Ostolopov, Nikolaj Fedorovic: An unrecognized literary life
The life and works of Nikolaj Fedorovic Ostolopov have for the most part been ignored or forgotten by scholars in the field of Russian letters, due in large part to the derision he suffered at the hands of critics of subsequent generations. The only recognition that Ostolopov receives today are the short entries in large reference works, briefly listing his accomplishments and major publications. The present study seeks to piece together with the sources available the life of Ostolopov and his significance to the development of Russian letters. Although it can be safely said that Ostolopov does not belong to the first rank of Russian poets and writers, he does merit far wider recognition by scholars than he has hitherto enjoyed. A recognized literary translator he was responsible for bringing to Russia The Misfortune of Tasso, an all-European literary "best seller" of the day. Furthermore, he left a great resource to posterity for the study of the writings of Derzavin. Unfortunately, his most significant contribution to Russian letters, The Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Poetry, has fallen into obscurity, despite the fact that it is the first example of such a work in the Russian language.