Born July 12 (23) to aristocratic "Voltairian" father
in Moscow. At his St. Petersburg home, he learned German,
English, Italian, and French. In their Moscow home, the family
was visited by poets Zhukovsky
Father dies, comes under the tutelage of Karamzin; begins
to publish in The Herald of Europe
Fought the French at Borodino
Along with the Vasilii L'vovich Pushkin (the uncle of A.
S. Pushkin) and K. I. Batiushkov,
joined the Arzamas group that was formed in reaction to
the reactionary archaist philosophy and language of the
Publishes first major critical piece, "On Derzhavin,"
which, while informed by enlightenment principles was written
in romantic language
Writes mature elegies "First Snow" and "Dejection,"
which featured, as did much of his best verse, archaic diction,
difficult syntax, and Alexandrine metrics.
Writes "Indignation," which combines elements
of the elegy and the ode
Forced from his Warsaw post because of liberal sympathies
Pushkin credits him for inventing "metaphysical"
Writes elegy "To a Woman who Thinks Herself Fortunate"
Argues against critiques of Karamzin's History of the
Russian State and against critics of Pushkin's romantic
poems. He was first to endorse Russian romanticism openly
and to call for original national language
Writes the satirical piece "The
Russian God," in which he rages at the inanity
and baseness of the world
Argues on behalf of "aristocratic" poets
Argues against the Slavophiles and against the radical critics,
as well. Becomes increasingly conservative, supporting Gogol's
Writes book on the Russian dramaturg, Fonvizin
Serves as Head of Censorship for the state, where he was
attacked by reactionaries and liberals (like Herzen) alike
Writes sketch of Moscow life "Antediluvian or Anteconflagration
Moscow," in which he demonstrates his ability to reproduce
actual, vibrant dialogue
Writes "An Old Fashioned Moscow Family"
Writes "Griboedov's Moscow"; dies