Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin



Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) is considered the greatest Russian poet. There is an opinion that it was thanks to him that the Russian literary language was formed in its modern form. The life of the poet 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 death of the poet came as a result of a duel, on which he defended the honor of his wife. Pushkin left a rich literary heritage, which we study in school. It was a bright personality, a gambler, a caustic scoffer and tireless lover of women. Biography of Pushkin is thoroughly studied and examined. Creativity and life of the poet 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. It is painfully great temptation to come up with a story on the basis of fragmentary data, rumors, and then and just interpreting the facts. I must say that even books are devoted to debunking the fallacies of Pushkin. We will consider the most interesting myths about the great Russian poet.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

The childhood of Pushkin was influenced by the nurse Arina Rodionovna.

There is a long-standing legend that Pushkin got his first acquaintance with literature precisely because of his nanny and her tales. This myth emerged from the testimony of the poet’s sister and brother. About Arina Rodionovna written as a real representative of Russian nannies. She was the serf’s grandmother of the poet and was sent to the family with the birth of Olga’s girl. Then Arina Yakovleva looked after Alexander Sergeevich and behind Lev Sergeyevich. Biographers of the family write that the nurse was interested in telling fairy tales, constantly used proverbs and sayings, appreciated folk beliefs. But Pushkin himself was able to appreciate this influence already, being an adult. Arina Rodionovna’s stories were especially impressed by the poet during the Mikhaylovskaya exile. He was not only heard by stories, but also began to record them. So Pushkin can also be considered one of the first Russian field folklorists. In those days, a poetic image of a nurse appeared (“A Girlfriend of My Harsh Days”). His own tales on the basis of well-fed folk, Pushkin composed only in the 1830s.

Parents almost did not educate Pushkin.

Some biographers write that Alexander Sergeevich did not really have a childhood. His parents did not particularly like him and did not do it. As proof of this fact is given the fact that in Pushkin’s poetry the theme of his native home does not occur. But this is not surprising, given the frequent travel of the family. In autobiographical records about childhood, there are such items as “My unpleasant memories” and “First troubles”. However, do not blame parents for indifference. Pushkin and his sister paid attention in terms of upbringing and education. Traditionally for gentry families with children, tutors and teachers of French and Russian, God’s law, arithmetic were engaged. Children went to special balls of the dancing master Yogel. Parents along with his uncle, Vasily Lvovich, addicted Alexander to reading. Moreover, prominent writers often visited the Pushkin’s house. It was the efforts of the parents and the same uncle, as well as a mutual friend, Alexander Turgenev, that enabled the teenager Alexander to be identified in the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum. Training in this elite institution played a significant role in the fate of Pushkin.

Pushkin loved the Lyceum and sang it all in verse.

In the lyceum lyrics of Pushkin one can meet the themes of comradely feast and true friendship. But similar poems were written by other poets-lyceum students: Delvig, Kiichelbecker, Illichevsky. In the early works of Pushkin, the Lyceum was presented as a stuffy cell, a monastery and almost a prison. The poet wrote that he wants to escape from there – to St. Petersburg or the countryside. The idealization of the days spent in the gardens of the Lyceum began with Pushkin in the middle of the 1820s in the Mikhaylovskaya exile. Then the poet was visited by old Lyceum friends – Pushchin and Delvig.Youth disagreements were forgotten on the background of the subsequent stormy life in Petersburg. But it was not Pushkin who became the first to sing life in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. As early as 1822, the first gathering of graduates took place, then the jubilee couplets were composed by Delvig and Alexei Illichevsky. The first composed both the farewell anthem of the lyceum students, as well as the late anniversary couplets.

Pushkin in the Lyceum studied well.

