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Grossman, Leonid Petrovich


GROSSMAN, LEONID PETROVICH (1888–1965), Russian literary historian and theater critic. Grossman was born in Odessa, graduated from Kiev university, and studied law in Sorbonne. He started writing criticism from 1903 and contributed to the Jewish Encyclopedia in the field of law. From 1910 to 1920 he produced poetry, mostly on biblical themes. From 1921 he lectured in various institutes in Moscow on the theory and history of literature, from 1945 as a professor. His works range from studies of Russo-Western cultural relations (e.g., on Balzac in Russia, 1937) to monographs on Russian literary masters such as Dostoyevski (1963). He also wrote comparative studies of literature and other creative arts, such as theater and painting. In Ispoved yevreya ("A Jew's Confession," 1925) Grossman dealt with A.U. Kovner, a picturesque Jewish convict, whose letters to Dostoyevski, published in 1903 some 30 years after their dispatch, accused the novelist of slandering the Jews in his Diary of a Writer.

[Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

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