In the mid 80's, Dovlatov finally achieved recognition as a writer, being printed in the prestigious magazine "The New Yorker". Dovlatov died on August 24, 1990 in New York and was buried at the Mount Hebron Cemetery.

Sergei Dovlatov published twelve books in the USA and Europe during his twelve years as an immigrant. In the Soviet Union, the writer was known from Samizdat and Radio Liberty. After his death and the fall of the Soviet Union, numerous collections of his short stories were finally published in Russia making him one of the best loved Russian writers of the second half of the 20th century.

Quotes: "One can revere Tolstoy's mind. Delight in Pushkin's finesse. Appreciate the spiritual quest of Dostoyevsky. Gogol's humor. And so on. Yet Chekhov is the only one I would want to resemble."

Yuri Dombrovsky

Yuri Dombrovsky (Russian: Юрий Домбровский; 1909-1978) was a Russian writer of Romani ethnicity who spent nearly eighteen years in Soviet prison camps and exile.

Dombrovsky was the son of a lawyer and fell foul of the authorities as early as 1932, for his part in the student suicide case described in The Faculty of Useless Knowledge. He was exiled to Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan where he established himself as a teacher, and which provided the setting for his novel The Keeper of Antiquities. This work, translated into English by Michael Glenny, gives several ominous hints as to the development of the Stalinist terror and its impact in remote Alma-Ata.

Dombrovsky had begun publishing literary articles in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda by 1937, when he was imprisoned again - this time for a mere seven months, having the luck to be detained during the partial hiatus between the downfall of Yezhov and the appointment of Beria.

Dombrovsky's first novel Derzhavin was published in 1938 and he was accepted into the Union of Soviet Writers in 1939, the year in which he was arrested yet again. This time he was sent to the notorious Kolyma camps in northeast Siberia, of which we are given brief but chilling glimpses in The Faculty of Useless Knowledge.

Dombrovsky, partially paralysed, was released from the camps in 1943 and lived as a teacher in Alma-Ata until 1949. There he wrote The Monkey Comes for his Skull and The Dark Lady. In 1949 he was again arrested, this time in connection with the campaign against foreign influences and cosmopolitanism. This time he received a ten-year sentence, to be served in the Taishet and Osetrovo regions in Siberia.

In 1955 he was released and fully rehabilitated the following year. Until his death in 1978, he lived in Moscow with Clara Fazulaevna (a character in The Faculty of Useless Knowledge). He was allowed to write, and was translated abroad, but none of his books was re-issued in the USSR. Nor was he allowed abroad, even to Poland.

The Faculty of Useless Knowledge (Harvill, translated by Alan Myers), the sombre and chilling sequel to The Keeper of Antiquities took eleven years to write. Dombrovsky was able to see it published before his death.

Nikolay Dobrolyubov

Nikolay Aleksandrovich Dobrolyubov (Russian: Николай Александрович Добролюбов) (January 24 (N.S. February 5), 1836 - November 17(29), 1861) was a Russian literary critic, publicist, and revolutionary democrat.

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin (Гаври́ла Рома́нович Держа́вин, July 14, 1743 – July 20, 1816) was the greatest Russian poet before Alexander Pushkin. Although his works are traditionally assigned to the literary Classicism, his best verse is full of antitheses and conflicting sounds in the way reminiscent of John Donne and other Metaphysical poets.

Derzhavin was born in Kazan. His father was a poor country squire of Tatar origin who died when Gavrila was still young. He received a little formal education at the gymnasium there, but left for Petersburg as a private in the guards. There he rose from the ranks as a common soldier to the highest offices of state under Catherine the Great. He first impressed his commanders during the Pugachev rebellion. Politically astute, his career advanced when he left the military service for civil service. He rose to the position of governor of Olonets (1784) and Tambov (1785), personal secretary to the Empress (1791), President of the College of Commerce (1794), finally become the Minister of Justice (1802). He retired in 1803 and spent the rest of his life in the country estate at Zvanka near Novgorod, writing idylls and anacreontic verse. He died in 1816 and was buried in the Khutyn Monastery near Zvanka, reburied by the Soviets in the Novgorod Kremlin and then reinterred at Khutyn.

