Sasha Chorny

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Sasha Chorny (alternative spelling Cherny) (), real name Alexander Mikhailovich Glickberg, () (13 October 1880 N.S. – 5 July 1932) was a Russian poet, satirist and children's writer.

Early years

Alexander Glikberg was born into a Jewish family of pharmacists in Odessa, Russian Empire (currently in Ukraine) on October 13 N.S. 1880. The Glikberg family was not a happy one: his mother suffered from hysteria and children were bad for her nerves; his father often became violent and severely punished his children. It so happened that among the five Glikberg children there were two Alexanders (or Sashas for short), the blond Sasha was usually called White Sasha (Белый Саша in Russian) and the brunet Black Sasha (Чёрный Саша in Russian).

The Glikberg children could not enter a gymnasium because of the quota restriction for enrollment of Jews in schools in Imperial Russia. Eventually the Glikbergs solved the problem by baptizing themselves and their children. After this, in 1889, the children entered the Odessa gymnasium. Alexander found studying in the gymnasium akin to boring bureaucratic service. At the age of fifteen he ran away from home. For some time he lived with his aunt in Saint Petersburg, but after being expelled from a Saint Petersburg gymnasium for failing algebra, he was left homeless and without money. Neither his parents nor other relatives responded to his letters and pleas for help.

Fortunately for Alexander, one of his stories was published by...
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