Sinyavsky, Andrey Donatovich

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Sinyavsky, Andrey Donatovich

Andrey Donatovich Sinyavsky (ŭndrā´ dōnät´əvyĬch´ sĬnyäf´skē), 1925–97, Russian novelist and essayist. Starting in the 1960s, Sinyavsky, a protege of Boris Pasternak, had a number of works, all focusing on the nightmarish nature of life in the time of Stalin, published abroad under the name of Abram Tertz. In 1965, he was arrested along with the Jewish writer Yuly Daniel and sentenced to hard labor for anti-Soviet activity. He was released in 1971 and allowed to emigrate in 1973 to France, where he and his wife published works by other émigré writers. Sinyavsky's novels—The Trial Begins (1956, tr. 1961), The Makepeace Experiment (1964; tr. 1965), and Goodnight (1984, tr. 1989)—and stories—such as those in Fantastic Stories (1961; tr. 1963)—are marked by stylistic virtuosity and a masterful fusion of realist and surrealist elements. His other works include the prison memoir A Voice from the Chorus (1973, tr. 1976) and Soviet Civilization: A Cultural History (1990).

See study by R. Lourie (1975).

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