Pyotr or Petr Yakovlevich Chaadayev (Russian: Пётр Я́ковлевич Чаада́ев; also spelled Chaadaev, or Čaadajev; June 7 [May 27, Old Style], 1794 – April 26 [April 14, O.S.], 1856) was a Russian philosopher. He was one of the Russian Schellingians.
Chaadayev wrote eight "Philosophical Letters" about Russia in French between 1826-1831, which circulated in Russia as manuscript for many years. His works, that are generally an admiration of the West as opposed to the straggling Russia, lagging far behind the Western civilization, were considered unsound at his time and eventually were banned by the Russian imperial authorities (though some were published before the persecution began). Because there was nothing to charge him with, Chaadayev was declared legally insane and put under constant medical supervision, though this was a formality rather than a real administrative abuse.
Chaadayev was born and died in Moscow. His surname is probably derived from the Turkic word Chaadai. More generally, it's assumed that he was of Tatar descent, with the name deriving from Chagatay, the second son of Genghis Khan. After leaving Moscow University without completing his course in 1812, he entered the army and served in the Napoleonic Wars. Chaadaev's first hand observation of Tsar Alexander's reaction to a revolt in the Semenovsky regiment may have led to his resignation from service in 1820. From 1823 to 1826 he travelled in Europe, so that he was out of Russia during the Decembrist insurrection, though he was questioned on his return about his connections with many of the Decembrists. These connections may have contributed to his failure to find a position in the new government of Nicholas I.
During the 1840s Chaadayev was an active participant in the Moscow literary circles. He befriended Alexander Pushkin and was a model for Chatsky, the chief protagonist of Alexander Griboyedov's play Woe from Wit (1824).
The main thesis of his famous Philosophical Letters was that Russia had lagged behind Western countries and had contributed nothing to the world's progress and concluded that Russia must start de novo. As a result, they included criticism of Russia's intellectual isolation and social backwardness.
When in 1836 the first edition (and only one published during his life) of the philosophical letters was published in the Russian magazine Telescope, its editor was exiled to the Far North of Russia. The Slavophiles at first mistook Chaadayev for one of them, but later, on realizing their mistake, bitterly denounced and disclaimed him. Chaadayev fought Slavophilism all of his life. His first Philosophical Letter has been labeled the "opening shot" of the Westernizer-Slavophile controversy which was dominant in Russian social thought of the nineteenth century. He wrote in his "first letter":
We are an exception among people. We belong to those who are not an integral part of humanity but exist only to teach the world some type of great lesson.
The strikingly uncomplimentary views of Russia in the first philosophical letter caused their author to be declared "clinically insane" because he criticized the regime of Tsar Nicholas I. The 1836 case of Pyotr is believed to be the first recorded incident where psychiatry was used in Russia to suppress dissent.
Living under house arrest following his declaration of insanity, Chaadayev next work was entitled, fittingly, "Apologie d'un Fou" [which has been translated as "Apology of a Madman" but may better be translated as "Apologia of a Madman"] (1837). It opens with a quote from Samuel Coleridge stating "O my brethren! I have told/ Most bitter truth, but without bitterness." In this brilliant but uncompleted work he maintained that Russia must follow her inner lines of development if she was to be true to her historical mission.
His ideas influenced both the Westerners (who supported bringing Russian into accord with developments in Europe by way of various degrees of liberal reform) and Slavophiles (who supported Russian Orthodoxy and national culture.)
Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov (Russian: Аполло́н Никола́евич Ма́йков, June 4 [O.S. May 23] 1821, Moscow – March 20 [O.S. March 8] 1897, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian poet, best known for his lyric verse showcasing images of Russian villages, nature, and history. His love for ancient Greece and Rome, which he studied for much of his life, is also reflected in his works. Maykov spent four years translating the epic The Tale of Igor's Campaign (1870) into modern Russian. He translated the folklore of Belarus, Greece, Serbia and Spain, as well as works by Heine, Adam Mickiewicz and Goethe, among others. Several of Maykov's poems were set to music by Russian composers, among them Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky.
Maykov was born into an artistic family and educated at home, by the writer Ivan Goncharov, among others. At the age of 15, he began writing his first poetry. After finishing his gymnasium course in just three years, he enrolled in Saint Petersburg University in 1837.
He began publishing his poems in 1840, and came out with his first collection in 1842. The collection was reviewed favorably by the influential critic Vissarion Belinsky. After this, he traveled throughout Europe, returning to Saint Petersburg in 1844, where he continued to publish poetry and branched out into literary criticism and essay writing.
He continued writing throughout his life, wavering several times between the conservative and liberal camps, but maintaining a steady output of quality poetical works. In his liberal days he was close to Belinsky, Nikolay Nekrasov, and Ivan Turgenev, while in his conservative periods he was close to Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He ended his life as a conservative. Maykov died in Saint Petersburg On March 8, 1897.August von Haxthausen
August Franz Ludwig Maria, Baron von Haxthausen-Abbenburg (February 3, 1792, in Bökendorf, Prince-Bishopric of Paderborn – December 31, 1866, in Hanover) was a German agricultural scientist, economist, lawyer, writer, and collector of folk songs, best known for his account of conditions in Russia as revealed by his 1843 visit.Filipp Vigel
Filipp Filippovich Vigel (Филипп Филиппович Вигель, Philip Philipovich Weigel; 1786-1856) was a Russian noble of Swedish extraction who served in the foreign ministry, accompanied Count Golovkin on his mission to China, presided over the department of foreign religions and governed the town of Kerch.
