(1797 – 1846)
Kiichelbecker Wilhelm Karlovich (1797 – 1846), poet, prose writer. Born July 10 (21 N. s.) In St. Petersburg in the noble family Russified Germans. He spent his childhood in Estonia, where the family settled after the father’s resignation.
In 1808 he was sent to a private boarding house, and three years later he entered the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum, where Pushkin and Delvig became his friends. From an early age he showed the features of freedom, he was a member of the Decembrist circle of Burtsev, deeply studied the social sciences, compiled a dictionary of political terms, and seriously studied literature. He was considered one of the recognized lyceum poets. Already in 1815 he was published in the journals Son of the Fatherland, Amphion, and took an active part in the Free Society of Lovers of Russian Literature, at one of whose meetings in 1820 he read poems dedicated to the exiled Pushkin, which served as a pretext for denouncing Kiichelbecker. Feeling the impending danger, on the advice of friends, he travels abroad as a secretary to the nobleman A. Naryshkin. I visited Germany, where I visited Goethe, to whom he dedicated a poem “To Prometheus.” In Paris, he gives lectures on Russian literature, which were a great success. The freedom-loving orientation of these lectures arouses the displeasure of the tsarist envoy who achieved the immediate return of the poet to Russia.
Friends helped him enter the service of General Ermolov, and in 1821 he went to the Caucasus, in Tiflis he met and became friends with A. Griboyedov. However, in May 1822 he filed a petition for dismissal and went to his sister’s estate Purchase of Smolensk province. Here he writes several lyrical poems, finishes the tragedy “Argivians”, composes the poem “Cassandra”, begins a poem about Griboyedov.
The circumstances of the material order prompted him in the summer of 1823 to come to Moscow. The poet became friends with V. Odoevsky, along with whom he published almanac “Mnemosyne”, where Pushkin, Baratynsky, and Yazykov were published. Küchelbecker writes poetry about the uprising in Greece, the death of Byron, the message to Ermolov, Griboyedov, the poem “The fate of Russian poets.” In 1825 he settled in St. Petersburg, entered the circle of the Decembrists, was admitted to a secret society. December 14 Kiichelbecker, one of the few “civilians” among
the military, was active: visited the insurgent units, bravely behaved in the square, fired at the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich. When the rebel troops were scattered, dressed in a peasant dress, he tried to flee abroad. Arrested in Warsaw, he was sentenced to death,
After ten years of solitary confinement, he was exiled to Siberia. However, in the fortress and in exile he continued to engage in creative work, creating such works as the poem “The Orphan”, the tragedies “Prokofy Lyapunov” and “Izhorskiy”, the story “The Last Column”, the tale “Ivan, the Merchant’s Son”, the memoirs “Shadow” Rileyev, Griboedov’s Memory. Some of his works Pushkin managed to print under a pseudonym. After the death of his great friend Kiichelbecker lost this opportunity.
In exile, Kiichelbecker married the daughter of postmaster Artemov, an illiterate woman, whom he taught and educated. Together with my family I moved from one Siberian place to another and, finally, already sick with tuberculosis and blind, settled in Tobolsk. Kiichelbecker died on August 11 (23 N. p.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.