Baratynskii, Evgenii Abramovich
(also E. A. Boratynskii). Bora Feb. 19 (Mar. 2), 1800, in the village of Mara, Tambov Province; died June 29 (July 11), 1844, in Naples; buried in St. Petersburg. Russian poet. Born into a noble family of modest means.
In 1819, Baratynskii was enrolled as a private in one of the St. Petersburg regiments. He served in a regiment stationed in Finland from 1820 to 1825 and retired in 1826. He began publishing in 1819. At first he wrote elegies and epistles (for example, Dissuasion [“Do not tempt me without need . . .”], 1821; put to music by M. I. Glinka) marked by the striving toward a psychological exposition of feelings in their complexity and internal dynamics. In 1826, Baratynskii’s “Finnish tale” in verse, Eda, was published. The book Two Tales in Verse (1828) was a manifestation of his friendship with A. S. Pushkin and the closeness of their literary positions; it included Pushkin’s narrative poem Count Nulin and Baratynskii’s narrative poem The Ball. After the revolt of the Decembrists was crushed, his poems were characterized by pessimistic themes of loneliness, grief, the inferiority of human nature, the vanity of existence, the coming destruction of mankind, and the doom of art. Affirmative notes can be heard in his last poems, written during his journey to Italy (The Steamboat, 1844).
Philosophical concerns and profundity of thought are characteristic of Baratynskii’s poetry. V. G. Belinskii considered “Mr. Baratynskii unquestionably the leading figure among those poets who made their appearance together with Pushkin” (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 6, 1955, p. 479).
Baratynskii spent the last years of his life at the estate of Muranovo (which later belonged to the Tiutchevs) near Moscow. In 1919 a literary memorial museum devoted to Baratynskii and F. I. Tiutchev was established on the estate.
WORKSPoln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. Edited and with notes by M. L. Gofman. St. Petersburg, 1914–15.
Stikhotvoreniia. Poemy. Proza. Pis’ma. Introductory article by K. Pigarev. Moscow, 1951.
Poln. sobr. stikhotvorenii, 2nd ed. Introductory article, preparation of text, and notes by E. N. Kupreianova. Leningrad, 1957.
REFERENCESBelinskii, V. G. “O stikhotvoreniiakh g. Baratynskogo.” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1953.
Belinskii, V. G. Stikhotvoreniia E. Baratynskogo.” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow, 1955.
Frizman, L. G. Tvorcheskii put’ E. A. Baratynskogo. Moscow, 1966.
D. D. BLAGOI