Talk:Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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I removed the following paragraph from the aricle:

Many Russian readers now turn their backs on Yevtushenko, as the politically motivated, 'instructive' poetry that he keeps writing seems to fall out of favour with the Russians. However, he will probably go down in the history of Russian poetry as the author of some impressive poems, like Babi Yar, the long poem used by Shostakovich in his Thirteenth Symphony. In January 1993 Teldec records released Shostakovich's Symphony No 13 with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur. The symphony now is very popular among the international conductors.

as a portion of it violates NPOV, and the rest is mentioned earlier in the article. I've retained it on the talk page for referencing. 19:58, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. This article has suddenly gotten really slanted, as I have just discovered to my dismay. (What's all that about "naughty child of the regime", for God's sake?!) I will try and balance things out in a little while. K. Lásztocska 04:41, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

What happened to the picture? K. Lásztocska 04:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Babi Yar: Concealment versus Failure to Commemorate[edit]

A fellow Wikipedia user prefers to describe the Soviet attitude to the Babi Yar massacre, which I had described as "Failure to Commemorate", as "Concealment". I am open to hearing from those with additional resources, but my understanding (both from web-based sources and from a program note for a performance of the Babi Yar symphony at the University of Maryland in which Yevtushenko personally participated on Oct 27, 2007) is that the poem was stimulated in the first instance by the poet's shock, when he visited Babi Yar, at the failure of the Soviet authorities to raise a monument at the site. There were at least two aspects of the massacre that the Soviets apparently sought to avoid discussing: (a) the fact that Jews, as Jews, had been the first (though not the only) victims -- Soviet presentations of events of this kind preferred to stress that "Soviet citizens" had died, rather than specifically Jews; (b) the fact that some Ukrainians had collaborated with the Nazis in the killings. However, as I understand it, the Soviets did not attempt to conceal the fact that a Nazi massacre had taken place at Babi Yar, which in their book was one of many Nazi atrocities against Soviet citizens. Open to other information on this. Nandt1 16:52, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

