Alexander Grin

Aleksandr Stepanovich Grinevsky (better known by his pen name, Aleksandr Grin, Russian: Александр Грин, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɡrʲin] (listen), August 23, 1880 – July 8, 1932) was a Russian writer, notable for his romantic novels and short stories, mostly set in an unnamed fantasy land with a European or Latin American flavor (Grin's fans often refer to this land as Grinlandia). Most of his writings deal with sea, adventures, and love.[1]

Alexander Grin
BornAlexander Grinevsky
August 23, 1880
DiedJuly 8, 1932 (aged 51)
Stary Krym
SpouseVera Abramova
Nina Grin


Aleksandr Grin was born Aleksandr Stepanovich Grinevsky (Russian: Александр Степанович Гриневский) in a suburb of Vyatka in 1880, the son of the Pole Stefan Hryniewski (russianized as Stefan Grinevsky), deported after the January Uprising of 1863, and a Russian nurse Anna Lyapkova.[2] In 1896, after graduating from a school in Vyatka, Grinevsky went to Odessa and lived the life of a vagabond.[1] He worked as a sailor, gold miner, construction worker, but often found himself without a job and sustained himself by begging and thanks to money sent to him by his father.

After joining the Russian army, he became a member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, was arrested, and spent time in jail for "revolutionary propaganda". His first short story was published in a newspaper in 1906. In the same year he was arrested in Saint Petersburg and sentenced to four years of exile in a remote area of Tobolsk Governorate. However, very soon after arriving to Tobolsk, Grin escaped and returned to Petersburg to live illegally. He was again arrested in 1910 and sent to live in Arkhangelsk Governorate. In a small village called Kegostrov,[3] Grin and his first wife Vera Pavlovna Abramova (whom he married in 1910) lived from 1910 to 1912.

In 1912, he returned to Saint Petersburg and divorced his wife. At that time, Grin published mostly short stories; most of his larger works were written after the October revolution and enjoyed significant popularity in the first half of the 1920s. In 1921, he married Nina Nikolaevna Grin.[4] In 1924, they moved to Feodosiya to live near the sea. In his late days, Grin's romantic visions were in stark conflict with the mainstream Soviet literature; publishers in Moscow and Leningrad refused to consider his romantic writings, and Grin and his wife lived in extreme poverty. Grin suffered from alcoholism and tuberculosis which eventually ruined his health. He died of stomach cancer in 1932 in Stary Krym.[5]

In his book Sculpting in Time, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky describes how Grin, when dying of hunger, "went off into the mountains with a home-made bow and arrow to shoot some sort of game." He offers Grin as an example of a poet in the deepest sense: one with "an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality... a philosophy to guide a man throughout his life."[6]


Alyye parusa
A ship with scarlet sails is a mascot for the "Scarlet Sails" celebrations in Saint Petersburg named after Alexander Grin's novel

Most of Alexander Grin's writings bear no direct relation to the reality of Imperial and Soviet Russia that he lived in. The setting of most of his novels and short stories is an unnamed land by the sea, apparently far from Europe but with all characters being Western European in name and appearance. Even his literary pseudonym (Grin) is a de-Russified form of his real last name (Grinevsky).

Described by some critics as "adolescent fiction",[7] Grin's works have many things in common with the reality of the early 20th century (such as automobiles and banks). Populated by sea captains, sailors, scientists, travelers, criminals, extravagant aristocrats, childlike girls, elegant villains, and strong-spirited heroes who always stay true to their dreams, Grin's world is often referred to as Grinlandia by fans. Some of his novels contain an element of magic – not as an established part of his world, but always as a miracle that changes the lives of those who encounter it.


The most notable of his novels include:

  • Scarlet Sails (Алые паруса, 1923), a simple but powerful love story, perhaps the most famous of Grin's works. It was made into a 1961 film, when during the Khrushchev Thaw, Grin's works enjoyed a revival of popularity.
  • The Shining World (Блистающий мир, 1923)
  • The Golden Chain (Золотая цепь, 1925)
  • She Who Runs on the Waves (Бегущая по волнам, 1928)
  • Jessie and Morgiana (1929, Wikisource: Джесси и Моргиана). It was made into a Czechoslovak film Morgiana in 1972.[8]
  • The Road to Nowhere (Дорога никуда, 1930)


  • Selected Short Stories. Translated by Nicholas Luker. 184 pp. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis Publishers.



