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News

The Anniversary of “The Tales of the Don”

13.01.2016

In January of 2016, it is the 90th anniversary of publication of “The Tales of the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov, the first book of his early works.

Answering the questions of the correspondents of the USSR Central Television about his making a writer Sholokhov said: “You should keep in mind that I was formed and spent my green years during the Civil War. The subject for the short stories, essays was in front of my eyes. It was a tragic era. I felt a must for writing; there were lots of interesting things demanding badly to be reflected. That was how “The Tales of the Don” were being created.”

A book of collected short stories “The Tales of the Don” published early in 1926 by the publisher “Novaya Moskva” included eight works: “The Birth-Mark”, “Shibalkov’s Child”, “Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic”, “The Melon-Patch Minder”, “Alyoshka’s Heart”, “A Wife of Two Husbands”, “The Herdsman” and “The Whirlpool”.

After the book of collected short stories was typed and typeset it was given for a review to A.S.Serafimovich, an elder of the Russian literature, who supported the young author at the beginning of his writing career and said his word of approval and recognition. He admired the short stories by M.Sholokhov and in no time wrote a concise and deep foreword for the book. At that time Serafimovich noted: “Your book is rather small – only eight stories, but each of them containing lots of events to be enough for a novel…”

Late in the same, 1926, another book of collected stories, “The Golden Steppe”, was issued by the publisher “Novaya Moskva”. It included the short stories “The Golden Steppe”, “Alien Blood”, “The Getling”, “Mortal Enemy”, “The Galoshes”, “Food Commissar”, “Ilyukha”, “The Crooked Path”, “Farm-Hands”, “The Worm-Hole”, “The Family Man” and a story “The Road”.

Amazing in the strength of the narrative to crown the whole cycle of the “Tales of the Don” is the short story “Alien Blood”, which was dedicated to A.S.Serafimovich.

In 1931, M.Sholokhov combined the short stories of both the books in a new book “The Golden Steppe.Tales of the Don” (1923–1925).

At present, the collective works by M.A.Sholokhov include 26 early short stories and a story “The Road”.

Many years later, M.A.Sholokhov when talking with K.I.Priyma, the well-known literary critic, said: “In “The Tales of the Don” I tried to write the truth of life, to write about the things most exciting for me. In each short story I tried to say something of my own and in a new way. That is why I worked over the short stories extremely hard.

The first Sholokhov’s works opened the way for the writer into big literature.”

 

Nataliya Kirsanova