Mikhalkov, Sergei Vladimirovich
Born Feb. 28 (Mar. 13), 1913, in Moscow. Soviet Russian author and public figure. Academician of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR (1971). Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1967). Hero of Socialist Labor (1973). Member of the CPSU since 1950.
Mikhalkov is the son of an office worker. From 1935 to 1937 he studied at the M. Gorky Literary Institute. His work first appeared in print in 1928. In his popular verses for children, Mikhalkov presented in lively and captivating form what A. A. Fadeev called “the foundation of social upbringing” (Pravda, Feb. 6, 1938). Mikhalkov used games to teach children about the world around them; in addition, he inculcated a love of work and cultivated the traits of character necessary for builders of a new society.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Mikhalkov served as a war correspondent for newspapers at the front; he wrote many essays, stories, satirical verse and feuilletons, and texts of war placards and leaflets. Especially popular were his topical, piercing fables that were often written in the form of pribautki [witty and amusing sayings], raeshniki [rhymed pribautki], or direct, publicistic appeals.
Mikhalkov’s plays for the children’s theater include Tom Kenty (1938), A Special Mission (1945), The Red Tie (1946), I Want to Go Home! (1949), The Boastful Bunny (1951), The Sombrero (1957), and The Expensive Boy (1971). His plays for adults include Il’ia Golovin (1950) and the satirical comedies The Hunter (1956), Wildcat Vacationers (1958), A Monument to Myself (1959), The Crayfish and the Crocodile (new ed. 1960), and Eciton Burcelli (1961). He also wrote the screenplay for the film Girlfriends at the Front (1942). Mikhalkov’s fairy-tale novella The Festival of Disobedience (1971) has been very successful with small children. His book of pedagogical articles and notes Everything Begins With Childhood (1968) is devoted to his reflections about the upbringing of the coming generation. Mikhalkov has also published as a translator.
Mikhalkov served as a deputy to the eighth convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He has held the position of secretary of the board of the Writers’ Union of the USSR and has also served as first secretary of the board of the Moscow branch of the Writers’ Union of the RSFSR (1965–70). In 1962 he became the editor in chief of the satirical film journal Fitil’ (Wick). Since 1970, Mikhalkov has been chairman of the board of the Writers’ Union of the RSFSR.
Mikhalkov’s works have been translated into many foreign languages and into the languages of the peoples of the USSR. He has been awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1941, 1942, 1950), the Lenin Prize (1970), three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, three other orders, and a number of medals.
WORKSSobr. soch., 4 vols. Moscow, 1963–64.
Sobr. soch., vols. Foreword by D. Blagoi. Moscow, 1970–71.
Chuvstvo loktia. Vystupleniia. Stat’i. Retsenzii. Moscow. 1971.
REFERENCESKassil’, L. Sergei Mikhalkov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1954.
Ershov, G., and V. Tel’pugov. Sergei Mikhalkov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1956.
Galanov, B. Sergei Mikhalkov: Ocherk tvorchestva, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
B. E. GALANOV