(1899 – 1960)
Olesha Yuri Karlovich (1899 – 1960), the prose writer.
Born February 19 (March 3, current) in Elisavetgrad in an impoverished aristocratic family. Children and youth Olesha passed in Odessa, where he began his literary career.
Twenty-year-old Olesha, along with young Katayev and just beginning Ilf and Bagritsky, was one of the most active employees of the Bureau of the Ukrainian Press (like the Windows of the ROSTA), was a member of the “Collective of Poets,” wrote poetry.
Since 1922 Olesha lived in Moscow, he worked in the railway newspaper “Gudok”, where almost every day appeared his poetic feuilletons, published under the pseudonym “Zubilo”. Working in the newspaper, he traveled a lot, saw many people, accumulated a large stock of vital observations. The feuilletonist “Zubilo” very much helped writer Olesha.
In 1927 his novel “Envy” was published, in 1928 a bright
and fascinating book was published – “Three Fat Men”, immediately adopted by children and continues to be a favorite children’s reading.
E. Kazakevich, a great friend of Olesha, wrote: “Olesha is one of those writers who did not write a single word of falsehood.” He had enough strength of character not to write what he did not want. “
In 1931 the collection “Cherry Pit” was published, which united the stories of Olesha of different years. At the same time on the stage of the Theater. Sun. Meyerhold held the premiere of the play “List of Benefits.” Kinopovest “Strict Youth” was published in 1934, after which the name Olesha met in the press only under articles, reviews, notes, sketch sketches, sometimes – stories. He wrote memoirs of contemporaries (Mayakovsky, A. Tolstoy, Ilf, and others), sketches about Russian and foreign writers, whose work was particularly appreciated (Stendale, Chekhov, Mark Twain, etc.).
According to Olesha’s scenarios, the films “Swamp soldiers” and “Error of engineer Cochin” were put; for the theater. Evg. Vakhtangov Olesha staged the novel “Idiot”. The main thing in the last period of his life was the work he was doing day after day, inventing the conditional title “No day without a line,” suggesting that he write a novel later. Death from an infarct on May 10, 1960 cut short the work.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.