Aleksandr Malyshkin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Malyshkin, Aleksandr Georgievich


Born Mar. 9 (21), 1892, in the village of Bogorodskoe, present-day Mokshan Raion, Penza Oblast; died Aug. 3, 1938, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer.

Malyshkin was the son of a peasant. In 1916 he graduated from the faculty of philology at St. Petersburg University. He fought in the Civil War of 1918-20. Malyshkin’s early short stories of 1914-16 depict the gloomy and quiet life of backwater districts. He became famous for his novella The Fall of Dair (1923)—one of the first attempts in Soviet literature to understand the popular nature of the Revolution. The romantic enthusiasm of the multitudes rushing headlong into the future is the keynote of the novella. In his novella Sevastopol’ (1931), Malyshkin describes the inner struggle of a young man from the lower strata of the democratic intelligentsia and his decision to join a revolutionary sailors’ regiment.

Malyshkin gained wide reader recognition with his best novel, Backwater People (1937-38), in which the vast panorama of Russia’s provincial districts emerging into new life is meticulously developed and profoundly felt. The novel centers on the builders of a gigantic metallurgical complex, Zhurkin, Tishka, and Polia, in whose destinies all events are measured. The figure of Podoprigora, the knight of revolution, is one of the principal accomplishments of the novel. Malyshkin’s best works combine the enthusiastic spirit of the reconstruction of society with a profound knowledge of life. His works have been translated into the languages of the peoples of the USSR and into foreign languages.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1940-47.
Soch., vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1956.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.