Chukovsky, Kornei Ivanovich (ЧУКОВСКИЙ, КОРНЕЙ ИВАНОВИЧ) (1882–1969) By Baer, Brian James
Born Nikolai Vasil’evich Korneichukov, Chukovsky was a renowned writer, critic, and translator. He was born in St. Petersburg but moved to Odessa at the age of three. Chukovsky established a reputation as a journalist, literary critic, and translator prior to the Bolshevik Revolution, publishing essays in leading journals and founding his own satirical journal Signal (1905–1906). He experienced periodic persecution by the government both before and after the Revolution. Extremely prolific with wide-ranging literary tastes, Chukovsky published several collections of critical essays on the leading writers of the Silver Age. He studied the work of Anton Chekhov and Nikolai Nekrasov throughout his life. In 1962 he received the State Lenin Prize for The Mastery of Nekrasov [Masterstvo Nekrasova] (1953). Chukovsky served as the London correspondent for the Odessa Times (1903–1904) and later translated the works of Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde, among many other English and American writers. In 1918 he was named head of the English section of World Literature Publishers, where he formulated general guidelines for literary translators, later published as The Art of Translation [Iskusstvo perevoda] (1936), and then as A High Art [Vyssokoe Iskusstvo] (1941). He became a popular writer of children’s literature, authoring a number of now-classic works, as well as writing a book on children’s speech and another on the Russian language. Chukovsky was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University in 1962.