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Prototypes of sholokhovsky heroes in documentary sources on stories of the Don Cossacks of the 1930th.



aleksandr SKORIK

PROTOTYPES of SHOLOKHOVSKY HEROES IN DOCUMENTARY SOURCES ON the STORIES of the DON COSSACKS of 1930-X

In article an opportunity and need of use of literary works as sources for scientific research on the Russian history is proved. With attraction of archive materials on the example of novels by M. Sholokhov is shown, collectivization plots in Don are how authentically reflected in them.

The article proves the possibility and necessity of literary works application as sources for research on Russian history. With the use of archive recordings by the example of M. Sholokhov’s novels it is shown how reliably the historical plots of collectivization in the Don region were reflected in them.

literary prototype, historical source, collectivization, sholokhovsky heroes, social type, Don Cossacks; literary prototype, historical source, collectivization, Sholokhov’s characters, social type, Don Cossacks, collective farm.

In the Russian source study there is one type of a historical source to which the community of professional historians shows ambiguous, and also just negative relation is frequent. It is about the literary works written by contemporaries of any given historical era in whom in a figurative and art form is narrated about the events happening over this era. Traditionally it is considered that art fiction too far takes away the reader from social reality, only occasionally bringing closer it to the general outline of historical events.

It agrees another widespread and as it is represented, to quite fair opinion, "most often the artist, but not the historian" is capable to reflect inner world of our ancestors so "along with the academic history of our country there is its art and figurative analog in the creations, and quite often it forms the standard judgments of the past" 1. Respectively, for the researcher of the past eras the literary works written by contemporaries of these events are one of the most informative sources in the sense that contain the mass of data on thoughts, moods, experiences of "ordinary" people who, without noticing that, made history. Novels, stories and stories of L.N. Tolstoy, A.M. Gorky, M.A. Bulgakov, K.M. Simonov, V.S. Grossman and many other domestic verbal artists are that. Literary works, in our opinion, can quite be considered and be used as historical sources. Let's prove our point of view on the example of works by the great Don writer, Nobel Prize laureate Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov.

Besides indisputable literary and art advantages, works by M.A. Sholokhov are important also for historians. They contain a number of descriptions of characteristic social types of the Don Cossacks of the first half of the 20th century and provide to scientists a huge number of the most interesting and important data on life and the fate of the Don Cossacks during this period of time.

1 P.S. Kabytov, V.A. Kozlov, Lithuanian Jew B.G. Russian peasantry: stages of spiritual release. — M.: Science, 1988., p. 3.

SKORIK Alexander Pavlovich — to. and. N, filos. N, professor;

head of the department of the theory of the state and right and

national history of the South Russian state technical university

The critical relation of historians to any given literary works caused by the right of the artist for free reconsideration and statement of the facts and events in a case with M.A. Sholokhov can be quite dispelled by the appeal to other sources, and first of all — to archive materials. Comparison of documents and archive materials to works by M.A. Sholokhov gives to us the grounds to claim that the last are often documentary exact and correspond to historical reality even in the smallest details. The specified circumstance as much as possible brings closer on degrees of reliability of creation of the Don writer, in particular "Virgin Soil Upturned" devoted to collectivization, to a complex of historical sources.

It should be noted that the high level of historical reliability of "Virgin Soil Upturned" narrating about collectivization to Dona (more precisely, in Vyoshensky district of the North Caucasian edge) is quite explainable. M.A. Sholokhov, constantly living in the village of Vyoshenskaya, was not an outsider contradictory, time of the tragic events which were taking place in the late twenties — the beginning of the 1930th. Its bright essays about the course of "collective-farm construction" and critical remarks about the negative phenomena in functioning of the Don collective farms were published in periodicals. So, in the press the essays written in 1931 — 1933 "On a right bank of Don", "For reorganization", "Criminal mismanagement", "Result of unreasoned work" were published. About a difficult situation of the Don collective farms and about the terrible lawlessness created by authorities in relation to collective farmers, M.A. Sholokhov wrote personally I.V. Stalin, hoping to find understanding and protection at vozhdya1.

Moreover, the writer was a part of bureau of the Vyoshensky district committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) and repeatedly participated in its meetings what the archives of a district committee which are stored in the Center of documentation of the contemporary history of the Rostov region (CDNI RO, t testify to. 36). Naturally, its personal observations became material for literary works, in

1 Sholokhov and Stalin. Correspondence of the beginning of the 30th years / Publ., will enter. the article and a comment of Yu.G. Murin//history Questions, 1994, No. 3, p. 3 — 25.

the first stage for the novel "Virgin Soil Upturned" (which, as we know, Sholokhov wanted to call differently — "With by the own sweat and blood", but censorship opposed it). Actually, the novel as the famous Don researcher A.I. Kozlov fairly notices, represented "carefully disguised dialogue [M.A. Sholokhov] with Stalin on stories of collectivization" 2 in which the writer made bold to speak frankly on many tabooed issues of "collective-farm construction" and to condemn (without calling in question the principle of collective work) the violence over the peasantry and the Cossacks which was widely practicing the power.

