Aleksei Fedorovich Merzliakov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Merzliakov, Aleksei Fedorovich


Born Mar 17 (28), 1778, in Dalmatovo, present-day Kurgan Oblast; died July 26 (Aug. 7), 1830, in Moscow. Russian poet and literary critic.

The son of a merchant, Merzliakov graduated from Moscow University, where from 1802 to 1830 he taught oratory and poetry (among his students were M. lu. Lermontov, A. I. Polezhaev, and F. I. Tiutchev). His poetry, which combines a civic spirit with an interest in folk creativity, exerted an influence on Russian political lyrics of the pre-Decembrist era. The “folk songs” that Merzliakov wrote between 1805 and 1810 (“Amid the Flat Dale,” “It Is Not the Leafy Linden,” and others) were very popular.

As a literary critic and theorist, Merzliakov adhered to classicism but he criticized its authorities (A. P. Sumarokov, V. A. Ozerov), thereby contributing to the formation of literary tastes among the young people of his time.


Kratkoe nachertanie teorii iziashchnoi slovesnosti, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1822.
Podrazhaniia i perevody iz grecheskikh i latinskikh stikhotvortsev, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1825–26.
Pesni i romansy. Moscow, 1830.
Stikhotvoreniia. Introduction by Iu. M. Lotman. Leningrad, 1958.


Rozanov, I. N. “Merzliakov.” In Russkaia lirika. Moscow, 1914.
Mordovchenko, N. I. “A. F. Merzliakov.” In Russkaia kritika pervoi chetverti XIX v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.