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V.S.Chernomyrdin: “We Read “And Quiet Flows the Don” by the Whole Family…”

07.04.2018

On April 9, 2018, it is the 80th anniversary of Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin (1938–2010), a Soviet and Russian statesman, Head of the Russian Federation Council of Ministers (1992–1993), Head of the Russian Federation Government (1993–1998), Ambassador of Russia to Ukraine (2001–2009).

Viktor Stepanovich was a hereditary Cossack, Colonel of the Orenburg Cossack Host and General of the Zaporozhye Cossack army.

Among the favourite books of V.S.Chernomyrdin is the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov. In the preface of one of the novel editions Viktor Stepanovich wrote: “…Even my father, Stepan Markovich, read it and took care of it as the apple of his eye; it was the book we read aloud by all our family and relatives in the early 50s, now many years ago…”

V.S.Chernomyrdin made great efforts to buy out the manuscripts of the epic novel by M.A.Sholokhov from the heirs of the widow of his friend and writer Vasily Kudashev. After his talk to V.V.Putin, the necessary funds were allocated from the budget of Russia. The manuscripts were acquired in 1999. Chernomyrdin considered that find to be a kind of sensation in literary world.

V.S.Chernomyrdin allocated funds for the facsimile edition of the novel and headed the International Sholokhov Committee, which was engaged in returning of the original author's edition of the first two books of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” to the national and world culture. The uniqueness of the edition is that the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” was issued not simply in the original form, without editorial changes and abbreviations, but also with adding a lot of factual material, chronological account of life of M.A.Sholokhov and of the period of his work over the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”, a dictionary of the Don Cossack dialects, an alphabetical index with a short story about the characters and prototypes of the heroes of the novel and a scientific commentary.

The presentation of the book took place in Moscow, in 2004, on the 100th anniversary of M.A.Sholokhov. It was attended by V.S.Chernomyrdin, the children of M.A.Sholokhov – Svetlana Mikhailovna and Mikhail Mikhailovich, Valery Ganichev, Chairman of the Writers’ Union of Russia, writers, researchers and scholars who worked over this edition.

The book was also presented at the meeting of the Russian public held in Moscow, in Pashkov House, the Russian State Library, on April 8, 2011, and was timed to the 85th anniversary of the novel and the first anniversary of the memory of Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin.

 

Larisa Bukina