  1. ^ a b The Soviet Union, A Biographical Dictionary, Macmillan, NY, 1990.
  2. ^ Alexei Varlamov (2010). Aleksandr Grin. Biography. Moscow: Eksmo, 544 pages. ISBN 978-5-699-38651-2
  3. ^ "Keg-Ostrov, Russia – Geographical Names, map, geographic coordinates". Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Грин (Миронова) Нина Николаевна – История на сайте Бессмертный барак". Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived item". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  6. ^ Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967) p.21
  7. ^ Crossover Fiction: Global and Historical Perspectives, Sandra L. Beckett
  8. ^ Morgiana at IMDb.

External links

Alexander Grin house museum

There are four Alexander Grin House Museums. The first one is a house museum in the last place of residence of Russian writer Alexander Grin which was in Stary Krym, Crimea, Russia.There is another Grin museum in Crimea in the nearby city of Theodosia. There is a third Alexander Grin museum in Russia, in Vyatka.

In 2010, a fourth museum was opened at the birthplace of the writer, in Slobodskoy, Kirov Oblast in Russia.

Aluminium diboride

Aluminium diboride (AlB2) is a chemical compound made from the metal aluminium and the metalloid boron. It is one of two compounds of aluminium and boron, the other being AlB12, which are both commonly referred to as aluminium boride.

Structurally the B atoms form graphite-like sheets with Al atoms between them, and this is very similar to the structure of magnesium diboride. Single crystals of AlB2 exhibit metallic conductivity along the axis parallel to the basal hexagonal plane.Aluminium boride is considered a hazardous substance as it reacts with acids and hydrogen gas to produce toxic gases. For example, it reacts with hydrochloric acid to release borane and aluminium chloride.

August 23

August 23 is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 130 days remain until the end of the year.


Feodosia (Russian: Феодосия, Feodosiya; Ukrainian: Феодо́сія, Feodosiia; Crimean Tatar and Turkish: Kefe), also called Theodosia (from Greek: Θεοδοσία), is a port and resort, a town of regional significance in Crimea on the Black Sea coast. Feodosia serves as the administrative center of Feodosia Municipality, one of the regions into which Crimea is divided. During much of its history the city was known as Caffa (Ligurian: Cafà) or Kaffa. Population: 69,145 (2014 Census).

Grin (surname)

Grin or Hryn (Ukrainian variant) is the surname of the following people

Alexander Grin (1880–1932), Russian novelist

Elda Grin, Armenian writer, psychologist and legal expert

François Grin (born 1959), Swiss economist

Serhiy Hryn (footballer) (born 1994), Ukrainian footballer

Serhiy Hryn (rower) (born 1981), Ukrainian rower


Grinevsky (feminine: Grinevskaya) is a Russian-language surname transliterated from the Polish surname Hryniewski

Alexandr Grinevsky, birth name of Alexander Grin, Russian writer

Oleg Grinevsky, Russian diplomat

Isabella Grinevskaya, Russian-Jewish writer


Grinlandia (Russian: Гринландия) is the fantasy world where most of the novels and short stories of Alexander Grin take place. The name of the country is never mentioned by the author himself, and the name Grinlandia was suggested in 1934 by literary critic Korneliy Zelinsky and adopted by Grin's fans since then.

The Alexander Grin museum in Theodosia contains the reconstructed map of the land.It is a land by the ocean, apparently far from Europe (as some characters speak about "sailing to Europe") but populated by people with vaguely Western European names and appearance.

The language spoken in Grinlandia is also never identified (though the novels themselves are written in Russian). There are several cities (Liss, Zurbagan, San Riole, etc.) mentioned in several of the novels, but none of them are identified as a capital.

Irina Tokmakova

Irina Petrovna Tokmakova (née Manukova, 3 March 1929 — 5 April 2018) was a Soviet and Russian writer of children's books, a poet, playwright, and a translator of classic children's literature into Russian. Her translations of Tove Jansson, Astrid Lindgren and Kenneth Grahame's works were particularly renowned. She was a laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation for children's literature, and the Alexander Grin literary prize.

