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News

Letters to M.A.Sholokhov

27.10.2014

National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve begins publishing letters addressed to the great writer. You can read them in the website section “Collection: Letters to Sholokhov”.

This is a big layer of epistolary materials connected with the life and work of the great writer: letters from people of different professions, fates, nationalities, education and social standing.

The theme of the letters to the greatest XX century novelist is little investigated thus suggesting a reason for resorting to it. The material presented will enable to broaden the source  area of the research, to make a detailed picture of  the epoch, to understand better the inexhaustible attractiveness of Sholokhov’s works, will help to a deeper study in the life and work of the writer and a growing interest in the history of the XX century.

Most interesting are the letters about responses to literary works.

 “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov, an epic novel about the fate of the people in the Revolution and Civil War, is the most significant and popular work of the writer. The readers are interested in the novel itself, its artistic features, images, historic setting; facts of the author’s biography, signs of the time, fates of the personages and the writer’s view of the world around.

The novel “Virgin Soil Upturned” by M.A.Sholokhov, which was called “a textbook on collectivization” or ”a Party document of the epoch” by the literary critics, is primarily a truthful artistic depiction of historic events of the early 30-s and a narration about the fates of the peasantry during the collectivization. Excesses and arbitrariness during the grain procurements in the Don province in 1929 were repeated during the complete collectivization in 1930. These events encouraged M.A.Sholokhov to take up the pen. The readers’ opinions differ widely: each of them perceives the book in his own way with the estimates often being antithetical.

The publication of the first chapters of the novel “They Fought for Their Country” by M.A.Sholokhov in the newspaper “Pravda” (beginning from May, 5, 1943) caused a genuine interest. Streams of letters from the front went to the newspaper “Pravda” and to Sholokhov in Vyoshenskaya. Soldiers’ responses are the most valuable evidence of that terrible time.

All the letters are well preserved and kept in the documentary collection of the Museum-Reserve.

 

Lyudmila Afanasiyeva