Sinyavsky, Andrey Donatovich

▪ 1998

      Russian writer and dissident (b. Oct. 8, 1925, Moscow, U.S.S.R.—d. Feb. 25, 1997, Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris, France), was imprisoned (1966) after having been convicted along with another writer, Yuly Daniel, of having published anti-Soviet works. His trial attracted worldwide attention and sparked a new wave of dissent nationwide. Following service in the Red Army during World War II, Sinyavsky attended Moscow M.V. Lomonov State University, graduating in 1949 and receiving a doctorate in 1952. He later joined the faculty of the A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, Moscow, and in the early 1960s he began contributing criticism in the literary journal Novy Mir and wrote an incisive introduction to a volume of Boris Pasternak's poetry. In the late 1950s, however, writing under the pseudonym Abram Tertz, Sinyavsky began having his works smuggled to the West and published there. First was the essay "Chto takoe sotsialistichesky realizm" (On Socialist Realism, 1960). This was followed by such novels as Sud idyot (1959; The Trial Begins, 1960) and Lyubimov (1964; The Makepeace Experiment, 1965) and the short-story collection Fantasticheskiye povesti (1961; Fantastic Stories, 1963) as the literary world speculated about the true name of the author. His identity was revealed when Sinyavsky and Daniel were arrested in 1965. Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years' hard labour and Daniel five. Sinyavsky was released after five and a half years, in 1971, and two years later moved to Paris to teach Russian literature at the Sorbonne. Soon thereafter he published Golos iz khora (1973; A Voice from the Chorus, 1976), based on letters he sent to his wife, Maria Rozanova, from the labour camp, and in 1978 he and Rozanova founded the literary journal Sintaksis. After Daniel's death in 1988, Sinyavsky made his first return visit to Moscow.

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▪ Russian writer
Sinyavsky also spelled  Siniavski,  pseudonym  Abram Terts, or Tertz 
born Oct. 8, 1925, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.
died Feb. 25, 1997, Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris, France

      Russian critic and author of novels and short stories who was convicted of subversion by the Soviet government in 1966.

      Sinyavsky graduated from Moscow University in 1952 and later joined the faculty of the Gorky Institute of World Literature. He contributed to the literary journal Novy Mir and produced an incisive introduction to a volume of poems by Boris Pasternak. His works of fiction, none of which were published in the Soviet Union, were smuggled to the West and published under the name of Abram Tertz.

      The English translations of Sinyavsky's fiction began with that of the novel Sud idyot (1960; The Trial Begins), which deals with the Doctors' Plot of 1953, during which nine Soviet doctors were unjustly accused of treason. An anthology of short stories, Fantastic Stories (1963), explores the themes of tyranny, dissipation, and spiritual loneliness. In the novel The Makepeace Experiment (1965), a village boss hoodwinks his constituents with myths and magic. Also smuggled to the West was the essay On Socialist Realism (1960), which called for a new inventiveness in Soviet literature.

      Sinyavsky and another writer, Yuly Daniel (Daniel, Yuli Markovich), were arrested on September 13, 1965, and the following February were convicted of producing anti-Soviet propaganda through their writings. Daniel was sentenced to five years of hard labour and Sinyavsky to seven. The trial, a record of which was published in On Trial (1966), prompted domestic and international protest. Sinyavsky was released from prison in 1971 and two years later moved to Paris, where he taught Russian literature at the Sorbonne. His later works include Mysli vrasplokh (1966; Unguarded Thoughts), Golos iz khora (1973; A Voice from the Chorus), and Spokoynoy nochi (1984; Goodnight!).

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Universalium. 2010.

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