Aleksandr Konstantinovich Voronskii

Voronskii, Aleksandr Konstantinovich

 

Born Aug. 19 (31), 1884; died Oct. 13, 1943. Figure in the revolutionary movement in Russia, literary critic, and writer. Joined the Communist Party in 1904. Born in the village of Khoroshavka, Kirsanov District (in present-day Tambov Oblast), into a priest’s family.

Voronskii was expelled from the Tambov Ecclesiastical Seminary for “political unreliability.” He participated in the Revolution of 1905-07, was a member of the military combat organization of the Bolsheviks in Sveaborg, and headed the Vladimir district organization of the RSDLP in 1907. He conducted Party work in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Saratov, and other cities. Voronskii was a delegate to the Sixth (Prague) Conference of the RSDLP. He was subjected to repression.

Voronskii’s first works were printed in 1911. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the presidium of the Odessa Soviet, of the Odessa Committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik), and of the Executive Committee of the Soviets of Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies of the Rumanian Front, Black Sea Front, and Odessa Military District. He was an active participant in the struggle for the establishment of Soviet power in Odessa. During 1918-20 he was a member of the province committee of the Party and of the province executive committee of the Soviet in Ivanovo-Voznesensk and editor of the newspaper Rabochii krai. He was a delegate to the Eighth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik). He was elected to four All-Russian Central Executive Committees.

From 1921 to 1927, Voronskii edited the journal Krasnaia nov’, which was founded with the participation of V. I. Lenin, and made it into a center of the new Soviet literature. In 1922 he also became editor of the journal Prozhektor. He was the director of the Krug Publishing House and a member of the editorial collegium of Gosizdat (State Publishing House). Voronskii published many articles about the contemporary literary movement (the collections Art and Life, 1924; Literary Types, 1925; The World Through the Eyes of Art, 1928; Literary Portraits, vols. 1-2, 1928-29). Voronskii defended realism and the traditions of classical literature, overestimated the role of immediate impressions in literary creation, and denied the hegemony of the proletariat in art. Some of the ideas in Voronskii’s book The World Through the Eyes of Art (for instance, on intuition) were developed by the theoreticians of the Pereval (The Pass) group in the late 1920’s. In 1926-27 Voronskii was a member of a TrotskyZinoviev anti-Party bloc and was expelled from the ACP (Bolshevik); he was restored to Party membership after he broke with the opposition. He worked in the Goslit (State Literature) Publishing House.

Voronskii’s best works of criticism are his literary portraits of such Soviet writers as Vs. Ivanov, L. Seifullina, I. Babel’, S. Esenin, and D. Bednyi. He wrote the publicistic book Lenin and Mankind (1924), the autobiographical novellas Live and Dead Water (1927; 3rd ed., 1971) andThe Seminary (1933; 3rd ed., 1966), short stories, and the bookZheliabov (1934).

WORKS

Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i. Introductory article by A. Dement’-ev. Moscow, 1963.
“Iz knigi Gogol’.” Novyi mir, 1964, no. 8.
“Pis’mo V. I. Leninu.” Novyi mir, 1966, no. 12.
“Vstrechi i besedy s Maximom Gor’kim (iz vospominanii).” Novyi mir, 1966, no. 6.

REFERENCES

Porębina, G. Aleksander Woronski: Poglądy estetyczne i Krytycznoliterackie (1921-28). Wroclaw. 1964.

A. G. DEMENT’EV