The Soviet authorities did not conceal the Babi Yar massacre. What they did was to unfailingly present it as a massacre of "Soviet citizens", never once mentioning the specifically anti-semitic nature of the massacre. The fact that most of the victims were Jews was irrelevant to the Soviet authorities and never mentioned by them, they were only concerned with it as an attack on Soviet citizens. Perhaps "misrepresentation" or "distortion" would be a better term to use than either "failure to commemorate" or "concealment"? K. Lásztocska 17:33, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
As Lastochka/K. Lásztocska points out, we are not talking about the Soviet concelement of the Babi Yar massacre in terms of its occurance, the article was making a point about concelement of the Babi Yar massacre in terms of the Jews that died there. Nandt1, I think you yourself make this point in your message and we agree: "the Soviets did not attempt to conceal the fact that a Nazi massacre had taken place at Babi Yar." We are making a point that they tried to conceal the fact that the Nazi massacre at Babi Yar was predominately aimed at the Jews of the area - again something you agree with by saying that Soviets tried to avoid discussing that the Jews had been the first victims. I don't know how you interpret the meaning of "tried to avoid discussing" but that sure sounds like "concealment" in terms of who the majority of the victims were. And Yevtushenko's poem was specifically aimed at the outrage at the concealment of the Jewish death, not at the failure of the Soviet government to raise a monument. If what you're saying is true, and I agree that it is true, that the Soviet government preferred focusing on the Soviet deaths, why would they not commemorate the place that so many Soviets died at? They did not commemorate percisely because they tried to conceal the fact that the majority of victims were Jews. Yevtushenko's shock at the failure of the Soviet government to raise the monument at the site had a reason - the conceleament of Jews as victims and anti-semitism rampant in Soviet Union. He wasn't just shocked that the monument was not raised for the meer fact that it was not raised at the spot were so many Soviets died. He was shocked that it was not raised persisely because the Jews were concealed as victims and so no monument was raised to their memory. This might seem like semantics, but that's my understanding. He was outraged more about the concelement that underley the reason for the failure raise the monument. Without the concealment of Jewis victims, there wouldn't be any reason for the Soviet government to not raise the monument. And congrats on seeing Yevtushenko personally. Although this was likely not your intention, but your comments seem to convey that you think that meeting or seeing Yevtushenko give you views an added level of authority. I may be wrong in interpreting your comments above and while you may actually have an added level of authority after meeting or seeing Yevtushenko at Babi Yar symphony at the University of Maryland, having met Yevtushenko myself a few times over the last 13 years, I would still urge people to cite anything that they change, something that you agree with also. --RossF18 17:55, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
That said, I think your (thanks K. Lásztocska) refrazing of the sentence works well and I'd leave it.--RossF18 18:00, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, glad you like it. although given that apparently all three of us are personally acquainted with Mr. Yevtushenko, I almost wonder if maybe we shouldn't just get him on here to say for himself why he wrote the poem and what it all means. :) K. Lásztocska 18:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan. :) I think you have the best chance of that since if I remember correctly you actually go to the university he teaches at (my memory can be faulty) --RossF18 18:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I did for a while, but I don't anymore. I took a literature class from him earlier this year that was just the coolest thing imaginable--when we were reading Pasternak, he would just spin off into a long series of reminiscences of the time he spent with Pasternak out at the dacha. Another writer would set off another rambling memoir of life, love, literature and philosophy in the Soviet Union. He's really quite brilliant--at times it would seem like he was just wandering through a stream of consciousness, but then at the end he would tie it all together with one