Studying in this elite institution, Pushkin never showed much success. On the performance of the ranked not even in the middle of the list, but closer to the end. At the rate of geography, political and Russian history in 1811-1812 Alexander was only 14th. Nikolay Koshansky, who taught Latin and Russian, characterized Pushkin as more intelligent than the owner of memory, not particularly diligent, but having a taste. In the reporting statements opposite his name, the following characteristics were indicated: “not diligent”, “weak diligence”, “lazy”, “slow progress”.

By February 1814, Pushkin’s behavior and achievement was only 20-m.

Alexander Kunitsyn, a professor of logic and moral sciences, described the student as witty, understandable and intricate, but very unreliable. Teacher stressed that Pushkin is only capable of those subjects that do not require special stress. That is why success is not very great, especially in logic. It was because of the mediocre performance of Pushkin that he received only the rank of the X class at the release. But his other successful peers, including Prince Gorchakov, the future Decembrist Kiichelbecker, received a higher rank.

After graduating from the Lyceum, Pushkin began to sit back, trying to make a living by poetry.

All graduates of the Lyceum entered the military or civil service. Pushkin himself dreamed of starting to serve in the Guards, but this was a very costly business for the family. Then in June 1817 Alexander Sergeevich began to serve as a college secretary with a salary of 700 rubles a year. It is interesting that Oblomov Goncharov and Gogol’s Korobochka had the same rank.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

Even the southern link was formally referred to as translation by service.

Pushkin was in the office of General Inzov, the head of the Committee on Foreign Settlers, and then the poet went under the command of Governor of Novorossia Count Vorontsov. From the official exploits of Pushkin, one can recall the outrage against his trip to the struggle with locusts in 1824. This poet even devoted a few mocking lines. So flared up conflict with Vorontsov. And after Pushkin published a letter on the lessons of godlessness his state career quickly came to an end. In July 1824, Pushkin was fired and sent under surveillance to a family estate – Mikhailovskoye.

Already the first poems of Pushkin carried the imprint of genius.

The first works of the young Lyceum student Pushkin appeared in the press, the older comrades and critics greeted favorably. You can recall the story of how Derzhavin himself wanted to admit the young author in the exam. However, Pushkin later very critical of his early works. In his collections of poetry, he put a little of what was written in the Lyceum, and even then – in a revised form. In his early work the poet traced his apprenticeship, primarily from Zhukovsky and Batiushkov. But imitation did not have the features of secondary. It is important to note that in those years Pushkin devoted a lot of time to the parodies of the creations of the same Zhukovsky, Batiushkov, and Derzhavin. Acting on someone else’s canvas, Pushkin learned to authoritative genre, work with someone else’s word. This laid the foundation for mature and independent work.

Pushkin was an active member of the literary society “Arzamas”.

The fact that Pushkin was in this society is a well-known fact. This is evidenced by the nickname of the poet – Cricket. I must say that it was 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 into Arzamas at all and what role he played there.It is generally believed that the young poet joined the society immediately after the end of the Lyceum, in the summer of 1817. Wrapped by the secretary of Arzamas, Zhukovsky, Pushkin sought to get into the community of his poetic teachers. It is no coincidence that some of his statements and poems were signed by the pseudonym “Arzamasets”.

But the real participation of Pushkin in the club, as the studied memoirs of contemporaries showed, were limited to a single meeting.

The opening speech of the poet, which signified his actual entry, occurred on April 7, 1818. Then the community gathered to hold one of its founders, Dmitry Bludov, in London. Evidence of early visits to Pushkin meetings did not survive – neither in the minutes of meetings, nor in the epistolary heritage of the participants. So the main activity of Arzamas with introductory speeches, poetic protocols, ritual funeral of interlocutors, eating goose, was held without the participation of Alexander Sergeevich. Even his speech was only partially preserved. At the same meeting, Pushkin read fragments from Ruslan and Lyudmila. And the listeners were inspired by this poem much more than by the very speech of Cricket.

“Ruslan and Lyudmila” was written as a fairy tale for children.

