No Day Without a Line: From Notebooks

Northwestern University Press, 1998 - 249 Seiten
First published in 1965 and reprinted many times in the Soviet Union and Russia, Yury Olesha's No Day without a Line is a series of thematically assembled journal entries which together form an unusual and extremely engaging personal memoir. Ranging from Olesha's prerevolutionary childhood, to notable cultural figures, to Russian and Western literature, the entries are artfully composed units in which an image is developed, a memory precisely delineated, or an apercu elaborated. Occasionally, the units coalesce in a chain of reflections on a common theme, such as Olesha's memories of the 1905 Potyomkin mutiny, his recollections of the poet Mayakovsky, or his discussion of the writings of Tolstoy or Hemingway.

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Über den Autor (1998)

Of Polish background, Olesha chose to join the new Soviet state. He became popular in the early 1920s for his satiric verse, but his most important work is fiction, especially the novel Envy (1927), which deals with the problems of older intellectuals in accepting the new Soviet society. The play A List of Benefits (1931) continues this theme. The novella The Three Fat Men (1930), a fairy tale about revolution in an imaginary country, also proved very popular, and Olesha wrote a number of excellent short stories as well. During the Stalin period, his work was essentially suppressed; only after the writer's death was the quasi-autobiographical No Day without a Line (1965) put together from his manuscripts. Although his total output is modest, Olesha is a major modern figure. He was a master of fictional technique, particularly adept at manipulating imagery and at forcing the reader to reexamine personal expectations about the representation of reality in art. The artist's place in contemporary society is one of his major themes, developed in great detail in Envy.

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