Dmitrii Vasilevich Grigorovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grigorovich, Dmitrii Vasil’evich


Born Mar. 19 (31), 1822, in Simbirsk; died Dec. 22, 1899 (Jan. 3, 1900), in St. Petersburg. Russian writer

Grigorovich grew up on the estate of his father, who was a Simbirsk landowner. He studied at an engineering school and, from 1836 to 1840, at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. He served in the management of the imperial theaters. Grigorovich’s most important works are the novellas The Village (1846) and Anton Goremyka (1847, published in the journal Sovremennik). which were written in the spirit of the naturalist school and in a tone critical of the institution of serfdom. They expressed feelings of hostility toward the nobility and love for the peasantry and presented descriptions of nature. In the I840’s and 1850’s, Grigorovich wrote works that were based on the life of the people and exposed social injustice, including the novellas Kapellmeister Sus-likov (1848). The Adventures of Nakatov (1849), and Svist-ul’kin (1855) and the novel Country Roads (1852). In the 1850’s, Grigorovich’s outlook expressed contradictory tendencies: sympathy for democratic aspirations is combined with attacks on N. G. Chernyshevskii (the novella School of Hospitality, 1855), culminating in Grigorovich’s withdrawal from Sovremennik in 1860. Grigorovich’s novels from this period (The Fishermen, 1853: The Migrants, 1855–56) offer loving accounts of peasant life and contain a vast amount of ethnographic material. In them, however, the writer’s moderate liberalism also manifested itself. Grigorovich described his sea voyage around Europe (1858–59) in the travel sketches The Ship “Retvizan” (parts 1–2, 1859–63). In the early 1860’s he stopped writing, and not until 1883 did the novella The Gutta-Percha Boy appear in print; it concerned the tragic fate of a child acrobat. Grigorovich’s Literary Reminiscences (1892–93) contain material valuable for the history of literature.


Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–12. St. Petersburg, 1896.
Izbr. proizv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Literaturnye vospominaniia. Moscow, 1961.


Lotman. L. M. “Grigorovich.” In Istoriia russkoi literatury, vol. 7. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Istoriia russkoi literatury XIX v.: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad. 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.