More than one generation of people who listened to Ruslan and Lyudmila together with other Pushkin tales has grown up. In fact, the poem was created, not at all like a children’s fairy tale. Pushkin conceived it, as an actual for that time experiment of mixing genres. A magical Russian fairy tale joined with a frivolous burlesque in the style of Voltaire and his “Orleans virgin”. In the early version of 1820, Pushkin combined references to the serious “History of the Russian state” Karamzin with Alesha Popovich’s references and ambiguous gallantry about Eve’s clothes and the impotence of the old sorcerer before the young virgin. To describe the erotic adventure of Ratmir in the castle of twelve maidens, the material of the ballads of Zhukovsky was used.

Contemporaries of Pushkin, properly assessing the brilliant poem, still called some of its parts immoral and frivolous.

Famous poet Dmitriev even said that a mother who respects herself will order her daughter to spit on this fairy 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 frivolities. At the same time, the well-known introduction appeared: “The oak is green on the seashore”. Over time, the fairy tale and closeness to the people began to pay much more attention than on the hidden ambiguities.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

Pushkin was still a member of the revolutionary secret societies before the Decembrists.

In 1819-1820 Pushkin actively participated in the “Green Lamp” community. Researchers have long argued about the true nature of this association. The first biographers of the poet generally called the community, as dedicated to discussing plans for procrastination and tricks. This interpretation began to be challenged 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 connected with the “Union of Welfare”. This idea was developed by Soviet literary scholars, they even wrote that frivolity was due to secrecy to conceal true motives. True, in those years immorality was pursued no less dissent. The society was in its own way freedom-loving, but this had nothing to do with politics, but with young entertainments: champagne, actresses, fun.

Artificial politicization took place on the basis of communication between Pushkin and 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 political poems of the poet were more liked by the future conspirators than he himself. Pushkin in St. Petersburg has the glory of an outrageous rake. In the years of southern exile, which happened because of freedom-loving poems (“Ode to Freedom”), the leadership of the Southern Society even forbade its members to get acquainted with the disgraced poet. Such mistrust was due precisely to the participation of Pushkin in the above-mentioned “Green Lamp”.For the poet, political freedom was directly connected with 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 insane love. The poet wrote that he remembers the sweet look, the unearthly beauty, all thoughts of the heart fly to the unnamed. And in the Don Juan list of the poet there is a mysterious N.N. This prompted the researchers of Pushkin’s life to create a myth about the great secret love. Naturally, many attempts were made to solve this riddle and reveal the name. There were several pretenders, but nobody could prove anything. The names of Maria Golitsyna, Maria Raevskaya, Ekaterina Karamzina, Sophia Pototskaya were named …

The most likely version seems to be that there was no mystery of love in Pushkin.

Behind the image of a stranger was simply a literary convention, his muse. In his work and letters, the poet demonstrated that he shares his heart secrets in verse. For a romantic poet like Pushkin himself felt in the south, such a fictitious image was needed, as part of the legend. After all, Byron had his mysterious Tyrza, and Petrarch had Laura.

Pushkin loved to throw stones.

This myth was invented by Harms in his “Anecdotes from Pushkin’s Life”. Maybe he was a poet and really liked to be such a jerk, but there was no evidence of that. And the source of hearing itself must be considered in the time of its appearance. The book has a lot of Kharmsov absurdity, he reacted to Soviet dogma, which created the pantheon of classical authors. Pushkin was called the founder of the new Russian literature, the creator of the Russian literary language. Harms also tried to show the image of the poet on the other hand, to give him humanity.

Pushkin lived in a gypsy camp and there even fell in love with a gypsy Zemfira, but was thrown by her.

