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What is the secret of Semyon Nadson’s poems, which 100 years ago was more popular than Pushkin

About a hundred years ago, this poet’s popularity almost surpassed Pushkin himself – and thanks to the poems that hit the tone of the time, and thanks to the history of his life – a short and tragic. Now this success is difficult to explain – the modern reader has different views and other prophets. Or maybe Nadson’s work has yet to regain its former glory when the suffering and experiences of a person who does not find his place in life cease to be condescendingly depreciated.

Childhood, which was not

The literary success of Semyon Yakovlevich Nadson was amazing – the youth of the late XIX – early XX century literally swept away from the shelves of bookstores collections of poems of the poet. By the time Nadson was long in the grave: it also influenced the degree of his popularity, because at the time of his death he was even younger than Lermontov, who was Nadson’s favorite poet. Undoubtedly one thing – he unmistakably guessed the mood of the era, and appreciated his poems for the harmony of the atmosphere of the end of the century before last, the atmosphere of uncertainty, “timelessness”, full of disappointments and pessimism for a man of romanticism.
Creativity Nadson more than other poets of the era, associated with his biography. If we consider his legacy from the standpoint of modern, when creativity is attributed and important psychological significance, it is possible to identify interesting patterns.

The pessimistic orientation of Nadson’s poems was dictated by his biography. He was born on December 14, 1862 in St. Petersburg in the family of a court counselor and a noblewoman of the Mammoth family. My father was mentally ill – he died when Semyon was two years old. In the hands of the mother left the boy and his younger sister. Some time later, the mother remarried and the second husband was mentally ill, after one of family quarrels, he killed himself.
Even as a child, Simon knew and need, and especially life in someone else’s house, mercy: his sister took on the education of the brothers of her mother, she died of tuberculosis at age 31. Consumption with amazing constancy will determine all the important turns of Nadson’s life.

As a teenager he entered a military school, and thirteen years kept a diary – a habit he would retain until his death. Semyon coped well with his studies, but the gymnasium soon bored him, the main interests in life were poems and attempts to understand himself and the world, peculiar to Nadson to a much greater extent than it usually happens in his youth.
Nadson was evaluated as extremely proud, maybe for this reason he did not have a long relationship with his classmates, and in the family of his uncle. But in 15 years, Simon met the family of his friend at the gymnasium, Michael Deshevov, and this meeting had a very strong impact on the fate of the poet.

Unhappy love

If earlier in the diaries of Nadson and then met records of his love for different girls, since 1878 came love – the only and tragic. The subject of his feelings and the addressee of his poetry became Natalia, sister of Michael, Nadson, just under a year.

“What I have found especially good in her – I do not know, I do not want to think about it, I know one thing that all my life I am ready to give for it, and I am satisfied with this consciousness.”

In this family, Seeds always took very warm, and Natalia’s mother, Sophia Stepanovna, treated Nadson with real maternal tenderness. In the living room of the cheap Nadson participated in interesting conversations that fascinated and guided him, and it was Sophia Stepanovna helped with the first publications. Natalia replied the first semen back, but then suddenly became cold to him, turned his attention to his cousin Basil.
After some time Natalia Deshevov died from tuberculosis, and after fifteen-year-old daughter died and the mother.

All his experiences Nadson reflected in the poems – quite good even then, and therefore appeared in magazines and performed at public performances in high school. At sixteen, Nadson entered the Pavlovsk military school, and during his studies caught a cold – then he was diagnosed with consumption.

Nadson during his studies in the Pavlovsk military school

In 1882, the young poet was invited to his magazine “notes of the Fatherland” Alexey Pleshcheev, who since then Nadson will consider his literary father.
Nadson’s health continued to deteriorate. Two years later, with the help of his friends, he goes abroad for treatment. The main such friend, the support for the poet on all the rest of his life path was Maria Valentinovna Watson, translator and admirer of his work. Even then, a young twenty year old poet was famous for its special expressiveness and emotion of his poems but rather for the integrity of Nadson, in expressing their feelings: with the reader, he spoke on the trust and openly confessing and sharing with him your innermost thoughts and emotions.

Watson became her own person for Semyon: despite the presence of her own family – her husband and stepdaughter – she undertook to arrange the Affairs of Nadson, to bother about his departure abroad, to solve other issues. She accompanied Nadson on his trip, and when she was forced to leave, maintained correspondence with the poet – full of sincerity and his sad premonition of an early end. All the while, Nadson continued to write poetry – even when it required more effort than was at his disposal. At the end of 1884 in his diary appeared the entry “I began to die”. A few months later however, his condition improved. At the same time was published the only lifetime book of poems by the poet, which brought real fame Nadson. The book was devoted to “N. Mmm.D.” – the poet’s first and only love.

Disease and bullying

In April 1886 he got a job in the Kiev newspaper “Zarya”, where he wrote feuilletons about literature and journalism. Despite the fact that the disease developed, Nadson enthusiastically criticized his contemporaries and fellow writers. One of those who was a target for criticism of Nadson, was his old friend, an employee of the newspaper “New time” Victor Burenin. In history, he, apparently, will remain the villain who killed the young genius – after all, already seriously ill Nadson was ridiculed in several essays and articles by Burenin as a simulant who seeks to live at the expense of benefactors, and regarding Nadson’s poems and, in particular, their dedication to youthful love, the journalist spoke very skeptical.

V. P. Burenin, employee of the ” New time»

The poet considered himself deeply offended and even wanted to challenge Burenin to a duel, but his friends did not allow him to do so. The journalist will be later branded almost on a par with Baron Gekkerenom, and even classics, including Anton Chekhov, recognize unworthy and cruel persecution, which gave Nadson employee “New time”. However, a closer examination of the conflict between Nadson and Burenina shows that the attacks and accusations, being really quite sharp, were of a mutual, reciprocal: Nadson in his satires no less straightforwardly criticized Burenina. According to one of the views, is the behavior of the poet was the way to achieve full, perfect harmony with his image of the poet of the romantic era, misunderstood and persecuted.
During another deterioration of his condition Nadson refused to leave Russia, and went with the help of the same Maria Valentinovna in Yalta. There he received the news of the award to the collection of his poems Pushkin prize of the Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious literary award of pre-revolutionary Russia.

He died on 19 January 1887. Smuggled the body of Nadson, in Petersburg and burial was Mary Watson. The poet was accompanied to the last journey by thousands of his fans.
Nadson’s poems were extremely popular, they were taught by heart. The collection of his works was reprinted dozens of times, including the release of a huge for those times circulation of 10,000 copies. Nadson’s poetry had a great influence on the work of symbolist poets.
Of course, the early death of the famous poet played an important role in his posthumous glory. Some time later, however, the work of Nadson began to rethink classics, including Alexander Blok, believed the popularity of nadanovsky verses a kind of “literary misunderstanding”. The desire to share their hardships and experiences was no longer relevant and did not receive readers ‘ sympathy. Went back the era of small volumes of Nadson, as the era of albums Schoolgirls where his poems have been rewritten.

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