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|Born||March 3 [ O.S. February 19] 1899|
Elizavetgrad, Russian Empire
|Died||May 10, 1960 61) (aged|
|Resting place||Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow|
|Genre||Fiction, drama, poetry|
|Notable works|| Envy |
Three Fat Men
Yury Karlovich Olesha (Russian : Ю́рий Ка́рлович Оле́ша, March 3 [ O.S. February 19] 1899 – May 10, 1960) was a Russian and Soviet novelist. He is considered one of the greatest Russian novelists of the 20th century, one of the few to have succeeded in writing works of lasting artistic value despite the stifling censorship of the era. His works are delicate balancing acts that superficially send pro-Communist messages but reveal far greater subtlety and richness upon a deeper reading. Sometimes, he is grouped with his friends Ilf and Petrov, Isaac Babel, and Sigismund Krzhizhanovsky into the Odessa School of Writers.
Yuri Olesha was born on March 3 [ O.S. February 19] 1899 to Catholic parents of Polish descent in Elizavetgrad (now Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine). Olesha's father, Karl Antonovich, was an impoverished landowner who later became a government inspector of alcohol and developed a proclivity for drinking and gambling. In 1902 Olesha and his family settled in Odessa, where Yuri would eventually meet many of his fellow writers such as Isaac Babel, Ilya Ilf, and Valentin Kataev, and ultimately maintain a lifelong friendship with the latter. As a student, Yuri demonstrated a knack for science but favored literature above his other subjects and began writing during the year before his graduation cum laude from high school. In 1917 Olesha entered law school but postponed his studies two years later to volunteer for the Red Army during the Civil War; during this time, Olesha began producing propaganda for the revolution.
Olesha's writing career began while he was involved with the literary group of young writers in Odessa called "The Green Lamp," which included not only Kataev and Olesha, but such influential writers as Eduard Bagritski and Dmitry Merezhkovsky. Olesha continued to produce propaganda materials for the revolution in Odessa and then in Kharkov, where he relocated in 1921. In 1922, Olesha published his first short story, "Angel," and moved to Moscow the same year to work at a popular railway worker's periodical called The Whistle. Here Olesha began writing featured satirical poetry under the pseudonym "Зубило" ("The Chisel"), eventually publishing two collections of poems in 1924 and 1927 before turning to prose writing and drama.
Olesha's literary debut would also become one of his most popular works: the novel Envy, which he published in 1927, follows five leading characters. Largely regarded as his greatest work, the novel thematically contrasts the old and new order, as well as individualism and collectivism, in Soviet Russia. During this period Olesha published another popular success: the fairy tale The Three Fat Men which he wrote in 1924 but did not publish until the year after his initial literary success. Olesha also wrote several short stories in the 1920s and 1930s, the most prominent of which are "Liompa" (1928), "The Cherry Stone" (1929), and "Natasha" (1936). In addition to prose fiction, Olesha also wrote for the stage, not only adapting his novel Envy for the theater in 1929 under the title Conspiracy of Feelings, but also writing an original play called A List of Assets in 1931 and dramatizing Dostoevsky's novel The Idiot later in life. In the 1930s and 1940s Olesha found it increasingly difficult to publish his work as a result of stringent Stalinist censorship. The 1936 film A Severe Young Man from Olesha's script was suppressed until the 1970s. Despite continuing to write and edit, Olesha's career was stunted by his political environment, and on May 10, 1960, the author died of heart failure.
Odessa or Odesa is the third most populous city of Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transport hub located in the south-west of the country, on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The city is also the administrative center of the Odessa Raion and Odessa Oblast, as well a multiethnic cultural center. Odessa is sometimes called the "pearl of the Black Sea", the "South Capital", "The Humor Capital" and "Southern Palmyra".
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia and its émigrés and to Russian-language literature. The roots of Russian literature can be traced to the Middle Ages, when epics and chronicles in Old East Slavic were composed. By the Age of Enlightenment, literature had grown in importance, and from the early 1830s, Russian literature underwent an astounding golden age in poetry, prose and drama. Romanticism permitted a flowering of poetic talent: Vasily Zhukovsky and later his protégé Alexander Pushkin came to the fore. Prose was flourishing as well. Mikhail Lermontov was one of the most important poets and novelists. The first great Russian novelist was Nikolai Gogol. Then came Ivan Turgenev, who mastered both short stories and novels. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy soon became internationally renowned. Other important figures of Russian realism were Ivan Goncharov, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin and Nikolai Leskov. In the second half of the century Anton Chekhov excelled in short stories and became a leading dramatist. The beginning of the 20th century ranks as the Silver Age of Russian poetry. The poets most often associated with the "Silver Age" are Konstantin Balmont, Valery Bryusov, Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov, Sergei Yesenin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Marina Tsvetaeva. This era produced some first-rate novelists and short-story writers, such as Aleksandr Kuprin, Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin, Leonid Andreyev, Fyodor Sologub, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Alexander Belyaev, Andrei Bely and Maxim Gorky.
Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin was the first Russian writer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was noted for the strict artistry with which he carried on the classical Russian traditions in the writing of prose and poetry. The texture of his poems and stories, sometimes referred to as "Bunin brocade", is considered to be one of the richest in the language.
Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel was a Russian writer, journalist, playwright, and literary translator. He is best known as the author of Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories—stories from the life of Jewish gangsters from Odessa led by Benya Krik. He has been acclaimed as "the greatest prose writer of Russian Jewry". Babel was arrested by the NKVD on 15 May 1939 on fabricated charges of terrorism and espionage, and executed on 27 January 1940.
Ostap Bender is a fictional con man and the central antiheroic protagonist in the novels The Twelve Chairs (1928) and The Little Golden Calf (1931) written by Soviet authors Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov. The novels are examples of a picaresque novel genre, which was previously rare in Russian literature.
Ilya Ilf, pseudonym of Iehiel-Leyb Arnoldovich Faynzilberg, was a popular Soviet journalist and writer of Jewish origin who usually worked in collaboration with Yevgeni Petrov during the 1920s and 1930s. Their duo was known simply as Ilf and Petrov. Together they published two popular comedy novels The Twelve Chairs (1928) and The Little Golden Calf (1931), as well as a satirical book Odnoetazhnaya Amerika that documented their journey through the United States between 1935 and 1936.
Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov were two Soviet prose authors of the 1920s and 1930s. They did much of their writing together, and are almost always referred to as "Ilf and Petrov". They were natives of Odessa.
Konstantin Georgiyevich Paustovsky was a Russian Soviet writer nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature in 1965.
Envy is a novel published in 1927 by Yury Olesha. It is remarkable for its poetic style, undulating modes of transition between the scenes, innovative structure, biting satire, and ruthless examination of socialist ideals.
Valentin Petrovich Kataev was a Russian and Soviet novelist and playwright who managed to create penetrating works discussing post-revolutionary social conditions without running afoul of the demands of official Soviet style. Kataev is credited with suggesting the idea for The Twelve Chairs to his brother Yevgeni Petrov and Ilya Ilf. In return, Kataev insisted that the novel be dedicated to him, in all editions and translations. Kataev's relentless imagination, sensitivity, and originality made him one of the most distinguished Soviet writers.
Eduard Georgyevich Bagritsky was an important Russian and Soviet poet of the Constructivist School.
Yury Valentinovich Trifonov was a leading representative of the so-called Soviet "Urban Prose". He was considered a close contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.
Yury Osipovich Dombrovsky was a Russian writer who spent nearly eighteen years in Soviet prison camps and exile.
Engineers of the human soul was a term applied to writers and other cultural workers by Joseph Stalin.
The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute is an institution of higher education in Moscow. It is located at 25 Tverskoy Boulevard in central Moscow.
Yury, Yuri, Youri, Yurii, Yuriy, Yurij, Iurii or Iouri is the Slavic form of the masculine given name George; it is derived directly from the Greek form Georgios and related to Polish Jerzy, Brazilian Portuguese Iury, Spanish and Portuguese Jorge, Dutch Joeri, Czech Jiří, Croatian Juraj and German Jürgen.
Arkadiy Viktorovich Belinkov was a Russian writer and literary critic.
Yury Krymov is the pen name of Soviet novelist Yury Solomonovich Beklemishev. The variants Yuri Krimov and Iurii Krymov are common transliterations.
Disappearance is an unfinished, posthumously-published autobiographical novella of wartime childhood by Soviet writer Yury Trifonov. Trifonov started work on the novel in the 1960s, telling childhood stories against the background of the disappearances of family and friends in the years 1937-1942, during the Second World War, and during Stalin's purges.
Rimgaila Salys is Professor Emerita of Russian Program at the University of Colorado Boulder an expert in 20th century Russian literature, film, and culture. Her research interests include Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, 20th century Russian art and culture, theory and praxis of literary modernism, and Soviet cinematic musical.