This myth was invented by the Pushkinist Pavel Schegolev at the beginning of the 20th century. From the Romanians he learned about the history of how Pushkin visited the camp of forest gypsies near the village of Yurcheni (now in Moldova). The elder had a beautiful daughter Zemfira. She was tall, with black eyes, dressed like a man in trousers and a shirt and smoked a pipe. Pushkin was struck by the beauty of the gypsy and stayed in the camp for a couple of weeks. He even settled in the head tent and spent days walking with Zemfira, holding her hands, but not being able to communicate in the Gypsy. The end of history came when one day his lover disappeared from the camp. She ran with her young fellow tribesman.

That publication not only created a myth, but also influenced the interpretation of Pushkin’s work.

The researchers began to say that the poet learned from personal experience the life of gypsies. This was useful to him when creating the poem of the same name. However, later memories were questioned. It turned out that the friend and accomplice of Pushkin’s “adventures”, Constantine Rally, at that time was only 10 years old. Today, the poet’s contacts with Bessarabian gypsies can only be said for sure that they were – Alexander Sergeyevich visited the tabor for curiosity. And all the rest is fantasy. Pushkin himself knew about gypsies more than the average inhabitant, which proves his poem, as well as drafts to it. But this was not due to personal experience, but from book learning.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

Pushkin’s wound in the duel was deadly.

Dantes fired first in the duel and got into the neck of the thigh, from there the bullet passed into the stomach. The myth of the mortal 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, causing a similar wound – in the stomach on the right side. But, despite immediate hospitalization and qualified help, the unfortunate was not saved. But more and more often it is believed that Pushkin got into the hands of modern doctors, then he would be saved. But the doctors of that time, unfortunately, made many mistakes. On the wound site, first aid was not provided, which is why Pushkin lost a lot of blood.The weakened poet also began to put leeches and instead of put warm compresses, they appointed cold ones. The patient was not provided with the complete immobility required for this type of injury. From such “treatment” Pushkin died two days later.

In his heart, Pushkin was a revolutionary.

Again, it is worth talking about the state order. By the hundredth anniversary of the death of the Russian poet at the request of Stalin, Pushkin’s image was retouched. Friendship with Pushchin and Kiichelbecker meant proximity to the Decembrists, and the conflict with the authorities became the basis for the appearance of the image of the victim of the regime and even the 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 nonparty-human, historical, Shakespearean view. Pushkin was a statesman who combined principled conservatism with the principles of respect for individual freedom. And if Alexander I the young poet still dare call the bald dandy, the enemy of work, then to Nicholas I and his policy Pushkin was rather sympathetic. The proof is the poem “To the Slanderers of Russia”, to the events in Poland in 1830.

Pushkin was friends with Gogol.

Relations between two great writers are often called friendly. Pushkin appears as a venerable Teacher, instructing a novice Apprentice. In fact, this myth appeared, thanks to Gogol himself. It was painful that he wanted his name to be associated with Pushkin. This beautiful myth was also picked up by literary critics. In reality, a nobleman, a participant in secular gatherings, the recognized best poet of the country, Pushkin, practically had no points of contact with the young beginning writer-philistine. Spiritually, Pushkin was Teacher for Gogol, but there was no personal friendship between them.

Pushkin feuded with Tyutchev.

This myth emerged in the 1920s, when the development of literature was associated with the emergence of new schools and trends. Then the question arose of confrontation between Pushkin and Tyutchev, as a representative of the new school. However, the legend arose from scratch. There is simply no negative feedback from Pushkin about Tyutchev. The creator of this myth, Yury Tynyanov, relied on the attitude of Alexander Sergeevich to Semyon Raich, the mentor of the young Tyutchev. In the article devoted to the mutual relations of the two poets, the greater part 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. But who said that the mentor must necessarily be an outstanding poet? Yes, and gradually Raich departed from the wise, having lost his former friends. And mature Tiutchev has already criticized the activities of his former teacher.

In 1829 Pushkin wrote about the young poets of the German school, mentioning including Tyutchev.

Only his talent was not emphasized, unlike his colleagues. This, again, strengthened the myth of Pushkin’s dislike of Tyutchev. But only he has not yet managed to be noted by 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. Is this not evidence of recognition of talent?

