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Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
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Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin[1†]

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, born June 6, 1799, was a renowned Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era, often deemed the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Born into Moscow nobility, his maternal great-grandfather was the African nobleman Abram Petrovich Gannibal. Pushkin published his first poem at 15 and gained early recognition. His controversial works led to his exile by Emperor Alexander I. Despite political surveillance, he wrote notable works like "Boris Godunov" and "Eugene Onegin"[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was born in Moscow on June 6, 1799[2†][1†]. He was the second of eight surviving children[2†]. His father, Sergey Lvovich Pushkin, belonged to an old noble family[2†][1†]. His maternal great-grandfather was Major-General Abram Petrovich Gannibal, a nobleman of African origin who was kidnapped from his homeland by Ottomans, then freed by the Russian Emperor and raised in the Emperor’s court household as his godson[2†][1†].

Pushkin’s parents adopted French culture, and he and his brother and sister learned to talk and read in French[2†]. They were left much to the care of their maternal grandmother, who told Aleksandr stories of his ancestors in Russian[2†]. From Arina Rodionovna Yakovleva, his old nurse, a freed serf, he heard Russian folktales[2†]. During summers at his grandmother’s estate near Moscow, he talked to the peasants and spent hours alone, living in the dream world of a precocious, imaginative child[2†]. He read widely in his father’s library and gained stimulus from the literary guests who came to the house[2†].

In 1811, Pushkin entered the newly founded Imperial Lyceum at Tsarskoye Selo[2†][1†]. He began writing poems as early as age 7[2†][3†]. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum[2†][1†]. His father was domineering and easily irritated, and his mother often left the young child alone in pursuit of her social ambitions[2†][4†]. Pushkin was not a very good student in most subjects, but he performed brilliantly in French and Russian literature[2†][4†].

Upon graduation from the Lyceum, Pushkin recited his controversial poem “Ode to Liberty”, one of several that led to his exile by Emperor Alexander I[2†][1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Alexander Pushkin’s career was marked by his innovative and diverse contributions to Russian literature[5†]. He wrote classical odes, romantic poems, love and political verse, novels in verse, historical drama, realist prose, novellas, short stories, fairy tales, travel journals, and much more[5†]. Many of his works became foundational texts in their genres[5†].

Pushkin began his literary career while studying at the Imperial Lyceum at Tsarskoye Selo[5†][2†][1†]. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and by the time of his graduation, he was widely recognized by the literary establishment[5†][2†][1†]. His controversial poem “Ode to Liberty” led to his exile by Emperor Alexander I[5†][2†][1†].

During his exile, under strict surveillance by the Emperor’s political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, Boris Godunov[5†][2†][1†]. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832[5†][2†][1†].

Pushkin’s works, including the verse novel Eugene Onegin, the closet drama Boris Godunov, and the short story “The Queen of Spades,” are often considered major figures of modern Russian literature[5†][6†][7†]. His play Boris Godunov was the inspiration for the opera by Modest Mussorgsky[5†][6†].

Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his wife’s alleged lover and her sister’s husband, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès, also known as Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment[5†][2†][1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Alexander Pushkin’s literary career was marked by a series of notable works that have had a lasting impact on Russian literature and culture[2†][1†][6†][8†].

These works, among others, showcase Pushkin’s versatility as a writer, his ability to work in different genres, and his profound influence on Russian literature[2†][1†][6†][8†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Alexander Pushkin’s work is distinguished for its clarity and simplicity, yet he was a complex thinker whose insights into the human psyche, great ethical and moral issues, and political questions of the day were sophisticated and profound[6†][9†]. His verse is known for its excellent craftsmanship, brevity, and simplicity[6†].

Pushkin’s lively wit, humor, and satire were evident from his early works and continued to characterize his work throughout his career[6†][9†]. His work often included parody, even when dealing with great authors such as Shakespeare and Voltaire[6†][9†]. However, his satire and dry irony produced a generally good-natured effect[6†][9†].

Pushkin was also known for his political poems. He began writing liberal verses early in his career, which made him a constant target of the imperial censors[6†][9†]. His famous “Ode to Freedom” is severe on Napoleon and condemns the excesses of the French Revolution, yet it reminds monarchs that they must be subservient to the law[6†][9†]. In “The Countryside”, he longs for the abolition of serfdom, yet looks to the czar for deliverance[6†][9†]. His later poems address more general issues, and in 1831 during the Polish Uprising, he speaks out clearly in favor of the czar in "To the Slanderers of Russia"[6†][9†].

Pushkin knew many passions in his brief lifetime, and several women inspired both his life and poetry[6†][9†]. His heroines are often modeled after the women he knew, and his love poetry is a testament to the passions he experienced[6†][9†].

One of Pushkin’s most significant contributions to Russian literature was that his works could be regarded as models for the writers who came after him[6†]. His clear, straightforward prose style had an enormous impact on such nineteenth and twentieth-century writers as Ivan Turgenev, Anton Chekhov, and Ivan Bunin[6†]. Pushkin’s worth as an exemplar is a measure of his greatness[6†].

Personal Life

Alexander Pushkin met Natalia Goncharova, who was 16 at the time, in December 1828 and fell in love at first sight[10†]. Despite initial disapproval from her family, Pushkin approached Goncharova’s mother a second time in 1830, and this time she agreed to allow her daughter to marry Pushkin[10†]. His father gave him an estate in Boldino, in Nizhny Novgorod Province[10†].

Pushkin’s life was marked by political and romantic scandal[10†][3†]. His work was frequently censored, his letters intercepted, and his status with the court remained tenuous until his death[10†][3†]. Despite these challenges, Pushkin wanted to settle down and proposed to Natalia Goncharova in 1830[10†][11†]. He asked his future in-laws for money and convinced them to provide him with land and a house[10†][11†].

Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his wife’s alleged lover and her sister’s husband, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès, also known as Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment[10†][1†]. He died on February 10, 1837[10†][2†][1†], in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire[10†][2†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, often considered the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature[2†][1†], has left an indelible mark on the world of literature[2†]. His impact on Russian culture and beyond is immeasurable[2†]. His works continue to inspire and captivate readers, and his legacy as Russia’s national poet is secure[2†].

Pushkin is rightly considered to be the founding father of the modern Russian language[2†][5†]. He rejected the high-blown style of classic Russian poetry, breaking down the barrier between colloquial speech and the elevated odes of the past[2†][5†]. Russians still use Pushkin’s language today[2†][5†].

In conclusion, Alexander Pushkin is a towering figure in the world of literature. His works continue to inspire and captivate readers, and his legacy as Russia’s national poet is secure[2†]. His influence on Russian literature is immeasurable[2†][1†]. His works have been translated into many languages, and his legacy continues to inspire writers and readers around the world[2†][1†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Alexander Pushkin [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Aleksandr Pushkin: Russian author [website] - link
  3. Poetry Foundation - Alexander Pushkin [website] - link
  4. Encyclopedia.com - Pushkin, Aleksandr [website] - link
  5. Russia Beyond - 10 reasons why Pushkin is so great [website] - link
  6. eNotes - Alexander Pushkin Analysis [website] - link
  7. Academy of American Poets - About Alexander Pushkin [website] - link
  8. Goodreads - Book: Works of Alexander Pushkin [website] - link
  9. eNotes - Alexander Pushkin Poetry: World Poets Analysis [website] - link
  10. SunSigns - Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin Biography, Life, Interesting Facts [website] - link
  11. Encyclopedia of World Biography - Aleksandr Pushkin Biography [website] - link
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