Rus Articles Journal

How in Russia the children`s poetry appeared? To birthday of Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky

emergence of children`s poetry in Russia and its further blossoming in the USSR are inseparably linked with a name of Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky. Even against such talents as Marshak and Bartho, it still continues to tower a huge native block.

I Think, any of you with ease will continue such lines as: “Bears went...“; “As I am glad as I am glad that...“; “- Who speaks? - Elephant. - From where? -...“; “And pillow, as...“; “The Fly, Mucha - Tsokotukh...“; “Small children, not for the world...“; “Oh, hard this work -...“.
If you will not be able then you grew in some other time and in some other country.

Perfectly expressed this national recognition Century. Berestov in the comic poem:

“We feel sorry for the grandfather Korney:
In comparison with us it lagged behind,
As in the childhood of “Barmaley“
I of “Crocodile“ did not read,
did not admire “Phone“,
I did not penetrate into “Tarakanishche“.
As grew it such scientist,
without knowing the most important books?“
Should tell

that this one-sided popularity fairly irritated with times Chukovsky, and about it he wrote more than once:

“I wrote twelve books, and nobody on them any attention. But I should have written once joking “Crocodile“, and I became the famous writer. I am afraid that “Crocodile“ is known by heart by all Russia. I am afraid that on my monument when I die, it will be traced “the Author of “Crocodile“. And as it is diligent with what work I wrote other books, e.g. “Nekrasov as artist“, “Wife of the poet“, “Walt Uitmen“, “Futurists“ and so forth. How many cares of style, composition and of many other what critics usually do not care for! Each critique for me - a work of art (can be, bad, but arts!) and when I wrote, e.g., the article “Nat Pinkerton“, it seemed to me that I write the poem. But who remembers and knows such articles! Another matter - “Crocodile“. Miserere“.

“People... at acquaintance to me were friendly, but any did not know that I, except children`s books and “From 2 to 5“, wrote though something another. “Really you not only children`s writer?“ Then that I in all 70 years of literary work wrote only five - six Moydodyrov. And the book “From 2 to 5“ was perceived as the collection of jokes about the amusing children`s speech“. Once A. Voznesensky was very neatly expressed to

about Chukovsky: “He lived as it seemed to us, always - L. Andreyev, Vrubel, Merezhkovsky exchanged bows with him...“. And it is valid when for the first time you get acquainted with the biography of “storyteller“, steadily you are surprised to the fact that by critical 1917 he was already taken place 35 - the summer father of family and the glorified literary critic. This career was given it hardly.

Given rise on March 31, 1882 out of marriage and from the unknown father, Kolya Korneychukov all life will suffer from a brand “illegitimate“ and at the first opportunity will turn a surname of mother into the sonorous pseudonym “Korney - Chuk“. Poverty will be added to it, and in 5 - m a class of the boy also will expel from the Odessa gymnasium under the so-called “law on kukharkiny children“ urged to clear educational institutions of children of “a low origin“. Kolya will learn English already independently, according to the old textbook where pages with a pronunciation will be pulled out. Therefore when, later time, the promising journalist Chukovsky is sent the correspondent to England, he first will not understand words from informal conversation.

Chukovsky`s interests were not limited also to criticism. It translated “Tom Sawyer“ and “The prince and the beggar“ M. Twain, many fairy tales of R. Kipling, the short story O. Henry, stories A. Conan - Doyle, O. Wilde`s plays, U. Uitmen`s verses and the English folklore. In its retellings we got acquainted in the childhood with “Robinson Crusoe“ and “Baron Myunkhgauzen“. Chukovsky forced a literary environment to see not just civil journalism, but elevated poetry in Nekrasov`s verses, prepared and edited the first complete works of this poet.

But if not everyone pays attention to critiques and names of translators, then fairy tales, anyway, listen to everything because all are children. We will also talk about fairy tales.

Of course, it is impossible to tell literally that the children`s poetry before revolution was not at all. At once we will make a reservation that no Pushkin`s fairy tales, “the Fad - Gorbunok“ Yershov were addressed to children, though were loved by them. The rest, if one may say so, “creativity“ perfectly illustrates Sasha Cherny`s poem of 1910:

“The lady, shaking on a branch,
Peeped: “Dear children!
the Sun gave smacking kiss a bush,
the Birdie put in order byustik
I, embracing a camomile,
Eats a semolina squash...“

All these lifeless refined rhymes of children`s poetesses was mercilessly smashed at that time also by Chukovsky (which critic in general was often very rigid, caustic and even poisonous). Later he remembered how after one of articles about an idol of pre-revolutionary girls - to Lidiya Charskaya, the daughter of the shopkeeper refused to sell it a box of matches. But Chukovsky was convinced: children consume this poverty only because of lack of qualitative children`s poetry. And qualitative it can be only when approach it with measures of adult poetry. With only one important reservation - children`s verses have to consider features of children`s mentality and perception.

The critic Chukovsky it was good, but from it good children`s verses did not appear. In 1913 - 14 criticism even suggested to head the magazine for children, but then it was entirely occupied by work on Nekrasov and refused. And two years later, as if from nothing, “Crocodile“ appeared.

S. Marshak: “You strictly Charskaya judged
But here was born “Crocodile“,
Fervent, noisy, vigorous, -
Not the fruit coddled, hothouse, -
I this fierce crocodile
of All angels swallowed
In library of our nursery,
Where often smelled of cream of wheat... “
History of creation of this fairy tale is fairly confused by

, and not without the assistance of the author. Especially curious I send to remarkable article M. Petrovsky “Crocodile in Petrograd“. I will retell this history in brief.

So, on one memoirs of Chukovsky he read the first sketches of “Crocodile“ in 1915 “on Bestuzhevsky courses“. On others - the idea to write work for children to it was thrown by M. Gorky in the fall of 1916, having told: “Here you abuse the hypocrites and scoundrels creating books for children. But curses you will not help business. Imagine that these hypocrites and scoundrels are already destroyed by you, - what you will give to the child in exchange? Now one good children`s book will make more than a dobra, than ten polemic articles... Here write - the long fairy tale if it is possible in verses, like “The fad - a gorbunka“, only, of course, from modern life“.

This version is confirmed also by the following statement of Chukovsky: “Spoke, for example, as if here with frank sympathy the campaign of the general Kornilov is represented though I wrote this fairy tale in 1916 (for Gorky publishing house “Parus“). Also people who remember how I read it to Gorky - long before a kornilovshchina“ are still living. , at last, according to the third version everything began

I with the improvised versification for the little sick son.

“... it happened so that my little son got sick, and it was necessary to tell him the fairy tale. He got sick in the city of Helsinki, I carried it home in the train, he was capricious, cried, groaned. That as - nibud to calm down him pain, I began to tell him under a rhythmic roar of the running train:

Once upon a time there was
the Crocodile.
It walked the streets...

Verses affected by itself. I did not care for their form at all. And in general minutes did not think that they have any attitude toward art. Only I had a care - to distract attention of the child from attacks of the illness wearying it. Therefore I terribly hurried: there was no time to deliberate, select epithets, to look for rhymes, it was impossible to stop not for a moment. All rate was on speed, on the fastest alternation of events and images that the sick little boy did not manage neither to moan nor to begin to cry. Therefore I chattered as the shaman...“. to

Anyway, it is authentically known that the first part of “Crocodile“ by the end of 1916 was already finished. And we will talk about future of this fairy tale next time.