Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Анто́н Па́влович Че́хов, IPA: [ʌnˈton ˈpavləvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕɛxəf]) was a Russian short story writer and playwright. He was born in Taganrog, southern Russia, on 29 January [O.S. 17 January] 1860, and died of tuberculosis at the health spa of Badenweiler, Germany, on 15 July [O.S. 2 July] 1904. His playwriting career produced four classics, while his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics.Chekhov practiced as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress".

Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a special challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". Not everyone appreciated that challenge: Leo Tolstoy reportedly told Chekhov, "You know, I cannot abide Shakespeare, but your plays are even worse".

Tolstoy did, however, admire Chekhov's short stories. Chekhov had at first written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. His originality consists in an early use of the stream-of-consciousness technique, later employed by Virginia Woolf and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them.

 Early life

The house in Taganrog, Russia, where Chekhov was bornAnton Chekhov was born on 29 January 1860, the third of six surviving children, in Taganrog, Russia, a port on the Sea of Azov in southern Russia where his father, Pavel Yegorovich Chekhov, the son of a former serf, ran a grocery store. A choirmaster, religious fanatic, and keen flogger of his children, Pavel Chekhov has been seen as the model for his son's many portraits of hypocrites. Chekhov's mother, Yevgeniya, was an excellent storyteller who entertained the children with tales of her travels with her cloth-merchant father all over Russia. "Our talents we got from our father," Chekhov remembered, "but our soul from our mother."

In adulthood, Chekhov was to criticise his brother Alexander's treatment of his wife and children by reminding him of Pavel’s tyranny:

“ Let me ask you to recall that it was despotism and lying that ruined your mother's youth. Despotism and lying so mutilated our childhood that it's sickening and frightening to think about it. Remember the horror and disgust we felt in those times when Father threw a tantrum at dinner over too much salt in the soup and called Mother a fool. ”

The Assumption Cathedral in Taganrog, Russia, where Anton Chekhov was christened on 10 February 1860Chekhov attended a school for Greek boys, followed by the Taganrog gymnasium, now renamed the Chekhov Gymnasium, where he was kept down for a year at fifteen for failing a Greek exam. He sang at the Greek Orthodox monastery in Taganrog and in his father's choirs. In a letter of 1892, he used the word "suffering" to describe his childhood and recalled:

“ When my brothers and I used to stand in the middle of the church and sing the trio "May my prayer be exalted," or "The Archangel's Voice," everyone looked at us with emotion and envied our parents, but we at that moment felt like little convicts. ”

In 1876, disaster struck the family. Chekhov's father was declared bankrupt after over-extending his finances building a new house, and to avoid the debtor's prison fled to Moscow, where his two eldest sons, Alexander and Nikolai, were attending the university. The family lived in poverty in Moscow, Chekhov's mother physically and emotionally broken. Chekhov was left behind to sell the family possessions and finish his education.

Taganrog Gymnasium in the late 19th centuryChekhov remained in Taganrog for three more years, boarding with a man called Selivanov who, like Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard, had bailed out the family for the price of their house. Chekhov had to pay for his own education, which he managed by — among other jobs — private tutoring, catching and selling goldfinches, and selling short sketches to the newspapers.He sent every rouble he could spare to Moscow, along with humorous letters to cheer up the family.During this time he read widely and analytically, including Cervantes, Turgenev, Goncharov, and Schopenhauer;and he wrote a full-length comedy drama, Fatherless, which his brother Alexander dismissed as "an inexcusable though innocent fabrication". Chekhov also enjoyed a series of love affairs, one with the wife of a teacher.

In 1879, Chekhov completed his schooling and joined his family in Moscow, having gained admission to the medical school at Moscow University.

Early writings
Chekhov now assumed responsibility for the whole family.To support them and to pay his tuition fees, he daily wrote short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, many under pseudonyms such as "Antosha Chekhonte" (Антоша Чехонте) and "Man without a Spleen" (Человек без селезенки). His prodigious output gradually earned him a reputation as a satirical chronicler of Russian street life, and by 1882 he was writing for Oskolki (Fragments), owned by Nikolai Leikin, one of the leading publishers of the time. Chekhov's tone at this stage was harsher than that familiar from his mature fiction.

In 1884, Chekhov qualified as a physician, which he considered his principal profession though he made little money from it and treated the poor for free. In 1884 and 1885, Chekhov found himself coughing blood, and in 1886 the attacks worsened; but he would not admit tuberculosis to his family and friends, confessing to Leikin, "I am afraid to submit myself to be sounded by my colleagues." He continued writing for weekly periodicals, earning enough money to move the family into progressively better accommodation. Early in 1886 he was invited to write for one of the most respected papers in Petersburg, Novoye Vremya (New Times), owned and edited by the millionaire magnate Alexey Suvorin, who paid per line a rate double Leikin's and allowed him three times the space.Suvorin was to become a lifelong friend, perhaps Chekhov's closest.

Before long, Chekhov was attracting literary as well as popular attention. The sixty-four-year-old Dmitry Grigorovich, a celebrated Russian writer of the day, wrote to Chekhov after reading his short story The Huntsman, "You have real talent — a talent which places you in the front rank among writers in the new generation". He went on to advise Chekhov to slow down, write less, and concentrate on literary quality.

Chekhov replied that the letter had struck him "like a thunderbolt" and confessed, "I have written my stories the way reporters write up their notes about fires — mechanically, half-consciously, caring nothing about either the reader or myself".The admission may have done Chekhov a disservice, since early manuscripts reveal that he often wrote with extreme care, continually revising. Grigorovich's advice nevertheless inspired a more serious, artistic ambition in the twenty-six-year-old. In 1887, with a little string-pulling by Grigorevich, the short story collection At Dusk (V Sumerkakh) won Chekhov the coveted Pushkin Prize "for the best literary production distinguished by high artistic worth".

Turning points
That year, exhausted from overwork and ill health, Chekhov took a trip to Ukraine which reawakened him to the beauty of the steppe. On his return, he began the novella-length short story The Steppe, "something rather odd and much too original", eventually published in Severny Vestnik (Northern Herald). In a narrative which drifts with the thought processes of the characters, Chekhov evokes a chaise journey across the steppe through the eyes of a young boy sent to live away from home, his companions a priest and a merchant. The Steppe, which has been called a "dictionary of Chekhov's poetics", represented a significant advance for Chekhov, exhibiting much of the quality of his mature fiction and winning him publication in a literary journal rather than a newspaper.

In Autumn 1887, a theatre manager named Korsh commissioned Chekhov to write a play, the result being Ivanov, written in a fortnight and produced that November.Though Chekhov found the experience "sickening", and painted a comic portrait of the chaotic production in a letter to his brother Alexander, the play was a hit, praised, to Chekhov's bemusement, as a work of originality.Mihail Chekhov considered Ivanov a key moment in his brother's intellectual development and literary career.From this period comes an observation of Chekhov's which has become known as "Chekhov's Gun", noted by Ilia Gurliand from a conversation: "If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act."

The death of Chekhov's brother Nikolai from tuberculosis in 1889 influenced A Dreary Story, finished that September, about a man who confronts the end of a life which he realises has been without purpose.Mihail Chekhov, who recorded his brother's depression and restlessness after Nikolai's death, was researching prisons at the time as part of his law studies, and Chekhov, in a search for purpose in his own life, soon became obsessed with the issue of prison reform himself.


Statue of Chekhov in TomskIn 1890, Chekhov undertook an arduous journey by train, horse-drawn carriage, and river steamer to the far east of Russia and the katorga, or penal colony, on Sakhalin Island, north of Japan, where he spent three months interviewing thousands of convicts and settlers for a census. The letters Chekhov wrote during the two-and-a-half month journey to Sakhalin are considered among his best.His remarks to his sister about Tomsk were to become notorious.

“ Tomsk is a very dull town. To judge from the drunkards whose acquaintance I have made, and from the intellectual people who have come to the hotel to pay their respects to me, the inhabitants are very dull too.”

The inhabitants of Tomsk later retaliated by erecting a mocking statue of Chekhov.

What Chekhov witnessed on Sakhalin shocked and angered him, including floggings, embezzlement of supplies, and forced prostitution of women: "There were times," he wrote, when "I felt that I saw before me the extreme limits of man's degradation." He was particularly moved by the plight of the children living in the penal colony with their parents. For example:

The monument to Chekhov in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Sakhalin Island“ On the Amur steamer going to Sahalin, there was a convict with fetters on his legs who had murdered his wife. His daughter, a little girl of six, was with him. I noticed wherever the convict moved the little girl scrambled after him, holding on to his fetters. At night the child slept with the convicts and soldiers all in a heap together. ”

Chekhov later concluded that charity and subscription were not the answer, but that the government had a duty to finance humane treatment of the convicts. His findings were published in 1893 and 1894 as Ostrov Sakhalin (The Island of Sakhalin), a work of social science, not literature, and worthy and informative rather than brilliant.Chekhov found literary expression for the hell of Sakhalin in his long short story The Murder, the last section of which is set on Sakhalin, where the murderer Yakov loads coal in the night, longing for home.

