Biography of Mijaíl Dmítrievich Chulkov (1743-1792)

Poet, novelist, playwright, editor and Russian folklorist, born in Moscow in 1743 and died in his hometown in 1792. Humanist fruitful and multi-faceted, comprised the most diverse genres and embraced by his important journalistic work, became one of the great entertainers of the Russian cultural landscape of the second half of the 18th century.

Born in a family of middle class - his father was one of many merchants Muscovites-, he showed from childhood an innate curiosity humanistic, already in his teens, he allowed to be brilliantly the degree of Bachelor in a public high school in Moscow. Led by their artistic and literary itching, in his early youth he wanted to follow the profession of an actor; but, to the difficulties inherent in the life of the comedians of his time, opted for safety and put his intelligence to the service of a comfortable career within the public administration, which won him some certain positions after several years of faithful service. Alternated, that Yes, his work as a civil servant with her accused literary vocation, which prompted him to write his first play when just he was twenty-two years of age. It's titled comedy call it what you want (1765), work which, although it did not deserve the honors of the printing press, allowed him to start to delve into the theatrical and literary forums of Moscow, where it seems that this early fruit of the talent of Chulkov was premiered with some success.

Yes it was printed, after a year, his first foray into narrative genre, a strange and entertaining novel, published under the title of the mocking (1766), announced well clear one of the main features of the Mijaíl Dmítrievich Chulkov and his fledgling literary mood: taste the mixture of elements from any culture or traditiona reflection of his careful observation of the protein variety of humanistic knowledge. The combination of mythological ingredients with pictures and scenes depicting local customs, enriched with the most varied fantastic episodes from the caletre of the author, and with other elements of the literary tradition educated (as the picaresque novel and the books of chivalry) and popular (as such, put, sayings and other lexical coinage), make the mocking an amalgam of dispersed materialsin spite of its rarity, made a pleasing impression to the readers of the time.

Backed by this well received, four years later Moscow writer returned to bookstores with a new novel whose rarity again caused a considerable stir in Russian literary media, now since, under the eloquent title of the healthy cook or the adventures of a lost woman (1770), reflected the ups and downs of a dissipated life womansubject certainly novel in national letters. Displaying, at the same time, of his vastness of knowledge and its condition of multifaceted humanist, in the course of that year Mijaíl Dmítrievich Chulkov gave to the hollanders his soon celebrated collection of several songs (1770), considered one of the major contributions to the study of Russian folklore, taking account of more than three hundred popular songs which includes among its pages. This way of humanistic research and scholarship, but now in direction to the richness of the classical legacy, in 1777 Chulkov published his famous brief mythological glossary, which gathered abundant news on Slavic myths and mythology of Greco-Roman antiquity. A few years later, he returned to the field of folklore and ethnographic studies with a new collection of very useful material for the researcher or, simply, for the curious reader, now grouped under the heading of dictionary of Russian superstitions (1782).

Chulkov he learned to combine these tasks of official, researcher, novelist and playwright with the Edition, for much of its life, a couple of satirico-burlescas magazines in which brought the works of major authors of his time, which ended up strengthening him as one of the main cultural entertainers in the country. From these periodic forums - supplied headers as well-intentioned as this and the other and the quibbler Parnassus-, Moscow-based writer lashed out, in effect, the leading characters in the literary and journalistic scene, without respect even the editors and writers of the rival publication of everything a little, promoted by the Empress Catherine II. But the main objective of the humor and satires of Chulkov was Novikov, an editor of fashion which, at the time, made him the competition in the publication of literary magazines.

Fits, finally, to make even a brief reference to the status of poet who also exhibited Mijaíl Dmítrievich Chulkov, author of Grishka Otrépiev, a satirical poem of historical theme which enjoyed great esteem among the readers of the time.