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The young guard by Alexander Fadeyev

The young guard by Alexander Fadeyev


Moscow : Foreign Languages Publishing House, {undated}. Hardcover. 715 pages ; 20 cm. English language edition. In original dust jacket, with the date written on flyleaf. Slant to book. Foxing to top pages edge. Pages are age toned. No markings within book. Binding is firm.

Alexander Fadeyev was an artist with a great, powerful and, I would add, determined talent. Throughout his career as a writer he never deviated an inch from his determination to work openly and unreservedly for the cause of the Party, which he began to serve at the age of seventeen, when he became a Communist and partisan.

Alexander Fadeyev entered Soviet literature and at once justly occupied a place in the top ranks with his novel The Rout, a supremely striking book, which is, perhaps, the most stern and striking of the books the Civil War.

His last finished work was The Young Guard, a similarly stern, truthful novel about the Patriotic War, the German occupation, the tragic and decisive year of 1942.

The writer turned grey, stepped past the borders of thirty, forty and fifty years of age, but his own revolutionary youth was ever before him as a period of inestimable value which made him kin with the ideas of Bolshevism—and for that he was thankful to his youth and loved it. The fact that it was namely Fadeyev who in the fourth year of the Patriotic War began to write about the Komsomols of Krasnodon was no accident.

The tragedy of the events in Krasnodon did not disconcert him. On the contrary, I think it attracted him.

The Rout was written when the Civil War had ended victoriously; The Young Guard was written when the war was drawing to a victorious close. Fadeyev wanted to show the full force of what that cost and what qualities people must have in order ultimately to win in such a war, in order to win in the future no matter in what circumstances. I have no doubt that that was the inner feeling with which The Young Guard was written. - Konstantin Simonov

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