Vladimir Dudintsev

Vladimir Dudintsev

Birth
Kupiansk, Kharkivs'ka, Ukraine
Death 23 Jul 1998 (aged 79)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Plot Section 10
Memorial ID 10912649 · View Source
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Author. His novel "Not By Bread Alone" (1956) was one of the most significant works of "The Thaw", a short-lived period of relaxed censorship in Soviet Literature following the death of dictator Josef Stalin. Dudintsev used the setting and characters of a typical "Socialist Realist" novel to launch a bitter indictment of Soviet bureacracy. The story concerns a young engineer, Lopatkin, who invents a machine that will increase production at his factory. He is opposed by the unscrupulous factory director, Drozdov, a time-serving hack who is interested only in protecting his cozy position. Drozdov buries the project in red tape, and when a frustrated Lopatkin offers it to the army he is arrested and sent to a labor camp for "trading government secrets". After his release Lopatkin returns to find that Drozdov has stolen his idea and been rewarded with a promotion. The authorities cover up the injustice and try to mollify Lopatkin by offering him an important job, but the engineer no longer wants any part of a system that allows ruthless mediocrities like Drozdov to triumph over their victims. Read by millions throughout Russia when it was serialized in the magazine "Novy Mir", "Not By Bread Alone" enraged Communist officials with its frank depiction of intrigue and cronyism in the Soviet workplace. Premier Nikita Khruschev called the book "slanderous", and at a meeting of the Union of Soviet Writers the author was rebuked so viciously that he fainted. The debate turned international after the novel was seized upon in the West as anti-red propaganda. Dudintsev was finally reprieved in 1959 when Khruschev declared that, despite his "grave errors" as a writer, he was not an enemy of the people. Dudintsev was born in Kharkov, to a former middle-class gentry family. He never knew his father, a White Guard officer who was killed in the Russian Civil War. After World War II service in the Red Army he worked as a journalist and published a collection of stories, "Among Seven Bogatyrs", in 1953. Dudintsev virtually disappeared after the controversy over "Not By Bread Alone", but he reemerged in 1987 with his second novel, "White Robes". Set in the late 1940's, it portrays a group of Soviet scientists clandestinely looking into genetics, ignoring Stalin's ban on such research. It won a State Prize and was made into a film in 1992, with the screenplay by Dudintsev. He died six days short of his 80th birthday.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 4 May 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10912649
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vladimir Dudintsev (29 Jul 1918–23 Jul 1998), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10912649, citing Rakitin Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .