Mikhail Zoshchenko

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zoshchenko, Mikhail Mikhailovich


Born July 29 (Aug. 10), 1895, in St. Petersburg; died July 22, 1958, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian satirical writer.

While a student in the law department of the University of St. Petersburg, Zoshchenko left for the front as a volunteer in World War I. He was wounded and demobilized with the rank of captain second grade. In 1918 he joined the Red Army as a volunteer. Zoshchenko began to appear in print in 1922. He belonged to the literary group known as the Serapion Brethren. His first book, Stones of Nazar IVich, Mr. Sine-briukhov (1922), and the stories that followed it brought the author wide fame. In each of these stories, a tale is told by a hero-narrator about petit bourgeois people attempting to feel comfortable in new conditions, confident that the revolution had occurred to provide them with a trouble-free existence. Zoshchenko often contrasts the foolishness, coarseness, and egotism of his “heroes” with dreams about the pure amicability and spiritual delicacy that will govern relations between people in the future (for example, his stories The Sorrows of Werther, 1933, and The Lights of the Big City, 1936).

Topical satires occupy a significant place in Zoshchenko’s creative work: in them the writer directly comments on contemporary events. He also wrote longer works differing in genre and manner of narration: the novellas Mishel’ Siniagin (1930), Restored Youth (1933), The Blue Book (1934), Kerensky (1937), and Taras Shevchenko (1939) and the satirical plays The Canvas Briefcase (1939) and Let the Unfortunate Cry (1946). Some of Zoshchenko’s works (among them, the novella Before Sunrise, 1943) were sharply criticized in the press. He translated the Finnish author Maiju Lassila’s novellas For Matches and Born Twice. His books have been reprinted many times and frequently translated into foreign languages. Zoshchenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and several medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1929–31.
Izbrannye rasskazy i povesti, 1923–1956. Leningrad, 1956.
Rasskazy, fel’etony, komedii: Neizdannye proizvedeniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. Leningrad, 1968. (With a preface by P. Gromov.)


Mikhail Zoshchenko: Stat’ii materialy. Leningrad, 1928. (Articles by V. Shklovskii, A. Barmin, V. Vinogradov, and others.)
Fedin, K. “Mikhail Zoshchenko.” In Pisatel’, iskusstvo i vremia. Moscow, 1961.
“M. Gor’kii i sovetskie pisateli: Neizd. perepiska.” In Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vol. 70. Moscow, 1963.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Bio-bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(39) Linda Hart Scatton, Mikhail Zoshchenko: Evolution of a Writer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 157-59.
The work has been seen as a piece of social criticism with, at its centre, one of the littlest of all the 'little men' who have been a dominant feature of Russian literature from Pushkin's Evgenii in The Bronze Horseman to the stories of Mikhail Zoshchenko and Daniil Kharms in the twentieth century.
Salinger and of Mikhail Zoshchenko. While these may be apt comparisons, you can only understand why they are made if you read - or listen to - Veller.
It was directed against two literary magazines, Zvezda and Leningrad, which had published supposedly apolitical, bourgeois, individualistic works of the satirist Mikhail Zoshchenko and the poet Anna Akhmatova, who were expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers.
And though he giggles rebelliously at Mikhail Zoshchenko's story "The Adventures of a Monkey' (its subversive point, according to Zhdanov, is that one breathes easier locked up in a zoo than in Soviet society), he still believes "that Zhdanov's world was normal and that Zoshchenko's world was abnormal, decadent, and shameful.'
The reader is well acquainted with the material presented in the volume, including "communal apartments" in the Soviet Union, from the writings of Mikhail Zoshchenko as well as of other Soviet writers, and also from the media.
Mikhail Zoshchenko (1895-1958) was one of Russia's greatest satirists.
A similar mixture of fantasy and reality, based on Soviet life and presented in highly entertaining fashion at times reminiscent of the great Mikhail Zoshchenko, projects vividly from Anna Bernstein's "City Walks" and from the remaining two stories by Pyetzukh and Erofeyev.
Mikhail Zoshchenko and Boris Dralyuk (translator); SENTIMENTAL TALES; Columbia University Press (Fiction: Translations) 14.95 ISBN: 9780231183796
(5) Perhaps the Soviet writer Mikhail Zoshchenko may serve as a clear example of this trend.
Later, she gives a nuanced analysis of the Soviet author Mikhail Zoshchenko's use of language--without mentioning that she doesn't speak Russian.