In 1892, Chekhov bought the small country estate of Melikhovo, about forty miles south of Moscow, where he lived until 1899 with his family. "It's nice to be a lord," he joked to Shcheglov;but he took his responsibilities as a landlord seriously and soon made himself useful to the local peasants. As well as organising relief for victims of the famine and cholera outbreaks of 1892, he went on to build three schools, a fire station, and a clinic, and to donate his medical services to peasants for miles around, despite frequent recurrences of his tuberculosis.

Mihail Chekhov, a member of the household at Melikhovo, described the extent of his brother's medical commitments:

“ From the first day that Chekhov moved to Melikhovo the sick began flocking to him from twenty miles around. They came on foot or were brought in carts, and often he was fetched to patients at a distance. Sometimes from early in the morning peasant women and children were standing before his door waiting.”

Chekhov at MelikhovoChekhov’s expenditure on drugs was considerable; but the greatest cost was making journeys of several hours to visit the sick, which reduced his time for writing.Chekhov’s work as a doctor, however, enriched his writing by bringing him into intimate contact with all sections of Russian society: for example, he witnessed at first hand the unhealthy and cramped living conditions of many peasants. In the short story Peasants, he describes a family's sleeping arrangements:

“ They began going to bed. Nikolay, as an invalid, was put on the stove with his old father; Sasha lay down on the floor, while Olga went with the other women into the barn. ”

Chekhov visited the upper classes too, recording in his notebook: "Aristocrats? The same ugly bodies and physical uncleanliness, the same toothless old age and disgusting death, as with market-women."

Chekhov began writing his play The Seagull in 1894, in a lodge he had built in the orchard at Melikhovo. In the two years since moving to the estate, he had refurbished the house, taken up agriculture and horticulture, tended orchard and pond, and planted many trees, which, according to Mihail, he "looked after… as though they were his children. Like Colonel Vershinin in his Three Sisters, as he looked at them he dreamed of what they would be like in three or four hundred years."

The first night of The Seagull on 17 October 1896 at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Petersburg was a fiasco, booed by the audience, and stung Chekhov into renouncing the theatre.But the play so impressed the playwright Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko that he convinced Constantin Stanislavski to direct it for the innovative Moscow Art Theatre in 1898.Stanislavski's attention to psychological realism and ensemble playing coaxed the buried subtleties from the text and restored Chekhov's interest in playwriting. The Art Theatre commissioned more plays from Chekhov and the following year staged Uncle Vanya, which Chekhov had completed in 1896.


Chekhov with Leo Tolstoy at Yalta, 1900In March 1897 Chekhov suffered a major haemorrhage of the lungs while on a visit to Moscow and, with great difficulty, was persuaded to enter a clinic, where the doctors diagnosed tuberculosis on the upper part of his lungs and ordered a change in his manner of life.

After his father's death in 1898, Chekhov bought a plot of land at Alushta, near Yalta, and built a villa there, into which he moved with his mother and sister the following year. Though he planted trees and flowers at Alushta, kept dogs and tame cranes, and received guests such as Leo Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, Chekhov was always relieved to leave his "hot Siberia" for Moscow or travels abroad. He vowed to move to Taganrog as soon as a water supply was installed there.At Alushta he completed two more plays for the Art Theatre, composing with greater difficulty than in the days when he "wrote serenely, the way I eat pancakes now"; he took a year each over Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

On 25 May 1901 Chekhov married Olga Knipper — quietly, owing to his horror of weddings — a former protegée and sometime lover of Nemirovich-Danchenko whom he had first met at rehearsals for The Seagull.[ Up to that point, Chekhov, who has been called "Russia's most elusive literary bachelor",had preferred passing liaisons and visits to brothels over commitment;he had once written to Suvorin:

“ By all means I will be married if you wish it. But on these conditions: everything must be as it has been hitherto — that is, she must live in Moscow while I live in the country, and I will come and see her… give me a wife who, like the moon, won't appear in my sky every day.”

Chekhov and Olga, 1901, on honeymoonThe letter proved prophetic of Chekhov's marital arrangements with Olga: he lived largely at Yalta, she in Moscow, pursuing her acting career. In 1902, Olga suffered a miscarriage; and Donald Rayfield has offered evidence, based on the couple's letters, that conception may have occurred when Chekhov and Olga were apart.The literary legacy of this long-distance marriage is a correspondence which preserves gems of theatre history, including shared complaints about Stanislavski's directing methods and Chekhov's advice to Olga about performing in his plays.

At Yalta, Chekhov wrote one of his most famous stories, The Lady with the Dog (also called Lady with Lapdog),which depicts what at first seems a casual liaison between a married man and a married woman in Yalta. Neither expects anything lasting from the encounter, but they find themselves drawn back to each other, risking the security of their family lives.

At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in Feb. 1904 Chekhov volunteered to be an Army doctor. The Czar, aware of Chekhov's poor health, refused the offer.

By May 1904, Chekhov was terminally ill. "Everyone who saw him secretly thought the end was not far off," Mihail Chekhov recalled, "but the nearer Chekhov was to the end, the less he seemed to realize it." On 3 June he set off with Olga for the German spa town of Badenweiler in the Black Forest, from where he wrote outwardly jovial letters to his sister Masha describing the food and surroundings and assuring her and his mother that he was getting better. In his last letter, he complained about the way the German women dressed.

Chekhov's grave, Novodevichy Cemetery, MoscowChekhov’s death has become one of "the great set pieces of literary history",retold, embroidered, and fictionalised many times since, notably in the short story Errand by Raymond Carver. In 1908, Olga wrote this account of her husband’s last moments:

“ Anton sat up unusually straight and said loudly and clearly (although he knew almost no German): Ich sterbe. The doctor calmed him, took a syringe, gave him an injection of camphor, and ordered champagne. Anton took a full glass, examined it, smiled at me and said: "It's a long time since I drank champagne." He drained it, lay quietly on his left side, and I just had time to run to him and lean across the bed and call to him, but he had stopped breathing and was sleeping peacefully as a child...”

Chekhov’s body was transported to Moscow in a refrigerated railway car for fresh oysters, a detail which offended Gorky.Some of the thousands of mourners followed the funeral procession of a General Keller by mistake, to the accompaniment of a military band. Chekhov was buried next to his father at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

A few months before he died, Chekhov told the writer Ivan Bunin he thought people might go on reading him for seven years. "Why seven?" asked Bunin. "Well, seven and a half," Chekhov replied. "That’s not bad. I’ve got six years to live."

Chekhov with Gorky at YaltaAlways modest, Chekhov could hardly have imagined the extent of his posthumous reputation. The ovations for The Cherry Orchard in the year of his death showed him how high he had risen in the affection of the Russian public — by then he was second in literary celebrity only to Tolstoy, who outlived him by six years — but after his death, Chekhov's fame soon spread further afield. Constance Garnett's translations won him an English-language readership and the admiration of writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Katherine Mansfield, the last arguably to the point of plagiarism.The Russian critic D.S. Mirsky, who lived in England, explained Chekhov's popularity in that country by his "unusually complete rejection of what we may call the heroic values".In Russia itself, Chekhov's drama fell out of fashion after the revolution but was later adapted to the Soviet agenda, with Lophakin, for example, reinvented as a hero of the new order, taking an axe to the cherry orchard.

One of the first non-Russians to praise Chekhov's plays was George Bernard Shaw, who subtitled his Heartbreak House "A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes" and noted similarities between the predicament of the British landed class and that of their Russian counterparts as depicted by Chekhov: "the same nice people, the same utter futility".

In America, Chekhov's reputation began its rise slightly later, partly through the influence of the Stanislavski's 'system', with its notion of subtext. "Chekhov often expressed his thought not in speeches," wrote Stanislavski, "but in pauses or between the lines or in replies consisting of a single word… the characters often feel and think things not expressed in the lines they speak".The Group Theatre, in particular, developed the subtextual approach to drama, influencing generations of American playwrights, screenwriters, and actors, including Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan and, in particular, Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. In turn, Strasberg's Actors Studio and Adler's and their "Method" acting approach influenced many actors, including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, though by then the Chekhov tradition may have been distorted by a preoccupation with realism.[96] In 1981, the playwright Tennessee Williams adapted The Seagull as The Notebook of Trigorin.

