1 BAKSHY, ALEXANDER. “Viacheslav Ivanov: A poet-philosopher of modern Russia.” In The path of the modern Russian stage and other essays. London: Palmer & Hayward, 99—120.
Chooses Ivanov as “the most interesting and perhaps the most important” of Russian symbolists, “since in his poems and essays he has created new values and opened a vista of new realities.” Outlines the fundamental principles of his teaching in terms of the “antithesis of unity and multiplicity, Nature and Man” and of his conception of Dionysus as Christ.
2 BELYI, ANDREI. “Viacheslav Ivanov.” In Russkaia literatura XX veka (1890—1910) [Russian literature of the twentieth century (1890—1910)]. Edited by S. A. Vengerov. Vol. 3, Book 8. Moscow: Izdanie T-va “Mir”, 114—49.
In Russian. Considers Ivanov’s development in terms of a path of initiation from an anthroposophical point of view. Provides an esoteric interpretation of Ivanov’s essays and poetry over the last fourteen years, finding a progression from the darkness of “stanovlenie” [becoming] to the light of onotological dogma and truth. The notes are full of detailed comments on Ivanov’s verse and use of rhythm and language, with lists of “best” and
3 BERDIAEV, NIKOLAI. “Ivanovskie sredy” [Ivanov’s Wednesdays]. In Russkaia literatura XX veka (1890—1910) [Russian literature of the twentieth century (1890—1910)]. Edited by S. A. Vengerov. Vol. 3, Book 8. Moscow: Izdanie T-va “Mir,” 97—100.
In Russian. Describes the Wednesday gatherings at the tower from the autumn of 1905. Comments on the role of the hosts, on Zinov’eva-Annibal’s inspiring Dionysiac nature, and on Ivanov’s talent at conversing with people. Evokes the atmosphere, the topics discussed, and the wide range of visitors. Reprinted: 1990.32. See also Kuznetsova, 1993.33.
4 BERDIAEV, NIKOLAI. “Ocharovaniia otrazhennykh kul’tur” [The charms of reflected cultures]. Birzhevye vedomosti (Petrograd), no. 15833, 30 September, utrennii vypusk, 2—3.
In Russian. A substantial article on Ivanov’s philosophical, religious, and aesthetic views, related to his newly published collection of essays Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Berdiaev’s fundamental disagreement with Ivanov rests on his view that Ivanov substitutes philology for ontology, and replaces the realities of religion and philosophy with aesthetic and cultural constructs. His syncretic vision reconciles all opposites and ignores the real state of crisis in culture. Praises his essay “O granitsakh iskusstva” [On the boundaries of art] as the best in the book. Reprinted: 1989.7. See Maksimov, 1975.8.
5 BOBROV, S. [S. Chagin]. “Viacheslav Ivanov i lirika” [Viacheslav Ivanov and lyric verse]. In Vtoroi sbornik Tsentrifugi [The second anthology of Centrifuge]. Moscow: Tsentrifuga, 58—59.
In Russian. A brief but fierce Futurist attack on Ivanov. Criticizes the views expressed by Ivanov in “O lirike” [On lyric verse] in Po zvezdam [By the stars] on rhythm and rhyme (quotes from p. 352). Describes his ideas as monotonous and empty buffoonery; sees them as responsible for the emergence of writers like Chulkov and Gorodetskii and for the famed phenomenon of “Petersburg mistiness.” See also Fleishman, 1990.21.
6 BRAUDO, EVGENII. “Lektsiia-kontsert Viacheslava Ivanova i A. B. Gol’denveizera” [The lecture and concert of Viacheslav Ivanov and A. B. Gol’denveizer]. Apollon, no. 1 (January): 46.
In Russian. Describes Ivanov’s lecture on Scriabin at an evening organized by the Petrograd Scriabin Society as “the most significant” instance of all recent writing and lectures on the composer since his death. Praises his “deep insight” into the mystical realist art of Scriabin, and the inspired quality of his speech, compared to a sermon. See also Karatygin, 1915.6.
