(1843 – 1902)
Uspensky Gleb Ivanovich (1843 – 1902), the prose writer. He was born on October 13 (25 N.) in Tula in the family of an official. Children’s years passed in a calm, kind-hearted atmosphere, among loving native people. Already at an early age he read fairy tales and poems of Pushkin, Lermontov, read Karamzin.
In 1853 he began to study at the Tula Gymnasium, but, in connection with the transfer of his father to the Chernigov Chamber, he completed the gymnasium course at the Chernigov Gymnasium in 1861. The first literary experiments refer to the years of study at the gymnasium.
Enters into the St. Petersburg University at the Faculty of Law, but after the student unrest and in connection with material difficulties, was expelled in the same year. In 1862 he entered the Moscow University, but studied for only a year, because he could not pay tuition fees, and was forced to leave. Worked as a proofreader in the printing house. In 1864 after the death of his father had to take care of four sisters and three brothers.
In 1862, published the first stories of Uspensky “Idyll” and “Mihalich.” The writer finds support in the magazines “Russian Word” and “Contemporary”. Of decisive importance to the literary fate of Uspensky was his acquaintance with Nekrasov, who appreciated his talent, his knowledge of life and observation. He published in Sovremennik the first major work of Uspensky’s The Morals of Rasteriaevoy Street (1866). Later, when instead of the “Contemporary” closed by the government, Nekrasov took over the publication of the journal Otechestvennye Zapiski, Ouspensky again became his permanent employee. There were published essays and stories “The First Apartment”, “The Need for Songs Sings,” “On the Black...Stairs,” and others.
In 1869 – 71 was written the second major work – “Ruin.” Uspensky was close to the leaders of the Narodnik movement – N. Mikhailovsky, P. Lavrov, V. Figner, and others. His trips abroad in 1872 and 1875-77 played an important role in the development of the writer’s connections with the populist revolutionaries. He lived in Paris for about a year, where everything still reminded of the Commune of 1871 and the massacre of revolutionaries. The places of execution that they saw shocked the writer. In Paris, Ouspensky met with I. Turgenev, their friendly relations then did not cease. Foreign impressions are reflected in a number of essays and stories (“The Sick of a Conscience”, “From a Memorable Book”, “The Diary of a Provincial”, etc.).
In the 1870s, Ouspensky, studying the life of the post-reform village, lives for a long time in the villages. The result of these trips was a series of essays “From the village diary” (1877 – 80). In the opinion of the author, the peasantry “until then will retain its mighty and meek type, as long as the power of the earth reigns over it.”
In 1884 the government closed the “Notes of the Fatherland”. For Uspensky begins the time of wanderings: the Caucasus, Siberia, the Volga region, Ukraine, Novgorod forests and the Samara steppes. But in these new impressions he does not see anything encouraging, everything seems to him hopeless. There comes a disease. Literary activity ceases to bring him joy, although in 1885 the famous story “Rectified” was published, and in 1888 – no less famous “Live Digits.” From 1892 the writer was in the St. Petersburg Psychiatric Hospital. There he died on March 24 (April 6, 1902).