Sholokhov: "Left" and "right" on the cost of the source
Sholokhov: "Left" and "right" on the cost of the source
The process of Sholokhov's winning the Stalin Literature Prize is intriguing.
1940 was the first year of the Stalin Literature Prize. The supreme decision-maker of the prize committee was, of course, Stalin himself. Led by Fateyev, a member of the Central Committee and general secretary of the Writers' Association, Tolstoy, a famous writer, completed the novel "Grain" with Stalin as the main character and has been promoted by Stalin.
In the jury, Fateyev said of Sholokhov's The Silent Don: "We are all disappointed at the end of a work that is infused with the richest Soviet feeling. Because we waited 14 years for this ending, and Sholokhov led his beloved protagonist to spiritual emptiness... Sholokhov is gifted. He knows the life and customs of the Cossacks and shows the story of the Cossack family and the inevitable failure of the counter-revolution... But why? For what purpose? What comes in its place? That's not in the novel..." "Sholokhov leads the reader down a dead end. It puts us in an awkward position when we judge." He objected to the Quiet Don winning the prize.
Tolstoy's remarks were tactfully ambiguous: "The Silent Don has caused both joy and sorrow in its readers... The author's only mistake is that the novel ends in the fourth book... Readers who ask the author to extend Gregory s life will correct this mistake.
It is easy to see that all the members of the jury were trying to figure out what Stalin was up to. All the speeches are different psychological activities in this big framework.
Stalin watched the presentation carefully and, to everyone's surprise, finally decided not only to give the Silent Don a prize, but also a gold first prize.
There was a long debate: What could have made Stalin make such a puzzling decision? It was Stalin's usual tactic to show the Soviet Union that he alone had the final say on all matters, including culture. He wanted Sholokhov to remember that everything was his charity.
The leader's perception contrasts with the reality
While "The Quiet Don" is highly praised, "The Virgin Land", a novel by Nikolai Sholokhov about Stalin's agricultural collectivization, is full of criticism.
Originally, "Reclaimed Virgin Land" is a typical "literature of obedience". The creator is caught in a "dilemma" and "paradox": on the one hand, he is responsible to the reader and must reflect on the truth of the matter; On the other hand, you have to consider how not to offend the intentions of those in power.
Sholokhov told friends that after the first book was published, the second part of the novel was put on hold for decades because of the excesses of collectivization and Stalin's accusations that Cossack peasants were slacking off. The great contrast between the leader's understanding and reality makes the writer unable to write.
Sholokhov, who was in his creative heyday, was silent for decades. It has been decades of internal conflict and pain.
One more detail: At the Gorky home, Sholokhov had received the hint that Stalin had requested a theatrical adaptation of "Virgin Land" because it was in line with a great movement. Sholokhov did not proceed. In the Soviet Union, it was made into a joke:
Stalin said to the writer: "Comrade Sholokhov, you have written a novel reflecting the collectivization movement. This is a necessary book. Please write another play on the same subject." It was not a discussion, but a command. "No, Comrade Stalin. I am not a playwright. Konechuk should write it." Sholokhov rebuffed him. "You go straight from here to Sochi, and I'm sure you'll write about it immediately!" Stalin's meaning was clear. "I'd better go back to Vishnu." Sholokhov was a stubborn Cossack. "Why not? Stalin wondered. "For dry bread." (In Russian, "dry bread" also means "ready for prison.")
Later Sholokhov himself said: "Because of political reasons, did not want to continue to write Virgin Land."
Sholokhov once said: "After reading the manuscript of The Virgin Lands, Stalin said, 'Why should we do nothing like the stupid people? We are not afraid to destroy the rich peasants, are we afraid to write about it now? The novel should be published." 'He refused to turn the novel into memorabilia of the eradication of the kulaks, an answer to Stalin's call.
The protagonist of the novel is not allowed to join the Party.
In the 1930s, the Soviets launched a massive "party clearance" campaign, in which every member was re-examined and new party cards were issued only to those who passed. On November 17, 1937, Pravda published an article with the headline "Writer Sholokhov passed the party clearance". After receiving his new party card, he said in a conversation with a TASS reporter: "As a Communist writer, I will continue to serve the party and the working class with my pen..."
Through this baptism of "clear the party", Sholokhov showed a highly conscious party spirit. He once wrote: "A writer can't imagine being out of the Soviet Union. I am the son of the Soviet Union, and I cannot but call the care of the Soviet government for me the care of a loving mother for her son."
Stalin's transformation of the intellectuals was a great success, and the woodpecker became a lark. This success was also reflected in Sholokhov -- the birth of a highly self-conscious Bolshevik and the disappearance of a critical writer.
Speaking of party spirit, one should not overlook the other side of Sholokhov.
Around the question of whether Gregory, the hero of the Silent Don, should eventually become a member of the Communist Party, a thought-provoking phenomenon has emerged in Soviet literature: Gregory is a very complex character. At one time he defected to the Red Army, at another he rebelled against it and became the White Army. Sholokhov consciously depicts the spontaneous revolution in Gregory that could easily turn into a counter-revolutionary rebellion.
Stalin was not satisfied with Sholokhov's portrayal of Gregory. Sholokhov's eldest daughter, Mihalovna, provided this detail:
At one point Stalin asked Sholokhov about Gregory's fate: "When will he become a Bolshevik?"
Sholokhov replied: "I would like to persuade Gregory, but he doesn't want to join the party anyway."
Many well-meaning literary friends began to defend Sholokhov. They said Sholokhov was going to let Gregory into the party. Having allowed him to get lost in the previous chapters, give him a chance to awaken now. They asked Sholokhov, a Communist, to introduce Gregory to the party. This is the chorus of mainstream consciousness.
In his speech at the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Sholokhov said: "If a writer tells a lie even in a small way, he will lose the trust of his readers. That means the reader will think, 'He lies in big ways, too.'" Sholokhov, who had a keen sense of art, stuck to the bottom line.
If Sholokhov had changed "The Quiet Don" as instructed by his leader, would there still be such a classic in world literature? "Article through the ages, gain, and loss of heart". Sholokhov's heart is like a mirror, in the art world and the real world, he has two completely different "value orientations".