Viacheslav Iakovlevich Shishkov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shishkov, Viacheslav Iakovlevich


Born Sept. 21 (Oct. 3), 1873, in the city of Bezhetsk, in what is now Kalinin Oblast; died Mar. 6,1945, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer.

Shishkov, the son of a merchant, graduated from the Vyshnii Volochek Technical School in 1891. His works first appeared in print in 1908. His sketches and short stories, topical in theme and pervaded with compassion for the people’s difficult life, continued the democratic traditions of progressive Russian literature.

In 1916, M. Gorky published Shishkov’s novella The Taiga in the magazine Letopis’. His novel The Crowd (1923) and the novellas Lake Peipus (1924) and The Wanderers (1931) depicted the life and heroic struggle of the young Soviet republic. In the novel The River Ugrium (vols. 1–2, 1933), Shishkov dealt with the rise and fall of Russian capitalism and with the working class’ struggle against its oppressors and its growing revolutionary consciousness. Shishkov’s most significant work was the historical epic Emel’ian Pugachev (books 1–3, 1938–45; State Prize of the USSR, 1946), which made a major contribution to the development of the historical genre in Soviet literature. Based on many years of study of historical documents, the epic describes the past from the standpoint of modern historiography. Colorful language, skillfully molded characters, and effective descriptions of nature are typical of Shishkov’s style.

Shishkov was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Badge of Honor.


Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–12. Moscow, 1926–29.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–8. Moscow, 1960–62.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–10. Moscow, 1974.


Chalmaev, V. A. Viacheslav Shishkov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1969.
Eselev, N. Shishkov. Moscow, 1973.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 6, part 1. Moscow, 1969.


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