Apr 20, 2022
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Interesting facts about Alexei Pisemsky


Welcome to our website He died a week before Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. But if Dostoevsky was escorted on his last journey by a crowd of sobbing people, then Alexei Feofilaktovich left quietly, inconspicuously, just as quietly as his last 15 years of life were. And this is quite surprising, since at the turn of the 1860s Pisemsky was head and shoulders above Dostoevsky and stood on the same level with Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev and Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov.

And today we decided to introduce you to this outstanding writer. In the article we have collected the most interesting facts from the life of Alexei Pisemsky.


In his youth, he dreamed of becoming an actor, even though at that time he began to take his first steps in the literary field. Moreover, his early attempts were successful. Attending literary evenings, he often read his works to the audience, using intonation and gestures, imitating those people who perform on stage. This made him very popular with the audience. However, he was not destined to become an actor.

Ultimately, he decided to abandon this venture and devote himself entirely to literature.


Aleksey Pisemsky was a descendant of the old noble Pisemsky family. Unfortunately, the family was impoverished, and the boy did not find a rich noble childhood. It cannot be said that he lived in complete poverty, but his family needed a lot.

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Unlike a number of prominent writers, he managed to acquire a celebrity during his lifetime. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy treated him with respect. His poems and works have been translated into many foreign languages, and also acted as the main objects for various discussions and various research papers.


At the end of his life, he lost the popularity he had previously enjoyed. He did not share the revolutionary views that prevailed in society at that time. The writer eloquently points to such a position in the written novel “The Stirred Sea”. Among the characters that are presented in it, there are also revolutionaries. The writer described them as young nobles who show great interest in making a revolution and demand certain changes. However, they need a revolution only in order to forget about boredom for a while and not suffer from prolonged idleness. This work, which went to press, received a large number of critical reviews after publication. They came, first of all, from the side of the liberals. It was after this work that Pisemsky’s career as a writer was finally destroyed.



He was born into a fairly large family. In total, the Pisemsky family had 10 children. But, unfortunately, in those days, not all children became adults. Of the 10 children, only Aleksey survived to adulthood. The rest either died in infancy or youth.


Pisemsky’s family life was quite calm. In 1848, he married the daughter of the famous Russian writer, artist, journalist and editor Pavel Petrovich Tugogo-Svinyin, Ekaterina Pavlovna. She gave her lover four children, three sons – Paul, Apollo and Nikolai, and one daughter – Evdokia.


He devoted a significant part of his life to the service of the state. Pisemsky combined his literary activity with the civil service. While in the service, he was able to achieve great heights and eventually rose to the rank of court adviser. In the army, this rank was similar to lieutenant colonel. In addition, being constantly in the state apparatus and knowing his whole life from the inside, he was able to accumulate a sufficient amount of various material, which he later used when writing his new works.


Among all the works created over the years of Pisemsky’s life, the most significant is the novel “A Thousand Souls”. Initially, this work was called “Smart Man”. The writer spent 5 years to create this masterpiece. When the novel fell into the hands of censorship, after reading the text, she refused to let this creation go to print. This decision was a serious blow to the author. However, Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov, a state councilor, came to his aid, thanks to whose efforts the masterpiece was still passed by the censors and went to print.


The first published work of the author was the story “Nina”. It was presented to the people in 1848. However, he did not bring fame to Pisemsky. The writer was noticed only after the publication of the story “The Mattress”, which was published in 1850. It was this story that was put on a par with the works of the best writers of that time.



A landmark work in the legacy of Pisemsky was the play “A Bitter Fate”, which Pisemsky wrote in the genre of tragedy. After 4 years, she was staged on the stage. After that, Pisemsky gained great fame.


In 1860, he became the executive editor of the Library for Reading magazine (it was the first large-circulation magazine in Russia). There he speaks with a number of feuilletons (an artistic and journalistic work of a satirical orientation) directed against revolutionary-democratic journalism (Iskra and Sovremennik). Such criticism of the Iskra editors even led them to challenge Pisemsky to a duel. The duel, fortunately, did not take place.


Many of his contemporaries note that he was quite strange. He opposed female emancipation, simply hated foreigners, was very suspicious, never traveled by train, was very afraid of dogs, often yearned and liked to drink. About his addiction to alcohol, he said this: “Without this, I simply will not fall asleep.”


At the end of his life he had a very hard time. In 1874, his beloved son Nikolai shot himself, who graduated from the university shortly before the tragic event. Six years later, in 1880, son Pavel fell ill with a severe mental illness.

That’s all for us, dear readers. Thank you for paying attention to our Internet resource.

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