Andrei Donatovich Sinyavsky (Russian: ? ? ?, 8 October 1925 in Moscow – 25 February 1997 in Paris) was a Russian writer, dissident, political prisoner, emigrant, Professor of Sorbonne University, magazine founder and publisher. He frequently wrote under the pseudonym ? (Abram Tertz).
During a time of extreme censorship in the Soviet Union, Sinyavsky published his novels in the West under a pseudonym. The historical Abram Tertz was a Jewish gangster from Russia's past, Sinyavsky himself was not Jewish; his father, Donat Sinyavsky, was a Russian nobleman from Syzran, who turned Social Revolutionary and was arrested (after the revolution) several times as an "enemy of the people". During his last stay in jail Donat Sinyavsky became ill and after his release, developed mental illness. Andrei Sinyavsky described his father's experiences in the novel Goodnight! Sinyavsky's mother was of a Russian peasant background.
A protégé of Boris Pasternak, Sinyavsky described the realities of Soviet life in short fiction stories. In 1965, he was arrested, along with fellow-writer and friend Yuli Daniel, and tried in the infamous Sinyavsky-Daniel show trial. On 14 February 1966, Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years on charges of "anti-Soviet activity" for the opinions of his fictional characters.
The affair was accompanied by harsh propaganda campaigns in the Soviet media and was perceived as a sign of demise of the Khrushchev Thaw.
As historian Fred Coleman writes, "Historians now have no difficulty pinpointing the birth of the modern Soviet dissident movement. It began in February 1966 with the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, two Russian writers who ridiculed the Communist regime in satires smuggled abroad and published under pen names... Little did they realize at the time that they were starting a movement that would help end Communist rule."
Sinyavsky was released in 1971 and allowed to emigrate in 1973 to France, where he was one of co-founders, together with his wife Maria Rozanova, of the Russian-language almanac Sintaksis. They had a son, Iegor Gran. He actively contributed to Radio Liberty. He died in 1997 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris.
Andrei Sinyavsky's grave (Cimetière communal de Fontenay-aux-Roses, Rue des Pierrelais 18) Google maps view
Sinyavsky was the catalyst for the formation of an important Russian-English translation team Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear, who have translated a number of works by Mikhail Bulgakov, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoyevski, Nikolai Gogol, and Leo Tolstoy. Volokhonsky, who was born and raised in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), first visited the United States in the early 1970s and happened across Pevear's Hudson Review article about Sinyavsky. At the time, Pevear believed Sinyavsky was still in a Russian prison; Volokhonsky had just helped him immigrate to Paris. Pevear was surprised and pleased to be mistaken:
"Larissa had just helped Sinyavsky leave Russia," Pevear recalled. "And she let me know that, while I'd said he was still in prison, he was actually in Paris. I was glad to know it."
- On Socialist Realism (1959) criticised the poor quality of the drearily positive-toned, conflict-free strictures in the style of the state-backed socialist realism, and called for a return to the fantastic in Soviet literature, the tradition, Sinyavsky said, of Gogol and Vladimir Mayakovsky. This work also drew connections between socialist realism and classicism. It asserted that greater similarities exist between Soviet literature and that predating the 19th century than exist between Soviet (socialist realist) literature and the intellectual skepticism plaguing the protagonists of 19th-century Russian novels.
- The Trial Begins (1960) is a short novel with characters reacting in different ways to their roles in a totalitarian society, told with elements of the fantastic.
- The Makepeace Experiment (1963) is an allegorical novel of Russia where a leader uses non-rational powers to rule.
- Fantastic Stories (1963) is a collection of short stories, such as "The Icicle". The stories are mostly culled from the 1950s and 1960s and are written in the fantastic tradition of Gogol, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and Yevgeny Zamyatin.
- A Voice from the Chorus (1973) is a collection of scattered thoughts from the gulag, composed in letters he wrote to his wife. It contains snippets of literary thoughts as well as the comments and conversations of fellow prisoners, most of the criminals or even German war prisoners.
- Goodnight! (1984) is an autobiographical novel.