Chekhov is now the most popular playwright in the English-speaking world after Shakespeare;but some writers believe his short stories represent the greater achievement. Raymond Carver, who wrote the short story Errand about Chekhov's death, believed Chekhov the greatest of all short-story writers:

“ Chekhov's stories are as wonderful (and necessary) now as when they first appeared. It is not only the immense number of stories he wrote — for few, if any, writers have ever done more — it is the awesome frequency with which he produced masterpieces, stories that shrive us as well as delight and move us, that lay bare our emotions in ways only true art can accomplish.”

Ernest Hemingway, another of Carver's influences, was more grudging, saying: "Chekhov wrote about 6 good stories. But he was an amateur writer".And Vladimir Nabokov once complained of Chekhov's "medley of dreadful prosaisms, ready-made epithets, repetitions".But he also declared The Lady with the Dog "one of the greatest stories ever written" and described Chekhov as writing "the way one person relates to another the most important things in his life, slowly and yet without a break, in a slightly subdued voice."

For the writer William Boyd, Chekhov's breakthrough was to abandon what William Gerhardie called the "event plot" for something more "blurred, interrupted, mauled or otherwise tampered with by life".

Virginia Woolf mused on the unique quality of a Chekhov story in The Common Reader:

“ But is it the end, we ask? We have rather the feeling that we have overrun our signals; or it is as if a tune had stopped short without the expected chords to close it. These stories are inconclusive, we say, and proceed to frame a criticism based upon the assumption that stories ought to conclude in a way that we recognise. In so doing we raise the question of our own fitness as readers. Where the tune is familiar and the end emphatic—lovers united, villains discomfited, intrigues exposed — as it is in most Victorian fiction, we can scarcely go wrong, but where the tune is unfamiliar and the end a note of interrogation or merely the information that they went on talking, as it is in Tchekov, we need a very daring and alert sense of literature to make us hear the tune, and in particular those last notes which complete the harmony. ”


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Ivan bunin

Early life
Bunin was born on his parents' estate in Voronezh province in central Russia. He came from a long line of landed gentry and serf owners, but his grandfather and father had squandered nearly all of the estate.

He was sent to the public school in Yelets in 1881, but had to return home after five years. His brother, who was university-educated, encouraged him to read the Russian classics and to write.

At 17, he published his first poem in 1887 in a St. Petersburg literary magazine. His first collection of poems, Listopad (1901), was warmly welcomed by critics. Although his poems are said to continue the 19th-century traditions of the Parnassian poets, they are steeped in oriental mysticism and sparkle with striking, carefully chosen epithets. Vladimir Nabokov was a great admirer of Bunin's verse, comparing him with Alexander Blok, but scorned his prose.

In 1889, he followed his brother to Kharkov, where he became a government clerk, assistant editor of a local paper, librarian, and court statistician. Bunin also began a correspondence with Anton Chekhov, with whom he became close friends. He also had a more distant relationship with Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy.

In 1891, he published his first short story, "Country Sketch" in a literary journal. As the time went by, he switched from writing poems to short stories. His first acclaimed novellas were "On the Farm," "The News From Home," "To the Edge of the World," "Antonov Apples," and "The Gentleman from San Francisco," the latter being his most representative piece and the one translated in English by D. H. Lawrence.

Bunin was a well-known translator himself. The best known of his translations is Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha" for which Bunin was awarded the Pushkin Prize in 1903. He also did translations of Byron, Tennyson, and Musset. In 1909, he was elected to the Russian Academy.


Portrait of Ivan Bunin by Leonard TurzhanskyFrom 1895 on, Bunin divided his time between Moscow and St. Petersburg. He married the daughter of a Greek revolutionary in 1898, but the marriage ended in divorce. Although he remarried in 1907, Bunin's romances with other women continued until his very death. His tempestous private life in emigration is the subject of the internationally acclaimed Russian movie, The Diary of His Wife (2000).

Bunin published his first full-length work, The Village, when he was 40. It was a bleak portrayal of village life, with its stupidity, brutality, and violence. Its harsh realism, "the characters having sunk so far below the average of intelligence as to be scarcely human," brought him in touch with Maxim Gorky. Two years later, he published Dry Valley, which was a veiled portrayal of his family.

Before World War I, Bunin traveled in Ceylon, Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey, and these travels left their mark on his writing. He spent the winters from 1912 to 1914 on Capri with Gorky.

Bunin left Moscow after the revolution in 1917, moving to Odessa. He left Odessa on the last French ship in 1919 and settled in Grasse, France. There, he published his diary The Accursed Days, which voiced his aristocratic aversion to the Bolshevik regime. About the Soviet government he wrote: "What a disgusting gallery of convicts!"

Bunin was much lionized in the emigration, where he came to be viewed as the eldest of living Russian writers in the tradition of Tolstoy and Chekhov. Accordingly, he was the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933. On the journey through Germany to accept the prize in Stockholm, he was detained by the Nazis, ostensibly for jewel smuggling, and forced to drink a bottle of castor oil.

In the 1930s, Bunin published two parts of a projected autobiographic trilogy: The Life of Arsenyev and Lika, which were "neither a short novel, nor a novel, nor a long short story, but . . . of a genre yet unknown." Later, he worked upon his celebrated cycle of nostalgic stories with a strong erotic undercurrent and a Proustian ring. They were published as the Dark Avenues in 1943.

Bunin was a strong opponent of the Nazis and reportedly sheltered a Jew in his house in Grasse throughout the occupation. To the end of his life, he became interested in Soviet literature and even entertained plans of returning to Russia, as Aleksandr Kuprin had done before. Bunin died of a heart attack in a Paris attic flat, while his invaluable book of reminiscences on Chekhov was still unfinished. Several years later, his works were allowed for publication in the Soviet Union.

 Additional Reading
Night of Denial: Stories and Novellas, Ivan Bunin. Trans. Robert Bowie. Northwestern 2006 ISBN 0-8101-1403-8
The Life of Arsenyev, Ivan Bunin. edited by Andrew Baruch Wachtel. Northwestern 1994 ISBN 0-8101-1172-1

Kir Bulychev

Kir Bulychev or Bulychyov (Russian: Кир Булычёв) (October 18, 1934—September 5, 2003) also known as Igor Vsevolodovich Mozheyko (И́горь Все́володович Може́йко),  was a Russian science fiction writer and historian.  Since 1963 he worked in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was a specialist in the medieval history of Burma.He received a Master's degree in 1965 and a Ph.D. in 1981 and wrote his first science fiction story in 1965.

He is known for his series of humorous short stories about Veliky Gusliar, a Russian town that attracts all kinds of aliens and supernatural beings. This fictional city is based on a real Veliky Ustyug city. Another well known series of Bulychev's stories are young adult stories about Alisa Seleznyova, a young girl from the future. A number of them were made into films, with Guest from the Future ("Гостья из будущего"), based on Bulychev's novel One Hundred Years Ahead ("Сто лет тому вперед"), the most widely known anbout a girl Alice living in a happy communist future. Another famous film was the animated feature The Mystery of the Third Planet (1981), for which Bulychev penned the screenplay. Alice's Birthday is an upcoming 2007 animated film based on one of his tales. He also wrote many science fiction novels, most known among them are "The Last War", "Thirteen years` voyage", " Those who survive" (screened as an animation film), "The Dungeon of Witches" (screened), "River Chronos", "Abduction of a sorcerer".

Bulychev also translated numerous American science fiction stories into Russian, and wrote scripts for more than 20 movies.
Bibliography (books published in English)
The dates given are the dates of English editions.

Half a Life (1977)
Gusliar Wonders (1983)
Earth and Elsewhere (1985)
Abduction of a Sorcerer (1989)
Those Who Survive (2000)
Alice: The Girl from Earth (2002)

1185 A.D. (1989)
South-East Asia: Unity in Diversity. Ahmedabad: Allied (with Gennadi Chufrin) (1989).

External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Kir BulychevOfficial website
Full bibliography (in Russian)
Internet Movie Database page for Kir Bulychev
Alisa and the Guest from the Future Fan Site (in Russian)
Kir Bulychev : Tale-Teller and Scientist
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Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov was born to Russian parents in Kiev, Ukraine, the oldest son of a professor at a theological seminary. The Bulgakov sons enlisted in the White Army, and in post-Civil War Russia, ended up in Paris, save for Mikhail. Mikhail, who enlisted as a field doctor, ended up in the Caucasus, where he eventually began working as a journalist. Despite his relatively favoured status under the Soviet rule of Joseph Stalin, Bulgakov was prevented from either emigrating or visiting his brothers in the West. Some details of his biography are unclear as Bulgakov was quite secretive about his past life and swore his wives to secrecy about it.

