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Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev

Andreyev, Leonid Nikolayevich (lyāənyētˈ nyĭkəlĪˈəvĭch əndrāˈyəf) [key], 1871–1919, Russian writer. Andreyev's early stories were realistic studies of everyday life. Gorky was attracted by the note of social protest in his work and used his influence to obtain publication of Andreyev's first volume of short stories. After an enormous initial success Andreyev turned to more metaphysical themes, frequently employing allegory and symbol. He declared his anti-Bolshevism, and his friendship with Gorky was terminated. Andreyev went to Finland at the Bolshevik accession to power and died there. His strongest dramatic work is King Hunger (1907), an acerbic portrait of Russian society. Besides the popular drama of a circus clown, He Who Gets Slapped (1915, tr. 1921), his best-known plays are Anathema (1909, tr. 1910), an allegory on the futility of goodness, and The Pretty Sabine Women (1911, tr. 1914), a political satire. The pessimism of his later writings cost Andreyev his popularity. His name also appears as Andreev.

See Letters of Gorky and Andreev, ed. by P. Yershov (1958); biographical studies by A. S. Kaun (1924, repr. 1969), J. B. Woodward (1969), and J. M. Newcombe (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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