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 Yuri Olesha

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Yuri Olesha Famous memorial

Birth
Kropyvnytskyi, Kirovohradska, Ukraine
Death
10 May 1960 (aged 61)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Plot
1
Memorial ID
10198894 View Source

Author. Considered one of the most original figures of the Soviet period in Russian Literature. Born in Elizavetograd, Ukraine, he was raised in Odessa and served in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. In 1922 he moved to Moscow and began writing for the magazine "The Whistle"; its staff included such future literary greats as Isaac Babel, Mikhail Bulgakov, Valentin Kataev, and the satirical team of Ilf and Petrov. Olesha caused a sensation with his dazzling first novel, "Envy" (1927). A seeming satire of the decaying Russian middle class and a hymn to Soviet progress, it was initially hailed as a masterpiece, even by "Pravda" (the official organ of the Communist Party and not often given to book reviews). But its subtly ambiguous tone and wealth of symbols worried more astute critics, who read between the lines and saw "Envy" for the subversive tale it really was. Its primary themes are stubborn devotion to the past and fear of a dehumanized future, and Olesha explored them further in his second novel, the fairy tale-like "Three Fat Men" (1928), which was turned into a ballet and an opera; the play "A List of Assets" (1931); and several first-rate short stories, among them "The Cherry Pit" and "Love". Like most Russian writers of his generation Olesha was adversely affected by dictator Josef Stalin's regimentation of the arts in the 1930's. He felt blocked by the Party's mandatory rules of "socialist realism", which demanded relentless, uncritical optimism about Soviet life. He complained to a friend, "If I write 'the weather was bad', they'll tell me it was good for the cotton crop". Addressing the First Congress of the Soviet Writers Union in 1934, Olesha pleaded for the right to choose his own subjects, but permission was denied and he fell into silence. At the height of Stalin's purges in 1937, Olesha was denounced and his books were banned; how he managed to avoid being shot or sent to Siberia, the fate of many of his colleagues, is a mystery. He kept his head down and eked out a living as a hack journalist. In 1957, after Stalin's death, Olesha was restored to favor and his "Collected Works" (including "Envy") were published, but by then he was a hopeless alcoholic, his once prodigious talent only a memory. He drank himself to death three years later. "No Day Without a Line", a memoir Olesha had tinkered with for two decades and never finished, appeared posthumously in 1961.

Author. Considered one of the most original figures of the Soviet period in Russian Literature. Born in Elizavetograd, Ukraine, he was raised in Odessa and served in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. In 1922 he moved to Moscow and began writing for the magazine "The Whistle"; its staff included such future literary greats as Isaac Babel, Mikhail Bulgakov, Valentin Kataev, and the satirical team of Ilf and Petrov. Olesha caused a sensation with his dazzling first novel, "Envy" (1927). A seeming satire of the decaying Russian middle class and a hymn to Soviet progress, it was initially hailed as a masterpiece, even by "Pravda" (the official organ of the Communist Party and not often given to book reviews). But its subtly ambiguous tone and wealth of symbols worried more astute critics, who read between the lines and saw "Envy" for the subversive tale it really was. Its primary themes are stubborn devotion to the past and fear of a dehumanized future, and Olesha explored them further in his second novel, the fairy tale-like "Three Fat Men" (1928), which was turned into a ballet and an opera; the play "A List of Assets" (1931); and several first-rate short stories, among them "The Cherry Pit" and "Love". Like most Russian writers of his generation Olesha was adversely affected by dictator Josef Stalin's regimentation of the arts in the 1930's. He felt blocked by the Party's mandatory rules of "socialist realism", which demanded relentless, uncritical optimism about Soviet life. He complained to a friend, "If I write 'the weather was bad', they'll tell me it was good for the cotton crop". Addressing the First Congress of the Soviet Writers Union in 1934, Olesha pleaded for the right to choose his own subjects, but permission was denied and he fell into silence. At the height of Stalin's purges in 1937, Olesha was denounced and his books were banned; how he managed to avoid being shot or sent to Siberia, the fate of many of his colleagues, is a mystery. He kept his head down and eked out a living as a hack journalist. In 1957, after Stalin's death, Olesha was restored to favor and his "Collected Works" (including "Envy") were published, but by then he was a hopeless alcoholic, his once prodigious talent only a memory. He drank himself to death three years later. "No Day Without a Line", a memoir Olesha had tinkered with for two decades and never finished, appeared posthumously in 1961.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 31 Dec 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 10198894
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10198894/yuri-olesha: accessed ), memorial page for Yuri Olesha (3 Mar 1899–10 May 1960), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10198894, citing Novodevichye Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia; Maintained by Find a Grave .