Hello and welcome to Weekly Russian.
My name is Natalia.
And today I will talk about the annual Russian Language Day,
which is observed on June 6.
June 6 also is the birthday of Russian
greatest poet Alexander Sergeyevitch Pushkin.
He is considered the father of modern Russian literature.
That’s why Russian Language Day is celebrated on his birthday.
Alexander Sergeyevitch Pushkin lived the short
but very dramatic life.
Even his ancestors were interesting.
Great grandfather was an African Russian aristocrat,
Abram Petrovich Gannibal,
Abram Petrovich which was his Russian name,
was brought to Russia in early 18th century as a boy,
to be a personal servant of Russian Tsar. Peter the Great.
Peter the Great was an unusual monarch.
He mostly appreciated and in people,
their intelligence and talent,
and he promoted the people according to those qualities.
And the boy was very intelligent.
So he received the best education of the time.
Not only that, but he became
a godson of Peter the Great.
He became a Russian aristocrat
and famous Russian general.
His granddaughter Nadezhde Gannibal
became Alexander Sergeyevitch Pushkin’s mother.
Alexander Sergeyevitch lived in the first half of 19th century,
and died tragically at the age of 37.
Pushkin was educated at Tsarskoe Selo’s Lyceum
the best school of his time.
It was very exclusive
offer the children of the best families in Russia.
It was established by Russian Tsar Alexander the First himself.
Pushkin was among the first ever graduates of that school.
And during his school years,
he was in a good company.
All those first year graduates became brilliant people.
At school Pushkin became friends
with future Russian officers
who became involved in Decembrists movement.
Decembrist revolt happened in December of 1825.
Group of officers led troops of 3,000
to Senate square in Saint Petersburg,
diminish the constitution and abolition of serfdom.
They were defeated, trialed, convicted of state crimes,
and many were sentenced to exile in Siberia.
And because Pushkin was associated with them,
and himself he wrote poetry about freedom,
for the rest of his life,
he was watched by Russian secret police.
And all his works were closely censored,
and sometimes they were censored even by
Russian Tsar Nicholas the First himself.
But all that didn’t stop Pushkin from having
very exciting and interesting life.
Later he married one of the most beautiful women of his time,
Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova.
He met her in Moscow when she was only 16 years old,
and in two years they got married.
She moved with him to Saint Petersburg which was the capital of Russia at the time.
And she beauty made the sensation in Russian Court.
She had many admirers,
even the Emperor Nicholas the First was very taken by her.
And he wanted to see her at all his balls
and all his social gatherings.
And Pushkin here to accompany her to court
which she was not happy about it,
interfered this his work, it was very costly.
Not only he didn’t enjoy this lifestyle,
he also was very jealous.
Family life was happy.
They had four beautiful children.
Their elder daughter Maria
became famous in her future life.
She inherited Natalya’s beauty
and Pushkin’s passion.
And by many, she was regarded
as a prototype of the story of Anna Karenina.
But social life was difficult for Pushkin.
在普希金看来 娜塔丽娅的爱慕者之一 丹斯特
One of Natalya’s admirers d’Anthès
went too far in his attentions to her in Pushkin’s opinion.
There were some letters and rumors
which led to scandal.
And Pushkin felt that he had to defend his wife’s honor,
and he challenged d’Anthès a duel.
The duel took place on the inter evening of 1837.
And in this duel, Pushkin was seriously wounded,
and in two days, he died.
Pushkin was a genius and a very intuitive person.
He also was superstitious.
He believed in fate.
In one of his books-
this is my favorite book-
he predicted his own death almost two small detail.
His character Eugene Onegin fights a duel
with a young poet Linsky.
And it is a winter time as they fight with pistols.
Linsky is killed and his body is taken away
from the scene in a sleigh.
And this is pretty much the picture of Pushkin’s own duel.
has been blamed by many as to Pushkin’s death.
And up to this day,
it’s been said that she was careless
that she didn’t appreciate him enough
that she didn’t understand
what genius he was.
And some of these accusations could be true.
But she was very young at the time.
Pushkin’s character should be considered here.
He was very hot-tempered.
During his not such lone lifetime of 37 years,
he fought 29 duels.
What Pushkin means to Russian literature
and to Russians?
He will always be our greatest poet.
Every Russian child listens to and reads his fairy tales.
They are the best fairy tales that I ever read.
And it’s impossible to find Russian who cannot quote
at least few of Pushkin’s verses.
Blest he who’s left the hurly-burly of
life’s repast betimes,
nor sought to drain its beaker down,
nor thought of finishing its book,
but early has wished it an abrupt goodbye —
and, with my Eugene, so have I.