Alexander Vasilyevich Druzhinin (8 (20) October 1824, St. Petersburg – 19 (31) January 1864, ibid.) – Russian writer, literary critic, translator of Byron and Shakespeare; the initiator of the creation of the Society for the benefit of needy writers and scientists.
Noble origin. He received a home education, studied at the Corps of Pages (1841-1843). He served in the Life Guards Finnish Regiment and became close with his colleague PA Fedotov, later a well-known artist. Druzhinin was in charge of the regimental library and read a lot. For weak health and a desire to devote himself to literature in January 1846, retired in the rank of lieutenant and in February entered the office of the Military Ministry. In 1847 he published his stories, novellas, novels, later essays of
In the editorial circle of Sovremennik from the end of the 1840s to the end of the 1850s, Druzhinin was close to DV Grigorovich, IS Turgenev, and in particular to PV Annenkov and VP Botkin, with whom he was brought closer not only to literary and aesthetic preferences, but also to everyday entertainment. Under the noticeable influence of Druzhinin and his theory of “pure art” in 1856-1858 was Leo Tolstoy.
Since the beginning of the 1850’s, Druzhinin, in addition to “Contemporary”, was close to the circle of the journal OI Senkovsky’s “Library for Reading.” In 1856, Druzhinin, at the invitation of the publisher of the Library for Reading, VP Pechatkin, headed the magazine. In 1860, Druzhinin submitted the editing to AF Pisemsky, who was already co-editor at that time. He collaborated in the journals Otechestvennye Zapiski, Iskra, Russkiy Vestnik and the newspapers St. Petersburg Vedomosti and Severnaya Bchela. In the “Journal of Horticulture” he published an article “Notes on gardening in the Petersburg province” (1856, v. 2). In the journal Vek in 1861
In November 1856 at a dinner at the Count G. A. Kushelev-Bezborodko Druzhinin proposed to create a literary fund on the model of the English Literary Fund. On the same subject, he published an article entitled “Several Assumptions on the Structure of the Russian Literary Fund for Benefit to the Needy Persons of the Scientist and the Literary Circle” (The Library for Reading, 1857, v. 146). Organized by Druzhinin’s perseverance in 1859 in St. Petersburg, the Society for Benefit to Needy Writers and Scientists lasted about 60 years.
He died of consumption. Death and funeral passed almost unnoticed; Druzhinin’s merits to Russian literature were noted by NA Nekrasov in his obituary (Sovremennik, 1864, No. 1) and IS Turgenev in a memorial speech (The Russian Disabled, 1864, February 18). He was buried at Volkov cemetery.