Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of Mikhail Sholokhov, author of the classic epics "The Quiet Don" and "Virgin Soil Upturned". He was also the only Soviet writer to accept the Nobel Prize for literature.
To mark the occasion, SovLit.com is holding a celebration entitled, "100 Years of Sholokhov". Among other things, they've posted:
1. Biography of Mikhail Sholokhov.
2. The complete text of "Birthmark", Sholokhov's very first short story, published in 1924. It is a story about the clash between a young Red commander and the wizened old leader of an anti-Soviet band of marauding Cossack brigands. An unexpected connection between the two leads only to anguish, despair, and death.
3. A detailed summary of Sholokhov's tale "The Fate of a Man". During the Great Patriotic War, a Soviet soldier is captured by the Nazis, tortured, and confined to prison camps. He loses his entire family and his will to live. After the war he slips into drunkenness and depression until a young boy gives him a new reason for living.
4. Text of Sholokhov's speech to the de-Stalinizing 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1956). He blasts Soviet writers, calling most of them "dead souls". Also, while praising Aleksandr Fadeev as a good writer, he slams him as a lousy administrator.
(Fadeev was First Secretary of the Writers Union).