Lev Losev

Lev Losev

Famous Russian poet, literary critic, essayist
Date of Birth: 15.06.1937
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Lev Losev
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Life in the United States
  4. Notable Works
  5. Writing Brodsky's Biography
  6. Later Life and Legacy

Biography of Lev Losev

Lev Losev, a renowned Russian poet, literary critic, and essayist, has gained recognition through his writings published in Russian-language emigrant publications. His articles, poems, and essays have made him well-known in American literary circles. In Russia, his works started being published only in 1988.

Lev Losev

Early Life and Education

Lev Vladimirovich Losev was born and raised in Leningrad in the family of writer Vladimir Aleksandrovich Lifshits. It was his father, a children's writer and poet, who came up with the pseudonym "Losev" for his son, which later became his official passport name. After completing his studies at the Faculty of Journalism at Leningrad State University, Losev worked as a journalist in the local newspaper in Sakhalin. Upon returning from the Far East, he became an editor at the nationwide children's magazine "Koster" while also writing poems, plays, and stories for children.

Life in the United States

In 1976, Lev Losev moved to the United States, where he worked as a typesetter-corrector at Ardis Publishers. However, being a typesetter did not fulfill his literary ambitions and ideas. By 1979, he completed his graduate studies at the University of Michigan and began teaching Russian literature at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, located in the northern part of New England. During his time in America, Losev wrote extensively and his works were published in Russian-language emigrant publications. His articles, poems, and essays gained him recognition in American literary circles. However, in Russia, his works only started being published in 1988.

Notable Works

One of Losev's most intriguing books, which garnered significant interest among readers, was his book on the language of Aesop in Soviet literature, originally based on his literary dissertation. He is also the author of seven books and numerous articles on Russian and Soviet literature, including works on "The Lay of Igor's Campaign," Anton Chekhov, Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Joseph Brodsky.

Writing Brodsky's Biography

An interesting episode in Losev's career was his writing of Joseph Brodsky's biography. Despite knowing Brodsky's reluctance to publish his own biography, Losev took on the task of writing about his friend ten years after his death. Finding himself in a difficult position, as he had to replace the biographical details of Brodsky's life with an analysis of his poems, Losev remained true to their friendship but faced criticism from literary critics who questioned the lack of factual information in the biography. The unofficial, oral subtitle of Losev's book became "I Know, But I Won't Tell."

Later Life and Legacy

For many years, Lev Losev worked as a collaborator at the Russian Service of Radio Liberty and hosted the "Literary Diary" radio program. His essays on new American books became one of the most popular radio segments. Losev, a prolific writer and literary scholar, a professor, and the recipient of the "Northern Palmyra" prize in 1996, passed away in New Hampshire on May 6, 2009, at the age of 72 after a prolonged illness.