Korneichuk, Aleksandr Evdokimovich
Born May 12 (25), 1905, at the Khristianovka railroad station, now in Cherkassy Oblast; died May 14, 1972, in Kiev. Ukrainian Soviet playwright and public figure. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943) and the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1939); Hero of Socialist Labor (1967). Member of the CPSU from 1940.
Korneichuk was the son of a railroad metalworker. He graduated from the literature department of the Kiev University of Public Education in 1929. His first short story, “He Was Great” (1925), was devoted to V. I. Lenin. His first play, On the Edge (1929), dealt with the artist’s place in socialist society. The historical revolutionary drama The Destruction of the Squadron (2nd prize at the All-Union Contest, 1933; published 1934) was widely popular; it showed that the creative forces of the Revolution lay in the vital movement of the masses. In the play Platon Krechet (1934, published 1935), Korneichuk created an archetypal intellectual humanist and seeker. The character of Lenin first appeared in Ukrainian dramaturgy in his historical revolutionary play The Truth (1937). The drama Bogdan Khmernitskii (1939) depicts the events of the people’s war of liberation of 1648-54 and the reunification of the Ukraine with Russia. Korneichuk received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 for Platon Krechet and Bogdan Khmel’nitskii.
The comedy On the Steppes of the Ukraine (1941; State Prize of the USSR, 1942) marked the beginning of a new thematic genre for Korneichuk, further developed in the comedies Come to Zvonkovoe (1946), The Snowball Grove (1950; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), and Above the Dnieper (1960). Turning to the life of a kolkhoz village, Korneichuk attacked the vestiges of a proprietary psychology, timeserving, and everything else that interfered with the movement of Soviet society toward Communism. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, Korneichuk wrote publicistic articles and the plays Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes (1941), The Front (1942; State Prize of the USSR, 1943), and Mr. Perkins’ Mission in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1944). The Front was a paradigm of fervent party-inspired art responding to the events of the day; the play incisively portrays the conflict between conservative and progressive elements in the army. During the postwar years, Korneichuk wrote a number of plays on modern themes, including Makar Dubrava (1948; State Prize of the USSR, 1949), Wings (1954), Why the Stars Smiled (1957), A Page From a Diary (1964), and The Heart’s Remem-brance(1969; staged by the Kiev Academic Theater of Drama; awarded the T. G. Shevchenko Prize of the UkrSSR, 1971). Many of Korneichuk’s plays have been made into films and have been translated into numerous languages.
Korneichuk was chairman of the Ukrainian Writers’ Union (1938^1 and 1946-53), a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU (from 1952), and a member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party (from 1949). He was a deputy to the first through eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the UkrSSR (from 1959), and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the UkrSSR (1953-54). Korneichuk was also a member of the World Council of Peace and its bureau (from 1950) and its Presidium (from 1959). He received the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations (1960), five Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.
WORKSTvory, vols. 1-5. Kiev, 1966-68.
P’esy. Kiev, 1959.
P’esy. Kiev, 1965.
In Russian translation:
Sochineniia, vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1956.
P’esy. Moscow, 1961.
Stranitsa dnevnika. Moscow, 1964.
REFERENCESParkhomenko, M. A. Korneichuk. Moscow, 1952.
Gebel’, V. A. A. E. Korneichuk. Moscow, 1957.
Kobylets’kyi, lu. Dramaturg i chas. Kiev, 1967.
D. T. VAKULENKO