Nestor Kukolnik


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Kukol’nik, Nestor Vasil’evich

 

Born Sept. 8 (20), 1809, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 8 (20), 1868, in Taganrog. Russian writer. Son of a professor at the St. Petersburg Institute of Pedagogy.

Kukol’nik and N. V. Gogol were fellow students at the Nezhin Gymnasium of Higher Studies. KukoPnik is known as the author of the dramatic fantasy Torquato Tasso (1833) and a number of historical plays, including The Hand of the Almighty Saved the Fatherland (1834), which expressed “official patriotism in a grandiloquent and bombastic way.

Kukol’nik’s best works are his novellas and short stories about the era of Peter I (including “Two Ivans, Two Stepanyches, Two KostyPkovs”) and about contemporary life (such as “Nadin’ka,” 1843), which present colorful descriptions of the Russian milieu. His novella Maksim Sozontovich Berezovskii (1844) is devoted to the tragic fate of the 18th-century serf-composer. Many of M. I. Glinka’s romances and songs (including “Doubt” and “The Sky-lark”), as well as music to the drama Prince Kholmskii, were written to words by Kukol’nik.

WORKS

Soch., vols. 1–10. St. Petersburg, 1851–53.
Istoricheskie povesti, 3rd ed., books 1–6. St. Petersburg, 1894–1901.

REFERENCES

Istoriia russkoi titeratury, vol. 7. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955. Pages 629–38.
Istoriia russkoi titeratury XIX v.: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.