The Whites in Literature

Famous pieces of literature inspired by the civil war will feature more than once in this exhibition, but for this month we look at a lesser-known novel which focuses on the White movement.  Konets Dobrovol’cheskoi… (The end of the Volunteer [Army]) is a curious item, bibliographically speaking, and would benefit from further research.  Written by a K. Bol’shakov, it is generally assumed to be the work of the writer Konstantin Bol’shakov (1895-1938), known chiefly for his poetry, but it does not standardly feature in his bibliographies.

Bol’shakov fought in the Red Army from 1918 to 1922, but the plot of the book chiefly follows those on the counter-revolutionary side, the story peppered with characters representing foreign intervention in the Civil War.  It ends with a dramatic suicide.

Konets Dobrovol’cheskoi… was published in Riga by Gramatu Draugs as number 101 in a series dedicated to the “latest literature”.  The University Library copy bears the ownership stamps of a Bibliotheque Plamenevsky, possibly the collection of a Sergei Plamenevsky (1900-1990) who fought with the Whites and lived out his exile in Paris.

Konets Dobrovol’cheskoi… / K. Bol’shakov (1931)  757:26.d.90.591