Leskov, Nikolai Semyonovich

Leskov, Nikolai Semyonovich

(nyĭkəlī` sĭmyô`nəvĭch lyĭskôf`), 1831–95, Russian short-story writer and novelist. Leskov was first a civil servant, then an agent for his uncle's business. Encouraged by his uncle he became a journalist and writer of narrative tales, told in a colorful, vital, and humorous style. An early story of sex and violence, "Lady Macbeth of the Mzinsk District" (1866; tr. in The Sentry, 1922), was used by ShostakovichShostakovich, Dmitri
, 1906–75, Russian composer, b. St. Petersburg. Shostakovich studied at the Leningrad Conservatory (1919–25). The early success of his First Symphony (1925) was confirmed by positive public reaction to two satirical works of 1930—an opera,
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 as the basis of an opera (1934). Cathedral Folk (1872, tr. 1924) is a panoramic novel emphasizing the strengths of the provincial clergy and the faults of church bureaucracy. The brilliance of Leskov's narration transcended his frequent attempts to serve an idea.

Bibliography

See translations of his tales by W. B. Edgerton (1969), D. Magarshack (1946, repr. 2003), and R. Pevear and L. Volokhonsky (2013).

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