7 BULGAKOV, SERGEI. “Sny Gei” [The dreams of Gaea]. Utro Rossii (Moscow), no. 120, 30 April, 4—5.
In Russian. A substantial article reviewing Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Sees Ivanov as a messenger from the ancient world and devotee of Mother Earth (Gaea). His peculiar religious calling lies in “revealing the Christian significance of the Hellenic religion,” an act that requires an exceptional level of initiation into the secrets of Gaea. His intuition is variable and subject to the danger of substituting aesthetic values for religious ones. As a poet-thinker he has links with Dante, Dostoevskii, and V. Solov’ev. Singles out the essays “O sushchestve tragedii” [On the essence of tragedy] and “O granitsakh iskusstva” [On the boundaries of art] for detailed discussion, linking Ivanov’s theory of artistic creation to the cult of Mother Earth. Reprinted: 1918.2.
8 CH[ESHIKHIN]-V[ETRIN]SKII, [V. E.]. Review of Borozdy i mezhi: Opyty esteticheskie i kriticheskie [Furrows and boundaries: Essays in aesthetics and criticism]. Vestnik Evropy (Petrograd), god 51, no. 8 (August): 391—93.
In Russian. Complains of the difficulty of Ivanov’s broken and mannered style. Quotes from his definition of symbolism in “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism]. Accuses him of giving complex explanations for simple concepts and overusing Greek terminology, and expresses scepticism about his theory of “realiora.” Regards the best part of the book as his essays on Dostoevskii (“Dostoevskii i roman-tragdiia” [Dostoevskii and the novel-tragedy] and “Ekskurs: Osnovnoi mif v romane ‘Besy’” [Excursus: The main myth of the novel The Devils], despite their occasionally comic attempts to find symbolic meaning in everything.
9 CHUDOVSKII, V. [Litotes]. “Obshchestvo revnitelei khudozhestvennogo slova” [The society of lovers of the artistic word]. Apollon, no. 2 (February): 55—56.
In Russian. Describes a meeting of the society on 12 December 1915 devoted to a discussion of the theory of versification, based on a recent essay by Chudovskii. Records Ivanov’s comments during the discussion, chaired by Nedobrovo. During the second part of the evening Ivanov, Sologub, Gumilev, Mandel’shtam, Lozinskii, and Piast read their poems.
10 DIL’, E. Review of Alkei i Safo [Alcaeus and Sappho], translated by Viacheslav Ivanov (Moscow, 1914); Arkhilokh, Stikhotvoreniia i fragmenty [Archilochus, Poems and fragments], translated by V. Veresaev (Moscow, 1915); Sapfo, Stikhotvoreniia i fragmenty [Sappho, Poems and fragments], translated by V. Veresaev (Moscow, 1915). Zhurnal ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia (Petrograd), n.s., part 61 (February): 396—406.
In Russian. A detailed comparative review of the second expanded edition of Ivanov’s translations of Alcaeus and Sappho (marked 1914, published
in 1915) and of Veresaev’s two books of translations from Archilochus and Sappho. Finds that the chief value of Ivanov’s translations lies in their “poetic perfection and artistic wholeness”; their only shortcoming is the translator’s excessively subjective additions. See Dil’, 1914.3; Kuzmin, 1914.7; Veresaev, 1915.9; Zakharov, 1916.21; Levinton, 1977.4.
11 ENGEL’, Iu. “A. N. Skriabin: Biograficheskii ocherk” [A. N. Scriabin. A biographical sketch]. Muzykal’nyi sovremennik: Zhurnal muzykal’nogo iskusstva, no. 4—5 (December — January): 72—96.
In Russian. This early essay by one of Scriabin’s first biographers contains brief references to his links with Ivanov. Scriabin first met Ivanov at an evening devoted to his music held at the editorial offices of Apollon in 1909 (p. 76). Baltrushaitis and Ivanov were among his favorite poets (p. 85). They were also close friends whose company and opinions he valued; he read them the text of his “Predvaritel’noe deistvo” [Preliminary action], which met with their warm approval (p. 92). After Scriabin’s death on 14 April 1915 Ivanov was among those appointed to the committee in charge of the publication of this work (p. 94). See also Karatygin, 1915.6; Braudo, 1916.6; Brown, 1979.3; Matlaw, 1979.11; Myl’nikova, 1985.14; Priashnikova, 1985.17; Mueller-Vollmer, 1988.47; Rubtsova, 1989.52; Mets, 1991.28; Mazaev, 1992.12; Kluge, 1993.31.