perfectly-chosen image...oooh it brought out the poet in me, to be sure... :) I also *love* his fashion sense. :) K. Lásztocska 18:15, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you were very lucky (he's definitely one of the greats) and yes, he has most *unique* fashion sense. --RossF18 18:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think I'll ever forget those bright purple pants...or the pink hat...or the bright blue shirt with the huge orange flowers...or the time he wore all of the afore-mentioned items at once... :) K. Lásztocska 18:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes, and those jackets of his. Genius. :) --RossF18 18:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Patchwork pants and a Chinese-print silk shirt in March!! I also love how sometimes he gets stuck on a particularly evocative phrase or expression and repeats it every day for a month--he was especially fond of "big cheese" and "backseat driver" last spring. :) K. Lásztocska 18:31, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the present language ("he denounced the Soviet distortion of historical fact regarding the Nazi massacre of the Jewish population") is more accurate than what was in the article before ("he denounced the Soviet concealment of the Nazi massacre of the Jewish population"). I made and make, though, no claim to know the poet personally. Nandt1 18:38, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

On a somewhat of a side-topic: do we have an article on the Babi Yar massacre? K. Lásztocska 18:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, see under Babi Yar. Nandt1 18:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Can we please talk about his poetry and not his clothes! Indeed, if the content of the article were restricted to his poetry, there would never be any POV controversy. When people conjecture about how he will probably be viewed by history, well then, it's just that: conjecture. This is an encyclopedia, not a platform for speechmaking (that is what discussion pages are for! :-) ). Certainly, Babi Yar needs to be thoroughly discussed - can we please keep on the Babi Yar page? Let's try to keep Yevtushenko about Yevtushenko. (talk) 00:38, 28 September 2008 (UTC) (Sorry - did not log in properly and so that last comment was not properly signed. David Corliss) David Corliss (talk) 00:42, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is talking about conjecturing about how he will be viewed by history - i.e., putting our own opinion of how he will be viewed. However, a description of how Yevtushenko is viewed by scholars is an important point to include in an encyclopedia, especially for a such a political figure. Many articles about authors, poets, and painters discuss how these people were viwed by their colleagues and the general public - by providing cited sources. Noone lives in a vacuum. To make an analogy, perhaps a poor one, but if a Hitler article only talked about what Hilter did without mentioning the global condemnation of his actions, well, it would make for a poor article. And I don't really think there is any talk of discussing Babi Yar thoroughly in Yevtushenko's page. But Babi Yar is his most famous poem and to have no mention of it beyond the fact that he wrote it also doesn't make an article complete. A several sentence paragraph about how Babi Yar was received directly relates to Yevtushenko's political and cultural position in global society. To mention that he wrote Babi Yar and then suddenly became famous without mentioning what Babi Yar was about or why it made him famous makes little sense. You're more than welcome to provide a detailed discussion in the Babi Yar page. But the two issues are not mutually exclusive given that there is really no detailed discussion here. And the last time I checked, there wasn't a page solely to the Babi Yar poem. And if you're talking about the actual Babi Yar page, well, I think here the descussion focuses more on the poem and why Yevtushenko wrote it. The whole POV controversy is not because we're conjecturing but because we're deciding which historian's views to give more weight. Just because historians and contemporaries are yet to agree on Yevtushenko's position in history does not mean that we're cannot use sources to place him in broader context of the evolution of his country. And, on a separate point, I hardly think that a 1 or 2 sentence blurb about how he dresses on a discussion page bothers anyone. --RossF18 (talk) 02:55, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality issues 1[edit]

