Ivan Krylov (1769–1844)

Ivan Krylov (1769–1844)

The collection is dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Krylov, Russian playwright, poet, fabulist, satirist, publicist and publisher of literary and educational magazines. It consists of electronic copies of books, articles, archival documents and visual materials.

Ivan Krylov wrote a lot for theaters in his youth, then, at the very end of the 18th century, he started his journalistic career. In 1789 for eight months he had been publishing Pochta Dukhov magazine, in which he created a satirical picture of the contemporary society in a graceful form of correspondence between the dwarves and magician Malikulmulk. Later he became a publisher of Zritel and Merkury magazines. The first dramas by Ivan Krylov, Pochta Dukhov and the most interesting magazine articles entered the 1st, 2nd and 3rd volumes of his complete works available in the “Oeuvre” section.

Ivan Krylov made the most remarkable contribution to Russian culture as a fabulist. At first he translated La Fontaine's fables, and then began to retell old stories and make up his own. The language of his fables is clear, aphoristic and simple, since the genre of these works made it possible to enrich them by using the vocabulary and units close to the spoken Russian language. Therefore, the shrewdest morals and messages of fables are regarded as proverbs. A total of 236 fables by Ivan Krylov made up nine lifetime collected editions, which have been still published today. The collection includes both editions of Ivan Krylov’s fables and illustrations for them. Of particular interest are satirical posters of the Great Patriotic War issued in 1944 to commemorate the centenary of the fabulist’s death, in which Krylov's characters represent leaders of the Third Reich.

Ivan Krylov combined active literary career with the post at the Imperial Public Library (1810 – 1841). Documents, which spotlight his work in the library are available in the collection. The collection also provides access to digitized archival records on establishing the Krylov Scholarship, in particular the records on honoring Ivan Krylov on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his literary career and on establishment of Krylov Scholarships. This is a proof that the writer’s activities and works were highly regarded by contemporaries. It is no accident that in 1835 in the article “Literary Dreams” V. G. Belinsky named four prominent writers of Russian classical literature and Krylov was listed along with Derzhavin, Pushkin and Griboyedov.

Documents, books, visual materials for the collection were provided by the Russian State Historical Archive, the Children's Postcard Museum, private collections, the Boris Yeltsin Ural Federal University Research Library and other sources.