Mikhail Sholokhov

Soviet writer (1905-1984)

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov (Russian: Михаи́л Алекса́ндрович Шо́лохов) (May 24 [O.S May 11] 1905February 21 1984) was a Soviet/Russian novelist and winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mikhail Sholokhov in 1960



And Quiet Flows the Don (1934)


Translated by Stephen Garry

  • And over the village slipped the days, passing into the nights; the weeks flowed by, the months crept on, the wind howled, and, glassified with an autumnal, translucent, greenish-azure, the Don flowed tranquilly down to the sea.
  • When swept out of its normal channel, life scatters into innumerable streams. It is difficult to foresee which it will take in its treacherous and winding course. Where to-day it flows in shallows, like a rivulet over sandbanks, so shallow that the shoals are visible, to-morrow it will flow richly and fully.
  • Sometimes life played with him, sometimes it hung on him like a stone round the neck of a drowned man.
  • The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain. The wind blew away the traces of those who had departed; time blows away the bloody pain and the memory of those who did not live to see their dear ones again—and will not live, for brief is human life, and not for long is any of us granted to tread the grass.
  • ‘The Don! The Don! The gentle Don! Our father; giver of our food! Hurrah!’

One Man's Destiny (1967)


Translated by H. C. Stevens

  • In this winter night, long and ample for bitter memories, many a widow who lost her husband in the war and is now left alone will press her palms to her ageing face; and in the nocturnal darkness the burning tears, as bitter as wormwood, will scorch her fingers.
    • From A Word on Our Country.
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