by Valery Bryusov.
This story was written in 1905 and published in Zemnaya Os (The Axis of the Earth) in 1907. The text is available online at the Gaslight website. A more modern translation can be found in THE DEDALUS BOOK OF RUSSIAN DECADENCE: PERVERSITY, DESPAIR & COLLAPSE (2007).
As for the real world - [...]