Other Literary Forms
Yury Olesha’s main literary contribution was in the field of fiction. The publication of his major work, the novel Zavist’ (1927; Envy, 1936), established him immediately as an important writer. Its theme of the right of individuals to free development of their abilities was contrary to the official line of collectivism, but it was tolerated in the relatively free spirit of the 1920’s. As soon as that decade was over, both Olesha and the novel were ostracized for many years. His only works to be published were those in which he tried to accommodate the regime, and publication of even those ceased in the late 1930’s. For the rest of his life, he did not publish anything of importance. His memoirs, Ni dnia bez strochki (No Day Without a Line, 1979), were published posthumously in 1965.