First English edition
Published in English
Envy (Russian: Зависть) is a novel published in 1927 by the Russian novelist Yuri Olesha. It is remarkable for its poetic style, undulating modes of transition between the scenes, innovative structure, biting satire, and ruthless examination of Socialist ideals.
The novel is about a pathetic young man named Nikolai Kavalerov, who refuses to accept Communist values and is consumed by loathing and envy for his benefactor Andrei Babichev, a model Soviet citizen who manages a successful sausage factory. With Andrei Babichev's brother Ivan, Kavalerov attempts to stage a comeback of all the old, petty feelings that were crushed under communism. In the end, Ivan and Kavalerov are crushed by their own iniquity.
"Envy" first appeared in Red Virgin Soil, a Soviet literary magazine, in late 1927. Olesha wrote the novel while working at the "Whistle", a widely read newspaper of the Railway Workers' Union. He read pages of the novel to other notable Soviet writers: Mikhail Bulgakov, Isaac Babel, Ilya Ilf, and Yevgeny Petrov.
Olesha, Yuri. Envy. Trans. Marian Schwartz. New York Review of Books, 2004. Print.
MacAndrew, Andrew R., and Yuri Olesha. Envy and Other Works. Doubleday & Co., 1968. Print.
- "Envy by Yuri Olesha". SovLit.net. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "Soviet Envy: Yuri Olesha Is Back, and Only Slightly Less Funny". The Stranger. Retrieved 2006-05-24.