Raevskii, Vladimir Fedoseevich
Born Mar. 28 (Apr. 8), 1795, in the village of Khvorostianka, now in Cheremi-sinovo Raion, Kursk Oblast; died July 8 (20), 1872, in the village of Malyshevka, now in Ust’-Uda Raion, Irkutsk Oblast. Russian poet, publicist, and Decembrist.
The son of a member of the gentry, Raevskii was educated at the Moscow University Pension and the Second Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg, where he became friends with G. S. Baten’kov, the future Decembrist. Raevskii fought in the Patriotic War of 1812. He was a member of the Union of Welfare and the Southern Society of Decembrists and a founder of the Kishinev branch of the Decembrists. In 1822 he was arrested in Kishinev on a charge of engaging in revolutionary agitation among soldiers and cadets. Before his arrest, Raevskii had written the publicist works On the Slavery of the Peasants and the Need for a Rapid Transformation in Russia and On the Soldier, in which he condemned serfdom more vociferously than any of the other Decembrists. After imprisonment in a fortress, he was sent to a settlement in Siberia in 1827, where he remained to the end of his life.
Raevskii’s most important literary works were written before his arrest and in 1822 in the Tiraspol’ Fortress. They include his Epistle to G. S. Baten’kov, the satire I Laugh and Weep, A Satire on Mores, “The Singer in the Dungeon,” and “To My Friends in Kishinev.” These works opposed tyranny and coercion and appealed for struggle and heroism. Raevskii expressed his aesthetic credo in an address to A. S. Pushkin, with whom he had become friends in Kishinev: “Leave love to other singers. Can one sing of love where blood is spurting forth.” Pushkin addressed to Raevskii the poems “It’s not what I’m proud of, my singer” and “You are right, my friend” (both 1822) and the verse draft “Not in vain did you call to me from the depths of your remote dungeon.”
WORKSPoln. sobr. stikhotvorenii. [Introductory article by A. V. Arkhipova and V. G. Bazanov.] Moscow-Leningrad, 1967.
Soch. [Introductory article and notes by P. S. Beisov.] Ul’ianovsk, 1961.
“Vospominaniia.” [Introductory article by M. K. Azadovskii.] In Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vol. 60, book 1. Moscow, 1956.
REFERENCESShchegolev, P. E. “Pervyi dekabrist VI. Raevskii.” In his book Dekabristy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Koval’, S. Dekabrist V. F. Raevskii. Irkutsk, 1951.
Kolesnikov, A. G. Poet-dekabrist VI. Raevskii. Bucharest, 1961.