The Russian writer Andrei Sinyavsky has died in France at the age of 71. He had been ill for some time. (Itar-Tass, February 25) Born in Moscow in 1925, Sinyavsky worked as a literary critic on the journal Novy Mir. He came into conflict with the Soviet literary establishment after his father’s arrest during the repressions of 1951 and when he spoke out in defense of his friend, Boris Pasternak, who was forced to refuse the Nobel Prize for literature after his novel Dr. Zhivago was published in Italy in 1958.
Sinyavsky himself started to write under the pen-name Abram Terts. He attracted world attention in 1966 when he and Yuly Daniel were accused of defaming Soviet reality in works published in the West. The Sinyavsky-Daniel trial was a watershed. It stimulated the emergence of the Soviet dissident movement and, in the words of critic Max Hayward, "marked the first time in the history of the Soviet Union that writers had been put on trial for what they had written." (AP, February 25) Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years hard labor. Released in 1971, he was stripped of Soviet citizenship and forced into exile with his wife, Maria Rozanova. They settled in Paris in 1973 and Sinyavsky lectured at the Sorbonne and continued to write. In the late 1980s their Soviet citizenship was returned and they were able to visit Russia. They strongly criticized Yeltsin’s dissolution of the Russian parliament in 1993 and continued to criticize what they saw as the undemocratic character of his leadership ever since.
Estonian Government Changing in Slow Motion.