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 Alexander Griboyedov


Born:   15 January 1795
Deceased:   11 February 1829

a Russian diplomat, playwright and composer

      

Griboyedov Alexander Sergeyevich (1795-1829) was a Russian diplomat, playwright and composer. He was born in Moscow 4(15) January 1795. Like his contemporary Alexander Pushkin, he belonged to the well off upper class and mixed in high circles of society. He is recognized as a homo unius libri, a write of one book, whose fame rests on the brilliant verse comedy Woe from Wit, still one of the most staged plays n Russia.

Griboyedov graduated from the Moscow University at the age of fifteen. During the Napoleon invasion he was unrolled in the army, he obtained a commission in a hussar regiment, but resigned it in 1816. Next year, Griboyedov entered the civil service in St.Petersburg, where he met Pushkin. In 1818 he was appointed secretary of the Russian legation in Persia, later in 1822 he was transferred to Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia.

In 1826, serving as a secretary on foreign affairs for the general Yermolov in Georgia he was detained and brought to St.Petersburg for the investigation the assumed link with Decembrists, who organized the up-rising in the capital December 14 1825. Lots of Decembrists were among Griboyedov’s friends, but still he was justified.

For the assistance in signing Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828 he was appointed as a Minister Plenipotentiary and sent to Persia. On the way to Persia he came to Georgia and married a 16-year-old daughter of his friend Prince Nino Chavchavadze. Due to a conflict in Persia, Griboyedov was killed at the Russian embassy by Persian mob.

Griboyedov commenced writing early. He wrote poems; in 1816 he produced on the stage a comedy The Young Spouses. In 1818 he wrote the comedy A Student which was fooled by other works of the same kind.

The real success and recognition he gained with by his comedy in verse Woe from Wit (Gore ot uma), a satire upon Russian aristocratic society. The play's merits are in its accurate representation of certain social and official types-such as Famusov, the lover of old abuses, the hater of reforms; his secretary, Molchalin, servile fawner upon all in office; the aristocratic young liberal and Anglomaniac, Repetilov; contrasted with whom is the hero of the piece, Chatsky, the ironic satirist, just returned from the west of Europe, who exposes and ridicules the weaknesses of the rest, his words echoing that outcry of the young generation of 1820 which reached its climax in the military insurrection of 1825, and was then sternly silenced by Nicholas I.

Griboyedov spent the summer of 1823 in Russia, completed his play and took it to St.Petersburg. There it was rejected by the censors. Many copies were made and privately circulated, but Griboyedov never saw it published. The first edition was printed in 1833, four years after his death. Only once did he see it on the stage, when it was acted by the officers of the garrison at Yerevan.


Tags: Alexander Griboyedov Russian literature Russian poets Russian diplomats Russian history 




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