-> ''The unusual thing about Russia is that it reached cultural maturity in the nineteenth century. Russia didnít have the Middle Ages of [[Literature/TheDivineComedy Dante]] and [[Creatory/GeoffreyChaucer Chaucer]], [[UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance the Renaissance]] of the Italians, or [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare the Elizabethan age of the British]]. They werenít even sure what language to write in. [[OurFounder Pushkin more or less created the Russian literary language]], and [[NewerThanTheyThink Pushkin was born in 1799]]. They were doing for the first time what other cultures had been doing for hundreds of years.''
-->-- '''Richard Pevear'''

Pushkin, full name '''Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin''' (in Cyrillic, Алекcа́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкин), was a famous UsefulNotes/{{Russia}}n author. Born 1799, died 1837, continuing the long held tradition of literary geniuses everywhere of dying before their fortieth birthday. Revered and studied throughout his home country, his works are held so highly he's often noted as "the Russian Creator/{{Shakespeare}}".[[note]] Within Russian literature, his position is perhaps that of Shakespeare ''plus'' Creator/GeoffreyChaucer - poets who wrote before him are basically not important enough to matter. His body of work is as revered and studied in Russia as Shakespeare's is in the English-speaking world.[[/note]]

Much like Shakespeare, he was so [[BadassBookworm badass]] at writing he actually changed the shape of the Russian language, by basically [[IndyPloy making up words]] to fill lexical gaps in Russian, and writing in ways that previously hadn't been even considered in Russia. Without him, we probably wouldn't have Creator/LeoTolstoy, Creator/FyodorDostoevsky, or Creator/VladimirNabokov.

It may be correct to call Pushkin the Russian Creator/LordByron, as this is the role he aspired to. However, his work is immensely more than "Byronic hero meets Slavic gentleman of leisure." Among the genres Pushkin pioneered in Russian culture are: fantasy (or, rather, romanticized FairyTale), [[HistoricalFiction historical novel]], realistic [[{{Theatre}} drama]]. Several extremely [[BawdySong indecent]] poems are attributed to him; an argument for authenticity is his talent for the obscene known by his classmates.

Probably most famous outside Russia for his [[NarrativePoem novel-in-verse]] ''Eugene Onegin'', and his play ''Boris Godunov''.

Pushkin's personality is a subject of never-ending [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism discussion]]. Over time, his public image has shifted from [[LoveableRogue talented rascal]] to [[HonorBeforeReason noble victim of evil machinations]] to [[IncorruptiblePurePureness perfect manifestation of Russian soul]] to the more "realistic" [[GentlemanSnarker morally weak]] person and an extremely talented poet.

Pushkin is probably the most notable African-Russian: his great-grandfather, Abram Petrovich Gannibal, was an Ethiopian prince from present-day Eritrea, a former slave adopted as a godson by Peter the Great. Gannibal later became a general and married into Russian nobility, and is often credited with having given Imperial Russia its greatest general, having convinced Alexander Suvorov's father to allow him to enter the military.

Pushkin was a [[EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether classmate]] of many notable characters of his generation, including future participants of the Decemberist rebellion of 1825. He was also a friend of several older military officers. His school nickname was "Frenchman", a reflection of his very confused cultural affiliation. As a young aristocratic man, he held a number of civil service positions and performed miserably in every one, to the point of open mockery of public good. As a poet and writer, however, he managed to carve himself a professional field that did not previously exist in Russia. Before Pushkin (and a few contemporaries), poetry was either an aristocratic hobby, or a part of formal ceremonies. His writings alone managed to move written Russian from templates of Latin and classical German with their heavy and lengthy way of expression, to lively and flexible language to rival French and Spanish. He managed to introduce the previously scorned folk motives and humor, and to show patriotism without the obligatory worship of the state and royal family.

Pushkin did not participate in major political events of his time - he was either carefully kept out of seditious talk by his friends, or was thought to be too irresponsible and fragile to be trusted with secrets. The fact that due to the perceived seditiousness of his writings he was one of the people the government watched most closely did not exactly help. In 1820 he was told to leave the capital and forced to a kind of glorified exile first in the Caucasus, then in Odessa, and finally on his family estate at Mihailovskoe near Pskov. He was only allowed to return after the Decembrist rising had been put down, one important condition being that he would submit anything he wanted to publish in future to Czar Nicholas I beforehand for personal censorship. He married a very attractive woman, participated in social life and entertainments far above his income level, and left thousands of rubles of debt after his death (later to be paid by the imperial family he despised). Seriously obsessed with duels, he met his death in one, shot by one Georges Danthes. The formal reason was husband's jealousy: Danthes was rumored to be involved with Pushkin's wife. Probably not true and not relevant, since the lady in question was suspected of having affairs before, just not with the people Pushkin could hope to harm and survive the experience. The fact that Danthes (another [[AmbiguouslyGay sensitive]] young aristocrat living above his means and largely useless in civil service) was Pushkin's usual target for insults and harassment probably had more to do with it.

