(1811 – 1848)
Russian critic and publicist. Born June 11 (old style – May 30) in 1811 in the fortress of Sveaborg (Finland), in the family of a naval doctor, and later – a district doctor. My mother was a typical provincial gossip, and my father, a man without gifts, sank under the influence of provincial life. His grandfather was a priest, the father of Nicephorus, according to family legends, a righteous ascetic and ascetic. The characters of the father and mother also affected the son. The mother’s temperament, sharpness and directness of the father were already evident in the young Belinsky. In 1816 the family moved to the town of Chembar (now Belinskiy) of the Penza province. In 1820 he entered the district school, and from 1825 he studied at the Penza gymnasium. Not finishing the teaching in the gymnasium, in 1828 decided to go to Moscow University. At the end of 1829, after many difficulties, he managed to become a student at Moscow University, enrolling in the verbal faculty.
Love to native literature developed from a young age. The young man himself tried to write, compose ballads, stories and considered himself, in his words, “a dangerous rival of Zhukovsky.” At the end of 1830 he moved on to another branch of art: he began to write in prose drama “Dmitry Kalinin”, directed against serfdom. At this time, Belinsky was a public-koshtnym student, but treated this “official koshtu” with hatred. At the end of the 30th, when cholera raged in Moscow, the university had quarantine, and students were locked in it for three autumn months. By this time of involuntary rest Belinsky took advantage of to finish the tragedy and presented to the university censorship for printing, where it “was recognized as an immoral, dishonest university”, Professor censors threatened Belinsky with a reference to Siberia, penal servitude or a soldier. This shocked Belinsky so much that he went to the hospital on the same day. In September 1832 he was expelled from the university on the pretext of “poor health and limited abilities.” In the autumn of 1836, the famous “philosophical” letter of Chaadaev was placed in the “Telescope”, for which the magazine was defeated, and Belinsky was searched. Since the spring of 1838, he managed to return to journal work: his friends began publishing the magazine “Moscow Observer”, in which Belinsky had to play
the role of not only a literary critic, but also an editor. From the end of 1836 Belinsky was in poverty. Unsuccessful love for Alexandra Bakunina (Mikhail’s sister), in connection with the difficult situation of money matters, led him to the fact, that even in the winter of 1836 he felt completely descended and, in order to drown out heavy feelings, “indulged in sensuality.” Such a life brought him to illness, and in the spring of 1837 he had to go to the Caucasus for treatment with friends. At the end of 1839, he decided to move from Moscow to St. Petersburg, where work was to be carried out in Otechestvennye Zapiski, which lasted until the beginning of 1846. This time was the heyday of Belinsky’s critical activity and the flourishing of Otechestvennye Zapiski. In 1842 Belinsky finally came to “sociality” and from this point of view began to evaluate all literary and social events. Beginning in 1841, he began to publish in the “Notes of the Fatherland” an annual review of Russian literature and continued to the end of his work in this journal, until the beginning of 1846. In early 1841 Belinsky was acquainted with socialism only by hearsay; in one of the letters of the middle of 1841 he wrote: “We must get acquainted with the Saint-Simonists, I look at a woman with their eyes.” Two or three months later Belinsky got acquainted with the teachings of socialism and from 1842 became a preacher of the world teaching of socialism. In 1842 – 1843 again unsuccessful love for Bakunin resurfaced, and this time Belinsky, apparently, could count on reciprocity. But in the summer of 1843 he, who was visiting Botkin at that time in Moscow, met his future wife, Maria Orlyova, a classy lady of the Moscow Institute and an elderly woman. Belinsky married her in November 1843. This marriage, apparently, was not particularly successful. The illness was also exacerbated – consumption, which Belinsky was already sick in Moscow. Moscow friends arranged a trip to Russia from May to October this year: the famous actor Shchepkin was going on a tour of Russia, and Belinsky went with him. At the beginning of 1847 the doctors began to send him again on a journey to the waters, to Silesia, and again the friends got hold of the funds for the trip. Belinsky died of consumption on June 7 (according to the old style – May 26) in 1848, in St. Petersburg. He was buried at Volkov cemetery. He died “in time,” as Granovsky later said about it, because in the hands of the Nikolayev gendarmes, his letter to Gogol, widely distributed in many lists, soon followed, for which Dostoevsky was sentenced to death. In 1849, the manager of the Third Division of the Office of His Majesty (later the Police Department) Dubelt “furiously regretted” the death of Belinsky: “we would have rotted him in the fortress”
Among the works are articles, reviews, drama: “Dmitry Kalinin” (1832, drama), “About the Russian story and novels of Gogol” (“Arabesques” and “Mirgorod”) (1835, article), “Nothing About Nothing” (1835), Poems by V. Benediktov (1835), Hamlet by Shakespeare, Mochalov in the Role of Hamlet (1838, cycle of articles), Works in D. Davydov’s Poems and Prose, Hero of Our Time. Op. M. Lermontov… “(1840),” Poems of M. Lermontov… “(1841),” A glance at the Russian literature of 1846 “,” N. A. Polevoy “(1846),” A glance at the Russian literature of 1847 “,” The answer of V. Belinsky (Gogol) “(1847).