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Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) is considered the greatest Russian poet. It is believed that it was thanks to him that the Russian literary language was formed in its modern form. The poet's life was short, but bright. He studied in Tsarskoe Selo, where his peers were remarkable personalities.
Pushkin was involved in the Decembrist uprising, but was forgiven by the tsar. The poet's death occurred as a result of a duel in which he defended the honor of his wife. Pushkin left a rich literary heritage, which we study at school. She was a flamboyant personality, a gambler, a caustic mocker and a tireless lover of women. Pushkin's biography has been studied and reviewed in detail. The poet's work and life became the basis for numerous publications and dissertations.
But the brighter the figure of a person and the more famous he is, the more myths and legends about him appear. I must say that even books are devoted to debunking the misconceptions about Pushkin. We will consider the most interesting myths about the great Russian poet.
Pushkin's childhood passed under the influence of his nanny Arina Rodionovna. There is an old legend that Pushkin got his first acquaintance with literature precisely thanks to his nanny and her fairy tales. This myth emerged from the testimony of the poet's sister and brother. They wrote about Arina Rodionovna as a real representative of Russian nannies. She was the poet's serf grandmother and got into the family with the birth of the girl Olga. Then Arina Yakovleva looked after Alexander Sergeevich and Lev Sergeevich. The family's biographers write that the nanny interestingly told fairy tales, constantly used proverbs and sayings, and appreciated popular beliefs. But Pushkin himself was able to appreciate this influence as an adult. The stories of Arina Rodionovna made a special impression on the poet during the Mikhailov exile. He not only listened to the stories, but also began to write them down. So Pushkin can also be considered one of the first Russian field folklorists. In those days, a poetic image of a nanny appeared ("A friend of my harsh days"). His own fairy tales based on the absorbed folk, Pushkin composed only in the 1830s.
The parents were hardly involved in raising Pushkin. Some biographers write that Alexander Sergeevich, in fact, did not have a childhood. His parents did not particularly like him and did not deal with him. To prove this, the fact is cited that in Pushkin's poetry the theme of the home is not found. But this is not surprising, given the frequent family moves. In autobiographical records of childhood, there are items such as "My Bad Memories" and "First Troubles." However, parents should not be blamed for indifference. Pushkin and his sister received attention in terms of upbringing and education. Traditionally, tutors and teachers of French and Russian, the Law of God, and arithmetic were trained for noble families with children. The children went to special balls by the dance master Yogel. Parents, together with his uncle, Vasily Lvovich, made Alexander addicted to reading. Moreover, prominent writers often visited the Pushkins' house. It was the efforts of the parents and the same uncle, as well as a common friend, Alexander Turgenev, that allowed the teenager Alexander to be assigned to the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Education at this elite institution played a significant role in the fate of Pushkin.
Pushkin loved the Lyceum and sang it all in poetry. In the lyceum poetry of Pushkin one can find themes of a comradely feast and true friendship. But similar poems were written by other lyceum poets: Delvig, Küchelbecker, Illichevsky. In the early works of Pushkin, the Lyceum itself was presented as a stuffy cell, a monastery and almost a prison. The poet wrote that he just wanted to escape from there - to Petersburg or the village. The idealization of the days spent in the gardens of the Lyceum at Pushkin began in the mid-1820s in Mikhailov's exile. Then the poet was visited by old lyceum friends - Pushchin and Delvig. Youthful disagreements were forgotten against the background of the subsequent stormy life in St. Petersburg. But it was not Pushkin who was the first to sing the praises of life in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Back in 1822, the first meeting of graduates took place, then the jubilee couplets were composed by Delvig and Alexei Illichevsky. The first composed the farewell hymn of the lyceum students, as well as the late anniversary couplets.
Pushkin studied well at the Lyceum. Studying at this elite institution, Pushkin never showed much success. In terms of academic performance, he took a place not even in the middle of the list, but closer to the end. In the course of geography, political and Russian history in 1811-1812, Alexander was only 14th. Nikolai Koshansky, who taught Latin and Russian, characterized Pushkin as more intelligent than the possessor of memory, not particularly diligent, but with taste. In the reporting sheets opposite his name were the following characteristics: "not diligent", "weak diligence", "lazy", "slow progress."
