Vissarion Saianov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Saianov, Vissarion Mikhailovich


Born June 3 (16), 1903, in the village of Ivanushkinskaia, now in Kirensk Raion, Irkutsk Oblast; died Jan. 22, 1959, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian writer.

From 1922 to 1925, Saianov studied at Leningrad University. His first poems appeared in 1923, and his first poetry collection, The Lucky Years, in 1926. The heroism of the Civil War and the atmosphere of the new way of life were reflected in the collections Komsomol Poetry (1928), Contemporaries (1929), and The Golden Olekma (1934). Folkloric motifs, important in Saianov’s writings, found expression in the cycle The Curved Seashore (1939) and in the novellas The Willow (1939) and The Belovezh Story (1943). The novellas My Faithful Girlfriend (1930), The Island of Madagascar (1933), and Two Rivers (1936) dealt with socialist construction.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Saianov served in the army and was a correspondent on front-line newspapers; he also wrote In the Battles for Leningrad (1943) and Nuremberg Diary (1948). The novels Heaven and Earth (books 1–4, 1935–54; State Prize of the USSR, 1949), Lena (books 1–2, 1953–55), and Native Land (books 1–2, 1953–56) and the novel in verse The Kolobovs (1955) re-created a social and historical panorama of prerevolutionary Russia and of the establishment of a socialist society. Saianov also wrote the works of literary theory and criticism Modern Literary Factions (1928) and From the Classics to Modern Times (1929). His works have been translated into national languages of the USSR and into foreign languages. He was awarded four orders and several medals.


Sochineniia, vols. 1–2. [Introductory article by N. Tikhonov.] Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Leningradskii dnevnik. Moscow, 1963.
Stikhotvoreniia. [Introductory article by A. Prokof ev.] Leningrad, 1970.


Abramkin, V., and A. Lur’e. Tvorchestvo Vissariona Saianova. Leningrad, 1959.
Khrenkov, Dm. Vissarion Saianov: Put’poeta. Leningrad, 1972.
Levonevskii, D. “‘Byl nachat v iunosti pokhod’: K 70-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia V. M. Saianova.” Zvezda, 1973, no. 9.
Russkie sovetskie pisaleli-prozaiki: Biobibliografich. ukazatel’, vol. 7, part 2. Moscow, 1972.


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