Alexander Tvardovsky

Alexander Tvardovsky

Birth
Russia
Death 18 Dec 1971 (aged 61)
Russia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Memorial ID 23752779 · View Source
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Poet, Editor. He won fame for his comic narrative poem "Vasya Tyorkin" (1942 to 1945), about the adventures of a Red Army peasant-soldier during World War II. It won a Stalin Prize in 1946 and the irrepressible "Tyorkin" became a folkloric figure for Russian readers. As editor of the literary magazine "Novy Mir" ("New World") from 1950 to 1954, and again from 1958 to 1970, Tvardovsky encouraged authors to write with an honesty that had been absent from Soviet Literature for decades. Among the important works he published were Ilya Ehrenburg's "The Thaw" (1954), which gave its name to the period of modest liberal reforms following the death of dictator Josef Stalin; and Alexander Solzhenitsyn's landmark account of the Stalinist gulag, "One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (1962). Alexander Trifonovich Tvardovsky was born to poor farmers in Zagorye, near Smolensk, and began writing poems for newspapers at age 15. His early books, "The Path to Socialism" (1931), "Introduction" (1932), and "Village Chronicle" (1939), deal with the subject of collectivization with freshness and vigor. "The Land of Muraviya", awarded the 1941 Stalin Prize, transplanted the Don Quixote legend to the Soviet Union. The widespread popularity of "Vasya Tyorkin" led to his appointment as editor of "Novy Mir" which, at no small risk to himself, he attempted to turn into a forum of relatively independent thought. In August 1954 government hardliners fired Tvardovsky for approving a series of articles, mainly Vladimir Pomerantsev's "On Sincerity in Literature", attacking the falsehood and monotony of "Socialist Realism"; four years later he was reinstated by Premier Nikita Khruschev, who found him a useful ally in his war against Stalinist supporters in the Politburo. When Solzhenitsyn brought him the manuscript of "One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich", Tvardovsky bypassed the censors and sent a copy to Khruschev, who ordered its immediate publication. The story officially lifted the lid on the open secret of Stalin's concentration camps in Siberia, and caused an international furore. After Khruschev's ouster in 1964 Tvardovsky's position became increasingly tenuous. His confessional "By Right of Memory" (completed 1968), in which he castigated oppression of the arts and his own role in the political machine, was promptly banned and would not see print until 1987. He was finally forced to resign from "Novy Mir" on the instigation of hardline leader Leonid Brezhnev, who attempted to mask the blow by awarding him the 1970 Order of the Red Banner and the 1971 State Literature Prize. Shortly before his death from cancer he was elected as a candidate member of the Central Committee. Today Tvardovsky is admired for his brave efforts on behalf of free expression within the Soviet literary establishment.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 4 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23752779
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alexander Tvardovsky (21 Jun 1910–18 Dec 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23752779, citing Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .