If you ask me to describe Alexander Pushkin and his role in the evolution of the Russian language, I would say it in one sentence – he is the founder of the modern Russian Language. This is not an exaggeration, although most people know him as a great poet and writer, but at his time he really made a revolution in the understanding of Russian language and how people rely to it. Alexander Pushkin built the basics to the way how we speak Russian now.
Pushkin is my passion. Perhaps, I love him because I feel we have very similar characters – joyful, enthusiastic, alive, excited, thoughtful, passionate and with a great love to Russia and everything Russian.
It’s necessary to underline that at Pushkin’s times (end 18-19th centuries) almost everyone at Russian “higher society” – aristocrats and wealthy people – talk a lot in French language. French culture was at it’s the bloom and had an enormous impact on the minds of Russians. People read French philosophers – Russo, Diderot, Voltaire …. wrote letters in French, talk in French and so on. Seem Russian language was dead at this part of society.
And here he is – Alexander Pushkin, son of aristocrats from a family with an old history, born at 1799. Great impact on Pushkin’s view on the world had his first years of life when he lived with his nurse who was from simple people with a kind soul and this indescribable feature which all Russian woman have – the mixing of warm kind love and care. Pushkin wrote a lot about her after – милая няня – my dear nurse.
The next step in Pushkin’s life was Lyceum. It was a high-level school under the patronage of government for kids of aristocrats. Imagine – very beautiful place, the best teachers, basic top-level disciplines – world’s history, Latin language, poetry, arts, philosophy and so on. The topic of Lyceum is very close to me, because I was learning in the Lyceum too and Pushkin was one of the greatest our ideal.
I clearly remember the oath of the lyceum students: Из славной нашей истории в будущие поколения пронесем Дух нравственного служения Отечеству, развития ума и сердца своего, преумножения познаний в Славу России! (From our glorious history into the future generations let us carry the spirit of moral service to the fatherland, development of mind and heart of our, the increase of knowledge for the Glory of Russia)
This elevated spirit influenced young Pushkin as well as his school friends who subsequently played a great role in the history of Russia. At this time he started to develop his poetry talent – on this picture is shown his speech before one of the most famous poets that time – Gavriil Derzhavin.
Pushkin wrote a lot and his free thoughts haven’t always been compatible with current Russian government (царской семьей) So several times in his life Puskin was separated from society in order not to disturb it very much. First, he was sent to Crimea – the place of indescribable beauty. At this trip had arisen an idea of Pushkin’s famous novel Eugene Onegin.
Pushkin was a great lover of woman. He wrote thousands of poems to the different woman and sometimes had problems about it)) There was a funny story about Pushkin at this time. He was in love with the wife of Kishenev’s governor Graf Vorontsov. Once Pushkin was playing billiard and there was Graf Vorontsov too. They quarreled a bit and Graf, who had a power, ordered to take Pushkin out. Pushkin was so crazy that took a billiard ball and thrown it into Vorontsov. It was incredible action for people of their society and time. Somehow Pushkin avoided the punishment after this accident.
His marriage to Natalya Goncharova was surrounded with mystery – during the process his candle turned off and the ring had fallen from his hand. Pushkin believed at such things and felt bad. You know what happened after…
So how Pushkin changed the Russian language? First, Russian before Pushkin was full of “high” words and often mixed with French expressions. Pushkin, who was brought up with a nurse and spent so long in the village between simple people (who didn’t use all this “high” words and spoke easily) was first who stopped to use it and spoke simple. He even was criticized for that in his society because for that time it was really outstanding practice.
People loved Pushkin – he was bright, alive and free. He turned the society’s view on real natural Russia and enriched Russian language.
Now you’re learning the language that one of the world’s greatest poets – Alexander Pushkin – wrote at. Here is for you one of his most famous poem from him – Я Вас любил – that I recorded for you. Enjoy Russian listening with RussianEasy System©!
Я вас любил: любовь еще, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.
Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам бог любимой быть другим.
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With all my faith and love,
Your personal guide into the world of excellent Russian speaking
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