(1703 – 1768)
Trediakovsky Vasily Kirillovich (1703 – 1768), poet, novelist, theoretician.
Born February 22 (March 5, 2007) in Astrakhan in the family of a priest. At the insistence of his father he studied at the school of Catholic Capuchin monks, then served in the church. In the early 1720s, leaving service in the church, fled to Moscow, where in 1723 – 26 he studied at the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy.
In 1726 he went to Holland, lived in The Hague with the Russian ambassador, then, on foot reaching Paris, in 1727 – 30 he studied at the Sorbonne.
In 1730 he returned to Russia, where he began active literary activity: he published the translation of the novel by P. Talman “Riding in the Island of Love” with the application of his love poems. Written in the most “simple” syllable, they created Trediakovsky’s popularity.
In 1732 he became an interpreter at the Academy of Sciences. In 1735 he made
a speech at the Academy on the need for reform in Russian versification; later wrote on this subject the treatise “A New and Brief Method for the Composition of Russian Poems.” It contained a new system of verse – syllabo-tonic, based on the regular alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, – a system of poetic genres of classicism, samples of a sonnet, rondo, madrigal, ode. This reform determined the further development of Russian poetry.
In 1745 he became an academician. Soon he published the first in Russian science experience of studying the phonetic structure of Russian speech – “Talk about orthography” (1748).
In 1752 a two-volume collection “Works and Translations in Poems and Prose” was published, where he outlined his views on the theory of poetic translation. At this time, Trediakovsky’s position in the literature and the Academy is becoming increasingly difficult (in literary disputes with Lomonosov and Sumarokov, Trediakovsky’s views on the versification and structure of the literary language were not recognized and supported
by new generations of writers). Because of the condemnation on the part of the Synod for “ambiguity”, the most significant poetic works – the philosophical poem “Theoptia” and the full verse translation of the Psalter – remained in the manuscript.
Attacks on Trediakovsky intensified after the release of his study “On the Ancient, Middle and New Russian Poem,”
In 1759 he was dismissed from the Academy, but continued his literary work: he completed translations of historical works. A fair assessment of Trediakovsky’s work was given only later by A. Radishchev, A. Pushkin. He died in St. Petersburg on August 6 (17 N. p.) 1768.
A brief biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.