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 Andrei Platonov

Born:   20 August (1 September) 1899
Deceased:   5 January 1951



Andrei Platonov was one of the most original Russian writers of the first half of the 20th century. His prose is very unusual, abounding in plentiful symbols that are sometimes not easy to fathom.

Andrei Platonovich Klimentov was born on 20 August (1 September) 1899 into the family of a railroad mechanic in Voronezh.

He studied in a church school and then in a town college. Andrei started working at the age of 13 or 15 to help up his family.

He took part in the Civil War as a frontline journalist. From 1919 on he contributed his works to a number of newspapers as a poet, essayist and critic. In 1920 he changed his surname from Klimentov to Platonov (from his father’s first name).

In 1931 after the issue of his “Vprok, Chronicles of the poor” that was subjected to disparaging critics by Fadeev and Stalin, Andrei Platonov was banned from publication.

In 1937 his 15-year old son was arrested on charge of an anti-Soviet plot. In 1940 he returned back, deadly sick with tuberculosis, to die in his father’s lap three years later.

During the war Platonov worked as a military correspondent and his short stories about war appeared in press (probably, with Stalin’s personal approval). His short story “Return” published in 1946 served as a pretext to accuse him of libeling. After that he could make his living only by adapting some folk tales for children. Yet, he left quite a number of original profound works.

When looking after his son Andrei Platonov caught tuberculosis and died of it on 5 January 1951 in Moscow. The writer was laid to rest at Armenian Cemetery in Moscow. One of the streets in Voronezh is named after Andrei Platonov; there is his monument there, too.

Tags: Andrei Platonov Russian literature Russian writers   

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