Russian bookshelf: The Christmas Tree by Mikhail Zoschenko

We are happy to offer you audio books from our Russian Bookshelf. Actually, this time we'd like to propose you something more classical. Here's a short Christmas story (written in 1920s) by Mikhail Zoschenko.

Voice over, translation and montage by Alexander Ganjushin,
Picture by Natalia Mikhaylenko

Back music: Russian Piano Music by Margaret Fingerhut

Probably, the name of one of the most famous successors to the Gogolian tradition in Soviet literature, Mikhail Zoshchenko (1894-1958), is not too well know to the English.

He wrote most of his best stories in the 1920s when the ideals of the revolution were replaced by petit bourgeois values. Zoshchenko's stories resemble vignettes or anecdotes: short, in simple language, often paradoxical and always very funny.

In 1946, Zoshchenko was labelled a vulgar and loathsome proponent of rotten non-progressive, trivial and apolitical ideas. Zoshchenko (with poet Anna Akhmatova) was expelled by special decree from literature and deprived of his "worker's" ration card. Publishers, journals and theatres began cancelling their contracts and demanding that advances be returned.

Related article: Discovering Zoschenko

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