Fedin ( ) ( ) — July 15, 1977) was a Russian novelist and
Saratov of humble origins, Fedin studied in Moscow and Germany and was
interned there during World War
I. After his release he worked as an interpreter
in the first Soviet embassy in Berlin.
returning to Russia he joined the Bolsheviks
and served in the Red Army
; after leaving the Party in 1921 he joined
the literary group called the Serapion
, who supported the Revolution
but wanted freedom for
literature and the arts.
His first story, "The Orchard," was published in 1922, as was his
play Bakunin v Drezdene
(Bakunin in Dresden). His first
two novels are his most important; Goroda i gody
tr. as Cities and Years
, 1962, "one of the first major
novels in Soviet literature") and Bratya
both deal with the problems of intellectuals at the time of the
, and include
"impressions of the German bourgeois world" based on his wartime
imprisonment. His later novels include Pokhishchenie
(The rape of Europe, 1935), Sanatorii Arktur
(The Arktur sanatorium, 1939), and the historical trilogy,
(First joys, 1945), Neobyknovennoe
(An unusual summer, 1948), and Kostyor
fire, 1961-67). He also wrote a memoir Gorky sredi nas
(Gorky among us, 1943). Edward J. Brown sums him up as follows:
"Fedin, while he is probably not a great writer, did possess in a
high degree the talent for communicating the atmosphere of a
particular time and place. His best writing is reminiscent
re-creation of his own experiences, and his memory is able to
select and retain sensuous elements of long-past scenes which
render their telling a rich experience."
From 1959 until his death he served as chair of the Union of Soviet Writers
- R.D.B. Thompson in A.K. Thorlby (ed.), The Penguin
Companion to Literature: European (Penguin, 1969), p.
- Alexandra Smith in Neil Cornwell and Nicole Christian (ed.),
Reference Guide to Russian Literature (Taylor &
Francis, 1998: ISBN 1884964109), p. 300.
- Hongor Oulanoff in Victor Terras (ed.), Handbook of Russian
Literature (Yale University Press, 1990:ISBN 0300048688), p.
- Edward J. Brown, Russian Literature Since the
Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1982: ISBN 0674782038),
- Brown, Russian Literature Since the Revolution, p.