Iurii Olesha, Zavist' [Envy]

Alison Rowley (Concordia University, Canada)
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In 1927 issues seven and eight of the well-known literary journal

Red Virgin Soil

[

Krasnaia nov’

] caused a sensation. They introduced Iurii Olesha’s novel

Zavist’

[

Envy

] to the Soviet reading public. Positive reviews followed from both specialized periodicals like

Revolution and Culture

[

Revoliutsiia i kul’tura

] and mass circulation newspapers such as

Pravda

. Reviewers initially saw

Envy

as an attack on outdated bourgeois values, but Olesha was soon under fire because readers sympathized more with the characters who embodied, in the eyes of Soviet officials, those very “negative” values. Charged with “formalism”, in other words with focusing on form at the expense of content (meaning the Party line), Olesha found himself in an ambiguous, and potentially dangerous, position…

1907 words

Citation: Rowley, Alison. "Zavist'". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 April 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=24344, accessed 29 May 2024.]

24344 Zavist' 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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