1 A., D. “U estetov” [At the aesthetes]. Golos Moskvy (Moscow), no. 234, 11 October, 4.
In Russian. A brief report on Ivanov’s complex lecture “Mysli o simvolizme” [Thoughts on symbolism] (1912), delivered at the first meeting of the Literaturno-Khudozhestvennyi kruzhok [Literary artistic circle] in the presence of Briusov, Bal’mont, Khodasevich, and others. Rumors that the Futurists would attend and cause a scandal turned out to be unfounded.
2 CHUZEVILLE, JEAN. “Lettres russes.” Mercure de France (Paris), 102 (March — April), 16 March: 435—39.
In French. Opens with a review of both parts of Cor Ardens (pp.
435—37). Places Ivanov in the tradition of nineteenth-century “God-seeking” Russian novelists. Underlines his importance both as a teacher and as a genuine poet. Finds that his symbolist and theurgic approach to poetry often tends to strip his subject of its natural physiognomy and charm, particulararly in the case of “Rosarium”: “M. Iwanow s’y est fait le jardinier d’un vitrail aveuglant, mais on regrettera parfois la lumière réelle, et l’ivresse des parfums dansants sur les plates-bandes.” Continues with a review of Briusov’s book of verse Zerkalo tenei [The mirror of shadows].
3 DURYLIN, SERGEI. Rikhard Vagner i Rossiia: O Vagnere i budushchikh putiakh iskusstva [Richard Wagner and Russia: On Wagner and the future paths of art]. Moscow: Musaget, 26—28.
In Russian. Considers the influence of Ivanov’s theory of “mifotvorchestvo” [myth-creation] and argues for the vital importance of distinguishing between pagan and Christian elements of myth. On Wagner and Ivanov, see also Rosenthal, 1984.25; Porfir’eva, 1987.18; Bartlett, 1990.3, 1993.5; Gozenpud, 1990.26; Rizzi, 1993.47.
4 GORODETSKII, SERGEI. “Novye izdaniia ‘Or’” [New publications by “Ory”] . Rech’ (St. Petersburg), no. 121, 6 May, 4.
In Russian. Reviews Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. Contrasts its simplicity with the heavy symbolism of the second part of Cor Ardens, and draws a parallel between this transition and the difference between Ivanov’s first two collections. Quotes “Tsikady” [Cicadas] as one of the best poems. Wonders in what the “tender mystery” of the new collection resides; in this new “divine lightheartedness” no more is revealed than the fact that “poetry is alive even without any mysteries, as life itself.” This truth, put forward by the new young poets, has now fully revealed itself to Ivanov as well. The second half of the article is devoted to a less enthusiastic review of a collection of verse by Skaldin, Ivanov’s “new pupil.” See also Gorodetskii, 1911.7, 1912.6.
5 GUMILEV, N. “Pis’ma o russkoi poezii” [Letters on Russian poetry]. Review of Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 3: 74—75.
In Russian. Surveys several recent collections of poetry, starting with Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. Ivanov and Sologub are the only two poets still carrying the banner of symbolism. Ivanov has reached the height of his powers in his latest book, which exudes confidence, direction, clarity, and simplicity. And yet this is a solitary flowering; an abyss that no amount of talent can fill divides Ivanov from Acmeism. Reprinted: 1923.5; 1968.6; 1990.27. For an English translation see Lapeza, 1977.2. See also Gumilev, 1913.6.
6 G[UMILEV], N. Review of Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. Giperborei (St. Petersburg), no. 4 (January): 27.
In Russian. A very brief, positive review. Ivanov’s landscapes are the
best among the symbolists’ landscapes. The new simplicity of his language only brings out the significance of his usual themes more fully. Reprinted: 1984.13; 1987.15; 1990.27. See also Gumilev, 1913.5.
7 “Idei, obrazy, fakty: Lektsii i disputy” [Ideas, images, facts: Lectures and disputes]. Biulleteni literatury i zhizni (Moscow), no. 7 (December): 421—24.
In Russian. The review of several recent literary lectures opens with a summary (p. 421) of Ivanov’s “O granitsakh iskusstva” [On the boundaries of art] (1914), delivered in Moscow at the Religious-Philosophical Society, followed by an account of Sologub’s “Iskusstvo nashikh dnei” [Art of our times] (see 1915.8).
8 IZMAILOV, A. “Zveniashchii kimval” [The sounding cymbal]. In Pestrye znamena: Literaturnye portrety bezvremen’ia [Bright banners: Literary portraits of a time of stagnation]. Moscow: Izdanie T-va I. D. Sytina, 37—54.
In Russian. Devotes the second chapter of this book to Ivanov. Stresses his deep learning and originality as a poet. Compares him to Derzhavin and quotes a range of examples from his poetry to illustrate the similarities. Regards his archaic use of language as a “crime” that deserves more serious punishment than mocking parodies. Praises his feeling for images and the musicality of his verse. Finds no link, however, between his theories of universal art and mythcreation and the effect of his verse. His tragedy is a true “gore ot uma” [woe from wit], the tragedy of a degree of erudition that has consumed live poetic imagination and simplicity of language.
9 MEIERKHOL’D, VS. “K istorii i tekhnike Teatra” [On the history and technique of the theatre]. In O teatre (On the theatre). St. Petersburg: Prosveshchenie, 3—55.
Reprint of 1908.9 with minor changes. The same book also includes brief references from another essay (pp. 115—16) on two plays by Zinov’eva-Annibal and on Ivanov’s “Tantal” [Tantalus], viewed as representative of differing tendencies in the theatre (either decadent or new).
10 NEDOBROVO, N. V. Review of Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. Russkaia molva (St. Petersburg), no. 39 (19 January): 5.
In Russian. Regards Ivanov as a poet endowed with particular sensitivity to the mystery of life; this is the source of his symbolism. His verse is far from dead; it is full of the “living warmth of artistic creativity” and reflects an increasing closeness to the “narodnyi dukh” [national spirit] of the Russian people. Welcomes the poet’s discovery of simplicity. See also Struve, 1981.21.
11 SIUNNERBERG, KONST [Konst. Erberg]. “O vozdushnykh mostakh kritiki” [On the ethereal bridges of criticism]. In Tsel’ tvorchestva: Opyty po teorii
tvorchestva i estetike [The aim of art: Essays on the theory of art and aesthetics]. Moscow: Russkaia mysl’, 217—29.
Reprint of 1909.20.
12 ZAKRZHEVSKII, ALEKSANDR. Religiia: Psikhologicheskie paralleli [Religion: Psychological parallels]. Kiev: Izdanie zhurnala “Iskusstvo,” 347—78.
In Russian. The twelfth chapter of this book (which deals with a variety of symbolist poets and philosophers) is devoted to Ivanov. Outlines the split between two elements dividing the Russian soul as presented by Dostoevskii in The Brothers Karamazov, and defines this as the most distinctive characteristic of contemporary spiritual life. A reaction to Tolstoi’s asceticism has provoked a renewed interest in sex, identified with paganism, and with the resurrection of the cult of Dionysus, initiated by Ivanov in continuation of Nietzsche. Praises Ivanov as a poet (together with Briusov, he is the successor of Pushkin) and the interest of his religious ideas. He has converted Dostoevskii’s vision of the cult of the earth as sinful into a source of mystic revelation and inspiration. Quotes from and interprets Ivanov’s poems in the light of his prose writings, drawing on “The Hellenic religion of the suffering god” (1904) and the essays of Po zvezdam [By the stars]).