Olga Berggolts

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Berggol’ts, Ol’ga Fedorovna

 

Born May 3 (16), 1910, in St. Petersburg. Soviet Russian writer. Member of the CPSU since 1940. Born into a doctor’s family.

In 1930, Berggol’ts graduated from the philological department of the University of Leningrad and went to work for a newspaper. Her first verse was published in 1924. Her novella Uglich (1932) and the collection Poems (1934) were commented on favorably by M. Gorky in his correspondence with her. In 1935 she published the collection of short stories Night in the New World and in 1936 a collection of short stories entitled Book of Songs. She reached her creative maturity during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Having lived through the blockade of Leningrad, Berggol’ts dedicated several works to the heroic defenders of the city: February Diary and Poem of Leningrad (both 1942), Your Road (1945), and the collection This Is Leningrad Speaking (1946). The confessional poetry of Berggol’ts, brought into being by the war, determined the structure of the narrative poem Pervorossiisk (1950; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), which was devoted to the first builders of socialism, as well as the structure of the poetic tragedy entitled Loyalty (1954), about the defense of Sevastopol’ in 1941–42. The autobiographical book of lyrical prose Stars by Day (1959; film version, 1968) encompasses all that she experienced. A collection of her verse entitled The Knot was published in 1965. Her work is distinguished by profound lyricism, dramatic effect, and an inspired tone. Berggol’ts has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.

WORKS

Sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1958.
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. [With a preface by A. Iashin.] Leningrad, 1967.

REFERENCE

Tsurikova, G. Ol’ga Berggol’ts. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.

S. S. LESNEVSKII