Thousands showed up for Pushkin's funeral; doubting that Pushkin was anything but the most prominent and perfect Russian became a crime in academic circles until maybe 1980s. His image was used to rally the Russian nation multiple times, most recently in 1999 where many social and political advertisements on television included a count-down to his 200th birthday.

!!Pushkin's works that have their own page:
* ''Literature/EugeneOnegin''
* ''Literature/TheQueenOfSpades''
* ''Literature/TheCaptainsDaughter''

!!Tropes concerning the man and the work include:

* AllJustADream: ''The Undertaker''
* AntiVillain: Boris Godunov. He is a regicide who murdered Dmitry Ivanovich, and he attains the throne of Russia. However, he sincerely wishes to be a good ruler and is hounded by guilt.
* AmoralAttorney: Shabashkin from ''Dubrovsky''.
* BeardOfEvil: Chernomor, BigBad in ''Ruslan and Ludmila'' can be the Most Triumphant Example.
* BigBad: Chernomor in ''Ruslan and Ludmila'', Troekurov in ''Dubrovsky''.
* BlatantLies: At the end of ''Boris Godunov'' Mosalskiy with the soldiers enters Godunov's house. Then the sound of fighting and woman's scream are heard. Then Mosalskiy returns and proclaims to the crowd that Godunov's widow and son poisoned themselves before his visit...
* {{Bowdlerise}}: ''The Bronze Horseman'' is perhaps the most egregious example, only being published in its intended complete form in the early 20th century. Most notably, Yevgeni's remonstrations against Peter were cut and the descriptor "idol" (in the sense of "false god") was replaced by "giant" in all 19th century editions.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Narrator in ''Eugene Onegin'' does this constantly.
* ByronicHero: Like many Romantic poets of his time, Pushkin was deeply influenced by Byron in his earlier works, and many of his lyrical and narrative poems contain Byronic imagery. Later, he playfully lampshaded, parodied and deconstructed the concept in ''Eugene Onegin'', and never looked back.
* CargoEnvy: He has a short poem dedicated to a tobacco sniffing girl. In the end, he states he wishes to be that tobacco, for her to spill a bit over herself.
* CharacterTitle: ''Boris Godunov'', ''Eugene Onegin'', ''Dubrovsky'', ''Count Nulin'', ''Angelo'' etc.
* CombatBreakdown: Ruslan and Rogdai's duel in ''Ruslan and Lyudmila''.
* DeadpanSnarker: The narrator in ''Eugene Onegin''.
* DownerEnding: ''The Bronze Horseman''. And ''The Little Tragedies'' called "tragedies" for a reason.
* DressHitsFloor: In ''Ruslan and Ludmila''.
* DrivenToMadness: Protagonists in [[spoiler: ''The Queen of Spades'']] and [[spoiler: ''The Bronze Horseman'']].
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Lampshaded and averted in ''Ruslan and Ludmila''.
* DuelToTheDeath: Dueling comes up in the story ''The Shot'' as well as ''Eugene Onegin'', among other works. As it turned out, Pushkin himself won 28 duels, and was killed in his 29th duel. This [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT4Dl60_iag documentary]] (the title translates to ''A. Pushkin: The 29th Duel'') explores Pushkin's fascination with duels and also analyses some of his own duels.
* GermanRussians: Hermann in ''The Queen of Spades''; potentially Lensky in ''Eugene Onegin'', who is described as a "half-Russian" who spent some years studying in Germany.
* GreedyJew: Moneylender from ''The Miserly Knight''.
* GroinAttack: That's how Archangel Gabriel defeats Satan in ''The Gabrieliad''.
* HappilyEverAfter: In the ''Ruslan and Ludmila'' even the BigBad lives happily ever after.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: He was born into the poorer branch of his [[TheClan clan]], and struggled with debts and lack of money his whole life, exacerbated by his books (essentially his sole income) being pirated right and left, and having a gambling problem almost as large as [[Creator/FyodorDostoevsky Dostoevsky]] to boot.
* KarmicTwistEnding: The ending of ''The Queen of Spades''.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: Pushkin developed a taste for this trope in his later work, as evidenced by ''Belkin's Novellas'', ''The Captain's Daughter'', and the unfinished ''History of the Village of Goryukhino''.
* LivingStatue: ''The Stone Guest'' is based on the legend of Don Juan and El Comendador. Also, ''The Bronze Horseman''
* LostInTranslation: Due to the complexity of Pushkin's words, translations can widely vary in quality, and a lot of his work isn't widely available to non-Russian speakers.
