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Zhitkov, Boris Stepanovich
Born Aug. 30 (Sept. 11), 1882, in Novgorod; died Oct. 19, 1938, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer.
Zhitkov took part in the revolutionary events in Odessa in 1905. He was an ichthyologist, the captain of a scientific-research ship, the navigator of a sailing vessel, a metal-worker, a naval officer, and an engineer. His first work was published in 1924. He wrote novellas about the sea, including the collections The Angry Sea (1924) and Sea Stories (1925–37); plays; fairy-tale novellas, and fictional science works, including About This Book (1927)and Steamship (1935). He wrote the children’s encyclopedia in story form entitled What I Saw (1939, published posthumously) and the novel for adults Viktor Vavich (1929–34), which deals with the Revolution of 1905–07. Zhitkov played an important role in the development of Soviet children’s literature, introducing realism. He spoke to the young about heroism and setting high standards for oneself in a way that respected their intelligence. He knew how to show the beauty and creative strength of labor (Stories About Technology). He also wrote Stories About Animals (1935) and some short stories for very young readers.
WORKSIzbrannoe. Moscow, 1963.
librannoe. Moscow, 1969.
REFERENCESZhizn’ i tvorchestvo B. S. Zhitkova: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1955.
Chukovskaia, L. Boris Zhitkov. Moscow, 1955.
Ivich, A. “Boris Zhitkov.” In his book Vospitanie pokolenii. 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.