Derzhavin is best remembered for his odes, dedicated to the Empress and other courtiers. He paid little attention to the prevailing system of genres, and many a time would fill an ode with elegiac, humorous or satiric contents. In his grand ode to the Empress, for instance, he mentions searching for fleas in his wife's hair and compares his own poetry with lemonade.

Unlike other Classicist poets, Derzhavin found delight in the carefully chosen details, like a colour of wallpaper in his bedroom or a poetical inventary of his daily meal. He believed that the French was a language of harmony, the Russian was a language of conflict. Although he relished harmonious alliterations, sometimes he would deliberately instrument his verse to the effect of cacophony.

Derzhavin's major odes were the impeccable "On the Death of Prince Meschersky" (1779); the playful "Ode to Felicia" (1784); the lofty "God" (1785), which was translated into all languages of Europe; "Waterfall" (1794), occasioned by the death of Prince Potemkin, and "Bullfinch" (1800), a poignant elegy on the death of his friend Suvorov. He also provided lyrics for the first Russian national anthem, Let the sound of victory sound!

According to D.S. Mirsky, "Derzhavin's poetry is a universe of amazing richness; its only drawback was that the great poet was of no use either as a master or as an example. He did nothing to raise the level of literary taste or to improve the literary language, and as for his poetical flights, it was obviously impossible to follow him into those giddy spheres"[1]. Nevertheless, Nikolai Nekrasov professed to follow Derzhavin rather than Pushkin, and Derzhavin's line of broken rhythms was continued by Marina Tsvetaeva in the 20th century.

Memorable lines
Gde stol byl yastv, tam grob stoit (English: Where used to be a table full of viands, a coffin now stands)
Ya tsar, - ya rab, - ya cherv, - ya bog (English: I'm a czar - I'm a slave - I'm a worm - I'm a God)

Lines found at Derzhavin's table after his death

The current of Time's river
Will carry off all human deeds
And sink into oblivion
All peoples, kingdoms and their kings.
And if there's something that remains
Through sounds of horn and lyre,
It too will disappear into the maw of time
And not avoid the common pyre...

Denis Davydov

Denis Vasilyevich Davydov (Russian: Денис Васильевич Давыдов) (27 July 1784 — 22 April 1839) was a Russian soldier-poet of the Napoleonic Wars who invented a specific genre — hussar poetry noted for its hedonism and bravado — and spectacularly designed his own life to illustrate such poetry.

Davydov stemmed from a great family of Russian nobility. After gaining celebrity as an indefatigable guerrilla leader of the Russian Patriotic War, he became one of the most popular men in the country. Young men of Pushkin's circle viewed him as a model romantic hero and the Decembrists prized his company as well.

Davydov's poems read like a diary of the hussar and bon-vivant that he was. Admired by Belinsky for their organic quality and Russianness, they address such themes as courage in battle, harlots, vodka, and the value of true friendship. In them he sings the praise of reckless valor, on the field of battle as well as before the bottle.

The diction in some of his poems is rather unconventional, and occasionally his words have to be replaced by dots, but it is always full of spirit and great rhythmical go. His later poems are inspired by a late love for a very young girl. They are passionately sentimental and as vivid and alive in diction and rhythmical elasticity as his hussar verses. Pushkin had a high opinion of his poetry and used to say that Davydov showed him the way to be original.[1].

The literary mask of a dashing hussar is belied by some of Davydov's lesser known writings. He brought out an Essay towards a Theory of Guerilla Warfare (1821) and Some events from the life of Denis Vasilievich Davydov, a series of recollections on military life, used by Leo Tolstoy in writing War and Peace. Davydov even makes an appearance in Tolstoy's novel in the person of Vasily Denisov. According to D.S. Mirsky, "in his autobiography he indulges in a veritable orgy of puns and jokes not always in the best of taste. His military writings are fresh, vigorous, and racy; and his memoirs contain some of the best military reading in the language"[2].

[edit] References
This article incorporates text from D.S. Mirsky's "A History of Russian Literature" (1926-27), a publication now in the public domain.

