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Entries / Union of Writers, the Leningrad Department

Union of Writers, the Leningrad Department


Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Salons, Circles, Creative Associations and Unions

UNION OF WRITERS of the USSR, from 1958, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Leningrad Department or the Leningrad Writers' Organization. The Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers was established at the First All-Union Congress of Writers in August 1934 where A. N. Tolstoy, S. Y. Marshak, K. I. Chukovsky, Y. N. Tynyanov, M. M. Zoshchenko, O. D. Forsh, V. A. Kaverin, K. A. Fedin, N. S. Tikhonov, V. Y. Shishkov, A. A. Prokofyev, M. L. Slonimsky, A. P. Chapygin et al. represented the Leningrad delegation. The Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers was the second in number writers' organization in the country; in the 1980s, it united over 400 people. The Board of Directors, the highest leading organ, was elected at elections held every 2-3 years. The work was held in the creative sections - prose, poetry, drama, children's literature, criticism and study of literature, literary translation etc.; the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers worked with young writers, coordinated the activity of various literary unions, arranged creative activities, trips, literary soirees and memorial dates, meetings with readers in the city and in the region etc., rendered help of various kinds for Leningrad writers: it contributed to the improvement of dwelling conditions, distributed grants and repayable loans, passes to places of rest etc. The Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers own the Home of Creativity and dachas in the village Komarovo, polyclinic and book shop (66 Nevsky Prospect). The Memorial V. V. Mayakovsky Writer's Home on 18 Voinova Street (today 18 Shpalernaya Street) was a literary club and organizational centre of the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers. The activities of the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers were conducted in the conditions of severe party control and bore this as a mark of the times. They contributed to the creative success of many writers; the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers at the same time took part in the campaigns against A. A. Akhmatova, Zoshchenko, I. A. Brodsky. The Leningrad literary underground of the 1950-80s existed without the knowledge of the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers and contrary to it in many respects. The events of August 1991 hastened the ripening split of the Leningrad Department of the Union of Writers. The fire in the House of Writers on 17 November 1993 was perceived as a symbolic boundary in the contemporary literary history of St. Petersburg. In 2002, two independent writers' organizations functioned in the city: the independent Union of Writers of St. Petersburg and Petersburg Organization of Writers as a part of the Union of Writers of Russia. The functions of the former House of Writers to a certain extent passed on to the Centre of Present-Day Literature and Books established in 1997 (10 Makarova Embankment).

References: Творческие организации Ленинграда. Л., 1981. С. 3-14; Бахтин В. С. Обязанности жизни: Ленингр. писательская организация в дни войны // До последней минуты... Л., 1983. С. 261-283.

D. N. Cherdakov.

Persons
Akhmatova Anna Andreevna
Brodsky Iosif Alexandrovich
Chapygin Alexey Pavlovich
Chukovsky Korney Ivanovich
Fedin Konstantin Alexandrovich
Forsh Olga Dmitrievna
Kaverin Veniamin Alexandrovich
Marshak Samuil Yakovlevich
Mayakovsky Vladimir Vladimirovich
Prokofiev Alexander Andreevich
Shishkov Alexander Semenovich
Slonimsky Mikhail Leonidovich
Tikhonov Nikolay Semenovich
Tolstoy Alexey Nikolaevich
Tynyanov Yury Nikolaevich
Zoschenko Mikhail Mikhailovich

Addresses
Makarova Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 10
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 66
Shpalernaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 18

Bibliographies
Творческие организации Ленинграда. Л., 1981
Бахтин В. С. Обязанности жизни: Ленингр. писательская орг. в дни войны // До последней минуты... Л., 1983


Lenina Street

LENINA STREET, running between Sytninskaya Street and Levashovsky Avenue, on the Petrogradskaya Side. Known as Shirokaya Street until 1923. In 1956, it included the former Y. Kalinina Street (until 1923, Matveevskaya Street)

Shpalernaya Street

SHPALERNAYA STREET, from Gagarinskaya Street to Rastrelli Square. The street was known as First Line until 1727, then was called First Beregovaya Street. In the late 18th century it assumed the name Voskresenskaya Street or Voskresenskaya Embankment