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Author Information: Vsevolod M. Garshin

 
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Vsevolod Garshin (1855–88), heir of Turgenev, pointed the way for Chekhov’s fiction and helped prepare the ground for twentieth-century developments such as symbolism, expressionism and other manifestations of Russian modernism. His life was as intense as his slim fictional output. He joined up in 1877 in order to share the hardships of the Russian peasants in uniform and was wounded in action, the experience producing his war stories including the first which made him instantly famous, Four Days, about a soldier lying wounded and abandoned in front of the corpse of an enemy soldier whom he has bayoneted. He was used by Ilya Repin as a model for the dying Tsarevich in his subversive painting Ivan the Terrible and his Son. He died aged thirty-three after throwing himself down a stairwell in the throes of depression. To a friend he wrote in 1882: ‘I have written sincerely, without making things up, and set out on paper the things that really troubled my soul.’

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