Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 1 >> Albani to Alligator >> Albov


wrote, novel and street

ALBOV, Mikhail Nilov, Russian man of letters: b. Saint Petersburg 1851. From his earliest childhood he showed a manifest love for reading, especially of foreign masterpieces. 'Robinson 'David Copperfield' and 'The Dead Souls' left on him the deepest im pression. While still in the second grade in gymnasium he wrote two minor humoristic stories which were soon followed by a number of novelettes with Spanish and Italian heroes. Imitating Dumas' Comte de Monte-Christo,) he wrote a novel entitled 'Ths,,,English and at the age of 13 wrote a story in the form of a diary, 'The Memoirs of an Underground Lodger,' which the Peterburski Listok accepted and published. Intoxicated by that success Al boy abandoned school altogether and dedicated all his efforts to the literary field. It was then that his first novel, of considerable importance, 'On the New Road' (1866), appeared and at tracted general attention. A few years later (1873) he re-entered the gymnasium, finished his course, matriculated at the university and was graduated from the Faculty of Law in 1879. He took a post in the civil service only

to resign a few months later. Besides the above works he wrote in rapid succession 'The Wretches of Petrograd,' Dog that Ran Away,) the Rear of an Army,' End of an Unknown Street,' Chapter from an Unfinished Novel,' Terrible Word,' Garden of Babel) and many others. His earlier novels show the powerful influence which Dostoyevski exercised over the young author and are distin?uished by a sombre character, a youthful subjectivism and a singular autoanalysis. But in his later works (especially in End of an Unknown Street'), the dark colors disappear and a warm sincerity and a bright poetry are apparent throughout. However, he has not succeeded in developing into a true artist owing to his strong inclination toward a self-created psychiatry and rough naturalism. Consult Skabich,