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 Vladimir Sorokin


Born:   07 August 1955

Russian writer, scriptwriter, and dramatist; one of the central representatives of conceptualism in Russian literature.

      

Vladimir Georgievich Sorokin was born on August 7, 1955 in Bykovo, the Moscow Region.

He studied at Moscow Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas and Moscow Inorganic Chemistry Institute. After graduating as a mechanical engineer, Vladimir Sorokin for a year worked in the Smena magazine and was fired after his denial to join Komsomol (the Young Communist League). Afterwards he engaged in book graphic, painting, and conceptual art. He designed and illustrated around 50 books and participated in numerous art exhibitions. Sorokin’s first literary experiments date back to the early 1970s: in 1972 he debuted as a poet in a large-circulation newspaper. As a man of letters he developed in the milieu of artists and writers of the Moscow underground of the 1980s.

In 1985 the Paris-located journal (A — YA) Unofficial Russian Art Revue published a selection of Sorokin’s six short stories. In the same year the Syntaxes Publishing House (France) released his novel Ochered' (The Queue).

Vladimir Sorokin, who is considered to be a postmodernist, resorts to various literary styles in his stories and novels. In Soviet times he was close to the circle of Moscow conceptualism and was published in samizdat. His first official publication in the USSR occurred in 1989, when the journal Rodnik in Riga inserted a few of the writer’s short stories into the November issue. Somewhat later Sorokin’s stories appeared in other Russian journals and almanacs as well.

In March 1992 Vladimir Sorokin accessed the general public – the journal “Art of Cinema” issued his novel Ochered' (The Queue), the Russlit Publishing House (Moscow) released a book of his short stories, which turned to come on the shortlist of the Booker Award. The manuscript of the novel Serdtsa chetyryokh (Four Stout Hearts) was submitted for the Booker Award and gained a place in the shortlist.

The plots of his literary works repeatedly provoked controversy and discord in the reading community. In particular, the “Going together” movement arranged a number of protest actions against the writer’s activities, calling him a coprophagous; they also sued him, demanding to recognize some places in his works pornographic. The court, however, did not discern any pornography in Sorokin’s writings.

On 23 March 2005 the Bolshoi Theater gave a world premiere of the opera Deti Rozentalya (Rosenthal's Children), composed by Leonid Desyatnikov, with the libretto written by Vladimir Sorokin .

Books by Vladimir Sorokin have been translated into tens of languages. His novels have been issued by large-scale Western publishers, such as Gallimard, Fischer, DuMont, BV Berlin, Haffman, and Verlag Der Autoren. Some movies and plays have been based on Sorokin’s books.


Tags: Russian literature Russian writers Vladimir Sorokin   




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