Victor Olegovich Pelevin (Russian: Виктор Олегович Пелевин, IPA: [ˈvʲiktər ɐˈlʲɛɡəvʲɪtɕ pʲɪˈlʲevʲɪn]; born 22 November 1962) is a Russian fiction writer. His novels include Omon Ra (1992), The Life of Insects (1993), Chapayev and Void (1996), and Generation P (1999). He is a laureate of multiple literary awards including the Russian Little Booker Prize (1993) and the Russian National Bestseller (2004), the former for the short story collection The Blue Lantern (1991). In 2011 he was nominated for the Nobel prize in Literature. His books are multi-layered postmodernist (disputed)[2] texts fusing elements of pop culture and esoteric philosophies while carrying conventions of the science fiction genre. Some critics relate his prose to the New sincerity literary movement.[3]

Victor Pelevin
Native name
Виктор Олегович Пелевин
BornVictor Olegovich Pelevin
(1962-11-22) 22 November 1962 (age 61)
Moscow, Soviet Union
LanguageRussian, English
Alma materMoscow Power Engineering Institute
Literary movement
Years activesince 1989
Notable worksChapayev and Void (1996), Generation P (1999)
Notable awardsMultiple

Biography edit

Victor Olegovich Pelevin was born in Moscow on 22 November 1962 to Zinaida Semenovna Efremova, an English teacher, and Oleg Anatolyevich Pelevin, a teacher at the military department of Bauman University.[4] He lived on Tverskoy Boulevard in Moscow, later moving to Chertanovo. In 1979, Pelevin graduated from an elite high school with a special English program located on Stanislavskogo Street in the centre of Moscow, now Kaptsov Gymnasium #1520.

He then attended the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MPEI) graduating with a degree in electromechanical engineering in 1985.[5] In April of that year, MPEI Department of Electrical Transport hired him as engineer. Pelevin served in the Russian Air Force.[6] From 1987 to 1989, Pelevin attended the MPEI graduate school.[5]

Pelevin travels to Asia often and has been to Nepal, South Korea, China and Japan.[7] While he does not call himself a Buddhist, he is engaged in Buddhist practices.[8] Pelevin has repeatedly said that despite the fact that his characters use drugs, he is not an addict even though he experimented with mind-expanding substances in his youth.[9] Pelevin is not married.[10]

Pelevin has no current or past public social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte) [11]

In December 2018, the media reported that the writer Victor Pelevin registered in the register of individual entrepreneurs in the territorial office of the Pension Fund in Moscow.[12]

Literary career edit

In 1989, Pelevin attended Mikhail Lobanov's creative writing seminar at Maxim Gorky Literary Institute.[10] While studying at the Institute, Pelevin met the young novelist Albert Egazarov and the poet Victor Kulle, later a literary critic. Pelevin was expelled from the Institute in 1991. Egazarov and Kulle went on to found a publishing house, first called The Day, then The Raven and Myth, for which Pelevin has edited three volumes of Carlos Castaneda's work.[10]

From 1989 to 1990, Pelevin worked as a staff reporter for the magazine Face to Face. In 1989, he also began to work in the journal Nauka i Religiya (Science and Religion), where he edited a series of articles on eastern mysticism. In 1989, Nauka i Religiya published Pelevin's first short story "The Sorcerer Ignat and People".[13]

In 1991, Pelevin published his first collection of stories The Blue Lantern.[14][15] Two years later, it received the Russian Little Booker Prize. In 1994, it received InterPressCon and the Bronze Snail awards. In March 1992, Pelevin published his first novel Omon Ra in the literary journal Znamya.[10] The novel attracted the attention of literary critics and was nominated for the Booker Prize. In April 1993, the same journal published Pelevin's next novel The Life of Insects.[10] In 1993, Pelevin published an essay "John Fowles and the tragedy of Russian liberalism" in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The essay was the writer's answer to some negative critics' reactions to his work. In the same year, Pelevin was admitted to the Russian Union of Journalists.