By February 1814, Pushkin was only 20th in behavior and academic performance. Professor of logic and moral sciences Alexander Kunitsyn described the student as witty, understandable and intricate, but very unsocial. The teacher emphasized that Pushkin is capable only of those subjects that do not require special stress. That is why the successes are not very great, especially in logic. It was precisely because of Pushkin's mediocre academic performance that he received only the rank of X grade upon graduation. But his other successful peers, including Prince Gorchakov, the future Decembrist Kuchelbecker, received a higher rank.
After graduating from the Lyceum, Pushkin began to mess around, trying to make a living by poetry. All graduates of the Lyceum entered the military or civilian service. Pushkin himself dreamed of starting to serve in the guard, but this was a very costly business for the family. Then, in June 1817, Alexander Sergeevich began serving as a collegiate secretary with a salary of 700 rubles a year. It is interesting that Oblomov Goncharov and Korobochka Gogol's husband had the same rank.
Even the southern link was formally listed as a transfer. Pushkin was listed in the office of General Inzov, the head of the Committee on Foreign Settlers, and then the poet came under the command of the Governor of Novorossiya, Count Vorontsov. From the service feats of Pushkin, one can recall the business trip that outraged him to fight locusts in 1824. The poet even devoted several mocking lines to this. So the conflict with Vorontsov flared up. And after Pushkin published a letter about the lessons of atheism, his state career quickly came to an end. In July 1824, Pushkin was fired and sent under supervision to the family estate - Mikhailovskoye.
Already the first poems of Pushkin bore the imprint of genius. The first creations of the young lyceum student Pushkin, which appeared in print, were welcomed by senior comrades and critics. One can also recall the story of how Derzhavin himself wanted to hug the young author during the exam. However, Pushkin was later very critical of his early works. In his collections of poetry, he placed a little of what was written in the Lyceum, and even then - in a revised form. In the early work of the poet, one can trace his apprenticeship, primarily from Zhukovsky and Batyushkov. But imitation did not have the features of being secondary. It is important to note that in those years Pushkin devoted a lot of time to parodies of the works of the same Zhukovsky, Batyushkov, and Derzhavin. Creating on someone else's canvas, Pushkin learned the authoritative genre, working with someone else's word. This laid the foundation for mature and independent work.
Pushkin was an active member of the Arzamas literary society. The fact that Pushkin was in this society is a well-known fact. This is evidenced by the poet's nickname - Cricket. It must be said that it was precisely Pushkin's participation in the Society of Unknown People that determined the interest in uniting literary researchers. But for a long time it remained unclear how Pushkin got to Arzamas at all and what role he played there. It is believed that the young poet entered the society immediately after graduating from the Lyceum, in the summer of 1817. Guided by the secretary of "Arzamas", Zhukovsky, Pushkin strove to get into the community of his poetry teachers. It is no coincidence that he signed some of his statements and poems with the pseudonym "Arzamasets".
But Pushkin's real participation in the club, as shown by the studied memoirs of his contemporaries, was limited to a single meeting. The poet's opening speech, which signified his actual entry, took place on April 7, 1818. Then the community gathered to take one of its founders, Dmitry Bludov, to London. There is no evidence of Pushkin's early visits to meetings - neither in the minutes of the meetings, nor in the epistolary heritage of the participants. So the main activity of "Arzamas" with introductory speeches, poetic protocols, ritual funerals of interlocutors, eating a goose, took place without the participation of Alexander Sergeevich. Even his speech was only partially preserved. At the same meeting, Pushkin read excerpts from Ruslan and Lyudmila. And the audience was inspired by this poem much more than by the speech of Cricket itself.