[edit] Notes
^ D.S. Mirsky. A History of Russian Literature. Northwestern University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8101-1679-0. Page 82.
^ D.S. Mirsky. A History of Russian Literature. Northwestern University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8101-1679-0. Page 118.

[edit] External links
(Russian) Biography
(Russian) Poems
Retrieved from ""

Lydia Chukovskaya

Lydia Korneievna Chukovskaya (Russian: Лидия Корнеевна Чуковская) (24 March [O.S. 11 March] 1907 – February 8, 1996) was a Russian writer and poet. Her deeply personal writings reflect the human cost of Soviet totalitarianism, and she devoted much of her career to defending dissidents such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov. She was herself the daughter of the celebrated children's writer Korney Chukovsky, wife of the scientist Matvei Bronstein, and close associate and chronicler of the poet Anna Akhmatova.

Early life
Lydia Chukovskaya was born in 1907 in Helsingfors (present-day Helsinki) in the Grand Duchy of Finland, then a part of the Russian Empire. Her father was Korney Chukovsky, a poet who is regarded today as perhaps the best-loved children's writer in Russian literature.

She grew up in St Petersburg, the former capital of the empire torn by war and revolution. Chukovsky recorded that his daughter would muse on the problem of social justice while she was still a little girl. But Lydia's greatest passion was literature, especially poetry. It could hardly have been otherwise, given her pedigree and circumstances — their house was frequently visited by leading members of the Russian literati, such as Blok, Gumilyov and Akhmatova. The city was also home to the country's finest artists — Lydia saw Chaliapin perform at the opera, for instance, and also met the painter Ilya Repin.

Lydia got into trouble with the Bolshevik authorities at an early age, when one of her friends used her father's typewriter to print an anti-Bolshevik leaflet. Lydia was exiled to the city of Saratov for a short period, but the experience did not make her particularly political. Indeed, upon her return from exile, she returned to Leningrad's literary world, joining the state publishing house in 1927 as an editor of children's books. Her mentor there was Samuil Marshak, perhaps her father's biggest rival in Russian children's literature. Her first literary work, a short story entitled Leningrad-Odessa, was published around this time, under the pseudonym "A. Uglov".

Soon, Chukovskaya fell in love with a brilliant young physicist of Jewish origin, by the name of Matvei Bronstein. The two got married. In the late 1930s, Stalin's Great Terror enveloped the land. Chukovskaya's employer came under attack for being too "bourgeois", and a number of its authors were arrested and executed. Matvei Bronstein also became one of Stalin's many victims. He was arrested in 1937 on a false charge and, unknown to his wife, was tried and executed in February 1938. Chukovskaya too would have been arrested, had she not been away from Leningrad at the time.

[edit] Later life and career

Matvei Bronstein, Lydia's husbandFor several years, her life was to remain nomadic and precarious. She was separated from her daughter Yelena, and kept in the dark about her husband's fate. In 1939-40, while she waited in vain for news, Chukovskaya wrote Sofia Petrovna, a harrowing story about life during the Great Purges. But it was a while before this story would achieve widespread recognition. Out of favour with the authorities, yet principled and uncompromising, Chukovskaya was unable to hold down any kind of steady employment. But gradually, she started to get published again: an introduction to the works of Taras Shevchenko, another one for the diaries of Miklouho-Maclay.

By the time of Stalin's death in 1953, Chukovskaya had become a respected figure within the literary establishment, as one of the editors of the cultural monthly Literaturnaya Moskva. During the late 1950s, Sofia Petrovna finally made its way through Russia's literary circles, in manuscript form through samizdat. Khrushchev's Thaw set in, and the book was about to be published in 1963, but was stopped at the last moment for containing "ideological distortions". Indomitable as ever, Chukovskaya sued the publisher for full royalties and won. The book was eventually published in Paris in 1965, but without the author's permission and under the somewhat inaccurate title The Deserted House. There were also some unauthorized alterations to the text. The following year, a New York publisher published it again, this time with the original title and text restored.

