Pavel's Reviews > Шукшин

Шукшин by Vladimir  Korobov
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's review
Jan 04, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: russian, non-fiction, cinema

There are two words for "russian" in Russian: "rossijsky" and "russky". First one relates to the state, to all people who live in the country. Second one describes something that is ethnic russian. For example, jewish person who lives in Russia and is russian citizen, she is "rossijsky grazhdanin" (means russian citizen), there is no russky grazhdanin. But Pushkin, despite of his african origin, is a "russky pisatel" (russian writer), because he speaks and writes in russian as a national language (not Swahili for example).
Vasiliy Shukshin was Russky. He was one of the so-called "village writers", which is completely made-up term, that joins several (very different) great post-WWII writers who dedicated their work to ordinary ethnic russian people, mostly living outside big cities, but to urban people as well (Belov, Rasputin, Nosov, Abramov and others). Soviet state didn't like them that much, although acknowlendged their existence and published their books (all people who lived in USSR had to be soviet in a first place and only then ethnic russians, estonians, ukranians etc.)
Shukshin started as a filmmaker, he attended same class as Tarkovsky for 5 years. His films were very very succesfull in Russia, critics and ordinary people both loved them. Same thing with his books - it was impossible to find his short stories in soviet book stores - all prints were being immideately bought out. At the same time his fame on the west was rather minor if there was some.
He died in his forties (in 1974) while being filmed as an actor (another great part of his personality), but still loved and remembered here. This book is a carefull and respectfull biography, which rather describes Shukshin's way as a writer then as a person or as a filmmaker.

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