History of Literature

Russian literature


Boris Pilnyak

Boris Pilnyak

Boris Pilnyak (Russian: Бори́с Пильня́к) (October 11 [O.S. September 29] 1894–April 21, 1938) was a Russian author. Born Boris Andreyevich Vogau (Russian: Бори́с Андре́евич Вога́у) in Mozhaisk, he was a major supporter of anti-urbanism and a critic of mechanized society. These views often brought him into disfavor with Communist critics. His most famous works are The Naked Year, Mahogany, and The Volga Falls into the Caspian Sea, all novels concerning revolutionary and post-revolutionary Russia. Another of his well-known works is OK, an unflattering travelogue of his 1931 visit to the United States.

On October 28, 1937, he was arrested on charges of counter-revolutionary activies, spying and terrorism. One report alleged that "he held secret meetings with (Andre) Gide, and supplied him with information about the situation in the USSR. There is no doubt that Gide used this information in this book attacking the USSR." Pilnyak was tried on April 21, 1938. In the proceeding that lasted 15 minutes, he was condemned to death. A small yellow slip of paper attached to his file read: "Sentence carried out."



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