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Museum Collection

A Book by Vitaliy Zakrutkin with His Autograph

Vitaliy Zakrutkin met with Sholokhov many times, wrote about him a big essay “A Flower of the Steppe”. Zakrutkin wrote: “Sholokhov always attracted me as a person and as an artist with his firmness and constant succession of his philosophy… His truthfulness, fight for man, wonderful penetration into a human soul are characteristic of the fine works of Sholokhov-artist. I always understood and appreciated Sholokhov’s deep sense of people, that genuine sense of people, that can’t be acquired from outside, but is determined by the whole life, views, character, ambitions of the writer, by the finest knowledge of the people’s everyday life, national traditions, language of the people”.

Mikhail Alexandrovich observed the work of Vitaliy Zakrutkin very attentively. In this respect the Don writers were luckier than others. They remembered those frequent meetings with the master, his lessons for all their life. “The Don company in our literature can be recognized by a good manly step. There is a breath of life in their books”, - Sholokhov said. Once, meeting with the Don literary community Mikhail Alexandrovich spoke highly of Zakrutkin’s work: “Vitaliy Zakrutkin is a talented writer, a remarkable fellow, a man of hard life, a strong man, he lives a real life in our literature”.

Zakrutkin Vitaliy Alexandrovich (1908-1984) is a writer, publicist, he was born in the Crimea, to the family of village teachers. He spent his childhood and youth in the villages of Moldavia and Ukrain. After finishing school he worked as village librarian. In 1936 he and his parents went to the Far East, where in the Amur Region he taught Russian and literature at the workers’ faculty. On graduating from the Blagoveshchensk Pedagogical Institute he entered the postgraduate course of the Leningrad Hertsen Institute. Having defended his thesis he lectured at the Rostov Pedagogical Institute. His first articles, sketches were published late in the 20-s – early in the 30-s, and his first book “Academician Plyushchev” was edited in Rostov-on-Don in 1940. At the first set-out of the war Zakrutkin volunteered for the front as a war correspondent. He joined the battles for the Caucasus, attack of Berlin and liberation of Prague. In Berlin for his courage and heroism he was awarded a battle order handed in by marshal Zhukov. In 1947 he left his scientific work and settled in Stanitsa Kochetovskaya the Rostov Region. Here he wrote his novels and stories: “Behind the High Wattle-Fence” (1948), “A Floating Stanitsa” (1950), “The Creation” (1956), “Mother the Human” (1969) and others.

“To Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov, the highest judge and friend, to Mariya Petrovna, to the Sholokhovs’ home.
Humbly, with the highest respect.
V. Zakrutkin. 5-VII-80”.