“Fate of a man” is a short story (72 pages) by the Nobel Prize winner (1965) Mikhail Sholokhov, that narrates the life if a simple man, a car driver, who fought in the war and escaped from a German prison camp. He survived what he thought was the worst – only to face new trials.
“”Fate of a man” is more than a mere story… Sholokhov found an extraordinarily compressed, striking form, that combined epic with laconism, remarkable single-mindedness with tremendous range, The “Fate of a man” represents the discovery of a new form, which can conveniently be called the epic short story.” (From “Mikhail Sholokhov: A Critical Introduction” by G. Mukherjee, p. 163)
A few random questions in advance - if you like (in addition to hopefully your less random ones).
I. Biography of Sholokhov on the Nobel prize website notes some parallels between his work (primarily “And Quiet Flows the Don”) with that of Lev Tolstoy (the paragraph below). Can this be said of “Fate of a man”?
“Reminiscent of Tolstoy in its vividly realistic scenes, its stark character descriptions and, above all, its vast panorama of the revolutionary period, Sholokhov's epic became the most read work of Soviet fiction. Deeply interested in human destinies which are played against the background of the transformations and troubles in Russia, he unites in his work the artistic heritage of Tolstoy and Gogol with a new vision introduced into Russian literature by Maxim Gorky.” http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1965/sholokhov-bio.html
II. Both Ernest Hemingway and Mikhail Sholokhov worked as war correspondents during World War II and extensively wrote about it. Do you see any similarity in their story telling?
III. Lastly I encountered the article below that claims that Soviet literature has not been taught in the US colleges (while it is not the case in Great Britain). Why do you think Russian writers of the Soviet period have not become better known to American intellectuals – if this is true?
We will also discuss the venue for our future meetings as our customary location can be quite noisy at times.