Pomialovskii, Nikolai Gerasimovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pomialovskii, Nikolai Gerasimovich


Born Apr. 11 (23), 1835, in St. Petersburg; died there Oct. 5 (17), 1863. Russian writer.

The son of a deacon, Pomialovskii studied at the Alexander Nevsky Theological Seminary. In 1857 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary and subsequently audited courses at the University of St. Petersburg.

In 1859, Pomialovskii published the sketch Vukol and in 1861, in the journal Sovremennik (The Contemporary), the novellas Bourgeois Happiness and Molotov. In 1862–63, Seminary Sketches appeared in the journals Vremia (Time) and Sovremennik. The novel Brother and Sister and the novella Dwellers by the River were left uncompleted.

Pomialovskii’s world view was influenced by the revolutionary democrats, especially N. G. Chernyshevskii. Pomialovskii had an aversion to the way of life of the gentry and despised bourgeois greed. His hero is a plebeian, a raznochinets (an intellectual of no definite class) who fights for his place in life and despises arrogance, idleness, and empty liberal talk. But this hero’s class awareness and his self-esteem cannot keep him from surrendering to reality.

In Seminary Sketches, Pomialovskii attacked contemporary education, passionately castigating its inner void, use of corporal punishment, and conservatism—traits typical not only of ecclesiastical institutions of education but of all Russian life under autocracy and despotism. Pomialovskii was a staunch realist who continued the traditions of N. V. Gogol and the natural school. His literary techniques link him to a group of young writers of the 1860’s that included V. A. Sleptsov, N. V. Uspenskii, and F. M. Reshetnikov. M. Gorky considered him a talented writer-citizen and a denouncer of philistinism.


Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Soch., vols. 1–2. [Biographical sketch by N. A. Blagoveshchenskii.] Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.


Gorky, M. “Besedy o remesle.” Sobr. soch., vol. 25. Moscow, 1953.
Pisarev, D. I. “Pogibshie i pogibaiushchie.” Soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1956.
Zhdanovskii, N. P. Realizm Pomialovskogo. (Voprosy stilia.) Moscow, 1960.
Iampol’skii, I. G. N. G. Pomialovskii: Lichnost’ i tvorchestvo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1968.


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