Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin. Biography

Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin. Biography

Just as the scientific and literary activity of MV Lomonosov, the work of DI Fonvizin can serve as a colorful illustration of the Russian literature of the Enlightenment. True, it illustrates another aspect of Russian literature. If the poems of MV Lomonosov captured the patriotic pathos of the state-building period, the satirical works of DI Fonvizin reflected a sharply critical view of the state of things in autocratic Russia. If the “high” ode genre favored by the classicists was first developed in the former, then in the second – the “low” genre of comedy, no less popular in the classicism. And if the genius of Lomonosov personified the scientific way of promoting educational ideas, Fonvizin’s talent was a political way of their formation. These peculiarities

were pointed out by AS Pushkin,

DI Fonvizin came from an old noble family, which had German roots. His name for a long time was written in German manner: “Von Vizin” or “Von Wiesen”. One of the first against this was Pushkin, remarking: “What kind of a non-christian is he?” He is Russian, from Russian is Russian. ” Nevertheless, the Russian writing of the writer’s name was established only at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Fonvizin family honored the laws of noble honor. According to the writer’s memoirs, his father “hated larceny,” “did not tolerate lies,” and ingratiated himself with influential grandees; the mother had a “thin mind” and a compassionate, responsive soul. They took seriously the education of the heir. The first ten years of his life, the father personally supervised the training of his son, and then sent him to the noble school, after which young Fonvizin entered the Moscow University, which was recently opened on the initiative of M. V. Lomonosov. Already in the gymnasium years, the young man was carried away by translations, already in the university years began to print them. Exercising in this lesson, he gradually absorbed the ideas of the European Enlightenment. Another of his youthful hobbies

was the theater. It was to him that Fonvizin was later obliged by his long literary fame.

In 1762, DI Fonvizin moved to St. Petersburg, where he was received as an interpreter in a foreign collegium. His service he carried regularly, but gave preference to literary creativity, which attracted more attention of aristocratic circles. Soon Fonvizin was received in them not as an official, but as a talented writer, distinguished by deep observation, extraordinary wit and courageous judgments.

As a courtier, the writer was supposed to attend official receptions, masquerades, kurtags, solemn performances and other entertainment events. However, this duty was a burden to him. In letters to his sister, Denis Ivanovich constantly complained of bouts of gloomy mood that embraced him in a secular society: “Yesterday I was on the court, and, I do not know what, it became so sad to me that, without waiting for the end, I left”; “I came home from the court”; “There were a lot of people, but I swear to you that I, with all that, was in the desert.” There was not a single person I could read with, although for a little pleasure. ” Among such confessions there were sometimes very sharp conclusions: “An honest person can not live in circumstances that are not based on honor.”

At that time in the court circles there was growing tense political confrontation. Liberal, progressively-minded nobles led by the actual minister of foreign affairs and educator of the heir to the throne, Count NI Panin, attempted to implement reforms that would put an end to the tsarist despotism, the wild arbitrariness of landowners-serf owners and the terrifying slavery of the peasants. However, Catherine II, who in words professed the principles of the “enlightened” monarchy, but in fact pursued a policy of strengthening the autocracy, did not want to sacrifice a part of her powers. On its side were the nobles, who saw in such changes a direct threat to their privileges.

DI Fonvizin shared the views of supporters of reforms and, therefore, having switched to the service of NI Panin, joined the unfolding struggle. This struggle, accompanied by intrigues and conspiracies, lasted about twenty years and ended in the complete defeat of the liberal party. Gradually, the tsarist government removed the supporters of Panin from power, and then dismissed himself. In disgrace, crushed by the realization that the cause of his life had collapsed, the earl soon died. However, shortly before his death, in 1782, he composed a “political testament” designed to shake the very foundations of Russian autocracy. According to the dying man, this testament was written down by his secretary, like-minded friend and friend, DI Fonvizin.

After the defeat of the liberal nobility, DI Fonvizin left the service and completely focused on literature. As a member of the Russian Academy, he took part in the creation of a dictionary of the Russian language, taking upon himself the compilation of a dictionary of synonyms, which he, following a literal translation from Greek, called “soslovami.” It was a serious linguistic work. But even in it the writer showed political predilections and a satirical gift, including in the explanations of the words caustic witticisms, ridiculing the courtyard of the empress and her methods of governing the state. The materials of the “classman” were printed in the literary magazine “The Interlocutor of the Amateurs of the Russian Word,” in which she published her essays entitled “There were Fiction” by Catherine II herself. On the part of Fonvizin, this was a challenge, and the challenge is doubly daring, that he was thrown on the “field” of a powerful adversary. In subsequent issues, the writer continued the attack, anonymously presenting a few more of his satirical works. Particular attention was drawn to the publication of the fonvizinsky tricky questions addressed to the author “Byley and fables”. Catherine answered them with barely concealed annoyance and lost the fight. However, after learning the name of the hated freethinker, the Empress struck on the other side – deprived him of the opportunity to be printed. From now on, all attempts by Fonvizin to publish his works were stopped, including his intention to publish a collection of works. Particular attention was drawn to the publication of the fonvizinsky tricky questions addressed to the author “Byley and fables”. Catherine answered them with barely concealed annoyance and lost the fight. However, after learning the name of the hated freethinker, the Empress struck on the other side – deprived him of the opportunity to be printed. From now on, all attempts by Fonvizin to publish his works were stopped, including his intention to publish a collection of works. Particular attention was drawn to the publication of the fonvizinsky tricky questions addressed to the author “Byley and fables”. Catherine answered them with barely concealed annoyance and lost the fight. However, after learning the name of the hated freethinker, the Empress struck on the other side – deprived him of the opportunity to be printed. From now on, all attempts by Fonvizin to publish his works were stopped, including his intention to publish a collection of works.

The sunset of Fonvizin’s life was sad. The writer slowly faded, suffering from forced inaction, the collapse of political hopes, unexpected ruin and a serious illness. But until the last day, already deprived of the opportunity to fully move and talk, he nevertheless retained the power of the mind and the ability to sarcastically ridicule the vices of his age.


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Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin. Biography