Veniamin Kaverin

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Kaverin, Veniamin Aleksandrovich


Born Apr. 6 (19), 1902, in Pskov. Soviet Russian writer.

Kaverin graduated from the Institute of Oriental Languages (1923) and the Department of History and Philology at Leningrad State University (1924). His first short story was published in 1922, and during the early 1920’s he was a member of the Serapion Brothers literary group. His works, written in a variety of genres and styles, deal with people who embody the creativity of the Soviet intelligentsia. Kaverin most often selects as his heroes scholars and men of letters whose sense of being is intrinsically bound up with their work and the defense of their principles. His narratives of their life and struggle are invariably built along complex and intense plot lines—for example, the novels The Fulfillment of Desire (books 1–2, 1934–36), Two Captains (books 1–2, 1938–4; State Prize of the USSR, 1946; 42 editions in 25 years), and The Open Book (1949–56). The novellas Seven Improper Couples and The Slanting Rain (1962) attempted to show the consciousness on the part of Soviet people of their rights, their obligations to their Motherland, and a feeling of mutual trust. In the 1960’s, Kaverin published a book of essays and memoirs, Greetings, Brother, Writing Is Very Hard (1965); a new edition of his book on O. I. Senkovskii, Baron Brambeus (1966); and the novellas The Double Portrait (1966) and The School Play (1968). His novel In Front of the Mirror and his literary reminiscences In the Old House were both published in 1971. Kaverin’s books have been translated into many foreign languages and languages of the peoples of the USSR. He was awarded three orders and several medals.


Sochineniia, vols. 1–3. Leningrad, 1930.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1963–66.
“Avtobiografiia.” In Sovetskie pisateli: Avtobiografii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.


Smirnova, V. “Dva kapitana meniaiut kurs.” Znamia, 1945, no. 8.
Maslin, N. “Veniamin Kaverin.” Novyi mir, 1948, no. 4.
Kostelianets, B. “Zhivoe edinstvo.” Zvezda, 1954, no. 11.
Gor, G. “Pisatef i nauka.” Russkaia literatura, 1962, no. 3.
Gei, N. “O tsennostiakh mnimykh i podlinnykh.” Literaturnaia gazeta, Aug. 18, 1971.
Russkie sovetskiepisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 2.Leningrad, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
A version of the script for the 1934 film has been preserved only in the inaccessible personal archive of Veniamin Kaverin (see Iampol'skii, p.
Veniamin Kaverin. Dreams form the backbone of the memoir of another prominent writer caught between aloofness and complicity, Veniamin Aleksandrovich Kaverin (1902-89).
This freaky slag-heap of performance-cum-escapade had no choice but to be grueling for audience and actors alike, given its nested source material--Two Captains, the 1939 novel by Soviet writer Veniamin Kaverin, which in turn served as the basis for Nord-Ost, the play being staged when Chechen rebels took an entire Moscow theater audience hostage in 2002.
The members, most of whom were in their early 20s, included Mikhail Zoshchenko, Vsevolod Ivanov, Veniamin Kaverin, Konstantin Fedin, Lev Lunts, Nikolay Nikitin, Nikolay Tikhonov, Vladimir Pozner, Mikhail Slonimsky, and Viktor Shklovsky.