March 12 in Russian history. Arkady Averchenko.


One of the smartest satirists in Russian literature, Arkady Averchenko, died in a hospital in Prague. In 1908 Averchenko became a secretary in a satirical magazine The Dragonfly and since August the magazine got the new name: The Satiricon. Since 1913 Averchenko was the editor-in-chief of The Satiricon. In 1917 Averchenko welcomed the February revolution, but the next one, the November revolution made him an exile. The Satiricon was closed by the bolsheviks in 1918 and Averchenko fled from Petrograd first to Ukraine and then to Crimea. In 1919 Averchenko began working in the newspaper of the Volunteer Army "The South". In 1921 he published one of his best known books, A Dozen Knives Into the Revolution's Back. V.Lenin read this book and commented: "This is a book written by a White Guard, resentful to the degree of madness." However, he admitted that the book is "highly talented".

Unfortunately, there's little information about Averchenko in English. One day I will write a longer article. As for now, a brief biography of Averchenko in English may be found here. Some short stories by Averchenko were translated into English by Serge Elnitsky and you can read them here.


(27 February Old Style)

Nikolay II signed his abdication from the throne. The Satiricon published the text of the manifesto on the cover with Averchenko's visa in the top corner: "Read with pleasure. Arkady Averchenko." It was a mocking imitation of Nikolay's own words he used to approve documents.

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