1 ASHESHOV, NIK. Review of K. D. Bal’mont, Sobranie stikhov: Tom vtoroi [Collected verse: volume 2], Viacheslav Ivanov, Prozrachnost’: Vtoraia kniga liriki [Transparency: A second book of lyric verse], Andrei Belyi, Zoloto v lazuri [Gold in azure]. Obrazovanie (St. Petersburg) 13, no. 8 (August): 146—51 (third pagination).
In Russian. Considers three collections of poetry by Bal’mont, Ivanov, and Belyi, all published by Skorpion in 1904. Classifies Ivanov as a Moscow decadent, and regards him as epitomizing the most “absurd” extreme of Skorpion literature. Finds that the poet has made a new move toward modernity and shed the figleaf of classicism and mythological reference characteristic of his first collection, but in so doing has only succeeded in exposing his “transparent lack of talent” more fully. Quotes several examples of stylistic and logical “curiosities,” and condemns the poet’s attempt to revive the age of Trediakovskii.
2 BLOK, ALEKSANDR. Review of Prozrachnost’: Vtoraia kniga liriki [Transparency: A second book of lyric verse], Novyi put’ (St. Petersburg), no. 6 (June): 204—06.
In Russian. Regards Ivanov’s collection as a book for those who have not only experienced much but also thought deeply. Comments favorably on the author’s “steel verse” and bold combination of verbal and logical forms. Considers the erudite and philosophical aspects of Ivanov’s poetry, and finds
that too great a degree of philological refinement is sometimes displayed. Criticizes several points of detail such as the poet’s occasionally excessive use of alliteration, changes of meter, or tasteless rhymes, and his partial rendering of Bacchylides’s dithyrambic verse in the manner of a Russian bylina. Reprinted: 1935.2; 1962.1. See Enisherlov, 1980.4.
3 BOTSIANOVSKII, VL. “Kriticheskie nabroski” [Critical notes]. Rus’ (St. Petersburg), no. 333, 13 November, 2.
In Russian. Criticizes the journal Vesy and Ivanov in this context for “antiquarianism.” Comments on Ivanov’s essay “Kop’e Afiny” [Athene’s spear] (1904).
4 BRIUSOV, VALERII. Review of Andrei Belyi, Zoloto v lazuri: Pervoe sobranie stikhov [Gold in azure: A first collection of verse] and of Viacheslav Ivanov, Prozrachnost’: Vtoraia kniga liriki [Transparency: A second book of lyric verse]. Vesy (Moscow), no. 4 (April): 60—62. Reprint. Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint LDT, 1968.
In Russian. Builds up a series of comparisons between the two poets, finding more lyricism in Belyi and more artistry in Ivanov, more daring in Belyi and more caution and control in Ivanov, described as a sage Prospero, full of the wisdom of centuries. Contrasts their innovative practices: Belyi breaks with tradition while Ivanov introduces new forms culled from old sources. Belyi needs a reader who is prepared to plunge into the waterfall of his fantasies; Ivanov requires a serious, inquiring reader, ready to bore into the hard rock of his verse in order to release its silver springs. Reprinted: 1912.3; 1975.4; 1990.10.
5 BRIUSOV, VALERII. “Russia.” The Athenaeum (London), no. 4010 (3 September): 312—14.
Within the context of a general survey of Russian literature of the past year, devotes a brief section to comparing Ivanov’s Prozrachnost’ [Transparency] with Belyi’s Zoloto v lazuri [Gold in azure]. As in 1904.4, describes Ivanov as a “wise Prospero of his island,” the “master of the elemental forces he has summoned,” whose work has greatly enriched the Russian language. Concludes with the prediction that “Russian literature has a right to expect much that is new from these two poets.”
6 BURENIN, V. “Kriticheskie nabroski” [Critical notes]. Novoe vremia, no. 10051, 27 February, 4.
In Russian. A satirical essay in the form of a dialogue, targeted at recent decadent literature published in the journal Novyi put’. Opens with critical comments on Ivanov’s poem “Khmel’” [Intoxication] from Prozrachnost’ [Transparency], described as a “pearl of idiotic poetry,” and continues with an attack on Sologub and other writers.
7 LUTHER, ARTHUR. “Russischer Brief.” Das litterarische Echo (Berlin), no. 16, 15 May, columns 1144—46.
In German. Provides a brief summary of Ivanov’s essay “Poet i chern’” [The poet and the rabble] (1904) and its view of mythopoetic art in the context of a description of the new journal’s contents.
8 M[EREZHKOVSKII], D. “Za ili protiv?” [For or against?]. Novyi put’ (St. Petersburg), no. 9 (September): 268—72.
In Russian. Deals with Vesy and the relationship between aestheticism and mysticism in the work of three of its leading contributors, Ivanov, Briusov, and Belyi. Summarizes the ideas on the artist as prophet contained in Ivanov’s essay “Poet i chern’” [The poet and the rabble] (1904) and inquires why Ivanov has constant recourse to masks such as that of Dionysus if he truly believes in Christ (“Why masks when the Face already exists?”). The sixth section of “Ellinskaia religiia stradaiushchego boga” [The Hellenic religion of the suffering god] appeared in the same issue as Merezhkovskii’s article, to which Ivanov responded in the next issue with his poem “‘Litso — ili maska’?” [“Face — or mask”?].
9 TARSKII, K. “Dekadentskie stikhi” [Decadent verse]. Review of Prozrachnost’: Vtoraia kniga liriki [Transparency: A second book of lyric verse]. Moskovskie vedomosti (Moscow), no. 145, 28 May, 4.
In Russian. Takes the view that the collection, for all its transparency, does not reveal the slightest spark of talent. Criticizes it for its imitation of classical meters, poverty of rhymes, and lack of originality or clarity. Quotes from “Khmel” [Intoxication] to illustrate the point.
10 TARSKII, K. “Udivitel’naia drama” [An astonishing drama]. Review of L. Zinov’eva-Annibal, Kol’tsa: Drama v trekh deistviiakh [Rings: A drama in three acts]. Moskovskie vedomosti (Moscow), no. 322, 21 November, 5.
In Russian. Opens with a brief paraphrase of Ivanov’s introductory essay. “Novye maski” [New masks], and questions its claim that drama is turning to mystery and to the liturgic service of Dionysus. Finds Ivanov’s essay, as all the work from writers of this “camp,” unintelligible and unrelated to Kol’tsa [Rings], for which the title “Bred” [Delirium] would have been more appropriate.