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 Victor Pelevin


Born:   November, 22nd, 1962

Victor Pelevin is one of the most vivid and provocative modern figures of Russian literature.

      

Victor Olegovich Pelevin was born on November, 22nd, 1962 in Moscow. In 1985 he graduated the Moscow Power Institute as an electrician. In April the same year he was admitted to the post of the Engineer of the Electric Transport Chair, and two years later passed exams for postgraduate studies. However, he never defended his dissertation, as he decided to change his occupation.

In 1989 the future writer entered Mikhail Gorky Literary Institute, and then for some years worked in the journal Science and Religion, contributing publications on Oriental mysticism. The year 1989 saw Pelevin's first publication – it was the fairy tale Sorcerer Ignat and people followed by his article Rune divination.

His first stories appeared in sci-fi collections and the magazine Chemistry and life also in the late 1980s. Pelevin’s debut collection “Sini fonar” (Dark blue lantern) was initially overlooked by critics.

In 1990 the author became extremely popular thanks to his short story “Zatvornik i Shestipaly” (The Hermit and the Six-fingered) that won the Gold Sphere international award.

One year after the furor caused by publication of Pelevin’s story “Omon Ra” (1992) in the Znamya magazine, Sini Fonar took the Small Booker Prize as the best collection of stories of 1992, and a year later won the Interpresscon the Gold Snail awards.

Victor Pelevin's creativity is beyond any exact classification and, as critics put it, is on the fringe of postmodernist prose, esoteric tradition, absurdist and satirical science fiction and other genres of literature, and can be referred to science fiction and fantasy for convenience only, though the author often uses devices and plots typical of these genres. Since his first published works, Pelevin has attracted attention with original “popularization” and provocative interpretation of the West European transcendental philosophy, Buddhism and doctrines of modern mystics (in particular, of Carlos Castaneda), the analysis of altered state of consciousness and experiments in creating new mythology on the basis of satirically considered Soviet and Post-Soviet reality.

Pelevin's novel “Generation “P” (1999) became one of the most emblematic novels about the 1990s of Russia. The book is sold all over the world with the total circulation of 3.5 million copies, and has received several literary awards.

In 2007 the novel “Empire “V” was included into the short list of the Big Book literary prize of Russia.

Pelevin's books have been translated into all main world languages, including Japanese and Chinese. His short stories have become plays that successfully run on stages of Moscow, London and Paris.

French Magazine has included Victor Pelevin in the list of 1000 most significant modern figures of world culture (along with Pelevin, Russia is represented on this list by the film director Alexander Sokurov). At the end of 2009 by results of a poll Victor Pelevin was acknowledged as the most influential intellectual of Russia.


Tags: Victor Pelevin Russian literature Russian writers   








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