(1821 – 1908)
Zhemchuzhnikov Alexei Mikhailovich (1821 – 1908), poet, playwright.
Born February 11 (23 N. p.) In the town of Pochel Chernigov province in an old noble family. He received a wonderful home education.
He studied at the 1st St. Petersburg Gymnasium, then transferred to the St. Petersburg School of Law, which ends in 1841, finding here “respect for justice, law, knowledge and education.”
Serves in the Senate, then in the Ministry of Justice, in the State Chancellery, performing “tedious bureaucratic duties”. He leads a secular way of life. In those same years he visited the literary salons of Petersburg, met with F. Dostoyevsky, M. Saltykov-Shchedrin. A. Pleshcheyev, and others. In 1850 he made his debut in the
In 1850 – 60 Zhemchuzhnikov together with brothers Vladimir and Alexander and cousin AK Tolstoy participates in the creation of satirical poems and the image of Kozma Prutkov. In 1858 he retired, disregarding the prospect of a brilliant career, marries and begins a new “full of freedom of privacy.” For a long time he leaves abroad.
At the end of the 1860s he returned to literary activity, cooperated in Otechestvennye Zapiski, writes poetry, but his wife’s prolonged and severe illness, which ended in death, tears him from literary pursuits. Only from 1875 the name Zhemchuzhnikova again appears in print. In 1892 he published a collection of poems, which was a great success. In 1900 he published a collection of “Songs of old age”. This year he was awarded the title of honorary academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
In the civil lyrics of Zhemchuzhnikov, in his satirical poems reflected his social ideal – an enlightened democratic society that respects the freedom of the individual, the independence of thought. He fought for an honest public figure (“The Monument to Pushkin”, “Forgotten Words”, “Testament”).
Zhemchuzhnikov died on March 25 (April 7, 2007) in 1908 in Tambov. He was buried in Moscow.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.