- Soviet Civilization: A Cultural History (1990).
- . ? (1998).
- Sinyavsky, Andrei; Tikos, Laszlo; Ellert, Frederick (Summer 1966). "On Robert Frost's poems". The Massachusetts Review. 7 (3): 431-441. JSTOR 25087444.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (1969). "Boris Pasternak (1965)". In Davie, Donald; Livigstone, Angela. Pasternak. Macmillan. pp. 154-219. ISBN 0312032250.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (May 1974). "Father Boris Zalivako". Religion in Communist Lands. 2 (3): 16-17. doi:10.1080/09637497408430673.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (15 April 1976). "The Jews and the Devil". The New York Review of Books.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (September 1978). "Emigré". Encounter. 51 (3): 79-80.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (April 1979). "Andrei Sinyavsky on dissidence". Encounter. 52 (4): 91-93.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei; Andreyev Carlisle, Olga (22 November 1979). "Solzhenitsyn and Russian nationalism: an interview with Andrei Sinyavsky". The New York Review of Books.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (August 1980). "Samizdat and the rebirth of literature". Index on Censorship. 9 (4): 8-13. doi:10.1080/03064228008533086.
- Aksenov, Vasily; Etkind, Efim; Grigorenko, Pyotr; Grigorenko, Zinaida; Kopelev, Lev; Litvinov, Pavel; Litvinov, Maya; Mihajlov, Mihajlo; Proffer, Carl; Proffer, Ellendea; Synyavsky, Andrey; Shraginet, Boris; et al. (4 February 1982). "Help the Poles". The New York Review of Books.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (Spring 1984). "Dissent as a personal experience". Dissent. 31 (2): 152-161.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (June 1986). "My life as a writer". Index on Censorship. 15 (6): 7-14. doi:10.1080/03064228608534110.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (May 1988). "The space of prose". Index on Censorship. 17 (5): 20-36. doi:10.1080/03064228808534414.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (10 April 1989). "Would I move back?". Time (15): 75-77.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (November 1989). "A trip to Moscow". Index on Censorship. 18 (10): 7-10. doi:10.1080/03064228908534730.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei; Peterson, Dale (Winter 1990). "Russian nationalism". The Massachusetts Review. 31 (4): 475-494. JSTOR 25090205.
- Sinyavsky, Andrei (1990). "Rozanov". In Freeborn, Richard; Grayson, Jane. Ideology in Russian literature. Macmillan. pp. 116-133. ISBN 0312032250.
- " ? ? "? ": ? ? ?" [Andrei Sinyavsky's correspondence to the editors of "Poet's Library" series: the change of the Soviet literary field]. (in Russian) (71). 2005.
- Artz, Martine (15 May 1995). "Literature in the dock: the trial against Andrej Sinjavskij". Russian Literature. 37 (4): 441-450. doi:10.1016/0304-3479(95)91600-T.
- Borden, Richard (Autumn 1998). "Andrei Sinyavsky: in memoriam". The Slavic and East European Journal. 42 (3): 372-376. JSTOR 309673.
- Chapple, Richard (February 1976). "Criminals and criminality according to the Soviet dissidents-works of Andrey Sinyavsky and Yuly Daniel". In Fox, Vernon. Proceedings of the 21st annual Southern conference on corrections. 21. Tallahassee: Florida State University. pp. 149-158.
- Genis, Aleksandr (1999). "Archaic postmodernism: the aesthetics of Andrei Sinyavsky". In Epstein, Mikhail; Genis, Aleksandr; Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka. Russian postmodernism: new perspectives on post-Soviet culture. Berghahn Books. pp. 185-196. ISBN 1571810285.
- Fenander, Sara (1993). Andrei Sinyavsky's fantasies of subversion. Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University.
- Frank, Joseph (27 June 1991). "The triumph of Abram Tertz". The New York Review of Books. 38 (12): 35-43.
- Glenny, Michael (January 1968). "Sinyavsky and Daniel on Trial". Survey: 145-146.
