Chukovskaya Lydia Korneyevna (1907-1996), Russian poet, novelist, critic. Born March 24 (April 7) in 1907 in St. Petersburg in the family of writer KI Chukovsky. In the education of Chukovskaya, the creative atmosphere of the parental home in St. Petersburg and in the cottage settlement of Kuokkala (now Repino) played a big role, and a wide circle of acquaintances of the father, including many outstanding figures of culture and art. Subsequently, Chukovskaya told about this in memories of the Memory of Childhood (1983).
She studied at the best educational institutions in Petrograd – at the Tagantsev Gymnasium and Tenishevsky School. In 1924-1925 she listened to lectures by Y. Tynyanov, B. Eikhenbaum, V. Zhirmunsky and other outstanding scientists at the literary department of the Leningrad Institute of Arts. For opposition to arbitrariness in the activities of the Komsomol organization was arrested and in 1926 sent to Saratov. Thanks to the efforts of KI Chukovsky she managed 11 months later to return to Leningrad.
In 1928 Chukovskaya graduated from the Leningrad University Philology Department and began working as an editor of children’s literature at the State Publishing House under the direct supervision of the poet and translator S. Marshak. For life, I have been grateful to Marshak for her help in her creative development. She later described her editorial experience in the book The Laboratory of the Editor (1960).
During her years at the State Publishing House, Chukovskaya wrote literary critical essays. In the same years she wrote several children’s books, publishing them under the pseudonym Alexei Uglov (Leningrad-Odessa, 1928, On the Volga, 1931, The Tale of Taras Shevchenko, 1930). In 1940 she published under her own name a children’s historical story The story of an...
Throughout her life, Chukovskaya wrote poetry, which was combined into a book on this side of death (1978).
Chukovskaya’s husband, physicist M. Bronshtein, fell victim to the Stalinist repressions of 1937. She herself was constantly under the supervision of punitive organs. Despite this, Chukovskaya worked on the story of Sofya Petrovna (1939-1940, published in Paris in 1965 as The Desert House), in which she described how mass terror is gradually realized by a simple, non-politically active person. Stalin’s repressions in the writers’ environment are written in the form of the diary book Descent into the Water (1972).
In the years 1938-1941 and 1952-1962 Chukovskaya conducted detailed records of her conversations with AA Akhmatova, publishing them later with her own comments in the form of a book of Notes on Anna Akhmatova (1976-1980). This book became not only a vivid testimony to the life of the great poet, but also a true description of the lies and inhumanity of the Soviet era.
Chukovskaya provided constant assistance to those who were persecuted by the authorities. Thanks to her efforts in the 1940s, a copy of B. Zhitkov’s prohibited book, Viktor Vavich, was saved from destruction. During the Sinyavsky-Daniel process (1966) she wrote an open letter to M. Sholokhov, who participated in the persecution of writers, writing: “Ideas should be opposed to ideas, not to prisons and camps.” For repeated statements in defense of human rights (in particular, A. Solzhenitsyn and A. Sakharov) in 1974 was excluded from the Writers’ Union. She told about it in the book Exception Process (1979).
Chukovskaya died in Moscow on February 7, 1996.
Materials of the encyclopedia “Krugosvet”