Arkady Timofeevich Averchenko (1881 - 1925)
Russian writer-humorist, playwright, theatrical critic.
He was born on March 15, 1881 in Sevastopol in family of merchant. He was educated at home because of bad sight and poor health; he could not study in gymnasia. He read a lot and without distinction.
When he was fifteen years old A. Averchenko start to work as a junior scribe in a transport office. After one year he left Sevastopol and began to work as a clerk in the Bryansk coal mine where he served three years. In 1900 A. Averchenko moved to Kharkov.
In 1903 the Kharkov newspaper "The Southern Territory" published the first Averchenko's story "How I had to
insure my life", in which his literary style was already shown. In 1906 Averchenko becomes the editor of the satirical magazine "The Bayonet", which was almost completely composed of his works. When this magazine was
closed A. Averchenko heads the next magazine - "The Sword", which soon was closed also.
In 1907 A. Averchenko moves to St. Petersburg and contributes to the satirical magazine "The Dragonfly ", which was later transformed into "The Satiricon". Later he becomes the permanent editor of this popular magazine.
In 1910 three books were published , which made A. Averchenko known to all reading Russia: "Cheerful Oysters", "Stories (humorous)", the
first book, "Speckle On A Wall", the second book. "... Their author can become Russian Mark Twain...", - acutely noticed V.Polonsky.
In 1912 books "Circles On Water" and "Stories For The Convalescent" won him a title "The King of Laughter".
A. Averchenko enthusiastically accepted the February revolution, but not the October revolution. In autumn 1918 he left for the south, and contributes to the newspapers "Priazovsky Territory" and "The South", appears with the reading his own stories, manages a literature department in "the House of the Actor". In the same time Averchenko writes the plays "The Remedy For Nonsense" and "The Play With Death", and in April 1920 he organized the
theatre "The Migrant Birds Nest".
In half-year he emigrates through Constantinople abroad; since June 1922 Averchenko lived in Prague, from time to time leaving for Germany, Poland, Romania and the Baltic states. In that time were published his book "Dozen Knives in the Back of the Revolution", the collection of stories "Children"
and "Ridiculous in the Horrible", the comic novel "the Joke of the Patron of Art" etc.
In 1924 Averchenko underwent an eye removal operation after which he could not recover for long time; soon the heart-disease grew progressively worse.
Averchenko died in the Prague City Hospital January 22, 1925. He is buried in the Olshansky cemetery in Prague.