1 ADRIANOV, S. “Kriticheskie nabroski” [Critical notes]. Vestnik Evropy (St. Petersburg), no. 10: 386—98.
In Russian. Considers the polemics surrounding the fate of symbolism reflected in the essays of Ivanov (“Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] ), Blok (1910.5), and Briusov (1910.6). Paraphrases their arguments and finds that Briusov’s rejoinder misses the central point of Ivanov’s essay, which is concerned not so much with external theurgic goals imposed on art but with the intrinsic psychological mechanisms of poetic creation. The symbolists’ failure derives from their adoption of extreme individualism at the expense of recognition of reality; this incorrect development of personality has had a negative effect on their poetic productivity and led to the present impasse. Contrasts their example with Pushkin’s ability to absorb the outer world into his inner creative personality. Will the Petersburg symbolists find the strength to “sweep all this rubbish out of their temple” and thereby to pave the way for a revival of art? For Briusov’s response see Briusov, 1960.3. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
2 BELYI, ANDREI. Simvolizm: Kniga statei [Symbolism: A book of essays]. Moscow: Musaget, 8, 458, 462, 522, 541—50. Reprint. Munich: Wilhelm Fink (Slavische Propyläen, 62), 1969.
In Russian. Most of the references to Ivanov occur in the extensive commentary section appended to the essays collected in this volume. The
notes consider Ivanov’s approach to the Eleusinian mysteries (p. 458); underline the relevance of his work on Dionysus and of Po zvezdam [By the stars] to contemporary life (p. 462); comment on the link between the cults of Demeter and Persephone and the Orphic religion. The commentary to Belyi’s essay “Smysl iskusstva” [The meaning of art] includes lengthy discussion of Ivanov’s approach to Dionysus and Nietzsche (pp. 541—50).
3 BELYI, ANDREI. “Venok ili venets” [A wreath or a crown], Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 11 (October—November): 1—4 (second pagination).
In Russian. A further contribution to the polemics surrounding symbolism, originally provoked by Ivanov’s essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910) and carried on in the essays of Blok (1910.5) and Briusov (1910.6). Belyi focuses his attack on Briusov’s essay, and quotes from an earlier essay by Briusov, “Sviashchennaia zhertva” [The holy sacrifice] (Vesy, 1905, no. 1), to show that Briusov previously believed that the poet should make a “holy sacrifice” of his life as well as of his art. The “venok lavrovyi” [laurel wreath] of the artist was swapped by the symbolists for the superior “zhrecheskii venets” [priestly crown] of the theurgic artist. Briusov, however, has exchanged his priestly crown for a laurel wreath, despite lines from his own poem, quoted by Belyi, that promise grief to whoever should make this exchange. For an English translation see Peterson, 1986.38. For contemporary responses, see Gorodetskii, 1910.10; Piast, 1912.15. For later discussion, see Gromov, 1966.6; Orlov, 1940.3; Solov’ev, 1965.6. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
4 BELYI, ANDREI. “Viacheslav Ivanov: Siluet” [Viacheslav Ivanov. A profile]. Utro Rossii (Moscow), no. 263, 2 October, 2.
In Russian. Presents a full, human portrait of Ivanov, who reminds Belyi of V. Solov’ev. Describes their first meeting in the spring of 1904. Outlines Ivanov’s path from academic studies to poetry and pays tribute to his role as organizer of literary life in St. Petersburg and his ability to generate enthusiasm. Expresses some reservations about the quality of his poetry (as opposed to the interest of its themes). Comments on his tendency to make mistakes in judging people. He is no Trediakovskii but a Derzhavin, preparing the way for a new Pushkin. Reprinted: 1911.1.
5 BLOK, ALEKSANDR. “O sovremennom sostoianii russkogo simvolizma: Po povodu doklada V. I. Ivanova” [On the contemporary state of Russian symbolism: Concerning the lecture of V. I. Ivanov]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 8 (May — June): 21—30 (first pagination).
