In 1922 a group of young writers inspired by the work of Yevgeni Zamyatin, founded the Serapion Brothers. The group took their name from the story by Ernst T. Hoffmann, the Serapion Brothers, about an individualist who vows to devote himself to a free, imaginative and non-conformist art. Members included Nickolai Tikhonov, Mikhail Slonimski, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Victor Shklovsky, Vsevolod Ivanov and Konstantin Fedin. Russia's most important writer of the period, Maxim Gorky, also sympathized with the group's views.
The Serapions insisted on the right to create a literature that was independent of political ideology. This brought them into conflict with the Soviet government and resulted in them having difficulty getting their work published.