Spandarian, Suren Spandarovich
Born Dec. 3 (15), 1882, in Tbilisi; died Sept. 11 (24), 1916, in Krasnoiarsk. Prominent figure in the revolutionary movement in Russia; Armenian literary critic and publicist. Member of the RSDLP from 1901; a Bolshevik.
The son of a lawyer, Spandarian attended Moscow University. At the same time, he was engaged in disseminating propaganda among the workers. He took part in the Revolution of 1905–07 in Moscow and the Caucasus and was a member of the Caucasian Union Committee of the RSDLP. He became a member of the Baku Committee of the RSDLP in 1907 and began conducting party work in Tbilisi in 1910. In 1911 and 1912 he was a member of the Russian Organizational Committee on the Convocation of the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP. A delegate to the conference, Spandarian was elected to the Central Committee of the RSDLP and to the committee’s Russian Bureau.
From 1906 to 1912, Spandarian contributed to several newspapers, including Kaits (The Spark), Nor Khosk (The New Word), Gudok (The Whistle), Bakinskii proletarii (The Baku Proletarian), Bakinskii rabochii (The Baku Worker), Zvezda (Star), and Sotsial-demokrat (Social Democrat). He was arrested in March 1912 and exiled for life to Siberia, where he continued his revolutionary activities.
Spandarian was the author of literary critiques and studies on aesthetics and the works of M. Gorky, A. Akopian, and other writers. He supported the Leninist principle of the party spirit and national character of literature, disputed the theory of art for art’s sake, and criticized decadent reactionary literature. He valued highly the works of V. G. Belinskii, A. I. Herzen, N. G. Chernyshevskii, and L. N. Tolstoy, about whom he wrote in the article “Celebration or Advertisement?” (1911). He also esteemed A. P. Chekhov and T. G. Shevchenko, as well as A. Shirvanzade, whom he discussed in the articles “Russian Index” (1910), “Tiflis, January 13” (1910), and “From the Armenian Press” (1911). Spandarian’s activities were instrumental in the development of Armenian Marxist aesthetic thought.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Stat’i, pis’ma, dokumenty. Moscow, 1958.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch. , 5th ed. (See index volume, part 2, p. 474.)
Arutiunov, G., and L. Ter-Mkrtichian. Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ S. Spandariana. Moscow, 1958.