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Ivan Vasilenko and Taganrog

The writer Ivan Vasilenko is one of the many people who have glorified the city of Taganrog.

"I am an incorrigible provincial, and I am in love with Taganrog, with its unique manner of speaking, with its sea, with its flames above open hearth furnaces. Reading me, you will see at once, where I am coming from!" said Ivan Vasilenko, who was in love with his home city.

Vasilenko lived in Taganrog for 65 years, all his mature life since six-years age. The creativity of the writer is closely related to his home city. The writer perfectly knew the history of Taganrog, destiny of many citizens. Local colors, facts and legends have found reflection in his creativity.

The memorial house - museum of Ivan Vasilenko in Taganrog

Memorable events and native places are mirrored in creativity of the writer. In his tales and stories it is possible to recognize the city place of interest, for example Gymnasium, The Theater, Stone Stairway, the Sea.

From his first steps in literature Vasilenko wrote for adults and for children about things he knew and experienced.


Ivan Dmitrievich Vasilenko was born January 20, 1895 in the village Makeevka of former Taganrog district in a clerk’s family. Seven years later, his family moved to Taganrog.

In 1912 Ivan Vasilenko graduated from the 4-year college and became teacher at a village school. He entered the Belgorod pedagogical institute, but was soon dismissed for organization of  a Marxist group, because of that the further route for Vasilenko to teaching was closed and he worked as an accountant in the Taganrog Land bank.

After October Revolution, he managed trade department, later the department of public education, and gave lessons. During WWII, he contributed to military newspapers.

Inside the House Museum of Ivan Vasilenko in Taganrog

The literary talent of Vasilenko was discovered by Russian writer Vikenty Veresaev in 1937.

All of his tales and stories written for 30 years of creative life, such as "Magic Box", "Childhood of the Actor", "The Little Mouse", "The Gordian Knot", "Cocks", "Green Trunk", "Golden Shoes", "Sunrise is only Once a Day", "Merimes Watch", “Family Council", "Misha and Masha" and others, were reissued by local, republican and central publishing houses and used large popularity both for children and for adults.

In 1949, Vasilenko was awarded a USSR State Prize for the story "The Little Star" (Zvezdochka) about life of trade school's students. Many books have been translated into 27 languages of USSR nations, and into Czech, German, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian, French and English languages.

His works "The Little Star", "Artyomka in the Circus", "Magic Box" and "Golden Shoes" were filmed and released as motion pictures.

The writer died on May 26, 1966.

Ivan Vasilenko, photograph

Navstrechu Zhizni

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