№15 2023

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Author: Dmitry D. Nikolaev
About the author:

Dmitry D. Nikolaev, Doctor Hab. in Philology, Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article examines the American period of V.I. Ryndzyun's life and his work as an American writer and journalist. Vladimir Ryndzyun began publishing in Russia before the Revolution, and in the early 1920s he became famous under the pen-name “A. Vetlugin” thanks to publications in Russian émigré newspapers and books published in Paris and Berlin. He arrived in the USA in 1923 with Sergey Yesenin and Isadora Duncan and decided to stay there. He contributed to American journalism and American cinema as Voldemar Vetluguin, and to American literature as Frederick Van Ryn. In the fall of 1933, his essay “There's No Repealing Tastes”, signed with the pen-name Frederick Van Ryn was published in the first issue of Esquire magazine along with the works of Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Erskine Caldwell, etc. In 1934 he became an editor of RedBook Magazine as Voldemar Vetluguin. In 1936 he started to contribute in this pulp fiction magazine as Frederick Van Ryn as if he decided to separate his work as an editor and his literary works. Under the name of Frederick Van Ryn, he also collaborated with other magazines: a number of his publications appeared in the 1940s in Liberty; all of them have to do with cinema. His new pen-name made it possible for him to develop the author’s strategy in the USA, but in general it fits into the system of author’s masks / projections, which are typical for V.I. Rynzdyun’s / Voldemar Vetluguin’s works and self-fashioning.

Keywords: Vladimir Ryndzyun, Vetluguin, Frederick Van Ryn, feuilleton, essay, literature of Russian emigration, American prose of the XX century, Esquire, pulp fiction, RedBook Magazine, Liberty.
For citation:

Nikolaev, Dmitry. “Vetluguin as Frederick Van Ryn: about Vladimir Ryndzyun’s American Literary ‘Projection’.” Literature of the Americas, no. 15 (2023): 142–163. 


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Nikolaev 2000a — Nikolaev, Dmitry D. “‘Ibikus, ili Zhizn' i smert' A. Vetlugina” [“Ibikus, or The Life and Death of A. Vetlugin”]. ln Vetlugin A. Sochinenia: Zapiski merzavtsa [Essays: Notes of a scoundrel], introd., comp., ed., comm. D.D. Nikolaev, 5–38. Moscow, Lakom Publ., 2000. (In Russ.)

Nikolaev 2000b — Nikolaev, Dmitry D. “Kommentarii” [“Comments”]. ln Vetlugin A. Sochinenia: Zapiski merzavtsa [Essays: Notes of a scoundrel], introd., comp., ed., comm. D.D. Nikolaev, 378–461. Moscow, Lakom Publ., 2000. (In Russ.)

Nikolaev 2008 — Nikolaev, Dmitry D. “Vetlugin” [“Vetlugin”]. ln Literatura russkogo zarubezh'ja, 19201940 [Literature of the Russian abroad, 1920–1940], 269–308. Moscow, IMLI RAN Publ., 2008. Vol. 4. (In Russ.)

Tolstaya 2006 — Tolstaya, Elena. “Postskriptum k teme ‘Vetlugin i Aleksey Tolstoy’” [“Postscript to the Topic ‘Vetlugin and Alexey Tolstoy’”]. Toronto Slavic Quaterly, no. 18 (2006). (In Russ.)

Vdovin 1977 — Vdovin, Vitalii. “Pis'ma k Sergeiu Eseninu” [“Letters to Sergey Yesenin”]. Voprosy literatury [Problems of Literature], no. 6 (1977): 234–235.

Ustinov 2016 — Ustinov, Andrei. “Biografiia kak siuzhet: ‘amerikanskaia mechta’ A. Vetlugina [“Biography as a plot: ‘The American Dream’ by A. Vetlugin”]. Syuzhetologiya i syuzhetografiy [Studies in Theory of Literary Plot and Narratology], no. 2 (2016): 224–239. (In Russ.)