Vsevolod Ivanov

Vsevolod Ivanov was born in Lebyazhye on 12th February, 1895. He ran away as a child to become a clown in a travelling circus. His first story, published in 1915, caught the attention of Maxim Gorky, and he helped and advised him throughout his career.

Ivanov joined the Red Army and fought in Siberia during the Civil War. This served to inspire his short stories, Partisans (1921) and Armoured Train (1922).

In 1922 Ivanov helped form the literary group, the Serapion Brothers. Inspired by the work of Yevgeni Zamyatin, the group took their name from the story by E. T. Hoffmann, the Serapion Brothers, about an individualist who vows to devote himself to a free, imaginative and non-conformist art. Other members included Nickolai Tikhonov, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Victor Shklovsky, Mikhail Slonimski, and Konstantin Fedin.

Ivanov's first two novels, Colored Winds (1922) and Azure Sands (1923), were also based on his experiences in the Civil War. Ivanov was criticized by pro-Bolshevik critics who claimed his work was too pessimistic. They also pointed out that his stories about the Civil War, it was not clear if the Reds or Whites were the heroes.

In 1927 Ivanov rewrote his short story, the Armoured Train 14-69 and turned it into a play. This time, the play emphasized the role played by the Bolsheviks in the Civil War. His later work conformed to the requirements of Socialist Realism. This included the Adventures of a Fakir (1935) and The Taking of Berlin (1945). During the Second World War, Ivanov, worked as war correspondent for Izvestia.

Vsevolod Ivanov died on 15th August, 1963.