In 1913 Bulgakov married Tatiana Lappa. At the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered with the Red Cross. In 1916, he graduated from the Medical School of Kiev University and then served in the White Army. He was briefly forcibly mobilized by the Ukrainian Nationalist Army. In 1919 he decided to leave medicine to pursue his love of literature. In 1921, he moved with Tatiana to Moscow where he began his career as a writer. Three years later, divorced from his first wife, he married Lyubov' Belozerskaya. He published a number of works through the early and mid 1920s, but by 1927 his career began to suffer from criticism that he was too anti-Soviet. By 1929 his career was ruined and none of his works were published due to censorship.

In 1931, Bulgakov married for the third time, to Yelena Shilovskaya, who would prove to be inspiration for the character Margarita from his most famous novel, and settled with her at Patriarch's Ponds. During the last decade of his life, Bulgakov continued to work on The Master and Margarita, wrote plays, critical works, stories, and made several translations and dramatisations of novels, but these were unpublished.

Bulgakov never supported the Soviet power, and mocked it in many of his works. Therefore, most of them were consigned to his desk drawer for several decades. In 1930 he wrote a letter to Stalin requesting permission to emigrate if the Soviet Union could not find use for him as a satirist and received a personal phone call from Stalin himself, denying him that. Stalin had enjoyed Bulgakov's work, The Days of the Turbins and found work for him at a small Moscow theatre, and then the Moscow Art Theatre. In his autobiography and in many biographies, it is stated that Bulgakov wrote the letter out of desperation and mental anguish, never actually intending to post it. The refusal of the authorities to let him work in the theatre and his desire to see his family living abroad, whom he had not seen for many years, led him to seek drastic measures. Despite his new work, the projects he worked on at the theatre were unsuccessful and he was stressed and unhappy. He also worked briefly at the Bolshoi Theatre as a librettist, but left after his works were not produced.

Bulgakov died from an inherited kidney disorder in 1940 and was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

[edit] Early works

Yury Yakovlev and Leonid Kuravlyov in Leonid Gaidai's adaptation of Bulgakov's play Ivan Vasilievich (1973).During his life, Bulgakov was best known for the plays he contributed to Konstantin Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre. Stalin was known to be fond of the play Days of the Turbins (Дни Турбиных) (1926), which was based on Bulgakov's novel The White Guard. His dramatization of Molière's life in The Cabal of Hypocrites (Кабала святош) is still run by the Moscow Art Theatre. Even after his plays were banned from the theatres, Bulgakov wrote a grotesquely funny comedy about Ivan the Terrible's visit into 1930s Moscow and a play about the young years of Stalin (1939), which was also prohibited by Stalin himself.

Bulgakov started writing prose in the early 1920s, when he wrote The White Guard (Белая гвардия) (1924, published in 1966) - a novel about a life of a White Army officer's family in Civil war Kiev, and a short story collection entitled Notes of a Young Doctor (Записки юного врача), based on Bulgakov's work as a country doctor in 1916 - 1919. In the mid-1920s, he came to admire the works of H.G. Wells and wrote several stories with sci-fi style elements, notably The Fatal Eggs (Роковые яйца) (1924) and the Heart of a Dog (Собачье сердце) (1925).

The Fatal Eggs, a short story inspired by the works of H.G. Wells, tells of the events of a Professor Persikov, who in experimentation with eggs, discovers a red ray that accelerates growth in living organisms. At the time, an illness passes through the chickens of Moscow, killing most of them and, to remedy the situation, the Soviet government puts the ray into use at a farm. Unfortunately there is a mix up in egg shipments and the Professor ends up with the chicken eggs, while the government-run farm receives a shipment of ostriches, snakes and crocodiles that were meant to go to the Professor. The mistake is not discovered until the eggs produce giant monstrosities that wreak havoc in the suburbs of Moscow and kill most of the workers on the farm. The propaganda machine then turns on Persikov, distorting his nature in the same way his "innocent" tampering created the monsters. This tale of a bungling government earned Bulgakov his label of a counter-revolutionary.

Heart of a Dog features a professor who implants human testicles and pituitary gland into a dog named Sharik. The dog then proceeds to become more and more human as time passes, resulting in all manner of chaos. The tale can be read as a critical satire of the Soviet Union; it contains few bold hints to communist leadership (e.g. the name of donor drunkard of human implants is Chugunkin ("chugun" is a cast iron) which can be seen as parody on the name of Stalin ("stal'" is steel).It was turned into a comic opera called The Murder of Comrade Sharik by William Bergsma in 1973. A hugely popular screen version of the story followed in 1988.

[edit] The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita (Мастер и Маргарита) is a fantasy satirical novel published by his wife twenty-six years after his death, in 1966, that has granted him critical immortality. The book was available underground, as samizdat, for many years in the Soviet Union, before the serialization of a censored version in the journal Moskva. It contributed a number of sayings to the Russian language, for example, "Manuscripts don't burn". A destroyed manuscript of the Master is an important element of the plot, and in fact Bulgakov had to rewrite the novel from memory after he burned the draft manuscript with his own hands.

The novel is a multilayered critique of the Soviet society in general and its literary establishment specifically. It begins with Satan visiting Moscow in the 1920s or 30s, joining a conversation of a critic and a poet, busily debating the existence of Jesus Christ and the Devil.

It then evolves into an all-embracing indictment of the corruption, greed, narrow-mindedness, and widespread paranoia of Stalinist Russia. Banned but widely read, the novel firmly secured Bulgakov's place among the pantheon of great Russian writers.

[edit] Bulgakov's flat

Detail, interior Bulgakov's flat 1997. Photo G. McIver
Bulgakov's tomb at Novodevichy Cemetery incorporates a gravestone taken from Gogol's grave during his reburial in 1931.Bulgakov's old flat, in which parts of The Master and Margarita are set, has since the 1980s become a gathering spot for Bulgakov's fans, as well as Moscow-based Satanist groups, and had various kinds of graffiti scrawled on the walls. The numerous paintings, quips, and drawings were completely whitewashed in 2003. Previously the best drawings were kept as the walls were repainted, so that several layers of different colored paints could be seen around the best drawings. The building's residents, in an attempt to deter loitering, are currently attempting to turn the flat into a museum of Bulgakov's life and works. To date (February, 2005), they have had trouble contacting the flat's anonymous owner.[2]

On December 21, 2006, the museum in Bulgakov's flat was damaged by an anti-satanist protester and disgruntled neighbor, Alexander Morozov.[3]

The museum remains open and contains personal belongings, photos, and several exhibitions related to Bulgakov's life and his different works. There is also a small cafe, and different poetic and literary events are often being held in the flat. As an extra bonus a black cat can sometimes be seen walking around inside the museum. The museum's web site is only available in Russian but the entrance is free and its opening hours are 1 p.m. - 11 p.m. The flat is located close to Mayakovskaya metro station on the Sadovaya street, 10 (go through the arch and then turn to the left).

[edit] Bulgakov Museum in Kiev
The Mikhail Bulgakov Museum (Bulgakov House) in Kiev, (in his family home, which was the model for the house of the Turbin family in The White Guard) has been converted to a literary museum with some rooms devoted to the writer, as well as some to his works.

[edit] Famous quotes
The following quotes from The Master and Margarita have become catch phrases in Russia:

"Manuscripts don't burn" ("Рукописи не горят")
"There's only one degree of freshness--the first, and it's the last" ("Свежесть бывает только одна – первая, она же и последняя")
"Not causing trouble, not touching anything, fixing the primus" ("Не шалю, никого не трогаю, починяю примус")

[edit] In popular culture
The Master and Margarita novel is said to have been read by Mick Jagger and influenced his writing of the song "Sympathy for the Devil". [1][2]

[edit] Bibliography
A bibliography of the works of Bulgakov, in both Russian and English translation, can be found at the article Bibliography of Mikhail Bulgakov

[edit] References
^ The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB
^ Stephen, Chris. "Devil-worshippers target famous writer's Moscow flat". The Irish Times, Saturday, February 5, 2005. Page 9.

[edit] External links
(English) (French) (Dutch) (Russian) Master and Margarita Amateur but very high-quality site, devoted solely to Bulgakov's Master and Margarita (in Dutch, French, English and Russian)
(French) A French website about The Master and Margarita
(English) Bulgakov's Master and Margarita
(Russian) — amateur but very high-quality site, devoted solely to Bulgakov and his works (in Russian)
(English) Mikhail Bulgakov (in German, English and Russian)
(Russian) Bulgakov Project at
(Russian) Klassika Bulgakov - Russian and English texts online.
(English) Mikhail Bulgakov in the Western World: A Bibliography, Library of Congress, European Reading Room

Vladimir Bukovsky

Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky (Russian: Влади́мир Константи́нович Буко́вский; b. December 30, 1942) is a notable former Soviet political dissident, author and an activist. He was one of the first to expose the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the USSR. He spent a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and in psikhushkas, forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals used by the regime as special prisons.

