Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: March 2012



On First Impressions and Lasting Choices

“The first impression is always the strongest,” writes Doroshevich of his initial view of Sakhalin island, and this well-worn adage is also appropriate here, for this translation introduces Doroshevich to English-language readers. Despite having been imperial Russia's most famous and successful journalist; having changed Russian journalism with his feuilleton-style; having been read by every segment of society and lauded by such literati as L. N. Tolstoi, A. P. Chekhov, V. G. Korolenko, A. M. Gor′kii and V. V. Stasov; and despite his Sakhalin feuilletons' renewed popularity in post-Communist Russia, Doroshevich remains largely unknown to non-Russian readers. A pity, for he deserves wider recognition.

Vlas Mikhailovich Doroshevich was born 5 April 1864 (old style) to Aleksandra Ivanovna Sokolova (1836–1914), of the wealthy and titled Denis′ev clan of Riazan′ Province. Details concerning Vlas's father are vague, but he appears to have been an unsuccessful writer who died shortly before his son's birth. Aleksandra was educated at the prestigious Smol′nyi Institute, but was disinherited by her parents for having married beneath her social status. Struggling, and with two other children, Aleksandra took her son when he was six months old to Moscow and gave him to a childless woman and her husband, one Mikhail Doroshevich, with a note pinned to the infant's blouse requesting he be called Blez (Blaise) in honor of the French philosopher Blaise Pascal.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO