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 Alexander  Tvardovsky

Born:   June 8 (21), 1910
Deceased:   December 18, 1971

Russian Soviet prose writer and poet, war correspondent


Alexander Tvardovsky was a great Russian Soviet prose writer and the poet, the winner of various awards, the editor of the New World magazine, and the author of the world famous poem Vasily Tyorkin.

Alexander Trifonovich Tvardovsky was born on June 8 (21), 1910 in the village of Zagorye of the Smolensk Province. He was the son of a hard-working peasant, who was dispossessed and banished by the Soviet regime. The tragic destiny of his father and other victims of Collectivization was described by Alexander Tvardovsky in the poem By the Right of Memory (1967-1969).

Alexander Tvardovsky's father was a widely-read person. Works by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolay Gogol, Nikolay Nekrasov, Alexey Tolstoy and other Russian classics were often read outloud in the family circle. Thus Alexander Tvardovsky became fond of literature early in life and started writing verses as a little boy yet. At the age of 14 the young poet started contributing small notes for local  newspapers of Smolensk. Later his poems came to be published as well.

After finishing school the poet came to Smolensk, but due to lack of specialization he could get a job. Alexander Tvardovsky had to earn his living with newspaper articles. In 1930 he entered a teachers' training college.

The year 1931 saw publication of Alexander Tvardovsky's first big poem Way to Socialism.

The Land of Muravia was published in 1936 and became a very famous book. Alexander Tvardovsky believed that it was this big poem about collectivization that made him a professional man of letters. The publication of this book changed the poet's life.

In 1936 Alexander Tvardovsky moved to Moscow and entered the Moscow Institute of History, Philosophy and Literature. He graduated from institute in 1939.

Right after his graduation in 1939 Alexander Tvardovsky was drafted to the Red Army and participated in liberation of the Western Belarus. During the war with Finland the poet, already an officer, served as a special correspondent of the military newspaper.

In the years of 1941-1945, during the Great Patriotic War, his famous novel poem Vasily Tyorkin was created. The main hero of this book is the people in war. The book gained him astounding popularity and international acclaim since it was very much to the point in wartime. The following creative period in the life of Alexander Tvardovsky was imbued with philosophical thoughts that are captured in his lyrics of the 1960s.

His large poem Far Away Beyond Far Away (Za Dalyu Dal') was  a broad lirical publicistic work describing the history of the Soviet people.

For many years Alexander Tvardovsky was the editor-in-chief of the New World magazine, the secretary of board of the Union of Writers of the USSR, and the vice-president of the European Community of Writers.

His help and support had a very positive influence on creative biographies of Vasily Bykov, Chinghiz Aitmatov, Boris Mozhaev, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and other writers.

On December 18, 1971 Alexander Tvardovsky died after a serious disease.


Tags: Alexander Tvardovsky Russian Writers Russian Poets Soviet Literature  

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