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 Alexander Grin

Born:   August 23, 1880
Deceased:   July 8, 1932

Russian prose writer, representative of romantic realism, author of the famous story Scarlet Sails.


Alexander Grin is the pseudonym of Alexander Stefanovich Grinevsky who was born into a family of an exile Polish living in Slobodskaya Vyatka Province.

In 1896 he finished a four-grade Vyatka college and left for Odessa. The boy lived as a tramp, worked as a sailor, and a fisherman, then washed gold in the Ural, and later served the army, where he joined the Socialist revolutionary party. Following this Alexander was arrested in Sevastopol for socialist propaganda. The writer served his sentence in prison and three exiles. His works were published starting from 1906. The first short story, titled Merit of Private Panteleev (Zasluga ryadovogo Panteleeva was of an agitation character and thus the copies of the brochure were confiscated by gendarmes. Soon Alexander Grin withdrew from direct political activities and started working as a professional man of letters. In 1912 the writer moved to St. Petersburg, mainly writing short stories at that time. After the revolution, which was a very painful experience for Grin, the fact obvious from his works of 1918-1919, the major theme of his writing was the collision of freedom and unfreedom, most vividly expressed in his novels The Shining World (Blistayushii mir) (1923), Jessie and Morgiana (1929) and The Road to Nowhere (Doroga nikuda) (1930). Grin’s symbolical fairy story Scarlet Sails (Alye parusa) (1923) is considered to be his best creation. In 1924 Alexander Grin moved to Theodosia, Crimea. Gradually his writings came to be in conflict with ideological principles of the communist party, and so his publications were getting scarcer and scarcer. In 1930 the writer moved to the town of Staryi Krym (not far from Theodosia), where two years later he died of lung cancer. This is where he was laid to rest.

The year 1960 marking his 80th anniversary, saw the opening of Grin’s House Museum in Staryi Krym. In 1970 Alexander Grin Literary and Memorial Museum was established in Theodosia. The writer’s 100th anniversary in 1980 was commemorated with the opening of Alexander Grin House Museum in the city of Kirov.

Tags: Russian writers Russian literature    

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