Naumov, Nikolai Ivanovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Naumov, Nikolai Ivanovich


Born May 16 (28), 1838, in Tobol’sk; died Dec. 9 (22), 1901, in Tomsk. Russian author.

Naumov was expelled from the University of St. Petersburg in 1861 for his participation in student protests. From 1863 to 1869 and again from 1884, he worked in zemstvo (local self-government) and state institutions in Siberia. He first appeared in print in 1859 and became a contributor to Sovremennik (The Contemporary) and Otechestvennye zapiski (The Fatherland Notes).

The central theme of Naumov’s essays and short stories is the life and work of the Siberian peasantry in the period after the reform of 1861. Although he shared the Narodnik (Populist) views about the peasant commune, Naumov was nevertheless able to demonstrate the existence of profound social contradictions in the countryside, the ongoing process of capitalization in the countryside, and the mounting tide of peasant protest. His book of essays and short stories Strength Breaks the Straw (1874) was used in Narodnik propaganda.

In his short story “The Hedgehog” (1873), as well as in his book of essays The Web (1880), Naumov was one of the first to write about the life of the workers. His essays on the fate of the settlers and minor nationalities of Siberia (The Mountain Idyll, Sarbyska) are harshly truthful depictions of the life of the people, as well as publicistic exposes of the existing social system.


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Soch. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–3. Novosibirsk, 1939–40.
Izbr. proizv. Novosibirsk, 1951.


Plekhanov, G. V. “Naumov.” In Literatura i estetika, vol. 2. Moscow, 1958.
Kozhevnikov, S. E. N I. Naumov: Ocherk o zhizni i tvorchestve. Novosibirsk, 1952.
Goriachkina, M. S. Khudozhestvennaia proza narodnichestva. Moscow, 1970.


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