Early life
Vladimir Bukovsky was born in the town of Belebey, Bashkirian ASSR, Russian SFSR (now Bashkortostan), where his family was evacuated from Moscow during World War II. In 1959 he was expelled from his Moscow school for creating and editing an unauthorized magazine.

[edit] Activism and arrests
From June 1963 to February 1965, Bukovsky was convicted (Article 70-1 of the Penal Code of the RSFSR) and sent to a psikhushka for organizing poetry meetings in the center of Moscow (next to the Mayakovsky monument). The official charge was an attempt to copy anti-Soviet literature, namely The New Class by Milovan Djilas.

In December 1965 he organised a demonstration at Pushkin Square in Moscow in defence of the writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel (see Sinyavsky-Daniel trial). Three days before the planned demonstration, Bukovsky was arrested. He was kept in various psykhushkas without any charges till July 1966.

In January 1967 he was arrested for organizing a demonstration in defence of Alexander Ginzburg, Yuri Galanskov and other dissidents (Article 190-1, 3 years of imprisonment); released in January 1970.

In 1971, Bukovsky managed to smuggle to the West over 150 pages documenting abuse of psychiatric institutions for political reasons in the USSR. The information galvanized human rights activists worldwide (including inside the country) and was a pretext for his subsequent arrest in the same year. At the trial in January 1972 Bukovsky was accused of slandering the Soviet psychiatry, contacts with foreign journalists and possession and distribution of samizdat (Article 70-1, 7 years of imprisonment plus 5 years in exile).

Together with a fellow inmate in the prison camp No 35 near Perm, psychiatrist Semyon Gluzman, he coauthored A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissidents[1] in order to help other dissidents to fight abuses of the authorities.

[edit] Deportation
The fate of Bukovsky and other political prisoners in the USSR, repeatedly brought to attention by Western human rights groups and diplomats, was a cause of embarrassment and irritation for the Soviet authorities.

In December of 1976, while imprisoned, Bukovsky was exchanged for former Chilean Communist leader Luis Corvalán. In his autobiographical novel To Build a Castle, Bukovsky describes how he was brought to Switzerland handcuffed. The novel is available online at several sites [2][3][4]

[edit] In the United Kingdom
Since 1976 Bukovsky has lived in Cambridge, England, focusing on neurophysiology and writing. He received a Masters Degree in Biology and has written several books and political essays. In addition to criticizing the Soviet regime, he also picked apart what he calls "Western gullibility", a lack of a tough stand of Western liberalism against Communist abuses.

In 1983, together with Vladimir Maximov and Eduard Kuznetsov he cofounded and was elected president of international anti-Communist organization Resistance International (Интернационал сопротивления).

[edit] Judgment in Moscow
In April 1991 Vladimir Bukovsky visited Moscow for the first time since his forced deportation. In the run-up to the 1991 presidential election Boris Yeltsin's campaign considered Bukovsky as a potential vice-presidential running-mate (other contenders included Galina Starovoitova and Gennady Burbulis). In the end, the vice-presidency was offered to Alexander Rutskoi.

In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, President Yeltsin's government invited Bukovsky to serve as an expert to testify at the CPSU trial by Constitutional Court of Russia, where the communists were sueing Yeltsin for banning their party. The respondent's case was that the CPSU itself had been an unconstitutional organisation. To prepare for his testimony, Bukovsky requested and was granted access to a large number of documents from Soviet archives (then reorganized into TsKhSD). Using a small handheld scanner and a laptop computer, he managed to secretly scan many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Central Committee, and smuggle the files to the West.[5] The event that many expected would be another Nuremberg Trial and the beginnings of reconciliation with the Communist past, ended up in half-measures: while the CPSU was found unconstitutional, the communists were allowed to form new parties in the future. Bukovsky expressed his deep disappointment with this in his writings and interviews:

“ Having failed to finish off conclusively the communist system, we are now in danger of integrating the resulting monster into our world. It may not be called communism anymore, but it retained many of its dangerous characteristics... Until the Nuremberg-style tribunal passes its judgement on all the crimes committed by communism, it is not dead and the war is not over.[6] ”

It took several years and a team of assistants to compose the scanned pieces together and publish it (see Soviet Archives, collected by Vladimir Bukovsky, prepared for electronic publishing by Julia Zaks and Leonid Chernikhov). The same collection of documents is also massively quoted in Bukovsky's Judgement in Moscow, which was publuished in 1994, translated to many languages and attracted international attention.

[edit] Post-1992
In 1992 a group of liberal deputies of the Moscow City Council proposed Bukovsky's candidacy for elections of the new Mayor of Moscow, following the resignation of the previous Mayor, Gavriil Popov. Bukovsky refused the offer. In early 1996 a group of Moscow academics, journalists and intellectuals suggested that Vladimir Bukovsky should run for President of Russia as an alternative candidate to both incumbent President Boris Yeltsin and his Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov. No formal nomination was initiated. In any case, Bukovsky would not have been allowed to run, as the Russian Constitution stipulates that any presidential candidate must have lived in the country continuously for ten years prior to the election.

In 2002 Boris Nemtsov, a member of the Russian Duma (parliament) and leader of the Union of Right Forces, and former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, visited Vladimir Bukovsky in Cambridge to discuss the strategy of the Russian opposition. Bukovsky told Nemtsov that, in his view, it is imperative that Russian liberals adopt an uncompromising stand toward what he sees as the authoritarian government of President Vladimir Putin. In January 2004, together with Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza and others, Vladimir Bukovsky co-founded the Committee 2008, an umbrella organization of the Russian democratic opposition, whose purpose is to ensure free and fair presidential elections in 2008.

In 2005 Bukovsky participated in They Chose Freedom,[7] a four-part documentary on the Soviet dissident movement. In 2005, with the revelations about captives in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and the CIA secret prisons, Bukovsky criticized the rationalization of torture.[8] Bukovsky warned about some parallels between the formations of Soviet Union and European Union.[9]

Vladimir Bukovsky is a member of the Board of Directors of the Gratitude Fund, and a member of the International Council of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. In the United Kingdom, he is Vice-President of The Freedom Association (TFA) and a patron of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

[edit] Candidate for Russian Presidential Election, 2008

V.Bukovsky, 2007
Bukovsky's supporters 2007, June 11, MoscowOn the 28th May 2007, Bukovsky agreed to become a candidate for the Presidency of the Russian Federation in the 2008 elections.[10][11] The group that nominated Bukovsky as a candidate includes Yuri Ryzhov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Alexander Podrabinek, Andrei Piontkovsky, Vladimir Pribylovsky and others [12] Activists and writers Valeria Novodvorskaya, Victor Shenderovich, Vladimir Sorokin favored Bukovsky.[13][14]. The announcement of Bukovsky's candidacy triggered discussions in blogs and political websites. Some have pointed out that, as the Constitution of the Russian Federation requires all Presidential candidates to have resided in Russia for the preceding ten years, Bukovsky would be ineligible to stand. Supporters of his have argued that, as Bukovsky was unlawfully barred from entering Russia, this rule should not apply in his case.[15] The June 2007 broadcast of NTV said that Bukovsky already had a Russian passport,[16] although at the time of the interview it had not yet been renewed. Bukovsky's nominators have claimed that the Constitution only requires that the candidate have resided in Russia for a minimum of ten years, not necessarily immediately prior to the elections, citing the case of Alexander Lebed, who stood for presidency in the 1996 election, a year after he returned from Moldova.[17]

[edit] See also
Psychiatric abuse
Larisa Arap

[edit] Publications
Soviet Archives, collected by Vladimir Bukovsky, prepared for electronic publishing by Julia Zaks and Leonid Chernikhov.
List of publications of Vladimir Bukovsky at The Gratitude Fund.
EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration, 2004. ISBN 0-9540231-1-0
Vladimir Bukovsky. To Build a Castle, Samizdat", 1978 (И возвращается ветер, in Russian),
Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1979. ISBN 0-89633-029-X
Bukovskiĭ, Vladimir (1979). To Build a Castle. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670716401.
Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility, 1987. ISBN 0-89633-113-X
Judgement in Moscow (Московский процесс) based on his 1992 visit to Russia and the "Soviet Archives".
To Choose Freedom Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1987. ISBN 0-8179-8442-9
Vladimir Boukovsky. L’Union européenne, une nouvelle URSS ? Editeur: Le Rocher, Publication: 1/9/2005, ISBN: 2268055469, 180 pages.
Vladimir Boukovsky (Auteur), Pavel Stroilov (Auteur), Pierre Lorrain (Traduction). L'Union européenne, une nouvelle URSS ?, 2005. A review at Librairie Catholique.

