Mikhail Sholokhov remained in human memory, as a talented writer with not the most usual approach to creativity. From under his pen, not so many works were published, and the famous “Quiet Flows the Don” brought him worldwide fame, so unlike his other books that the authorship of Sholokhov has been contested so far.
Mikhail Sholokhov was awarded many prestigious awards for his books, primarily for the epic “Quiet Flows the Don” – he won the Nobel, Stalin and Lenin Prizes, and twice was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.
At birth, the future writer received the name Kuznetsov, and only from the age of seven became Sholokhov. The fact that the landowner, who worked as the mother of the boy, forcibly gave her to marry the son of the ataman of the village named Kuznetsov. The family did not work out, and the woman left her unloved husband to Alexander Sholokhov without getting a divorce. When the couple had a son, he was recorded under the surname of the mother’s official wife, and only after Kuznetsov’s death a woman married to her lover and was able to give the child the surname of his real father.
After the fourth class, Sholokhov dropped out of school, as the German troops came to the town of Boguchar, where he studied at the gymnasium. The boy returned to his native village, and never again resumed his studies.
When Sholokhov was 15 years old, the Germans took prisoner led by him squad. The teenager was sure that they would be shot, but, fortunately, the perpetrators were released.
The second time, the threat of execution was hanging over Sholokhov, when in 1922 he worked as a tax inspector in his native village. The young man was arrested and sentenced to capital punishment for exceeding authority – the writer recalled that the times were “cool” and he himself was “too cool”. Sholokhov spent two days waiting for death, and then he was released, replacing the execution with a year of correctional labor.
In 1938, Sholokhov was almost arrested again – one of the Chekists sent a petition to Stalin for his arrest, but the conclusion was avoided.
The novel “Quiet Flows the Don” because of the ambiguous ending caused the censure of Soviet officials, but the book was personally read and approved by Joseph Stalin, so the epic was printed and was a huge success.
In the years of World War II, the second volume of Sholokhov’s other monumental work, “Virgin Soil Upturned,” was lost, he had to be restored later.
Mikhail Sholokhov is the only Soviet writer who received the Nobel Prize award with the approval of the authorities of the USSR. During the award he did not bow to the King of Sweden, but it is not known exactly whether the author intentionally allowed this tactlessness.
It was recently revealed that the academics were thinking about dividing the award between Sholokhov and Anna Akhmatova.
Sholokhov lived until his death in a small house in the village of Veshenskaya, where he was born. All his bonuses he sent to charity – the erection of the school, the needs of the front during the war and other good goals.
Sholokhov, who died of laryngeal cancer at the age of 78, is buried in the courtyard of his house, and not in the cemetery.
UNESCO declared 2005 the Year of Sholokhov.
In honor of Mikhail Sholokhov, a variety of lilacs, an asteroid and many streets all over Russia are named.
Since the publication of the “Quiet Don” and to this day skeptics have remained, who doubt the belonging of this novel to Mikhail Sholokhov. The first commission to verify the authorship of the epic was created by Stalin’s order – the writer presented his manuscripts to the court of experts, which fully satisfied them. Then the manuscript was lost and found again only in 1999, giving rise to new doubts. Over the years, many examinations have been carried out in Russia and abroad, including computer, comparing the indisputable Sholokhov texts and the “Quiet Don”. All of them confirmed the authorship of Mikhail Sholokhov, but disputes continue to this day.