Smirnova Vera Vasilyevna (1898-1977). Writer, literary critic, translator. She was born in Petersburg. She studied at the Higher (Bestuzhev) women’s courses. Published since 1924. The main themes of the writer’s works are books for children, literary and theatrical criticism, translations from Uzbek and Tajik.
Smirnov for a long time was considered the main authority on all issues of Soviet children’s literature, but her authority was peculiar: Smirnov was afraid. It cost nothing, for example, at the end of the fifties, suddenly try to destroy in his article “The Two Captains” V. Kaverin… The greatest fame of Smirnov was brought by the book “Arkady Gaidar” 1 (1961), although, according to B. Kamov, Smirnova was the “evil genius” of this writer (Kamov B. Who perpetrated A. Gaidar? Spy 1993. № 2., Pp. 27-33).
Smirnova is the author of the collection of short stories “Comrade Sergo”
(1939) and the book “Stories about the Childhood of Stalin” (1939). Upon learning of the preparation of the book for publication, Stalin wrote (on February 16, 1938) in the Detizdat of the Central Committee of the Komsomol the following note about her manuscript: “The book abounds in a mass of factual infidelities, distortions, exaggerations, praises.” The author was deceived by hunters to fairy tales, The truth is that the book has a tendency to root in the consciousness of Soviet children (and people in general) the cult of the personalities of leaders, infallible heroes. It is dangerous, harmful. and the “crowd” is not a Bolshevik theory, but an SR theory. “The heroes are being made by the people, they are turning it from the crowd into a people,” say the Socialist-Revolutionaries. The people are making heroes-the Bolsheviks are responding to the Socialist-Revolutionaries. Any such book will pour water on the mill of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, it will harm our common Bolshevik cause. I advise you to burn the book. “
This note was first published in the
article “Questions of History” (1963, No. 11. P. 21) by P. Pospelov “Fifty Years of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union”. The context is interesting… Pospelov writes: “A number of categorical statements of the classics of Marxism-Leninism against the cult of personality are known, I want to quote one Stalin’s statement on this issue…”
V. Smirnova had a sister, also an employee of the ideological front. She is mentioned in her memoirs by K. Chukovsky: “I met you, Vera Smirnova, the deaf sister of Vera, very sweet, devoutly believing in Marxist aesthetics.” It should be from deafness. ”
A short biography from the book: Torchinov VA, Leontyuk AM Around Stalin. Historical and biographical reference book. St. Petersburg, 2000.