[edit] References
^ (Russian)V.Bukovsky. A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissidents ("Пособие по психиатрии для инакомыслящих")
^ В.Буковский «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г.
^ B.Буковский «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г.
^ В.Буковский[1] «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г.
^ Many of these scanned documents are available as the "Soviet Archives" (INFO-RUSS)
^ The Cold War and the War Against Terror By Jamie Glazov (FrontPageMagazine) July 1, 2002
^ They Chose Freedom, a documentary series by Vladimir Kara-Murza (in Russian).
^ Torture's Long Shadow, The Washington Post, 2005.
^ Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship, interview with Bukovsky by Paul Belien. Transcript of Mr Bukovsky’s Brussels speech. The Brussels Journal, 27 February 2006.
^ Vladimir Bukovsky Will Run for President of Russia in 2008. Prima News, 28 May 2007.
^ "Советский диссидент Владимир Буковский согласен баллотироваться на пост президента России", Newsru, 28 May 2007 (in Russian)
^ "Заявление Инициативной группы по выдвижению В.К.Буковского кандидатом в президенты РФ" (in Russian)
^ "Виктор Шендерович и Юрий Шмидт поддержали кандидатуру Владимира Буковского", Prima News (in Russian).
^ Chronicles of nominating Vladimir Bukovsky a 2008 presidential candidate, Prima News, 22 June 2007. Computer translation.
^ Bukovsky was barred from entering Russia since 1996, Nikolaj Khramov (in Russian).
^ Interviews with V.Bukovsky and L.Corvalán, NTV Russia, June 17, 2007 (in Russian).

[edit] See also
Larisa Arap
Psychiatric abuse

[edit] External links
Official Presidential campaign site
Unofficial Presidential campain site
Bio at The Gratitude Fund
Faces of Resistance in the USSR: V. Bukovsky. The Andrei Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center at Brandeis University
Dissidents, 1970-1979 contain materials concerning activities, arrests and exchange of Bukovsky
An Open Letter to President G.W. Bush by Vladimir Bukovsky and Elena Bonner (2003-03-27)
The West Lost The War: Vladimir Bukovsky (2001)
A Conversation With Vladimir Bukovsky - by Jamie Glazov, May 30, 2003
Conservatives Debate: Is the Threat of Islamic Terrorism More Dangerous to America than Communism Was? By Vladimir Bukovsky, Daniel Pipes, Paul Hollander, and Michael Ledeen
(Russian)Bio and writings
(Russian)Press-conference in Warsaw 1998
Voices of Dissent An expose film of alleged human rights abuse presented by Vladimir Bukovsky (2006) PressConference, Warsaw, 1998[[fr:Vladimir Boukovski

Valery Bryusov

Valery Yakovlevich Bryusov (Russian: Вале́рий Я́ковлевич Брю́сов) (December 13 [O.S. December 1] 1873 – October 9, 1924) was a Russian poet, prose writer, dramatist, translator, critic and historian. He was one of the principal members of the Russian Symbolist movement.

Valery Bryusov was born on December 13 [O.S. December 1] 1873 in Moscow, into a merchant's family. His parents had little do with his upbringing, and as a boy Bryusov was largely left to himself. He spent a great deal of time reading "everything that fell into [his] hands," including the works of Charles Darwin and Jules Verne, as well as various materialistic and scientific essays. The future poet received an excellent education, studying in two Moscow gymnasiums between 1885 and 1893.

Bryusov began his literary career in the early 1890s while still a student at Moscow State University with his translations of the poetry of the French Symbolists (Paul Verlaine, Maurice Maeterlinck, and Stéphane Mallarmé) as well at that of Edgar Allan Poe. Bryusov also began to publish his own poems, which were very much influence by the Decadent and Symbolist movements of his contemporary Europe.

At the time, Russian Symbolism was still mainly a set of theories and had few notable practitioners. Therefore, in order to represent Symbolism as a movement of formidable following, Bryusov adopted numerous pen names and published three volumes of his own verse, entitled Russian Symbolists. An Anthology (1894-95). Bryusov's mystification proved successful - several young poets were attracted to Symbolism as the latest fashion in Russian letters.

With the appearance of Tertia Vigilia in 1900, he came to be revered by other Symbolists as an authority in matters of art. In 1904 he became the editor of the influential literary magazine Vesy (The Balance), which consolidated his position in the Russian literary world. Bryusov's mature works were notable for their celebration of sensual pleasures as well as their mastery of a wide range of poetic forms, from the acrostic to the carmina figurata.

By the 1910s, Bryusov's poetry had begun to seem cold and strained to many of his contemporaries. As a result, his reputation gradually declined and, with it, his power in the Russian literary world. He was adamantly opposed to the efforts of Georgy Chulkov and Vyacheslav Ivanov to move Symbolism in the direction of Mystical Anarchism.

Though many of his fellow Symbolists fled Russia after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Bryusov remained until his death in 1924. He supported the Bolshevik government and received a position in the cultural ministry of the new Soviet state.

[edit] Literature

[edit] Prose
Bryusov most famous prose works are the historical novels The Altar of Victory (depicting life in Ancient Rome) and The Fiery Angel (depicting the psychological climate of 16th century Germany). The latter tells the story of a scholar and his attempts to win the love of a young woman whose spiritual integrity is seriously undermined by her participation in occult practices and her dealings with unclean forces. It served as the basis for Sergei Prokofiev's fourth opera.

[edit] Translation
As a translator, Bryusov was the first to render the works of the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren accessible to Russian readers, and he was one of the major translators of Paul Verlaine's poetry. His most famous translations are of Edgar Allan Poe, Romain Rolland, Maurice Maeterlinck, Victor Hugo, Jean Racine, Ausonius, Molière, Byron, and Oscar Wilde. Bryusov also translated Johann Goethe's Faust and Virgil's Aeneid. During the 1910s, Bryusov was especially interested in translating Armenian poetry.

[edit] List of Major Works
Juvenilia, 1894
Chefs d’oeuvre, 1895
Me eum esse, 1897
Tertia Vigilia, 1900
Urbi et Orbi, 1903
Stephanos, 1906
All Melodies, 1909
The Fiery Angel, 1908
The Altar of Victory, 1913
Rea Silvia, 1916

[edit] External links
Translation of "Republic of the Southern Cross"
Britannica article

Joseph Brodsky

Joseph Brodsky (May 24, 1940 – January 28, 1996), born Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky (Russian: Ио́сиф Алекса́ндрович Бро́дский) was a Russian poet and essayist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature (1987) and was chosen Poet Laureate of the United States (1991-1992). He had an honorary degree of the University of Silesia.

In the Soviet Union
Brodsky was born into a Jewish family in Leningrad, the son of a professional photographer in the Soviet Navy. In early childhood he survived the Siege of Leningrad. When he was fifteen, Brodsky left school and tried to enter the School of Submariners (школа подводников) without success. He went on to work as a milling machine operator (фрезеровщик) at a plant. Later, having decided to become a physician, he worked at a morgue at the Kresty prison. He subsequently held a variety of jobs at a hospital, in a ship's boiler room, and on geological expeditions.

At the same time, Brodsky engaged in a program of self-education. He learned English and Polish (mainly to translate poems by Czesław Miłosz, who was Brodsky's favourite poet and a friend), acquired a deep interest in classical philosophy, religion, mythology, English and American poetry. Later in life, he admitted that he picked up books from anywhere he could find them, including even garbage dumps.

Brodsky began writing his own poetry and producing literary translations around 1957. His writings were apolitical. The young Brodsky was encouraged and influenced by the poet Anna Akhmatova who called some of his verses "enchanting." He had no degree in the liberal arts.

In 1963, he was arrested and in 1964 charged with parasitism ("тунеядство") by the Soviet authorities. A famous excerpt from the transcript of his trial made by journalist Frida Vigdorova was smuggled to the West:

Judge: And what is your profession, in general?
Brodsky: I am a poet and a literary translator.
Judge: Who recognizes you as a poet? Who enrolled you in the ranks of poets?
Brodsky: No one. Who enrolled me in the ranks of humankind?
Judge: Did you study this?
Brodsky: This?
Judge: How to become a poet. You did not even try to finish high school where they prepare, where they teach?
Brodsky: I didn’t think you could get this from school.
Judge: How then?
Brodsky: I think that it ... comes from God.[1]
For his "parasitism" Brodsky was sentenced to five years of internal exile with obligatory engagement in physical work and served 18 months in Archangelsk region. The sentence was commuted in 1965 after prominent Soviet and foreign literary figures, such as Evgeny Evtushenko[citation needed] and Jean Paul Sartre, protested.

