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 Mikhail Yelizarov


Born:   January, 28th, 1973

Russian writer, winner of the Russian Booker literary award.

      

 

Mikhail Yuryevich Yelizarov was born on January, 28th, 1973 in Ivano-Frankovsk (Ukraine).

He graduated Philology Faculty of Kharkov University and a music school majoring in opera singing. From 2001 to 2003 he lived in Hanover, where he studied at film school to become a TV director. From 2003 to 2007 Mikhail lived and worked in Berlin.

As a result, Mikhail Yelizarov has truly established himself as a writer. His literary career, however, did not go too smoothly either. At first he composed verses, but they were not very good. Then the unaccomplished opera singer tried his wings in prose writing and in 2001 published a book of short stories under the title “Nails”, which attracted attention to the writer. The collection included 24 short stories and the same-name story, the main characters of which are two inmates of a boarding school for mentally deficient children. According to the author, he had been writing these short stories from the age of 19 to 27. The story “Nails” found itself in the short list of Andrey Bely Literary Award, and was announced the best debut of the year in the Afisha magazine.

Yelizarov’s scandalous novel Pasternak (2003), where the recognized poet Boris Pasternak is presented as a demon "poisoning" consciousness of intelligentsia with his works, evoked controversial response. Some critics labeled the book as “trash” and “a sickening novel”. The journal Continent in its review of literary criticism called the critic Lev Pirogov “an ideologist of Nazi trend” for his positive reaction to the novel.

On the other hand, writer Vladimir Bondarenko in the newspaper Zavtra (Tomorrow) highly estimated the novel: “This is where unrestrained Russian revenge showed itself in full feather, as a response to all humiliations and insults of the Russian nation, Russian character, Russian belief and Russian dream… Through the entire set of vanguard literary devices, through philological character of the text and the young writer’s rich erudition, which concedes neither to Umberto Eko nor Milorad Pavic, there is a vehement protection of century-old cultural values of the Russian people”. Critic Lev Danilkin called the novel “an orthodox philosophical action”. As Yelizarov himself said, he never liked Pasternak: “He was a talented person, but with some disgusting poetic principles plus similar human qualities. Then I look further and see an entire iceberg of nasty liberal filth”.

In 2007 Yelizarov’s novel “Librarian” came out and was included in the long-list of the Russian Booker award. The protagonist of the novel finds out that several books by a forgotten Soviet writer have mystical properties, and various groups of readers are struggling for them. As the journal Znamya wrote, “Mikhail Yelizarov’s prose seems to be evolving like the prose of Vladimir Sorokin: from scandalous effort to intellectually impregnated fiction”. In December, 2008 the novel became the winner of the Russian Booker.

Mikhail Yelizarov presently lives in Moscow.

Source: peoples.ru


Tags: Russian literature Russian writers Mikhail Yelizarov   








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