Mark Aldanov

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Mark Aldanov
Born Landau
Kiev, Russian Empire
Died 25 February 1957
Nice, France
Nationality Russian
Genre Biography, fiction, criticism, essays

Mark Aldanov (Russian: Марк Алда́нов) (Mark Alexandrovich Landau) (Russian: Марк Алекса́ндрович Ланда́у) (7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1886, 1888, or 1889 – 25 February 1957) was a Russian writer and critic,[1] known for his historical novels. He was nominated for the Nobel prize in literature thirteen times.[2]


Mark Landau (Aldanov) was born in Kiev in the family of a rich Jewish industrialist, he graduated the physical-mathematical and law departments of Kiev University. He published serious research papers in chemistry; in 1919 he emigrated to France. During 1922-1924 he lived in Berlin and during 1941-1946, in the United States.[1]

Aldanov's first book about Vladimir Lenin, translated into several languages, immediately gained him popularity. Then followed a trilogy of novels attempting to trace the roots of the Russian Revolution, he also wrote a tetralogy of novels about Napoleonic wars.[1] All in all, he published 16 larger literary works and a great number of articles and essays.

Ivan Bunin, the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, nominated Aldanov for Nobel Prize a total of six times - in 1938, 1939, 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950.[3]

Mark Aldanov died in Nice, France,[1] his extensive correspondence with Vladimir Nabokov, Ivan Bunin, Alexander Kerensky and other emigre celebrities was published posthumously.

Novy Zhurnal[edit]

In 1942, while in New York, Aldanov cofounded Novy Zhurnal (The New Review) (Russian: "Новый журнал") together with his colleague and friend Mikhail Tsetlin,[4] until November 1945 they both served as Editors-in-Chief of this publication, which is considered the oldest Russian language literary periodical in print published outside of Russia.[5] Among the review's contributors were Vladimir Nabokov, Ivan Bunin, Joseph Brodsky, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and other notable Russian emigre writers.[6]

The Aldanov Literary Prize[edit]

Since 2007 Novy Zhurnal has been awarding The Aldanov Literary Prize conferred for the best novella or novellete authored by a Russian-language writer living outside or Russia.[5]


The Thinker, a tetralogy[1][edit]

  • The Ninth Thermidor
  • The Devil's Bridge
  • The Conspiracy
  • St. Helena: Little Island


  • Punch Vodka
  • The Ninth Thermidor
  • The Devil's Bridge
  • Conspiracy
  • The Tenth Symphony
  • Saint Helena, Little Island
  • For Thee the Best
  • A Story About Death
  • Before the Deluge
  • Suicide
  • The Key
  • Escape
  • The Cave
  • The Fifth Seal
  • Live As You Please
  • Nightmare and Dawn


  1. ^ a b c d e f Terras, Victor (1990). Handbook of Russian Literature. pp. 17–18. ISBN 0300048688. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  3. ^ Nominations by Nobel Laureates. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Novy Zhurnal // Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Literaturnaya premiya imeni Marka Aldanova // Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Novy Zhurnal - Official Website. Retrieved February 5, 2014.