Iurii Trifonov: Starik [The Old Man]

(1849 words)
  • David Gillespie (University of Bath)

The Old Man (Starik) was published in the March 1978 issue of Druzhba narodov, the Moscow-based monthly periodical where Trifonov published his fiction from 1976 until his death, and which continued to publish his works posthumously in the 1980s (as well as his diaries and notebooks in the 1990s). The Old Man, indeed, is Trifonov’s last published work of fiction before his death in March 1981, and also his most ambitious. The novel successfully marries both of the writer’s main concerns since the mid-1960s: recent Russian history, especially the Civil War of 1918-20, and contemporary Moscow city life.

Set in 1973, the novel centres on the eponymous “old man”, Pavel Letunov, a veteran of the C…

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Gillespie, David. "Starik". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 September 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12780, accessed 27 September 2016.]