Shevyrev, Stepan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shevyrev, Stepan Petrovich


Born Oct. 18 (30), 1806, in Saratov; died May 8 (20), 1864, in Paris. Russian literary critic, literary historian, and poet. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1847).

Shevyrev became a professor at Moscow University in 1837. He was a member of the Society of Lovers of Wisdom (seeLIUBOMUDRY), and he took part in the publication of the journal Moskovskii vestnik. An opponent of euphonious and smooth but meaningless poetry, he attempted to create a “poetry of thought” in his translations and poems on philosophical and historical themes. In such works as The History of Poetry (vol. 1, 1835; vol. 2, 1892, posthumously) and The Theory of Poetry in the Historical Development of Ancient and Modern Peoples (parts 1–4, 1836, doctoral dissertation), he treated the development of literature as a reflection of the spiritual experience and history of a people; this approach was praised by A. S. Pushkin (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 7, 1958, pp. 397–98).

From 1835 to 1837, Shevyrev was the leading critic for Moskovskii nabliudatel’. With M. P. Pogodin he headed the journal Moskvitianin, which was founded in 1841. In the ideological struggle of the 1840’s and 1850’s, he supported the official nationality theory formulated by S. S. Uvarov. Shevyrev opposed V. G. Belinskii, the natural school, and the realistic trend in literature.


Istoriia russkoi slovesnosti, preimushchestvenno drevnei, parts 1–4. Moscow, 1846–60.
Stikhotvoreniia. [Edited, with introductory article and annotations by M. Aronson.] Leningrad, 1939.
[“Stikhotvoreniia.”] In Poety 1820–1830-kh gg., vol. 2. Leningrad, 1972.


Belinskii, V. G. “O kritike i literaturnykh mneniiakh ’Moskovskogo nabliudatelia.’ “ Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow, 1953.
Belinskii, V. G. “Pedant.” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow, 1955.
Dobroliubov, N. A. “Istoriia russkoi slovesnosti: Lektsii S. Shevyreva.” Sobr. soch., vol. 4, Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Mann, Iu. V. “Molodoi Shevyrev.” In his book Russkaia filosofskaia estetika. Moscow, 1969.


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