Chukovskaya was a lifelong friend of Anna Akhmatova, and her next major work Spusk pod Vodu (Descent Into Water) described, in diary form, the precarious experiences of Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoshchenko. This book too was banned from publication in her native land. In 1964, Chukovskaya spoke out against the persecution of the young Joseph Brodsky; she would do so again for Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov. She wrote a series of letters in support of Solzhenitsyn; these were published in Munich in 1970.

In supporting Soviet dissidents, Chukovskaya lost her own right to publish inside Russia. Although the KGB monitored her closely, it is thought that the Soviet state refrained from meting out harsher punishment, because of her reputation in the West but also because of her father’s indisputable stature in Russian culture.

Her relationship with Akhmatova was the subject of two more books. Throughout her life, Chukovskaya also wrote poems of an intensely personal nature, touching upon her life, her lost husband, and the tragedy of her people.

In her old age, she shared her time between Moscow and her father’s dacha in Peredelkino, a village that was the home to many writers including Boris Pasternak. She died in Peredelkino in February 1996.

Sofia Petrovna became legally available for the Soviet readers only in February 1988 after it was published in the magazine Neva. This publication made possible publications of the other Lidia Chukovskaya’s works as Chukovskaya explicitly forbade any publications of her fiction in the Soviet Union before an official publication of Sofia Petrovna [1].

[edit] References
Website of the Chukovsky family
NAME Chukovskaya, Lydia Korneievna
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Чуковская, Лидия Корнеевна (Russian)
SHORT DESCRIPTION Russian writer and poet
DATE OF BIRTH March 24, 1907
PLACE OF BIRTH Helsingfors, Grand Duchy of Finland
DATE OF DEATH February 8, 1996
PLACE OF DEATH Peredelkino, Russia

Retrieved from ""

Korney Chukovsky

Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky (Russian: Корней Иванович Чуковский, March 31 NS 1882 - October 28, 1969) is probably the most popular poet for children in the Russian language. His poems Doctor Aybolit (Айболит), Giant Roach (Тараканище), Crocodile (Крокодил) and Wash'em'clean (Мойдодыр) have been favourites with many generations of Russophone children. He aEarly life
His real name was Nikolay Vasilyevich Korneychukov (Russian: Николай Васильевич Корнейчуков), which he humorously reworked into his now familiar pen-name while working as a journalist in Odessa News in 1901. He was born in St.Petersburg, an illegitimate son of Ekaterina Osipovna Korneychukova (a peasant girl from the Poltava region in Ukraine) by Emmanuil Solomonovich Levinson, from a wealthy Jewish family (grandfather of mathematician Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin). Levinson's family did not permit their marriage, and they eventually separated. Korneychukova moved to Odessa with Nikolaj and his sibling. Levinson supported them financially for some time. Nikolay studied in Odessa gymnasium, with Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky as a classmate. Later Nikolay was expelled from the gymnasium for his "low origin". He had to get his secondary school and university diplomas by correspondence.

He taught himself English, and, in 1903-05, he served as a correspondent of an Odessa newspaper in London, where he admittedly spent his entire time in British Library instead of the press gallery in the Parliament. Back in Russia, Chukovsky started translating from English and published several analyses of contemporary European authors, which brought him in touch with leading personalities of Russian literature and secured the friendship of Alexander Blok. His influence on Russian literary society of 1890s is immortalized by satirical verses of Sasha Cherny Korney Belinsky (allusion on the famous critic Vissarion Belinsky). Later the publications of the time was published in the books From Chekhov to Our Days (1908), Critique stories (1911), Faces and masks (1914). He also published a satirical magazine Signal (1905-1906) and was arrested for "insulting the ruling house" but was acquitted after six months.

[edit] Later life and works

Mayakovsky's cartoon of Korney ChukovskyIt was at that period that Chukovsky produced his first fantasies for children. As the 2004 Encyclopædia Britannica put it, "their clockwork rhythms and air of mischief and lightness in effect dispelled the plodding stodginess that had characterized prerevolutionary children's poetry". Subsequently, they were adapted for theatre and animated films, with Chukovsky as one of collaborators. Sergei Prokofiev and other composers even adapted some of his poems for opera and ballet. His works were popular with the emigre children as well, as Vladimir Nabokov's complimentary letter to Chukovsky attests.