In Russian. A written version of the talk given by Blok on 8 April 1910, providing further comment on Ivanov’s lecture “Zavety simvolizma” [The
precepts of symbolism], published in the same issue of Apollon. Taking upon himself the role of Ivanov’s Baedeker, develops his essay by expounding its terminology and illustrating its view of the thesis and antithesis stages of Russian symbolism with quotations from his own verse as well as from that of V. Solov’ev, Lermontov and fellow symbolists. Reprinted: 1921.1; 1931.1; 1936.2; 1962.1; 1980.2; 1989.9. For an English translation see Peterson, 1986.38. For contemporary responses, see Adrianov, 1910.1; Belyi, 1910.3; Briusov, 1910.6, 1960.3; Gorodetskii, 1910.10; L’vov-Rogachevskii, 1910.14; Merezhkovskii, 1910.15; Mokievskii, 1910.16; Piast, 1912.15. For later discussion see Gromov, 1966.6; Orlov, 1940.3; Solov’ev, 1965.6; Maksimov, 1975.8; Venclova, 1989.62. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
6 BRIUSOV, VALERII. “O ‘rechi rabskoi’, v zashchitu poezii” [On “servile speech,” in defense of poetry]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 9 (July — August): 31—34 (first pagination).
In Russian. A polemical response to Ivanov’s essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] and Blok’s companion essay (1910.5). both published in the previous issue of Apollon. The title phrase “rech” rabskaia” [servile speech] is taken from a poem of 1885 by V. Solov’ev, interpreted in Blok’s essay in a way that Briusov debates. Briusov attacks Ivanov and Blok’s claim that art must necessarily be theurgic; it may be, but does not have to be. Ivanov and Blok are distorting the historical reality of symbolism, which always aspired to be pure art. Divergence of views does not prevent Briusov from continuing to regard Ivanov and Blok as excellent poets, even if not as theurgic artists. Reprinted: 1975.4 and 1990.10. For an English translation see Peterson, 1986.38. See also Adrianov, 1910.1; Belyi, 1910.3; Mokievskii, 1910.16: L’vov-Rogachevskii, 1910.14; Chudovskii, 1911.4; Piast, 1912.15; Briusov, 1960.3; and Gumilev, 1980.5. For later discussion see Gromov, 1966.6, Solov’ev, 1965.6; Grossman, 1989.24; and Venclova, 1989.62. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
7 ELLIS. Russkie simvolisty: Konstantin Bal’mont. Valerii Briusov. Andrei Belyi [Russian symbolists: Konstantin Bal’mont. Valerii Briusov. Andrei Belyi]. Moscow: Musaget, 2, 161, 323—24. Reprint. Letchworth, Herts.: Bradda Books, 1972.
In Russian. Draws up a scheme of symbolism, and classifies Ivanov with Huysmans and Merezhkovskii under the subheading of “collective” symbolism within the second category of symbolism of ideas as a means (rather than as an artistic end in itself). Comments on the changes to Briusov’s definition of symbolism introduced by Ivanov, Belyi, and Merezhkovskii under the influence of Nietzsche. Locates Ivanov within the second and third stages of
symbolism, corresponding respectively to the movement’s ideological self-definition and current state of crisis. The original and paradoxical essays of Po zvezdam [By the stars] overlap in some areas with the theories of Belyi; both are the most interesting of contemporary symbolist searchers. See also L’vov-Rogachevskii, 1910.14.
8 FRANK, S. “Artisticheskoe narodnichestvo” [Artistic populism]. Russkaia mysl’ (Moscow), god 31, no. 1: 27—38 (second pagination).
In Russian. A review of Po zvezdam [By the stars]. Takes up Merezhkovskii’s image of a Delphic sibyl on Nevskii prospekt (1909.14) for the collection, and continues in a similar vein to emphasize the book’s difficulty and inaccessibility, at odds with its author’s avowed aspirations. Ivanov is an artist who loves to pose and play, but lacks sober realism. His wide reading and erudition lead him to a purely literary perception of reality, bereft of sharpness of understanding. The aim of “preodolenie dekadentstva” [overcoming decadence] is the starting point for all his theories. Singles out “Dve stikhii v sovremennom simvolizme” [Two elemental forces in contemporary symbolism] as perhaps the best article in the whole book. Criticizes his definition of realist symbolism, for the symbol itself is not “real,” only an illusion, and religious and aesthetic categories of insight are distinct. Comments on “O veselom remesle i umnom veselii” [On gay craftsmanship and wise gaiety] and on “O russkoi idee” [On the Russian idea]. Ivanov’s idealization of the anti-cultural “barbarian” Russian soul is not dangerous as it is a purely literary construct, just as his overcoming of artistic decadence is limited to a romantic and unrealistic Slavophile dream of populism. See Maksimov, 1975.8.
