Dmitrii Furmanov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Furmanov, Dmitrii Andreevich


Born Oct. 26 (Nov. 7), 1891, in the village of Sereda, Nerekhta District, Kostroma Province, now the city of Furmanov, Ivanovo Oblast; died Mar. 15, 1926, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer.

The son of a peasant, Furmanov studied in the faculty of philology at Moscow University from 1912 to 1914. During World War I (1914–18) he worked as a male nurse. In 1917 and 1918 he was a Socialist Revolutionary (SR) Maximalist; subsequently he was an anarchist.

Furmanov took part in revolutionary events in Ivanovo-Voznesensk. In 1918 he became a member of the CPSU. From 1919 to 1921 he served in the Civil War as political commissar of the Cha-paev Division and head of the political administration of the Turkestan front. He directed the suppression of an anti-Soviet mutiny in the city of Vernyi (Alma-Ata) and also played a leading role in suppressing Wrangel’s attempt to land forces in the Kuban’. In 1921, Furmanov moved to Moscow, and in 1924 he graduated from the department of social sciences at the First Moscow State University. In 1924 and 1925 he was secretary of the Moscow Association of Proletarian Writers (MAPP).

Furmanov began publishing in 1912, but his works appeared regularly only after the October Revolution of 1917. During the Civil War (1918–20) he published mainly publicist writings. Fur-manov’s most important works were the novellas Red Landing (1922) and In the Year 1918 (1923), the novels Chapaev (1923) and The Uprising (1925), and a cycle of essays on M. V. Frunze (1925) that dealt mainly with the Civil War. Chapaev, one of the best works of Soviet prose in the 1920’s, realistically depicted the semipartisan peasant masses and conveyed the romantic spirit of the revolutionary struggle. The figure of Chapaev, portrayed in all its complexity, was an embodiment of the contradictory but innately heroic traits of the people. A highly successful depiction in the novel was that of Klychkov, the commissar who personified the pioneering role of the party and of the working class.

Furmanov’s works were largely based on his own experiences and were marked by objectivity, clarity, and an analytic approach. They presented an authentic portrayal of the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses and of the revolution’s heroes. Furmanov’s fictional works, articles, and literary criticism were of great importance in the establishment of socialist realism in literature. His works have been translated into the national languages of the USSR and into foreign languages and have been adapted for the stage and for motion pictures. The film Chapaev (1934), directed by G. N. Vasil’ev and S. D. Vasil’ev, received worldwide acclaim. Furmanov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–4. [Foreword by Iu. Libedinskii.] Moscow, 1960–61.
Soch., vols. 1–2. Leningrad, 1971.


Serafimovich, A. “Umer khudozhnik revoliutsii.” Sobr. soch., vol. 7. Moscow, 1960.
Lunacharskii, A. “Furmanov.” Sobr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow, 1964.
Naumov, E. D. A. Furmanov, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Berezhnoi, A. F. Furmanov-zhurnalist. Leningrad, 1955.
Vladimirov, G. Problemy tvorchestva D. A. Furmanova. Tashkent, 1956.
Kupriianovskii, P. Iskaniia, bor’ba, tvorchestvo. (Put’ D. A. Furmanova.) Yaroslavl, 1968.
Isbakh, A. A. Furmanov. Moscow, 1968.
D. A. Furmanov: Letopis’ zhizni i deiatel’nosti. Bibliografiia, materialy. (Uch. zap. ped. in-ta., vol. 32.) Ivanovo, 1963.
Furmanovskii sbornik, I. Edited by P. V. Kupriianovskii. (Uch. zap. ped. in-ta, vol. 87.) Ivanovo, 1973.
Russkie sovetskiepisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliografich. ukazatel’, vol. 5. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Turning from the Jewish experience to the language of the Soviet state, Michael Gorham's brilliant contribution juxtaposes Red Cavalry with Dmitrii Furmanov's Chapaev, a foundational text in the Soviet literary canon instrumental in developing a new revolutionary discourse.
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