Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin

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Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin

Vsevolod Garshin ( Russian Всеволод Михайлович Гаршин , scientific. Transliteration Vsevolod Michajlovič Garsin ; February 2 * . Jul / 14. February  1855 greg. In Prijatnaja Dolina in yekaterinoslav governorate , Russian Empire , † March 24 jul. / 5. April  1888 greg. in Saint Petersburg ) was a Russian writer of the 19th century .


Garschin was the son of an officer and a landowner's daughter. His ancestors came from the Tatar nobility. The parents' marriage failed and his mother and the boy moved to Saint Petersburg in 1863. From 1864 to 1874 he attended the secondary school here.

As a graduate of a secondary school, Garschin could not study according to his inclinations, namely humanities subjects, but began studying at the Bergakademie in 1874, which he broke off in 1877 to volunteer in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/1878. He stopped studying after his discharge from the military.

Garshin married Nadezhda Mikhailovna, a doctor, and accepted the position of secretary in the railway administration. Although he had published since 1876, he could not live from the income.

Garschin's grave in the Volkovo Cemetery

His psychological state, which was particularly badly shaken by the experiences of the war, became increasingly questionable in the 80s. Gloom and melancholy, combined with insomnia and loss of appetite, as well as severe irritability and persistent crying spasms, tormented him more and more often. They often found a trigger in reprisals experienced by intellectuals who were intellectually and politically close to him. For this there was in the repressive reign of Tsar Alexander III. frequent occasion.

On March 31, 1888, Garschin threw himself into the stairwell in his St. Petersburg apartment in a state of deep depression. On April 5, 1888, he succumbed to his injuries.


As far as his preferred literary genre is concerned, Garschin is considered to be the forerunner of Anton Chekhov , who had expressed himself with great admiration. With Garschin's tales, a masterfully celebrated prose genre found its way into Russian literature, which was gratefully picked up and continued by authors such as Chekhov, Gorky and others.

40 kopecks - special stamp of the post of the USSR's 100th birthday (1955)

Garschin became famous for his war stories (The cycle The People and the War , consisting of Four Days (1877), The Battle of Ajaslar (1877), A Very Short Novel (1878), The Coward (1879), The Boy and the Officer (1880) and From the Memories of the Common Ivanov (1883).), Which were based on his experiences from the Russo-Turkish War. The relentless portrayal of his bitter experience, written in an objective reporting style, as well as the portrayal of the individual's powerlessness against brutal and authoritarian violence, makes this work appear as a great accusation against war and genocide and is a classic of anti-war literature .


In 1955, the Soviet Post issued a special stamp on the occasion of Garschin's 100th birthday .

Translations into German

  • W. Garschin, Pessimistic Stories - P. Kruschewan , You did not perish. Translated from the Russian by W. Henckel, Bassermann, Munich 1887
  • W. Garschin: Attalea Princeps and other short stories . Translated from the Russian by Michael Feofanoff, Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1903
  • W. Garschin: The stories . Translated from the Russian by Valerian Tornius , Dieterich, Leipzig 1956 ( Dieterich Collection . Volume 177) contains:
  • W. Garschin: The red flower (and other stories) . Translated from Russian by BW Loewenberg, Hans Loose u. Eva Maria Pietsch, Reclam-Verlag, Leipzig 1967 ( RUB 319)
  • W. Garschin: Attalea Princeps. Narratives . Translated from the Russian by Valerian Tornius, Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1988 ( Insel-Bücherei No. 639/2)


  • Ellinor Zelm: Studies on Vsevolod Garšin. Publications of the Slavic Institute at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin, edited by Max Vasmer, Volume 14, Leipzig 1935. Kraus Reprint, Nendeln / Liechtenstein 1968.
  • Peter Henry: A Hamlet of his Time. Vsevolod Garshin. The Man, his Works, and his Milieu. Willem A. Meeuws, Oxford 1983, ISBN 0-902672-40-1 .
  • Peter Henry, Vladimir Porudominsky, Mikhail Girshman (Eds.): Vsevolod Garshin at the Turn of the Century. An International Symposium in Three Volumes. Northgate Press, Oxford 2000, ISBN 1-902949-00-5 / ISBN 1-902949-03-X (3 vols.)
  • Alexander Lell: Studies on the narrative work of Vsevolod M. Garšins: On the consideration of injustice in his works from Arthur Schopenhauer's perspective. (Literature and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe), edited by Reinhard Ibler, Volume 14, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 3-83821-042-5 .

Web links

Commons : Vsevolod Garschin  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Attalea princeps refers to a species of the Attalea palm genus .