Nikolay Leskov - Russian writer, publicist and memoirist. In his works he paid great attention to the Russian people.
In the later period of his work, Leskov wrote a number of satirical stories, many of which were not censored. Nikolai Leskov was a deep psychologist, thanks to which he skillfully described the characters of his characters.
Most of all he is known for his famous work “Lefty,” which surprisingly conveys the peculiarities of the Russian character.
In the biography of Leskov there were many interesting events, with the main ones we will introduce you right now.
So before you short biography Leskov.
Nikolai Semenovich Leskov was born on February 4, 1831 in the village of Gorokhov, Oryol Province. His father, Semyon Dmitrievich, was the son of a priest. He also graduated from the seminary, but preferred to work in the Oryol criminal chamber.
In the future, the stories of the seminarian father and grandfather the priest will seriously affect the formation of the views of the writer.
Leskov's father was a very gifted investigator, able to unravel the most difficult thing. Due to his merits, he was awarded a noble title.
The writer's mother, Maria Petrovna, was from a noble family.
In addition to Nicholas, four more children were born in the Leskov family.
Childhood and youth
When the future writer was barely 8 years old, his father seriously quarreled with his leadership. This led to the fact that their family moved to the village of Panino. There they bought a house and started a simple lifestyle.
Reaching a certain age, Leskov went to study at the Oryol gymnasium. An interesting fact is that in almost all subjects the young man received low marks.
After 5 years of study, he was issued a certificate of completion of all 2 classes. Leskov's biographers suggest that it was the teachers who were to blame for this, who were harsh on students and often physically punished them.
After studying, Nikolay had to get a job. His father assigned him to the criminal ward as a clerical.
In 1848 a tragedy occurred in Leskov’s biography. His father died of cholera, as a result of which their family was left without support and breadwinner.
The following year, at his own request, Leskov settled into the government chamber in Kiev. At that time, he lived with his uncle.
Being at the new workplace, Nikolay Leskov became seriously interested in learning languages and reading books. Soon he began to attend university as an auditor.
Unlike most students, the young man listened attentively to the lecturers, greedily absorbing new knowledge.
During this period of biography, he became seriously interested in iconography, and also made acquaintance with various Old Believers and sectarians.
Then Leskov got a job at the Scott and Wilkens company, which belonged to his relative.
He was often sent on business trips, and therefore he managed to visit different cities of Russia. Later this period of time Nikolay Leskov will name the best in his biography.
For the first time, Nikolai Semenovich Leskov wanted to take up the pen while working at Scott and Wilkens. Every day he had to meet with different people and witness interesting situations.
Initially, he wrote articles on everyday social topics. For example, he denounced officials for illegal activities, after which criminal proceedings were instituted in some of them.
When Leskov was 32 years old, he wrote the novel "The Life of a Woman", which was later published in a St. Petersburg magazine.
He then presented a few more stories that were well received by critics.
Inspired by the first success, he continued writing. Soon, very profound and serious essays about “Warrior” and “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District” came out from Leskov's pen.
An interesting fact is that Leskov not only masterfully conveyed the images of his heroes, but also decorated the works with intellectual humor. Often they were present sarcasm and skillfully disguised parody.
Thanks to these techniques, Nikolay Leskov developed his own and unique literary style.
In 1867, Leskov tried himself as a playwright. He wrote many plays, many of which were staged on the stages of theaters. Especially popular was the play "Spender", which tells about the merchant life.
Then Nikolay Leskov published several serious novels, including "Nowhere" and "On Knives". In them, he criticized all sorts of revolutionaries, as well as nihilists.
Soon his novels caused a wave of discontent on the part of the ruling elite. Many editors refused to publish his works in their journals.
The next work of Leskov, which today is part of the compulsory school curriculum, was Lefty. In it, he painted the weapons masters in colors. Leskov managed to describe the plot so well that they began to speak of him as an outstanding writer of modern times.
In 1874, by decision of the Ministry of Public Education, Leskov was approved as a censor of new books. Thus, he had to determine which of the books has the right to go to press and which one does not. Nikolay Leskov received very small wages for his work.
During this period of his biography, he wrote the novel "The Enchanted Wanderer", which no publishing house wanted to publish.
The story was distinguished by the fact that many of its plots intentionally did not have a logical conclusion. Critics did not understand the idea of Leskov and spoke sarcastically about the story.
After that, Nikolai Leskov released a collection of short stories, "The Righteous", in which he described the fate of ordinary people who met on his way. However, these works were negatively perceived by critics.
In the 1980s, signs of religiosity began to appear clearly in his works. In particular, Nikolai Semenovich wrote about early Christianity.
At a later stage of his work, Leskov wrote works in which he denounced officials, military personnel and church leaders.
This period of creative biography includes works such as "The Beast", "Scarecrow", "Toupee artist" and others. In addition, Leskov managed to write a series of stories for children.
It is worth noting that Lev Tolstoy spoke of Leskov as “the most Russian of our writers,” and Chekhov and Turgenev considered him one of their main teachers.
Maxim Gorky spoke about Nikolai Leskov like this:
“As an artist, N. S. Leskov’s words are quite worthy to stand next to such creators of Russian literature, such as L. Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev, Goncharov. the breadth of the scope of the phenomena of life, the depth of understanding of the everyday enigmas of it, the subtle knowledge of the Great Russian language, it often exceeds their predecessors and associates of their own. "
In the biography of Nikolai Leskov, there were 2 official marriages. His first wife was the daughter of a wealthy businessman Olga Smirnova, whom he married at 22 years of age.
Over time, Olga began to have mental disorders. Later she even had to be sent for treatment at the clinic.Nikolay Leskov and his first wife Olga Smirnova
In this marriage, the writer gave birth to a girl, Vera, and a boy, Mitya, who died at an early age.
Being virtually without a wife, Leskov began to cohabit with Catherine Bubnova. In 1866, their son Andrey was born. Having lived in a civil marriage for 11 years, they decided to leave.Nikolay Leskov and his second wife Ekaterina Bubnova
An interesting fact is that Nikolai Leskov was a staunch vegetarian for almost his entire biography. He was an ardent opponent of killing animals for food.
Moreover, in June 1892 in the Novoye Vremya newspaper, Leskov published an appeal entitled “On the need to publish in Russian a well-written, detailed kitchen book for vegetarians.”
As a result, in 1893 such a book was published in Russia.
Throughout his life, Leskov suffered from asthma attacks, which in recent years began to progress.
Nikolai Semenovich Leskov died on March 5, 1895 at the age of 64 years.
He was buried in St. Petersburg at the Volkovsky cemetery.
Shortly before his death, in 1889-1893, Leskov compiled and published from A. Suvorin the "Complete Works" in 12 volumes, which included most of his works of art.
For the first time, a truly complete (30-volume) collected works of the writer began to appear in the publishing house Terra since 1996 and is still ongoing.