Narezhnyi, Vasilii Trofimovich

Narezhnyi, Vasilii Trofimovich


Born in 1780 in the village of Ustivitsa, now in Velikaia Bagachka Raion, Poltava Oblast; died June 21 (July 3), 1825, in St. Petersburg. Russian writer.

A descendant of the minor szlachectwo (Polish nobility or gentry), Narezhnyi studied at the faculty of philosophy of Moscow University, from 1799 to 1801 but did not complete his studies. He served as an official in Georgia and later, from 1803 to 1821, in St. Petersburg.

His early works—narrative poems, tragedies, and pseudohistorical novellas—were written in the style of Russian preromanticism. His mature writings include a series of novels that continued the traditions of 18th-century Enlightenment prose established by Voltaire, Rousseau, N. I. Novikov, and D. I. Fonvizin. The novels combine portrayals of everyday life with entertaining adventure plots. Best known of these are A Russian Gil Blas,or the Adventures of Prince Gavrila Simonovich Chistiakov (parts 1–3 published in 1814; parts 4–6 censored and published only in 1938), which furnishes a satirical view of life in the country and in the capital, and The Black Year, or the Mountain Princes (published 1829). In Aristion . . . (1822), Narezhnyi discussed the problem of gentry upbringing.

A number of Narezhnyi’s works are devoted to the Ukraine, notably Bursak (Seminary Student, 1824), The Two Ivans, or a Passion for Litigation (published 1825), and the unfinished novel Garkusha, the Little Russian Highway Man (1825; published 1956). As a writer who depicted everyday life, Narezhnyi was a forerunner of the natural school and of Gogol.


Romany i povesti, parts 1–10. St. Petersburg, 1835–36.
Izbr. Soch., 2 vols. [Introductory article by N. L.Stepanov.] Moscow, 1956.


Belozerskaia, N. V. T. Narezhnyi, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1896.
Pereverzev, V. F. U istokov russkogo realisticheskogo romana, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.