Veniamin Kaverin

Veniamin Kaverin

[kuh-vair-in; Russ. kuh-vye-ryin]
Veniamin Alexandrovich Kaverin (Вениамин Александрович Каверин; real name - Вениамин Александрович Зильбер, or Veniamin Alexandrovich Silber) (April 19, 1902, PskovMay 2, 1989, Moscow) was a Soviet writer associated with the early 1920s movement of the Serapion Brothers. The immunologist Lev Zilber was his older brother, and the critic Yury Tynyanov was his brother-in-law.

During the WWII evacuation in Yaroslavl, Kaverin completed his best-known novel, The Two Captains (1938-44), which colourfully recounts the adventures of Russian polar explorers before and after the Revolution. The book, awarded the USSR State Prize in 1946, was reissued 42 times in 25 years and was adapted for the screen twice, in 1955 and 1976. In 1966, Kaverin published a biography of Baron Brambeus. Later, he worked on his reminiscences about the literary milieu of the 1920s, which contained passages highly critical of Soviet policies in literature.

As The Moscow News commented on his centenary, "Kaverin showed that even under the worst of conditions it is possible to retain one's human qualities and decency. His example is a reproach to so many other Soviet writers who sold their souls to the regime and committed reprehensible public acts".

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