By Avril Pyman
This e-book is the 1st designated background of the Russian Symbolist flow, which served because the seedbed of Existentialism and Modernism in Russia. It reassesses the symbolists' achievements within the mild of contemporary study, targeting their literary works. Prose is quoted in English translation and poetry is given within the unique Russian with prose translations. there's a useful bibliography of fundamental assets and an in depth chronological appendix. This publication will fill a long-felt hole for college kids and academics of Russian and comparative literature, symbolism, modernism, and pre-revolutionary Russian tradition.
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Extra resources for A History of Russian Symbolism
And it was Nekrasov's ballad about the robber Kudeiar, 'O dvuk velikikh greshnikakh' ('Of two great sinners'), that was thundering and wailing at the back of Blok's mind, not Polonsky's 'Evening Chimes' - the roar of the awakened folk element, not that of the modern city- that he heard while writing The Twelve. By 1915, Merezhkovsky was writing that 'now, but probably precisely and only now, Nekrasov is closer, more necessary and more contemporary than Tiutchev'. 31 The modernists were anti-Utopian but never conservative, and the radical hopes of Nekrasov's generation - including the hope in revolution - were dear to them, sacred even.
T h a t poem is in very truth all soaked in blood', wrote Vasilii Rozanov, looking back from the comparatively peaceful year of 1911. Yet, in the same breath, Rozanov continues: Nekrasov has ten or so pages of verse that are closer to folk poetry than any single one of our poets or prose writers has as yet been able to achieve. 0 Some of that two-tenths did pass into the anonymous immortality of folksong. Bely dedicated his second book of poetry, Pepel (Ash, 1909), a book inspired by the social unrest leading up to the 1905 Revolution, to Nekrasov.
In fifty-two years they were never a single day apart and Merezhkovsky's human relationships were channelled through her. Pessimism and isolation is certainly the stuff of his poetry. 'I khochu, no ne v silakh liubit' ia liudei' ('I want, but have not the strength to love people'); . . 'No blizhnikh ne liubliu, kak ne liubliu sebia' ('But I do not love my neighbours, even as I do not love myself); 'la liudiam chuzhd i malo veriu / Ia dobrodeteli zemnoi' ('I am alien to people / and have little faith in earthly virtue'); 'Ia ne liubliu rodnykh moikh, druzia / Mne chuzhdy, brak - tiazhelaia obuza' ('I do not love my family, my friends / Are alien to me, marriage - a heavy burden').
A History of Russian Symbolism by Avril Pyman