Sholokhov, Mikhail Aleksandrovich

▪ Soviet author
born May 24 [May 11, Old Style], 1905, Veshenskaya, Russia
died Feb. 21, 1984, Veshenskaya, Russian S.F.S.R., U.S.S.R.
 Russian novelist, winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize for Literature for his novels and stories about the Cossacks of southern Russia.

      After joining the Red Army in 1920 and spending two years in Moscow, he returned in 1924 to his native Cossack village in the Don region of southern Russia. He made several trips to western Europe and in 1959 accompanied the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to the United States. He joined the Communist Party in 1932 and became a member of the Central Committee in 1961.

      Sholokhov began writing at 17, his first published book being Donskie rasskazy (1926; Tales of the Don), a collection of short stories. In 1925 he began his famous novel Tikhy Don (“The Silent Don”). Sholokhov's work evolved slowly: it took him 12 years to publish Tikhy Don (4 vol., 1928–40; translated in two parts as And Quiet Flows the Don and The Don Flows Home to the Sea) and 28 years to complete another major novel, Podnyataya tselina (1932–60; translated in two parts as Virgin Soil Upturned [also published as Seeds of Tomorrow] and Harvest on the Don). Oni Srazhalis za rodinu (1942; They Fought for Their Country) is an unfinished epic tale of the Soviet people's bravery during the German invasion of World War II. Sholokhov's popular story "Sudba cheloveka" (1957; “The Fate of a Man”) also focused on this period.

      Sholokhov's best-known work, Tikhy Don, is remarkable for the objectivity of its portrayal of the heroic and tragic struggle of the Don Cossacks against the Bolsheviks for independence. It became the most widely read novel in the Soviet Union and was heralded as a powerful example of Socialist Realism, winning the Stalin Prize in 1941.

      Sholokhov was one of the most enigmatic Soviet writers. In letters he wrote to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, he boldly defended compatriots from the Don region, yet he approved the sentencing that followed the convictions of the writers Andrey Sinyavsky (Sinyavsky, Andrey Donatovich) and Yuli Daniel (Daniel, Yuli Markovich) on subversion charges in 1966 and the persecution of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich). Stalin's view that Tikhy Don contained errors was public knowledge, but the novel remained a classic of Soviet literature throughout Stalin's rule. The artistic merits of Sholokhov's best novel are in such stark contrast with the mediocre (or worse) quality of the rest of his work that questions have been raised about Sholokhov's authorship of Tikhy Don. Many authors, among them Solzhenitsyn, publicly accused Sholokhov of plagiarism and claimed that the novel was a reworking of another writer's manuscript; Fyodor Kryukov, a writer from the Don region who died in 1920, is most often cited as Sholokhov's source. Though a group of Norwegian literary scholars—using statistical analysis of the novel's language—proved its affinity with the rest of Sholokhov's oeuvre and despite the recovery of the novel's early manuscript, which had been believed lost, a considerable number of authoritative literary figures in Russia today believe that the novel was plagiarized.

Additional Reading
D.H. Stewart, Mikhail Sholokhov (1967), is an introduction to Sholokhov. His life and work are discussed in Michael Klimenko, The World of Young Sholokhov: Vision of Violence (1972); and Herman Ermolaev, Mikhail Sholokhov and His Art (1982). Roy A. Medvedev, Problems in the Literary Biography of Mikhail Sholokhov, trans. from Russian (1977), examines questions on Sholokhov's authorship of And Quiet Flows the Don.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sholokhov,Mikhail Aleksandrovich — Sho·lo·khov (shôʹlə kôf , KHəf), Mikhail Aleksandrovich. 1905 1984. Russian writer whose four part novel And Quiet Flows the Don (1928 1940) concerns the effect of World War I and the Russian Revolution on Cossack life. He won the 1965 Nobel… …   Universalium

  • Sholokhov, Mikhail (Aleksandrovich) — born May 24, 1905, Veshenskaya, Russia died Feb. 21, 1984, Veshenskaya, U.S.S.R. Russian novelist. A native of the Don River region, he served in the Red Army and joined the Communist Party in 1932. He is best known for the huge novel The Quiet… …   Universalium

  • Aleksandrovich — (as used in expressions) Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bakunin Mikhail Aleksandrovich Blok Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Iosip Aleksandrovich Brodsky Bulganin Nikolay Aleksandrovich Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dukelsky Sergey Aleksandrovich Kusevitsky Moiseyev …   Universalium

  • Mikhail — (as used in expressions) Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov Bakhtin Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakunin Mikhail Aleksandrovich Barclay de Tolly Mikhail Bogdanovich Prince Baryshnikov Mikhail Nikolayevich Borodin Mikhail Markovich Mikhail Gruzenberg Bulgakov… …   Universalium

  • Sholokhov — [shô′lə kôf΄] Mikhail (Aleksandrovich) [mi khä ēl′] 1905 84; Russ. novelist …   English World dictionary

  • Mikhail Sholokhov — Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov Sholokhov, 1938 Born May 24, 1905(1905 05 24) Veshenskaya, Russian Empire Died February 21, 1984 …   Wikipedia

  • Sholokhov — biographical name Mikhail Aleksandrovich 1905 1984 Soviet (Russian born) novelist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sholokhov — /ˈʃɒləkɒf/ (say sholuhkof) noun Mikhail Aleksandrovich /ˈmɪkaɪˌil alɪkˈsandrəvɪtʃ/ (say mikuy.eel ahlik sahndruhvich), 1905–84, Russian novelist of the Soviet era, noted for And Quiet Flows the Don (1934); Nobel prize for literature 1965 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov — Infobox Writer name = Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov awards = awd|Nobel Prize in Literature|1965 caption = Sholokhov, 1938 birthdate = birth date|1905|5|24|mf=y birthplace = Veshenskaya, Russian Empire deathdate = death date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev — Roy Medvedev Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev (en russe : Рой Александрович Медведев), né le 14 novembre 1925 à Tbilisi en Géorgie, est un historien et un dissident russe. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Controverse sur les victimes du Goulag 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

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