January 01, 2020

Vsevolod Ivanov



Vsevolod Ivanov
Ivanov, right, with the writers Nikolai Kluyev (left) and Sergei Yesenin (center).

Vsevolod Ivanov’s books have long since been largely forgotten, and today it is hard to decide whether or not his current obscurity is deserved.

He was not considered worthy of inclusion in school syllabi, and was remembered by older Soviet generations mostly as the author of The Armored Train («Бронепоезд 14-69»). This 1922 short story, a sensation in its time, was brought to the stage by the Moscow Art Theater and performed by top actors, but it no longer holds interest for the reading public. In the late 1920s, however, it was extolled for its candid portrayal of the Civil War and the partisan movement in the Far East.

So why should we care about this man, born in 1895, if nobody reads him anymore? Probably because he led a life that would be excellent fodder for any biographer, filmmaker, playwright, or novelist.


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