Synopses & Reviews
Styled as Oriental tales, these parables are unexpected, exciting, colorful, and tremendously readable. Vlas Doroshevich could not stand tyranny in any form and in his tales he availed himself of complete freedom to mock, to despise, and to accuse the authorities for their wickedness, hypocrisy, and stupidity. These tales could be written by and for rebellious "anti-establishment" youth of today. Doroshevich's works were often banned during the tsarist times and then finally banned completely under the Bolsheviks. This great Russian writer, who was a friend of Anton Chekhov, is only now being resurrected from oblivion. This is the first English translation of his tales.
Vlas Doroshevich (18641922) was widely known as the "king of journalism" in his time. He was also a novelist, drama critic, and short story writer.
"Arbitrary rule steeped in decorum, palace intrigue, the common man lost in the labyrinth of bureaucracy—Russian literature has a long tradition of telling it like it is but differently. One of the more thoroughly forgotten authors of this tradition has now been revived and collected in an English translation by GLAS."—Times Literary Supplement
Rediscovery of a brilliant writer from the early 20th century banned under Soviets. These anti-establishment tales are universal and timeless.
About the Author
Vlas Doroshevich (1864-1922) enjoyed the reputation of the king of journalists” in his time. He was also a successful novelist, drama critic, and short story writer of world renown. He had a warm heart, a sharp mind, and a brilliant style which made him immensely popular both in Russia and abroad.
Doroshevich was born in Ryazan province into a wealthy upper class family, but his mother was disinherited by her family for marrying Vlas's father, an unsuccessful writer who died shortly before Vlas was born.
When Vlas was six months old his mother who was struggling financially, abandoned him and he was adopted by a childless couple by the name of Doroshevich.
At the age of sixteen Vlas withdrew from school and left home. After a short spell as a laborer he found work as a proof-reader and actor. During the 1880s he became a skillful journalist and critic, writing for the major papers, which also employed the young Anton Chekhov. In 1893 he moved to Odessa to work as a reporter for the Odessa Chronicle. In 1897 he traveled to Sakhalin as part of a larger international assignment. He recorded his experiences and impressions in his book "Sakhalin" (published in English translation by the Anthem Press as Russia's Penal Colony in the Far East.) From 1902 to 1918 he was the editor of the major paper Russian Word raising its circulation to one million. His travels in the East produced a book called Legends and Fairy Tales of the Orient. His best known work, The Way of the Cross (1915) is an account of the refugees from the German invasion of Russia during the First World War, in August and September of 1915.
Even though he was rich, Doroshevich welcomed the Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917. However, the censorship of the Soviets turned out to be no less strict than the Tsarist censorship. Doroshevich could not stand tyranny in any form and in his fairy tales, he availed himself of complete freedom to mock, to despise, and to accuse the strong and the rich for their wickedness, hypocrisy, and stupidity.