Nestor Aleksandrovich Kotlyarevsky (1863 - 1925)

Nestor Aleksandrovich Kotlyarevsky was born on January 21, 1863. He got educated at the Kiev College named after Pavel Galagan, and also at the historic and philological faculty of the Moscow University. The choice of faculty has taken place against the wish of Nestor Aleksandrovich, which only has conceded in it to the insistings of his father's desiring to see him as his heir in Slavic studies, as for Nestor Aleksandrovich, he aspired to devote himself to natural sciences and dreamed of the large scientific expeditions; the propensity to natural sciences did not disappear with years, and Nestor Aleksandrovich's close friends remembered of his collections of butterflies, bugs, bird's jacks with eggs of different breeds of birds, etc. - partly purchased, and partly gathered by himself different times; in the last foreign trip in summer 1924, when living in a summer residence in mountains of Bulgaria, he was engaged in usual collecting along with the current scientific work.

Once having conceded the insistings of his father in the choice of a faculty, Nestor Aleksandrovich took his own way further on, feeling that Slavic studies were not in his line. However, he paid debt to the memory of his father by presenting in his forth year a work about "Dosithey Obradovich" to Professor A. L. Duvernoix, which was awarded with a large silver medal, but cost serious efforts to Nestor Aleksandrovich, as his scholar interest inclined to another field at that time, - with this he finished his Slavic research. A year before, in his third year of studies, Nestor Aleksandrovich presented to Professor A. L. Duvernoix an essay on a topic set by the faculty: "Christian apocryphal stories of the 2nd century as a historic source", which brought him a Gold medal; and later having switched to the works with N. I. Starozhenko and finally having ratified in history of literature occupations, at first — General, then — Russian, he wrote a large sketch «About love poetry of the Middle Ages», which served as a foreword to his own translation of «Vita nuova» by Dante. Both the sketch and the translation remained unpublished despite a very good review made by Starozhenko. Nestor Aleksandrovich debuted in print with another work, which was a translation too: Е. Laveley's work: «Formation of national epics and the origin of "The Song about Nibellungs"» (1884), this translation was preceded with a foreword, modestly signed by the initials N. K.

If, being at the Collegium, Nestor Aleksandrovich didn't manage to organize more or less close companionable circle, — at the University he succeeded in this: a group of talented young people (from which we shall name at least V. P. Preobrazhensky, Ia. L. Barskov, S. G. Rachinsky, M. N. Rozanov soon gathered around him), united by the common interest to science and love to art, verbal especially. Meeting mainly at the apartment of Nestor Aleksandrovich for hot disputes and discussion of life questions, and those of science and art, this small group of the students was rallied little by little in a close companionable circle, about which — directly or indirectly — Nestor Aleksandrovich recollected many times not only in oral stories about his studentship, but also in publishing in the cases, suitable to that; the conversations in this circle have given him material for his unpublished poem «Hefsimania» (1886), extremely characteristic both for the young Nestor Aleksandrovich and for the Nestor Aleksandrovich as he was known later, and also for his printed brochure «The Poetry of grief and fury», in which one can meet echoes of these conversations and this poem. <…>

 

Taken from:

E. Kazanovich. In the Memory of N. A. Kotlyarevsky (Pamiati N. A. Kotlyarevskogo). Leningrad, 1926.