12 FILOSOFOV, D. Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Rech’ (Petrograd), no. 209, 1 August, 3.
In Russian. Compares this collection to Po zvezdam [By the stars] and finds that while it is more “polished,” it lacks the dynamism and life of the first collection, characterized by search and struggle, and suffers from a certain “mertvennost’” [deadness]. It is the work of a highly erudite and talented author who nevertheless remains “hopelessly alone and locked up in himself.” Ivanov’s position on social and religious issues is far from clear; his theurgic views remain too theoretical, his ideal of “sobornost’ “ [communality] fails to face up to the challenge of historical responsibility. He suffers from sitting between two stools [“stradaet mezhduvedomstvennost’iu”] . Praises his comments on Dostoevskii’s Besy [The devils] and on Tolstoi, but condemns his condescending attitude to Belinskii as bad taste. Finds his extravagant metaphors “positively unbearable” and his “dead, high-flown rhetoric” tasteless.
13 GIDONI, ALEKSANDR. Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 9—10 (November — December): 102—04.
In Russian. Singles out “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] as one of the “most remarkable” of Ivanov’s essays on literary themes, reflecting his view of poetry as a form of “hieratic service,” merging life and art in one. Praises the depth of thought in his essays on Dostoevskii, V. Solov’ev, and Tolstoi, but finds that he should now take up the difficult challenge of
developing a “simple style” in his prose works. Quotes two excerpts to demonstrate the obscurity of his style, and argues that as a result his profound message remains inaccessible to the majority of uninitiated readers.
14 K., P. Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Khristianskaia mysl’ (Kiev), no. 6 (June): 139—41.
In Russian. Underlines the compression and density of Ivanov’s thought and style and the author’s erudition. Describes the pages on Dostoevskii as possibly the most valuable writing on him, contrasting Ivanov’s understanding of Tolstoi and Dostoevskii with that of Veresaev and Merezhkovskii. Comments on the closeness of Ivanov’s theory of realist symbolism to the teachings of V. Solov’ev, the “knight of Sophia.”
15 Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Biulleteni literatury i zhizni (Moscow), no. 5 (November): 69—71 (second pagination).
In Russian. Comments on Ivanov’s collection of essays and surveys a range of reviews, quoting from Filosofov (1916.12), S., L. (1916.18), Berdiaev (1916.4), Bulgakov (1916.7), and Shletser (1916.17), and providing bibliographical references to further reviews.
16 SHESTOV, L. “Viacheslav Velikolepnyi: K kharakteristike russkogo upadochnichestva” [Viacheslav the Magnificent: Towards a characterization of Russian decadence]. Russkaia mysl’ (Moscow and Petrograd), god 37, no. 10 (October): 80—110 (second pagination).
In Russian. A substantial assessment of Ivanov’s thought, prompted by the appearance of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries], but ranging much more widely in its concerns and also dealing with the essays of Po zvezdam [By the stars]. In the course of eight sections, considers Ivanov’s relation to the Russian tradition and Western philosophy. Devotes much attention to his reading of Tolstoi and Dostoevskii, and to his connection with Nietzsche, Kant, and Schopenhauer. Finds that he stands alone in the Russian tradition because his thought (described as “velikolepnyi bred” [magnificent raving]) is not related to reality. The line from Pushkin, “Liubliu ia pyshnoe prirody uviadan’e…” [I love the lush fading of nature…], quoted as an opening epigraph and in the conclusion, summarizes the essence of Shestov’s admiration for the ornate beauty of Ivanov’s thought, coupled with a sense of its inherent lack of reality and decline. Reprinted: 1923.12. For a polemical response see Ern, 1917.3. See also Baranova-Shestova, 1981.1; Maksimov, 1975.8.
17 SHLETSER, B. Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Birzhevye vedomosti (Petrograd), no. 15791, 9 September, 5.