In 1964, Leonid Brezhnev came to power. As the Khrushchev Thaw period ended, only four of Brodsky's poems were published in the Soviet Union. He refused to publish his writings censored and most of his work has appeared only in the West or in samizdat.

[edit] In the United States
On June 4, 1972 Brodsky was expelled from the USSR. He became a U.S. citizen in 1980. His first teaching position in the United States was at the University of Michigan (U-M). He was Poet-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at Queens College, Smith College, Columbia University, and the Cambridge University in England. He was a Five-College Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College.

He achieved major successes in his career as an English language poet and essayist. In 1978, Brodsky was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Yale University, and on May 23, 1979, he was inducted as a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1981, Brodsky received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius" award.

In 1986, his collection of essays Less Than One won the National Book Critic's Award for Criticism. In 1987, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, being the fifth Russian-born writer to do so. At an interview in Stockholm airport, to a question: "You are an American citizen who is receiving the Prize for Russian-language poetry. Who are you, an American or a Russian?", he responded: "I am Jewish - a Russian poet and an English essayist".[2]

In 1991, Brodsky became Poet Laureate of the United States. His inauguration address was printed in Poetry Review. He married Maria Sozzani in 1990. They had one daughter.

Grave of Brodsky in San MicheleBrodsky died of a heart attack in his New York City apartment on January 28, 1996 and was buried in the Episcopalian section at Isola di San Michele cemetery in Venice, Italy. Venice is the setting for his book Watermark.

Poets who influenced Brodsky included Osip Mandelstam, W.H. Auden and Robert Frost.

A close friend to the Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, Brodsky has been remembered and memorialised in the latest collection of poetry entitled The Prodigal (pp. 26-27).

[edit] Ideas
A recurring theme in Brodsky's writing is the relationship between the poet and society. In particular, Brodsky emphasized the power of literature to positively impact its audience and to develop the language and culture in which it is situated. He suggested that the Western literary tradition was in part responsible for the world having overcome the catastrophes of the twentieth century, such as Nazism, Communism and the World Wars. During his term as the Poet Laureate, Brodsky promoted the idea of bringing the Anglo-American poetic heritage to a wider American audience by distributing free poetry anthologies to the public through a government-sponsored program. This proposal was met with limited enthusiasm in Washington.

[edit] Quotes
Were we to choose our leaders on the basis of their reading experience and not their political programs, there would be much less grief on earth. I believe — not empirically, alas, but only theoretically--that for someone who has read a lot of Dickens to shoot his like in the name of an idea is harder than for someone who has read no Dickens.
Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul.
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Works in English, including translations into English

Collected Poems in EnglishPoetry
1967: Elegy for John Donne and Other Poems, selected, translated, and introduced by Nicholas William Bethell, London: Longman[3]
1968: Velka elegie, Paris: Edice Svedectvi[3]
1972: Poems, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ardis[3]
1973: Selected Poems, translated from the Russian by George L. Kline. New York: Harper & Row[3]
1977: A Part of Speech[4]
1977: Poems and Translations, Keele: University of Keele[3]
1980: A Part of Speech, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1981: Verses on the Winter Campaign 1980, translation by Alan Meyers. – London: Anvil Press[3]
1988: To Urania : Selected Poems, 1965-1985, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1995: On Grief and Reason: Essays, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1996: So Forth : Poems, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1999: Discovery, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
2000: Collected Poems in English, 1972-1999, edited by Ann Kjellberg, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
2001: Nativity Poems, translated by Melissa Green – New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1986: Less Than One: Selected Essays, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award[3]
1992: Watermark, Noonday Press; New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1996: On Grief and Reason
1989: Marbles : a Play in Three Acts, translated by Alan Myers with Joseph Brodsky. – New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux[3]
1991: Democracy!
2003: Joseph Brodsky: Conversations[3]

[edit] Works in Russian
1965: Stikhotvoreniia i poemy, Washington, D.C. : Inter-Language Literary Associates[3]
1970: Ostanovka v pustyne, New York: Izdatel'stvo imeni Chekhova (Rev. ed. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis, 1989)[3]
1977: Chast' rechi: Stikhotvoreniia 1972-76, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1977: Konets prekrasnoi epokhi : stikhotvoreniia 1964-71, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1977: V Anglii, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1982: Rimskie elegii, New York: Russica[3]
1983: Novye stansy k Avguste : stikhi k M.B., 1962-1982, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1984: Mramor, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1984: Uraniia : novaia kniga stikhov, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis[3]
1989: Ostanovka v pustyne, revised edition, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis, 1989 (original edition: New York: Izdatel'stvo imeni Chekhova, 1970)[3]
1990: Nazidanie : stikhi 1962-1989, Leningrad : Smart[3]
1990: Chast' rechi : Izbrannye stikhi 1962-1989, Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura[3]
1990: Osennii krik iastreba : Stikhotvoreniia 1962-1989, Leningrad: KTP LO IMA Press[3]
1990: Primechaniia paporotnika, Bromma, Sweden : Hylaea[3]
1991: Ballada o malen'kom buksire, Leningrad: Detskaia literatura[3]
1991: Kholmy : Bol'shie stikhotvoreniia i poemy, St. Petersburg: LP VTPO "Kinotsentr"[3]
1991: Stikhotvoreniia, Tallinn: Eesti Raamat[3]
1992: Naberezhnaia neistselimykh: Trinadtsat' essei, Moscow: Slovo[3]
1992: Rozhdestvenskie stikhi, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta (revised edition in 1996)[3]
1992-1995: Sochineniia, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond, 1992-1995, four volumes[3]
1992: Vspominaia Akhmatovu / Joseph Brodsky, Solomon Volkov, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta[3]
1992: Forma vremeni : stikhotvoreniia, esse, p'esy, Minsk: Eridan, two volumes[3]
1993: Kappadokiia. – St. Petersburg[3]
1994: Persian Arrow/Persidskaia strela, with etchings by Edik Steinberg. – Verona: * Edizione d'Arte Gibralfaro & ECM[3]
1995: Peresechennaia mestnost ': Puteshestviia s kommentariiami, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta[3]
1995: V okrestnostiakh Atlantidy : Novye stikhotvoreniia, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
1996: Peizazh s navodneniem, compiled by Aleksandr Sumerkin. – Dana Point, Cal.: Ardis[3]
1996: Rozhdestvenskie stikhi, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta, revised edition of a work originally published in 1992[3]
1997: Brodskii o Tsvetaevoi, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta[3]
1998: Pis'mo Goratsiiu, Moscow: Nash dom[3]
1996 and after: Sochineniia, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond, eight volumes[3]
1999: Gorbunov i Gorchakov, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
1999: Predstavlenie : novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Moscow[3]
2000: Ostanovka v pustyne, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Chast' rechi, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Konets prekrasnoi epokhi, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Novye stansy k Avguste, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Uraniia, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Peizazh s navodneniem, St. Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond[3]
2000: Bol'shaia kniga interv'iu, Moscow: Zakharov[3]
2001: Novaia Odisseia : Pamiati Iosifa Brodskogo, Moscow: Staroe literaturnoe obozrenie[3]
2001: Peremena imperii : Stikhotvoreniia 1960-1996, Moscow: Nezavisimaia gazeta[3]
2001: Vtoroi vek posle nashei ery : dramaturgija Iosifa Brodskogo, St. Petersburg: Zvezda[3]

[edit] References

[edit] In Russian
Труды и Дни (Works and Days, 1998) Edited by Pyotr Veil and Lev Losev (Online)
Строфы века. Антология русской поэзии (Verses of the Century, 1995) Edited by Evgeny Evtushenko

[edit] In Spanish
Biografía y poemas en español de Joseph Brodsky

[edit] Footnotes
^ The original transcript reads: Судья: А вообще какая ваша специальность? Бродский: Поэт. Поэт-переводчик. Судья: А кто это признал, что вы поэт? Кто причислил вас к поэтам? Бродский: Никто. (Без вызова). А кто причислил меня к роду человеческому? Судья: А вы учились этому? Бродский: Чему? Судья: Чтобы быть поэтом? Не пытались кончить Вуз, где готовят... где учат... Бродский: Я не думал, что это дается образованием. Судья: А чем же? Бродский: Я думаю, это... (растерянно)... от Бога... The translation is taken from Remembering Joseph Brodsky by Cissie Dore Hill at Hoover Institution Archives
^ Works and Days. A Jew or a Hellene? chapter by Simon Markish
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh [1] Web page titled "Joseph Brodsky / Nobel Prize in Literature 1987 / Bibliography" at the "Official Web Site of the Nobel Foundation", accessed October 18, 2007
^ [2]McFadden, Robert D., "Joseph Brodsky, Exiled Poet Who Won Nobel, Dies at 55", obituary, The New York Times, January 29, 1996, accessed October 18, 2007

Osip Brik

Osip Maksimovich Brik (Russian: Осип Максимович Брик), (January 16, 1888–February 22, 1945), Russian avant garde writer and literary critic, was one of the most important members of the Russian formalist school, though he also identified himself as one of the Futurists. Brik was one of the co-founders of the magazine LEF. ("ЛЕФ", Levy front isskustva—Leftist Front for the Arts), which was also an official publication for the group with the same name, and a platform for Russian Constructivist art. Later the magazine was renamed Novyi LEF.

