Definitions

Prutkov

Prutkov

Prutkov, Kozma: see Tolstoy, Aleksey Konstantinovich.

(born Sept. 5, 1817, St. Petersburg, Russia—died Oct. 10, 1875, Krasny Rog) Russian poet, novelist, and dramatist. A distant relative of Leo Tolstoy, he held various court posts. In the 1850s he began to publish comic verse, often satirizing government bureaucracy. Among his popular historical novels is Prince Serebrenni (1862). His dramatic trilogy about the 16th and 17th centuries—The Death of Ivan the Terrible (1866), Tsar Feodor Ioannovich (1868), and Tsar Boris (1870)—is written in blank verse and contains some of Russia's best historical dramatic writing. His lyric poetry includes many love and nature poems, as well as Ioann Damaskin (1859), a paraphrase of St. John of Damascus's prayer for the dead.

Learn more about Tolstoy, Aleksey (Konstantinovich), Count with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Kozma Prutkov (Козьма Петрович Прутков) is a fictional author invented by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy and his cousins, three Zhemchuzhnikov brothers, Alexei, Vladimir and Alexander, during the later part of Nicholas I of Russia's authoritarian reign.

The four distinguished satirical poets used this pseudonym as a collective pen name to publish aphorisms, fables, epigrams, satiric, humorous and nonsense verses in the 1850s—1860s, most notably in the literary magazine "Sovremennik" (The Contemporary).

According to the Biographical data on Kozma Prutkov, Prutkov was born on April 11, 1801 and died on January 13, 1863.

He worked for the government of the Russian Empire his entire adult life. In 1820, Prutkov entered military service as a Hussar only for the uniform. He worked at the Measuring Office (Пробирная Палата) from 1823 until his death, ending up as its director.

Quotes

  • "When casting pebbles into water, look at the ripples being formed thereby. Otherwise this activity will be an empty amusement."
  • "Where is the beginning of the end that comes at the end of the beginning?"
  • "If you have a fountain, plug it up. Let the fountain too have a rest."
  • "If ever asked: What's more useful, the sun or the moon, respond: The moon. For the sun only shines during daytime, when it's light anyway, whereas the Moon shines at night."
  • "One cannot embrace unembraceable."
  • "Be vigilant!" (In russian "Бди!")
  • "Wanna be handsome - enroll in hussars."
  • "When seeing a "buffalo" sign on a cage with an elephant - do not believe your eyes."
  • "When it concerns art, every tailor has views of his own."
  • "Not every high-ranker is fleshy by nature."
  • "Never recount jokes to ladies, for these jokes are stupid and nasty."
  • "Every expert is like a gumboil: his fullness is one-sided."

References

External links

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