Serafimovich, Alexander


Alexander Serafimovich (born Alexander Serafimovich PopovRussianАлекса́ндр Серафимо́вич Попо́в; O.S. January 7 (N.S. January 19), 1863 – January 19, 1949) was a Russian/Soviet writer and a member of the Moscow literary group Sreda.

Early life

Serafimovich was born in a Cossack village on the Don River. His father served as a paymaster in a Cossack regiment. Serafimovich attended a grammar school, then studied in the Physico-Mathematical faculty of St. Petersburg University. During his time at the University he became friends with Aleksandr Ulyanov, the brother of Vladimir Lenin. Serafimovich was later exiled to Mezen, a town in northern Russia, for spreading revolutionary propaganda. During his time in exile he became a Marxist.


He began writing stories in 1889. His works of this period showed the hard living and working conditions of the peasants. During the 1905 Russian Revolution he continued to describe the brutal and unfair treatment of the peasants under Tsarist rule, and began to write stories about revolutionary men and women and their activities.

At the start of the 1917 Russian Revolution he joined the Bolsheviks, and became a member of the CPSU. His best known work of this time is the novel The Iron Flood (1924) set during the Russian Civil War and based on a real incident of the Red Taman Army escaping encirclement by the enemy Whites.[3][4] He also wrote a stage adaptation of The Iron Flood, which was produced by Nikolay Okhlopkov at the Realistic Theatre in Moscow and was the subject of several filming ideas by Sergei Eisenstein.[5] After The Iron Flood, he published stories, sketches and plays about the building of the Soviet state and the growth of Soviet culture. He died in Moscow in 1949.


Serafimovich’s works were praised by many of his fellow writers. Maxim Gorky especially appreciated his talent, introducing him into the Sreda group in Moscow and publishing his works in the Znanie collections. Leo Tolstoy liked his short novel Sand.

The Nobel Laureate Mikhail Sholokov said of him:

“Serafimovich was a great man, a real artist whose stories are near and dear to us; he was one of that generation of writers from whom we learned in our youth.”

Vladimir Korolenko said of Serafimovich’s first story On the Ice (1889):


Serafimovich, Alexander

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