July 7

July 7 is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 177 days remain until the end of the year.

The terms 7th July, July 7th, and 7/7 (pronounced "Seven-seven") have been widely used in the Western media as a shorthand for the 7 July 2005 bombings on London's transport system. In the Chinese language, this term is used to denote the Battle of Lugou Bridge started on July 7, 1937, marking the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Konstantin Bogaevsky

Konstantin Fyodorovich Bogaevsky (Russian: Константин Фёдорович Богаевский, 24 January [O.S. 12 January] 1872 - 17 February 1943) was a Russian painter notable for his Symbolist landscapes.

Miroslav Šuput

Miroslav Šuput (born 1948) is a Slovene painter and illustrator.He won the Levstik Award in 1989 for his illustrations in Alexander Grin's story Begavka po valovih (She Who Runs on the Waves).

Mister Designer

Mister Designer (Russian: Господин оформитель, romanized: Gospodin oformitel) is a 1988 Soviet horror film by Oleg Teptsov based on the short story The Gray Automobile by Alexander Grin.

Morgiana (film)

Morgiana is a 1972 Czechoslovak Gothic horror/drama film directed by Juraj Herz, based on a novel by Alexander Grin, Jessie and Morgiana (1929, Wikisource: Джесси и Моргиана). The story is about two sisters, Klara and Viktoria, and the jealousy that overcomes Viktoria when her sister inherits most of their father's property. When Klara becomes involved with a man that her sister loves, Viktoria begins to plot her murder.

The roles of both sisters are played by the actress Iva Janžurová.Beach scenes were shot in Bulgaria.

Niva (magazine)

Niva (Russian: Нива) (Grainfield) was the most popular magazine of late-nineteenth-century Russia; it lasted from 1870 to 1918, and defined itself on its masthead as "an illustrated weekly journal of literature, politics and modern life." Niva was the first of the "thin magazines," illustrated weeklies that "contrasted with the more serious and ideologically focused monthly 'thick journals' intended for the educated reader."

Scarlet Sails

Scarlet Sails may refer to:

Scarlet Sails (film), a 1961 Soviet film starring Vasily Lanovoy and Anastasiya Vertinskaya

Scarlet Sails (novel), a 1923 novel by Alexander Grin, basis for the film

Scarlet Sails (tradition), a ceremony during the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia

Scarlet Sails (band), an American indie rock band

Scarlet Sails (band)

Scarlet Sails is an indie rock band from New York City, formed in 2015 by founding members Olya Viglione (lead vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele) and Brian Viglione (drums, backing vocals, guitar).

The band’s name comes from the 1923 adventure novel by Russian author Alexander Grin, a story about dreams coming true, no matter how silly, futile, or far-fetched they may seem. The young heroes in the story, Assol and Gray, are described as dreamers, misunderstood by those around them. Gray, a wealthy heir, wants to become a captain and runs away from home to fulfill his dream, eventually meeting Assol, who as a child, encounters an old man who claims to be a wizard and promises the girl that one day a prince will come on a ship with scarlet sails to carry her away. The villagers scoff, but Assol believes her dream will come true one day. As a child, this story was among Olya’s favorites.

Scarlet Sails (tradition)

The Scarlet Sails (Russian: Алые паруса) is a celebration in St. Petersburg, Russia, the most massive and famous public event during the White Nights Festival every summer. The tradition is highly popular for its spectacular fireworks, numerous music concerts and a massive water show.

White Nights Festival

The White Nights Festival is an annual summer festival in Saint Petersburg celebrating its near-midnight sun phenomena due to its location near the arctic circle; each year between around April 21 and August 31, the skies only reach twilight and never reach complete darkness. Organised by the Saint Petersburg City Administration, the festival begins in May 11 with the "Stars of the White Nights" at Mariinsky Theatre and ends on July 31. However, some performances connected to the festival take place before and after the official dates.

Numerous night-time cultural festivals, also called White Nights, have been inspired by this.


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