Recently, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of one particular user, this article has ceased to be a biography and has turned instead into a collection of disparaging quotations and unfavorable commentary loosely held together by a chronological framework and a few references to specific poems. This article is now unencyclopedic, biased, uninformative and in short, unacceptable by any higher standards that an encyclopedia should hold itself to.

As it stands, some serious re-writing is needed. I would not be in the slightest bit opposed to a "Criticism" section (although in the interest of balance we should also include some laudatory quotes--perhaps we could put both positive and negative reactions under the heading of "Reception"?) but scattering insulting remarks and commentary throughout the article like confetti (especially in a biography of a living person) is unprofessional and absurd.

I regret that I am busy enough in real life for a few more weeks now to be incapable of doing any large-scale Wiki work, but I post here in the hopes that someone with a bit more spare time can. K. Lásztocskatalk 18:58, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality issues 2[edit]

Recently, thanks in a great part to the tireless efforts of the another particular user, the article has been turned into a an eulogy, a praise of Mr Yevtushenko and whatever he has done in his life. This user, as well as a few others (whose command of English isn't as good as his, as I sadly note) not only think Yevtushenko untouchable but also oppose to any revelation of the controversies surrounding this literary figure. Every time I try to reach the balance yet another user offers to add more 'laudatory quotes' (!!), as if the whole article isn't laudatory enough, much more than you would expect of an encyclopedia article. I regret that I am too busy to correct all the mistakes and nonsensical things that keep finding their way into this article.--Badvibes101 (talk) 23:50, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Please, enough with this mock civility. If you have something to say, please say it. Stop with the underhanded insults and jabs at one another. Several points: (1) the article that has a large criticism section in it hardly reads like a eulogy (which by the way is when a person dies, which is in itself kind of nice of you to say about a person still alive). (2) Critique is good. Please add more of it if you'd like, however, please do not pretend that the critique you add is just by ordinary poets who liked Yevtushenko or just purely commented on his poetry. The quotes that you added, Badvibes, were truly bad vibes, pun intended and were spoken by poets who hated Yevtushenko's politics first, even after he tried to help them, not necessarily his poetry and while having these quotes is fine, not saying that these poets were fiercly hateful of the soviet government and anyone who even remotely looked like they were working with the government does not present the whole picture, which is needed in an encyclopedia article. If these poets were all friends, there would be no problems with critiques without any parantheticals or anything else. However, givent that one poet who commented on Yevtushenko lost all of her family to the Soviet regime and Brodsky was imprisoned and came to U.S. the first chance he got doesn't really make them all too objective in commenting on Yevtushenko's actual poetry and this should be made clear, while the quotes remain in the article (again, because it shows that their comments may have had other motivations besides pure analysis of Yevtushenko's poetry just for the love of poetry itself). Also, (3) please do not think that the quote dealing with Putin magically morphing into a quick reference about how terrible and authoritative Putin is has gone unseen. Yes, Putin has had certain liberties with freedoms in Russia, but this is not the forum for that and if people want to see why Yevtushenko was criticised for supporting Putin, they can go to Putin's website after a brief comment is made about Putin's liberties, not about his "authoritative regime" which is going a bit overboard. The combination of quotes that you added, while they should remain, without any further context make Yevtushenko out into this monster who was just a pawn of the Soviet machine that killed people and imprisoned people and only wrote poetry that they told him to and is notnow in league with an "dictator" Putin and he's just terrible poet becauase he was actually able to get published in USSR at the time when the poets whose quotes you include have not been able to get published. But, that's not really Yevtushenko's fault, and if anything, that just shows how much shrewdness he had to be able to work the system so that he was still able to publish in the country that was so oppressive and although he likely wasn't able to publish as freely as he or Brodsky wanted, he was still getting a freedom message out to the people that were repressed instead of being exciled and imprissoned and banned with no hope of reaching the Russian people and then moving to U.S. when communists were still in power. So, please do not accuse other editors of bias toward Yevtushenko and then go out of your way, in the name of balance, to make him out into some pawn who was a terrible poet disliked by everyone but the lowly people of Russia and authoritarian dictators. It's always heartening to see that editors have so much time to add such spitful quotations without reference and then don't devote any time to also finding supportive quotes for Yevtushenko. If you really want balance, you should have balanced your quotes with quotes by others in support of Yevtushenko. (4) Last point for now: it's very convenient how your sources are in Russian. While there are quite a few Russian speakers who can verify the quotes, this is the English branch of Wiki and as such, you should look for English sources first and leave the Russian sources for Russian Wiki article on Yevtushenko. If all you can find are Russian sources by poets you claim are impartial, but who are not, please do not resist the parantheticals that give the background behind the statements of these poets. And, if you think a poet is avant-guard, find a site.--RossF18 (talk) 01:37, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
A suggestion on how to move forward: why not temporarily get rid of all the quotes and try to get the core biography itself up to some standard of encyclopedic writing? Just facts, no opinions on either side? (PS to Badvibes: I am in fact a native speaker of English.) K. Lásztocskatalk 04:14, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a good idea, I'm just concerned about how "bare bones" it would look without any quotes and also about how I'm not sure this article will get sufficient attention of a core article aside from just a few editors. Another concern is that while quotes can be biased, if we put them in the proper context, they can be helpful beucause it is often hard to find bare facts (either from Russia or from U.S. sources) that are not collored by the opinion of the person who wrote the article just giving the facts. It seems with Yevtushenko, having been a poet of a very turbulent era, it would be difficult to get the really relevant facts straight without the use of quotes put into proper context. The basic facts like when he wrote something and were he lived and who he married and what films he starred in and facts like those are simple enough, but those are really just bare bones and don't really compare to other articles of poets that often have Legacy sections in them that give the poet's position in the broader literary world.
THUS, perhaps we can have just the bare facts like his family info, his birth info, etc., then a section that briefly describes just his professional career (poems, movies, and then employment as professor) with perhaps some quotes that are restricted to/deal only with his poetry from neutral poets who have nothing to do with the politics in Russia at the time. Last, we could have the Legacy section where we can spiral down all of the quotes, both positive and negative in their proper context (with that large controversy section with Brodsky letter and stuff as a subheading). This way, people will get a really basic overview of his professional life before plunging into all of the politics that Yevtushenko was involved (i.e., all of the apparent mini feuds and the whole debate about which poet hates the soviet government more).--RossF18 05:11, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Timeyevtushenko.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 02:37, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Status as the first Soviet dissident[edit]

It is a bit difficult to understand why he is being described as likely the first critic of Stalinism in the opening paragraph: Reportedly, before the appearance of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and the dissident movement in Russia, Yevtushenko, through his poetry, was the first voice to speak out against Stalinism. In relation to the generation of intellectuals active before World War II, many of whom were very strong critics overtly and covertly, Yevtushenko is part of the younger generation. Though "reportedly" is a sufficiently good disclaimer, a claim so dubious should not be part of the introduction to a biographical page about the poet.--Igor Senderovich (talk) 00:24, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

