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Alexander Pushkin: 220 years of The Poet

The prominent poet, considered the founder of the modern Russian literary language, was born on June 6, 1799

TASS FACTBOX. June 6, 2019 marks 220 years since the birth of Great Russian poet, playwright, prose writer Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was born on June 6, 1799 in Moscow in the family of Sergey Lvovich Pushkin (1770-1848) and Nadezhda Osipovna Gannibal (1775-1836). His father served as an official in the Moscow Commissariat. Mother was the granddaughter of Abram Hannibal, an African orderly of Peter the Great.

Pushkin studied at the Tsarskoye Selo school 1811-1817, and during this time, he wrote a lot of his poetry. He was first published in 1814, at the age of 15. A year later, he would read his own poem Memories in Tsarskoe Selo, dedicated to the events of the Patriotic War of 1812 at a school exam. The poem was well received by Russian poet Gavriil Derzhavin.

After graduation, Pushkin became involved in the literary life of St. Petersburg, took part in literary circles, theaters. During this time, he wrote Ruslan and Lyudmila, a poem that combined Russian fairy tale themes with European knight novels.

In 1820, when his poems took on political overtones, Pushkin narrowly escapes exile, although he angered Alexander I. His friends vouched for him, and he was sent to present day Ukraine, as clerk. During that time, he gets the idea that later will become perhaps his most famous work Eugene Onegin.

His first book of poems was published in 1826, and Boris Godunov became very popular. Yet a year later, Pushkin was investigated for his poem Andrei Chenier that thought to have showed support for the Decembrists uprising. Pushkin was followed by the police and forbidden to leave the country.

Several year later, he moved to the estate in the Nizhnigorodskiy Region, given to him by his father ahead of his marriage to Natalia Goncharova. The time Pushkin spent there has been viewed by the critics as the creative rise of the poet. It was there that he wrote Little Tragedies, finished Eugene Onegin, and wrote over 30 poems.

In December of 1830, Pushkin came to Moscow to marry Goncharova. The couple had four children: two daughters Maria and Natalia, and two sons Alexander and Gregory.

In the next 5 years, Pushkin wrote Queen of Spades, many of his fairy tales, and popular prose.

In 1837, Pushkin challenged George Dantes to a duel. The Frenchman openly courted his wife. During the duel, Pushkin was seriously wounded and died two days later. He was buried in his family ancestral tomb in the Holy Dormition Svyatogorsky monastery near Pskov.

Pushkin is considered the founder of the modern Russian literary language. He had a great influence on subsequent representatives of the "golden age" of Russian literature, such as Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Afanasy Fet, Fyodor Dostoevsky and others. Dozens of films, operas, ballets, plays and pieces of music were created based on his works.

Every June 6 Russia celebrates Pushkin's Day.

In 1999, a state award was established in Russia, the Pushkin Medal, awarded for achievements in areas of culture and art, education, the humanities and literature.