Ivan Shmelev

Shmelev, Ivan Sergeevich


Born Sept. 21 (Oct. 3), 1873, in Moscow; died June 24,1950, in Paris. Russian writer.

Shmelev was born into a merchant family. He graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University in 1898. His works first appeared in print in 1895. Shmelev’s best prerevolutionary prose works showed a profound knowledge of city life and popular language; they employed the narrative technique of oral folktales. The novellas Collapse (1907), Citizen Ukleikin (1908), and The Man From the Restaurant (1911), which was the most significant of the three, were written in the traditional style of critical realism.

Shmelev emigrated in 1922 and later published anti-Soviet stories and books filled with nostalgia for the prerevolutionary past, for example, The Lord’s Summer (1933).


[Rasskazy.] vols. 1–8. St. Petersburg, 1910–17.
Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1966. [Introductory article by O. Mikhailov.]


Andreev, Iu. A. Revoliutsiia i literatura, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1975.
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Traveling around the Crimea today, one encounters sites, museums, monuments, and memorials to writers from all eras: from Adam Mickiewicz to Anton Chekhov, from Maxim Gorky and Lev Tolstoy to Ivan Shmelev and Sergei Sergeev-Tsensky.