In Russian. Finds that after Cor Ardens the new collection of essays is a disappointment. Ivanov has revoked his earlier faith in the possibility of
achieving the ideal of theurgic art, although he continues to dream of this ideal. A similar ambivalence can be detected in his statements on the synthesis of the arts. To poets he seems more of a prophet, to philosophers, he seems more of an artist, to orthodox believers, he seems like a priest without God and without a church.
18 S., L. Review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Letopis’ (Petrograd), no. 10 (October): 351—52.
In Russian. Summarizes the main tenets of Ivanov’s theory of art. Underlines the coherence of his worldview and the resulting inner unity of the collection. Finds a few shortcomings in the luxuriant style, not always in perfect harmony with the message expressed.
19 USTRIALOV, N. “O forme i soderzhanii religioznoi mysli (Po povodu poslednego doklada Viach. I. Ivanova v religiozno-filosofskom obshchestve)” [On the form and content of religious thought (Concerning Viach. Ivanov’s last lecture at the religious-philosophical society)]. Utro Rossii (Moscow), no. 106, 16 April, 5.
In Russian. On the poem “Chelovek” [Man], the third part of which was published in the January 1916 issue of Russkaia mysl’; extracts from the first two parts were read and commented on by Ivanov and S. Bulgakov at the last meeting of the Religious-Philosophical society. Comments on the grandiose nature of the undertaking, both in form and content, and outlines the central Christian philosophical problems addressed in the work. Finds a lack of correspondence between its difficult form and its mystic content. Ivanov’s reply, “O ‘mysli izrechennoi’: Otvet g. N. Ustrialovu” [On the ‘spoken thought’: An answer to Mr N. Ustrialov] (1916) followed in the same issue.
20 VOLOKH, L. “Literaturnyi chetverg: Kriticheskie zametki” [Literary Thursday: Critical notes]. Priazovskii krai (Rostov-on-the-Don), no. 263, 6 October, 5.
In Russian. A review of Borozdy i mezhi [Furrows and boundaries]. Criticizes Ivanov for his “cumbersome and peculiar language.” Considers him a poor critic, but an artist. Praises his essay on Dostoevskii but finds the other contributions inferior.
21 ZAKHAROV, A. Review of Arkhilokh, Stikhotvoreniia i fragmenty [Archilochus, Poems and fragments], translated by V. Veresaev (Moscow, 1915); Sapfo, Stikhotvoreniia i fragmenty [Sappho, Poems and fragments], translated by V. Veresaev (Moscow, 1915). Germes (Petrograd), no. 7—8 (173—174): 137—42.
22 ZELINSKII, F. F. “Viacheslav Ivanov.” In Russkaia literatura XX veka (1890—1910) [Russian literature of the twentieth century (1890—1910)]. Edited by S. A. Vengerov. Vol. 3, Book 8. Moscow: Izdanie T-va “Mir,” 101—13.
In Russian. Recalls his first meeting with Ivanov at a lecture in 1905. Dwells on the Dionysiac principle as the source of Ivanov’s art, of symbolism, and of the future Slavonic renaissance of which Ivanov is a pioneer. Defines Ivanov’s “guiding stars” as Dionysus, Heraclitus, Nietzsche, and others, as well as “russkaia narodnost’” [the Russian national spirit]. Quotes several extracts from Ivanov’s verse and from “Tantal” [Tantalus]. Comments on the innovative power of his language and on his use of verse forms drawn from the classical, Romance, and German traditions. Passages from this essay are incorporated into Zelinskii 1933.18.
23 ZHIRMUNSKII, V. “Preodolevshie simvolizm” [The successors of symbolism]. Russkaia mysl’ (Moscow and Petrograd), god 37, no. 12 (December): 25—56 (second pagination).
In Russian. The opening pages of this essay outline the worldviews characteristic of three successive generations of symbolist poets: (1) Bal’mont and Briusov, (2) Ivanov, Belyi, and Blok, and (3) Kuzmin (pp. 25—27), thus providing an introductory framework to the ensuing examination of the poetry of the Acmeists, Akhmatova, Mandel’shtam, and Gumilev. The ideas of the symbolist poets of the second group are outlined and related to their teacher, V. Solov’ev, and to the German romantics. Reprinted: 1928.8. For an English translation, see Rabinowitz, 1986.39.