DOBROLYUBOV, do-brifi-Iyoo'bov, or Nikolai Alexandrovich, Rus sian critic: b. Nizhni Novgorod, 24 Nov. 1836; d. 1861. At the age of three he knew by heart several fables from Krylov's col lections. At school he was considered as an enfant prodige and at home he spent all his time in the library of his father in which were many books on science and art. At the age of 13 he wrote several original poems of considerable merit and translated into Russian verse some of Horace's best poems. Owing partly to the influence of his father (a parish priest) and partly to his own inclination to religion he became greatly devoted to the Christian faith and the Orthodox Church, which love he showed by a rough asceticism. During his studies at the University of Petrograd in 1854 Dobrolyubov lost in a rapid succession his parents and a sister. Poverty and sorrow de layed his literary career until 1855, when he abandoned poetry and, aided by Chernyshevski, wrote for Sovremenik several essays in prose which astonished the critics by their manifesta tion of deep erudition. His stories 'Donor' and Wyeletz) ((The had a great success and improved considerably his financial affairs. Having lost all his dear ones, his heart, refined by suffering, became (1858) an easy prey to the eyes of a beautiful, chaste but extremely carelessly educated girl with whom he lived for some time, but from whom he had to separate on account of her vulgarity. However,
he never forgot the good in that woman and under great strain he sent her at regular inter vals pecuniary aid until her death. After this he had several other unfortunate love affairs which convinced him that his peace lay only in literature, and, indeed, until 1860 he was ex tremely busy writing criticisms on novels, plays, stories, etc., for the leading periodicals of the capital. All his brilliant criticism carries the seal of the spirit of the sixties in Russian litera ture which was then in a transient state from Hegel's metaphysics to the realism of the Eng lish and French philosophers, from mystic dual ism to plain monism and utilitarianism. His critical studies, 'The Dark Czardom,' 'Spark of Light in the Dark Czardom,' 'When will the To-Day come?' etc., exhibit a powerful realism, deny the theory of nationalism in literature and contain a deep and universal analysis of the most essential sides of the Russian life.