9 GORODETSKII, SERGEI. “Da, protiv techeniia!” [Yes, against the current!]. Protiv techeniia (St. Petersburg), no. 5 (12 November): 2.
In Russian. Considers that there are two types of art: “with the current” and “against the current.” Disputes Ivanov’s view that art is separate from life and links his ideas with those of S. Makovskii. Invites others to sail with him “against the current.” See Gorodetskii, 1910.10.
10 GORODETSKII, SERGEI. “Strana Reveransov i ee purporno-lilovyi Bedeker” [The land of Curtseys and its purple lilac Baedeker]. Protiv techeniia (St. Petersburg), no. 1 (15 October), 3.
In Russian. A further contribution to the polemics surrounding symbolism, considering Ivanov’s essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910) and the responses of Belyi (1910.3), Blok (1910.5), Briusov ( 1910.6), and Merezhkovskii (1910.15). Finds Ivanov’s essay “full of the most evil poisons” and “inner falsity.” The danger of his views for the path of live poetry is revealed in the way in which Blok, playing the role of Ivanov’s Baedeker, dons the “sham costume of a theurgist” and runs behind the scenes to comment on his own poetry. The “fruitless formalism” of Ivanov’s essay,
despite his “curtseys” in several directions, is a threat to poetry in which the poet of Cor Ardens has betrayed his former self. See Gorodetskii, 1910.9 and Piast, 1912.15. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
11 GUMILEV, N. “Zhizn’ stikha” [The life of verse]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 7 (April): 5—14 (first pagination).
In Russian. The third section of this article deals with “living” poems, and singles out poems by Briusov, Ivanov, Annenskii, and Kuzmin as examples. Discusses Ivanov’s “Geliady” [The Heliades] from Prozrachnost [Transparency] and its transformation of the ancient myth of the daughters of the sun lamenting the death of their brother Phaeton into an “eternally-young truth.” Ivanov, linked with the sun and the male principle, is contrasted with Briusov, associated in his poem with the moon and the female principle. Reprinted: 1923.5; 1968.6; 1990.27. For an English translation see Lapeza, 1977.2.
12 IZMAILOV, A. A. “Lavochka antikvariia: Neo-arkhaisty i stilizatory” [The antiquary’s stall: Neo-archaizers and stylizers]. In Pomrachnenie bozhkov i novye kumiry: Kniga o novykh veianiiakh v literature [The darkening of the gods and new idols: A book about new currents in literature]. Moscow: n.p., Tipografiia T-va I. D. Sytina, 69—96
In Russian. Revised and expanded version of 1908.7. The chapter deals mainly with Ivanov and Kuzmin, attacked for their use of archaisms and stylization. The section on Ivanov (pp. 75—83) reproduces most of Izmailov’s earlier essay with the addition of some more positive comments linked to a discussion of poems from Eros such as “Sirena” [The siren] and “Sad roz” [The rose garden]. Ivanov is praised for his mastery of technique and “zvukovaia krasota” [euphonic beauty] (although he is prone to lapses as in “Krater” [The crater]), but these features remain divorced from clarity of thought, and his chief problem is his detachment from the “contemporary soul.”
13 IZMAILOV, A. A. “V. Ivanov.” In Krivoe zerkalo: Parodii i sharzhi [The crooked mirror: Parodies and caricatures]. Vtoroe, dopolnennoe izdanie zhurnala “Teatr i iskusstvo.” St. Petersburg: n.p., 24—26.
In Russian. Reprints the text of two parodies of Ivanov first published in 1907, “Erota vysprennikh i stremnykh kryl’iakh na…” [On the high-flown and fleet wings of Eros…] and “Istomnykh sred moikh iad charyi proliiav…” [After pouring out the magic poison of my languorous Wednesdays…]. Reprinted: 1915.5; 1960.6; 1960.7 (first parody only). See also Tiapkov, 1980.16.
14 L’VOV-ROGACHEVSKII, V. L. “‘Byt’ ili ne byt’ russkomu simvolizmu?’” [“To be or not to be for Russian symbolism?”] . Sovremennyi mir (St. Petersburg), no. 10: 76—79 (second pagination).
