Strakhov, Nikolai Nikolaevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Strakhov, Nikolai Nikolaevich


Born Oct. 16 (28), 1828, in Belgorod; died Jan. 24 (Feb. 5), 1896, in St. Petersburg. Russian philosopher, publicist, and literary critic. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1890).

Strakhov graduated from the division of natural sciences and mathematics of the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1851 and defended his master’s dissertation in zoology in 1857. He contributed to the journals Vremia (Time) and Epokha (Epoch) from 1861 to 1864 and also wrote for the journals Biblioteka dlia chteniia (Library for Reading) and Russkii vestnik (The Russian Messenger). He was publisher of the journal Zaria (Dawn) from 1869 to 1872. Strakhov was employed in the St. Petersburg Public Library from 1873 to 1885 and was an official of the Foreign Censorship Committee beginning in 1885.

Strakhov’s philosophical works Letters on Organic Life (1859), The Significance of Hegelian Philosophy Today (1860), and The World as a Whole (1872) advocated a religious and idealist world view, neo-Slavophile doctrines, and an anthropocentric concept of the universe. As a literary critic, Strakhov defended pochvennichestvo (a “grass-roots” literary and social movement) and A. A. Grigor’ev’s “organic criticism.” He opposed the revolutionary-democratic orientation in literature, represented by N. G. Chernyshevskii, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and N. A. Nekrasov, in his collection of articles From the History of Literary Nihilism, 1861–1865 (1890). Strakhov also opposed socialist thinking and revolutionary views, as seen in the collection The Struggle With the West in Our Literature (parts 1–3, 1882–96). He praised the poetry of Pushkin, A. A. Fet, and Ia. P.. Polonskii and the works of A. I. Herzen, F. M. Dostoevsky, and L. N. Tolstoy.

Strakhov was a friend of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. He was Dos-toevsky’s first biographer and wrote reminiscences of Dostoevsky that contained valuable material but were extremely biased. The extensive Correspondence Between L. N. Tolstoy and N. N. Strakhov, 1870–1894 (published 1914) is of great interest. Strakhov also translated a number of philosophical works.


Bednost’ nashei literatury. St. Petersburg, 1868.
Kriticheskie stat’i ob I. S. Turgeneve i L. N. Tolstom, 3rd ed. St. Petersburg, 1895.
Zametki o Pushkine i drugikh poetakh. St. Petersburg, 1888.
Vospominaniia i otryvki. St. Petersburg, 1892.


Grot, N. Ia. Pamiati N. N. Strakhova. Moscow, 1896.
Gural’nik, U. “N. N. Strakhov—literaturnyi kritik.” Voprosy literatury, 1972, no. 7.
Budilovskaia, A. L., and B. F. Egorov. “Bibliografiia pechatnykh trudov N. N. Strakhova.” Uch. zap. Tartuskogo un-ta, 1966, fasc. 184.


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