Bazhov P. P.

Pavel Petrovich Bazhov (1879 – 1950) was a Russian writer and folklorist. He was the first one to collect, edit, and publish the legends of the Ural region of Russia.

Bazhov was born in the family of an Ural miner, in the very same village of Polevskoye that would later figure so prominently in his collection of folk tales. He graduated from the village school, and then spent several years at the Yekaterinburg and Pem seminaries, which, at the time, offered the best education both for the future priests and for those who intended to pursue secular careers. After graduation, Bazhov taught Russian language at various schools in Yekaterinburg and Kamyshlov, and used summer breaks to travel around the region collecting folklore. He married one of his students and the couple had four children.

During the Civil War that followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Bazhov lived and worked in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, where he became a prominent member of a local underground movement working to undermine monarchist conspiracies against the Soviet rule. Bazhov’s underground activities proved to be critical in defeating one of the largest and most complex monarchist plots allowing the Soviet Army to enter the region and establish itself. Once the Soviet rule was secure in the region, Bazhov was able to carry out his political and social activities in the open, and became one of the most prominent activists in the area.

In 1921, following a difficult illness, Bazhov asked to retire from the regional offices in Kazakhstan and returned to the Ural Mountains, where he worked as a journalist and a writer, publishing his first collection of Ural folklore in 1924.
Other stories and collections followed, with new tales added every several years.
Bazhov died in 1950 in Moscow, but was buried in the city of Sverdlovsk, in the Ural region, following his last wishes.

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