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Karolina Karlovna Pavlova (Russian: Кароли́на Ка́рловна Па́влова) (22 July 1807 – 14 December 1893) was a 19th-century Russian poet and novelist who stood out from other writers on account of her unique appreciation of exceptional rhymes and imagery.
|Born||July 22, 1807|
Yaroslavl, Russian Empire
|Died||December 14, 1893 (aged 86)|
|Occupation||Poet & writer|
Karolina Karlovna Pavlova (née Jänisch) was born in Yaroslavl. Her father was a German professor of physics and chemistry at the School of Medicine and Surgery in Moscow. Pavlova was homeschooled. Her Polish tutor, poet Adam Mickiewicz (and consequently her first love), was "stunned by her literary talents." She was married in 1837 to Nikolai Filippovich Pavlov, who admitted he married her for her money. Pavlova had a son, Ippolit. For years they ran a brilliant literary salon in Moscow, that was visited by both Westernizers and Slavophiles. Pavlova's husband gambled her inheritance away and began living with her younger cousin in another household he had set up. In 1853 Karolina's and Nikolai's marriage ended. She went to Saint Petersburg, where her father had just died in a cholera outbreak. From there she went to Dorpat (now Tartu, Estonia) to live with her mother and son. There she met Boris Utin, the "profoundest love of her life." In January 1854, Pavlova's son went back to live with his father in Moscow and go to the university there.
Pavlova settled in Dresden, Germany in 1858. Aleksey Tolstoy visited Karolina, who was not only a poet but also a translator among Russian, French and German, in Dresden, and she translated his poetry and plays into German. He in turn secured a pension for her from the Russian government and corresponded warmly and solicitously with her until his death in 1875. Pavlova died in Dresden in 1893.
Although Pavlova's poetry was ill accepted by her contemporaries, it was rediscovered in the 1900s by symbolists. Valery Bryusov combined Pavlova's work into two volumes which he published in 1915. Karolina Pavlova was called the "master of Russian verse" by Andrei Bely, who placed her in the same category as Zhukovsky, Baratynsky, and Fet.
The Sphinx, written in 1831, was Karolina's first poem in Russian. Some of her other works include: A Conversation at Trianon (1848), A Conversation at the Kremlin(1854), and the elegy Life Calls Us (1846).
In nineteenth century Russia, the astounding literature being produced "equalled that written at any place at any time in history." Aleksandr Pushkin (1799–1837), Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841), Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), and Lev Tolstoi (1828–1910) were prominent Russian writers, who with their great literary achievements, helped make the nineteenth century the "Golden Age of the Russian novel". But nowhere in their midst does one see a woman author. Where are the great woman authors of Russia to rival George Eliot or Jane Austen? The answer can be found in Pavlova.
Although she was an exceptional poet who helped Russian poetry transcend national borders with her translations, Karolina Pavlovna was a woman-poet living in a man's world. "Being a woman was perceived as grotesque in a female" Even when they admired her poetry her literary friends composed condescending memoirs, articles or private letters condemning Pavlova. Her poetry was heavily criticized in The Contemporary, and she was forced to leave her native country because of the overwhelming, negative criticism of her poetry. In a letter written in response to the criticism, Pavlova explains that "a woman-poet always remains more woman than poet and authorial egotism in her is weaker than female egotism..." Perhaps here is the answer to why Karolina Pavlova is not as esteemed and well known as her male contemporaries, and why one of Russia's extraordinary female poets died forgotten.
A Double LifeEdit
Karolina Pavlova finished her only novel, A Double Life [in Russian : Двойная жизнь] in 1848. It is a ten-chapter novel that combines mixed genre of prose and poetry to illustrate the duality of women and of members of high society. The heroine of the novel is Cecily von Lindenborn. While Cecily has an undeniable, secret yearning for poetry, women poets were "always presented to her as the most pitiable, abnormal state, as a disastrous and dangerous illness." The poetry is symbolic of the inner world of Cecily. Just like most of the other Russian novels of her time, Pavlova's novel is situated in the aristocratic world. Cecily, a member of this aristocratic world, has been so carefully brought up that "she could never commit the slightest peccadillo... could never forget herself for a moment, raise her voice half a tone... enjoy a conversation with a man to the point where she might talk to him ten minutes longer than was proper, or look to the right when she was supposed to look to the left..."  This carefully brought up young girl is lured into a respectable yet meaningless life of a woman of high society and into marriage by the people that are most near and dear to her. Yet, her dreams, which come to her in the form of poems, have warned her.
- Terras, 1985, p. 128.
- Katharina M. Wilson, ed. (1991). An Encyclopedia of continental women writers, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-8240-8547-6.
- Heldt, 1978
- Peace, 1992, p. 235
- Terras, 1991, p. 225–226
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life." A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978.
- Peace, Richard. "The nineteenth century: the natural school and its aftermath, 1840 55". The Cambridge History of Russian Literature, ed. Charles A. Moser.New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.p.235
- Victor Terras, ed. Handbook of Russian Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 1985. p. 303.
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978.p.10
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978. p.12
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978.p.15
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978.pp.9,20
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978. p. 21
- Heldt, Barbara. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life."A Double Life. Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978. p.27
- Pavlova, Karolina. A Double Life.Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978. p. 60
- Pavlova, Karolina. A Double Life.Oakland: Barbary Coast Books, 1978. p. 59
- Heldt, Barbara. 1978. "Karolina Pavlova: The woman Poet and the Double Life." Oakland: Barbary Coast Books.
- Peace, Richard. 1992. "The nineteenth century: the natural school and its aftermath, 1840–55". The Cambridge History of Russian Literature, ed. Charles A. Moser. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Terras, Victor, ed. 1985. Handbook of Russian Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Terras, Victor. 1991. A History of Russian Literature. Castleton, N.Y.: Hamilton Printing Co. p. 225-226
- Susanne Fusso, Alexander Lehrman, eds. (2001). Essays on Karolina Pavlova. Northwestern University Press. ISBN 978-0-8101-1544-6.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- Diana Greene (2004). "Karolina Pavlova". Reinventing romantic poetry: Russian women poets of the mid-nineteenth century. Univ of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-19104-7.