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Viktor Platonovich Nekrasov

journalist , writer

Viktor Platonovich Nekrasov was a Russian writer, journalist and editor.

Background

Nekrasov was born in Kiev and graduated with a degree in architecture in 1936.

Education

Studied railway engineering, switched to architecture at the Construction Institute, Kiev.

Career

His mother was a medical student at Lausanne University. As a boy, lived in Switzerland and in Paris, where his parents had met. Returned to Kiev after World War I. His father died in 1917.

Did not graduate. Became attracted to the theatre. Toured for 4 years as an actor, assistant director and stage designer. World War II ended this career.

Fought throughout the battle of Stalingrad, which provided him with the material for his famous book, V Okopakh Stalingrada (1946, Stalin Prize, 1947). This was an idealized but sincere description of his Stalingrad experiences. After extensive travels to Europe and America in 1957, 1960 and 1962, wrote Both Sides of the Ocean, the tone of which displeased Soviet literary ideologists and Khrushchev personally.

Tried to get a memorial to the victims of Babii Yar erected in Kiev. Eventually expelled from the party and from the Union of Writers. Became unpublishable.

Involved himself in dissident activity. Emigrated in 1974. For some time, editor-in-chief of the emigre magazine Kontinent. Settled in a council flat in a Paris suburb.

Stripped of his Soviet citizenship for his involvement with Kontinent. Continued to travel around the world. Left his former actress wife and son who had been allowed to join him in exile.

Achievements

  • The novel was awarded the USSR State Prize for literature in 1947.

Politics

After Joseph Stalin's death in 1953, Nekrasov took advantage of the first wave of destalinization to publish In the Home Town (1954), a novel which marked a departure from the Stalin-era socialist realism in Soviet literature. After Khruschev's ouster in October 1964, Nekrasov joined other Soviet intellectuals in protesting what he saw as the new government's gradual restoration of Stalinism.

Membership

USSR Union of Writers.