Graduate of the Kaluzhskaya gymnasium and organized a theatre school in Kaluga. He studied in the Institute of Eastern Studies, and in 1925 graduated from the literary division of the Faculty of Social Studies at Moscow State University. He worked for the newspapers “Pravda and “Komsomolskaya Pravda.” He worked in film beginning in 1925, collaborating with the director Yuli Raizman. His acquaintance and friendship with Bulgakov, as well as participation in the Bulgakov Commission of the Writer’s Union, were partly responsible for his arrest at the end of 1940. The warrant was signed by the second secretary of the Writer’s Union, Petr Andreevich Pavlenko.