Grin, Aleksandr Stepanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grin, Aleksandr Stepanovich


(pseudonym of A. S. Grinevskii). Born Aug. 11 (23). 1880. in Slobodskoi. Viatka Province; died July 8, 1932, in Staryi Krym. Soviet Russian author. Born into the family of an exiled Pole who had been a participant in the insurrection of 1863.

Grin wandered around Russia and at times was a sailor and a gold prospector. In 1902, while serving in the military, he joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party. Between 1903 and 1910 he was arrested several times for socialist-revolutionary propaganda and spent time in exile; he escaped several times and lived on false passports. The Okhranka (tsarist secret police) confiscated and burned his first story, “Private Pan-taleev’s Service” (1906). The signature “A. S. Grin” appeared for the first time in 1908 with the story “The Oranges.” A writer of romance and fantasy, an excellent landscape artist in prose, and a subtle psychologist, Grin knew how to move beyond the ordinary and reveal the poetic side of life. He had faith in man and believed that all good on earth depends on the will of strong and pure men (Red Sails, 1923; The Heart of the Desert, 1923; Running Over the Waves, 1928). The idealized models of Love, Beauty, and Humanity created by Grin are full of lofty humanitarian meaning, although at times they are abstractly romantic. The story Red Sails was made into a ballet in 1942 and a film in 1961; the novel Running Over the Waves was filmed in 1967. The Aleksandr Grin Literary Memorial Museum was created in Feodosiia in 1970.


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Izbrannoe. Introduction by K. Paustovskii. Moscow, 1956.


Shcheglov, M. “Korabli Aleksandra Grina.” In his book Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i. Moscow, 1965.
Kovskii, V. E. Tvorchestvo A. S. Grina. Moscow, 1967.
Prokhorov, E. I. Aleksandr Grin. Moscow, 1970.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.