2015 was declared as The Year of Literature in
The relevant decree was signed by Vladimir Putin last summer. On the 25th
of March, 1882 one of the most popular children's poets in the Russian language
Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky was born. He is loved by generations of Russian
children for his catchy rhythms, inventive rhymes and absurd characters. The
mosr popular Chukovsky's poems are Tarakanishche ("The Monster
Cockroach"), Krokodil ("The Crocodile"), Telefon ("The
Telephone") and Moydodyr ("Wash-'em-Clean"). Russia
He was born Nikolay Vasilyevich Korneychukov, which he reworked into his now familiar pen-name while working as a journalist at Odessa News in 1901. He was born in
Petersburg, the illegitimate son of Ekaterina Osipovna
Korneychukova (a peasant girl from the Poltava
region of )
and Emmanuil Solomonovich Levinson, a man from a wealthy Jewish family whose
legitimate grandson was mathematician Vladimir Rokhlin). Levinson's family did
not permit his marriage to Korneychukova and the couple eventually separated.
Korneychukova moved to Ukraine
with Nikolay and his sibling. Levinson supported them financially for some
time, until his marriage to another woman. Nikolay studied at the Odessa gymnasium, where
one of his classmates was Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky. Later, Nikolay was expelled
from the gymnasium for his "low origin". He had to get his secondary
school and university diplomas by correspondence. Odessa
He taught himself English and, in 1903-05, he served as the
London correspondent at an newspaper,
although he spent most of his time at the British Library instead of the press
gallery in the Parliament. Back in Odessa , Chukovsky started
translating English works, notably Walt Whitman, and published several analyses
of contemporary European authors, which brought him in touch with leading
personalities of Russian literature and secured the friendship of Alexander
Blok. He also published a satirical magazine called Signal (1905–1906) and was
arrested for "insulting the ruling house," but was acquitted after
six months of investigative incarceration. Russia
It was at that period that Chukovsky produced his first fantasies for children. They were adapted for theatre and animated films, with Chukovsky as one of the collaborators. Sergei Prokofiev and other composers even adapted some of his poems for opera and ballet. His works were popular with emigre children as well, as Vladimir Nabokov's complimentary letter to Chukovsky attests.
During the Soviet period, Chukovsky edited the complete works of Nikolay Nekrasov and published From Two to Five, a popular guidebook to the language of children. As his invaluable diaries attest, Chukovsky used his popularity to help the authors persecuted by the regime including Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Alexander Galich and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He was the only Soviet writer who officially congratulated Boris Pasternak on winning the Nobel Prize.
Starting in the 1930s, Chukovsky lived in the writers'
village of Peredelkino near , where he is now buried.For his works
on the life of Nekrasov he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree in philology.
He also received the Lenin Prize in 1962 for his book, Mastery of Nekrasov and
an honorary doctorate from Moscow in 1962. Oxford
Here is the list of the cartoons taken on the basis of Chukovsky’s poems