Writings about Viacheslav Ivanov 1
Writings about Viacheslav Ivanov
1 ASHESHOV, NIK. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Obrazovanie (St. Petersburg) 12, no. 12 (December): 118—19 (third pagination).
In Russian. Criticizes Ivanov’s first collection for its outmoded classicism. Describes Ivanov as an “archival philologist” and contemporary double of Trediakovskii; regards him as lagging several centuries behind the times. Quotes from a few poems to illustrate the poet’s weaknesses.
2 BRIUSOV, VALERII. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Novyi puť (St. Petersburg), no. 3 (March): 212—14.
In Russian. Praises Ivanov’s mastery of versification technique, contrasted with the low level of knowledge prevalent among contemporary Russian poets. Comments on the poet’s sensitive use of rhyme and feeling for language, and underlines the relevance of his verse to contemporary preoccupations. Recommends the collection to poets and thoughtful readers, despite its occasional metrical and lexical awkwardnesses and general heaviness of style. Reprinted: 1990_10. Revised and enlarged: 1912.3 and 1975_4.
3 BRIUSOV, VALERII. “Russia.” The Athenaeum (London), no. 3949 (4 July): 22—25.
Surveys recent developments in Russian literature with particular reference to the religious and philosophical movement and to the journal Novyi puť. Mentions Ivanov’s lectures on Dionysus in Paris and provides a brief characterization of Pilot Stars (“he deals with such questions in his verses as ordinarily are treated in close-reasoned prose, but even while deciding them he remains a poet”). Underlines the poet’s innovative practices and loving attention to language.
4 IZMAILOV, A. “Nepomernye pretenzii” [Inordinate pretensions]. Novaia illiustratsiia (St. Petersburg), no. 6 (4 February): 46—48.
In Russian. Reviews Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars] for the literary journal published as a supplement to Birzhevye vedomosti. Singles out the collection alongside a volume of verse by I. S. Rukavashnikov as typical of the pretentiousness and lack of sincerity characteristic of current poetry, ignoring ordinary human life in favor of higher dimensions. Ivanov’s “lyric verse of the intellect” deals with abstract themes. Cites examples of his repetitive decadent style, concedes that some poems display simplicity and clarity, but finds that their “philosophical mysticism” precludes the lyrical element characteristic of the best poetry. Praises “Laeta.”
5 KRASNOV, PL. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Literaturnye vechera Novogo mira (St. Petersburg and Moscow), no. 8 (August): 511—12.
In Russian. Underlines Ivanov’s talent and technical accomplishment, his revival of archaic metres and old lexical forms, and use of classical reminiscences. Finds that these qualities are anulled by the overpowering “deadness” of his verse, regarded as scholastic exercises in versification bereft of real inspiration.
6 K[U]RS[INSKII, A. A.]. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Kur’er (Moscow), no. 88, 27 May, 3.
In Russian. Relates Ivanov’s collection to the tradition of “poetry of thought,” a type of art alien to the Slav soul. Finds that although an intellectual element is found in the verse of Baratynskii and Tiutchev, the element of lyrical feeling that accompanies their verse is entirely absent from the poetry of Ivanov, described as “deathly-cold.” Despite this lack of feeling, ranks Ivanov together with Bal’mont as a leading contemporary poet because of the formal and artistic beauty of his verse. For the attribution of the review (signed Krs) to Kursinskii, see Bialik (1972_4) and Kotrelev (1992_10).
7 NALIMOV, A. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Literaturnyi vestnik (St. Petersburg) 5, no. 4: 496—97.
In Russian. Emphasizes the scholarly character of Ivanov’s verse, its erudite terms of reference, mystic and metaphysical qualities, and archaic use of language. Finds that although the reader is aware of the poet’s efforts, he does not sense the magic of art.
8 N[IKOLAEV], P. Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Khronika zhurnala Mir iskusstva, no. 14: 154.
In Russian. Characterizes Ivanov as a pedantic, bookish poet whose verse tires the reader through its obscure and archaic language. Comments that Ivanov’s love of poetry is, however, sincere, and that his efforts are therefore not devoid of interest. Compares his pioneering experiments with language
to those of Mallarmé, but finds that Ivanov is a less original and more imitative poet.
9 Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Nabliudatel’ (St. Petersburg), no. 3 (March): 18—19 (second pagination).
In Russian. An unsigned review, published in the journal edited by A. P. Piatkovskii. Finds that Ivanov has demonstrated that it is not difficult even for the illiterate to write verse. Derides the titles of the volume’s sections and of individual poems. Relegates the book to the widespread category of poor poetry, relying only on rhyme and sound but bereft of thought, logic or imagination.
10 Review of Kormchie zvezdy: Kniga liriki [Pilot stars: A book of lyric verse]. Sem’ia (Moscow), no. 29 (20 July): 14.
In Russian. A short unsigned review, published in a weekly illustrated journal. Finds that Ivanov’s book could “provide interesting reading for the true connoisseur of poetry.” Although strange, its originality marks it out from the mass of hopelessly banal current poetry. Comments favorably on the “Ital’ianskie sonety” [Italian sonnets] and “Parizhskie epigrammy” [Paris epigrams].