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Museum Collection

An Autograph of Nikolay Ostrovsky

Sholokhov was interested in heroic fate and work of Nikolay Ostrovsky and did his correspondence with him. Nikolay Alexeyevich also respected Mikhail Alexandrovich greatly; in 1929 he spoke highly of his novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”.

The writers became friends later, after the publication of the novel “How the Steel was Tempered”. On November, 1935, Ostrovsky sent a book with his autograph to Vyoshenskaya: “To my friend Misha Sholokhov, my favourite writer. Let me give you a firm handshake and wish you a great success in your work over the fourth book of “And Quiet Flows the Don”. I sincerely want you to win.

Let Cossacks-Bolsheviks grow up and win our hearts. Debunk your heroes, who flooded the Quiet Don steppes with the workers’ blood, deprive them of romanticism.

With my communist regards. N.Ostrovsky. Sochi. November, 1935.”

Sholokhov answered Ostrovsky with his first book of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” with a letter enclosed, where he expressed his deep regret, that they couldn’t meet in Sochi. Ostrovsky thanked the writer for his present. Then there was a friendly letter of Sholokhov and Ostrovsky’s answer with his request to read a manuscript of his new novel “Born by the Storm” and “to give a square criticism”. At the end of the letter Ostrovsky asked Mikhail Alexandrovich to meet in Moscow: “Remember, Misha, that I am unreliable as for a long friendship. And if you want to shake my hand, come to me without delay next year. On the 25th of October I am going to Moscow for the whole winter.” Both of the writers had long wanted to meet and have a heart-to-heart talk. In his next letter Sholokhov promised: “…At the end of this month I will also get there for a week or two, and we shall meet and talk; and I shall read “Born by the Storm” just there.

Sholokhov came to Moscow late in 1936. That was the only meeting of the writers at N.A.Ostrovsky’s place.

The death of Nikolay Ostrovsky was perceived by Sholokhov as a great loss for the Soviet literature. In the newspaper “Molot” of December, 24, 1936, he wrote: “On the example of Ostrovsky millions of people will learn how to live, to fight, to win and to love their homeland.”

On June of 1962, the wife of Nikolay Ostrovsky, Raisa Porfiryevna, presented Sholokhov a book “Museum of Nikolay Ostrovsky in Moscow” (Moscow, Moskovsky Rabochiy, 1960) with an autograph: “To Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov in memory of Kolya Ostrovsky. R.Ostrovskaya. Moscow. 6.VII.62.”

 

Galina Govorukhina