Viktor Petrovich Astafiev

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Viktor Astafyev on an Abkhazian postage stamp from 2002
Monument in Krasnoyarsk

Viktor Astafyev ( Russian Виктор Петрович Астафьев ., Scientific transliteration Viktor Petrovich Astaf'ev * 1. May 1924 in Owsjanka , Ujesd Krasnoyarsk , yeniseysk governorate , Russian SFSR , Soviet Union , today Krasnoyarsk , Russia ; † 29. November 2001 in Krasnoyarsk ) was a Russian writer and literary companion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn . He is considered the literary voice of his native Siberia .


After completing the railway school in 1942, Astafiev worked as a shunter before he volunteered for the army. In Novosibirsk he attended the infantry school and received marching orders in the spring of 1943. Until the end of the war he served as a simple soldier.

In 1945 he married Maria Semjonovna Korjakina († 2011). The daughter Irina was born in 1948, the son Andrei in 1950. The family moved to Chusovoy (now the Perm region ). Astafiev worked as a duty officer at a train station, warehouse worker, locksmith, and unskilled worker in the meat processing plant. At the same time he took part in a literary circle of the local newspaper Chusovsky rabotschi . In 1951 his first story was published in it. In the same year he changed to the newspaper editorial office, wrote correspondence, articles, sketches and over twenty stories in the following years.

In 1958 Astafjew ​​was accepted into the Association of Writers and, after attending the Gorky Literature Institute in 1961, freelance writer from 1962.

The author is one of the outstanding authors of the thaw period from the mid-1950s. In 1958 his novel The snow thaws (Тают снега) appeared. Unlike Solzhenitsyn, who was driven into political exile in 1974 , Astafyev stayed in Russia . He refused the hate campaign staged by the state power against the author of the Gulag archipelago . Always a critical observer of political and social life, he particularly campaigned against the rural exodus in his homeland and spoke for the rebirth of the Russian village. In his last novel Damned and Killed , he once again described the totalitarian past of his country.

From 1989 to 1991 he was People's Deputy of the USSR, in 1991 Secretary of the Soviet Writers 'Union and Vice President of the European Forum Writers' Union . In October 1993 he signed the appeals of 42 writers who, after the suppression of the rebellion against Yeltsin , demanded decisive steps against the nationalist, communist and fascist opposition.

In 2009 Astafyev received the Solzhenitsyn Literature Prize posthumously in accordance with Solzhenitsyn's will .

Works (in selection)

  • Theft ( Кража ), short story, 1966
  • Shepherd and Shepherdess ( Пастух и пастушка ), novel, 1971
  • Tsar-Ryba ( Царь-рыба ), novel, 1975
  • The Sad Detective ( Печальный детектив ), novel, 1986
  • Damned and Killed ( Прокляты и убиты ), novel, 1994
  • Distant years of childhood


  • Sigrid Hoppe: The theme of the Great Patriotic War in Soviet literature of the 1970s. Using the example of the work of Viktor Astaf'ev and Evgenij Nosov. Halle: Univ. Diss. 1982.

Web links

Commons : Viktor Astafyev  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. Voice of Russia ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , May 5, 2009 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ Spiegel Online : "Art can benefit from the crisis" , June 6, 2009
  4. Виктор Астафьев - лауреат Литературной премии Александра Солженицына