Pushkin had an ancestor-Ethiopian.

Pushkin is often called the descendant of the arap of Peter the Great, the Ethiopian Abram Petrovich Hannibal. But Vladimir Nabokov in his article “Pushkin and Hannibal” debunked the myth of Ethiopian blood. Biographers of the poet found out that his ancestors were not from Ethiopia, but from the state of Lagon (now the territory of Chad). And there was a myth, thanks to son-in-law Hannibal, Adam Rotkerhu. He was uncomfortable to admit that his wife was half black, so he invented a myth about Ethiopia. This Christian country was not considered a “wild and black” Africa.

Pushkin was swarthy and black-haired.

This image is considered to be canonical. It seems logical that this should look like the great grandson of Hannibal. However, despite his curls, Pushkin was blue-eyed and fair-haired. As a child, Sasha was generally blond, like his brother Leva.Pushkin’s paintings were traditionally portrayed as black, emphasizing his African origin. At one time, Marlen Khutsiev began to make a film about the twenty-year-old Pushkin. He was played by a twenty-year-old blond and short Dmitri Kharatyan. But the film was not allowed to take place, including because of the discrepancy between the image of the poet and the canonical one. Pushkin was an incorrigible optimist.

The myth of this character property also appeared in the 1930s. Bright Pushkin was to impress more than the sad Lermontov and the gloomy Dostoevsky and Blok. In 1937 solemn optimism was supposed to distract from the dramatically increased mortality due to repression in the country. But if you carefully study the work of Pushkin, there will be sad lines. Even the biography of the poet can be presented as a tragic story. Many believe that in the last year of his life, Pushkin finally became entangled in personal relationships, in debt. He deliberately sought death and found her in a duel, especially not resisting. With the image of an optimist it does not fit.

Pushkin was a real Don Juan, a sex giant.

Pushkin’s intimate life became the object of numerous gossip and research. It is known that the boy’s innocence lost 12-13 years. Lyceum’s comrade Pushkin recalled that in 15-16 years, from one touch to the hand of a woman, she began to glow and snuff. At the end of the Lyceum, Pushkin walks and ransoms in brothels, but at the same time manages to write. The women succeeded one another. It was an endless series. Even after his marriage to Natalia Goncharova, Pushkin continued to change his mistresses. In Elizabeth Ushakova’s album in 1829 the poet even left his Donjuan list.

Pushkin’s hysterical character constantly pushed him to search for new, deeper feelings.

Another peculiarity of character is the desire to humiliate your partners. Romanticism was destroyed by skepticism. Anna Kern for him – a Babylonian harlot, Countess Vorontsova appeared in 36 sexual poses Aretino, Elizaveta Khitrovo – voluptuous Penthephreich. Also, Pushkin was jealous of his women without fatigue, leading himself to insanity. If you assess the level of passion, then the poet could give Casanova odds, but in the scope of his adventures, he clearly does not reach such writers as Dumas-father (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 bright and lyrical.

Few people know that the pen of the great poet belongs to a lot of vulgar poems of an erotic sense and with a mat. Pushkin was a living person who loved life in all its manifestations. He was considered a ladies’ man who frankly tells, including in verse, about his adventures. True, these notes and letters were personal and were not planned for publication. Researchers of this, untraditional part of Pushkin’s creative work, is not so much. In fact, even in the official full collection of the poet’s work, there are places where the ellipsis flaunts meaningfully. The idealized image destroys the poet’s personal letters, which are filled with profanity. Of course, already in our time, the light was seen by Pushkin’s obscene poems. But they do not enjoy such popularity as the classic.

Pushkin married Natalia Goncharova because of her rich dowry.