What sources would you site for your assertion that this a dubious claim? What sources would you site for your assertion that "In relation to the generation of intellectuals active before World War II, many of whom were very strong critics overtly and covertly, Yevtushenko is part of the younger generation." The reportedly is a signal that this statement has a source. The lead is supposed to highlight the importance of the person - which the statement does. If you have sources that are at odds with this statement, there can be a statement in the body of the article noting that Solzhenitsyn was not the first. However, a personal opinion that the claim is dubious does not qualify. And, I think it's important to read the statement more carefully. It says "the first voice to speak out against Stalinism." I don't think that this is the same as the first voice to speak out against Stalin or is equal to Stalin's generals disagreeing with his World War II policies. Also, although there might have been many strong critics, that does not mean that this disqualifies Yevtushenko as being the first "voice." Critics are often without voice as powerful as poetry and many are killed quickly after becoming critics. Further, I do not think there was Stalinism as a term before Stalin actually died (I will concede this point most easily since I am not sure about this). Stalinism and speaking out against Stalinism really came with Khrushev. Also, note that the sentence in question does have the qualifier, "through his poetry" and specifically lists authors and the dissident movement. While there may have critics, they may not have been part of the dissident movement, and more specifically, the literary dissident movement. So, I am for keeping the sentence in the lead and if need be, having a short discussion in the article. However, the validity of the claim comes from the source and this is not some unheard off source or outlandish claim, so dubiousness is a bit harsh given no sources. --RossF18 (talk) 05:12, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Point well taken regarding criticism of Stalinism as a Khrushchev-era concept. Nonetheless it seems to me a superficial distinction in terms, especially in the context of a first-paragraph summary of the poet's achievements. (And, regardless of the achievement, I would suggest that a statement with caveats like this one belongs later in the text, where it can be presented in its full complexity.) I will not dare to argue that it was any easier to speak out after Stalin's death but before the 20th Party Congress (or even after it, for that matter - the Thaw did feel like a snare to some.) But it certainly sounds a bit insulting to the earlier dissidents to claim that Yevtushenko's were pioneering efforts. As for sources, criticism in earlier literature abounds in various degrees of subtlety in the works of Akhmatova, Pasternak, Bulgakov, to name a few. The most unambiguous may be Mandelstam's Stalin Epigram. Secondary sources form scholars who have examined earlier work in terms of political criticism should not be difficult to gather. However, for the above arguments, a tentative (if perhaps not a dubious) statement does not, in my opinion, belong in the introductory paragraph.--Igor Senderovich (talk) 16 March 2009
I agree and would support moving the sentence to later in the article with the discussion regarding his status as the voice of dissent. I would not, however, favor taking the sentence out of the article entirely. --RossF18 (talk) 03:26, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, removing this sentence entirely would be excessive. A full discussion of the uniqueness of his dissent, to be written later in the article, will provide a nice, complex picture of his role in the rising chorus of opposition.--Igor Senderovich (talk) 04:14, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Yevtushenko as dissident/comments by Washington Times writer[edit]

Passord Username wrote this on my talk page:

