Tikhonov, Nikolai Semenovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tikhonov, Nikolai Semenovich


Born Nov. 22 (Dec. 4), 1896, in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 8, 1979, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer and public figure. Hero of Socialist Labor (1966). Served in World War I (1914–18), the Civil War (1918–20), and the Great Patriotic War (1941–45).

In the 1920’s, Tikhonov was a member of the literary group the Serapion Brothers. In 1920 he published his first narrative poem, 5am;’. Tikhonov endowed the hero, a Hindu boy, with his own personal emotions: admiration for Lenin’s genius and a sense of having discovered a whole new world through revolution. Tikhonov’s best early verses, such as “Ballad of Nails” and “Ballad of the Blue Packet,” appeared in his collections The Horde and Brew in 1922. These works, laconic in style and intensely emotional, are imbued with the austere romanticism of revolutionary heroism. The Lenin theme, the unfading freshness of revolutionary traditions, the image of the Communist, and the heroism of Leningrad during the blockade are typical of such works as the narrative poems Face to Face (1924) and Kirov Is With Us (1941; State Prize of the USSR, 1942) and the collection of sketches Leningrad Accepts the Challenge (1942).

Important themes of Tikhonov’s poetry and prose include the flowering of the Soviet East and the development of the countries of the East, the friendship of peoples, and mutual cultural enrichment among nations. These themes appear in the short-story collection The Adventurous Man (1927), the collection of sketches Nomads (1931), Verses on Kakhetia (1935), and the verse cycle Georgian Spring (1948; State Prize of the USSR, 1949). The experiences Tikhonov gained from many years in the international peace movement and his visits to countries of the West and East are reflected in the verse cycles The Shadow of a Friend (1936), Two Currents (1951; State Prize of the USSR, 1952), and At the Second World Congress of Partisans of Peace (1953) and in the novellas White Wonder (1956) and Green Darkness (1966). Tikhonov was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1970 for Six Columns (1968), a collection of short stories and novellas.

Tikhonov wrote numerous articles and reports on literary and sociopolitical themes and translated poetry, chiefly from languages of the peoples of the USSR. His own works have been translated into the languages of the peoples of the USSR and many foreign languages.

Tikhonov, a member of the World Peace Council, was chairman of the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace from 1949. He was a deputy to the second through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Tikhonov became secretary of the Writers’ Union of the USSR in 1944. He was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1957. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four other orders, and various medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1958–59.
Sobr. soch. v 7 tt., vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1973–76—.


Grinberg, I. L. Tvorchestvo Nikolaia Tikhonova. Moscow, 1958.
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Shoshin, V. A. Gordyi mir: Ocherk tvorchestva N. S. Tikhonova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Tvorchestvo N. Tikhonova: Issledovaniia i soobshcheniia; Vstrechi s N. Tikhonovym: Bibliografiia. Leningrad, 1973.


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