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Profile of Alexander Pushkin

Poet / Writer
Date Of Birth:
6 June 1799
Place Of Birth:
Moscow, Russia
Best Known As:
The author of the verse novel 'Eugene Onegin'
Alexander Pushkin was a Romantic poet of the 19th century who has been called the father of Russian literature. His most famous work is the novel -- written in verse -- Eugene Onegin, a sweeping masterpiece that captures Russian culture and society. Pushkin was from a respected family -- his great-grandfather was an African who'd been a favorite of the Russian emperor -- and he had an early career as a functionary in the government. At the same time, he gained notice as a prolific poet and writer of historical drama, short stories and travel journals. Pushkin's liberal views expressed in his works got him exiled to southern Russia under Czar Alexander I, but under Czar Nicholas I he was welcomed back to Moscow. It's said Pushkin's brilliant introduction of colloquial speech into the high language of verse changed the Russian language. He's considered by some to be the Shakespeare of Russian. Pushkin's life was cut short after he was mortally wounded in a duel. The victim of rumors that his wife had cheated on him drove Pushkin to issue the challenge, and in the duel he was shot in the abdomen. As he fell, he wounded his rival (George D'Anthés) in the hand. Pushkin died two days later, at the age of 37. His works include the poem "The Drowned Man," the historical tragedy Boris Godunov and the short story "The Queen of Spades."
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