Belinkov, Arkadii Viktorovich

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BELINKOV, ARKADII VIKTOROVICH (1921–1970), Russian literary critic and writer. Belinkov was born and educated in Moscow. In 1944 he was arrested and condemned to death on charges of writing an "anti-Soviet novel," Rough Copy of Feelings, and for founding an anti-Soviet literary group, but the sentence was commuted and he spent only 13 years in prison. In 1960 his book on Y.N. Tynyanov (second editon, 1965) was published; the work had a considerable influence on Soviet literature. In 1968 Belinkov immigrated to the U.S., where he lectured at Yale and Indiana Universities and published his works in the emigré editions of the Novyi Zhurnal and Novoe Russkoe Slovo, as well as the Russian Review. In the middle of the 1960s, his literary career moved from pure literary criticism to the journalistic genre, which he maintained was a continuation of the tradition of fierce opposition of the prerevolutionary underground press. He opposed the political trends of both the West and the censored Soviet press. Belinkov's central theme is the place of the intelligentsia in history and its attitude toward the revolution, society, and the state. He asserts the everlasting opposition of intellectuals (as the only social group that needs spiritual freedom) to the state, which suppresses this freedom, and society collaborating with the state. Belinkov was deeply aware of his Jewish identity and stressed his sympathy for Israel. He died in the U.S.

[Lazar Fleishman]