Ivan Kushchevsky

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Ivan Kushchevsky
Ivan Afanasyevich Kushchevsky.jpg
Born (1847-12-24)December 24, 1847
Barnaul, Russia
Died August 12, 1876(1876-08-12) (aged 28)
St. Petersburg, Russia

Ivan Afanasyevich Kushchevsky (Russian: Ива́н Афана́сьевич Куще́вский), born December 24, 1847 – died August 12, 1876, was a Russian writer.

Biography[edit]

Kushchevsky was born in Barnaul, Siberia where his father was a minor official. He received his early education at the Tomsk gymnasium. He went to Saint Petersburg in the mid-1860s to study at the University, but had to leave school due to lack of money. He worked at odd jobs and lived in cheap boarding houses in the slums for several years. In 1870 he began writing sketches describing his experiences among the lower classes.[1][2]

In 1871 his only novel Nikolai Negorev; or, The Successful Russian, was serialized in Annals of the Fatherland. In the novel, Nikolai tells the story of his progress from age twelve to the beginning of what promises to be a solid career in the civil service. In the writing of Nikolai Negorev, Kushchevsky was strongly influenced by Nikolai Chernyshevsky's novel What is to be Done?. Nikolai Negorev was highly praised by the democratic critics of the day.[1]

Kushchevsky wrote Nikolai Negorev between July and November 1870, at the age of 23, while he was sick and destitute in a hospital for the poor. He described the process of composing his novel:

"I was absorbed by my novel Negorev, and gave up all other work for it. I soon found myself with nothing to eat. Luckily for me, I have been admitted to hospital. Here I sell my rations in order to buy candles and I work away on an empty stomach. But progress is slow. The evenings are dark and I haven't money for all the candles I need." [1]

Throughout his adult life he suffered from privation and alcoholism, which eventually contributed to his death at an early age.[1][2]

English translations[edit]

Nikolai Negorev; or, The Successful Russian, (novel), Calder and Boyars, 1967.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Costello, Bella (1967). Introduction to Nikolai Negorev. Calder and Boyars. pp. 5–6. 
  2. ^ a b Terras, Victor (1990). Handbook of Russian Literature. London: Yale University Press. p. 239. ISBN 0-300-04868-8. Retrieved November 22, 2011.