Pushkin's Biography

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The youthful Pushkin had been a light-hearted scoffer at the state of matrimony, but freed from exile, he spent the years from 1826 to his marriage in 1831 largely in search of a wife and in preparing to settle down. He sought no less than the most beautiful woman in Russia for his bride. In 1829 he found her in Natalia Goncharova, and presented a formal proposal in April of that year. She finally agreed to marry him on the condition that his ambiguous situation with the government be clarified, which it was. As a kind of wedding present, Pushkin was given permission to publish Boris Godunov -- after four years of waiting for authorization -- under his "own responsibility." He was formally betrothed on May 6, 1830.

Financial arrangements in connection with his father's wedding gift to him of half the estate of Kistenevo necessitated a visit to the neighboring estate of Boldino, in east-central Russia. When Pushkin arrived there in September 1830, he expected to remain only a few days; however, for three whole months he was held in quarantine by an epidemic of Asiatic cholera. These three months in Boldino turned out to be literarily the most productive of his life. During the last months of his exile at Mikhaylovskoe, he had completed Chapters V and VI of Eugene Onegin, but in the four subsequent years he had written, of major works, only "Poltava"(1828), his unfinished novel The Blackamoor of Peter the Great (1827) and Chapter VII of Eugene Onegin (1827-1828). During the autumn at Boldino, Pushkin wrote the five short stories of The Tales of Belkin; the verse tale "The Little House in Kolomna;" his little tragedies, "The Avaricious Knight," "Mozart and Salieri;" "The Stone Guest;" and "Feast in the Time of the Plague;" "The Tale of the Priest and His Workman Balda," the first of his fairy tales in verse; the last chapter of Eugene Onegin; and "The Devils," among other lyrics.

Pushkin was married to Natalia Goncharova on February 18, 1831, in Moscow. In May, after a honeymoon made disagreeable by "Moscow aunties" and in-laws, the Pushkins moved to Tsarskoe Selo, in order to live near the capital, but inexpensively and in "inspirational solitude and in the circle of sweet recollections." These expectations were defeated when the cholera epidemic in Petersburg caused the Tsar and the court to take refuge in July in Tsarskoe Selo. In October 1831 the Pushkins moved to an apartment in Petersburg, where they lived for the remainder of his life. He and his wife became henceforth inextricably involved with favors from the Tsar and with court society. Mme. Pushkina's beauty immediately made a sensation in society, and her admirers included the Tsar himself. On December 30, 1833, Nicholas I made Pushkin a Kammerjunker, an intermediate court rank usually granted at the time to youths of high aristocratic families. Pushkin was deeply offended, all the more because he was convinced that it was conferred, not for any quality of his own, but only to make it proper for the beautiful Mme. Pushkina to attend court balls. Dancing at one of these balls was followed in March 1834 by her having a miscarriage. While she was convalescing in the provinces, Pushkin spoke openly in letters to her of his indignation and humiliation. The letters were intercepted and sent to the police and to the Tsar. When Pushkin discovered this, in fury he submitted his resignation from the service on June 25, 1834. However, he had reason to fear the worst from the Tsar's displeasure at this action, and he felt obliged to retract his resignation.

Pushkin could ill afford the expense of gowns for Mme. Pushkina for court balls or the time required for performing court duties. His woes further increased when her two unmarried sisters came in autumn 1834 to live henceforth with them. In addition, in the spring of 1834 he had taken over the management of his improvident father's estate and had undertaken to settle the debts of his heedless brother. The result was endless cares, annoyances, and even outlays from his own pocket. He came to be in such financial straits that he applied for a leave of absence to retire to the country for three or four years, or if that were refused, for a substantial sum as loan to cover his most pressing debts and for the permission to publish a journal. The leave of absence was brusquely refused, but a loan of thirty thousand rubles was, after some trouble, negotiated; permission to publish, beginning in 1836, a quarterly literary journal, The Contemporary, was finally granted as well. The journal was not a financial success, and it involved him in endless editorial and financial cares and in difficulties with the censors, for it gave importantly placed enemies among them the opportunity to pay him off. Short visits to the country in 1834 and 1835 resulted in the completion of only one major work, "The Tale of the Golden Cockerel"(1834), and during 1836 he only completed his novel on Pugachev, The Captain's Daughter, and a number of his finest lyrics.

Реферат опубликован: 24/06/2009