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Museum Collection

A Book by Alexander Busyghin with an Autograph

Sholokhov considered Busyghin to be his great true friend. He made friends with him in Rostov, when the young writer worked at the steam-engine repair plant.

Busyghin Alexander Ivanovich (1900-1941), a prose-writer, essayist, was born in Rostov-on-Don to the family of workers. He was one of the organizers of the Rostov branch of the Russian association of proletarian writers, a participant in the Civil and Great Patriotic wars.

The first essays and short stories were published in the newspaper “Sovetskiy Yug” in 1923. In 1924-1926 his short stories and stories were published: “The Two”, “He Took His Revenge”, A Settlement of Kremnyovka”. From the mid 20-s he was the chief editor of the North-Caucasian journal “Na Podiyome” (“on the rise”). In 1928 the publishing house “Moskovskiy Rabochiy” (“Moscow worker”) edited his book “The Steel was Tempered”. Shortly before the Great Patriotic war he began writing his novel “The Beserghenevs’ Family”. He did not have time to finish it.

Together with a group of men of letters of the editorial board of the Army newspaper “K Pobede” (“to the victory”) he went to the West Front. He fought in the Smolensk forests under Yartsev and Vyazma. He perished in October of 1941.

Most often Sholokhov and Busyghin met in the editorial office of the journal “Na Podiyome” (“on the rise”). Together they discussed writings, disputed, shared their opinions. Quite often Busyghin was one of the first listeners of the new chapters of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”. They met at the war twice. The first time was in August of 1941, under Dukhovshchina, near a Smolensk village of Vadino. Busyghin asked Mikhail Alexandrovich to write something for the newspaper. The next day Sholokhov’s article “Captives” was ready.

The last meeting of the two writers was very touching. It was in the autumn of 1941 under Vyazma.

Mikhail Alexandrovich recollected: “… In 1941, on hard days of retreat I saw Sasha somewhere near Vyazma, the Germans bombarded us. Some of our editorial cars stood in a birch grove. The enemy plane found and crashed all the cars. But mine survived… Here I saw Sasha. He asked me to give him a lift for the division political department. We set out. The German gunners had caught us “into a fork” at once. One shell exploded ahead of us, another one behind us. I thought the next one would hit us. I looked at Busyghin, but no muscle on his face betrayed him. He only cried:  “No, never you shall take us, viper!” We rushed by the place exposed to the fire safely. I took Sasha to the destination. He got out of the car, took off his helmet, threw his head back and said: “Let’s bid our farewell!” But his voice failed him… We embraced, kissed each other and Sasha went to his editorial office. I have never seen him since. Sasha Busyghin has perished”.

After the war, on the initiative of Mikhail Alexandrovich the Rostov Publishing house edited a book of collected works by A. Busyghin. In the preface Sholokhov wrote: “He toiled hard seeking his way for mastering his art of writing, and all that he had comprehended and done during his short writer’s life he considered to be only a beginning, his first steps in the field of literature . Serving as war correspondent at the front of the Great Patriotic war and being among ordinary Soviet people, the country defenders, Busyghin often dreamt: “If I survive, these are the people I am going to write about after the war! What heroic great people they are! I can’t help admiring them!” And those whom he admired, our soldiers and officers, reticent in praise, lovingly and proudly said about him: “Busyghin? Sasha, curly-haired? He is always with us. He is a true fellow!”

The dreams and working plans of Busyghin were not destined to come true… He lived an honest life and died an honest death of a soldier. He was badly wounded in both legs, but still he collected his strength to crawl to the machine-gun, which crew was destroyed by an enemy mine, and shielding the withdrawal of his comrades he fired alone until the last cartridge left.

The Rostov Region publishing house does a lot of good by editing a book by Busyghin. Let his book remind about those who gave their lives for the Country, whose memory we worship sacredly, whom we must not and are not able to forget”.

The book by Busyghin “Selected Works” with a gift inscription was presented to Mikhail Alexandrovich by Yuriy Busyghin, the son of Alexander Ivanovich.

 “To the friend of my perished father, Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov, with a big gratitude for everything. Y. Busyghin. 16/IX-64”.