Ruslan and Lyudmila was written like a fairy tale for children. More than one generation of people has grown up, listening to "Ruslan and Lyudmila" along with other Pushkin's tales. In fact, the poem was created, not at all like a children's fairy tale. Pushkin conceived it as an experiment of mixing genres that was relevant for that time. A magical Russian fairy tale combined with frivolous burlesque in the style of Voltaire and his "Orleans virgin". In an early version of 1820, Pushkin combined references to the serious History of the Russian State by Karamzin with references to Alyosha Popovich and ambiguous gallantries about Eve's clothes and the impotence of the old sorcerer before the young maiden. To describe the erotic adventure of Ratmir in the castle of the twelve virgins, the material of Zhukovsky's ballads was used.
Pushkin's contemporaries, properly assessing the brilliant poem, nevertheless called some of its parts immoral and frivolous. The famous poet Dmitriev even said that a self-respecting mother would order her daughter to spit on this tale. Pushkin noted for himself such a reaction of society. In the second edition of the poem in 1828, the poet removed most of the frivolity. At the same time, the famous introduction “A green oak near the sea” appeared. Over time, much more attention began to be paid to the fabulousness and proximity to the folk than to the hidden ambiguities.
Pushkin, even before the Decembrists, was a member of revolutionary secret societies. In 1819-1820, Pushkin took an active part in the Green Lamp community. Researchers have long debated the true nature of this association. The first biographers of the poet generally referred to the community as dedicated to discussing plans for red tape and tricks. This interpretation began to be disputed in 1908 by Pavel Schegolev, probably under the influence of revolutionary views. He pointed out that the Green Lamp had a political basis and was associated with the Union of Welfare. This idea was developed by Soviet literary critics, they even wrote that frivolity was due to conspiracy to hide the true motives. True, in those years immorality was persecuted no less than dissent. Society was in its own way freedom-loving, but this had to do not with politics, but with young entertainment: champagne, actresses, fun.
Artificial politicization took place on the basis of Pushkin's connection with the Decembrists. The main Russian poet simply had to be associated with the most progressive people of the era. But it is obvious that the future conspirators liked the poet's political poems more than he himself. In St. Petersburg, Pushkin developed the fame of an outrageous rake. During the years of southern exile, which happened because of the freedom-loving verses ("Ode to Freedom"), the leadership of the Southern Society even forbade its members to get acquainted with the disgraced poet. Such mistrust was connected precisely with the participation of Pushkin in the aforementioned "Green Lamp". For the poet, political freedom was directly related to life, but members of secret societies adhered to stricter moral principles.
In his youth, Pushkin had a great mysterious love. In the manuscripts of the "Bakhchisarai Fountain" there are lines about crazy love. The poet wrote that he remembers a sweet look, unearthly beauty, all the thoughts of the heart fly to the unnamed. And in the Don Juan list of the poet there is a certain mysterious N.N. This prompted the researchers of Pushkin's life to create a myth about the great secret love. Naturally, there have been many attempts to solve this riddle and reveal the name. There were several applicants, but no one could prove anything with reason. The names of Maria Golitsyna, Maria Raevskaya, Ekaterina Karamzina, Sophia Pototskaya ...
The most likely version seems to be that Pushkin had no secret love. Behind the image of the stranger was simply a literary convention, his muse. In his work and letters, the poet demonstrated that he shares his heartfelt secrets in poetry. For the romantic poet, as Pushkin felt in the south, such a fictional image was needed as part of the legend. After all, Byron had his mysterious Tirza, and Petrarch had Laura.
Pushkin loved to throw stones. This myth was invented by Kharms in his "Anecdotes from the Life of Pushkin." Maybe the poet really loved to be so mischievous, but no evidence of this remained. And the source of hearing itself must be considered in the time of its appearance. There is a lot of Harms' absurdity in the book, he reacted to Soviet dogmas that created a pantheon of classical authors. Pushkin was called the founder of the new Russian literature, the creator of the Russian literary language. Kharms tried to show the image of the poet from the other side, to give him humanity.
Pushkin lived in a gypsy camp and there he even fell in love with the gypsy woman Zemfira, but was abandoned by her. This myth was invented by the Pushkin scholar Pavel Shchegolev at the beginning of the 20th century. From the Romanians, he learned about the history of how Pushkin visited a camp of forest gypsies near the village of Yurcheny (now in Moldavia). The headman had a beautiful daughter, Zemfira. She was tall, with black eyes, dressed like a man in wide trousers and a shirt, and smoked a pipe. Pushkin was amazed at the beauty of the gypsy woman and stayed in the camp for a couple of weeks. He even settled in the headman's tent and spent whole days walking with Zemfira, holding her hands, but unable to communicate in Gypsy. The end of the story came when one day his lover disappeared from the camp. She fled with her young tribesman.
