Ivan Khemnitser


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Khemnitser, Ivan Ivanovich

 

Born Jan. 5 (16), 1745, in Enotaevka Fortress, in what is now Astrakhan Oblast; died Mar. 19 (30), 1784, in Burnav, near Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey. Russian poet.

The son of a military staff physician from Saxony, Khemnitser served in the Russian Army. In 1782 he became the Russian consul general in Smyrna. Encouraged by G. R. Derzhavin, he published the small volume Fables and Tales ofN. N. in Verse (1779), which was immensely successful and was reprinted many times. The Fables and Tales of I. I. Khemnitser (parts 1–3, 1799) was published posthumously. In his fables Khemnitser ridiculed the conceit of the nobility and of greedy officials. His most famous fable is “The Metaphysician,” which makes fun of those who engage in excessive philosophizing. Khemnitser had a considerable influence on other fabulists of his time.

WORKS

Poln. sobr. stikhotvorenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.

E. G. BABAEV