The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #1 January / February 2013
Word on the Streets
The Russian Zone
by Sofia Ozols
January / February 2013 | 

The streets of Parleremo are named after famous writers for the language of each quarter. This is where we take a quick look at why they famous.
улица Лермонтова

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov
(Russian: Михаи́л Ю́рьевич Ле́рмонтов)
15 October 1814 – 27 July 1841

Mikhail Lermontov was a famous Russian romantic writer, poet and painter, considered to be the greatest Russian poet, second only to Pushkin. His influence on Russian literature is felt even today and his works can be easily quoted from memory by millions of Russians. His had his first published poem, "Spring", in 1830. One of his greatest works was "Borodino", a poem describing the Battle of Borodino, the major battle of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, was first published in 1837.

However, his works weren't always appreciated. Expressing his and his countries anger at the death of Pushkin in 1837, he composed the passionate "Death of the Poet" in which he accused the inner circles of the government to be complicit in Pushkin's death. Tsar Nicholas I banished Lermontov to the Caucasus for his impertinence.

Lermontov finished his greatest work, the novel "A Hero of Our Time" in 1839, which featured a disenchanted young nobleman named Pechorin. It earned him widespread acclaim, but it also described a duel which was similar to the one which eventually took his life. In July of 1841, a russian army officer named Nikolai Martynov took offense to one of Lermontov's jokes, challenged him to a duel, and Lermontov was killed by the first shot.

• Spring, 1830, poem
• A Strange Man, 1831, drama/play
• The Masquerade, 1835, verse play
• Borodino, 1837, poem
• Death of the Poet, 1837, poem
• The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov, 1837, poem
• Sashka, 1839, poem
• The Novice, 1840, poem
• A Hero of Our Time, novel
• Demon, 1841, poem
• The Princess of the Tide, 1841, ballad
• Valerik, 1841, poem

Works by Mikhail Lermontov at Project Gutenberg

Translations of various poems by Mikhail Lermontov

Various Lermontov poems in Russian with English translations, some audio files

Texts of various Lermontov works

улица Бунина

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin
(Russian: Ива́н Алексе́евич Бу́нин)
22 October 1870 – 8 November 1953

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin was the very first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and his collection of works in poetry and stories is said to be one of the richest in the Russian language.

He won his award based mainly on his autobiographical novel "The Life of Arseniev", published in 1939, but his list of works was extensive both before and after that. He was also best known for his short novels "Dry Valley" (1912) and "The Valley" (1910) and his cycle of nostalgic stories "The Dark Alleys" (1946).

Bunin was friends with and influenced by many of the great literary giants of the time. He met and became close friends with Anton Chekhov, as well as Maxim Gorky, to whom he dedicated a collection of poetry, "Falling Leaves" (1901). He also met Leo Tolstoy in 1894 and was infatuated with his prose. Bunin tried to match Tolstoy's own lifestyle, and was even sentenced to three months in prison for distributing Tolstoyan literature in 1894, but he managed to avoid doing the time due to a general amnesty when Nicholas II took the throne.

Bunin died in 1953, the same year as Joseph Stalin, of a heart attack.

• The Life of Arseniev, 1939

Short novels
• The Village, 1910
• Dry Valley, 1912
• Mitya's Love, 1924

Short story collections
• To the Edge of the World and Other Stories 1897
• Flowers of the Field, 1901
• Bird's Shadow, 1913
• Ioann the Mourner, 1913
• Chalice of Life, 1915
• The Gentleman from San Francisco, 1916
• Chang's Dreams, 1918
• Temple of the Sun, 1917
• Primal Love, 1921
• Scream, 1921
• Rose of Jerico, 1924
• Mitya's Love, 1924
• Sunstroke, 1927
• Sacred Tree, 1931
• Dark Avenues, 1943
• Judea in Spring, 1953
• Loopy Ears and Other Stories, 1954

• Poems (1887–1891)
• Under the Open Skies, 1898
• Falling Leaves, 1901
• Poems, 1903
• Poems of 1907
• Selected Poems, 1929

Ivan Bunin site. Collection of biographies, articles, photos and memoirs. (In Russian)

Bunin: Biographies, photos, poems, prose, diaries, critical essays (in Russian)

проспект Крылова

Ivan Andreyevich Krylov
(Russian: Ива́н Андре́евич Крыло́в)
13 February 1769 – 21 November 1844

Ivan Andreyevich Krylov is Russia's best known fabulist (writer of fables). His stories used animals to satirize social and individual faults in the tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine. Some of his early work in 1805 was translating many of La Fontaine's own stories until he realized he could write his own, and these are still an integral part of Russian primary and secondary education today.

Krylov wrote three plays In 1807 that became quite popular and successful on the stage. “The Fashion Shop” and “A Lesson For the Daughters” were especially successful because they mocked the nobility’s attraction to French language, fashion and manners. They were performed many time, but despite the successes, Krylov quit playwriting and began devoting more time to fables.

In a single year he wrote 17 fables and in 1809 his first fable collection was published under the title "Basni". He then devoted himself entirely to the genre, and through that got the attention of the imperial family and was given a job in the St. Petersburg public librarian, where he worked as librarian for 29 years while writing his fables and other works.

Many honors were given to Krylov during his lifetime. The Russian Academy of Sciences made him a member in 1811, and bestowed on him its gold medal in 1823. A great festival was held in 1838 under imperial sanction in a celebration jubilee of his first publication. A statue of him was built in the Summer Garden in 1855 and remains one of the most notable monuments in St.Petersburg. By his death 1844, over 77,000 copies of his fables had been sold in Russia.

Selected works
• Cofeinitsa, 1782 [The Fortune-Teller]
• Filomena, 1786
• Amerikancy, 1788
• Prokazniki, 1788 [The Mischief-Makers]
• Trumf / Podshchipa, 1799
• Modnaia lavka, 1807 [The Fashion Shop]
• Urok dochkam, 1807 [A Lesson for Daughters]
• Basni, 1809 [Fables]
• Novyia basni, 1811
• Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 1847 (3 vols.)
• Krilof and his Fables, 1869 (tr. by C. Fillingham Coxwell)
• Polnoe sobranie basen I. A. Krylova, 1900
• Kriloff's Fables, 1920 (tr. by C. Fillingham Coxwell)
• Russian Fables of Ivan Krylov, 1942 (tr. by Bernard Pares)
• Sochineniia, 1955 (2 vols.)
• Fifteen Fables of Krylov, 1965 (tr. by Guy Daniels)
• Sochineniia, 1969 (2 vols.)
• 'Eulogy to the Memory of My Grandfather,' 1971
• Krylov's Birds and Beasts, 1990 (tr. by E.E. Ralphs)
• Polnoe sobranie dramaticheskikh sochinenii, 2001 (ed. by L.N. Kiseleva)

Word on the Streets - The Russian Zone
Writer: Sofia Ozols
Petey: Onion domes, Lermontov, Bunin, Krylov
• "Mikhail Lermontov" Wikipedia <>
• "Prominent Russians: Mikhail Lermontov" Russiapedia <>
• "M. Iu. Lermontov" Poet Page <>
• "Ivan Bunin" Wikipedia <>
• "Prominent Russians: Ivan Bunin" Russiapedia <>
• "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933 Ivan Bunin" <>
• "Ivan Krylov" Wikipedia <>
• "Prominent Russians: Ivan Krylov" Russiapedia <>
• "Ivan (Andreyevich) Krylov" books and writers <>

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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