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   Vasilii Semenovich Yanovskii Papers, 1933-1989

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Summary Information

At a Glance

Bib ID:6568341 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Yanovskii, Vasilii Semenovich, Dates.
Title:Vasilii Semenovich Yanovskii Papers, 1933-1989
Physical description:[physical extent] 31 linear ft. (27 boxes)
Language(s):English, Russian
Access: Material is unprocessed. Please contact for more information. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »


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Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence with publishers and literary figures; Yanovskii's diaries; drafts, manuscripts and typescripts of literary works by Yanovsky and others, subject files, photographs, records of interviews, and printed materials.

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Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

Material is unprocessed. Please contact for more information.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Finding aid in repository.

Online finding aid available.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

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History / Biographical Note


Vassily S. Yanovsky, an author and a physician was part of an early wave of Soviet emigres who came West in the 1920's. Dr. Yanovsky, an anesthesiologist, left the Soviet Union for Paris in 1927. He studied medicine at the Sorbonne and came to the United States in 1942. Yanovsky wrote two dozen books, including 20 novels. His works were published variously in Russian, Italian, French and English. At age 60 he began writing for English-language readers, and his major books of fiction were ''No Man's Time'' with a foreword by W. H. Auden (1967)''Of Light and Sounding Brass'' (1972) and ''The Great Transfer'' (1974). Critics grappled with - and praised - his often complex novels. In ''The Great Transfer'' Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said in The New York Times, the intricacies of the plot ''may sound impossibly farfetched and cumbersome'' but Dr. Yanovsky ''makes it float like a fairy tale. He squeezes his deepest spritual insights into sentences as innocent as the prose of Peter Rabbit.'' 'Spiritual and Metaphysical' One of his nonfiction books''The Dark Fields of Venus: From a Doctor's Log Book'' (1973), was based on journals he kept while working in venereal disease clinics. Another nonfiction work''Medicine, Science and Life'' he devoted to the philosophical foundation of medicine and the dilemmas of the medical profession. He also wrote short stories and, along with Helen Iswolsky, Anne Freemantle, Dorothy Day and Auden, was a founder of a 1940's literary magazine, The Third Hour. Late in life, he lived in New York City (Queens) with his wife and translator Isabella Levitin Yanovsky. He died of lymphoma in the age of 83.

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