Boris Pilnyak

Boris Pilnyak

Birth
Moscow Oblast, Russia
Death 21 Apr 1938 (aged 43)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial Kommunarka, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Memorial ID 8964080 · View Source
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Author. Born Boris Andreyevich Vogau, he made a splash with his first novel, "The Naked Year" (1922), a wildly written tale of the Russian Revolution, and followed this with "Machines and Wolves" (1925), "Mother Earth" (1926), and "Spilled Time" (1927). In 1926 he earned the enmity of Josef Stalin, who was not yet dictator, with his book "A Tale of the Unextinguished Moon", in which he hinted (without naming names) that Stalin was responsible for the mysterious death of a Red Army general. After Stalin's rise to sole power in 1928, Pilnyak was regularly attacked by Soviet critics for his apolitical attitudes and seeming insistence that human nature was incorrigible, and that communism was not likely to change it. The situation came to a head with his novella "Mahagony" (1929), about the backward inhabitants of a Russian village. Denied publication in the USSR, it was published by an émigré press in Berlin. This resulted in a nationwide campaign vilifying Pilnyak and in 1930 he was expelled as head of the Authors' League in Moscow. Understandably frightened by this turn of events, Pilnyak unsuccessfully tried to save his position with a Five-Year-Plan novel, "The Volga Flows Into The Caspian Sea" (1930), and "OK" (1932), a very unfavorable account of his visit to the United States. Thereafter he wrote what he believed were politically safe travel books, but even for these he was accused of "bourgeois fraternization with the decadent west". In 1937 he was arrested by the NKVD in Moscow and never heard from again. Not until the early 1990s was it revealed that he had been convicted of espionage by a military tribunal and shot at the Kommunarka killing field in April 1938. Pilnyak was posthumously cleared of these charges in 1956.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 21 Jun 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8964080
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Boris Pilnyak (11 Oct 1894–21 Apr 1938), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8964080, citing Kommunarka Mass Execution Site, Kommunarka, Moscow Oblast, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .