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Anthology of Russian Literature/Vsevolod Mikhaylovich Garshin

Vsévolod Mikháylovich Garshín. (1855-1888.)

Gárshin was born in the Government of Ekaterinosláv, where his father was a small landed proprietor. In his early childhood he travelled a great deal over Russia, as his father was in the military service. He was placed in the Gymnasium at St. Petersburg, and there he excelled as a student, but in 1872 he had the first attacks of insanity which afterwards returned periodically and finally caused him to commit suicide by throwing himself headlong from an upper story. He took part in the Turko-Russian War as a common soldier, and while in the field composed his first story, Four Days, in which he described the suffering of a wounded comrade of his. Upon his return he wrote, in his lucid intervals, a series of wonderfully realistic stories, many of which deal with painful situations. Among his best are The Coward, The Artists, The Red Flower, Attalea Princeps, and That Which Was Not.

In English translation are: Four Days, translated by N. H. Dole, in Poet Lore, vol. iii.; Mad Love, or, An Artist's Dream, London, 1890, and Stories, translated by E. L. Voynich, London, 1893.