Tag Archives: Russian

The Devil Pays His Due

On this date in 1852, Nikolai Gogol burns some of his manuscripts, including most of the second part of Dead Souls. He says that the act was the Devil playing a practical joke. Nine days later, Gogol died. Advertisements

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One Day in the Life of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn born this date in 1918. He was famously expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974, but returned to Russia in 1994, after the collapse of the Soviet system. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature … Continue reading

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A Guy Called Joe

Author Joseph Conrad born in the Ukraine this day in 1857; his birthplace was once part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Before he came to England, he had a career in the merchant navy; this is reflected in the strong nautical … Continue reading

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Dostoevsky Dances with Death

On this date in 1849, Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death for participating in socialist activities. While he stood facing a firing squad, a cart arrived with a letter from the Tsar commuting Dostoevsky’s sentence to four years of hard … Continue reading

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“The Seagull” Crashes and Burns

On this date in 1896, Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s play “The Seagull” premieres in St. Petersburg. The play is a flop, leading Chekhov to say, “Not if I live to be 700 will I write another play.”

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Tolstoy Takes a Peasant Pilgrimage

Dressed as a peasant, Count Leo Tolstoy began a pilgrimage to Optina-Pustyn monastery on this date in 1881. He was accompanied by two bodyguards who were carrying a suitcase full of clean clothes.

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Dostoevsky Praises Pushkin

On this date in 1880, Fyodor Dostoevsky took a break from writing The Brothers Karamazov to attend a centenary celebration of poet Aleksandr Pushkin’s birthday at the Moscow Society of Lovers of Russian Literature. Dostoevsky state that Pushkin was “a … Continue reading

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Turgenev Tranquilizes Tolstoy

On this date in 1861, while visiting fellow author Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy falls asleep reading the proofs of Turgenev’s latest novel, Fathers and Sons.

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On this date in 1925, Russian American novelist Vladimir Nabakov married Véra Slonim. They were married for 52 years.

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Alexander Pushkin Died on This Date

Russia’s “greatest” poet, Alexander Pushkin, died on this date in 1837 as the result of wounds sustained in a duel. Pushkin was noted for being touchy about his honor, which he defended in at least 29 duels. His poem most … Continue reading

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