Trenev, Konstantin

Trenev, Konstantin Andreevich

 

Born May 21 (June 2), 1876, in the khutor (farmstead) of Romashovo, Kharkov Province; died May 19, 1945, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer and playwright.

Trenev graduated from the St. Petersburg Archaeological Institute and the St. Petersburg Theological Academy; in 1921 he graduated from the agronomy faculty of Tavricheskii University. He published his first works in 1898. His works written before the October Revolution of 1917, including the play The Dorogins (1910) and the collection of short stories The Ruler (1915), were analyses of social contradictions in rural areas and were written in the tradition of critical realism.

After 1917, the Revolution became the main theme of Tre-nev’s works. Trenev accentuated spontaneity and sacrifice in his tragedy The Pugachev Rebellion (1924) while analyzing the psychology of a national uprising. At the same time he revealed a profound understanding of conformity to laws of history in his play Liubov’ larovaia (1926; staged by the Malyi Theater 1926; staged by the Moscow Art Theater 1936; State Prize of the USSR, 1941). The central theme of this play, which depicts the dramatic events of the Civil War (1918–20), is a conflict that tests and strengthens the heroine’s character, as well as her Bolshevik principles. The play’s broad sociohistorical generalizations, vivid characters, and colorful language have made it a classic of socialist realism.

The Revolution’s moral significance is also revealed in Tre-nev’s plays Gymnasium Students (1936) and On the Bank of the Neva (1937); in the latter play, one of the characters is V. I. Lenin. Trenev also wrote plays about Soviet life, including The Wife (1928) and Anna Luchinina (1941), as well as the historical plays The Encounter (1943) and Commander (1945).

Trenev was awarded two orders.

WORKS

Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. (Introductory article by V. Diev.) Moscow, 1955.
Zabytye rasskazy. Simferopol’, 1959.

REFERENCES

Surkov, E. K. A. Trenev, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955. (Contains bibliography.)
Diev, V. A. Tvorchestvo K. A. Treneva. Moscow, 1960.
Fainberg, R. K. A. Trenev: Ocherki tvorchestva. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Zhivoi Trenev: Sb. vospominanii. Rostov-on-Don, 1963.
Istoriia russkoi sovetskoi literatury, 1917–1965, 2nd ed., vol. 1. Moscow, 1967. Pages 596–616.
Istoriia russkoi literatury kontsa XIX-nachala XX vv: Biblio-graficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
L. N. KLIMENIUK