Aleksandr Kuprin

Aleksandr Kuprin

Infobox Writer
name = Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin

caption = Kuprin
birthdate = OldStyleDate|August 26|1870|September 7
birthplace = Narovchat, Penza Oblast
deathdate = death date and age|1938|8|25|1870|7|7|mf=y
deathplace = Leningrad
occupation = writer, pilot, explorer, and adventurer
genre = short stories
movement = Naturalism
notableworks = "Junior Captain Rybnikov"
influences = Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy

Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin (Александр Иванович Куприн, September 7, 1870 (August 26, 1870 OS) in the town of Narovchat in the Penza Oblast"THE MOSCOW WINDOWS'HOME". Sergei Sossinsky. Moscow News (Russia). HISTORY; No. 6. February 17, 1999.] - August 25, 1938 in Leningrad) was a Russian writer, pilot, explorer and adventurer who is perhaps best known for his masterpiece "The Duel" (1905).Kuprin scholar Nicholas Luker, in his biography "Alexander Kuprin", calls "The Duel" his "greatest masterpiece" (chapter IV) and likewise literary critic Martin Seymour-Smith calls "The Duel" "his finest novel" ("The New Guide to Modern World Literature" (pg.1051))] Other well known works include "Moloch" (1896), "Olesya" (1898), "Junior Captain Rybnikov" (1906), "Emerald" (1907), and "The Garnet Bracelet" (1911) (which was made into a 1965 [ movie] ). Vladimir Nabokov styled him Russian Kipling for his stories about pathetic adventure-seekers, who are often "neurotic and vulnerable."

Early life

Kuprin was a son of a Liubov' Alekseevna Kuprina, Tatar princess(of the Kulunchakovs) [ Book] ] who, like many other nobles in Russia, had lost most of her wealth in the 19th century. "His father, Ivan Ivanovich Kuprin, was a minor government official and died of cholera in 1871 at the age of thirty-seven." [ The Literature Network-Kuprin] ] Attending the Razumovsky boarding school in 1876, Kuprin then, in 1880, finished his education in the Second Moscow Military High School (Cadet Corps) and Alexander Military School, spending a total of ten years in these elite military institutions. His first short story, "The Last Debut", was published in 1889 in a satirical periodical. Kuprin's mother died in 1910. "In February of 1902, Kuprin and Maria Karlovna Davydova were married, their daughter Lidia born in 1903."

Literary career

Kuprin left military service in 1894, after which he tried his hand at all sorts of jobs, including provincial journalism, dental care, land surveying, acting, circus performer, church singer, doctor, hunter, fisher, etc. Reportedly, "all of these were subsequently reflected in his fiction." His first essays were published in Kiev in two collections. Reportedly, "although he lived in an age when writers were carried away by literary experiments, Kuprin did not seek innovation and wrote only about the things he himself had experienced and his heroes are the next generation after Chekhov's pessimists." His early short stories, including several on horses and other animals, seethe with love of life in all its manifestations.

Although the 1896 short story "Moloch" first made his name known as a writer, it was his novel "The Duel" (1905) which brought him fame in literary circles. [Nicholas J. L. Luker (1982). "An Anthology of Russian Neo-realism: The "Znanie" School of Maxim Gorky", ISBN 0882334212 - Page 137] It was this work that made him famous in contemporary literary circles and "Kurpin was highly praised by fellow writers including Anton Chekov, Maxim Gorky, Leonid Andreyev, Nobel Prize-winning Ivan Bunin" and Leo Tolstoy who acclaimed him a true successor to Chekhov. After "The Duel" he paid less and less interest to high literature and began to share his time between pubs and brothels. His sensationalist novel about the lurid life of prostitutes, "The Pit" (1915), was accused by Russian critics of excessive Naturalism.

Although not a conservative himself, he did not agree with Bolshevism. While working for a short time with Maxim Gorky at the World Literature publishing house, he criticized the Soviet regime. In spring 1919, from Gatchina near Petrograd, Kuprin left the country for France. He lived in Paris for most of the next 17 years, succumbing to alcoholism He wrote about this in much of his work. He eventually returned to Moscow on May 31, 1937, just a year before his death, at the height of the Great Purge. His return paved the way for publication of his works within Soviet Union.

Kuprin died in the spring of 1938 in Leningrad and is interred near his fellow writers at the Literaturskiye Mostki in the Volkovo Cemetery (Volkovskoye Memorial Cemetery) in Leningrad. A minor planet 3618 Kuprin, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1979 is named after him. [cite book| last = Schmadel| first = Lutz D.| coauthors =| title = Dictionary of Minor Planet Names| pages = p. 304| edition = 5th | year = 2003| publisher = Springer Verlag| location = New York| url =| id = ISBN 3540002383]

Reportedly, "even today, Alexander Kuprin remains one of the widest read classics in Russian literature," with many films made based on his works, "which are also read over the radio," partly due to "his vivid stories of the lives of ordinary people and unhappy love, his descriptions of the military and brothels, making him a writer for all times and places."


* "The Last Debut" ("Poslednii debiut") (1889)
* "Psikheia" (1892; translated as "Psyche", 1929)
* "Lunnoi noch'iu" ("On a Moonlit Night", 1893)
* "V pot'makh" ("In the Dark" 1893)
* "Doznanie" ("The Inquiry", 1894).
* "Moloch" (1896)
* "Olesja" (1898)
* "At the Circus" (1902)
* "The Horse Thieves" (1903)
* "Poedinok" (1905; translated as "The Duel", 1916)
* "The River of Life" (1906)
* "Yama" ("The Pit") (1905-1915)
* "The Garnet Bracelet" (1911)
* "Iunkera" ("Junkers", written 1928-1932, published 1933) (autobiographical)


External links

* [ Kuprin] , dedicated website
* [ Biography] , by Nicholas Luker
* [ Aleksandr Kuprin's page]
* [ Biography] , at The Literature Network
* [ Online stories in English] - Read "Yama (The Pit)" and the short story "The Outrage--a True Story"
* [ Works by Aleksandr Kuprin] at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
* (plain text and HTML)

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