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Aksakov Museum, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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Housed in the column-adorned 18th century Empire style building, where the Aksakov family lived from 1848, the museum contains much of the house's original decorations and furnishings, alongside exhibitions and memorabilia recounting the life and works of the writer and literary critic Sergey Aksakov. Born in 1791 in Ufa in the Volga Region, Aksakov was brought up in a strongly patriarchal, land-owning family and attended school and university in nearby Kazan.

After a brief stint as a translator in the civil service and serving in the militia in the struggle against Napoleon in 1812, Aksakov retired to his newly inherited country estate for a decade. In the 1830s he returned to Moscow, became literary censor, inspector and later director of the college of land surveying and tried his hand at writing. His initial works reflected somewhat outmoded literary tastes and included uninspiring verse and articles on the theater. However, his later prose works were inspired by his love of rural Russia in the days of serfdom and by his good friend the novelist Nikolai Gogol, who suggested he retell the story of his family, their estate and his own childhood in the provinces. The resulting three books "The Family Chronicle", "Reminiscences" and "The Childhood Years of Grandson Bagrov" have become classics of the Russian Realist genre. Written in simple, unaffected prose, their interest lies in the illusion and intimacy created by the author's vivid remembrances of his and his ancestors' past. These works, blending personal reminiscence with the techniques of the novelist, brought Aksakov fame and ensured him a place in Russia's literary heritage. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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