In Russian. A survey of the polemics surrounding symbolism, sparked
off by Ivanov’s essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910). Does not deal specilically with Ivanov, but considers the responses to his essay of Blok (1910.5), Briusov (1910.6), and Merezhkovskii (1910.15) as symptoms of the collapse of symbolism. Describes Merezhkovskii’s essay as a “death sentence, meted out by a teacher to his disciples.” Concludes with a brief look at Ellis’s book on Russian symbolism (1910.7). For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
15 MEREZHKOVSKII, D. “Balagan i tragediia” [Farce and tragedy], Russkoe slovo (Moscow), no. 211, 14 September, 2—3.
In Russian. Considers the relationship between social and literary attitudes in the polemics surrounding symbolism, focusing on Ivanov’s essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910) and Blok’s response ( 1910.5). Traces the present crisis of symbolism back to the decadents’ dislike of simplicity and preference for obscure speech, a symptom of their deep-rooted arrogance. Defines four types of comprehensibility and incomprehensibility in poetry, and finds the decadents guilty of the worst sin: the incomprehensible about the incomprehensible. Symbolism returned art to its sources in religion, and has accomplished two principal tasks: the creation of a new noncivic aesthetics of art, and the dismantling of positivism and drawing of attention to religious questions. These achievements cannot, however, exculpate the chief sin of the symbolists: their transformation of the tragedy of Russia and the revolution into a “balagan” [farce], and their withdrawal from social involvement into a private world of disillusionment, equated by them with the state of the Russian national soul. For Blok’s reply, see Blok, 1962.1. See also L’vov-Rogachevskii, 1910.14; Chudovskii, 1911.4: Piast, 1912.15. For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
16 MOKIEVSKII, P. “Teoriia poznaniia fìlosofov i d’iavol’skii splav simvolistov” [The philosophers’ theory of knowledge and the diabolical alloy of the symbolists], Russkoe bogatstvo (St. Petersburg), no. 11 (November): 112—20 (second pagination).
In Russian. Investigates the soundness of Ivanov’s attempt to provide a philosophical basis for symbolism (“a movement which flirts with mysticism”) in his essay “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910). Provides a detailed point by point rebuttal of the essay. Disputes Ivanov’s interpretation of Tiutchev’s poems, and attacks the foundation of his theory of art as a method of philosophical or objective cognition. Refers to the responses to Ivanov’s essay by Blok (from whose essay the title phrase is taken, see Blok, 1910.5) and Briusov (1910.6). For a survey of the discussion following the original talk on which Ivanov’s essay was based, see Kuznetsova, 1990.33.
17 S[TEPUN], F[EDOR]. Review of Po zvezdam [By the stars]. In Logos: Mezhdunarodnyi ezhegodnik po filosofii kul’tury [Logos: An international year-book on the philosophy of culture]. Russkoe izdanie [Russian edition]. Vol. 1. Moscow: Musaget, 281—82.
In Russian. Draws a distinction between the “realist” worldview of the Greeks, based on the definition of the self in relation to the transcendent, and the “idealist” worldview of German philosophers such as Kant and Hegel. Traces the philosophical roots of Ivanov’s realist worldview back to Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, and Schelling. Regards his collection as being far from a purely formal philosophy of aesthetics, underlines the prophetic and magic qualities of his theories, terminology, and realist symbolism.
18 VOZNESENSKII, AL. Poety, vliublennye v prozu [Poets in love with prose]. Kiev: Knigoizdatel’stvo “Gong,” 27—29.
In Russian. Surveys the work of a number of poets, including a section on Ivanov. Describes him as a “poet s portfelem, da eshche s kakim portfelem!” [a poet with a briefcase, and what a briefcase!] and his verse as a “filologicheskii koshmar” [philological nightmare]. Ivanov is a good academic and essayist, but no poet.
19 ZNOSKO-BOROVSKII, EVG. “Bashennyi teatr” [The theatre at the tower]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 8 (May—June): 31—36 (first pagination).
In Russian. Describes in detail the production of Calderón’s seventeenth-century comedy, set in thirteenth-century Siena, Poklonenie krestu [Worship of the cross], which took place at the tower on 19 April 1910, performed in Bal’mont’s translation. Vera Shvarsalon was responsible for arranging the production, V. Meierkhol’d was the producer, and S. Sudeikin the artist. The actors included various friends and writers, M. Kuzmin, Vl. Piast, Vl. Kniazhnin, and others. Emphasizes the magical atmosphere and close cooperation of producer and artist. See also Znosko-Borovskii, 1925.9; Piast, 1929.3: Ivanov, 1985.5; Ebert, 1991.11.