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Biography of Konstantin Paustovsky

Against the backdrop of Soviet prose writers, Konstantin Paustovsky stood out admirably. He wrote from the bottom of his heart, not to gain favor with the authorities. And the heart of Paustovsky belonged to common people. He thought it was the most repulsive thing an artist could do to trade their skills.

Childhood

The future champion of Russian nature was born in 1892 into a family that included a retired officer with several years of railroad service. Peter Sagaidachny, the valiant leader of the Zaporozhye Cossacks, was a descendent of my father. Ironically, he talked about his relationship with the hetman a lot.

My grandmother was a devoted Catholic who was Polish. She frequently disagreed on ideologies with her unrealistic, freedom-loving atheist son-in-law. Having served the Tsar in the past and fought in the Turkish-Russian War, his paternal grandfather met a severe oriental woman who would eventually become his wife.

Turks, Poles, and Zaporozhye Cossacks are among Paustovsky’s ancestors. Nevertheless, he developed into a genuinely Russian writer and lived his entire life extolling the virtues of his own country. He read a lot as a teenager, just like a lot of his friends. The romantic tale of the idealistic girl Assol had a lasting impression on him. However, Konstantin was already drawn to writing in high school in addition to reading. The narrative “On the Water” was the young prose writer’s debut piece.

After growing up in Moscow, Konstantin attended school in Kyiv and then Bryansk for a short while. The family relocated frequently. Following its dissolution in 1908, the son hardly ever saw his father. After learning of his parent’s condition through a telegram, the high school student headed straight to Bila Tserkva. While traveling, I couldn’t help but think of my father—a haughty, irritable, yet gentle man. He left his work at the railway shortly before his death, for no apparent reason, and moved to the estate that had formerly belonged to his grandpa.

 

Later, in “The Tale of Life,” the author would write of the passing of his father. Other incidents from the prose writer’s biography are also reflected in the book. Paustovsky was born and raised in Kiev. He enrolled at the Faculty of Philology following high school. The autobiography’s second section describes a philosophy professor who bears a striking resemblance to Emile Zola. During one of his eccentric teacher’s lectures, Paustovsky suddenly recognized that writing was the only thing he could do with his life.

Paustovsky had two brothers and a sister. The elder disapproved of Konstantin’s literary pursuits, considering poetry and prose to be only for amusement. However, he disregarded his brother’s advice and persisted in reading and writing every day until he was completely worn out.

The calm youth came to an end in 1914. After leaving school, Konstantin moved to Moscow. Living in the heart of the city on Bolshaya Presnya—later renamed Krasnaya—was the mother and sister. Paustovsky went to the university in the capital, although he did not stay there for very long. He was a tram conductor for a while. Because of his myopia, the former pupil was unable to reach the front. On the same day, both brothers passed away.

The written word

The initial tales were published in the “Lights” magazine. Paustovsky departed for Taganrog a year prior to the revolution. Anton Chekhov started writing “Romantics” at his hometown. This novel wasn’t released until 1935. finished in Odessa, where the author lived for some months before moving back to Moscow in the early 20s.

Paustovsky found work as a correspondent in the capital. I was forced to go to rallies, which in the years following the revolution in Moscow had become the norm. The third section of “The Tale of Life” is the author’s reflection of those years’ impressions. Here, the author goes into great detail regarding notable revolutionaries and politicians, like as Alexander Kerensky. Author’s statement regarding the leader of the Provisional Government:

Paustovsky has traveled to many places, including the Baltic, Central Asia, Siberia, and the Donbass. The author attempted a variety of careers. Every stage of his life is a stand-alone novel. The nature of the Vladimir region really captured the prose writer’s heart. He enjoyed desolate roads, azure lakes, and dense forests.

The author paid homage to the local environment in the stories “The Thief Cat,” “Badger Nose,” “Grey Gelding,” and “Snow.” Schoolchildren were required to study short pieces by Paustovsky as part of their curriculum in the latter part of the 1900s. These include “Hare’s Paws,” “The Disheveled Sparrow,” and “Tenants of the Old House.” The Soviet author’s stories are kind and educational. The tale of “Warm Bread” relates how the villagers were penalized for a self-centered boy’s brutality.

The forester’s daughter and Grieg, a Norwegian composer, are the main protagonists in “Basket with Fir Cones.” This is a nice, straightforward children’s fairy story. A cartoon based on the story was made in 1989. Out all Paustovsky’s works, only thirteen have been filmed.

Paustovsky’s renown began to extend outside of the USSR in the 1950s. All of the European languages have translations of the stories and tales. In addition to writing, Konstantin Georgievich was a teacher. The prose writer was well-known at the Literary Institute as a gifted instructor. Soviet literary classics are among his students.

Following Stalin’s demise, the author traveled to other nations. He traveled to his ancestors’ native Poland as well as Turkey. visited Sweden, Italy, and Bulgaria. Although Paustovsky was nominated for the Nobel Prize, it is known that the author of “Quiet Don” won the prize. The regulations provide that the cause for the rejection cannot be disclosed until 50 years have passed. “The merits of the Soviet prose writer do not outweigh his shortcomings,” it was revealed in 2017. Members of the Swedish commission voiced this opinion.

Marlene Dietrich had a strong admiration for Paustovsky’s writing. She devoted a whole chapter in her biography book Discourses to him. After reading the “Telegram,” the German actress found Paustovsky’s poetic style to be rather pleasing. Dietrich was so taken aback by this account that she could never forget the title of the book or the author, who was a stranger to her.

Moscow hosted the actress in the late 1950s. Then she had her first and last encounter with the writer. Dietrich presented the writer with multiple pictures as a memento. One shows Paustovsky and the well-known actress on the House of Writers stage.

Individual existence

Paustovsky met his future bride in 1915. Zagorskaya Ekaterina was her name. The following summer, the wedding was held in a small rural church close to Ryazan. Catherine wished for this. Vadim, the writer’s son, was raised in these areas after being born in 1925.

Paustovsky spent twenty years living with his first wife. The son’s memories indicate that the marriage held firm as long as Konstantin Georgievich’s inventiveness was given full reign. Paustovsky began to receive recognition in the 1930s. By then, the couple had become weary of one another, partly due to the challenging years after the revolution.

Following Paustovsky’s liaison with Valeria Navashina, Ekaterina lodged a divorce petition. Afterwards, the prose writer’s ex-wife’s private letter—which included the line “I can’t forgive him for his relationship with that Polish woman”—was mentioned by memoirists in their works.

The second wife is a popular Polish painter from the 1920s. Writer Valeria Navashina became her muse. He dedicated a great deal of his late 30s work to her. But Paustovsky’s third wife also served as an inspiration.

The author’s last significant life event happened in 1948. Meet Tatyana Arbuzova and Paustovsky. She was married to a well-known dramatist at the time. The drama “Tanya” was dedicated to Alexey Arbuzov’s wife. In 1950, Paustovsky wed Tatyana. Born into this union, Alexei lived a brief 26 years.

Death

Paustovsky had a history of asthma. He continued to be involved in public life despite his sickness, which grew worse as his life was coming to an end. He never took part in the persecution of “dissidents,” and he stood up for shamed writers.

He once politely declined to shake hands with a renowned reviewer who openly criticized the author of Doctor Zhivago, a novel that, at the time, only the most courageous people dared not condemn. In 1968, the author passed away following another heart attack. The name of the prose writer’s planet was discovered in the late seventies.

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