The story "The Fate of a Man" was first published in the newspaper "Pravda" at the turn of 1956-57. Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov wrote the story quickly, literally in a matter of days. However, the idea of the story matured for a long time, about ten years.
Meeting on the hunt
The story of the creation of the story "The Fate of a Man" was told by the journalist M. Kokta in the essay "In the village of Veshenskaya". In particular, the journalist wrote that Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov met the prototype of the protagonist while hunting. It was near the Mokhovsky farm.
Sholokhov came here to hunt wild geese and geese. Sitting down to rest after hunting near the steppe river Elanka, the writer saw a man and a boy walking towards the river crossing. The travelers mistook Sholokhov for “their brother-driver”. In an easy conversation that ensued, the traveler told about his fate.
The story deeply moved the writer. Mikhail Alexandrovich was so shocked that he even forgot to ask the name of his casual acquaintance, which he later regretted. "I will definitely, definitely write a story about this," Sholokhov repeated.
Ten years later, Sholokhov read stories by Hemingway, Remarque, and other foreign masters of the pen. They painted a doomed, powerless person. That unforgettable meeting at the river crossing again stood before the eyes of the writer. The long-ripening idea received a new impulse. For seven days Sholokhov hardly looked up from his desk. On the eighth day, the story was finished.
Responses to the story
The story "The Fate of a Man" was published in the newspaper "Pravda", in the issues of December 31, 1956 and January 1, 1957. Soon it was read on the All-Union Radio. The text was read by the popular film actor of those years Sergey Vladimirovich Lukyanov. The story immediately found a response in the hearts of the listeners.
According to the memoirs of the writer Efim Permitin, who was visiting Sholokhov in the village of Veshenskaya, after broadcasting on the radio, Sholokhov's desk was literally littered with letters from all over the country. Workers and collective farmers, doctors and teachers, Soviet and foreign writers wrote to him. Letters came from people, like the protagonist of the story, who survived the Nazi captivity and from the families of the dead front-line soldiers. Neither the author himself nor his assistants were physically able to answer even a tiny fraction of the letters.
Soon, Yuri Lukin and Fyodor Shakhmagonov wrote a screenplay based on the story "The Fate of a Man", which was published in Literaturnaya Gazeta in November 1957. The film based on this scenario was directed by director Sergei Bondarchuk, who also played the main role in it. The film was released in 1959. He has collected numerous prizes at domestic and international festivals.