Konstantin Fedin

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Konstantin Fedin
BornKonstantin Aleksandrovich Fedin
(1892-02-24)24 February 1892
Saratov, Russian Empire
Died15 July 1977(1977-07-15) (aged 85)
Moscow, Soviet Union
OccupationPoet, novelist
GenreFiction, poetry
Notable worksCities and Years

Konstantin Aleksandrovich Fedin (Russian: Константи́н Алекса́ндрович Фе́дин, IPA: [kənstɐnʲˈtʲin ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ ˈfʲedʲɪn] ; 24 February [O.S. 12 February] 1892 – 15 July 1977) was a Soviet and Russian novelist and literary functionary.


Born in Saratov of humble origins, Fedin studied in Moscow and Germany and was interned there during World War I.[1] After his release, he worked as an interpreter in the first Soviet embassy in Berlin.[2] On returning to Russia, he joined the Bolsheviks and served in the Red Army. After leaving the Party in 1921, he joined the literary group called the Serapion Brothers, who supported the Revolution, but wanted freedom for literature and the arts.

Veniamin KaverinMikhail ZoshchenkoIlia GruzdevKonstantin FedinMikhail SlonimskyElizaveta PolonskayaNikolay NikitinNikolai TikhonovClick on icon to enlarge or move cursor to explore
Serapion Brothers[3] Use a cursor to see who is who.

His first story, "The Orchard," was published in 1922, as was his play Bakunin v Drezdene (Bakunin in Dresden). His first two novels are his most important; Goroda i gody (1924; tr. as Cities and Years, 1962, "one of the first major novels in Soviet literature"[4]) and Bratya (Brothers, 1928) both deal with the problems of intellectuals at the time of the October Revolution, and include "impressions of the German bourgeois world" based on his wartime imprisonment.[5]

His later novels include Pokhishchenie Evropy (The rape of Europe, 1935), Sanatorii Arktur (The Arktur sanatorium, 1939), and the historical trilogy, Pervye radosti (First joys, 1945), Neobyknovennoe leto (An unusual summer, 1948), and Kostyor (The Fire, 1961–67). He also wrote a memoir Gorky sredi nas (Gorky among us, 1943). Edward J. Brown sums him up as follows: "Fedin, while he is probably not a great writer, did possess in a high degree the talent for communicating the atmosphere of a particular time and place. His best writing is reminiscent re-creation of his own experiences, and his memory is able to select and retain sensuous elements of long-past scenes which render their telling a rich experience."[6]

From 1959 until his death in 1977, he served as chair of the Union of Soviet Writers.


English Translations[edit]

  • No Ordinary Summer, 2 vols, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1950.
  • Sanatorium Arktur, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957.
  • Early Joys, Vintage, 1960.
  • The Conflagration, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968.
  • Cities and Years, Northwestern University Press, 1993.


  1. ^ R.D.B. Thompson in A.K. Thorlby (ed.), The Penguin Companion to Literature: European (Penguin, 1969), p. 264.
  2. ^ Alexandra Smith in Neil Cornwell and Nicole Christian (ed.), Reference Guide to Russian Literature (Taylor & Francis, 1998: ISBN 1-884964-10-9), p. 300.
  3. ^ This photograph is in the public domain
  4. ^ Hongor Oulanoff in Victor Terras (ed.), Handbook of Russian Literature (Yale University Press, 1990:ISBN 0-300-04868-8), p. 134.
  5. ^ Edward J. Brown, Russian Literature Since the Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1982: ISBN 0-674-78203-8), p. 95.
  6. ^ Brown, Russian Literature Since the Revolution, p. 100.


External links[edit]