Pushkin first saw Natalia when she was 16 years old. The poet immediately fell in love with a beauty. And it was a really strong feeling. Pushkin, like a boy, ran around the city, carrying out small assignments of his future mother-in-law. The Goncharov family lost their wealth and even raised the question of a dowry. Mother of the bride was a woman ambitious and wanted a wedding in the eyes of the world looked real. Then it was decided to turn to his grandfather. But he, having lowered all the money and himself being under the pressure of creditors, could only give away a huge two hundred-pound bronze statue of Catherine the Great. There were no buyers for this creation, Pushkin even made fun of his bride.As a result, he himself gave his beloved mother money for a dowry, laying for this the estate of Kistenevo.

Pushkin’s wife was a stupid wasteland.

Many consider Natalia Goncharova to be the culprit of Pushkin’s death, attributing to her treachery and lack of intelligence, a misunderstanding of her husband’s genius. In fact, Natalia Nikolaevna received a good education, even at home. She studied history, geography, Russian language and literature, French, German and English. The researchers found even an essay on the state system of China, written by Natalya in 10 years! The girl also composed poems in French, on which she wrote even better than in her native language. In the first time after the wedding, Natalia Nikolayevna even helped Pushkin to rewrite his poems – the poet’s painfully slovenly handwriting was. But with the advent of children, it just did not come to that.

Pushkin wrote Luka Mudischev.

With Perestroika, it became possible to read those literary works that were previously banned by censorship. So in appearance appeared an obscene poem “Luka Mudischev”, a vivid representative of Russian samizdat. Initially, its author was the poet Ivan Barkov (1732-1768), who noted the creation of “shameless” poems. However, this opinion is erroneous. In the text there are many references to the fact that it was written after the death of Catherine – the name of the streets, money. And the poem’s style is an iambic tetrameter, typical for the 1820s and later. All variants of “Luke” are strikingly similar to the Pushkin syllable, besides, the great poet himself left behind many frivolous and even indecent poems, as it turned out. But literary scholars still refute this myth. Pushkin’s humor and attitude towards eroticism were more refined than those of the nameless author. Alexander Sergeevich could not know so deeply and from within the world of merchants and philistines. The form of “Luke Mudischeva” is such that any person with literary talent could write it, some special stylistic features, according to which it is possible to identify famous poets, is not in the work.

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

Pushkin and Dantes were enemies.

The relationship between the two characters was not easy. The classic simplified version says that the young Georges d’Anthes began courting Pushkin’s wife, Natalia Goncharova, and the insulted husband summoned the impudent to a duel. Acquaintance of the woman with the admirer took place in 1835, and in November 1836 Pushkin received by mail an anonymous lampoon in which the poet was called a cuckold. At the same time it was hinted at Goncharova’s connection not only with Dantes, but also with Emperor Nicholas himself. It has already been proved that this lampoon was written not by Dantes and not by his adopted father Gekkern. There is even a version that the document was made by Pushkin himself, wanting to cut a tangled ball of jealousy and suspicion. Pushkin immediately sent Dantes an unreasonable challenge to the duel. However, a week later he made an offer to Goncharova’s sister, Catherine. The call was withdrawn. January 10, 1837 the wedding took place and Dantes became Pushkin’s brother-in-law. But the conflict was not exhausted, on January 27, an ill-fated duel took place. Thus it can be seen that there was no special hostility. Dantes had an amazing property – he liked everyone at court, especially, of course, to women. The cause of the quarrel was the ill-fated libel, to which Pushkin reacted unnecessarily hotly. Contemporaries recall that Dantes did not like Natalia Goncharova, besides there were rumors that the young Frenchman was generally the lover of the Dutch ambassador, Baron Haeckern. Serving with Dantes Prince Trubetskoi saw the development of history from within. He told me that a young charming Frenchman priudatal for all the beauties. Pushkin himself knew that his wife could not have anything serious with the rake. And Dantes was a poet disgusted because of his insolence and intemperate language in communicating with the ladies. But there were no reasons for jealousy, and even more so, for Pushkin.



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