(1892 – 1968)
Paustovsky Konstantin Georgievich (1892 – 1968), the prose writer.
Born May 19 (31 N. s.) In Moscow in Granatny Lane, the family of railway statistics, but, despite the profession, an incorrigible dreamer. The family loved the theater, sang a lot, played the piano.
He studied in Kiev in the classical gymnasium, where there were good teachers of Russian literature, history, psychology. He read a lot, wrote poetry. After the divorce, the parents had to earn their living and study by themselves, interrupted by tutoring. In 1912 he graduated from the gymnasium and enrolled in the natural history department of Kiev University. Two years later he transferred to the Moscow law school.
The First World War began, but he was not taken into the army as a youngest son in the family (under the then laws). Even in the last grade of the gymnasium, having printed his first story, Paustovsky decides to become a writer, but believes that for this it is necessary “to go to life” in order “to know everything, to feel everything and understand everything” – “without this life experience, the way to writing is not It was”. Acts as a guide to the Moscow tram, then the paramedic on the rear ambulance train. Then he learned and forever fell in love with the middle stripe of Russia, its cities.
Paustovsky worked at the metallurgical Bryansk plant, at the boiler plant in Taganrog and even at the fishing fleet on the Azov Sea. In his spare time he began to write his first novel “Romantics”, which was published only in the 1930s in Moscow. After the beginning of the February Revolution, he left for Moscow, began working as a reporter in... the newspapers, having witnessed all the events in Moscow during the October Revolution.
After the revolution, he traveled a lot around the country, visited Kiev, served in the Red Army, fighting “with all mannered atamans”, went to Odessa, where he worked in the newspaper “Sailor”. Here came the environment of young writers, among whom were Kataev, Ilf, Babel, Bagritsky and others. Soon they were again seized by the “muse of distant wanderings”: he lives in Sukhumi, Tbilisi, Yerevan, until finally he returns to Moscow. For several years he works as an editor of ROSTA and begins to publish. The first book was a collection of short stories “Counter-ships”, then the story “Kara-Bugaz”. After the publication of this story, the work remains forever, and writing becomes his only favorite work.
Paustovsky opens a reserved land for himself – Mescher, who owes many of his stories. He still travels a lot, and every trip is a book. During the years of his literary life he traveled all over the Soviet Union.
During the Great Patriotic War he was a military correspondent and also traveled a lot of places. After the war, it was the first time in the West: Czechoslovakia, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Sweden, etc. The meeting with Paris was especially dear and close for him.
Paustovsky wrote a series of books about creativity and people of art: Orest Kiprensky, Isaak Levitan (1937), Taras Shevchenko (1939), The Story of the Forests (1949), Golden Rose (1956) – novel about literature, about the “beautiful essence of writers’ work”.
In the last years of his life he worked on a great autobiographical epic, The Story of Life.
K. Paustovsky died on July 14, 1968 in Tarusa, where he was buried.