Nikolai Pogodin


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Pogodin, Nikolai Fedorovich

 

(real surname Stuka-lov). Born Nov. 3 (16), 1900, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Gundorovskaia, Donetsk Oblast; died Sept. 19, 1962, in Moscow. Soviet Russian playwright. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1949).

Pogodin began publishing in 1920. He was a traveling correspondent for Pravda from 1922 to 1932. In 1926 he published the collections of sketches Red Calico Morning and Red Sprouts. The content of his journalism provided the material for his first plays.

In the play Tempo (1929; staged 1930), Pogodin created a “collective” hero—the seasonal construction workers. Subsequently he turned to creating individualized characters in such plays as Poem of the Ax (1930; staged 1931), My Friend (1932), and After the Ball (1934). His work developed from the reportage of the early plays to the stirring plot of The Aristocrats (1934). Pogodin’s plays about the workers of the first five-year plan helped significantly to bring about a rapprochement between the Soviet theater and socialist reality and to develop the image of contemporary man in dramaturgy and stagecraft. His plays are unstructured; the action often moves to factory workshops, construction sites, and collective-farm fields.

Pogodin’s trilogy about the founding and early stages of the Soviet state (Lenin Prize, 1959) centers around Lenin and is an important achievement in the dramaturgy of socialist realism. It comprises Man With a Gun (1937; State Prize of the USSR, 1941; film of the same name, 1938), The Kremlin Chimes (1940; staged 1942; new version, 1955; staged 1956), and Third Pathétique (1958; staged 1959). The revolution and the changes it effected in people are portrayed through protagonists’ lives, and the varied activities of Lenin are explored. The trilogy combines lyricism, a broad grasp of current events, and character depiction in depth.

A number of Pogodin’s comedies and his screenplay Kuban’ Cossacks (1950; State Prize of the USSR, 1951) minimized dramatic tension. Increased social content and moral conflict were found in the comedy When Lances Are Broken (1953) and the drama Petrarch’s Sonnet (1956). In the 1950’s, Pogodin was especially interested in the morality and character of Soviet youth, reflected in the plays The Little Co-ed (1958) and Rhapsody in Blue (1961) and the novel The Amber Necklace (1960).

As playwright, publicist, and critic, Pogodin played an important role in the development of the Soviet theater. He was editor in chief of the journal Teatrftoca 1951 to 1960. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin and several medals.

WORKS

Sobr. dramaticheskikh proizvedenii, vols. 1–5. Moscow, 1960–61.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1972–73.
Teatr i zhizn’. Moscow, 1953.
Iskat’, myslit’, otkryvat’. Moscow, 1966.
Neizdannoe, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1969.
“Avtobiograficheskaia zametka.” In Sovetskie pisateli, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Zaitsev, N. Nikolai Fedorovich Pogodin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Popov, A. Vospominaniia i razmyshleniia o teatre. Moscow, 1963.
Karaganov, A. Ogni Smol’nogo. Moscow, 1966.
Kholodov, E. P’esy i gody: Dramaturgiia N. Pogodina. Moscow, 1967.
Slow o Pogodine: Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1968.
Potapov, N. Zhivee vsekh zhivykh: Obraz V. I. Lenina ν sovetskoi drama-turgii. Moscow, 1969.

N. V. ZAITSEV