- Haber, Erika (Autumn 1998). "My personal strolls with Tertz". The Slavic and East European Journal. 42 (3): 381-384. doi:10.2307/309675. JSTOR 309675.
- Hayward, Max (1966). On trial: the Soviet State versus "Abram Tertz" and "Nikolai Arzhak". Harper & Row. ASIN B000BF3EIE.
- Jacobson, Dan (1 November 1976). "Observations: Sinyavsky's art". Commentary. 62 (5): 66.
- Kolonosky, Walter (1975). "Andrei Siniavskii: the chorus and the critic". Canadian-American Slavic Studies. 9 (3): 352-360. doi:10.1163/221023975X00126.
- Kolonosky, Walter (Autumn 1998). "Andrei Sinyavsky: puzzle maker". The Slavic and East European Journal. 42 (3): 385-388. doi:10.2307/309676. JSTOR 309676.
- Kolonosky, Walter (2003). Literary insinuations: sorting out Sinyavsky's irreverence. Lexington Books. ISBN 0739104888.
- Lourie, Richard (1975). Letters to the future: an approach to Sinyavsky-Tertz. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801408903.
- Matich, Olga (Spring 1989). "Spokojnoj no?i: Andrej Sinjavskij's rebirth as Abram Terc". The Slavic and East European Journal. 33 (1): 50-63. doi:10.2307/308383. JSTOR 308383.
- Murav, Harriet (1998). "Siniavskii, libel, and the author's liability". Russia's legal fictions. Michigan: University of Michigan Press. pp. 193-232. ISBN 0472108794.
- Nepomnyashchy, Catharine (Fall 1982). "Andrei Sinyavsky's "You and I": a modern day fantastic tale". Ulbandus Review. 2 (2): 209-230. JSTOR 25748080.
- Nepomnyashchy, Catharine (1984). "Sinyavsky/Tertz: the evolution of the writer in exile" (PDF). Humanities in Society. 7 (3/4): 123-142. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 April 2016.
- Nepomnyashchy, Catharine (Spring 1991). "Andrei Sinyavsky's 'return' to the Soviet Union". Formations. 6 (1): 24-44.
- Nepomnyashchy, Catharine (1995). Abram Tertz and the poetics of crime. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300062109.
- Nepomnyashchy, Catharine (Autumn 1998). "Andrei Donatovich Sinyavsky (1925-1997)". The Slavic and East European Journal. 42 (3): 367-371. doi:10.2307/309672. JSTOR 309672.
- Parthé, Kathleen (Autumn 1998). "Sinyavsky on his way to tomorrow". The Slavic and East European Journal. 42 (3): 394-398. doi:10.2307/309678. JSTOR 309678.
- Pearson, John (1972). Techniques of alienation in the fiction of Andrey Sinyavsky. Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University.
- Pevear, Richard (Autumn 1972). "Sinyavsky in two worlds". The Hudson Review. 25 (3): 375-402. doi:10.2307/3850088. JSTOR 3850088.
- Phillips, William; Shragin, Boris; Aleshkovsky, Yuz; Kott, Jan; Siniavski, Andrei; Aksyonov, Vassily; Litvinov, Pavel; Dovlatov, Sergei; Nekrassov, Viktor; Etkind, Efim; Voinovich, Vladimir; Kohak, Erazim; Loebl, Eugen (Winter 1984). "Writers in exile III: a conference of Soviet and East European dissidents". The Partisan Review. 51 (1): 11-44.
- Woronzoff, Alexander (Winter-Spring 1983). "The writer as artist and critic: the case of Andrej Sinjavskij". Russian Language Journal. 37 (126/127): 139-145. JSTOR 43659908.
- ^ Coleman, Fred (August 15, 1997). The Decline and Fall of Soviet Empire : Forty Years That Shook The World, From Stalin to Yeltsin. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 95. ISBN 0-312-16816-0.
- ^ Andrei Sinyavsky Archived July 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. RADIO LIBERTY: 50 YEARS OF BROADCASTING. Hoover Inst, Stanford University