That publication not only created a myth, but also influenced the interpretation of Pushkin's work. Researchers began to say that the poet learned the life of gypsies from personal experience. This was useful to him when creating a poem of the same name. However, later the memories were questioned. It turned out that the friend and accomplice of Pushkin's "adventures", Konstantin Rally, was only 10 years old at that time. Today, about the poet's contacts with the Bessarabian gypsies, we can only say for sure that they were - Alexander Sergeevich, out of curiosity, visited the camp. And everything else is already fantasy. Pushkin himself knew more about the gypsies than the average man in the street, which is proved by his poem, as well as the drafts for it. But this did not come from personal experience, but from book learning.
Pushkin's wound in the duel was fatal. Dantes was the first to shoot in the duel and hit the neck of the thigh, from there the bullet went into the stomach. The myth of a fatal wound is supported by some modern researchers. They use the fact of the suicide of the poet Andrei Sobol in 1926.He shot himself near the monument to Pushkin, inflicting a similar wound - in the stomach on the right side. But, despite immediate hospitalization and qualified assistance, it was not possible to save the unfortunate man. But more and more often it is believed that if Pushkin fell into the hands of modern doctors, he would be saved. But the doctors of that time, unfortunately, made many mistakes. At the site of the injury, first aid was not provided, which is why Pushkin lost a lot of blood. In addition, they began to put leeches on the weakened poet, and instead of the prescribed warm compresses they prescribed cold ones. The patient was not provided with the complete immobility required for this type of injury. From this "treatment" Pushkin died two days later.
At heart, Pushkin was a revolutionary. And again it is worth talking about the state order. By the centenary of the death of the Russian poet, by order of Stalin, the image of Pushkin was retouched. Friendship with Pushchin and Kuchelbecker began to mean closeness to the Decembrists, and the conflict with the authorities became the basis for the appearance of the image of a victim of the regime and even a revolutionary. In fact, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian philosopher Frank wrote that by 1825 Pushkin had acquired an exceptional moral and state maturity, a non-partisan-human, historical, Shakespearean view. Pushkin was a statesman who combined principled conservatism with the principles of respect for individual freedom. And if the young poet still dared to call Alexander I a bald dandy, an enemy of labor, then Pushkin was rather sympathetic to Nicholas I and his policies. The proof is the poem "Slanderers of Russia" about the events in Poland in 1830.
Pushkin was friends with Gogol. The relationship between the two great writers is often called friendship. Pushkin appears as a venerable Teacher, instructing the beginning Pupil. In fact, this myth appeared thanks to Gogol himself. Painfully, he wanted his name to be associated with Pushkin. This beautiful myth was also taken up by literary critics. In reality, a nobleman, a participant in secular gatherings, the recognized best poet of the country, Pushkin had practically no points of contact with the young novice literary bourgeoisie. Spiritually, Pushkin was a Teacher for Gogol, but there was no personal friendship between them.
Pushkin was at enmity with Tyutchev. This myth appeared in the 1920s, when the development of literature was associated with the emergence of new schools and trends. Then the question of confrontation between Pushkin and Tyutchev, as a representative of the new school, arose. However, the legend arose from scratch. There are simply no negative reviews of Pushkin about Tyutchev. The creator of this myth, Yuri Tynyanov, relied on the attitude of Alexander Sergeevich to Semyon Raich, the mentor of the young Tyutchev. In the article devoted to the relationship between the two poets, most of it is devoted to the third person. In fact, Raich played an important role in the formation of Tyutchev, being with him from 9 to 15 years old. But who said that an outstanding poet must have been a mentor? Yes, and gradually Raich moved away from the wisdom, having lost his former friends. And the mature Tyutchev has already criticized the activities of his former teacher.
