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Alexander Pushkin

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, b. June 6 (N.S.), 1799, d. Feb. 10 (N.S.), 1837, was Russia's greatest poet. His use of the vernacular as the language of poetry freed Russian writing from the constraints of tradition and set new literary standards for novelists and poets, and his preference for subjects from history and folklore brought fresh vitality to Russian literature.