James Aldridge


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Aldridge, James

 

Born July 10, 1918, in White Hills, Victoria, Australia. English author and public figure.

Aldridge attended a Melbourne commercial college. In 1938 he moved to England. His work as a journalist and war correspondent on many fronts during World War II (1939–45) gave him an understanding of life and a grasp of writing technique. His literary reportage “A Song from the Caucasus” (1942), the novels Signed With Their Honour (1942; Russian translation, 1947) and The Sea Eagle (1944; Russian translation, 1945), and the cycle of short stories Of Many Men (1946) reflect both the heroism of the national resistance movement and the changes that the epochal victory over fascism brought in its wake.

Aldridge energetically responds to the pressing problems of the times, advocating peace and the easing of international tensions, for example, the novel The Diplomat (1949; Russian translation, 1952), for which he received the Gold Medal of Peace in 1953. As an artist he supports the struggle for national liberation of oppressed peoples—Heroes of the Empty View, 1954; I Wish He Would Not Die, 1957; The Last Exile, 1961, Russian translation, 1963. He is drawn to the fate of the common man who, under dramatic circumstances, conquers despair (The Hunter, 1950). The theme of the Soviet Union runs through all of Aldridge’s work. He clearly sees the complex nature of the fierce ideological struggle between the worlds of capitalism and socialism and its reflection in people’s consciousness (A Captive in the Land, 1962, and its sequel The Statesman’s Game, 1966; Russian translation, 1969).

The breadth of Aldridge’s creative interests is demonstrated by his book Cairo; his cycle of Australian short stories, including “Bush Boy, Poor Boy” and “Victory for a Bush Boy”; his short story “My Brother Tom” (1966); and his collection of short stories Gold and Sand (1960), which includes “The Last Inch” (Russian translation, 1959; a Soviet film of the same name, 1959) and “The Shark Cage.” Aldridge’s novels tend toward the genre of the heroic epic. They realistically reflect both the complicated path of the individual toward new horizons and the tragedy of the individualist, who has lost sight of these horizons. Aldridge received the Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1973.

WORKS

Of Many Men. London, 1946.
Gold and Sand. London, 1960.
The Statesman’s Game. London, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Sorok deviatyi shtat. Moscow, 1947.
Poedinok idei. Moscow, 1964.
“Shla velikaia voina.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1967, no. 5.

REFERENCES

Kornilova, E. V. Dzh. Oldridzh. Moscow, 1957.
Stukov, O. V. Romany Dzh. Oldridzha. Moscow, 1961.
Ivasheva, V. V. Angliiskii roman poslednego desiatiletiia (1950–1960).
Moscow, 1962. Balashov, P. S. Dzh. Oldridzh. Moscow, 1963.

P. S. BALASHOV

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