Boris Pasternak (L) and Korney Chukovsky at the first Congress of the Union of Soviet Writers in 1934.During the Soviet period, Chukovsky edited the complete works of Nikolay Nekrasov and published From Two to Five (1933), a popular guidebook to the language of children. As his invaluable diaries attest, Chukovsky used his popularity to help the authors persecuted by the regime including Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Alexander Galich and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He was the only Soviet writer who officially congratulated Boris Pasternak on his having been awarded of the Nobel Prize. His daughter Lydia Chukovskaya is remembered as a lifelong companion and secretary of the poet Anna Akhmatova.

Starting from the 1930s, Chukovsky lived in the writers' village of Peredelkino near Moscow, where he is buried. At one point his writings for children were under severe criticism. Nadezhda Krupskaya was an initiator of this campaign, but inadequate criticism came also from children's writer Agniya Barto. For his life-time works on Nekrasov he got D.Sci in philology, Lenin Prize (1962, for his book, Mastery of Nekrasov) and an honorary doctorate of Oxford University in 1962.

[edit] External links
(Russian)Site devoted to Chukovsky
(Russian)Korney Chukovsky Live as Life
(Russian)Site devoted to Chukovsky
(Russian)Valentin Berestov 'He gave his life to art without change
(Russian)Dmitry Bykov about Chukovsky
Retrieved from ""
lso was an influential literature critic and essayist.

Sasha Cherny

Sasha Cherny (Russian: Саша Чёрный), real name Alexander Mikhailovich Glickberg, (Russian: Александр Михайлович Гликберг) (October 13, 1880 N.S.–1932) was a Russian poet, satirist and children's writer.

Early years
Alexander Mikhailovich Glikberg was born into a family of pharmacists in Odessa (currently Ukraine) on October 13 N.S. 1880. The Glikberg family was not a happy one: his mother suffered from hysteria and children were bad for her nerves; his father often became violent and severely punished his children. It so happened that among five Glikberg children there were two Alexanders (or Sashas for short), the blond Sasha was usually called White Sasha (Bely Sasha in Russian) and the brunet Black Sasha (Cherny Sasha in Russian).

The Glikberg children could not enter gymnasium because of the quota restriction for enrolment of Jews in schools in Imperial Russia. Eventually the Glikbergs solved the problem by baptizing themselves and their children. After this, in 1889 the children entered the Odessa gymnasium. Alexander found studying in the gymnasium akin to a boring bureaucratic service. At the age of fifteen he ran away from home. For some time he lived with his aunt in Saint Petersburg but after being expelled from a Saint Petersburg gymnasium for failing algebra, he was left homeless and without money. Neither his parents nor other relatives responded to his letters and pleas for help.

Fortunately for Alexander, his story was published by the journalist Alexander Yablonovsky in the popular newspaper Syn Otechestva. The article was read by a Zhitomir French-Russian K.K. Rochet, who decided to adopt the boy. Alexander entered a Zhitomir gymnasium, from which he was also eventually expelled after a conflict with the principal. Alexander served two years in the Army and then got a job as a customs officer in the village of Novosiltsy on the border with Austria-Hungary. In 1904 he returned to his adoptive family in Zhitomir and worked as a journalist for the magazine Volynsky Vestnik. The magazine went bankrupt within two months, and Alexander decided to continue his journalistic career in Saint Petersburg.

On moving to Saint Petersburg he worked on an administrative job for the Saint-Petersburg - Warsaw Railroad. There he met his wife, Maria Ivanovna Vasilieva, who was his manager at the railroad. She was a few years older than him, better educated and richer. In Cherny's verse, marriage to a co-worker was often noted as the worst fate of a human. Despite this, their marriage seems to have been a happy one and lasted all their lives.

They spent their honeymoon in Italy, in 1905. After returning to Saint Petersburg Alexander published (under the nom de plume Sasha Cherny) a collection of verse (Nonsense (Чепуха)) in the magazine Zritel. The magazine was closed by the government as a result of these verses, but their effect on the readers was huge. The verses were distributed throughout the country rewritten by hand and Cherny soon became a popular and sought after author.