In 1829, Pushkin wrote about young poets of the German school, including Tyutchev. But his talent was not emphasized, unlike his colleagues. This, again, reinforced the myth of Pushkin's dislike of Tyutchev. But he has not yet had time to be noted with significant works. When in 1836 Pushkin received the manuscripts of the mature poems of the young poet, he immediately published 24 works in his journal. Isn't this proof of talent recognition?
Pushkin had an Ethiopian ancestor. Pushkin is often called the descendant of the arap Peter the Great, Ethiopian Abram Petrovich Hannibal. But Vladimir Nabokov in his article "Pushkin and Hannibal" debunked the myth of Ethiopian blood. The poet's biographers found out that his ancestors were not from Ethiopia at all, but from the state of Lagon (now the territory of Chad). And the myth was formed, thanks to Hannibal's son-in-law, Adam Rotkerch. It was uncomfortable for him to admit that his wife was half black, so he came up with the myth about Ethiopia. This Christian country was not considered a "wild and black" Africa.
Pushkin was dark and black-haired. This image is considered canonical. It seems logical that this is how the great-grandson of the arap Hannibal should look. However, despite his curliness, Pushkin was blue-eyed and fair-haired. As a child, Sasha was generally blond, like his brother Leva. In the paintings of Pushkin, they were traditionally depicted as dark-haired, thereby emphasizing his African origin. At one time, Marlen Khutsiev began to shoot a film about twenty-year-old Pushkin. He was played by a twenty-year-old blond and short Dmitry Kharatyan. But the film was not allowed to take place, including because of the discrepancy between the image of the poet and the canon.
Pushkin was an incorrigible optimist. The myth of this character trait also appeared in the 1930s. The light Pushkin was supposed to impress more than the sad Lermontov and the gloomy Dostoevsky and Blok. In 1937, solemn optimism was supposed to distract from the sharp increase in mortality due to repression in the country. But if you carefully study Pushkin's work, you will find sad lines there. Even the poet's biography itself can be presented as a tragic story. Many believe that in the last year of his life, Pushkin was completely entangled in personal relationships, in debts. He deliberately sought death and found her in a duel, especially without resisting. This does not fit in with the image of an optimist.
Pushkin was a real Don Juan, a sex giant. Pushkin's intimate life has become the subject of numerous gossip and research. It is known that the young man lost his innocence at the age of 12-13. Lyceum comrade Pushkin recalled that at the age of 15-16, from one touch of a woman's hand, he began to burn and sniff. At the end of the Lyceum, Pushkin walks and debauches in brothels, but also manages to write. Women replaced one another. It was a never-ending series. Even after his marriage to Natalia Goncharova, Pushkin continued to change his mistresses. In the album of Elizaveta Ushakova in 1829, the poet even left his Don Juan list.
The hysterical character of Pushkin constantly pushed him to search for new, deeper feelings. Another feature of disposition is the desire to humiliate your partners. The romance was destroyed by skepticism. Anna Kern for him is a Babylonian harlot, Countess Vorontsova was represented in 36 sexual poses by Aretino, Elizaveta Khitrovo is a voluptuous Pentefreikha. Pushkin was also jealous of his women tirelessly, driving himself to madness. If we evaluate the level of passion, then the poet could give a head start to Casanova, however, in terms of the scope of his adventures, he clearly falls short of such writers as Father Dumas (350 mistresses) or Maupassant (more than 300 mistresses). The poet's intimate life is perceived as a spicy part of his life, and not as an interesting independent phenomenon.
Pushkin's poetry is light and lyrical. Few people know that a lot of vulgar poems of an erotic sense and with obscenities belong to the pen of the great poet. Pushkin was a living person who loved life in all its manifestations. He was considered a womanizer, openly telling, including in poetry, about his adventures. True, these notes and letters were personal and were not planned for publication. There are not so many researchers of this non-traditional part of Pushkin's work. In fact, even in the official complete collection of the poet's work, there are places where the ellipsis meaningfully flaunts. The idealized image is destroyed by the poet's personal letters, which are filled with profanity. Of course, already in our time, Pushkin's obscene poems have seen the light. But they are not as popular as the classics.