Hi, Ross: I don't quite get this edit: [1]. Perhaps we could discuss. Are there actually any detractors of Yevtushenko who deny that he is one of the most well-known Russian poets? The reason why I disagreed with quoting the Washington Times writer is that Y's "dissident career" is extremely controversial – Vladimir Voinovich, for example, writes that Yevtushenko actively opposed dissidents like himself, to the point of ruining the reputation of writers openly hostile to the Soviet Union's system, while himself at times criticizing various Soviet policies but not the Soviet government itself per se (or so he writes in his 1990s memoirs - published in 1994 as Zamysel). Clearly this is a controversial opinion – the Washington Times' writer's opinion that you've reincluded is suitable for the criticism but injects imbalance in the lede section, which cannot summarize all of the critical opinions and evaluations of Yevtushenko's political activity. I am not, however, aware of anyone challenging Yevtushenko's stature as the preeminent living Russian poet today: his reputation in both the West and at home is pretty large – at least this much seems uncontested, and, as I see it from my perspective, deserves to be mentioned in the lede, the point of which is to stake out a claim for the subject's notability in a concise / neutral form. Do you agree? PasswordUsername (talk) 14:51, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The reason for my edit is that if we want to debate what is or is not an opinion worthy of being included, an opinion from a published source warrants inclusion when compared to your own opinions, regardless of Yevtushenko's reputation. Yes, I don't think anyone can say that Yevtushenko is not well-known, but that's my own personal opinion because I'm a fan and I think he clearly is well-known. But, that doesn't change the fact that it needs to be sourced - it's not a fact like the Earth is round. I can see people take issue with him being well-known without sources, especially considering the number of hits he gets on Wikipedia (not that many) - not that that is a good indicator, but again, to avoid people deleting the statement purely on lack of sources grounds, it's better to source it now. Also, as far as Washington Times quote, I won't argue with you in regard to whether it belongs in the lede, but will make a point to note that I think it summarizes well the opinion of Yevtushenko in the literary community - i.e., it's a middle of the road opinion. Some argue that Yevtushenko is a hero and someone who is the very first dissident (I'm not kidding), and others, like Voinovich and his fellow exiles, argue that Yevtushenko wasn't even a dissident to begin with (and by the way, I encourage you to put in Voinovich's view in the Criticism section's first paragraph). So, there are polar opinions and the quote in Washington times provides a good middle of the road opinion, I think that summarizes well Yevtushenko's polarazing role between those who think any dissent makes you a dissident and those who think you really have to be exiled or sent to Siberia to be really a true dissident. That's why I think the failed dissident quote is really a good overview of Yevtushenko's bio.--RossF18 (talk) 15:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, it's generally well-known that Yevtushenko is...well-known, but that he's either "just famous" or "the most famous" is now the word according to pretty much everything from Sub-Saharan Africa [1] to Ireland [2] to '80s American newspapers [3] to the relations bulletin of the University of Minnesota [4]. Calling him one of "the most well-known modern Russian poets" seems alright to me. Since we've both been in agreement on this anyhow, I take it you'll trust that this was not invented off the top of my head?
While I am sympathetic to your point of view as far as the "dissident nuances", I part ways in that I don't think that the middle road cannot a priori be taken as the neutral road.
The literary technique of "show-not-tell" works best in cases of disputed NPOV in many cases, from my experience. Here is a quote from the official policy put forth on WP:NPOV:

Karada offered the following advice in the context of the Saddam Hussein article:

You won't even need to say he was evil. That is why the article on Hitler does not start with "Hitler was a bad man" — we don't need to, his deeds convict him a thousand times over. We just list the facts of the Holocaust dispassionately, and the voices of the dead cry out afresh in a way that makes name-calling both pointless and unnecessary. Please do the same: list Saddam's crimes, and cite your sources.

Resist the temptation to apply labels or moralize—readers will probably not take kindly to being told what to think. Let the facts speak for themselves and let the reader decide.

There is no comparison between...well, Yevtushenko and Saddam, but I think the sword cuts both ways. Whether Yevtushenko was a dissident or was not a dissident is a disputed area of POV, as far as which we cannot take sides by privileging a particular view according to our own narratives; all that is sufficient is to report the facts, thus giving the reader the gist of the biography in an as neutral manner as possible. Criticial opinions are, of course, important, but there is no way to do justice to including everything that runs the full gamut of opinion as far as one aspect of Yevtushenko's life in this particular case. We can, of course, include something of the sort that "Yevtushenko was critical of some aspects of the USSR" or something of that vein, but it's clear that things get hot when the question of "who is a real dissident" and "dissident-status" actually pops up. In fact, I think the article is already too tilted in favor of a gorged criticism section out of proportion to the material that is devoted to Yevtushenko's works.
Would appreciate to hear your thoughts. PasswordUsername (talk) 16:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I agree, of course and it's really difficult for me to be the devil's advocate here given that I like Yevtushenko so I'll leave that to others (and there are plenty of those, at least per previous discussions). I will just point out that the "gorged criticism section" is really a direct response to editors who view Yevtushenko as a collaborator of the USSR government and nothing more and wanted to insert things into the biography section that really took away from the accomplishments of Yevtushenko. The common argument was that by listing all the accomplishments, we were making Yevtushenko out into this great figure for democratic change when in fact there was these things that he has done or should have done, etc. There were many arguments, not all of which are reflected on the talk page, in regard to the commentary from both sides of the argument being inserted into the biography section. Thus, a criticism section was created, which, is really not a criticism in the sense of literal definition of criticism of Yevtushenko, but more in the sense that it's a Controversy section regading Yevtushenko's legacy in the Soviet society. So perhaps the Criticism section should really be entitled "Yevtushenko's Legacy" since the section is really meant to provide both litirally critique of his works and the various views as to his role in the society (both the so called con and pro sides). And I know the whole deal regarding neutrality, i.e., balance is not the same thing as neutrality as per scientific theories that are accepted worldwide but are still opposed by minority of scientists. So I'm fully aware that neturality doesn't mean that there is equal voice given to fringe theories, but in this case, there is really no clear indication as to Yevtushenko's role with two sides really being polar-opposites. So, in this case, neutrality would seem to at least approach equal weight to both sides of the argument (and again, it's rare for neutrality to really mean equal time for points of view).--RossF18 (talk) 16:26, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section integration[edit]

