Virta, Nikolai Evgen’evich
Born Dec. 6 (19), 1906, in the village of Bol’shaia Lazovka, in present-day Tokarevka Raion, Tambov Oblast. Soviet Russian writer. Son of a village priest.
Virta was first published in 1923. His first and finest novel, Loneliness (1935; State Prize of the USSR, 1941; rewritten as the play Land in 1937), is about the historically doomed re-volt of the kulaks in Tambovshchina during the Civil War. This novel provided the basis for T. N. Khrennikov’s opera Into the Storm (staged in 1939). Virta’s other works include the novels Determinacy (1937), Evening Bells (1951; revised edition, 1961), Steep Mountains (1956; rewritten as the play Vast Distances in 1957), The Encircling Steppe (1960), The Restored Land (1960), and Fleeting Days (1964). The novella Catastrophe appeared in 1962, followed by The Phantom Abandons Green Mound (1964—65).
Virta is also the author of the plays Conspiracy (1938), Slander (1939), My Friend the Colonel (1942), The Soldiers of Stalingrad (1944), Great Days (1947), Our Daily Bread (1947; State Prize of the USSR, 1948), Conspiracy of the Doomed (1948; State Prize of the USSR, 1949), The Sky Is High in Summer (1959), and Three Keystones of Faith (1960). Virta wrote the scripts for the films The Battle for Stalingrad (1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950) and Conspiracy of the Doomed (1950). He was awarded the Order of Lenin and medals.
WORKSP’esy. Moscow, 1950.
Odinochestvo. Moscow, 1962.
Povesti poslednikh let. Moscow, 1965.
REFERENCESKin, V. “Talantlivaia kniga.” Novyi mir, 1936, no. 7.
Usievich, E. “O ’Zakonomernosti’ N. Virty.” Literaturnyi kritik, 1937, no. 7.
Makarenko, A. “Zakonomernaia neudacha.” In his book O literature. Moscow, 1956.
Survillo, V. “Nedostovernaia dostovernost’.” Literaturnaia gazeta, Jan. 18, 1966.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobiliogrqfich. ukazateV, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1959.
V. A. DIEV