In 1996, Pelevin participated in the International Writing Program residency at the University of Iowa.[16] That same year, Znamya published Pelevin's novel Chapayev and Void. Critics called it "the first Zen Buddhist novel in Russian".[17] The writer himself called it "the first novel which takes place in an absolute vacuum". In 1997, the novel won Strannik Literary Award [ru] for science fiction, and in 2001 it was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.[18]

In 1999, Pelevin's novel Generation P was published. Over 3.5 million copies have been sold worldwide.[citation needed] The book received a number of awards including Germany's Richard Schoenfeld Prize.[19]

In 2003, Pelevin published the novel The Dialectics of Transition Period from Out of Nowhere to Nowhere or DTP (NN), receiving the Apollon Grigoryev Prize in 2003 and the National Bestseller award in 2004. DTP (NN) was also shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize in 2003.[20]

In 2006, Eksmo published Pelevin's novel Empire V. The novel was shortlisted for the Russian Big Book award.[21] The text of Empire V appeared on the Internet even before the publication of the novel. Representatives of Eksmo claimed that it was a result of a theft, but some speculated that it was a marketing ploy.

In October 2009, the novel t was published. The author received the third award of the fifth season of the Big Book award (2009–2010) and won the reader choice vote.[22]

In December 2011, Eksmo released Pelevin's novel S.N.U.F.F. which received the E-book award for "Prose of the Year" in February 2012.

Literary critics have noted Pelevin's postmodernist and absurdist styles, which incorporate Buddhist motifs, esoteric traditions, and satirical science fiction. Pelevin's books have been translated into many languages including Japanese and Chinese. In 2009, the French magazine chose Pelevin as one of the 1,000 most significant people in contemporary culture.[19] A 2009 survey voted Pelevin as the most influential intellectual in Russia.

Pelevin is known for not being a part of the literary crowd, rarely appearing in public or giving interviews and preferring to communicate on the internet. When he gives interviews, he talks more about the nature of his mind rather than his writings. This has given grounds for various rumours. For instance, it has been suggested that the writer does not exist and Pelevin is actually a code name for a group of authors or even a computer.

In May 2011, it was reported that Pelevin would personally attend the award ceremony SuperNatsBest, which would have been the writer's first appearance in public. However, he did not come.[23]

Pelevin has permitted all of his texts in Russian predating 2009 (except P5: Farewell songs of the political pygmies of Pindostan) to be published on the Internet for non-commercial use. Some novels are also available as audio files in Russian.

In December 2010, he wrote a collection of novels and short stories "Pineapple Water for the Fair Lady", which was in the long list of the Russian Literary Award "Big Book" (season 2010/11).[24]

In December 2011, he released the novel "S.N.U.F.F.". In February of the following year, this work received the "Electronic Book" award in the "Prose of the Year" category.

In March 2013, Pelevin's eleventh novel "Batman Apollo" was released, which is a sequel to "Empire V". Then came the novels "Love for Three Zuckerbrins" (2014), "The Caretaker" (2015), "Methuselah's Lamp, or The Last Battle of the Chekists and Masons" (2016).[25]

In 2017, the novel "iPhuck 10" was published, which won the Andrew White Prize.[26] In 2018, the novel "Secret Views of Mount Fuji" was released. "The Art of Light Touches" was released in August 2019. In August 2020, the novel "The Invincible Sun" was published.[27]

For the past nine years, the author has been releasing one book a year, it can be a novel or a collection of stories united by a common theme.[28] In the fall of 2021 the book "Transhumanism Inc." was published, which is a collection of stories united by the theme of the concept of transhumanism.

