УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2020 №18

Author: Alexei Yu. Balakin
About the author:

Alexei Yu. Balakin, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Russian Literature (The Pushkin House) of Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova emb. 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.

E-mail: balakin@


The article examines I.A. Goncharov’s letters to his sister Anna Alexandrovna (married name Muzalevskaya) and investigates the episode of her family's bankruptcy as a result of the Muzalevskys' transferring most of their money to their fellow countryman, “a certain Alayev,” who turned out to be a swindler. Previously, this person was known only by his last name, and the bankruptcy episode was not covered. The author draws on Address-calendars, Commemorative Books of the Simbirsk Governorate and other reference publications, archival documents, on the basis of which he reconstructs the biography of Semyon Alaev and details the history of his fraudulent actions. The facts introduced into scientific circulation will undoubtedly be in demand by commentators of both Goncharov's correspondence and memoirs about him.

Keywords: I.A. Goncharov; the writer’s correspondence; academic commentary; family property relations; biographies of Russian writers of the 19th century.
For citation:

Balakin, A.Yu “ʽVillain Alayev’ (From Comments to I.A. Goncharov’s Correspondence).” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 4 (18), 2020, pp. 300–311. (In Russ.)

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