Tarasov-Rodionov, Aleksandr Ignatievich. Born in 1885, Tarasov-Rodionov joined the Communist Party in 1905. He was active in the Revolution of 1917, after which he commanded Red Army divisions during the Civil War. Then, from 1921 to 1924, he served as an examining magistrate of the Supreme Tribunal of the USSR.

As a writer, he belonged to the Kuznitsa ("Smithy") group, and was one of the organizers of the October literary group, which was founded at the end of 1922. It had 100% pure Communist membership and came out in defense of ideologically pure proletarian literature. The Artistic Platform of "October" declared:

That literature is proletarian which organizes the psychology and consciousness of the working class and of the wide toiling masses toward the final aims of the proletariat as the reorganizer of the world and the creator of Communist society.

Proletarian literature opposes itself to bourgeois literature as its antipode.

The group "October" asserts the primacy of content. The very content of a proletarian work of literature supplies the verbal and artistic material and suggests the form. Content and form are dialectial antitheses: content conditions form and is artistically formalized through it.
The group, however, refused to endorse any one particular form. Yuri Libedinsky was another prominent member of the October group.

Tarasov-Rodionov's 1922 novel Shokolad ("Chocolate"), caused a bit of controversy. It tells the story of the chairman of a local Cheka who is falsely accused of bribery, corruption, and dalliance with a beautiful young ballerina-turned-counterrevolutionay agent. Although the investigating committee establishes his innocence, he is ordered to be shot anyway as an example to the masses. Critics called the novel an ideological error and said it was untrue to life.

Like many Old Bolsheviks, during the NEP period, Tarasov-Rodionov had some doubts about the line taken by the Party. He expressed these doubts in another work of fiction, Trava i Krov ("Blood and Grass") (1924). In 1928 he published Fevral ("February"), which was intended at the first volume in a series of autobiographical novels about the Revolutionary years. The series was to be entitled Tyazheliye Shagi ("Heavy Steps"). This time, however, Tarasov-Rodionov was accused of misrepresenting the role of the Party during the Revolution. He was labeled a "graphomaniac Trotskyite". Forgotten was that fact that on 10 July 1919, Tarasov-Rodionov had published an article in Izvestia entitled "A Company of Communists", in which he criticized what he perceived as a lack of organization and inefficient utilization of Communist forces in the army. This article drew the ire of Trotsky himself who labeled its author "idle-minded."

Tarasov-Rodionov was arrested and liquidated at some unknown time. He was, of course, posthumously rehabilitated.


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