Rus Articles Journal

Whether Vsevolod Garshin a madman was?

All saw Ilya Repin`s picture “Ivan the Terrible and the son his Ivan“ in use called “Ivan the Terrible kills the son“. Whether but all know, the destiny of the person from whom the dying tsarevitch is written was how tragic? The writer Vsevolod Garshin who died on March 24 (on April 5 on new style) 1888 was this person. the Beginning

He was born

2 on February (14), 1855 in the Ekaterinoslavsky province. His father was the officer, the participant of the Crimean war, mother, the daughter of the naval officer, in the sixties participated in in a revolutionary way - the democratic movement. The first drama of Garshin which affected and on his character, and on its health is connected with it.

When the boy was five years old, mother left a family to the tutor of the senior children P. Zavadovsky who was besides the member of secret revolutionary society. In several years, in 1864, it took away Vsevolod to itself to St. Petersburg. This history could not but influence the impressionable boy, and so growing at extremely nervous. Besides, early intellectual development made the business too: the child who in 7 years read “Notre Dame de Paris“, in 8 - “What to do?“, and in 9 becoming engrossed in reading of “Contemporary“, just could not grow the ordinary person.

However Garshin - the grammar-school boy, as a rule, made impression of the person cheerful and purposeful. He was interested in literature, social problems, natural sciences. But public life of the middle of the sixtieth often rendered on it burdensome impression that periodically led to exacerbations of a sincere illness which began to develop in the childhood. His acquaintances noted that he could unexpectedly grow dark and begin to argue as it is not enough in this life good, sometimes stated quite strange ways as it is possible to make happy mankind. Many said that Vsevolod too early began to seek for fight against a certain world evil. This fight will become one of key subjects of his creativity subsequently.

War and creativity

B 1877 when began russko - the Turkish war, it threw institute and went the volunteer to field army. Military impressions were processed into the story “Four Days“ written the same year when Garshin lay in hospital after wound. The story published in October issue of “Domestic notes“ brought to the author popularity.

Even short stay in the war (after wound Garshin received annual holiday) could not but influence the impressionable young man. Military stories of Garshin shook readers by extreme nakedness of feelings. As the narration went from the first person, the author and the hero were identified even more often, considered that the writer describes what happened to it. In stories it connected, apparently, incompatible things: so, in “Four days“ near heroism and readiness for self-sacrifice understanding of nasty thing and uselessness of war, in “Coward“ - call of duty and desire to avoid execution adjoins.

Garshin completely devoted several years to literature and art, but by the beginning of 1880 - x years it plunged into gloomy more and more - a hopeless state. In its works thoughts of uselessness of art (“Artists“), of a hopelessness of life (“Attalea princeps“) even more often appear, the events which are taking place in the country render enormous impression on it.

In 1880 attempt at the head of the Supreme administrative commission Loris - Melikov, the performer - the young revolutionary Mlodetsky was made - sentenced to death, and Garshin, having achieved an audience from Loris - Melikova, asked about pardon of the convict, said that this death will cause a set of other death - both officials, and terrorists. However to his words did not listen, and Mlodetsky was executed.

Garshin`s illness became aggravated, but it was first difficult to understand where there passes the side between humanistic high rushes of soul and attacks of madness. The writer spoke about forgiveness, about pardon of all criminals, went to Yasnaya Polyana to Lev Tolstoy with whom discussed how to make happy mankind. At it developed maniacally - depressive psychosis, and the family had to place it in hospital for the insane. After a course of treatment he stayed some time at relatives in the area of mother, recovered and in 1882 returned to St. Petersburg.

In 1882 there was a collection “Stories“ which caused heated arguments. Garshin was condemned for pessimism, and populists made his creativity an example of tortures and torments of the modern intellectual. In a year Vsevolod Mikhaylovich wrote the story “Red Flower“ which main character, the patient of clinic for the insane, imagined that three red poppies in a garden of hospital comprise the universal evil, and decided to be through with them even at the cost of the life. Psychiatrists called this story the classical image of a sincere illness, but whether they knew that many episodes of “A red flower“ had autobiographical character and that Garshin spent many forces for his writing...


In the last years of life Garshin conceived to write to

the big novel. He wanted to show not only the aggravated inner world of the characters, but also to describe world around pictures, to enter the hero, similar to itself(himself) in external life. Besides, it collected materials about Peter the Great`s time, was going to undertake the novel “People and War“. It had a set of ideas and plans...

But at the beginning of 1888 the illness returned. Vsevolod Mikhaylovich`s health sharply worsened. His friend, the writer Mr. Uspensky, wrote later that Garshin was ruined by “impressions of the valid life“ which described so: “Same daily “hearing“ - and always gloomy and disturbing; the same blow to the same sore point, and by all means besides on the patient, and by all means in such place which needs “to heal“, recover, have a rest from suffering; blow in heart which asks kind feeling, blow to the thought which is eager for the right to live, blow to conscience which wants to feel“.

19 on March (31) the same year, during one of attacks, after long sleepless night Garshin left the apartment and rushed to ladder flight. In five days he died. He was only 33 years old.

And still he was not a madman or the madman. He was just extremely impressionable person who sharply reacted to any injustice, nearly physically suffering from it. He was the person living during a difficult era of reforms and the subsequent reaction to them and perceiving reality too close to heart. He wrote with the nerves and the blood, not attacks, but shocks were a push to writing of new works always. And all this different things, agree...