Eduard Bagritsky

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Eduard Bagritsky
Born November 3 [O.S. October 22] 1895
Odessa, Russian Empire
Died 16 February 1934(1934-02-16) (aged 38)
Moscow, USSR
Occupation Poet
Nationality Russian

Eduard Bagritsky (Russian: Эдуа́рд Гео́ргиевич Багри́цкий; IPA: [ɪdʊˈard ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪjɪvʲɪtɕ bɐˈɡrʲitskʲɪj]; November 3 [O.S. October 22] 1895 – February 16, 1934) was an important Russian and Soviet poet of the Constructivist School.

He was a Neo-Romantic early in his poetic career; he was also a part of the so-called Odessa School of Russian writers (which also included Isaak Babel, Yuri Olesha, Valentin Katayev, Vera Inber, Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov, among others). A large number of this school's writers were Odessa natives who often incorporated Ukrainian inflections and vocabulary into their writing.


Born Eduard Dzyubin (Russian: Эдуа́рд Гео́ргиевич Дзю́бин; IPA: [ˈdzʲʉbʲɪn]; Ukrainian: Дзю́бін) in Odessa, most of his creative career took place in Moscow. After his early death from asthma, his friends helped to publish several of his works posthumously to provide financial assistance to his family. Isaak Babel, for example, planned to write a screenplay based on Bagritsky's long poem "Duma about Opanas" (the script was never finished and was eventually lost).

Bagritsky was heavily influenced by the Russian Revolution and Civil War. His poetry often touches on the subjects of violence, revolutionary morality, sexuality and its interethnic sociological problems. His worldview was extremely unsentimental, and earned him much invective from detractors from all sides who saw his poetry as vindictive toward both his Jewish origins and the host Russian culture.

In his book Russian Poet/Soviet Jew: The Legacy of Eduard Bagritskii (2000), Maxim D. Shrayer investigated the path of this major Jewish poet writing in the Russian language and examined Bagritsky's contested legacy. The book included English translations of Bagrtisky's works, among the his long poem February (1933–34).

In his poetry of the last period of his life Bagritsky managed to covertly criticise the growing oppressive Stalinist regime.[1] He died in Moscow in 1934, aged 38.


Bagritsky's wife, Lidia Gustavovna Suok (of Czech and Austrian descent), had two sisters who also married noted writers: Olga married Yuri Olesha and Serafima married Vladimir Narbut. Bagritsky's son Vsevolod (killed early in World War II) was also a notable Russian poet, whose fiancée Yelena Bonner (eventually the wife of Andrei Sakharov) later was a notable Russian dissident.

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