You didn't know this about Russian writers and poets!
Awkward habits & situations
July 25, 2021
For us, the writers and poets of the Golden and Silver Ages of Russian literature are a kind of "idols". We learn life from their works, adopt values, master the literary language and become better thanks to their creations. However, not many of us realize that they were also usual human beings who had to think about ordinary human routine, they ate and drank, dreamed and argued, were happy or sad, made children and died - just like everyone else.

Almost every one of us has habits that are different from others, or even seem strange to some. We all can accidentally get into awkward situations. Poets and writers are no exception, and today we will talk about unusual facts from the life of Russian geniuses.

Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837): the greatest Russian poet, novelist and the founder of modern Russian literary language.

Pushkin did not have attractive appearance, unlike his wife Natalia Goncharova, who was, besides all, 10 cm taller than her husband. For this reason, when attending balls, Pushkin tried to stay away from his wife, so as not to focus the attention of others on this contrast.

Nikolay Gogol (1809-1852): a novelist, short story writer and playwright of Ukrainian origin; one of the first who used the techniques of surrealism and the grotesque in his works.

Gogol had a passion for needlework. He knitted scarves, cut dresses for sisters, weaved belts, sewed summer scarves for himself. Such a handyman!

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904): a playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history.

Alexander Kuprin (1870-1938): a novelist and short-story writer, one of the last exponents of the great tradition of Russian critical realism.

When Chekhov did his writing work, he dressed in a ceremonial suit. Kuprin, on the contrary, loved to work completely naked.

Also, Chekhov, in correspondence with his wife Olga Knipper used, in addition to standard compliments and affectionate words, very unusual ones: "actress", "dog", "snake" and – just feel it - "crocodile of my soul."

Nikolay Karamzin(1766-1826): a Russian Imperial historian, romantic writer, poet and critic.

Nikolay Karamzin is the author of the most concise description of social life in Russia. When, during his trip to Europe, Russian emigrants asked Karamzin what was happening in their homeland, the writer answered in one word: "thievery" (so true till nowadays!).
Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941): a Russian poet, her work is considered among some of the greatest in twentieth century.

After the beginning of World War II, Marina Tsvetaeva was sent to evacuation to the city of Elabuga in Tatarstan. Poet and novelist Boris Pasternak helped her pack her things. He brought a rope to tie up the suitcase, and, assuring her of its endurance, joked: "The rope will stand everything, even if you hang yourself." Subsequently, he was told that it was that rope that Tsvetaeva used to commit a suicide hanging herself in Yelabuga...

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881): Russian novelist and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart, together with his unsurpassed moments of illumination, had an immense influence on 20th-century fiction.

Dostoevsky made extensive use of the real topography of St. Petersburg in describing the locations of his novel Crime and Punishment. As the writer admitted, the description of the courtyard in which Raskolnikov hides the things he stole from the pawnbroker's apartment, Dostoevsky compiled from personal experience when, once walking around the city, he turned into a deserted courtyard in order to relieve himself. Oops...
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910): one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909.

Tolstoy was skeptical about his novels, including War and Peace. In 1871, he sent a letter to poet Fet: "How happy I am ... that I will never write wordy nonsense like War again." An entry in his diary in 1908 reads: "People love me for those trifles - War and Peace, etc., which seem very important to them."

Leo Tolstoy had a terrible handwriting. Only his wife could understand everything that was written, who, according to literary researchers, copied his "War and Peace" several times. Perhaps Tolstoy just wrote too quickly? The hypothesis is quite real, given the volume of his works.

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