Vigel witnessed every major event of Alexander I's reign and conversed with a great number of Russian cultural luminaries, including his colleagues at the Arzamas Society such as Alexander Pushkin, who gently mocked Vigel's homosexual proclivities in a verse epistle.
Vigel is remembered primarily for his copious memoirs covering the history of Russia from the reign of Emperor Paul to the November Uprising (1831). They were published by Mikhail Katkov in 1864; the expanded edition (1892) appeared in seven books.
Vigel's reminiscences are engaging, pithy and readily quotable. They are considered unreliable in so far as they concern the Western-leaning literati such as Nikolai Gogol and Pyotr Chaadayev. Vigel hated them passionately. It was Vigel who denounced Chaadayev to the authorities.History of Russia (1796–1855)
In Russian history, the period from 1796 to 1855 (covering the reigns of Paul I, Alexander I and Nicholas I) saw the Napoleonic wars, government reform, political reorganization and economic growth.List of Russian-language writers
This is a list of authors who have written works of prose and poetry in the Russian language.
For separate lists by literary field:
List of Russian-language novelists
List of Russian-language playwrights
List of Russian-language poetsMargarita Morozova
Margarita Kirillovna Morozova (née Ma′montova; Маргари′та Кири′лловна Моро′зова, November 3 [o.s. October 22], 1873, – October 3, 1958) was a prominent Russian philanthropist, patron of arts, publisher, editor and memoirist. She was a co-founder of the Moscow-based Religious and Philosophical Society (1905–1918) and the director of the Russian Musical Society. She was the wife of art critic and collector Mikhail Morozov, and a socialite whose portraits were painted by Valentin Serov and Nikolai Bodarevsky, among others.Maxim Gorky Literature Institute
The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute (Russian: Литературный институт им. А. М. Горького) is an institution of higher education in Moscow. It is located at 25 Tverskoy Boulevard in central Moscow.My Past and Thoughts
My Past and Thoughts (Russian: Былое и думы, translit. Byloje i dumy) is an extensive autobiography by Alexander Hertzen, which he started in the early 1850s and continued to expand and revise throughout his later life. Serialized in Polyarnaya Zvezda, the book in its full form came out as a separate edition after its author's death. In Hertzen's lifetime the major parts of the book were translated into English (1855), German (1855) and French (1860-1862). Providing the panoramic view on the social and political life in Russian Empire as well as the European West of the mid-19th century, this seminal, even if in many ways controversial work is considered to be the classic of Russian memoirist literature.Nikolai Melgunov
Nikolai Alexandrovich Melgunov (Russian: Николай Александрович Мельгунов, April 1804, – 16 February 1867) was a Russian writer, publicist, translator from German and French, and music critic, described as one of the most prolific and diverse authors of his time.Nikolai Pavlov (writer)
Nikolai Filippovich Pavlov (Russian: Николай Филиппович Павлов, 19 September 1803, — 10 April 1864) was a Russian writer, dramatist, translator, publisher and editor.Petr Chaadaev (ski jumper)
Petr Chaadaev (Russian: Пётр Чаадаев, born January 21, 1987, Moscow) is a Belarusian ski jumper who has competed since 2001.
Petr made his debut on November 17, 2001. He started in the Nordic Ski WC in Oberstdorf.
On February 10, 2005 he was 56th in the qualification. In the team competition the Belarusian team was 15th. Ivan Sobolev, Dmitry Afanasenko, Maksim Anisimov and Chaadaev came in last.
In this season, in Bad Mitterndorf he jumped a new Belarusian record, his jump was 197.5 metres long. In Torino Olympics 2006, Chaadaev was disqualified in the qualification, and they didn't start a team.Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy
Count Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy (Russian: Пётр Андреевич Толстой) (1645–1729) was a Russian statesman and diplomat, prominent during and after the reign of Peter the Great. He was the ancestor of all the Counts Tolstoy, including the novelist Leo Tolstoy (September 9 [O.S. August 28], 1828 – November 20 [O.S. November 7], 1910) and Alexei Tolstoy the writer. His wife was Solomonic Timofeevna Dubrovskaya born 1660 and died 1722; he had two sons with her, Ivan (born 1685) and Peter (born 1680). Both his sons died in exile with him the year before his own death. He was, however, survived by many grandchildren: the family was recalled by the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great in 1760, and had all honors and land restored.Valeriya Novodvorskaya
Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya (Russian: Вале́рия Ильи́нична Новодво́рская, 17 May 1950, Baranovichi, Byelorussian SSR – 12 July 2014, Moscow) was a Soviet dissident, writer and liberal politician. She was the founder and the chairwoman of the "Democratic Union" party and a member of the editorial board of The New Times.