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Entries / Polonsky Ya. P. (1819-1898), poet

Polonsky Ya. P. (1819-1898), poet

Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Personalia

POLONSKY Yakov Petrovich (1819-1898, St. Petersburg), poet and prose writer, Associate of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1886). He graduated from the Faculty of Law of Moscow University in 1844. Polonsky lived in St. Petersburg from 1851. He was assigned to the office of the St. Petersburg Civil Governor N.M. Smirnov, the husband of A.O. Smirnova-Rosset, who hosted a famous literary salon in St. Petersburg. Polonsky served as a tutor at her house for some time. In 1859-60, together with A.A. Grigoryev, he edited The Russian Word journal. In 1860-96 he held a post at the Committee for Foreign Censorship and the Council of the Main Directorate over the Press. He contributed to Sovremennik, Otechestvennye zapiski, Vremya, Epokha and other journals. Polonsky was considered to be the adherent of the so-called "pure art" (a trend in the Russian literature of the second half of the 19th century, which advocated pure aestheticism in poetry, devoid of social and political issues;). However, Polonsky rendered tribute to social motifs in his works, and proclaimed his aesthetic and social independence. He was the author of many well-known poems and romances; such poems as White Night, Miasm, Night Meditation, A Simple Fact etc. embody the so-called subject of St. Petersburg. Polonsky's narrative The Marriage of Atuev (1869) portrays a type of intellectual nihilism, typical of St. Petersburg of the 1850-60s, and brings to life the atmosphere of the pre-reform city. In the 1860-70s he lived at 7 Obukhovsky Avenue (present-day Moskovsky Avenue); later he resided at 18 Zvenigorodskaya Street, 24 Fontanka River Embankment, and 26 Znamenskaya Street (present-day Vosstaniya Street), the latter address hosted Polonsky's "Fridays".

References: Орлов П. А. Я. П. Полонский. Рязань, 1961.

A. B. Muratov.

Grigoryev Apollon Alexandrovich
Polonsky Yakov Petrovich
Smirnov Nikolay Mikhailovich
Smirnova-Rosset Alexandra Osipovna

Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 24
Moskovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 7
Vosstaniya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 26
Zvenigorodskaya Street/Saint Petersburg, city, house 18

Орлов П. А. Я. П. Полонский. Рязань, 1961

The subject Index
Russkoe slovo (The Russian Word), journal, 1859-1866
Sovremennik (Contemporary), journal
Otechestvennye Zapiski (Notes of the Fatherland), journal
Vremya (The Time), journal
Epokha (The Epoch), journal
Fridays, Y. P. Polonsky's Fridays, K. K. Sluchevsky's Fridays