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News

Rare Photos of M.A.Sholokhov

24.10.2016

In the collection of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov there are three photos telling about the writer’s stay in January 1941, in the sanatorium “Krasnye Kamni” (Red Rocks) in Kislovodsk. These are rare pictures, as Mikhail Alexandrovich was known to be an infrequent visitor to health resorts preferring outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing.

One of the pictures shows M.A.Sholokhov standing on the balcony, the two others show him and Ivan Dmitriyevich Papanin (an Arctic explorer, Doctor of Geographical Sciences, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, at that time Head of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route) and Anatoly Vasilyevich Lyapidevsky (a pilot, who took part in rescuing the scientific expedition from “Chelyuskin” ship, the first Hero of the Soviet Union, at that time Deputy Head of the Home Inspection of the People’s Commissariat of the Aviation Industry, Director of Aviation Plant 156).

The beginning of 1941 was the time of significant events in the life of M.A.Sholokhov. Half a year before, a separate edition of the fourth book of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”, which the writer had worked over for 15 years, was published; the novel had been discussed in the Committee on Stalin Prizes, and the protocol record shows the results of a secret ballot on awarding M.A.Sholokhov.

While staying in the sanatorium “Krasnye Kamni” M.A.Sholokhov got acquainted with Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky, who was resting in the sanatorium at that time. Chukovsky made some entries in his diary about Sholokhov. Here is one of them:

“1941. January 4. Yesterday I got acquainted with Sholokhov. He is staying in the sanatorium of the Supreme Soviet… Yesterday Sholokhov came out of his apartment in a steady gait (of Leonid Andreyev) girded with a magnificent leather belt. I recited Semynin’s poetry to him, he praised it. But mostly he was silent… His family is:”Mariya Mikhailovna” (yesterday she was three), his son Alik, another son, his mother-in-law and his wife – all they are thorough, serious and organic people. All they make a charming impression, and he is inseparably one of their whole family. He and his family is a whole, and he can be understood only in the family”. (В.Осипов. Шолохов. Серия ЖЗЛ. М.: Мол. гвардия, 2010.С.301).

The photos entered the Museum collection in 1986, from V.P.Platonov, a writer and journalist from Dnepropetrovsk. The photographer, who with remarkable completeness and reliability conveyed the atmosphere of those moments of the writer’s life, is unknown.

Larisa Bukina