Literary style edit

Pelevin's prose, creating a mythologized and multi-layered picture of reality, is built on the interweaving of the fantastic and the real, the historical and the fictional. In the spirit of postmodernism, it abounds in hidden quotations, allusions, the game semantic clichés, and irony. Buddhist symbolism neighbours in it with occultism, European philosophy with mysticism, didacticism with parody, and active presence of realities of modern culture with an appeal to archaic consciousness.[3] But, he employs postmodernist devices for humanistic ethos.[2]

Pelevin's works are characterized by the mixing of elements of different genres — adventure novel and parable, fairy tale and anecdote, pamphlet and utopia.[3]

In a conversation with BOMB Magazine, Pelevin named Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita as an early influence on his reading, saying, "The effect of this book was really fantastic. [...] This book was totally out of the Soviet world." Pelevin avoids, however, listing authors who have specifically influenced his writing, for he believes that "the only real Russian literary tradition is to write good books in a way nobody did before."[29]

Selected bibliography edit

Novels edit

Short story collection edit

Short stories edit

Essays edit

References edit

  1. ^ Khagi 2021, pp. 4–6.
  2. ^ a b c Khagi 2021, p. 8.
  3. ^ a b c d "Пелевин, Виктор Олегович" [Victor Pelevin]. Большая российская энциклопедия/Great Russian Encyclopedia Online (in Russian). 2018. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Виктор Пелевин: "Снимаюсь только 30 секунд и в очках!"". 22 November 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Виктор Олегович Пелевин. Биографическая справка". РИА Новости (in Russian). 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Виктор Пелевин: Оргазмы человека и государства совпадают!". 2 September 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Виктор Пелевин". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  8. ^ Д.в, Нечепуренко (2014). "В. О. Пелевин. Традиции и новаторство". Челябинский гуманитарий. 1 (26). ISSN 1999-5407.
  9. ^ Кочеткова, Наталья (20 October 2008). "Писатель Виктор Пелевин: "Олигархи работают героями моих книг"". Известия (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Настоящий Пелевин / Стиль жизни / Независимая газета". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Контакты / Виктор Пелевин :: сайт творчества". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Новая газета -". Новая газета - (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  13. ^ БАЛУЕВА, Анна (7 December 2010). "Ядовитый мальчик Пелевин". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  14. ^ Khagi, Sofya (27 July 2017). "An Anti-Authoritarian Mind". U-M LSA Slavic Languages and Literatures. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  15. ^ Pelevin, Viktor (1991). Синий фонарь (in Russian). Tekst. ISBN 978-5-85950-013-0.
  16. ^ "Viktor Olegovich PELEVIN | The International Writing Program". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Немцы экранизируют роман Пелевина "Чапаев и пустота"". (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  18. ^ "World's richest fiction prize reveals shortlist". 5 March 2001. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Five popular modern Russian writers". The Telegraph. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  20. ^ "Лауреатом "Нацбеста" стал Виктор Пелевин". Российская газета (in Russian). 31 May 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  21. ^ Кочеткова, Наталья (3 November 2006). "Писатель Виктор Пелевин: "Вампир в России больше чем вампир"". Известия (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Национальная литературная премия "Большая книга": Итоги". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Виктор Пелевин примет участие в церемонии "Супернацбеста"". Газета.Ru (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Пелевин, Сорокин и другие писатели будут бороться за "Большую книгу"". РИА Новости (in Russian). 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Премьера "Бэтмана Аполло" в магазинах "Москва"". (in Russian). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  26. ^ "Пелевин стал лауреатом Премии Андрея Белого". РБК (in Russian). 30 November 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  27. ^ "Роман Виктора Пелевина "Непобедимое солнце" поступил в продажу в трех форматах". ТАСС. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  28. ^ ""Мы с ним регулярно созваниваемся, но я не знаю, с какого номера он звонит" --- Интервью редактора Виктора Пелевина Ольги Аминовой накануне выхода его нового романа". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  29. ^ Kropywiansky, Leo. "Victor Pelevin" Archived 14 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. BOMB Magazine. Spring 2002. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  30. ^ Schillinger, Liesl (26 September 2008). "Demonic Muse (Published 2008)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 February 2021 – via

Sources printed edit

External links edit