Pushkin married Natalya Goncharova because of her rich dowry. For the first time Pushkin saw Natalia when she was 16 years old. The poet immediately fell in love with the beauty. And it was a really strong feeling. Pushkin, like a boy, ran around the city, carrying out minor errands for his future mother-in-law. The Goncharov family lost their wealth and even the question arose about the dowry. The bride's mother was an ambitious woman and wanted the wedding to look real in the eyes of the world. Then it was decided to turn to my grandfather. But he, having spent all the money and himself was under pressure from creditors, could only give a huge two-hundred-pound bronze statue of Catherine the Great. There were no buyers for this creation, Pushkin even teased his bride. As a result, he himself gave the mother of his beloved money for a dowry, pledging for this the estate of Kistenevo.
Pushkin's wife was a stupid dummy. Many consider Natalya Goncharova to be the culprit of Pushkin's death, attributing to her betrayal and lack of intelligence, misunderstanding of her husband's genius. In fact, Natalya Nikolaevna received a good education, albeit at home. She studied history, geography, Russian language and literature, French, German and English. Researchers have even found an essay on the state structure of China, written by Natalia at the age of 10! The girl also wrote poetry in French, in which she wrote even better than in her native language. In the first time after the wedding, Natalya Nikolaevna even helped Pushkin rewrite his poems - the poet had a painfully sloppy handwriting. But with the advent of children, she was simply not up to it.
Pushkin wrote to Luka Mudishchev. With Perestroika, it became possible to read those literary works that had previously been banned by the censorship. This is how the obscene poem Luka Mudishchev, a prominent representative of Russian samizdat, appeared in full view. Initially, its author was considered the poet Ivan Barkov (1732-1768), who was noted for the creation of "shameful" poetry. However, this opinion is erroneous. The text contains many references to the fact that it was written after the death of Catherine - the name of the streets, money. And the style of the poem is the iambic tetrameter, typical of the 1820s and later. All versions of "Luka" are strikingly similar to Pushkin's syllable, besides, the great poet himself left behind a lot of frivolous and even indecent verses, as it turned out. But literary scholars still refute this myth. Pushkin's humor and attitude to eroticism were more refined than that of an unnamed author. Alexander Sergeevich could not know so deeply and from within the world of merchants and philistines. The form of "Luka Mudishchev" is such that it could be written by any person with literary talent; there are no special stylistic features by which famous poets can be identified in the work.
Pushkin and Dantes were enemies. The relationship between these two characters was uneasy. The classic simplified version says that young Georges Dantes began courting Pushkin's wife, Natalia Goncharova, and the offended husband challenged the insolent man to a duel. The acquaintance of a woman with a fan took place in 1835, and in November 1836 Pushkin received an anonymous libel by mail, in which the poet was called a cuckold. At the same time, Goncharova's connection was hinted not only with Dantes, but also with Emperor Nicholas himself. It has already been proven that this libel was not written by Dantes and not by his adoptive father Heckern. There is even a version that the document was drawn up by Pushkin himself, wishing to cut the tangled tangle of jealousy and suspicion. Pushkin immediately sent Dantes an unmotivated challenge to a duel. However, a week later, he proposed to Goncharova's sister, Ekaterina. The call was withdrawn. On January 10, 1837, the wedding took place and Dantes became Pushkin's brother-in-law. But the conflict was not settled; on January 27, an ill-fated duel took place. Thus, it is clear that there was no particular enmity. Dantes possessed an amazing quality - everyone at court liked him, especially, of course, women. The cause of the quarrel was the ill-fated libel, to which Pushkin reacted too hotly. Contemporaries recall that Dantes did not like Natalya Goncharova, besides there were rumors that the young Frenchman was generally the lover of the Dutch ambassador, Baron Gekkern. Duke Trubetskoy, who served with Dantes, saw the development of history from the inside. He said that a young charming Frenchman hit on all the beauties. Pushkin himself knew that his wife could not have anything serious with a rake. And Dantes was disgusted with the poet because of his insolence and intemperate language in dealing with ladies. But Pushkin had no reasons for jealousy and even more so enmity.