After Stalin's rise to power, the communist regime openly encouraged exclusively socialist realism methods and initiated campaign to stamp out all culture the Communist Party perceived as dangerous. Most avant garde artists and thinkers suffered persecution, and Brik did not escape this fate.

His wife Lilya Brik was the object of Vladimir Mayakovsky's romantic and literary attentions, and his sister-in-law Elsa Triolet was Louis Aragon's wife and a notable French writer.

Alexander Bogdanov


Prior to World War I
Ethnically Belarusian, Alexander Malinovsky was born into a rural teacher's family. While working on his medical degree at Moscow University, he was arrested for joining the "Narodnaya Volya" group. He was exiled to Tula, then continued his medical studies at the University of Kharkiv. There he became involved in revolutionary activities and published his "Brief course of economic science" in 1897. In 1899, he graduated as a medical doctor, and published his next work: "Basic elements of historic prospective on nature." Then he was arrested by the Tsar's police and spent six months in prison, then was exiled to Vologda. In his pursuit of social justice, he studied political philosophy and economics, took the pseudonym Bogdanov and joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903.

For the next 6 years Bogdanov was a major figure among the Bolsheviks, second only to Vladimir Lenin in his influence. In 1904-1906, he published three volumes of the philosophic treatise Empiriomonism, in which he tried to merge Marxism with the philosophy of Ernst Mach, Wilhelm Ostwald, and Richard Avenarius. His work later affected a number of Marxist theoreticians, including Nikolai Bukharin.

After the collapse of the Russian Revolution of 1905, Bogdanov led a group within the Bolsheviks ("ultimatists" and "otzovists" or "recallists"), who demanded a recall of Social Democratic deputies from the State Duma, and challenged Lenin for the leadership of the Bolshevik faction. With a majority of Bolshevik leaders either supporting Bogdanov or undecided by mid-1908 when the differences became irreconcilable, Lenin concentrated on undermining Bogdanov's reputation as a philosopher. In 1909 he published a scathing book of criticism entitled Materialism and Empiriocriticism, assaulting Bogdanov's position and accusing him of philosophical idealism .

In June 1909, Bogdanov was defeated by Lenin at a Bolshevik mini-conference in Paris organized by the editorial board of the Bolshevik magazine Proletary. He was expelled from the Bolshevik faction and joined his brother-in-law Anatoly Lunacharsky, Maxim Gorky and other "otzovists" on the island of Capri, where they started a school for Russian factory workers. In 1910, Bogdanov, Lunacharsky, Mikhail Pokrovsky and their supporters moved the school to Bologna, where they continued teaching classes through 1911, while Lenin and his allies soon started a rival school outside of Paris. Bogdanov broke with the "otzovists" in 1911 and abandoned revolutionary activities. After six years of his political emigration in Europe, Bogdanov returned to Russia in 1914, following the amnesty.

Bogdanov's innovative work on comparative study of economic and military power of European nations, written in 1912-1913, was the first interdisciplinary work ever on systems analysis, which he later merged with tectonics. In his work Bogdanov introduced modern principles of systems theory and systems analysis. However, his works on systems analysis were not translated at the time of his life, and were not known outside Russia for many years.

After World War I
Bogdanov served in World War I as a physician at a hospital and played no role in the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, Bogdanov refused multiple offers to rejoin the party and denounced the new regime as similar to Aleksey Arakcheyev's arbitrary and despotic rule in the early 1820s. From 1913 until 1922 he was immersed in the writing of a lengthy philosophical treatise, Tectology: Universal Organization Science which anticipated many basic ideas of systems analysis later explored by cybernetics. In 1918, Bogdanov became a professor of economics at the University of Moscow and director of the newly established Socialist Academy of Social Sciences.

In 1918-1920, Bogdanov was one of the founders and the leading theoretician of the proletarian art movement Proletkult. In his lectures and articles, he called for the total destruction of the "old bourgeois culture" in favour of a "pure proletarian culture" of the future. At first Proletkult, like other radical cultural movements of the era, received financial support from the Bolshevik government, but by 1919-1920 the Bolshevik leadership grew hostile and on December 1, 1920 Pravda published a decree denouncing Proletkult as a "petit bourgeois" organization operating outside of Soviet institutions and a haven for "socially alien elements". Later in the month the president of Proletkult was removed and Bogdanov lost his seat on its Central Committee. He withdrew from the organization completely in 1921-1922 .

In the summer of 1923, Bogdanov was arrested by the Soviet secret police on suspicion of having inspired the recently discovered secret oppositionist group Worker's Truth, interrogated and soon released.

In 1924, Bogdanov started his blood transfusion experiments, apparently hoping to achieve eternal youth or at least partial rejuvenation. Lenin's sister Maria Ulianova was among many who volunteered to take part in Bogdanov's experiments. After undergoing 11 blood transfusions, he remarked with satisfaction on the improvement of his eyesight, suspension of balding, and other positive symptoms. The fellow revolutionary Leonid Krasin wrote to his wife that "Bogdanov seems to have become 7, no, 10 years younger after the operation".

In 1925-1926, Bogdanov founded Institute for Haemotology and Blood Transfusions, which was later named after him. After Lenin's death, he was commissioned to study Lenin's brain and, if possible, to resuscitate his body [citation needed]. In his letters to the Soviet leaders Joseph Stalin and Bukharin he dreamed of physically rejuvenating the Bolshevik party leadership [citation needed].

In 1928 Bogdanov lost his life as a result of one of the experiments, when the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis was given to him in a transfusion. Some scholars (e.g. Loren Graham) have speculated that his death may have been a suicide, because Bogdanov wrote a highly nervous political letter shortly before his last experiment, while others attribute it to blood type incompatibility, which was poorly understood at the time .

In 1908 Bogdanov published the novel Red Star (novel), a utopia set on Mars, in which he made some almost prophetic predictions about future scientific and social developments. His utopia also touched on feminist themes that would become more common later in the development of utopian science fiction, e.g. the two sexes becoming virtually identical in the future or women escaping "domestic slavery" (one reason for the physical changes) and being free to pursue relationships with the same freedom as men, without any extra stigma.

Other notable differences between the utopia of Red Star and present-day society include workers having total control over their working hours, as well as more subtle differences in social behavior such as conversations being patiently "set at the level of the person with whom they were speaking and with understanding for his personality although it might very much differ from their own." The novel also gave a detailed description of blood transfusion in the Martian society.

Red Star was one of the inspirations for Red Mars, an award-winning science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. Bogdanov is the surname of the character Arkady (perhaps the first name is a nod to the Russian science fiction writer Arkady Strugatsky, although this is not confirmed) who is also a fictional descendant of Alexander Bogdanov.


Bogdanov's original proposition - Tectology - consisted of unifying all social, biological and physical sciences, by considering them as systems of relationships, and by seeking the organizational principles that underly all systems. His work "Tektology: Universal Organization Science", finished by the early 1920s, anticipated many of the ideas that were popularized later by Norbert Wiener in Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the General Systems Theory. There are suggestions that both Wiener and von Bertalanffy might have read the German translation of Tektology which was published in 1928. In Russia, Lenin (and later Stalin) considered Bogdanov's natural philosophy an ideological threat to the dialectic materialism and put tectology to sleep. The rediscovery of Bogdanov's tectology occurred only in 1970s.

Poznanie s Istoricheskoi Tochki Zreniya (Knowledge from a Historical Viewpoint), St. Petersburg, 1901.
Empiriomonizm: Stat'i po Filosofii (Empiriomonism: Articles on Philosophy) in 3 volumes, Moscow, 1904-1906
Filosofiya Zhivogo Opyta: Populiarnye Ocherki (Philosophy of Living Experience: Popular Essays), St. Petersburg, 1912
Tektologiya: Vseobschaya Organizatsionnaya Nauka in 3 volumes, Berlin and Petrograd-Moscow, 1922.
English translation as Essays in Tektology: The General Science of Organization, trans. George Gorelik, Seaside, CA, Intersystems Publications, 1980.

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