(1892 – 1977)
Fedin Konstantin Alexandrovich (1892 – 1977), the prose writer.
Born February 12 (24 N. s.) In Saratov in the family of a merchant-writer, a self-taught poet. Children and teenage years passed in Saratov. At the age of seven, I entered elementary school, then I began to learn how to play the violin. In 1901 he entered the commercial school. In the autumn of 1905, along with the whole class, he took part in a student “strike”. In 1907 he fled to Moscow, having pawned his violin in the pawnshop. Soon found by the father, he returns home, but, not wanting to work in his father’s shop, insists on continuing education and studies at the commercial college in Kozlov (Michurinsk). Here, thanks to the teachers of the literature, I re-read the works of Russian literature in a new way, finding in them “incomparable joy”. I started dreaming about writing.
In 1911 he entered the economic department of the Moscow Commercial Institute. Student years were filled with the already ripe desire to write literary works. The first literary experiments Fedin were published in 1913 – 1914 in the St. Petersburg “New Satyricon” A. Averchenko.
In the spring of 1914 he went to Germany to improve in German, lives in Nuremberg, where he was caught by the First World War. Detained as a civilian prisoner, he was interned in Saxony and lived there until the German revolution (1918). He gave lessons in the Russian language, served as a chorister and actor in the theaters of Zittau and Gerlitz. He fell into the exchange party of prisoners and in the autumn of 1918 returned to Moscow. Worked for some time in the People’s Commissariat of Education.
In 1919 he lives and works in Syzran, edited the Syzran Communard newspaper, where he had to write both editorial articles, feuilletons and theatrical reviews, conduct... city reports and international reviews. The revolutionary Volga events of 1919 gave him tremendous material for writing.
In the autumn he was mobilized to the front and found himself in Petrograd – in the midst of Yudenich’s offensive. First he was sent to the cavalry division, then transferred to the editorial office of the newspaper “Boyevaya Pravda”, where he worked as an assistant editor until 1921. He collaborated in the Petrograd press publishing articles, satires, stories, and edited the magazine “Book and Revolution” (1921 – 24). In 1923 the first book of Fedin was published – the collection “The Waste”. In 1922 – 1924 wrote the novel “Cities and Years” – one of the first Soviet novels about the ways of the intelligentsia in the revolution and civil war, which became a product of Soviet literary classics.
In 1928 made a great trip to Norway, Holland, Denmark, Germany. Three years later, seriously ill, went to Switzerland. Bitter, friendly relations with whom were formed back in 1920, introduced Fedin to Romain Rolland. In 1933 – 1934 he visited the cities of Italy and France. These trips gave impetus and material for the creation of two novels: “Abduction of Europe” (1933 – 1935), “Sanatorium Arcturus” (1940). During the Patriotic War, in 1942, wrote the play “Test of the senses.” In 1943 he began to work on the long-planned trilogy and by 1948 he was completing two novels – “First Joy” and “Unusual Summer”, with interest received by readers, working on the last part of the trilogy – “Fire” (1961 – 1965). In 1957 the book “Writer, art, time” was published. where he gives portraits of his friends-contemporaries (Gorky, S. Zweig, Rolland, etc.). The memoirs “Bitter among Us” (1941 – 68) were published. K. Fedin died in 1977 in Moscow.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.