And Quiet Flows the Don - By Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov
And Quiet Flows the Don
By Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov
Good Condition considering age
(1963 - Alfred A. Knopf publisher. No Dust Jacket if issued with one. Small sticker inside. Binding in good condition. Some deepening tanning due to age)
And Quiet Flows the Don or Quietly Flows the Don (Тихий Дон, literally "Quiet Don")
The novel is considered one of the most significant works of Russian literature in the 20th century. It depicts the lives and struggles of Don Cossacks during the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and Russian Civil War. In 1965, Sholokhov was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for this novel. The authorship of the novel is contested by some literary critics and historians, who believe that it mostly wasn't written by Sholokhov.
The novel deals with the life of the Cossacks living in the Don River valley during the early 20th century, probably around 1912, just prior to World War I. The plot revolves around the Melekhov family of Tatarsk, who are descendants of a cossack who, to the horror of many, took a Turkish captive as a wife during the Crimean War. She is accused of wichcraft by Melekhov's superstitious neighbors, who attempt to kill her but are fought off by her husband. Their descendants, the son and grandsons, who are the protagonists of the story, are therefore often nicknamed "Turks". Nevertheless, they command a high amount of respect among people in Tatarsk.]
The second eldest son, Grigori Panteleevich Melekhov, is a promising young soldier who falls in love with Aksinia, the wife of Stepan Astakhov, a family friend. There is no love between them and Stepan regularly beats her. Grigori and Aksinia's romance and elopement raise a feud between her husband and his family. The outcome of this romance is the focus of the plot as well as the impending World and Civil Wars which draw up the best young Cossack men for what will be two of Russia's bloodiest wars. The action moves to the Austro-Hungarian front, where Grigory ends up saving Stepan's life, but that doesn't end the feud. Grigory, at his father's insistence, takes a wife, Natalya, but still loves Aksinia. The book deals not only with the struggles and suffering of the Cossacks but also the landscape itself, which is vividly brought to life. There are also many folk songs referenced throughout the novel. And Quiet Flows the Don grew out of an earlier, unpublished work, the Donshina:
I began the novel by describing the event of the Kornikov putsch in 1917. Then it became clear that this putsch, and more importantly, the role of the Cossacks in these events, would not be understood without a Cossack prehistory, and so I began with the description of the life of the Don Cossacks just before the beginning of World War I. (quote from M.A. Sholokhov: Seminarii, (1962) by F.A. Abramovic and V.V. Gura, quoted in Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, by L.L. Litus.)
Grigori Melekhov is reportedly based on two Cossacks from Veshenskaya, Pavel Nazarovich Kudinov and Kharlampii Vasilyevich Yermakov, who were key figures in the anti-Bolshevist struggle of the upper Don.