Ivanov, Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich

Ivanov, Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich

Ivanov, Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich, 1895-1963, Russian short-story writer, novelist, and dramatist, b. Siberia. Ivanov had an adventurous early life as a sailor, circus performer, fakir, and partisan fighter. His talent for vivid description and ironic point of view was discovered and encouraged by Gorky. The novel Armoured Train 14-69 (1922, tr. 1933), based on an episode of Soviet expansion in Siberia, is considered the most important of his many works. A long, semiautobiographical novel, The Adventures of a Fakir, was translated in abridged form in 1935. His later work includes Saga of the Sergeant (tr. 1952).
Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich Ivanov (Все́волод Вячесла́вович Ива́нов ; February 12, 1895, Lebyazhye, now in Pavlodar OblastAugust 15, 1963, Moscow) was a notable Soviet writer praised for the colourful adventure tales set in the Asiatic part of Russia during the Civil War.

Was born in Northern Kazakhstan to a teacher's family. When he was a child Vsevolod ran away to become a clown in a travelling circus. His first story, published in 1915, caught the attention of Maxim Gorky, who advised Vsevolod throughout his career.

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

In 1922 Ivanov joined the literary group Serapion Brothers. Other members included Nikolay Tikhonov, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Victor Shklovsky, Veniamin Kaverin, and Konstantin Fedin.

Ivanov's first novels, Colored Winds (1922) and Azure Sands (1923), were set in Asiatic part of Asia and gave rise to the genre of ostern in Soviet literature. His novella Baby was acclaimed by Edmund Wilson as the finest Soviet short story ever.

Later, Ivanov came under fire from Bolshevik critics who claimed his works were too pessimistic and that it was not clear whether the Reds or Whites were the heroes.

In 1927 Ivanov rewrote his short story, the Armoured Train 14-69 into a play. This time, the play highlighted the role of the Bolsheviks in the Civil War. After that, his writings saw a marked decline in quality, and he never managed to produce anything equal to his early efforts.

Among his later works, which conformed to the requirements of Socialist Realism, are 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's son Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov became one of the leading philologists and Indo-Europeanists of the late 20th century.


  • Ivanov, Vsevolod. Fertility and Other Stories (European Classics). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1998 (paperback, ISBN 0-8101-1547-6).

"Campesinos y bandidos",1930. Vsevolod Ivanov.

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