It's been said that per WP:CRITS, criticism sections should be integrated into the article. Do you think that is meant for just politicans and would authors be different given that it's more likely that their criticism sections are more literary in nature as opposed to political criticism? If the two types of criticism sections (in my opinion) are not different in nature, then we should really start to integrate the criticism into the article itself. And for Yevtushenko, the Criticism section does seem to be a combination of both his political critics (both good and bad) and his literary critics (again, both good and bad). Just putting it out there for discussion.--RossF18 (talk) 20:04, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I do not agree with your interpretation of WP:CRITS. I consider Criticism sections, when balanced, to be incredibly valuable, just as are Reception and Awards sections. - BalthCat (talk) 04:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

The current section is extremely long, and very unusual for a literary figure. It can be summarised in a sentence or two: some writers who went over to the West - including several for whom Yevtushenko had publicly pled when they were in trouble - rail at him for being too soft for their tastes; some Western commentators either find it difficult to understand that somebody could have seen himself as a constructive critic of the Soviet system or dislike his criticism of the policies of Western powers.

Things have really got completely out of hand. Do you see a Criticism section under Knut Hamsun? No? I didn't think so. What does that tell you? A little balance, please. Feketekave (talk) 14:48, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree that criticism sections are helpful, but I object to this one including the ludicrous statement: "most Western intellectuals and many Russian scholars extol[ing] him as the greatest writer of his generation, the voice of Soviet life." Even if that is an accurate quote from that Cengage document, which I do not have access to, it is simply false; I read a great deal of scholarship about Russian literature, and I do not know of a single scholar who would dream of calling Yevtushenko "the greatest writer of his generation." The fact that there's a cite for it means it's fine by Wikipedia standards, which shows a serious hole in those standards. Just because something is in print doesn't make it a fact; if this quote is used, it should be presented as an (extreme) opinion, not (as is currently the case) presented as the voice of Wikipedia. Languagehat (talk) 18:10, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Copyright problem[edit]


This article has been reverted by a bot to this version as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) This has been done to remove User:Accotink2's contributions as they have a history of extensive copyright violation and so it is assumed that all of their major contributions are copyright violations. Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. VWBot (talk) 13:45, 10 December 2010 (UTC)


I'm somewhat bothered by the image in the infobox. Basically Nixon takes the focus away from Yevtushenko who's after all the subject of this article. Wouldn't it be better to use this image [5]? Or, as I see there was a non-free image being used here under fair use but whoever put it in didn't bother writing a fair-use rationale. Now, for an article like this, which focuses on a specific person a fair-use rationale can be made for some images out there.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:03, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

No objections (or even discussion!) in over three years? So I have replaced. I think this is a very strong image and is used as the main image at his ru:wiki article. It shows he was still very much alive in 2009. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:48, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Yevgeny Yevtushenko/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Not a stub, but certainly not a terribly strong article

Last edited at 09:45, 30 November 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 11:03, 30 April 2016 (UTC)