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Museum Collection

A Letter from A.F.Zenin to Sholokhov

A letter of A.F.Zenin, January, 22, 1983. Sochi.

 

“Dear Mikhail Alexandrovich!

I am 60, a doctor, veteran of war and labour. I was born in 1922, in a village on the River Zeya the Amur Region. Having lost parents, at the age of 10, I began working at a collective farm. And now, the older I get, the deeper I realize and compare the social changes which took place in my native village and in the Don stanitsas described in your novels: they are so close and clear, that sometimes I think you were writing about Don Cossacks, but have written about Amur Cossacks. And when reading your novel and imagining your native Don I realized to be sitting on the bank of my River Zeya. Everything looks so much alike!

In “The Quiet Don” you have Aksiniya, and we, on the Zeya, have the same Aksiniya, grown older by the time of the collectivization, but she was called Anisiya. I remember looking into the window when the farmyard of the Basenkovs was being dispossessioned, the horses being taken out. A boy then, I saw this dark-browed Anisiya clinging to the mane of a black stallion, with her skirt trailing along the dusty road, and wailing loudly.

Mikhail Alexandrovich! If Leo Tolstoy was called a mirror of the first Russian revolution, then you must be rightly considered a mirror of the revolution in village!

Respectfully yours. Zenin Andrey Fyodorovich

354068 Sochi, Ц-68, Chekhov Str., 19, flat 94.”