* MadnessMantra: From ''The Queen of Spades'': "Tray, seven, ace! Tray, seven -- queen!"
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: ''The Queen of Spades''. Did the magic formula really work? Did it ever exist in the first place?
* TheMusical: A surprising number of Pushkin's stories, plays, and poems have operatic equivalents. These operas include (deep breath) ''Eugene Onegin'', ''Boris Godunov'', ''Ruslan and Ludmila'' (the first Russian opera), ''Tale of Tsar Saltan'', ''The Captain's Daughter'', ''Aleko'' (based on ''The Gypsies''), ''Rusalka'', ''The Miserly Knight'', ''The Queen of Spades'', ''The Stone Guest'', ''Mazeppa'', and ''Dubrovsky''. That's not even mentioning the ballet versions.
* OnlySaneMan: The Priest in the ''Feast in Time of Plague'', the Duke in ''The Miserly Knight''.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: averted with Chernomor. ''"Karla"'' was the standard Russian word for a fantasy dwarf before there was Tolkien. Chernomor is a wizard (a very non-standard class for a dwarf) as well as evil (a quite non-standard alignment for a dwarf).
* PerpetualPoverty: Being born into the ImpoverishedPatrician branch of the huge and ancient Pushkin clan, and having proven himself spectacularly useless in the civil service (he didn't even attempted to join the military, unlike his AdrenalineJunkie [[ViolentGlaswegian younger contemporary]] Creator/MikhailLermontov), Pushkin had to make his living through his literary work, making him essentially the first professional literator in Russian history. Unfortunately, this paid much less than he was expected to spend as a scion of one of the most ancient noble houses in Russia, not to mention his huge gambling habit, so he was haunted by this trope for the his whole life. Later in life, when he was given a [[OneHourWorkWeek sinecure court position]] by the Tsar,[[note]]With whom he always had [[WithFriendsLikeThese a sort of the love-hate relationship]] ó the position itself was actually a sorta EnsignNewbie billet, and was percaived as an insult on the dignity of a almost-forty family man by many, as an example.[[/note]] his situation improved, but he still made mounds of debts (which were paid by the Tsar again).
* RebelLeader: Pugachev in ''The Captain's Daughter''
* SceneryGorn: Flood-devastated Saint Petersburg in ''The Bronze Horseman''.
* TheScrooge: The eponymous character in ''The Miserly Knight''.
* SelfDeprecation: In the narrative poem ''Little House in Kolomna'' Pushkin ironically calling out himself for using an ExcusePlot.
* ShownTheirWork: Depiction of the Pugachev's rebellion in ''The Captain's Daughter'' is very historically accurate. Pushkin actually authored a serious scholarly monograph entitled ''The History of Pugachev's Mutiny'' parallel to the novel, that is still scientifically relevant and has shown all the hallmarks of the top-notch historian, making his death all the more tragic.
* SpellMyNameWithABlank: Old countess *** in ''The Queen of Spades''.
* StealthParody: ''Ruslan and Liudmila'' (of chivalric romances and narrative poems). ''Eugene Onegin'' (of the ByronicHero).
* StylisticSuck: Lenskiy's poem in ''Eugene Onegin'' is a ClicheStorm.
* ThisIsASong: Half of the narrative poem ''Little House in Colomna'' is not about the narrative, it's about the verse metre used by Pushkin in the very same poem.
* TooManyHalves: He epigrammatically describes one of his contemporaries as "half-milord, half-merchant, half-fool, half-ignoramus, half-scoundrel, but there's a hope he'll finally be full."
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Pushkin wrote a short play called ''Mozart and Salieri'' loosely based off of the life of the two composers. This was [[RippedFromTheHeadlines sparked off by news reports at the time]] that Salieri had confessed to murdering Mozart on his deathbed. This did much to promote the (false) notion that Mozart and Salieri were lifelong rivals and enemies (as repeated much later in the play and film ''Theatre/{{Amadeus}}'').
* VillainProtagonist: Salieri in ''Mozart and Salieri'', Hermann in ''The Queen of Spades'', possibly Boris Godunov.
* WeirdAlEffect: ''Ruslan and Ludmila'' contain large parts referencing to and parodying Vasiliy Zhukovsky's ballad "The Twelve Sleeping Maidens" (Zhukovsky, apparently, loved the parody). One guess which is better known today.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Tatiana initially sees life as a romantic novel and Onegin as ByronicHero.