Even those stories from "Virgin Soil Upturned" which seem writer's imagination find confirmation in documents. With theft of hay from collective farmers of the Gremyachy Log by Cossack collective farmers from agricultural artel "Red beam" of the Tubyansky farm the writer reflected the valid cases taking place in the Don collective farms in the early thirties and even later in a plot. In June, 1935 the first secretary of the Vyoshensky district committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) P.K. Lugovoi informed members of bureau of a district committee the message "about plunder of hay in collective farms by collective farms", specifying that "a number of heads of collective farms consciously commit plunder of hay from barns of the neighboring fields of other collective farms" 3.

Very precisely M.A. Sholokhov reflected in the works and the general informing accepting the nature of epidemic in the 1930th (in no small measure because the denunciation turned into convenient means of squaring of accounts). Here at once home pages of chapters of the novel "They Battled for the Homeland" where the writer, describing informing — this "blood feud in a Soviet way", again invented nothing are remembered. In March, 1927 representatives of the leaders of the Don district of the North Caucasian edge, estimating scales of "cleanings" of regional Communist Party organizations, recognized: "Our poor look for in the village of purity, the ultra-left moods take place... [therefore] our communists did not keep [from denunciations] and abused a pencil" 4. On all

2 A.I. Kozlov. M.A. Sholokhov: Times and Creativity. On FSB archives. — Rostov N / D.: Publishing house of the Rostov university, 2005, p. 272.
3 CDNI RO, t. 36, op. 1, 54, l. 12.
4 CDNI RO, t. 5, op. 1, 98, l. 49.

visibilities, the nickname "karandashnik" appeared to Dona before "a great change" and "stuck" to residents of many local farms, villages and villages. Almost each Cossack could be accused that if not he during Civil war battled against "red", then his father, the brother, the nephew or still some relative. And in November, 1937 during preparation for elections to the Supreme Council of the USSR the workers of district committees of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Rostov region repeatedly reported that a significant amount of Cossacks who "served at white" lives in the Don farms and villages, "were involved with White Guards".

Comparing M.A. Sholokhov's creations and archive materials, it is necessary to raise the question not only of objects or the facts of activity of the Don Cossacks of the 1930th, but also of the Cossacks depicted by their great fellow countryman. It is known that heroes of works of M.A. Sholokhov including "Virgin Soil Upturned", often have real prototypes. In this case, of course, it is not necessary to look for full similarity because only the artist is free to define both images of literary characters, and their destiny. Among heroes of "Virgin Soil Upturned" one of leaders is, as we know, the former sailor, the worker twenty-five-chiliarch of the Putilovsky plant Semyon Davydov with whom M.A. Sholokhov frankly sympathizes. Meanwhile one of the main prototypes of Davydov — A.A. Plotkin, like many other collective-farm managers, was not alien to abuses of the power. In particular, on September 12, 1936 the bureau of the Vyoshensky district committee heard "information of comrade Timchenko on beating of collective farmers by the chairman of collective farm of Budyonny comrade Plotkin". The members of a district committee who were present at bureau (among whom also Sholokhov is specified) regarded these actions "as rough shocking mockery at collective farmers [] as an excess and an arbitrariness". It was specified that "it could be as a result of extreme administration from Plotkin, oblivion of mass and political work with

collective farmers, despite numerous instructions from RK All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) Bureau" (in other words, it was not the first case of excess of the powers by Plotkin). The district committee made the decision to remove A.A. Plotkin from a post of the chairman of collective farm, to exclude from members of the Communist Party and the case on it to submit in sud1. However, in July, 1937 A.A. Plotkin was restored in the ranks of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) on the ground that the collective farmers beaten by him allegedly were "wreckers" and provoked him to illegal acts.

But regardless of the reasons of outright manhandling, the fact that "brother" Semyon Davydov looks in "Virgin Soil Upturned" much more nice person, than his historical prototype is important for us.

At the same time, despite differences between heroes of "Virgin Soil Upturned" and their prototypes, the writer quite right displayed in the characters that typical that was inherent in the 1930th in the Don Cossack collective farmers — both ordinary, and being a part of collective-farm administration and consisting in the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks). It reflected features of their mentality, style of behavior, appearance. Even, apparently, at all the fantastic plot from "Virgin Soil Upturned" where Makar Nagulnov desperately tries to learn English waiting for "world revolution", finds confirmation in historical sources. A certain collective farmer P.A. Alexandrova said in 1936: "Very much I want to learn some language. — A circle of our earth enemies, it is necessary to know their language" 2.

In general, quite valid and fair the conclusion that literary works by M.A. Sholokhov, despite an element of art fiction naturally inherent in them, are deeply historical and quite authentically reflect the social and economic and social and political processes which were taking place to Dona in the 1930th is represented

1 CDNI RO, t. 36, op. 1, 82, l. 132.
2 Alexandrov P.A. Perezhitoye//Collective farmer, 1936, No. 1-2, p. 9.
Alexander Chambers
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