Between 1906 and 1907 Sasha Cherny lived in Germany and studied at University of Heidelberg. In 1908 he returned to Saint Petersburg and wrote for the popular magazine Satirikon to wide popular acclaim. When somebody gets an issue of the magazine, at first he looks for the Sasha Cherny verses, there is no such student, physician or lawyer who does not know Cherny's lyrics by heart, wrote Korney Chukovsky, who was also a Satirikon contributor. Among the admirers of his lyrics was said to be Vladimir Mayakovsky, who knew many by heart and often recited them. In 1910 Sasha Cherny published his book of verses Satires, in 1911 another one Satires and Lyrics. He also publishes children books Tuk-Tuk1913 and Live ABC (1914).

War and emigration
During World War I Sasha Cherny served as a private at a field hospital. After the October Revolution he emigrated to Vilnius, then to Germany, where he worked for the Berlin magazine Fire-bird, then to France, where he worked for the Parisian Russian newspaper. In 1923 he published his third book of verses Thirst. In 1927 he was a founder of a Russian colony in the village La Favier in Provence.

In emigration, he wrote the poem Who lives well in emigration (Кому в эмиграции жить хорошо, 1931-1932) and prose Non-serious stories (Несерьезные рассказы, 1928) Soldiers' tales (Солдатские сказки, published in 1933). After his death his fourth book of verse Children's Island (Детский остров) was published.

He died of a heart attack while helping to put out a fire in the town of Lamandou in the South of France on July 5, 1932. Legend has it that Cherny's dog Micky, the 'author' of the Cherny story Micky the Fox Terrier's Diary, lay on the chest of Sasha Cherny and died with his owner.

Vladimir Nabokov, in his eulogy, said, "left only a few books and quiet beauteous shadow." Dmitri Shostakovich wrote music devoted to Cherny's poetry.

Nikolai Chernyshevsky

Nikolay Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky (Russian: Никола́й Гаври́лович Черныше́вский) (July 12, 1828 - October 17, 1889) was a Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, critic, and socialist (seen by some as a utopian socialist). He was the leader of the revolutionary democratic movement of the 1860s, and was an influence on Vladimir Lenin and Emma Goldman.

The son of a priest, Chernyshevsky was born in Saratov in 1828, and stayed there till 1846. After graduating from Saint Petersburg University in 1850, he taught literature at a gymnasium in Saratov. From 1853 to 1862, he lived in Saint Petersburg, and became the chief editor of Sovremennik ("Contemporary"), in which he published his main literary reviews and his essays on philosophy.

In 1862, he was arrested and confined in the Fortress of St. Peter and Paul, where he wrote his famous novel What Is to Be Done? The novel was an inspiration to many later Russian revolutionaries, who sought to emulate the novel's hero, who was wholly dedicated to the revolution, ascetic in his habits and ruthlessly disciplined, to the point of sleeping on a bed of nails and eating only meat in order to build strength for the Revolution. Among those who took inspiration from the character was Lenin, who named a work of political theory of the same name, and who was ascetic in his personal life (lifting weights, having little time for love, and so on). In 1862, Chernyshevsky was sentenced to civil execution (mock execution), followed by penal servitude (1864-72), and by exile to Vilyuisk, Siberia (1872-83). He died at the age of 61.

Chernyshevsky was a founder of Narodism, Russian populism, and agitated for the revolutionary overthrow of the autocracy and the creation of a socialist society. He thought of creating socialism based on the old peasant commune.

Chernyshevsky's ideas were heavily influenced by Alexander Herzen, Vissarion Belinsky, and Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach. He saw class struggle as the means of society's forward movement and advocated for the interests of the working people. In his view, the masses were the chief maker of history. He is reputed to have used the phrase 'the worse the better', to indicate that the worse the social conditions became for the poor, the more inclined they would be to launch a revolution.

[edit] Works
Aesthetic Relations of Art to Reality
Essays on the Gogol Period in Russian Literature
Critique of Philosophical Prejudices Against Communal Ownership
The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy
What Is to Be Done? (1863)
The Nature of Human Knowledge

[edit] External links
Aesthetic Relations of Art to Reality
Retrieved from ""
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