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Gukovsky, Grigory Aleksandrovich


GUKOVSKY, GRIGORY ALEKSANDROVICH (1902–1950), Russian literary scholar. Born in St. Petersburg into a Jewish family which had converted to Lutheranism, he graduated from the faculty of social sciences of Petrograd University in 1923. He worked at the Leningrad Institute of the History of Arts from the mid-1920s until 1929 and at the Institute of the Comparative History of Literature and Languages of the West and East associated with Leningrad University. In his scientific interests Gukovsky was close to the so-called "formal method." His works established the bases for the contemporary study of Russian literature of the 18th century. He wrote on the ideas of the Enlightenment and sentimentalism (Orcherki po istorii russkoy literatury i obshchestvennoy mysli 18 veka ["Essays on the History of Russian Literature and Social Thought of the 18th Century," 1938]), on romanticism (Pushkin i russkie romantiki ["Pushkin and Russian Romantics," 1946]), and on realism (Pushkin i problemy realisticheskogo stilya ["Pushkin and Problems of Realistic Style," 1979]), Realizm Gogolya ["The Realism of Gogol," 1959]). Gukovsky was a pioneer of contemporary structural typology. While professor at Leningrad University (1936–49), he educated a whole constellation of Soviet literary scholars (Yu. M. Lotman, I.Z. Serman, and many others). In July 1949 Gukovsky and his brother Matvey (1898–1971), a historian of the Italian Renaissance and professor at Leningrad University, were arrested as "cosmopolitans." Gukovsky died under investigations in the kgb Lubyanka prison in Moscow.

Gukovsky's daughter, dolinina natal'ya grigor'ev na (1928–1980), was a Russian writer. Her long story "Otets" ("Father," 1974) is devoted to the fate of her father.

[Mark Kipnis /

The Shorter Jewish Encylopaedia in Russian]

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