During each of the twelve days of Christmas, the 1709 Blog is bringing readers some information concerning an author, composer, artist or creator who died in 1941 and whose works fall into the public domain in 2012 in countries which operate a "life plus seventy years" term for copyright in authors' works. Today's feature focuses on the precocious story-teller and dissident Isaak Babel:
In 1939 Babel’s dangerous affair with the wife of Nikolai Yezhov, NKVD boss, led to his arrest, imprisonment and torture. Babel ‘confessed’ to committing ‘sabotage’ by failing to produce any significant works in recent years. Following his twenty-minute trial, Babel was sentenced and executed. From being a foremost writer of his time, Babel soon became a nobody; his name was removed from literary dictionaries and encyclopaedias, his works taken off school and university syllabuses. Since his public rehabilitation in 1954, Babel’s works have since been widely republished and acclaimed.
This series has been authored by Miriam Levenson, whom the 1709 Blog gives its grateful thanks.