Keywords: autobiographical genre, N. A. Leykin, diaries, memoirs, personal archive, manuscripts.
For citation:

Smirnova, M. A. “Autobiographical Heritage and the Fate of the Personal Archive of the Russian Comic Writer Nikolai Alexandrovich Leykin.” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 3, no. 3, 2021, pp. 160–171. (In English.) 

Author: Maria A. Smirnova
Information about the author:

Maria A. Smirnova, PhD in Historical Sciences, National Library of Russia, Sadovaya 18, 191069; Saint Petersburg Institute of History of Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodskaya 7, 197110 St. Petersburg, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Received: April 29, 2021
Approved after reviewing: June 14, 2021
Published: September 30, 2021
Issue: 2021 Volume 3 No. 3
Department: Textual Criticism
Pages: 160-171
UDK: 821.161.1.0

Acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation according to the research project number 21-78-00072.

Abstract: The article is devoted to a review of autobiographical works and the personal archive of the Russian humorous writer Nikolai Aleksandrovich Leykin. His figure traditionally attracted the attention of literary critics in connection with the work of A. P. Chekhov, whose early stories appeared in the journal Oskolki published by Leykin. At the same time, the humorist’s extensive and interesting autobiographical legacy has hardly been studied and fully published. The article provides an overview of the currently known handwritten and published autobiographical works of N. A. Leykin: memoirs, notes and diaries. A separate issue is the fate of the writer’s personal archive and the characteristics of his materials in the archives of Russia. In the cataclysms of the first half of the 20th century Leykin’s archive was dispersed and divided into three parts. By a lucky coincidence, many documents survived and entered the state archives, but some diaries and handwritten memoirs have not yet been found. The study of the extant volumes of the diaries allows us to speak about their uniqueness. In addition to being important for the scientific community, the diaries will be of interest to a wide range of readers, as they recreate the picture of the life of Russian society on the eve of cardinal changes.


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