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Two Captains by Veniamin Kaverin
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Two Captains

by Veniamin Kaverin

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Two Captains is the most renowned novel of the Russian writer Veniamin Kaverin. The plot spans from 1912 to 1944. For more than half a century the book has been loved by children and adults alike. The novel has undergone more than 100 printings, including translations into other languages. Based on its story, plays have been staged and an opera has been written. The plot of the book also became the basis of two movies of the same title in 1955 and 1976. In 1995 in Pskov, the home town of the author, a monument was erected to the characters of the book and a "Two Captains" museum was opened. The real prototype for Captain Tatarinov was Lieutenant Georgii Brusilov, who in 1912 organized a privately funded expedition seeking a west-to-east Northern sea route. The steamship "St. Anna," specially built for the expedition, left Petersburg on 28 July 1912. Near the shores of Yamal peninsula it was seized by ice and carried in the ice drift to the north of the Kara Sea. The expedition survived two hard winters. Of the 14 people who left the stranded steamship in 1914, only two made it to one of the islands of Frants-Joseph Land and were spotted and taken aboard "St. Foka," the ship of the expedition of G. Y. Sedov. The ship log they had kept with them contained the most important of the scientific data, after the study of which Sedov's expedition found the previously unknown island in the Kara Sea, Vize Island. The ultimate fate of "St.Anna" and its remaining crew is still unknown. Veniamin Kaverin (1902-1989) wrote novels, short stories, fairy tales, memoirs, and biographies. In the early 1920s, Veniamin Kaverin was a member of experimental literary group "Serapionovi bratya." In 1946 his novel Two Captains became the winner of the USSR State Literature Award.… (more)

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