"My dear mother, accept this weak work and say if it suits you somewhere". These poems are the first steps in the world of letters of the future great poet, writer, journalist and publisher Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov. December 10, 2018 marks the 197th anniversary of the birth of the Russian classic. The Presidential Library’s collections feature various materials devoted to him: these are rare editions, critical articles, studies, documentaries, etc.
The electronic reading room of the Presidential Library features the 1909 edition “N. A. Nekrasov, where the writer's biography is detailed. Thus, we learn that the childhood of the future writer was spent in the family estate Greshnevo under the influence of a father who was far from being distinguished by a good disposition. “If it were not for the mother, who had a strong influence on the mental and spiritual development of the child, then a worthy son of his father, a landowner-tyrant would have been able to work out of him without difficulty”, - notes the author of the book, N. I. Dyunkin. He continues: “At one time, Nekrasov’s father served as a police officer and took his son with him on trips; before the clean, childish gaze of the boy, there are trials, fist suggestion, and the poverty of the serf peasantry. The child is an impressionable, and besides, the father’s oppression felt so strongly at home, already here he feels sympathy for the people”.
Having started writing poetry at the age of seven, Nekrasov became fascinated with literature. N. I. Dyunkin writes: “He begins to read every printed page that gets into his eyes and “imitates what he reads to that”. By the age of fifteen he had a whole notebook already”.
No wonder that Nekrasov chose the philological faculty of St. Petersburg University to study. He went against the will of the stern father, who saw in the son a military man. In response to this capricious act, the 17-year-old Nikolai was deprived of material support from the family. In his book of memoirs “N. A. Nekrasov. F. M. Dostoevsky" friend of the writer, well-known lawyer Anatoly Kony will write about this period of the writer's life: "He had to be very poor, sometimes hungry for a long time and experience that poverty, homelessness and insecurity in his future, which affected the content of many of his poems. He obviously knew from personal experience how difficult it is to live in the corners of St. Petersburg, described by him in one of the collections published by him. There was a day-to-day compilation of books for small publishers, traders and hurried writing on the ordered topics about what is necessary and how necessary. During this period of his life, the editor of the Literary Gazette met him and offered him a good salary in his publishing house”. The young writer is invoved in the literary and journalistic circle of St. Petersburg, begins to widely publish his works.
XIX century is the period of the emergence and development of the classic thick magazines of socio-political and literary and artistic nature. Publications appeared, overbought, closed and revived again. Nekrasov also began to engage in publishing, issued a number of almanacs. In 1846, he rented the Sovremennik magazine, founded by Pushkin, and turned it into a successful editorial publication, and after closing it acquired the rights to issue the journal Domestic Notes. The poet was a very pragmatic man and was able to successfully conduct affairs, which allowed him to become one of the richest writers of his time.
In 1871, the successful publisher Nekrasov began to look for a place for solitude, where he could fully devote himself to studies he liked. His choice fell on a small estate Chudovskaya Luka in Novgorod province. This manor became the writer's favorite place where he rested from the city worries and anxieties, hunted, communicated with the peasants.
“The struggle prevented me from being a poet”, - said Nekrasov, and in Chudov he recalled poetry and began to write. Particularly fruitful was the summer of 1874, when the writer came to work on the magazine, but became interested in creative work and in two months created 11 works. Lines of the famous "Elegy" refer to this period:
Already evening comes. Excited by dreams
In the fields, in the meadows, lined with haystacks,
Thoughtfully wander in the cool twilight,
And the song itself is formed in the mind ...
A visitor of the Presidential Library's portal can, without leaving home, go there and learn more about this dearly beloved poet place. The museum-estate "Chudovskaya Luka" is illustrated in the documentary film "The hunter’s lodge of N. A. Nekrasov".
In the summer of 1876, a seriously ill poet worked here on the fourth chapter of the poem “Who is Happy in Russia”, and he was not destined to return here anymore.
The writer died in St. Petersburg on January 8, 1878. In the aforementioned book, Anatoly Koni sums up his life: “Nekrasov’s literary and moral services to Russian society are so great that they should completely wither to his shortcomings, even if they were exactly proved”.