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 Vladimir Odoevsky

Born:   3 August [O.S. 1 August] 1803
Deceased:   11 March [O.S. 27 February] 1869

Russian writer, philosopher, teacher, musicologist and music theorist


Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoevsky was born on August 11(on July 30), 1803 (according to other data 1804) in Moscow.

His father descended from an ancient princely family, whereas the parents of Vladimirs mother were serf peasants. In 1816-1822 he studied in the Moscow university noble boarding school. This is when he started contributing for the Calliope magazine (1820). At that time he became fond of Friedrich Schellings philosophy, and later met him personally, having surprised the philosopher with his encyclopedic knowledge.

Odoevsky took part in the activity of the Free Society of the Russian Literature and in 1823-1825 headed the first philosophical circle in Russia Society of Lyubomudrie (old Russian word for philosophy, i.e. love of wisdom). His central work Russian Nights can be considered the major monument of Russian lyubomudrie.

In 1826 Odoevsky moved to Petersburg and started working in the Foreign Censorship Committee. In those years he got acquainted with Alexander Pushkin, contributed for The Literary Newspaper and the almanac Northern Flowers. When Pushkin started publication of Sovremennik (Contemporary) journal, Odoevsky became his active collaborator and assistant. His article On Hostility to Education was published there. In 1844 collected works in three volumes came to light.

Starting from 1846 of Odoevsky served as the associate director of the Public Library and the director of the Rumyantsevs Museum. The flourishing of his creativity fell on the 1830s-1840s, marked in particular with his collection Motley fairy tales (1833), and Fairy tale of a dead body that belonged to nobody knows whom.

A number of his works is dedicated to the position of a woman in Russia: such are the stories Princess Mimi (1834), Princess Zizi (1839), Mysterious stories, Sylph (1838), and Salamandra (1841).

Odoevsky made a contribution into the development of musical criticism, propagandized music by the composers Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Alyabyev, Mily Balakirev, and others.

Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoevsky died on March 11(on February 27) 1869 in Moscow.

Tags: Vladimir Odoevsky Russian literature Russian music   

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