Mikhail Kheraskov


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Kheraskov, Mikhail Matveevich

 

Born Oct. 25 (Nov. 5), 1733, in Pereiaslav, in what is now Poltava Oblast; died Sept. 27 (Oct. 9), 1807, in Moscow. Russian writer.

Kheraskov graduated from the Land Forces Gentry Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg in 1751. He published the journal Poleznoe uveselenie in 1760–62 and the journal Svobodnye chasy in 1763. Between 1763 and 1802, Kheraskov served intermittently as director and then curator of Moscow University.

Kheraskov was an important figure in Russian classicism. His work shows a movement toward sentimentalism. He wrote epic poems, the most significant of which is the Rossiad (1779), which recounts Ivan IV’s conquest of the Kazan Khanate. Kheraskov’s best dramatic work is the tragedy The Venetian Nun (1758). Numa Pompilius, or Flourishing Rome (1768) is an example of his philosophical, moralizing novels, wordy and replete with verbal ornamentation. Kheraskov’s lyric poetry, written in various genres, is meditative and advocates moderation and a quiet life in commune with nature.

WORKS

Izbr. proizv. [Introductory article by A. V. Zapadov.] Leningrad, 1961.

REFERENCES

Sokolov, A. N. Ocherki po istorii russkoi poemy XVIII i pervoi pol. XIX v. Moscow, 1955. Pages 144–87.
Pastushenko, L. M. “Istoricheskaia osnova tragedii M. M. Kheraskova Venetsianskaia monakhinia.” In the collection Problemy izucheniia russkoi literatury XVIII v. Leningrad, 1974.

M. G. AL’SHULER