(1744 – 1792)
Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin (1744 – 1792). Russian writer, playwright, publicist of the Catherine era. Surname Fonvizin in the XVIII century. was written in two words, which lasted until the middle of the XIX century. Spelling in one word was finally established by Tikhonravov. Fonvizin was born on April 14 (in the old style – April 3) in 1745, in Moscow. He came from the Livonian knightly family, who left for Moscow in the 16th century. and completely Russified. He received his primary education under the guidance of his father, Ivan Andreevich. The volume of home education was not great, because the funds did not allow “hiring foreign language teachers”: at home he learned the elements of Russian literacy. In 1755 he entered the newly opened gymnasium at Moscow University. In 1760 he was “promoted to students” at the Faculty of Philosophy, but stayed at the university for only 2 years. At the same time, literature begins: in 1761 he placed in the journal Kheraskov “Useful Entertainment”, a translated article “Justice Jupiter” and printed a translation of Golberg’s fables. By the time of the teachings, the birth of love for the theater also began: in 1756 – 1759 Fonvizin played in an amateur university theater, created on the initiative of M. M. Kheraskov, and in a public theater.
In 1762, the teaching at the university ceases; Fonvizin is determined by the sergeant of the Guards, although this service does not interest him at all and he avoids it as much as possible. At this time, the courtyard arrives in Moscow, and the vice-chancellor appoints Fonvizin to the College of Foreign Affairs as an “interpreter of the captain-lieutenant”, and next year he will be appointed “to be for some business” under Cabinet-minister IP Elagin at the adoption of petitions and moved to St. Petersburg. Secretary of the cabinet minister served until 1769. In 1764 was introduced to the first comedy Fonvizina “Corion.” In 1768 the “Brigadier” was written, which made a strong impression on the then public: Fonvizin compared with Moliere, and his comedy did not go off the stage. In 1769 Fonvizin was forced to leave the service under Elagin and decide again in the Foreign Affairs Department as the secretary of the head of the College: he was entrusted with the most extensive correspondence with Russian diplomats at European courts.
In 1775 he was elected a member of the Free Russian Assembly at Moscow University. May 14, 1783 at the Moscow theater of Medox premiere of the comedy “Nedorosl”, which was a great success. Service under NI Panin continued until 1783, when Fonvizin retired with the rank of State Councilor and with a pension of 3000 rubles. During his service under Count Panin, Fonvizin made his first trip abroad (1777-1778) with his sick wife, born Rogovikova, having visited Germany and France. In August 1778 in Paris with Benjamin Franklin. The second trip was in 1784 to Germany and Italy, in which he spent 8 months, and 2 years later, Fonvizin himself had to go to the treatment of the consequences of paralysis in Vienna and Carlsbad. After the publication in 1783 of a series of satirical works, Fonvizin’s attempts to publish something were suppressed by Catherine II herself. In the last years of his life, Fonvizin’s literary activity almost ceased. Fonvizin died on December 12 (in the old style – December 1) in 1792 in St. Petersburg. He was buried in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
Among the works are plays, poems, satirical works, articles, translations: “Fables of the moralizing” of the Danish enlightener L. Holberg (1761, translation from German), “Fox-Coed” (1761, fable), “Oh, Clim, your deeds are great! ” (1761, epigram), the tragedy of Voltaire “Alzira, or the Americans” (1762, translated from French), the treatise “Reduction of the liberty of the French nobility and the benefits of the third rank” (1764 – 1766, translation from French), Kopion (1764; comedy, reworked from the French comedy Gresse “Sydney”), “Message to my servants Shumilov, Vanka and Petrushka” (1765, publication – 1769; poem), “Brigadier” (1768 – 1769, publication – 1792 – 1795; comedy) , “Notes of the First Journey” (publication – 1800s; letters to P. I. Panin from France), “The Experience of the Russian Estateman” (article), “Questions to the author of Byelaus and Fables” (article), “The petition of the Russian Minerva from Russian writers” (article), “The Teaching Speech of the Spirit Day by Priest Vasily” (article) , “Nedorosl” (1781, production – 1782, publication – 1783, comedy), “Reasoning about the indispensable state laws” (1782 – 1783; pamphlet, together with NI Panin), “The Experience of the Russian Estate” (1783), “The narrative of the supposed deaf and dumb” (1783), “Several questions that can excite in clever and honest people special attention” (1783), “Sun general court grammar “(satire spread in the lists),” Callisthenes “(1786, novel),” Confession in my affairs and minds “(1789;